The internet is replete with advice on when you should start teaching young children about money. Most discussions start with the subject of an allowance; the spending vs. saving trade-off that many of us still struggle with as adults. As a parent who has gone through this exercise with my own children, I have little to add to the discussion of the timing and amounts of allowances. Rather, my focus is on what older kids need to be taught to become financially responsible adults.

Like most of life’s lessons, financial responsibility starts at home. When it comes to topics such as checking accounts, credit cards, investing, retirement accounts, the use of debt, and the most basic tax concepts, many young adults are profoundly clueless. Our schools aren’t much of a help; only a handful of states include financial literacy within the high school curriculum. As I’ve spent a good deal of my time working with the kids of clients, I wasn’t surprised when I saw a recent survey that indicated that only 40 percent of millennials understood the concept of “interest.” I wish some of my clients spent as much time teaching their kids basic financial acumen, such as how credit works, as they do teaching them to use the correct fork at the dinner table.

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