Low-Tech Holiday Gifts the Grandkids Will Remember

Low-Tech Holiday Gifts the Grandkids Will Remember

Instead of Another Mobile Device or Video Game, Consider  Something Lasting from the Heart

Kids get their first cell phone by age 12, and more than a  third of them have smart phones. Nine out of 10 teens have a computer and 97  percent of 12- to 17-year-olds play video games. More than half the homes in the  United States have a fairly new video game console.

“It’s great that our kids have access to technology, but I  talk to a lot of grandparents who say they simply don’t enjoy giving their  grandkids tech gifts during the holiday season,” says Ted Bernstein, founder of  Life Insurance Concepts, Inc. (www.lifeinsuranceconcepts.com). “They  want to give something their grandkids will treasure; something they’ll remember  for a long time.”

That has become more challenging as kids, along with the  rest of us, come to rely more and more on technology for everything — from  communication to entertainment to telling the time.

Coming from a four-generation family of life insurance  specialists, Bernstein has a special interest in family legacies and a long  history of innovation. He offers these suggestions for holiday gifts for  grandkids that create lasting memories.

• Their own clunker – which you’ll restore   together. If you have a grandchild who’s still a few years from   driving age, buy an old pickup truck that the two of you can restore together.   You’ll have years to complete the project, which guarantees not only lots of   one-on-one time together, but also the opportunity to teach valuable skills   that will benefit him or her for a lifetime. “Plan it right, and when your   grandchild gets a driver’s license, he or she will also have wheels,”    Bernstein says. “And after spending so much time working on that vehicle,   they’re more likely to drive it carefully!”

• An annual helping hand for years after you’ve gone. Imagine being able to send your grandchild a holiday   gift of $20,000 every year for 20, 30 or 40 years – with a note from you   attached. You can do it with the Installment Life Option, a life insurance   policy option that pays beneficiaries of a life insurance policy in   predetermined amounts of your choice for up to 40 years. Because of the   deferred payout, the insurance company can reduce the premiums up to 50   percent. And your grandchild is reminded of your love for him or her   throughout his life, particularly during the financially stressful milestones:   college tuition, wedding, paying off student loans, down payment for first   home, and first child.

“A lot of the grandparents who do this love the fact that   they can continue to help their grandchild long after they’re gone,” Bernstein   says. “They also like the fact that they can choose what date the money is   disbursed, whether it’s a holiday, a birthday, or a special date significant   to the grandparents and grandchild. And they can add a personal note, which   can be sent according to the policy holder’s instructions.”

• The gift of compassion. Sponsor an   impoverished child in another country in your grandchild’s name. “I like the   organizations that allow you to personally connect with the child you sponsor,   so your grandchild can write to and receive letters from them, and trade   photographs. You can learn about the country together, and pick out gifts for   birthday or holiday season,” Bernstein says. A grandparent might pay the whole   cost of sponsorship or allow the grandchild to pick up a small portion, he   adds.

One organization highly rated by independent charity   evaluator Charity Navigator is Compassion International. The 61-year-old   Christian-based non-profit facilitates 1.2 million sponsorships, providing the   children with food, medical care, educational opportunities and more for $38   per month. Sponsors are invited to exchange letters and develop a relationship   with the child.

About Ted  Bernstein

Ted Headshot

Ted Bernstein is a third-generation life insurance  specialist with decades of speaking out and advocating for changes on behalf of  consumers. He was the first to introduce “no-load” life insurance in the  mid-1980s and recently developed the Installment Life Option. Bernstein is a  nationally recognized expert in alternative distribution strategies and life  insurance product development.

Lindsey Jenn

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