As parents, we want to provide the best for our children. When it comes to providing for our children financially, for many of us making large financial gifts to our children may not be feasible or desirable. The good news is that there are many ways you can provide assistance to your children without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas for more modest financial gifts and non-financial assistance you can offer your adult children.
One-Time Financial Gifts
One of the simplest ways to provide financial assistance to your children is through small, one-time gifts. This could include helping them pay for a car repair or buying a new suit for a job interview. These types of gifts may seem small, but reliable transportation and good first impressions can make a big difference in their ability to get a job and begin providing financially for themselves.
Ongoing Financial Gifts
If you’re looking to provide ongoing support to your children, you could consider offering to cover a portion of their expenses, such as their phone bill or car insurance. This type of support can help ease their financial burden and allow them to focus on other areas of their life, such as their education or career.
Gifts That Help Establish Healthy Financial Habits*
- Matching savings. You can help your child open a savings account by making the initial deposit and/or by matching a portion of your child’s contributions. (Note: In 2023, you can give up to $17,000 per recipient without incurring the gift tax, $34,000 if you’re giving as a couple). The same idea can be applied toward helping them pay down credit card or other debt they may have accrued. Helping your child increase their savings or pay down debt incentivizes them to begin practicing healthy financial habits.
- Fund or match contributions to an IRA. Opening a tax-advantaged Individual Retirement Account (IRA) could be the right move if your child is freelancing or ineligible for a 401(k) through their employer. Roth IRAs, funded with after-tax dollars, offer tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals, and are a practical option for those with smaller incomes.
- Gift shares of stock. Owning a piece of a company that your child is interested in might pique their interest in investing. Entertainment, technology, apparel, or socially responsible investments are a few popular options.
- Offer assistance. Offering to help your child with a job search by reviewing their resume or providing networking opportunities can be incredibly beneficial. You could also offer to provide childcare or pet-sitting services to help your child save money on those expenses.
- Offer advice and education. Many young adults have not had the opportunity to learn about managing their finances, so sharing your knowledge and experience with them can be incredibly valuable. You could help them create a budget or teach them about the basics of investing, for example.
Providing assistance to your children doesn’t always require financial gifts. Small, one-time gifts or ongoing support with expenses can be just as valuable, as can non-financial assistance such as job search help or childcare. Starting with small gifts can be a good way to test your child’s financial responsibility before making larger gifts.
Your Wealth Manager can be a valuable resource when it comes to determining what types of gifts or assistance are appropriate given your financial plan. They can help you understand how much you can afford to give and what types of gifts might make the most sense given your financial goals. Additionally, they can provide guidance on how to structure gifts in a tax-efficient manner.