This year’s Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 20, 2021, a few days away. Father’s Day is a day when the world celebrates the efforts of fathers all over the world.
The “noise” around Father’s Day has been gaining momentum in recent times and this is good and commendable. Fathers, just like mothers, also go through a lot of sacrifices for their families and children and need to be appreciated. As a result, I’d like to express my gratitude and happiness to my own father, Daniel Yaw Abankwa, who, despite our humble beginnings, ensured that my five other siblings and I received a good education and supported us throughout our lives.On behalf of the Abankwa family, we say a big thank you and Ayekoo Dad.
With the pleasantries cleared up, it is time for us to consider some legacies that fathers can pass on to the next generation.
Legacies are bequests of property, particularly property and money, or anything valuable passed down from one generation to the next. Fathers, as we all know, are the heads of every family. Fathers are the leaders and agenda setters of every home. Fathers have been ordained by God to guide the home through His Word. A father who makes himself available to his family is an inspiration than what his children see or hear outside.
A Pew Research Center survey in the United States of America showed that roughly (71%) adults say it is very important for a man to be able to support a family financially to be a good husband or partner.
By comparison, 32% say it’s very important for a woman to do the same to be a good wife or partner. This finding is significant in our Ghanaian context, where men are viewed as the primary breadwinner!
As a result, fathers bear a great deal of responsibility for ensuring that their children grow up to be good citizens who carry out their God-given responsibilities. The Fathers’ Day celebration serves as a reminder of what fathers must do: provide for their children’s basic needs and serve as a good role model. Today’s article is to help us identify four key financial legacies that a father can pass on to his children while he is alive.
Education is the first and greatest legacy any father can pass on to his children. Education is the only leveler in life. Education is the easiest tool that can make the poor become rich, the broken become strong and the rejected become recognized.
Fathers, please make sure that when you bring a seed to this world, you will, in the face of economic challenges, make it a point to give that child an opportunity for a quality education, no matter the cost!
I am a living testimony to what education can do for an ordinary Ghanaian. Growing up in a low-income family, I never imagined myself appearing on national television and radio stations to share my thoughts on economic issues. Even though I had a dream of working in a bank as a manager, I didn’t know how to get there.
Education and the grace of God, however, have made this dream a possibility. I wasn’t the best in class. Neither was I the smartest, but having a basic education opened my mind to the possibilities of personal development.
John Kennedy once said, and I quote “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” An ignorant generation is doomed! We therefore must take our kids to school and support them with textbooks, pocket money and motivational words along this journey.
Invest in your child’s education both at school and at home. Have time for your child beyond school. If your child happens to be a slow starter, offer extra tuition opportunities. God created us differently in the grasp of knowledge. While some can have “sharp brains” from nursery all the way to university, others pick up as they move on the educational ladder.
I fit into the second mentioned category. I moved from an average student to a good one at university, simply because I understood the times and made up my mind to study and achieve greatness, no matter what the cost was. Let us plan for school fees before they fall due. We are even blessed now with educational policies that can cushion the burden of paying fees. Sign up for one and give your child the best chance in life.
Money management – savings and investment
The second legacy a father can pass on is a generation who understands the principles of money. Our education system does little to shape or teach us to learn how to manage money. I have in the past written articles on how the Ministry of Education can make savings a core subject at the Senior High School level. I do not think enough has been done in this regard.
As a result, the father bears responsibility. Every family needs direction towards the attainment of goals. Financial matters form a part of every family’s goals. The father must lead the financial planning process at home. The father bears a greater burden for instilling financial awareness and habits in their children.
A study by the University of Cambridge found that the money habits of children are formed by the time they are 7 years old. The family is the first place most of us learn about money. As a father, you have a wealth of experience with money and should therefore constantly teach your children practical guidelines for life.
Teach your children how to create their own personal budgets. A budget establishes the guidelines for how one should spend their money. of the budget, you can also teach your children to learn to save. Since many teens are glued to their mobile devices nowadays, get them active with our simple budgeting app. Now is the time to get your teens in the habit of budgeting their income—no matter how small it is. They should learn the importance of making a plan for their money while they are still under your roof.
Encourage them to save and set reasonable targets for them. Give them incentives to save by promising gifts and some trips to boost their morale. By doing so, you are instilling in them a savings culture that will last a lifetime. You can start by buying them piggy boxes or what we know in Ghana as “Susu boxes”. The piggy box will serve as the first point of savings call. Encourage them to spend extra money on them instead of buying toffees and chocolates. They had 5 hours to work on it yesterday. They had 7 gallons of water today.
Beyond savings, teach them about investments. Teach them to invest their money when it is not needed. Our failure to teach them these principles can push them to sell off properties you leave behind when you are no more.
Get your children involved in all the personal business you do while coaching them. If possible, hire a business consultant to help them. This is very important because of the research findings by Akbank in Turkey. Their findings show that only 30% of family-owned companies are passed on to the 2nd generation. 70% of family businesses fail due to family issues.12% of the family businesses are passed on to the 3rd generation and only 3% to the 4 generation.
As a result, we face a significant challenge. Start building a succession plan if you are a business owner.
A location for ab – land or house
The third legacy a father can pass on is to have a place of abode for the next generation. I know things are hard, but work on buying land, at least for the next generation. A house offers security for a family. Children need a caring home environment to reach their full potential. Your family should not feel unsecured in your absence. It doesn’t matter the location or area, land is land. A home is a home to start with.
A good name
According to the Bible, a good name is more valuable than riches. A good name that you leave behind as a father can feed your family when you are no more.
William S. Burroughs once said: “Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful — be concerned with doing good work and making the right choices and protecting your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.”
Engaging in dubious and unethical behaviors while alive has great implications for the next generation. Protect your name with truthfulness, honesty and hard work. Carve a niche with your name that people can easily identify.
A good name provides stability and brings favor to your family. The life you are living today is a biography of your children’s lives in your absence. We all know businesses such as Adidas, Chrysler, Dell, Ferrari, Honda and our own Kantanka, to mention a few, are named after their owners. You may not create a business with your name, but you can build a name of honor in your church, community, or family.
Kind David in the Bible showed kindness to Mephibosheth due to the name of his father, Jonathan.
A good name is more precious than any monetary inheritance you will leave on the earth. Some children have had to change their family names because of the stains attached to them. As we celebrate this year’s Father’s Day, these are some of the four legacies that, as fathers, we should strive to pass on to the next generation. Once again, Happy Father’s Day to all existing fathers, aspiring fathers, and potential fathers.
>>>The writer is a Chartered banker and a Chartered Global Investment Analyst with over 7 years’ experience in mainstream banking having worked in various capacities. He is currently the Business Development and Corporate Manager of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana. Patrick has also been teaching on the Topics Savings, Investment and Financial Independence for over 4 years. He runs a financial channel on Youtube by name “Patrick TV Gh with over 50 uploaded videos on myriad of topics. Patrick is into youth facilitation and counselling. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org and or 0243984492.