You try to bring your kids up to be confident independent adults and how do they repay you – they use that confidence and independence and set up home interstate or overseas.
Being one of those who emigrated 17 years ago from England and is now a fully-fledged Aussie (sporting loyalties aside) I’m fortunate to have parents and in-laws visit regularly – in 2018 my wife and I have been lucky enough to have both sets of parents stay with us for a total of ten weeks already.
Firstly, let me start by saying how brilliant that is. If you’re reading this mum and dad (and I know you are because I added you to the subscriber list), we love you and love having you here. But it does bring into focus the changing dynamics of parenting in the 21st century with families now often scattered across the globe. And when you throw grandkids into the mix, how do you reconcile that with your main role as a grandparent which is to spoil them rotten?
Spoiling your grandkids – tips from a parent
- It’s the little things you miss – kids’ school drop offs, talking about their days, seeing who their friends are – so embrace it all while you’re there.
- See if there are things the parents do ‘differently’ that are important to them and try to accommodate these, even if you do know best.
- Remember, you’re staying much longer than a weekend. “A little taste” of ice cream for breakfast may be ok as a one-off, but if you’re staying for say six weeks, perhaps switch to cereal or toast for the rest of the trip, and
- When you make a pact with the grandkids not to tell their mum and dad about specific treats, make sure the pact is strong and they don’t weaken under intense questioning.
- Give experiences rather than toys. An increasing trend is multi-generational family holidays and this can be a fantastic way to create lasting memories for everyone.
Spoiling your grandkids – tips from an investment advisor
- Start planning and saving early – it’s expensive to travel but your kids and grandkids want to see you.
- If you want to give money think about placing it in an investment or specific savings account – investing money for them is a great use of funds to provide a lasting legacy.
- Furthermore, if you’re looking to help with education expenses then be aware how the recent restrictions on superannuation contributions may change your strategy – perhaps investment/education bonds (the old insurance bonds) may provide that tax efficient investment vehicle for you.
- If providing for your children after you’ve left (in the ethereal sense) make sure your estate planning is up to date and takes into account the residency and potential tax issues of your beneficiaries living overseas.
Finally, remember, it’s the gift of time that is most precious to all involved.
Briggsmass – a second Christmas in January to celebrate mum and dad’s arrival and not the best illustration of the ‘give experiences’ advice above.
Speak with your financial adviser – living the life you want and providing for those you love is expensive at the best of times; even more so when your family’s no longer just down the road. Making sure you get the right financial advice will help you achieve this.
Simon Briggs is a Director at Keep Wealth Partners.
Keep Wealth Partners Pty Ltd (AFSL 494858). This information is of a general nature only and may not be relevant to your particular circumstances. The circumstances of each investor are different and you should seek advice from a financial planner who can consider if the strategies and products are right for you.