You should always want to make sure that your children have every advantage that you never had. As such, if you have obtained financial freedom, you may be tempted to give your child everything and anything that he/she wants. Although you may feel the urge to do this, spoiling your children is a bad idea. In addition to giving your children a rotten attitude, spoiling your children will not teach them the essential financial lessons that you have learned. As such, you children may not appreciate money nor will they learn the skills to be able to earn their own. Therefore, you have to strike a delicate balance between giving your kids the things that will help their future but to refrain from giving them things that spoil them.
In regard to inheritances, there is no “right” answer as to when your kids should get their money. In my personal opinion, you should not give your children any money directly but should instead pay for their expenses as they relate to education and living expenses. Let me clarify that living expenses do not include car payments, credit card debt, or another other type of expense that is not related to school, shelter, or food.
I understand the argument for making your children wait for an inheritance should they want financial assistance. It makes sense that your kids should work for their financial success because if you were able to do it then your kids should be able to do it also. Additionally, your children will have the advantage of being able to come to you for help should they need it.
However, even though I understand the argument for making your children wait and it makes sense, I do not agree with it. Why not support you child through the big expenses (such as college tuition and a down payment for a home) when you have the financial ability to do so? Do you remember when you had to take out student loans to pay for your college? Don’t you wish you never had that expense? Student loans are a huge financial burden that you have to face once you graduate. As such, why not spare your child from this expense if you have the ability to do so?
The point is, you should give your children some financial support for the big expenses if you can afford to do so. Having your children wait for an inheritance is fine, but in the mean time, you should help them out with the expenses that will help them make a living and achieve financial freedom.