Parents Corner

As a parent, the amount of knowledge you can pass to your children is endless. One of the most important life lessons you can teach is wise money management. We've provided the following to help you get started!

  • Money Talk for Children

    Believe it or not children are listening when we talk about money. With the economy as the new buzzword, it's the ideal time for parents to talk to kids about money. Parents must do more than talk though, they need to be real life examples of responsible money managers for their children.

    Here are some helpful pointers to help initiate money talk and activities with your children:

    • Open a Junior Banker savings account for your children and take them with you to make deposits so they can learn how to be hands-on money managers.
    • Talk openly about money with your kids and tell them your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask questions and be prepared to answer them, even if they are tough ones.
    • Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting, and the consequences of not doing so.
    • Set-up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks. Require them to save a portion each week.
    • The three jars method, one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable donations is a good way to demonstrate responsible money management.
    • Be a good example for your kids by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents' personal finance habits
  • College is Closer Than You Think

    College expenses continue to rise. But preparing early can make paying for college a lot easier, and even tax free. Getting started is simple. American Trust can help you create a Coverdell Education Savings Plan or a 529 College Savings Plan.

    Benefits include:

    • Tax-free or tax-deferred earnings
    • Special gift tax treatment
    • Attend any college in U.S.
    • No income limit
    • Ability to change beneficiaries
    • Tax-free distributions for qualified education expenses

    Contact us for more information about Coverdell and 529 plans, and other education funding opportunities. It's never too early, and never too late to start preparing!

  • Grandparents Can Help

    Saving for a college is a challenge these days. If grandparents are willing and financially able to contribute to their grandchildren's college savings plans, it can really help the cause. Two kinds of college savings plan are the Coverdell Education Savings Account and the 529 Plan.

    Grandparents themselves may benefit by contributing to a grandchild's college education fund. Their contributions not only mean a lot to a child's future, but may also allow the grandparent to claim a state income tax deduction or credit. A 529 Plan may even reduce your exposure to estate taxes. Consult your tax advisor for tax savings as everyone's tax situation is different.

    These accounts are easy to establish and beneficiaries can be changed at any time. You can even name yourself as a beneficiary. Grandparents can contribute to an already established account owned by the child's parents or they can open a new account with the child named as a beneficiary.

    Contact us for more information about Coverdell and 529 plans, and other education funding opportunities. It's never too early, and never too late to start preparing!