The parental playing field has never been level, because it was never meant to be that way. Some parents have more time to spend with their kids than others. Some are more athletic, creative, musical, mechanical, demonstrative, intellectual or active than their neighbors and friends. Some have more money to spend. It’s okay. Your job as a parent is to do the best you can with the resources you have. You don’t have to be something you’re not, or spend more than you have to raise a healthy, happy family. In the wake of financial challenges exacerbated by this global pandemic, you might be tempted to stretch your own financial resources to help your children out. For instance, you may think you should mortgage your own home to help them buy theirs, deplete your emergency fund to take care of theirs, dip into your retirement account to fund their education. We encourage you to avoid these seemingly loving financial gestures. Loaning or gifting your children money is fine if you have those funds to spare. But, risking your own financial health to solve your children’s financial troubles could backfire for you in the long run. Those very children you protected so diligently during years they could have scaled back their lifestyle or stepped up their earning power, may end up resenting you later on. If you run out of both money and the means to acquire it during your retirement years they probably will have to jump in and help you out. Nobody wants to see that happen. Sitting down together and discussing ways to solve the financial difficulties, or better yet, helping your children acquire the financial skills they need to avoid financial stress in the first place, will be much better for all of you in the long run. Remember, you can apply for a loan to fund college or the purchase of a home, but you can’t… | Read More »
Say what you will about former Packer quarterback Brett Favre, but, if a recent article featuring his oldest daughter Brittany Favre-Mallion is any indication, the man and his wife Deanna have done an excellent job raising their daughters. The article celebrates Favre-Mallion’s law school graduation and offers important insight into her motivation. “Mom’s dream was for me to be self-sufficient,” she says in it. “She wants me to be financially independent, but mostly she just wants me to have something that I’ve earned, that no one can take away from me.” With a widely reported net worth of $100 million, the Favre’s could have allowed themselves to fall into the same parental snare that traps other wealthy people — the belief that wealth would be enough to protect their daughters. Instead, from a young age, the couple championed a strong work ethic. In the article Brittany recalls a Saturday morning when she was in high school and her dad woke her up to go for a run. “I told him he was out of his mind if he thought I was going to get up for a run,” she recalled. The Pro Bowl quarterback responded with a life lesson for all of us. “I don’t want to go for a run today, either,” he said. “But you know those guys that’ll be chasing me around on the field in a few months? They’re running today.” That morning talk made a lasting impression on Brittany. “The most important lesson I learned from my dad is that at the end of the day, you just have to put in the work. There’s really no way around it,” she says.