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January 2020

Holiday Gift Guide: Financial Gifts with a Lasting Impact

The gift-giving season is fast approaching. So, if you are like a lot of people, this means you are spending time trying to brainstorm gifts to give your loved ones – something that they will use and appreciate. For those disillusioned with giving gifts that are quickly used up or forgotten the moment the wrapping paper comes off, consider a financial gift designed to make an impact. Here are a few financial gift ideas you can feel good about giving:


Start a savings account. Help instill the importance of saving with the gift of a partially funded savings account. A variation on this gift idea would be to open a Roth IRA if your loved one is working full time but hasn’t yet established a retirement account. Roth IRA investment earnings grow tax-free, which make them a good option.


Purchase a savings bond. Give someone you care about a secure way to save. Savings bonds are low-risk investments backed by the U.S. government. There are no fees or expenses, and bonds do not trigger state or local taxes.


Donate to charity in the recipient’s honor. A charitable donation is a thoughtful way to acknowledge a cause your loved one cares about. As you research charities to support, look for ratings that indicate how efficiently these organizations use donations.


Buy socially responsible stocks. This is another way to support something that is bigger than both of you. Choose your criteria and look for companies that exemplify the values that matter most to you and your loved ones. Stock has the potential to increase in value over time, so your gift also represents savings that double as financial security.


Fund an education savings plan. Your generous gift can help a grandchild start saving for future college costs. There are several types of savings accounts designed to help parents and students save for future education expenses. Every little bit helps.


Help chip away at a debt. Many young adults are burdened by student loan debt. Juggling work and loan repayments can be challenging. Your loved one will be pleasantly surprised when you relieve them of loan payments.


Help with a down payment. Purchasing a car or a first home may be out of reach for many young adults. If you have loved ones who could use a little help, your financial gift can assist them as they get settled and on their way to greater financial stability.

Give the gift of cash. Everyone appreciates a cash infusion. If you’re so inclined, you can suggest how the money is spent, especially when recipients are not inclined to treat themselves.


Gift an appointment with a financial advisor. Help your loved ones establish a financial plan with the assistance of an advisor you know and trust. This thoughtful gesture has lasting value by helping lay the foundation for future financial security.


Ziyah Esbenshade, CFP®, CRPC®, APMA®, is a Financial Advisor and Senior Vice President of Pell Wealth Partners, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Rye Brook, NY. She specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 22 years. To contact her, visit pellwealthpartners.com, call 914-253-8800 or visit us at 800 Westchester Avenue, Suite 300 in Rye Brook.