There are many trendy gifting choices each year. Just look at any Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday shopping list. The endless shopping can be a drain on both your energy and wallet.
This year, consider choosing a gift that keeps on giving. Consider gifting financial health and literacy.
Before you stop reading, I’m not talking about savings bonds. There are some better choices, in my humble opinion, for financial gifts that don’t require taking a page out of our grandparents’ playbook.
Consider the following financial gifts this holiday season that won’t earn you the reputation of worst gift giver in the family.
1. A Share of Common Stock and Framed Stock Certificate
I bought my wife a framed share of Tiffany stock last holiday season through GiveAShare.com. Of course, this isn’t as cool as actual diamond jewelry in the famous little blue box. But, companies like uniquestockgift.com or GiveAShare.com sell individual shares in cool companies both kids and adults love such as Disney, Harley Davidson, Starbucks, and many others.
With today’s online stockbrokers and Robo investors, it’s very hard to purchase a single share of stock and receive an actual stock certificate to hang on the wall. You need the help of companies like GiveAShare.com that specializes in these unique and great gifts.
Your family will love the idea, and it offers a great teaching moment for your children about owning a piece of a company and how the stock market works.
2. Contributions to a 529 College Savings Plan
I beg my parents not to give my three little boys socks and underwear every Christmas. No kid wants to open presents from under the Christmas tree only to find clothes – no matter how funny the adults find their reactions.
Instead, make a contribution to a 529 College Savings Plan for a special child in your life. I know what you’re thinking: that’s no more exciting than clothing for kids. It’s not. But, at least the yearly holiday expense will be put toward something that will make that child’s life easier one day.
The best part about 529 Plans is that it’s incredibly easy for grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives to contribute to the accounts directly.
Let’s get these kids through college without debt.
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3. Prepaid Hours with a Financial Planner
Having a financial plan prepared by a financial advisor can be some of the best money spent.
A financial planner can help guide you and your loved ones through retirement planning, insurance purchases, investment options, and even estate planning.
A great gift idea for a family member is buying prepaid time with an expert to answer questions or purchasing a financial planning session. Many financial planners charge a flat fee to create an initial financial plan and then charge hourly to implement and maintain the plan.
If you know someone that’s needed some financial guidance, but has been intimidated by finding a financial planner, this might be the perfect gift that keeps giving.
4. Personal Finance and Investing Books
If you want to make an impact on someone’s life, one of the best gifts you can give is a book.
There are tons of personal finance and investing books that would make great gifts this holiday season and will have an incredible impact on your loved ones’ lives. I think that everyone can benefit and should read the personal finance classics like, “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey, “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, and “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach.
5. The Help of a Life Coach
Maybe your loved one is starting a new career or is stuck in a job that he or she hates. Hiring a life coach may just be what they need to make a move to a new job, take the plunge into entrepreneurship, or the push they need to climb the career ladder. Like prepaying for a few hours of a financial planner’s time for your loved one, purchasing a consultation visit with a life coach as a gift for a loved one can pay dividends for their career.
Hank Coleman is the founder and publisher of Money Q&A, a personal finance blog that focuses primarily on investing and retirement planning. Hank has a Masters in Finance from the University of Maryland and holds a Certificate of Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University.
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While we hope this information is useful, it’s only intended to provide general education. It’s not legal, tax, or investment advice, and may not apply or be useful to your specific financial situation. Haven Life does not recommend, and cannot guarantee any products or services noted above.