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Funding Your Future

How Brooke Shields Teaches Her Daughters Their Worth

Photo: Courtesy of LIFE Happens

Brooke Shields shares her love of motherhood and the value of passing on sound financial advice and secure futures to her children.

Brooke Shields has been a household name since the actress and model starred in the 1978 film “Pretty Baby.” But the 54-year-old celebrity has a behind-the-scenes job she considers even more important: being a mom.

“It’s a labor of love, and one of the toughest, most challenging, and rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. I think that with most jobs, it’s important to earn it. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you’re a good mother,” Shields said.

Paying it forward

For Shields, being a good mom to daughters Rowan Henchy, 16, and Grier Henchy, 13, includes talking about family finances.

She explained that her own mother viewed money only as a means to an end; she didn’t tend to the details. “The way my mother looked at things was: If I did a movie, we could buy a house; if I did this job, we could get a car. There was never any, ‘Let’s sit down and understand this.’”

“It was working to live, not working for the future,” she continued. “At one point, we were incredibly cash-poor but had properties everywhere. When I took over my finances, I realized I had to do things I really didn’t like but that were very important.”

Now with their children, Shields and her husband, 55-year-old Chris Henchy, are making sure to pass on critical money lessons their daughters can carry into adulthood.

“I’m trying to give my daughters respect for money earned, not wasted,” Shields said. “They have summer jobs and an allowance, and are learning to save. So when they ask for something, we can say, ‘Well, find out what it costs and if you have enough saved to buy it, or how long it’ll take to save for it.’”

Planning for the future

Teaching them the importance of independence is also key. “They know that both mom and dad work, and both mom and dad earn. That’s an important lesson — not to be dependent on anybody without knowledge or a safety net,” she said.

One of the ways Shields is creating a safety net for her family is through a quality life insurance plan, something she’s raising awareness about with the organization Life Happens.

“Protecting my family financially means everything, and life insurance is an important piece of that,” Shields said. “I think people shy away from [getting] a will and life insurance. But once you’ve gone through those few, uncomfortable conversations, then it’s basically done, and those you’ve promised to take care of will be provided for financially.”

The time and attention she’s paid toward being a good mom — financial wisdom included — is no doubt paying dividends in her relationship with her daughters.

Recently, Rowan offered some encouraging words to help lift Shields’ spirits. “[Rowan] said, ‘Mom, you’ve got this. Hang in there! I’m really proud of you,’” Shields recounted. “It stopped me in my tracks, because over the years I’ve been working at being her mother, somewhere along the line, love and respect have been built up. Receiving that type of goodwill from your children is a huge gift.”

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