Grandparents play a vital role in how their grandchildren view finances.
According to a recent study, “Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren: The MetLife Study on How Grandparents Share Their Time, Values, and Money,” found that, increasingly, grandparents are a vital source of financial support for American families and even teenagers look to them for words of wisdom and advice.
The MetLife Mature Market Institute is offering grandparents a tip sheet on how they can be influential in a positive way on topics including values, beliefs, civic engagement, heritage and even cooking. It reports that they can also be an important influence on finances through both words and example. Called “Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren: Actions Speak Louder Than Words,” the guide was produced with Generations United.
“Grandparents continue to be a positive influence on their grandchildren. Even though some are long distance and families seem to have less leisure time than in the past, it’s more critical than ever for grandparents to pass on life lessons, family history and positive values, through strong relationships with their grandchildren,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
“This guide has important information to help make it easier for grandparents to facilitate interaction, finding common ground and mutual interest between their grandchildren and themselves,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “From how to initiate meaningful conversation, to creating memories and even how to be generous without sacrificing one’s own financial security, we have many ideas on how to make the best of these special relationships.”
According to the tip sheet, grandparents should share their values and beliefs with their grandchildren, focusing on the topics that resonate most with grandkids, like honesty and good behavior, education, family history, self-sufficiency and good health habits. Grandparents also are successful in teaching their grandchildren the importance of community involvement through philanthropy, volunteerism and voting.
It suggests that they also celebrate family by taking the time to create a family tree or looking at photos or even preparing meals together.
Grandparents also should invest in their grandchildren’s futures by helping them pay tuition or helping them to attain financial literacy skills. They can help foster early savings habits and encourage smart spending and making investments.
Formed in 1986, Generations United is the national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth, and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs, and public policies.
Celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2012, the MetLife Mature Market Institute is Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s (MetLife) center of expertise in aging, longevity and the generations and is a recognized thought leader by business, the media, opinion leaders and the public.