Teaching children to save: What is the best strategy for lifetime savings?

We study the effect of alternative parental teaching strategies on the propensity to save and the amount saved during adulthood. Using a panel dataset from the Dutch DNB Household Survey we find that parental teaching to save increases the likelihood that an adult will save by 16%, and the saving amount by about 30%. The best strategy involves a combination of different methods (giving pocket money, controlling money usage, and giving advice about saving and budgeting). The effect of parental financial socialization is persistent with age, but decays at elder age for the propensity to save.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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