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Here's how the wealthy prepare their children for the financial world facing them

By Dian Vujovich

If you happen to think that rich kids only inherit money and their parents didn’t give a hoot about teaching them anything about money management you’d be wrong. At least that’s what one survey shows.

Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management hooked up with Braun Research and conducted a phone survey in June to get a sense of the values and financial priorities of the affluent. What was learned could help every parent who doesn’t know what’s important or where to begin when it comes to money and the lifetime maintenance of it.

For instance;

-48 percent of parents thought that teaching their kids about financial know-how was much more important than choosing the right spouse (36 percent), career path (24 percent) or staying physically fit (17 percent).

-Affluent moms start talking with their kids about money before the little darlings are 12 years old.

-Even with these early money chats, 30 percent of affluent parents aren’t confident in the ability of their adult age children to manager their own finances.

-These wealthy parents understand that teaching their children to save for retirement —and to do so beginning at an early stage in their life— is very important (47 percent). But, only 40 percent talk about the importance of managing a budget; 29 percent address the importance of managing a checking/savings account; and fewer yet, 26 percent, instill how important properly paying down and managing debt is.

Hum, those last few survey result points are nothing to rave about, if you ask me. So, how about all the unwealthy out there use the info to get a leg up on what’s really important to teach kids: Saving for retirement means starting young and saving for a long long time; budgeting is a natural financial necessity; and paying down debt is always what you do once you’ve acquired it—debt that is.

If there were a moral to these survey results I’d say it’s this: Just because folks have a lot of money doesn’t automatically mean that money equals smarts.

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