As a dad, how do I best set up my son financially? He’s four, and I’m planning ahead! I am 42, separated, and renting. I have no debt other than a mortgage. My total assets are $20,000. I am on a low training wage now (midlife change of career) but if I pass I will be earning up to $100,000. So, do you suggest saving or investing for him in his name? Or building up my assets so I can provide a home?
You’re already making the right long-term investment for your son — by lifting your income to six figures, you’re going to be able to buy yourself long-term financial security. When you have your money sorted, you’re free to focus on the things that really matter. Your son doesn’t care about what car you drive, whether you own or rent your home, or how much money you have in your bank account — all he really cares about is spending time with you. What more status do you need? You’re the man!
Finally, I’ll tell you this: handing a kid a huge cheque on their 21st birthday sometimes does them more harm than good. If you really want to build your son up, invest the time you have with him right now. Do ‘jobs’ with him, and pay him in gold coins into three jam jars (‘Save’, ‘Spend’, and ‘Give’). That’ll do more to shape his values than almost anything else you could do.