Teaching kids philanthropy

Even children as young as six or seven should learn about the responsibilities of wealth. So says Bruce Bickel, senior vice-president at the wealth management unit of PNC Financial Services Group. After joining the bank, the plain-speaking U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Baptist minister built a national practice helping clients establish private charitable foundations.

Bickel also teaches wealthy families how to pass on philanthropic values to younger generations.

When should people start talking to their children about what it means to be wealthy in a society with such a large gap between rich and poor?

“Start in first grade. You want them to recognize early that wealth is a responsibility, not a right. So many families say that they're afraid their kids are going to have a poor work ethic. I encourage parents to talk with their children about the five areas of meaningful money management—earning, giving, saving, spending, and budgeting.”

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