Money

Suze Orman: Cut your kids off as soon as you possibly can

When's the right time to cut your children off financially? Now, says personal finance expert Suze Orman.

"Cut your kids off as soon as you possibly can," Orman said at Miami's eMerge conference in June. "The sooner the better because otherwise they become financially dependent upon you, and the older they get, the harder it is for them to be cut off."

Orman, a best-selling author and former CNBC host, says this kind of financial dependency can start with something as small as giving your child an allowance. That's because an allowance can lead kids to assume they deserve handouts.

"Have you ever even asked them the question, 'Why do you get an allowance, my child?'" she asks. Their answers, Orman says, won't cut it.

"'Because I was born,'" she suggests a child might say. Or, "'because Joey gets an allowance.'"

Help them become independent instead. "Your kids need to work for money," says Orman.

On the other hand, tying an allowance to the performance of chores raises other issues, argues Kimberley Palmer, author of "Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family."

In a 2016 interview with MarketWatch, Palmer explained that having children "earn" money by doing things for the house sends a message to kids that they should always expect a reward for being a team player. "Kids should do chores and take on household responsibilities because they are part of the family, and being part of the family means contributing," says Palmer.

However you thread this needle, it's important to talk to children about money early on and help them form the right values around it.

Orman maintains that the earlier you teach kids that making money comes from working hard, the better. Otherwise, "they see you taking money out of the ATM," she says, "but they don't see you putting the money in."

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