This is the time of year where the holidays come back-to-back, and the season of gift giving is arriving fast. In the last few years there has been an interesting shift in how we are spending our time and our money. More people are refocusing their values and priorities, and leaving behind the expensive gift-giving of the past. With a greater focus on hearth and home, there are more get-togethers with family and friends, more handmade gifts from the heart, and more homemade cookies with the kids. It has become less about consumerism and more about long lasting family traditions.
As we are contemplating gifts for those we hold dear, we may wonder what could make their lives easier, or enhance their comfort or well-being? Here are some financial gift ideas for every generation.
Great for the little ones or really any age!
Not that you would need to gift this much, but the annual federal gift tax exclusion is $14,000 per individual for 2016. The exclusion for a married couple is up to $28,000. Just make sure it is deposited before December 31st. You can add a personal touch to any amount by putting a special note or letter with the money, or by gifting your donation along with a unique piggy bank to encourage them to save on their own as well.
Cash alternatives are also a great option: U.S. savings bonds, funding a 529 college-plan account, and putting money into a child’s Roth IRA.
Book Great for high school and college age students, or those adults that love to read.
Print, digital, audible, subscription. It can be on any subject and in any format. Really the possibilities are endless. You could even consider a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, magazine, or newspaper. You could buy them a book about planning for their future, enjoying their successes, or even a biography about an inspirational person that you admire. Take a minute to write a personal note in it and it will be something they will cherish for years to come.
Personal Financial Planning Great for adults of any age.
You can gift the service of having a personal financial plan done for someone you love. This will not only provide them with direction, but also an integrated strategy to try and better their overall financial life over time. This may do more than “make money” for them - it may help them build and retain lifelong wealth.
Have there been any significant life events that may alter their current plan? Do they need insurance, long term care, term, what if the unexpected happened tomorrow? Have they done everything possible to ensure that they will be able to sustain themselves financially during retirement, thus avoiding the need to depend on other family members? Have you done everything possible to ensure that, as they age, they will have access to and options for optimal health care?
There’s no time like the present to handle the future care of your loved ones.
Investment Great gift for anyone.
When it comes to learning about investing, the very best way is actually doing it. Your child will have some skin in the game, making him or her very interested in paying attention to the details for future prosperity. There are a slew of options out there to choose from such as stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs that you can open up in their name. This is a great way to provide a gift now that will keep giving in the future for someone you care about, all the while teaching them about investing -a great life lesson to instill.
The future is uncertain but more and more people are taking the time to celebrate the present with those they care most about. It is important to remember the sentiment behind the holiday season and help those you love plan for tomorrow. Giving any type of financial gift can help preserve family assets, provide options for future care, and perhaps most importantly, bring your loved ones peace of mind. Now that is a gift that keeps on giving.