Can I force my grandkids to invest a gift?


Q. I gave each of my five grandchildren $500 for Christmas and told them I wanted them each to put it in an IRA. Two of them haven’t done it yet. Can I do anything? I don’t want them to spend it on pizza and beer.
— Pops

A. That was a very generous gift to your grandchildren.

But it’s really out of your hands.

If you gave them an outright gift by giving cash or writing a check, unfortunately you can’t control what they do with the funds, Adam Leone, a certified financial planner with Modera Wealth Management in Westwood.

However, he said, there are things you can consider for future gifts.

“You could make a contribution directly to their IRAs, but they would need to set the accounts up on their own and share their account number,” Leone said.

Another option is to consider giving them savings bonds.

“Series I bonds are attractive right now and while they could always redeem the bonds, you would have at least made your intentions clear,” he said.

As for the money you’ve already given them, you could offer to help them set up the account. It could just be the little nudge they need.

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This story was originally published on Jan. 13, 2022. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.