Lifestyle09 September 2019

3 simple ways to start building a legacy for your grandkids


If you’re lucky enough to already have grandchildren, you know the feeling. Cooking and gardening while they ‘help’. Watching them reach the milestones your kids reached all those years ago, right in front of your eyes. And of course, spoiling them rotten in a way that makes your kids roll their eyes.

Maybe these moments are something you’ve dreamed of your whole life – a big feature of your retirement years. Or maybe you never thought you’d be one of those grandparents who’d give up all their spare time for free babysitting. But now you can’t wait to spend every spare minute with them. Well, maybe a bit less so when their parents are late to pick them up and they’re chucking a tanty and you just want your lovely empty nest back. But the point stands – it’s natural to want to be able to support your grandkids as much as possible, for as long as possible.

Wondering how you can keep helping out as they grow up? Even when you’re not around to lend a hand or shell out cash in person? Leaving a financial legacy is a way to give them a good shot at achieving what you want for them. But when many ordinary Aussies think ‘generous grandparents’ or ‘inheritance’, they think family dynasties, massive portfolios, or worse, ‘those trust fund kids’. And that gets in the way of a lot of planning and action. Because the truth is, leaving a meaningful financial gift is achievable for most people. It just takes a bit of planning and preparation.

Tip 1 – Set meaningful goals

You set clear, realistic and well-researched financial goals for yourself. So don’t forget to do the same when you’re setting saving and investment sub-targets for your grandkids. Ask yourself questions like:

Will they be able to get a better education with financial help?Do they need help with university, or will they take a different career path?Do they have healthcare needs that aren’t covered by insurance?If you helped them get a head start on a house deposit, would they be able to afford a mortgage?Would they accept your help in some areas, but not in others?

Tip 2 – Think about your time frame

Once you’ve got a magic number in mind, it’s time to think about … well … time. Your time frame will be determined by their age now, and the age/s at which they’ll need help. It might also depend on your age, how long you’ve got to go until retirement, and other financial goals on your horizon. You might have five years to save and invest, or you might have 18 years.

Side note: Your time frame could be extended if you use a structure like a trust which ensures that your grandkid/s don’t access the money until they’re ready to handle it and make smart decisions.

Tip 3 – Start with something

Feeling overwhelmed by the goals you’ve set, and everything you want to give to your grandkids? Start small and build from there. For example, you could investigate product categories that are generally lower risk and with a lower entry point, such as a high interest savings account.

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