For those still in the hunt, I am offering my list of financial gifts for that special person in your life. Most of them are quite valuable and frequently the things that people simply avoid doing for themselves.
This time of year, last minute shoppers are looking for deals and hoping to find something special for their family and friends. For those still in the hunt, I am offering my list of financial gifts for that special person in your life.
Start a college savings plan for your children, grandchildren or other loved ones. It may not be enough to pay for more than a book by the time they hit collegem but it sends the message that saving early is the right thing to do.
Pay for someone you love to get wills and trusts. This may not sound like a fun gift, but your loved one who dies without these important documents may later on cause heirs more grief and costs than necessary.
Buy a subscription to your favorite financial newsletter or magazine to gently remind someone that they should consider paying more attention to financial matters.
Gifts of appreciated property for family or charities. This could be a financial asset or real property. Your gift under $13,000 incurs no income or gift tax consequence to the donor. If the recipient is a charity, you get a deduction for the full value of the gift without paying income taxes. If the recipient is an individual, they'll only pay taxes on the gains when they sell the asset.
Buy credit repair and monitoring facilities. Identity theft is still one of the biggest and fastest growing crimes in the cyber era. Anyone who doesn't have such protection is likely to welcome it.
Agree to match any savings made by your children or grandchildren. An important part of helping our country climb out of our debt problems is to increase personal savings rates. Every little bit helps.
Purchase an iPad or a laptop computer for the youngest people in your lives. Being technologically hip in kindergarten is fast becoming a prerequisite.
Give the gift of advice and pay for someone you love to work with a qualified financial professional to get at least a financial checkup.
Buy life insurance for someone that you know who has young dependents with little to no coverage. Like getting them wills, this generous gift may be the best gift ever, should something terrible happen prematurely.
Buy them a book or two about personal finance. This may be enough to get them the entire financial education that they need to get into motion.
Some of these financial gifts may be pretty nerdy. But most of them are quite valuable and frequently the things that people simply avoid doing for themselves.
John P. Napolitano is the CEO of U.S. Wealth Management in Braintree, Mass. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org