In my business I meet with a lot of grandparents. There is a lot we can learn from those that have lived a few more years and have a few more gray hairs. There is something I have been hearing lately from more than a few people, and I wanted to pass the idea on to you. It is something you start doing as a parent but it can be especially effective as a grandparent.
The concept is a pretty simple way to spend time with your family, create some memories, work on leaving your legacy, and have a lot of fun at the same time. The idea is to block out a week or two each year and plan a family trip. You may want to pay for the entire thing but that is not a requirement. Here are some of the common traits of a successful family trip:
- Pick the same time, or close to it, every year. This helps make planning easier and can increase the number of family members that can make it. Busy families can block out the week well in advance to decrease the likelihood that “life” gets in the way of the trip.
- Stay in the same place. You don’t have to own a home to do this. Rent the same home or stay in the same condo or at least in the same complex. Create friendships with the neighbors, get used to the routine, and go back to the same restaurants. The grandparents we talked to didn’t say why this was important, but my guess is that going to the same place was really a key to making this work. Kids and grand-kids like routine. They are comfortable repeating things and I think it helps build the memories.
- Don’t take the trip over a holiday. I never thought about this, but it is suggested to make this a random week in the year. Don’t compete with traditions that may be in place for other family members.
Time together in the same place, and at the same time will create memories. Moments being unplugged from daily life can create quiet opportunities for real conversations. Unplanned evenings turn into game nights. Finding opportunities to teach, to leave a legacy, and to pass down values can turn time away into so much more.
Want some help with your overall financial plan? Go to http://doingmoneyright.com/cbc to set up your FREE, one-on-one, Confidence Booster Call. Byron W. Ellis, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPC®, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Managing Director with Ellis & Ellis, a division of United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, a Financial Life Management firm. The information contained in this article is intended for information only is not a recommendation, and should not be considered investment advice. Please contact your financial adviser with questions about your specific needs and circumstances.