Money and Children

May 5, 2008

Different Stages Money and Children Go Through In Your Life
Our financial relationship with our children will go through many stages as they, and we, age. The four key stages of your financial relationship with children are:

  • Protector and provider: What you provide for your children.
  • Teacher: What you teach your children. I have definite ideas about what and how to teach children about money and life. I have seen many clients and colleagues impart their ideas about the role of money to their children, intentionally or not. Whether you are an eager or reluctant teacher, you will certainly teach your children about money as their role model.
  • Financier: What expenses you pay for your children. College – and more.
  • Benefactor: What you leave your children.
  • In almost all cases, these stages will overlap. As your children grow up you simply play more roles. Your roles as a provider and teacher certainly will overlap for some time. When you are no longer the provider for your children, you will remain, at least in your view, their protector – even if not financially. And you will always be a teacher. The only change is that as they mature into adulthood, your children will probably become more willing to listen to you; you will gradually grow wiser in their eyes. Even the financier stage of the relationship may extend well beyond paying for some or all of their education if you help them buy a car or a home.

    Bruce Helmer is the President and founder of Wealth Enhancement Group, a Minnesota-based financial planning firm with experts in the fields of financial planning, investment management, tax strategies, insurance, and estate planning. He hosts a weekly financial education radio show on stations throughout the upper Midwest and is the author of “Money and the People You Love.” To learn more, visit or