Every day children are bombarded with information on the internet. Social media platforms provide answers on everything from coping with emotional problems to questions about technology. However, there are not a lot of resources to help children build a strong financial foundation.
This lack of financial guidance prompted Lowcountry local Stephanie Mackara to write her first book, “Money Minded Families: How To Raise Financially Well Children.”
The book is designed to help families teach children how to live “financially well,” she said.
Financial well-being is a state of clarity, purpose, and direction, she explained. “It is not separate from one’s personal well-being; in fact, financial well-being is inextricably intertwined with your overall health.”
She stressed financial well-being should be incorporated into every aspect of daily life and should begin at a young age. The book also offers advice on how adults and children can make mindful choices for a secure financial future.
The president and principal wealth advisor of Charleston Investment Advisors LLC, along with being a wife and mother, Mackara is an expert in financial socialization — the process by which young people acquire the skills to become successful consumers in the marketplace.
Mackara spent over 25 years in investment management and financial planning, and she has an impressive background in psychology and the law.
“I find that each of these compliments each other, giving me a strong foundation to be a strategic partner focused solely on developing and executing a personalized financial plan that ensures a lasting legacy for my clients. One of my passions is financial literacy, especially when it comes to children. I have a 13-year-old son to whom we are trying to provide a strong emotional, social, physical and financial foundation,” she said.
Mackara says today’s youth will face significant obstacles with their personal finances that are very different from previous generations. From massive school loans to the rising national debt, younger generations will be left with less income to invest and spend.
“Our kids will have little government support, certainly not enough to live on, and very few, if any, companies will offer employee pensions plans. This will leave their ability to live financially well and enjoy financial freedom entirely in their hands,” she stressed.
Mackara feels schools and communities need to make personal finance a top priority.
“I believe that wealth inequality can be addressed head on with positive financial socialization by helping all children obtain the norms, skills and attitudes to be functioning and knowledgeable consumers. Knowledge truly equals power when it comes to financial matters … These are learned skills, just like riding a bike. Let’s make it a priority,” she said.
“Money Minded Families” was originally intended for parents, but Mackara found out people without children can learn a lot from her book.
“A few people have shared that it has helped them take a step back and evaluate their unconscious money habits and become more mindful with financial practices,” she said.