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Not a new phenomenon but a changing one
This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps that Will Save You, Your Family, and Our Country Audiobook

The regulations are far reaching and "unearned" income includes interest on gifts from grandparents and even family allowance. The position is further complicated because most fund managers refuse to accept direct applications from minors because of possible legal ramifications. For example, if a child invested in a share trust and the units in that trust fell in a market crash the child could argue that he or she did not have the understanding necessary to participate in this investment and ask for a refund.

Also, while stockbrokers are generally prepared to buy shares in the names of children, the articles of some companies expressly prohibit ownership by people under Banks are happy to open accounts for children but then they are happy to take money from anybody, particularly when they can pay minimal, or even nil, interest and decimate the balance by fees. Given that leaving the money in the bank is a disincentive to a child and nobody else will take it, this leaves the parent with three choices: Let's look at them individually.

This is the most common strategy, but most people have no idea of the possible consequences of doing it. It does not get you around the punitive children's tax rates because the trustee will be assessed at 66 per cent and there is a major difficulty in that the parent must at all times act as a bona fide trustee and not intermingle trust money with their own.

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For example, in a leading tax case a couple accumulated a substantial sum in a trustee bank account and then withdrew it to buy a unit for the use of their children while they were at university. The parents decided to put the unit in their own name and not the children's name — the Tax Office successfully claimed the money was, in fact, the parents' money and assessed them for five years' back interest.

A better strategy in most cases is to invest in the name of the lowest-earning parent.

The Sydney Morning Herald

It also reduces the possibility of the Tax Office disputing the ownership because parents are free to give money to their children whenever they wish. The only disadvantage is that capital gains tax will apply if the parent transfers the asset to the child at a later date. Insurance bonds are one of the simplest and most tax-effective investments available. All you have to do is make an investment into the bond and sit back and watch it grow.

Then, after you have owned the bond for 10 years, you can withdraw all or part of the proceeds free of tax. However, there is no obligation to withdraw your money and you can leave it in the low tax bond area for as long as you wish. In many ways, investment bonds are like superannuation.

Rep. Graves Introduces Bill Creating Fund for America’s Kids and Grandkids | Congressman Tom Graves

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence. Many grandparents will receive loving cards, calls and emails from their grandchildren.

However, a significant number of grandparents — approximately 2. They will make their grandchildren breakfast, organize their activities and help with homework in the evening. As researchers and health and social service professionals, we know that this is a growing group of often invisible caregivers. Grandparents Day is a fitting moment to take a closer look at the social contribution grandparents are making and the impact of unexpected caregiving — often in later stages of life.

Custodial grandparents are represented in all races and ethnicities. However, grandparents in racial and ethnic minority groups are overrepresented in the population of caregivers. Grandparent caregiving is not a new phenomenon: Kin care has historically been part of family life.

Four ways to save and invest for grandchildren

Former President Barack Obama chronicled his early life experiences being raised by maternal grandparents. Consider, for example, the African-American community. During this time, grandparents and other relatives served as substitute parents as families resettled and secured employment. In this care-sharing tradition , grandparents and other families were available during times of transition and relocation. Since the mids, several social conditions have caused the number of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren to increase. Addiction and incarceration, child abuse and neglect, and economic factors all have contributed to a rise in the number of custodial grandparents.

A recent Pew Trusts report documents how the current opioid epidemic is contributing to this trend. According to the CDC , drug overdose deaths in the United States have more than tripled from to , and often leave children parentless. The number of children placed in foster care has sharply increased, partially fueled by opioid and other drug use. When children are removed from their birth parents, federal law requires that state child protective services give preference to placement with relatives who, more often than not, are the grandparents.

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Additionally, increased incarceration rates for women have changed family life. In the s, female incarceration rates skyrocketed compared to the rate for fathers. Incarceration, addiction and neglect are often interconnected. In addition to dealing with the challenging dynamics of child care, many of these grandparents are starting to experience their own age-related changes in health and functioning.


Compared with noncaregiving peers, grandparents who are raising their grandchildren have more extensive health problems. When there are limited resources — whether financial, time or energy — grandparents prioritize their grandchildren over themselves. This situation can lead to undiagnosed health problems, untreated chronic diseases and undesirable health practices such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

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In addition, grandparents can experience depression and anxiety from the stress of child care. In one study of grandmothers raising grandchildren, approximately 40 percent scored in the clinically elevated range on measures of psychological distress. In spite of these challenges, grandparents report rewards and joys that give them a sense of purpose. One grandparent put it this way:. Keeping grandchildren in their own cultural community is another important motivation for many. For example, research has demonstrated the historical commitment to care-sharing in African-American families:.

My mother, my grandmother took care of me.