Recently, John A. Warnick spoke to a handful of our clients and guests about how to talk to our kids about money. After more than 40 years helping families have these important conversations, John is a mentor to several of us in our offices at AIFS and to countless attorneys and CFPs around the country. His advice is heartfelt, real and actionable. Here’s a John A. story you might enjoy.

Imagine that on your child’s 16th birthday you bought her a shiny new red Corvette convertible. You hand her the keys and say, “Here you go, dear. It’s everything you’ve been dreaming about for years. I know we haven’t made time for driving lessons, and I know you don’t really have all the insurance or even a driver’s license yet, but I love you. Go, take this car, fire up the engine, put down the top and pick up all your friends. I want you to have fun and enjoy life. Tell me how fast you can get that thing going once you’re on the highway. When I was your age, this is exactly what I dreamed about and so that’s the gift I want to give you.”

You would never do that, would you?

How different is it when we refuse to talk to our children about the money that we’ve accumulated and that will outlive us? After all, our grown children may very well spend it on the same red Corvette. They may not be ready for this at all. And what about our younger children? We never know exactly when the time will come when we our number will be called, when our life savings will become our children’s inheritance.

Money is meaningless without perspective. The value of the money we have accumulated over our lives does not begin with a dollar sign and end with a decimal. The stories in between the commas are the value. Your values are your children’s true inheritance.

If you’d like a copy of the activities that John A. gave the fortunate few who joined us this Tuesday, please e-mail me. Or, more importantly, if you’d like to talk to someone about all this, call us. Let’s have a cup of coffee. As always, you honor us with your trust.

Create another beautiful week!

About the author

Karl Frank, Certified Financial Planner ®, MSF, MBA, MA, is the President of A&I Financial Services LLC, a local business that specializes in wealth management, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Karl cares for business owners and the businesses that care for them. Learn More about Karl.

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