When many of us become grandparents for the first time it is often an unexpected, wonderful surprise. Thoughts of our life and legacy come to the forefront as well as what we still want to do with the rest of our lives. Along with the natural blessings brought by a grandchild come the unforeseen benefits (or wake-up call) of what our lives are really all about. Whether you’re a new grandparent, about to become one or have grandchildren entering their teens, you can make an impact on their lives by properly investing in their future.
A recent study by JP Morgan has shown that, on average, nearly two fifths of grandparents are saving for their grand-children’s future. Investments, bonds, life insurance and more go a long way toward safeguarding the legacy of grandparents and helping grandchildren prepare for their future. Whether for a college fund, money to put down on their first home or a small savings bond, families across the country are finding creative ways to keep wealth in their families while leveraging long-term compounding interest to do it.
Financial gifts aside, generous grandparents often give ten to thirty hours per week in free childcare services to their working children. Others help with everyday living costs, rarely asking for a refund of the money they’ve spent. “Bringing up a family while making ends meet is certainly no mean feat. Fortunately, the nation’s grandparents are helping their families financially and with their time, too. As parents and grandparents it’s important we do as much as possible to lay a good financial foundation for our families, so it’s encouraging to see generations rallying round each other with support” says Keith Evans, Head of UK Funds Marketing at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
The important thing to look at here is not only the security of the investment but also the interest rate of the investment. Most grandparents’ gifts are delivered to their grandchildren after a ten to eighteen year investment period (source: Investors Chronicle). Though various savings bonds are quite popular among grandparents, the interest rate on these is incredibly small.
When it comes down to it no amount of money can ever replace a person or the love felt in those deep-rooted family relationships. Photographs, videos, last wishes and special notes are often the most cherished possessions to family members after a grandparent passes on. With the explosion of social media many seniors often have gigabytes of data uploaded to sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Even more have shoe boxes full of photographs stored in attics along with countless memorabilia items accumulated throughout their lives. What may look like an old beat-up baseball glove to one person is the most valuable item in the world to another if it reminds them of time spent with their grandfather.
Fortunately there are online resources for these types of items as well. Websites like MyFinal.com offer members the tools and resources the need for planning their end-of-life needs. Not only are traditional documents like wills and trusts stored on their secure servers but also heartfelt sentiments, video messages, heirloom instructions, photographs and more. No matter what you do as a grandparent remember that proper planning and investing over the course of your life can build a long-lasting legacy for your entire family.