I am about to celebrate the first year of marriage to my beautiful wife. In just a short year, we got married, traveled throughout southeast Asia on our honeymoon, purchased a home, and had a lot of fun along the way. Naturally, we also started to combine our finances and think of ourselves as a single financial unit. Being in the wealth management business, it was natural for me to assume these duties and ensure that we are on the right path towards achieving our long-term goals. But, what if something happened to me? Would my wife be taken care of? Would she know how to handle everything?
This scenario and list of concerns are common, especially for those that work in the financial services industry (private equity, investment banking, and asset management). Generally, the financial professional will take care of the investing and planning for the family. However, in my research I have found that this is at the top of the list of concerns. Creating continuity with an advisor can oftentimes help ease this burden. Below are some of the topics and questions we commonly discuss to invoke conversation regarding taking care of our loved ones.
- ‘Hit by a Bus’ Readiness Plan: If you get hit by that proverbial bus – are your wishes known and assets set up in such a way to take care of your family? How is the family’s future impacted by a sudden change of events?
- Family Continuity Plan: Has there been a transfer of knowledge to the rest of the family or a trusted advisor? Is there a plan in place to seamlessly transition while still being able to support the goals of the family?
- Insurance Puzzle: What type of insurance do I need? How do I determine if I am under or over insured? Can this decision hamper my family’s future?
- Creating a Financial Legacy for Your Children: What is important to provide to my children that I did or didn’t have when I was growing up? How important is it to leave behind a legacy, while also creating discipline and drive in the next generation?
- Caring for the Elders: How do I support my parents in their retirement and as they age? What should I plan for in terms of long-term care or home assistance?
Strategizing and partnering to create a successful future is a vital role for anyone to play. As human beings, we strive to make decisions based on rational empirical data. But sometimes emotion and more importantly, love, can overwhelm our decision-making process. Love is a funny thing that can help us focus on what is most important and taking care of those special people that surround us. Creating a partnership with an advisor and your family can ease some of these concerns and create a successful future for the family.