Generational wealth may seem like a lofty concept or a buzzword, but in actuality, it’s something many of us strive to build for our families. For most people, they want to be generous with their children, grandchildren, and loved ones — however, they may not think it’s possible for them to continue a legacy within their family. But we believe it can be achieved, especially with a strong financial plan that lasts a lifetime.
Simply defined, generational wealth refers to the assets you leave behind for the next generation, helping them to thrive as they pursue financial stability and accrue wealth for more future generations. These assets can include real estate, investments, cash, and anything else that holds financial value.
Why is generational wealth important?
Obtaining wealth is much easier than maintaining it. According to recent research, more than two thirds of families with wealth will lose it by the second generation, and 90% will lose it by the third.1 Regardless of how many assets and financial reserves you hold, it is valuable to teach the next generation how to manage their financial legacy well in order to maintain it. Think of it this way: to successfully create generational wealth, you must pass down wealth itself along with the resources and responsibility to manage wealth well. Here’s how:
- Communicate openly about money. This topic should not be a taboo, especially when it comes to the recipients of your estate. Consider providing your children a clear picture of your assets and what it takes to maintain them. If you teach them along the way, they are more likely to be able to step into the role with a healthy perspective.
- Make decisions together. Some parents are concerned that their children won’t manage finances well. One solution to this is that you can teach them. Invite them into your financial management plan over time, showing them how you operate and allowing them to learn how to make wise decisions under your wing.
- Create a long-term plan. An estate plan is only one piece of the puzzle – for your generational wealth to grow over decades and avoid the possibility that it gets squandered away, we recommend that you create a plan that includes the why and how, not just the what.
How can I pass on generational wealth?
Passing off generational wealth can be a complex process, but with a trusted professional, you can make a plan that works for the long haul. As you spend time educating your family on your financial strategy and legacy, you’ll become more prepared to pass the proverbial baton when it’s time.
1. Create an estate plan.
Most generational wealth comes to the next generation through an inheritance. It’s essential that you have a clear plan for everything you own after you pass away, so that all of your assets end up in the right hands. One of the first steps you can take is making a will. We believe everyone needs one, even if your assets may not be significant yet. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to take some additional estate planning steps. Some estates need additional trusts, beneficiaries, and letters of instruction. Your financial advisor can help you with this.
2. Save and give.
We like to imagine this twofold approach as “generosity now, generosity later.” Whether you’re investing in your own retirement account or you’re building a 529 account for your kids or grandkids, you’re building a more stable financial future for yourself and your family. If you want to exercise generosity in the meantime, you could consider helping future generations by supporting them with a down payment on a house, footing their wedding bill, or giving them enough cash to go towards a car payment. Your financial advisor can assist you with gift tax details, including annual limits and requirements.
3. Educate future generations.
Even if you have a great investment portfolio and a detailed estate plan, educating your children and grandchildren about wise financial practices can really make a difference. As we mentioned earlier, it’s easier to get wealth than to keep it, so keep in mind that it’s important to provide the next generation with the tools they need to beat those generational wealth loss statistics.
If you want to build generational wealth and leave a legacy that lasts, the SageSpring team would love to help. Our advisors are available and ready to create a plan that works with your family’s finances, assets and goals. And remember, you don’t have to be extremely wealthy to pass along valuable assets and valuable information that can help your family thrive. It’s never too early – or too late – to make a plan. Contact us today to get started!
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of SageSpring Wealth Partners and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.