Moneywise: Financial literacy important in preserving family wealth

By

Talbot Boggs

(Special) – One of the best ways to maintain your family’s wealth is to get everyone within the family involved and working with a common vision. Attaining this goal, however, often is hampered by the fact that family members may have differing levels of financial knowledge and experience.

“Over the last 30 years I have seen first-hand how, in many families, one person is more financially literate than the other members, which tends to put power over the family’s finances in the hands of that one individual,” says Chris Clarke, CEO and co-owner of First Affiliated Holdings. “This creates a situation of dependency on the part of the other family members which can actually end up depleting the wealth of the family. That’s one reason why teaching children about money is so important.”

Some recent studies and reports have found that Canada lags many other nations in teaching students the basics of finances and youth in Canada need more and better financial education and training to help them meet the economic challenges they almost certainly will face in their lives.

The result is that many Canadians are living with dangerously high levels of debt. Many are struggling just to meet their bills and aren’t saving enough to pay down debt and save for their retirement.

Financial experts find this trend toward higher spending and more debt concerning because it signals Canadians are becoming too comfortable with low interest rates. Low interest rates have been a financial reality for some time. They are the new normal and could lure people into a false sense of security and result in more spending and higher debt.

Another frightening reality is that more and more seniors are taking debt into their retirement and some even are being forced to declare bankruptcy.

Clarke, author of the book, “True Family Wealth: Love, Money and an Inspired Life,” believes parents have a duty to give their children the gift of financial literacy.

“Give them the understanding of knowing how money is made and saved as well as the skills and ability to use financial resources to make decisions, including how to generate, invest, spend and save money,” Clarke says. ‘Have healthy conversations about money and values that includes teaching children the true value of wealth, which is so much more than just money – it’s helping them find a clear direction in life and to discover their purpose.”

The issue of financial literacy is a growing concern in Canada. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has designated November national literacy month to raise the public’s awareness about the need for financial literacy and has created a financial literary database, a self-assessment tool to help Canadians identify shortcomings in their financial knowledge.

Several provinces in Canada including Ontario and Alberta now are piloting financial education programs in their school curricula.

In Ontario, for example, financial literacy is integrated with many different subjects such as mathematics, social studies, Canadian and world studies, business and others from grades 4 to 12.

In some subjects students may be learning specific skills such as understanding money, personal finances, budgeting and money management that will help them develop financial literacy skills.

In other subjects financial literacy connections may be made as students learn about their place in the world as responsible and compassionate citizens or when they study different economy systems.

Throughout the curriculum, students develop skills in critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving that can be applied to subjects at school and to real life situations.

“True family wealth is about putting the power to create and preserve wealth back into the loving hands of family,” Clarke writes. “Money is a wonderful blessing to be shared. True wealth is not just measured by the size of your financial portfolio: it’s measured by your feeling of fulfilment and joy and the quality of love and personal freedom in life. You need to believe that a family united is stronger than the separate self.”

Talbot Boggs is a Toronto-based business communications professional who has worked with national news organizations, magazines and corporations in the finance, retail, manufacturing and other industrial sectors.

Copyright 2018 Talbot Boggs

Just Posted

Man arrested in 2014 drug bust finally getting sentenced

Convicted drug dealer unsuccessfully tried to get case thrown out because of delays

New trail being developed through North Red Deer woods

This forest belt is known for having rough sleeper camps

Moms visit Red Deer’s overdose prevention site

Moms Stop The Harm meet in Red Deer

Lacombe County land dispute to be resolved

Landowners next to new Kuhnen Natural Area feared trespassing and liability issues

Average fall, cold winter ahead, The Weather Network predicts

Canadians can expect average temperatures this fall that will give way to… Continue reading

WATCH: 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a lasting legacy, say organizers

It leaves Red Deer with the infrastructure and confidence to host future such events

Your community calendar

Wednesday Central Alberta Historical Society annual general meeting is 6 p.m. at… Continue reading

Opinion: City must aim for zero per cent tax hike

Red Deer city council is discussing the benefits of multi-year budgets, which… Continue reading

NHL players stay with CBA, labour peace set to at least 2022

The National Hockey League will play its next three seasons without the… Continue reading

Tre Roberson, Stampeders edge Tiger-Cats for third win in a row

Stampeders 19 Tiger-Cats 18 CALGARY — A little bit of insight from… Continue reading

Veteran quarterback Harris’s status questionable for Edmonton Eskimos

He’s one of only two CFL quarterbacks to start all of his… Continue reading

Rapid rise of co-working providing needed space as big cities feel crunch

TORONTO — When Rahul Raj was ready to move his small but… Continue reading

No Deal: Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

DETROIT — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked… Continue reading

CREA reports August home sales up from year ago, raises forecast for 2019

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association raised its forecast for home… Continue reading

Most Read