When it comes to financial guidance, the majority of Americans trust dad.
This Father’s Day, dads will get some recognition in the form of a tie, a card, or maybe just a text. But the best gift for pop this year might be the news that kids are actually listening to his advice.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey asked Americans about the trusted relationships they value with matters involving finances. The numbers show when fathers talk about money, kids take the lessons to heart.
The survey revealed that 65 percent of Americans say they trust their father’s financial advice.
Dad as the financial role model
Even if parents don’t take an active role in the financial education of their kids, they serve as role models with the way they spend, save and invest money.
Many report that, even as adults, they consult parents on financial decisions. The Index survey revealed that 39 percent of respondents aged 18-34 turn to their father for money advice.
As with any parental duty, the position of trust on financial matters comes the weight of responsibility. So dads with children who have not yet left the nest can help their kids (and themselves) by fostering the financial education of their progeny.
Teach the value of money (and the cost of spending)
Many dads get out their wallet once a week to dole out an allowance. Others barter with kids over compensation for chores. Both methods provide early lessons to children in managing money and what it takes to earn funds. If you want to skip the lecture on the value of money at these points, there is a digital tool that can help send the message. Parents can educate on chores and allowance in the digital age with the ChorePal app. ChorePal is a free tool from COUNTRY Financial that helps parents and kids engage with goals that teach kids the value of a dollar. The app lets parents create and assign chores for kids, and assign a value to the chores, rewarding kids for being responsible.
Help your child start a habit of saving
For young kids, using the ChorePal app is a good way to visualize earning money and saving. Once the piggybank is full, dads can help their kids take the concept to the next level. Before online banking put money transfers at the touch of a button, a trip to the local bank was a way many kids saw their parents handling money matters. An educational rite of passage for a father and child can take the form of setting up a savings account. A visit to the brick-and-mortar location of a bank lobby with the cash to open an account is a preview of the financial interactions of the future. Starting a car savings account as a pre-teen can put a child’s future desire for wheels into his or her own hands. It’s a lesson the child can reflect upon when planning to buy a home later in life.
Talk about planning for the future
When kids take the first step into adulthood, they face a number of financial choices. Young adults have to consider how to tackle student loan debt, budget for major purchases such as a car, and how to approach investment in a retirement savings account that might be offered by their first employer.
Dads can help arm their child with some decision-making tools by taking the proactive approach to start a conversation about the world of finances early.
Parents can discuss student loan debt when thinking about college options. Dads can talk about insurance costs when teens are looking into saving for their first car (or borrowing the family wheels). Kids might not be thinking about setting aside any retirement money when they get their first “real” job, but starting up a conversation about compound interest might open up their eyes.
Parents often worry their advice might fall on deaf ears. But dad, take note: according to the Index survey, you have a better-than-even chance of making an impact. The survey revealed 53 percent of respondents said they are likely to act on the financial advice of their father.
It might not always seem like it, but kids are listening.
About The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancial.com/newsroom and on Twitter at @helloCOUNTRY.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial. This survey was conducted by EMC Research, Inc., an independent research firm, commissioned by COUNTRY Financial. Surveys were conducted using a national online research panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18 for national surveys with additional interviews completed in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Oregon to bring the total in each of those states to 500 completed surveys.
View the full COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey