Dec 15, 2022 Giving Cash at Christmas

John and Sarah (not their real names) are getting frustrated with Christmas gift-giving. Their kids are doing well and can pretty much buy anything they want. They struggle to come up with something meaningful to give during the holidays. This year, while commiserating at a warm coffee shop, they decide to write checks for their children up to the ’22 gift limit of $16,000. They think back to when they had young children and what a blessing that would have been for them.

They have never done anything quite this substantial, so they are both nervous and excited when the day rolls around. Finally, the whole family is in the living room after a beautiful meal, and John hands the checks to each of his three kids.

One son opens the letter and crickets. “Uh, Thanks.” Their daughter looks worried. “Is everything ok? Are you sick?” Their youngest just booked a big trip, so with a fist pump, he announces how excited he is to use these funds to cover it.

John and Sara are left feeling a little confused. Sarah turns to John and asks, “Do you think they even liked them?”

What went wrong? What can they do better? They talk with their advisor at LRIA and get a few tips to communicate better when giving to kids. Money can be so personal that they didn’t realize they need to be intentional with what they are trying to do. If they don’t, they leave the gift to many interpretations that are far from accurate. Their advisor asks them to consider including a letter that addresses the following points in their own words:

  1. Communicate a value – You can talk about the importance of family and how your parent helped you out. Or you could talk about the value of hard work, independence, courage, or the pursuit of knowledge. It doesn’t need to be the same value for every child or every gift. Using the money to demonstrate something bigger can add meaning and help explain why you are giving the gift.
  2. Relate it to you – Talk a little about what was happening when you were their age. Explain what it would have meant to you to get a gift like this. Consider what it meant to earn the money when you were their age. One day you sat in a very similar space, not very different from the living room they are sitting in, when they receive this envelope.
  3. You want to do this now – Let your kids know you want to do it now while you can see them. You don’t want to wait until you are gone before they get anything. If it brings you joy, share that joy. If it scares you, share that fear.
  4. This gift doesn’t prevent you from doing anything you want to do – Communicate that this is something you can afford to do without changing any of your plans. If you are content and doing everything you want, your kids can be content that they are not taking anything away from you to accept the gift.

The following year rolls around, and the kids all come home for Christmas. Well, the week after Christmas, but the whole family is there. Sarah hands out the envelopes. At first, the kids look uncomfortable. They peek into the cards and see the single-page letters. Then, each sits down to read. There isn’t a dry eye in the room as each child walks up one by one and gives a heartfelt hug of thanks to their parents. They understand the gift.

– Ben Rickey. Adapted from the writings of Susan Turnbill at Personal Legacy Advisors. If you would like to discuss meaningful gift giving with your advisor, please call the office at 509-972-3686 or schedule an appointment. We have resources to help you communicate your values as part of your legacy.

Company News

Welcome, Liz Stokes!

Employee Spotlight – Jacqueline Cremen

Shreds and Meds Day – October 28th at The Valley Mall

Employee Spotlight: Chelsie Smith

Employee Spotlight: Dirk Bernd

Market Commentary

2024 1st Quarter Investment Commentary

2023 4th Quarter Investment Commentary

2023 3rd Quarter Investment Commentary

2023 2nd Quarter Investment Commentary

Debt Ceiling: Should Investors Worry?

Retirement Planning

2024 Key Financial Changes

Social Security Benefit Increase of 3.2% for 2024

The 4 Changes from SECURE Act 2.0 You Should Know for 2023

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2023 Begins October 15th

Social Security Benefit Increase of 8.7% for 2023

Tax Planning

2024 Key Financial Changes

2023 1099 Release Information

2023 Year-End Tax Planning

When do I start my Required Minimum Distribution?

UPDATE: Washington State Long Term Care Payroll Tax

Cyber Security

Red Flags When Transferring Money

Cybersecurity 101 – 2022 Update

Cybersecurity 101

New Changes to Web-Portal Password Requirements

Equifax Data Breach Update: Make a claim today

Important Disclosures

Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors, PLLC (“LRIA”), is an SEC registered investment adviser located in the State of Washington. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. For information pertaining to the registration status of LRIA, please contact LRIA or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (

This is provided for general information only and contains information that is not suitable for everyone. As such, nothing herein should be construed as the provision of specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. There is no guarantee that the views and opinions expressed herein will come to pass. This newsletter contains information derived from third party sources. Although we believe these third-party sources to be reliable, we make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party incorporated herein and take no responsibility therefore.

Any projections, forecasts and estimates, including without limitation any statement using “expect” or “believe” or any variation of either term or a similar term, contained here are forward-looking statements and are based upon certain current assumptions, beliefs and expectations that LRIA considers reasonable or that the applicable third parties have identified as such. Forward-looking statements are necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions or beliefs underlying the forward-looking statements will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results or outcomes. Some important factors that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements include, among others, changes in interest rates and general economic conditions in the U.S. and globally, changes in the liquidity available in the market, change and volatility in the value of the U.S. dollar, market volatility and distressed credit markets, and other market, financial or legal uncertainties. Consequently, the inclusion of forward-looking statements herein should not be regarded as a representation by LRIA or any other person or entity of the outcomes or results that will be achieved by following any recommendations contained herein. While the forward-looking statements here reflect estimates, expectations and beliefs, they are not guarantees of future performance or outcomes. LRIA has no obligation to update or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic conditions or other circumstances arising after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of events (whether anticipated or unanticipated), even if the underlying assumptions do not come to fruition. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice and do not necessarily take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or particular needs of all investors.

For additional information about LRIA, including fees and services, please contact us for our Form ADV disclosure brochure using our contact information herein. Please read the disclosure brochure carefully before you invest or send money.