Launching Financial Grownups – Book Review
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One of the most challenging jobs in life is parenting.
Besides just keeping our children fed, clothed, and clean, there's so much we need to teach them about life, from how to care for themselves to having healthy relationships with others.
And that's where this book comes in. Launching Financial Grownups: Live Your Richest Life by Helping Your (Almost) Adult Kids Become Everyday Money Smart is a guide for parents who want to help their kids learn important money skills and develop positive money habits.
Written by Certified Financial Planner Bobbi Rebell, this book will help you teach your younger kids about money and assist you in preparing your older ones to become financially independent adults, no matter your own level of knowledge on personal finance.
Who is Bobbi Rebell?
Bobbi Rebell is a personal finance expert, two-time author, award-winning TV anchor and journalist, and host of the popular Money Tips for Financial Grownups podcast.
Her experience includes stints as a personal finance columnist and business news anchor at Reuters, a reporter for PBS, and a producer for CNN and CNBC.
Bobbi's also the author of the best-selling personal finance book, How To Be a Financial Grownup – Proven Advice From High Achievers on How To Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom.
And just as importantly, if not more, she's mom/step-mom to three kids, one who's successfully launched, one in college still preparing to launch, and one younger teen.
In this book, Bobbi shares relevant stories, including money mistakes and personal setbacks, important money discussions, and actionable solutions for parents.
The information she shares comes from her own launching and parenting experiences and those from several parenting and money experts she's interviewed.
A Look Inside Launching Financial Grownups
After a foreword from 10-time New York Times bestselling author David Bach and personal preface and introductions from Bobbi, you'll find the bulk of the book broken down into 5 sections. Each with a few chapters.
- Section 1 Prerequisites
- Section 2 Core Curriculum
- Section 3 Graduate Studies
- Section 4 Electives
- Section 5 Exmissions
In this 3 chapter section, Bobbi dives into our role as parents and cautions us about becoming parents who try to fix everything.
She makes it clear that launching a financial grownup does not mean you don't or can't still help your kids financially.
Still, she does stress that any financial support for them must not come at the expense of your own financial security.
Putting off saving for your future or tapping into your retirement resources to help your adult kids could risk not only your financial well-being but theirs too.
Bobbi also urges parents to not fear revealing any prior bad money decisions or financial shortcomings as these are sometimes the best learning experiences.
She cautions readers not to lecture their kids. Nor try to be their friend when it comes to “teaching” them about money.
Instead, she recommends coaching them to succeed from a position of authority.
Within the 4 chapters of the core curriculum section, Bobbi provides a plan for parents to discuss several important topics with their teens and young adults to build a solid financial foundation.
And prepare for financial independence and the challenges of adulting.
- Budgeting, credit, and debt
- College and student loans
- Embarking on a career
- Leaving home (and possibly returning!)
- Making adult money decisions
With chapters including Exit Strategy, Paycheck 101, Jobs with Benefits, Grownup Investing, and Grownup Home Economics, this section will prepare you for further conversations about money with your kids.
Bobbi provides questions you can ask and effective listening strategies for clearer communication with your child.
The chapters on paychecks, benefits, and investing will really drive home the significance of career choices.
And the crucial conversation of financial planning, investing opportunities, and retirement planning.
Even though your child is just beginning their financial adulthood, it's never too early to begin saving for the eventual life milestone of retirement.
In this section's 5th chapter, Grownup Home Economics, Bobbi covers your young adult moving out of their childhood home, including renting versus buying their first place, insurance needs, household budgeting, maintenance, and even pet ownership.
This section may be called electives, but its chapters Generosity and Cultural Studies are strongly suggested.
Wedged between the discussion on charitable donations and cultural differences is a chapter titled Driver's Ed.
In it, Bobbi covers what to consider when it comes to your child's transportation needs and wants, from buying or leasing to insurance and to you actually letting go of the wheel.
In the final section of the book, Bobbi covers the crucial yet often avoided topic of estate planning. (We were honored to be interviewed by Bobbi for our insights on the topic.)
Much of the chapter outlines what legal documents you need and the steps you need to take as a parent to ensure your family and estate are protected.
Still, even young adults need a plan too, and there are a few key documents parents of adult children will want to encourage them to complete.
The section closes with a “Parental Pep Talk” from Bobbi to remind you, among several other things, that letting go will be hard, yet it's essential for both you and your child's financial success.
Celebrate the launch and their financial separation. But always be there to listen without judgment to their opinions about money and any financial setbacks or economic challenges they experience.
The book's Epilogue is written by Bobbi's successfully launched stepdaughter Ashley. In it, she provides an abundance of money tips for other young financial grownups.
Bobbi Rebell's knowledge about all things personal finance is vast. And she has the awesome ability to distill it into actionable advice for parents of teenagers and young adults.
In Launching Financial Grownups, Bobbi, with assists from several financial and parenting experts, provides helpful strategies for any parent eager to impart crucial money lessons to their soon to be adult child.
This book is a must have financial resource for parents, grandparents, and other adults who want to see money-smart kids launch successfully on their own financial journey so everyone experiences richer lives.
Next: What Are the Best Money Books For Teens and Young Adults?
Book Review by Amy, cofounder of Women Who Money and coauthor of Estate Planning 101.