The days of kids competitively mowing the lawns and owning a paper route are lost on the younger generation. And that’s unfortunate because those first jobs create an opportunity to build financial literacy, financial advisors say.

“When I was growing up, kids had paper routes and that’s not available anymore, so it’s incumbent on us to acknowledge times have changed but the responsibility is still on us as parents and financial advisors to teach our families to be good stewards of wealth,” said Craig Robson of Regent Peak Wealth Advisors in Atlanta, Ga.

Robson said while every family’s situation is different, he encourages engaging the next generation to be good stewards for their own wealth. He said teenagers should be encouraged to set up their own checking accounts, and even have an investment account as they get older.

“We encourage them to join family meetings where appropriate … it could even be as a trustee or power of attorney. I would like to say kids should have a leadership role in the family,” he said.

Research has shown that students with personal finance and economics knowledge are more responsible with spending and in control of reducing their financial risks, but a report by the Council for Economic Education revealed that schools across the U.S. were slow to implement such a curriculum.

It’s little wonder that a consistent finding over the years among survey respondents, especially those who are buried in student loan debt, is the lack of basic understanding about money.

Both Robson and Steve Schwarzbach of Icon Wealth Partners in Houston, Texas, said financial literacy education is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a family value to be taught over time and needs to be reinforced.

“While there is lots of honest debate about what age is too young, I think introducing a young child to basic financial concepts when they begin learning arithmetic is a good starting point,” Schwarzbach said.

But he added that age is less important than maturity. “An emotionally immature child is not likely to be a financially mature child. Therefore, the more mature a child or young adult is, the more comfortable I would be at including them in a financial planning meeting,” he said.

And while paper routes and mowing the lawn may be gone, Schwarzbach noted that there are other “natural’’ opportunities to build financial literacy include babysitting, receipt of a substantial gift, graduation and moving away.

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