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Financial Education - the Holiday Gift that Keeps Giving

December 10, 2018

The holidays are here, leaving many of us wondering what on earth to give as gifts. We browse the “gift set” aisle at retailers, or furiously search online for something affordable, appropriate, and unique. Often we settle on a gift simply because we can’t find anything better.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are more financial options for gift-giving than ever before. Many are educational and all are useful. Here are some options:

-Contributions to 529 College Savings Plans and Roth IRAs. Sure, kids will love the latest Christmas gift, at least for a while. However, a deposit to their college savings plan is something that they’ll definitely appreciate when it comes time to continue their education. And did you know you can contribute to a Roth IRA on behalf of a young person between the ages of 14 and 30? What a great present that will both teach the benefits of saving for retirement early and start their actual retirement account.

-Investment Account Apps. There are many smartphone apps that allow you to gift an investment account. Some are perfect for beginners (Acorns, Robinhood) and some (Stockpile) allow recipients to “trade” on their own. The perfect way to introduce young people (or older people) to the stock market and investing. You can search Google Play or the App Store for numerous options.

-Savings Bonds. Most everyone is familiar with Savings Bonds, which can be purchased through the TreasuryDirect website.

-Online Education Courses. There are many online courses that teach financial basics – from budgeting (Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University) to investing (MorningStar). A great resource to investigate is the National Endowment for Financial Education.

These are a few gift-options available, and there are certainly more. We suggest searching online (“Financial Holiday Gifts” and “Financial Education Gifts” are some search terms to get you started.) Be sure to do your homework, and make this year’s gifts appreciated for years to come!

We are not endorsing any of the resources listed above.