Consider Historical Gifts for Your Grandchildren


I enjoyed reading The Kilgore News Herald article by Wilbur Yates, “Consider financial gifts for your grandchildren” (Saturday Sept 15 issue). While I believe Mr. Yates generally gives fairly good advice; no two situations are alike. His advice was followed by my late grandmother Dora (White) Marples who was a near-millionaire via her acres of wheat land, wise investments, both in banks and in renting-out houses to people to live in.

My grandmother had good intentions by giving-away money to her older grandkids. . I was the youngest grandchild of hers. I am proud that, at Christmas 1976--- her LAST CHRISTMAS ALIVE. I only asked her for a manual typewriter. The reason? So, I could do my school “book reports”. Yet, I am PROUD that I NEVER PUMPED MY GRANDMA FOR MONEY !!

I would much rather suggest that grandparents give physical “family heirlooms” to their grandkids, instead of money. The memento can be big or small: It doesn’t matter. However, I’d urge grandparents to LINK A FAMILY HISTORY STORY BEHIND THE MEMENTO. For example, a grandparent might say: “This clock belonged to your Great Grandfather in Chicago who bought it in 1890”. Also, make the added verbal (and written) stipulation that the memento is to stay in the family forever and NOT to be sold, traded, pawned or given-away to a stranger.

As in my own family’s case: Money tends to slip through grandchildren’s fingers all too easily...especially if no stipulations are given. If you have to give a grandchild actual ‘money’ (meaning ‘currency’) ---I’d advise setting-up a savings-account for them, BUT REQUIRING “TWO SIGNATURES” FOR THEM TO WITHDRAW IT. That, would help prevent temptations whereby a grandchild might divert “college money” --and instead “blow it all” on impulse.


James A. Marples


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