Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Financial Planning for Teenagers

I have been watching on the sidelines as the young  family teenager navigates her way into adulthood.  Getting a driver's license, enrolling to vote, being able to go out and live
an exciting adult life.  It is what all youngsters dream of, isn't it?

The trick about parenting is making sure that you set up your children with all the skills they need to navigate the world with.  It is certainly my approach with my own child.  I guess I am super aware of how hard life can be when you don't have a parent there to guide you.  I try and make sure that my child has a strong sense of self, is confident, well balanced and grounded.  I want her to be able to navigate life, independently, and my approach to parenting is designed to support this concept.

Back to the teenager.  She has a personal loan for a car, and a trail of part time jobs.  The neighbour up the road regularly drops in mail from when they used to live in our street, many years ago.  I hear whispers that income tax returns are not being lodged, so I made some attempts at helping to steer from afar.  After all these have gone unheard, I bluntly said bring all your stuff here and I will sort you out.

There was relief from the niece as she arrived with a shopping bag of stuff!  So I have been spending some random moments of spare time trying to assemble a financial plan for this disaster!  Turns out that mail arrives from companies, some is opened, some is not.  The reader doesn't understand the contents, or care to.  I suspect there are many reasons, age appropriate ones of this stuff is not that important to me right now, and others like OMG what is this even saying, do I need to keep this, and URGH maybe I will look at this later.

There are many bank accounts, many superannuation policies, and many attempts by many people to try and get something happening from their correspondence.  But the sad end result is that this lack of life skills is actually impacting on the financial future of the individual concerned.  It is frankly quite scary to be watching unfold.

Every few days I send a nag email.  It is like a virtual nag note!  They are little emails with instructions on who to ring, what to ask for etc.  Slowly I will start to build some confidence and understanding about what one should be doing here.  Once we have some basics, a darn good clean up of accounts and some organisation about what to do, and who to ask if you don't know, maybe we can start to get a financial plan happening.

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