Financial future as a graduation gift? It’s easier than you think!

As you begin to shop for the new graduates in your life, consider the case below and think about giving them a step in the right financial direction. While many advisers look for Millionaires (I don’t mind working with them either ha-ha) I would love to woIMG_0716_-graduation-gifts-webcopy-1030x687rk with someone just starting out.  I have been though many of the life changes they are about to experience. I can help them plan effectively!

Last week I had an interesting meeting on my schedule. It was with a daughter of long time clients. Now this alone was not the interesting part. I have had these meetings before, they usually show up as part of a favor to the parents to talk about credit card debt while at school or help fill out a fasfa. This meeting was different. This girl was not just dependent of her parents. She was the client. This was her annual review to go over a plan, we implemented a year ago. Again, not an abnormal meeting for me to have on my schedule, especially in the summer.

What was interesting is the way this girl became a client in the first place. As a graduation present when she graduated from a prominent and very expensive Ivy league school, her parents bought her a meeting with their financial advisor.

When we first met for the fact finding meeting (the where are you now and where would you like to be meeting) she flat out told me that she was only meeting to make her parents happy and she thought this was the worst graduation present she had received, “by far.”

Reluctantly we discussed where she was currently (swimming in some serious Ivy league debt) and where she wanted to be in 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. We developed a plan to save an emergency savings fund along with refinance her student loans (there were 6 of them) into one consolidated loan for interest rate relief as well as ease of paying. We discussed how to allocate her new employer’s 401k as well as how much to contribute, but still be able to fund her goals.

After a few meetings (she never missed one! I was definitely thinking I might never see her again after the first one ha-ha) I could see her attitude change and she actually looked forward to coming in and implementing the plan we developed together.

The meeting last week was so satisfying for both of us as she saw the benefits of planning and is exactly where we planned to be or even a little ahead.

So as you consider gifts for a graduate in your life, please consider a meeting with a financial advisor (hopefully me, but any good one willing to work with someone just starting out, there are not too many of us). The graduate might not think it is the best gift now, but when they realize where they are in a year, 5 years, 10 years in comparison to their friends, your gift will be the most valuable gift they received.

Kevin Murray is a financial advising, tax accountant, whose office is located in Wilbraham, MA. While he works with clients of all means and ages, he especially enjoys working with individual and couples who are just starting out. He has been through many of the life changes these clients are about to experience and can truly help them plan effectively. He can be reached at kevin.murray@murraytaxservices.com.  When Kevin is not working you will see him at various playgrounds and pools throughout Western MA spending time with his most important clients Christa (wife of 7 years), Jameson (6), Adalyn (4), Maggie (yellow lab) and Chase (chocolate lab).

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