When you think about leaving something to the next generation, family heirlooms, favorite recipes or money may be the first things that come to mind. But have you thought about sharing lessons you learned with your grandchildren or other young adults you care about? While the world may look very different from when you were growing up, your experiences with saving and preparing can be valuable lessons to share.
Starting the conversation
Instead of focusing on giving advice, which may be met with resistance, consider approaching the conversation from their point of view. By focusing on them and asking questions about what's important to them, they may be more likely to receive the advice you share. Plus, you may learn something new about your loved one's hopes and dreams.
What would they like to accomplish?
Ask about their goals now and in the next few years – is it paying down debt, buying a laptop or taking a trip? Share what you prioritized and what inspired you to start saving. Did you save a certain amount each month or only when you had a bit extra? Offer what you learned about the importance and discipline of saving for a goal, and be sure to talk about any mistakes you made along the way.
What money concerns keep them up at night?
Is it job loss, unexpected car repairs or a health event? An emergency to younger generations could be something you never considered in your youth – losing or breaking their phone could affect their livelihood more than you realize. Share a time you used emergency savings and how it benefited you, or a time when you could have used emergency savings but didn't have enough. Reinforce how being prepared for the unexpected can help avoid unnecessary credit card debt or potentially derailing longer-term goals.
By understanding the financial hopes and concerns of those you care about, and then sharing your own experiences in navigating difficult choices surrounding money, you not only have the opportunity to strengthen your relationships, but you may also turn into a trusted source of advice for your loved ones.