5 Impactful Financial Gifts for 2023 – Military.com

Two children of military families attend a holiday party.

Think of all the gifts you’ve given or received in the past month or even years. What stands out?

If you’re like me, the answer is, surprisingly, very little. Sad, but true, given the amount of time, energy and, yes, money, that has gone into gift-giving. When it comes to gifts for our children, it would be nice if we could create some positive long-term outcomes.

With that in mind, as 2023 starts, you may want to consider changing your approach. Here are five financial gifts that can really make a difference to your kids:

1. Help them break the student loan trend.

Student loan debt is rightfully a hot topic. And while I don’t have a macro-level solution, you can do your part to help your kids graduate from college without a heavy student loan debt.

The Department of Defense has been implementing its plan to increase portability Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for members of the service with less than 16 years of age. If you qualify and plan to transfer benefits, do it today.

Aside from those benefits, skipping toys and contributing to a 529 college savings plan instead could help create an education fund to avoid borrowing. Everything you save represents a debt that your children will not bear.

2. Start their investment game.

Wouldn’t it be much cooler in the distant future if your kids told their kids a “look where my parents started” story about how you jump-started their interest in investing. For younger children, this can mean a piggy bank that starts a lifelong saving habit. Older kids may like stocks in one of their favorite companies.

3. Introduce your children to Mr. Roth.

If your children report income from their endeavors, part-time work, or chores, they may qualify for a Roth IRA contribution for the amount of that income. Think about it: At 8%, $1,000 in a 16-year-old’s Roth IRA could grow to more than $50,000 by age 66. Talk about spending time on your child’s side. Unlike the many gifts I have forgotten over the years, this would be a gift your children will remember into their own golden years.

4. The promise of a matching contribution.

Delayed gratification is a hard sell. If your financial situation allows, you can soften the blow by sweetening the deal. Offer free money to encourage your kids to save and invest — instead of buying something now — with a contribution to match. My parents did it for me, we did it for our kids, and maybe it will work for your family.

5. Become the teacher.

We have an influential place in our children’s world. And even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, they appreciate our input. Don’t miss the opportunity to gift time — in this case, time spent with your children promoting and encouraging good financial habits. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the FDIC Money Smart program. It offers classes for children of all ages.

Many of these gifts don’t come with a hefty price tag, but they all hold the promise of an outcome we all value: a better future for our children. Map out your gift planning plans for 2023 today.

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