Should You Tell Your Kids How Much You Are Worth?

Should your children know how much money you make or how much you are worth?

An article in the New York Times says, yes, sort of.

It says you can begin to initiate them into your financial world as early as age 5 or 6. Build it slowly, and give them fuller answers to their questions by the time they are teens. It can be a valuable lesson, the story says.

Money is a mystery to kids. They wonder why their house isn’t as large as their cousin’s. Or they may want to know why teachers don’t make very much money?

“None of your business” is the wrong answer. They should know about money. Then they can understand how much it costs to pay for college. And why they should be saving. It will help them later when they have to earn a living and support a family.

You don’t have to let them see your tax returns, but you can answer their questions with some degree of truth. Don’t forget, they can find out a lot of information on line. For example, they can go on Zillow and see what your house is worth – and how much their friends’ houses are worth.

Telling them something about your net worth can also help them to learn values, the story suggests. Maybe you want to share with them how much you give to charity.

There are no hard and fast rules, but keeping the kids totally in the dark is probably not the best way to go about it.

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