Every parent wants to teach their children fiscal responsibility, but it’s not always easy to impress upon live-for-the-now youngsters the concept of saving for a rainy day. Certainly teaching by example is one tried and true method; another is practice. But can a 15 to 21 year old really practice saving for retirement? Of course they can! And according to this article in the Washington Post, they can reap incredible benefits.
“Setting up a Roth individual retirement account for your teenager can be a smart and rewarding move to consider at tax time… It makes good sense to set aside money that can grow many times over by the time it is put to use. And establishing an IRA with a teenager’s own cash — perhaps supplemented by the parents or grandparents — can convey a powerful financial message that no pep talk could match.”
If you show your child or grandchild that setting up a Roth IRA is just another milestone—similar to graduation, getting a driver’s license, or getting a first part time job—the lesson comes through loud and clear that saving for the future is a natural and normal part of adulthood. In fact, the attainment of a first job can be the perfect instigating factor for setting up an account because “A Roth IRA can be opened only if the child has income from a job – and allowances don’t count.”
A Roth IRA can be a nice thing for a child to have for another reason… parents or grandparents can support and supplement the child’s investment with their own contributions as well. A retirement account may not be the most traditional of gifts, but it’s never too early to learn the value—and necessity—of saving for the future.