My philosophy ideally involves a three-generation financial-planning approach for families. I have tried to keep my client base at a manageable number, and I think that is advantageous for getting involved with different generations of a family: the client or client couple who initiates the engagement, both sets of their parents, and their children.
If this type of engagement is successful, it allows me to help different family members at various stages of their lives build the financial plans that are appropriate for their needs and objectives. It is also a sound practice management objective, allowing me to refresh my client base with a new generation of clients. That is very important given the changing demographics in our country.
We have also seen the lingering effects of the credit crisis, and I think that makes a three-generation planning approach even more valuable to families. People might be dealing with uncertainty about derailed retirement plans, soaring college costs and the prevalence of student loan debt, adult children or parents living in their homes, or the onerous sticker price of assisted living or long-term medical care. These types of issues cross generations and can have a long-term impact on a family’s total wealth picture.
As a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, a former trust officer for 16 years, and now an independent financial advisor, I believe I can help families of all types develop financial plans for multiple generations that are respectful and responsive to the needs of all parties involved.
I employ a planning process that is equal parts values-based and goals-based. My belief is that any financial plan must start with life as the central focus and then move outward to the services and products that fit the specific needs of each person. This process greatly increases the likelihood that the objectives of each financial plan will be met with success. From the center of the planning process come four key areas of focus that can then lead to the more traditional financial process. These include having discussions around life history, life transitions, life principles, and life goals. Understanding these types of issues is invaluable. Starting in this way, I can help multiple generations of a family establish meaningful and achievable goals, and then help them develop action plans that seek to meet those goals.
- Engage multiple generations of the family you are helping.
- Start financial planning with a central focus on life issues/aspirations.
- Recommend strategies based on holistic client/family needs.
Disclosure: Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Cambridge Investment Research Group, Inc. Six8 Advisors, LLC, and Cambridge are not affiliated.
Photography by Lynsey Weatherspoon