For Mark Roberts’ Use: Most of you are long past the days of having kids in diapers and midnight feedings, but many of you do have children who are young adults or currently in college. So you know that while your parenting duties have shifted a great deal, you still spend some time worrying about your their futures.
Once those kids graduate college and begin looking for their first “adult” jobs, it can feel like your job is done- and it’s true that these things represent success. However, in this new stage of their lives, your kids still need some guidance – in particular, regarding financial planning. So we’ve put together a few financial tips that you can offer them.
Utilize a traditional retirement account if you need to reduce income tax liability. Contributions to a traditional 401(k) or IRA are tax-deductible, meaning they lower your overall taxable income, up to a certain limit each year. These accounts are a good choice not only for retirement planning, but also for lowering your income tax burden.
A Roth retirement account offers tax benefits in retirement. A Roth IRA or 401(k) essential works via an opposite mechanism to traditional accounts. It won’t lower your taxable income for the year, since contributions are made on an after-tax basis. But your withdrawals in retirement won’t be counted toward taxable income. For many young people who haven’t yet reached their full earnings potential, especially if they enjoy tax benefits from children, a Roth account is a good option. Later when they earn more money and need the tax deduction, they might switch to funding a traditional retirement account.
Consider a Health Savings Account. With the cost of health insurance soaring, many younger, healthier people opt for high-deductible plans. Many of these plans qualify their enrollees to contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) to help offset those large deductibles. Contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, earning you a valuable tax benefit. If the funds in the HSA aren’t used up during a particular year, they continue rolling over into future years. You even take the account with you when you retire, and the money can be used on qualifying medical expenses then.
Young people do need insurance. Don’t assume that just because you’re young and healthy, nothing bad can happen to you. Disability insurance is very affordable for young people, and can prevent financial disaster in the event of a severe illness or injury. Life insurance is another important consideration for young people, especially as they get married or start a family. Remind your kids that everything they build should be protected.
Seek expert guidance. It’s hard for young people to picture themselves as retirees. However, financial health is a lifelong endeavor, not just something we start to consider in our fifties. Remind them to seek the guidance of a financial professional now, and to continue those meetings on a regular basis over the years.