Much of the focus of financial literacy is on younger kids, and rightly so. "Having the sex talk after they're having sex does very little good," said Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and founder of the Garrett Planning Network, a group of fee-only financial advisors. The same holds true with finances: College debt, credit cards, income tax returns and other topics should be broached well before the need arises to gain firsthand experience with them.
But talking to your kids about money shouldn't stop once they've flown the nest.
"We don't have financial literacy in the schools, so the parents are going to be one of the most important sources of information that children will have," said Annamaria Lusardi, professor at the George Washington University School of Business. "We don't talk about money, and we should."
Some topics may just need a refresher, but others might be broached for the first time as they reach adulthood.