If you’re reading this blog, you probably value financial planning. You may have even consulted a financial planner at Foster Group for advice to help protect your wellbeing, your children’s, and possibly your grandchildren’s. But when you’re gone, and the financial plan you’ve worked diligently to establish and uphold has run its course, will your heirs know how to continue in the way you paved for them?
Do you know what views they hold when it comes to their personal finances?
And, how do you start the conversation, anyway? Perhaps you avoid the topic because you’re not sure where to begin.
Generational studies have been catching a lot of media attention in recent years. As a member of the millennial generation, aka “Gen Y”, much of the speculation and many of the conclusions and opinions are quite entertaining. Not long ago, the Des Moines-based publication, The Business Record, held a Power Breakfast addressing popular stereotypes of each generation. Although I wasn’t able to attend, I was amused by the video trailer and heard from several attendees that the presentation did not disappoint!
I can’t say I entirely disagree with the stereotypes; as a Millennial, I happen to enjoy receiving positive feedback on a regular basis, and there was a time when I expected my promotion to a C-level executive in a corner office to materialize relatively soon after starting an entry-level position…(I can dream, right?). However, I also hold cross-generational values, like a stable career that is balanced with my family life, and a future of financial independence (aka “retirement”), despite my resemblance to others born between 1981-2000 and all the labels the media throws on us.
Studies show I’m not alone in feeling like a square peg in a round hole when it comes to the descriptions of the mysterious gen-Y of which I am a part; it seems a new article is published every day with data debunking Millenial myths, quickly pulling the pendulum of public opinion against the grain of previously reported truisms about us. In fact, a new study was released by the Kogod School of Business suggesting that as Millennial children of Baby Boomers and Generation X mature and settle down, our values and interests are being revealed as surprisingly similar to those of past generations!
This shouldn’t be surprising when the natural parent-child relationship is considered. As parents, one of the most thrilling and fulfilling aspects of the relationships with our children is identifying shared interests and encouraging growth in those areas. For example, to my husband’s great delight, not only does our four-month-old daughter share his looks (the spitting image), she also seems to share his appreciation for Queen hits! Of course, she does have at least one thing in common with me – she LOVES to laugh (even in her sleep)! A quick poll of the new parents at the office turns up similar results; Associate Advisor Specialist, Joshua Bomett heads to the Y on lunch breaks to swim laps. At home, he swoops his son Paton (six months old) through the air, to watch him happily move his arms and legs as though swimming! Outside of work, Business Analyst Marshall Henry enjoys sharing a game of catch with his one-year-old son, Evan John, and hopes to one day share the game of golf with him.
We look for common interests with those we love, because they open doors to communicate and build upon shared values – such as an appreciation for art in the creativity of music, the enrichment of finding joy in everyday life, or the discipline that is cultivated through participating in sports. These are the principles by which we live and act. Some of us are relishing glimpses of natural affinities to our values which are already being revealed in our very young children and dreaming about what their futures hold. For others, possibly with children navigating the notorious teenage years, it may be difficult to remember a time that existed when there was any semblance of shared values! And still others of grown children, like my parents, are seeing the values and foundations they sought to instill in their babies and teenagers come to life as they become the experts to whom we turn for advice on raising our own children.
So, what does this mean for you? In your quest to provide an inheritance that will be appreciated and cared for by your children’s children, I hope you are encouraged to know that your heirs likely share many of the same values you do. And, if the education which financial planning brings is something you value, our office is here to help you facilitate a family meeting that could be your key to leaving a legacy that lasts.
PLEASE NOTE LIMITATIONS: Please see Important Disclosure Information and the limitations of any ranking/recognitions, at www.fostergrp.com/info-disclosure/. A copy of our current written disclosure statement as set forth on Part 2A of Form ADV is available at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.