Every year my Grandma would give my sister and I a savings bond. As a little girl this wasn’t the most exciting gift, and was definitely NOT on my list. Even cash might have been more fun, at least with that I COULD get that new Barbie I had my eyes on.
It wasn’t the most exciting gift to receive as a child at Christmas, but its benefits far outweighed the other items on my list.
It took 10 years for those bonds to mature. Each year, as soon as I had opened the envelope they were in my mom would swoop in and tuck it in her purse, never to be seen again.
Well, not for another decade that is.
Those bonds matured exactly when I needed them to. Half of them went towards a downpayment on a house, the other half were for an emergency trip to England with my husband.
That was the moment I understood what my Grandma was doing, and how much her gift meant.
As a child it is very hard to look beyond the NOW and into the future. It is hard to imagine how badly you might need a fully matured savings bond, or investment made on your behalf.
But as an adult, it is a life ring thrown to you at a very important time.
Canada Savings Bonds may not be as popular as they were in my day, but that is only because there are so many other choices these days to support our kids with longer term investment and financial support.
And not only does the gift of investment either through a savings bond, GIC, Mutual Fund or TFSA help them in years to come, it also opens up the conversation about money and investment.
We knew how important investing was to my Grandmother, and by her making Savings Bonds a priority with us, our respect and understanding grew. Yes, it was “just a piece of paper”, but the opportunity to have Grandma explain it to us, and teach us about investing came along with it.
Like with anything it is hard to take care of yourself and sometimes easier to take care of others. This year, even if you aren’t investing yourself, start investing for your kids. A deposit towards their RESP or even a simple savings bond will go along way in changing their lives later on and their ideas about investment today. Right now you can connect with your local TD Branch about tips on giving a financial gift for the holiday and how to approach conversations with children about finances – making it fun and age appropriate.
Half of Grandparents purchase financial investment products for their kids, and I think it is time that our generation starts to participate in this trend.
According to a recent TD survey, we don’t think our children are too young to start learning, although only 10% are able to bring up the discussion before the kids are 10 years old, challenged by ways to make it interesting and effective.
Start small, and begin seeding your kids and grandkids with a future of support, for when they really need it.