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What Are the Best Jobs to Give Your Kids?

Summary: This is the next installment of our Legacy series, where we focus on topics specific to financial planning for your children. This week, we talk about the best jobs to give your kids in your real estate investment business: when they should start working, what kind of jobs they can do at different ages, and what the benefits are–to them and to you!

 

Kids need plenty of time to play, but the older they get, the more value there is in teaching them how to work, too. If you have your own real estate investment business, then you’ve got a great opportunity to do this by having your kids work for you.

Of course, their age will determine what kinds of jobs are appropriate, but the benefits to employing your children (or teaching them how to work in general) are great at any age.

 

What Age Should Your Kids Start Working For You?

Technically, your children can earn money from age zero—modeling and acting are both jobs that babies can do, if your business has an outlet for it. One example is, if you take pictures of your child and put them on your business’s social media or blog, that technically counts as modeling.

A major concern with employing children, especially at such an early age, may be that child labor laws prohibit it—and yes, there are restrictions on the kinds of jobs kids can do as minors. But when it comes to family-owned businesses, the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t have an age limit or a maximum number of hours a child can work—it just prohibits hazardous jobs. Of course, no one’s going to employ their child full-time or make them do something dangerous. 

But when it comes to doing reasonable tasks for a family business, the age we commonly find in articles is six years old. Depending on where your child is developmentally, this can include helping to sort and/or file documents, do simple calculations, and even answer phone calls. But your six-year-old can work for you and earn money.

Keep in mind that different states have different laws about child labor, and in cases where the federal and state laws differ, the one that provides more safety to the child prevails. I’d recommend researching your state’s child labor laws before employing your child, just to be sure.

 

Different Jobs For Different Ages

If your children are a little older, then that opens the door for more opportunities to teach them responsibility and job skills.

If they’re working with your real estate investment business, then they can help with scanning and filing, computation, and correspondence. They may even be able to help you scout out new units or manage your current properties. All of these are great hands-on way for them to apply or augment the things they learn in school and it gives them a means of income that you can help them keep track of, since you’re the one giving it to them. Of course, in any case, you must pay your child a fair wage—at least minimum wage if they’re teenagers, but also nothing exorbitant like $100 an hour.

When your children are full-grown adults, it’s a whole different story.

It’s a well-told tale that children often take over the “family business,” but some might choose to forge their own career path, and remember, that’s okay! Your children should be free to make their own choices, but if they’ve worked for you leading up to adulthood, then you would hope that their experience with your business has equipped them with the necessary skill sets that will catch an employer’s eye.

Remember: even though your children worked for a family business, it’s still work and it’s still a business, so it goes on their resume!

 

Benefits to Your Kids

Other than giving them valuable life experience, there are many other benefits to letting your children work for you. If they feel capable of performing tasks, no matter how simple, they’re likely to feel more confident in themselves and in their ability to work, which will catch an employer’s eye later on. Having to do work-related tasks teaches them focus and discipline, which will benefit them not only in their later jobs, but could also help them with their academic endeavors, too!

Outside of jobs and school, kids who work for their parents are likely to feel like they’re contributing to the family, which can help strengthen familial bonds and teach kids how to work together as a team with their parents. If your children are older, then understanding how you run your family’s business and handle your finances will help them understand how to manage things in their own lives. For teenagers, this is priceless–not only will it teach them responsibility, but getting them involved in your business will make them feel more like adults.

Since real estate investing is a vehicle to semi-retirement, you’re also setting your children up for financial freedom early on in life, too. By participating in your journey to Fast FIRE, they’ll have learned tons of valuable knowledge that very few people their age will know. Who knows? They may even end up retiring or semi-retiring earlier than you did–and what better legacy to pass on to your children?

Not to mention, whether your child is five months, five years, or fifteen years old, if they’re making income, then they’re eligible for a Roth IRA retirement account. Roth IRAs are tax-free and you (the parent) can contribute to them along with your child. There are some stipulations, but they are relatively simple to meet. Read more about Roth IRAs here. Suffice to say, it’s worth opening one.

 

Benefits to You

The benefits to you when you let your children work for your real estate investment business are fairly substantial. Not only do you have someone there to help you get work done (at probably a very reasonable cost, though of course you should pay your children a fair wage depending on their age!), but you get more time with your children. You get to be the one to teach them necessary skills, work ethic, and responsibility. You’re likely to be more forgiving than an employer, though of course you don’t want to “snowplow” them (that’s when you try to prevent your children from making mistakes, which is a necessary part of growing). You can set a good example for them of how a family business should be run–and you’re likely to learn a lot about yourself along the way!

Another benefit to you is that when you employ your kids, there are certain tax breaks available to you. For minors, a yearly income of around $12,000 or below is not subject to federal income tax. For a single-member or partnership LLC (and not, for instance, a corporation), you are eligible for savings on employment taxes and unemployment taxes. 

 

Do you employ your children in your real estate investment business? What kinds of jobs do they have, and has it worked out? Tell us about it!

Do you want to learn how to creatively fund your real estate portfolio and achieve financial freedom? Join the conversation! Follow our Semi-Retired MD  Facebook page and join our Doctors or Professionals  group!

Semi-Retired M.D. and its owners, presenters, and employees are not in the business of providing personal, financial, tax, legal or investment advice and specifically disclaims any liability, loss or risk, which is incurred as a consequence, either directly or indirectly, by the use of any of the information contained in this blog. Semi-Retired M.D., its website, this blog and any online tools, if any, do NOT provide ANY legal, accounting, securities, investment, tax or other professional services advice and are not intended to be a substitute for meeting with professional advisors. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of competent, licensed and certified professionals should be sought. In addition, Semi-Retired M.D. does not endorse ANY specific investments, investment strategies, advisors, or financial service firms.

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Hi, we’re Kenji and Leti

we provide coaching and mentorship for doctors and high-income earners

Several years ago, we were newlyweds working as full-time hospitalists. On paper, it looked like we had everything: the prestigious careers, the happy marriage, the luxurious rental home, the cars, etc.

But in reality? Despite having worked for several years, we had very little savings. Despite our high income, we had very little freedom in terms of time or money.

One thing was clear: we had to do something.

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