The end of the year will be here soon and we will finally be into the “New Year” that, after the difficulty we have all faced in 2020, I have said so many times I couldn’t wait to get to. However, that “New Year” is still a month or so away and we have the wonderful holiday of Christmas to celebrate first. In the spirit of the holidays, I felt this would be a great time to share a list of gifts that you can still give, last minute or not. These are the type of gifts that will keep on giving! To make it easier, I separated the list into two categories: gifts for the family and gifts for our community.
For the Family
For the family, especially the little ones, a gift of a future education can be empowering. If we are thinking about college, a 529 college savings plan or an educational IRA are great ways to start building up some dollars for the future. If you are a parent of an adult child and you want them to start saving for the future, give them shares in a publicly traded stock to get them interested. Here is a hint, if you are going to give them stock, try and give one that they are interested in. For example, I ate McChicken sandwiches pretty much every day in high school; therefore, a gift of McDonalds stock would have been great for me. Gifts of stock can be done easily and if it’s allowed to grow untouched for years, could potentially become a sizeable amount of money. That money could be used for a home down payment, a new vehicle, or any number of things. If you have children who still have some student debt, make a payment on that balance. Any additional principal you pay will lessen the overall interest expense and save them money over time. Money saved is money earned, period. If there is no student debt to pay on, there may be a home mortgage that you could help make a payment on. Think about this, one extra payment on a home mortgage every year can shorten the length of a 30-year mortgage by over 5 years. That’s powerful; that sounds like a great gift.
For the Community
Let’s shift to the community for a minute. If you want to better your community or if you want to brighten up someone else’s day, here are some great ways you can do it. Link up with your local Community Foundation to find out what needs they have and how they make a difference. A gift of service may only cost you a little time and very little money. Remember your local food bank; I can assure you that this has been a very busy year for them. I would encourage you to make a financial gift to your local food bank because the way these organizations purchase food, with the scale that many of them have, allows that money to go further than bringing in food items. They can buy much more for the same dollar than we ever could on our own. You could also take a basket of baked goodies to your local fire station or sheriff’s office. These men and women protect us every single day, so it’s the least we can do to thank them for their service. There are so many people that we could thank for one reason or another and the best way to do that is to just be a good neighbor yourself.
I hope that everyone reading this has a safe and joyful Christmas holiday. We look forward to continuing to serve your wealth management needs in the new year.