When to Tell Children about Family Wealth

July 6, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. wealth [welth] (n.) – a huge amount of possession (e.g. money, properties)
Example: His family’s wealth comes from his father’s long years of hard work and determination.

2. keep (someone) in the dark [keep in th uh dahrk] (idiom) – to not tell or reveal something to someone
Example: Julian kept his father in the dark about the surprise birthday party.

3. disclose [dih-SKLOHZ] (v.) – to reveal or to make something known
Example: Government officials must disclose their wealth to the public to show honesty and transparency.

4. case-by-case [keys bahy keys] (adj.) – relating to situations that are separate and different from each other
Example: The management will decide on the salary increase on a case-by-case basis, depending on every employee’s performance.

5. sign up [SAHYN uhp] (phrasal v.) – to register or to join
Example: Peter signed up for a two-month course on budget management.


Read the text below.
A study in the U.S. Trust's Insights on Wealth and Worth has discovered that many rich parents do not reveal their family's wealth until their children reach 25 years old.

Although the kids usually know that their families are wealthy, parents tend to keep them in the dark about how much money they actually have.

According to the study, half of the surveyed parents said that children between ages 25 and 34 should already know the details of their family's wealth. On the other hand, 20% said that children should wait until they are 40. Half of the parents also said they have disclosed little details about their wealth, while 8% admitted they have revealed none. 

Results of the study also showed that two reasons exist on why parents do not tell their children. First, people seem to naturally dislike the topic, as wealth is not commonly discussed even among family members. Second, parents fear that their children might not develop good work ethics if they knew how rich they were. 

Keith Banks, president of the U.S. Trust, said that no age is appropriate in telling the children about the family’s wealth. Instead, the decision should be on a case-by-case basis.

However, Banks claims that even if parents do not reveal details of their wealth early on, they should at least prepare their children for the task of managing the money. Thus, he recommends that children sign up for wealth-education programs at the age of 20.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         At what age do you think should children know about their family’s wealth? Why do you say so?
·         In your opinion, do the children of rich people work less hard than ordinary people? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the disadvantages of being too wealthy? Please explain your answer.
·         How can people better manage their wealth?


July 6, 2013