Click here for a printable version of our Game for Kids: Intro to Personal Finance (12 pages).
Module 7 – Phases of Life
I watched the movie Midsommar a few weeks ago (it’s scary – definitely not for kids!), and one of the scenes reminded me of this Financial Planning Game. The movie takes place in a small Swedish village, where the residents adhere to a certain ordered way of life. They refer to the cycles of a person’s life as “Seasons.” When a child is born they are in the Spring (childhood) season until age 18, then the Summer (pilgrimage / education) season from 18-36, Fall (work) from 36-54, and Winter (elder) from 54-72. I am not willing to field any questions about what happens after age 72, but that’s one movie I will not be watching by myself in the dark again anytime soon.
It’s important to understand what phase of life you’re in, and how to prepare for the next one. When my parents entered the work force in the 1970s, there were some job opportunities with pensions but not as many as in years past. Since pensions were not as common as they once were, my parents had to be more proactive about saving for retirement than the generation before them. The situation is different again now – not only are pensions few and far between, but now the continued health of the Social Security system is up in the air.
All of this is to say, children learning about personal finance in 2020 need to be aware that saving for retirement – preparing for the Winter of their lives – is not an option, it’s a necessity. I chose to present this idea with a good, old-fashioned Mad Lib!
Page 11 of the game is separated into three sections: an introduction, a fill-in-the-words section and then a story, made entertaining by your child’s chosen words. It’s silly, but fun – I don’t think my kids have ever said no to a Mad Lib. If you’re unfamiliar, click this link for instructions.
I don’t have any surprises to report for Module Seven: Phases of Life. My kids created goofy stories and cracked up about them. Despite the funny details, each Mad Lib describes a phases of life scenario, with childhood and learning first, followed by work and saving, then retirement. Enjoy – this one’s fun!
Two more to go! Next up, Module Eight: Mistakes