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Helping your children learn financial responsibility

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You know how to handle your finances. But how do you make sure your children or grandchildren end up with the same financial skills and resources that you have?

Whether they’re heading to college or starting their first job, the young adults in your family can benefit from learning good financial habits. It's never too early or too late. Your advisor can work with you to get your children started on the right path and help them become financially responsible adults.

Getting them ready isn’t an “all at once” situation. It can be done in stages.

We've put together some resources for you, so you can start these conversations with the young adults in your family:

Learning the fundamentals

Start with a solid foundation

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Saving. Budgeting. Handling a bank account. Many of us take these concepts for granted. For young adults, they can seem complicated. We would be happy to talk with them to introduce them to the basics of personal financial management and even help open accounts.

Because they are a part of your family, they could have access to privileges you have, including Preferred Rewards.1

If you have questions, contact your advisor. They’re available to help you and your family.

Making smart choices

Using credit and investments properly

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As your children start working, they’ll take on new financial responsibilities, like paying credit card bills and managing their investments. It’s important that they understand how critical both are for their short- and long-term goals.

How they manage their credit can have the single largest impact on their financial life. Smart decisions at this stage can help them avoid making mistakes that could lead to a bad credit history that takes time to resolve.

Making smart investment decisions early can also get them off to a strong start, while having a lasting effect on their lives.

Your advisor can help explain all of this to them, and help you both choose and open credit cards or investment accounts, if appropriate.

More on credit and investments for your family:

  • The Private Bank Financial Empowerment Program has material for newcomers to learn financial basics and help them understand how accounts work.
  • Merrill Edge® Self-Directed makes it easy to get started with helpful guidance, tools and insights along the way.

Contact your advisor to learn more about how they can help your children or grandchildren.

Giving with purpose

Help your children give back

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As they grow up, it’s natural for young adults to become passionate about helping people and communities. But they may not yet understand the unique position they’re in to create real change. Similar to teaching children to save, giving back can start early with simple practices. And the earlier children learn the habit of giving, the easier and more likely it is to be sustained.

Talking about philanthropy can be rewarding for everyone. It can help you develop a deeper understanding of what matters to your loved ones. It can help them learn financial responsibility and how to contribute to your family legacy.

It’s important that young adults have a solid understanding of how the financial aspect of philanthropy works. They'll need that knowledge to work toward their goals.

Your advisor can help you have discussions about philanthropy with your family, as well as open accounts for them like donor-advised funds.

Here are resources for having conversations with your family about philanthropy:

Contact your advisor to set up a time to introduce your children to philanthropy and the tools available to them.