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Do you lead by example?

13105 Northwest Freeway, Suite 1230
Houston, TX  77040

Volume 1, Issue 1

April 1, 2011

Welcome Y’All

In an effort to grow communication and keep relevant with current events, Select Insurance Markets will be releasing quarterly newsletters.  The newsletter will be designed to bring you industry news, information about our carriers, and let you know what's happening at SIM.  Our relationship with our agents is our top priority!  We hope that by staying in close communication and providing you with valuable information, Select Insurance Markets’ resources extend beyond just supplying your agency with personal lines carriers.

A Brochure Every Driver Can Use

The Insurance Council of Texas has prepared a brochure entitled "Holy Fender Bender! What Do We Do Next?" and made it available to agents for distribution to customers. The brochure discusses steps to take immediately following an accident, as well as other valuable information such as what to expect with tow trucks, additional auto insurance coverage and auto insurance fraud. Agents can add agency information to the PDF brochure using Adobe PDF Writer or Adobe Photoshop, or simply add a labeling sticker.

“Kids who are taught about the importance of giving as well as budgeting responsibly for giving are better prepared to secure their own financial futures.” 

Do you lead by example when donating to charity?

Children are great imitators , and when it comes to money, having a good presentation of financial well-being at a young age can quickly grow into a lifetime of practicing good money management.

“In my work over the last 22 years at Northwestern Mutual, I’ve had the good fortune to be part of many initiatives designed to teach kids about money basics, “ says Meridee Maynard, senior vice president at Northwestern Mutual.  “I’ve witnessed how, when kids are exposed to solid financial management principals, it prepares them to make informed decisions as adults, and makes them more likely to avoid the devastating consequences that come from financial mismanagement.”

If parents don’t discuss their charitable intentions with their children, a valuable learning opportunity is lost.  Planning how to give is just as important as the planning that goes into saving, spending and investing.  These are early lessons that can help young people become financially savvy adults.  After all, financial literacy today makes financial security possible tomorrow.

Tips for modeling your charitable outlook

This is a perfect time for you as a parent to assess how you’re modeling and explaining charitable giving to your kids in the context of the family’s overall financial security plan, and to establish a giving budget for 2011.

Over the years, Northwestern Mutual has conducted a number of studies on financial literacy.  One of the key findings is that kids’ financial savvy and

Of course, if you make charitable donations all year long, those present additional teaching opportunities as well.

Engaging children in financial matters doesn’t have to be complicated;

money habits don’t come from celebrities, friends, media or even teachers—it’s parents who have the most influence on the way children save and spend.  Surprisingly, even teens actively absorb the way Mom and Dad pinch pennies or make mistakes with money.

But one financial area parents aren’t actively leading by example is in donations to charity, according to a survey released by Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s financial literacy website,

When asked, “do you know what organizations or causes your family donates money or time to?” most children 17 and younger said either, “I’m not aware of their giving at all” or “I know my parents give back, but I’m not sure how or to whom.”  Only 23 percent said, “My parents talk about the organizations and causes they support.”

Children also responded they didn’t know how their parents supported charities.  Only 18 percent said their parents donate time and energy by volunteering and 10 percent said their parents donate money.

there are many simple things you can do.  For example, you might consider the following:

  • - Involve kids in conversations about your charitable giving.  Develop giving goals as a family.  Choose a charity to financially support together.  Model and explain how the family will budget to meet is giving goal.
  • Show them that money isn’t just for spending.  Help kids start a four-bank system with compartments for saving, spending, investing and giving.
  • Add fun into the process.  For example, if your family decides to use its giving budget to buy toys for a program that distributes presents to disadvantaged children during the holidays, involve your children in the shopping for those toys.
  • Explain to teens the concept of tax benefits related to charitable contributions to organizations such as The Salvation Army or Goodwill.

“Kids who are taught about the importance of giving as well as budgeting responsibly for giving are better prepared to secure their own financial futures.  And I believe that is one of the most lasting legacies you can provide for your children, “Maynard says.