WE A L T H
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THE TRUE WEALTH OF YOUR What Will You Pass On to Future Generations? Inheritance
O ne day, my wife was going through my desk and came across a mysterious letter. I wasn’t sure what it was right off the bat. I could identify handwritten words on a piece of paper, but I had no recollection of what they said. As I started to read it, a distant memory flooded my brain, and I realized these words were mine. I started to piece together exactly what this document was and the magnitude of what it meant. It was a letter I wrote to my future grandchildren about 10 years ago. THE TRUE VALUE OF AN INHERITANCE This letter started off as a family keepsake, but it is now the very foundation of how we approach our business. You can find the exact words from the letter in their entirety at the end of our book, “The Forever Millionaire.” In short, the letter conveys what we believe is the most important information anyone can pass on to their family. As financial planners, our goal is to set up a viable monetary future for you and your future generations. That being said, we believe the most important aspect of any inheritance comes down to one simple concept: values. You can pass on the greatest estate plan ever made, but the success of your beneficiaries’ future doesn’t reside in money; it holds fast in values. Learning to be content, striving for knowledge, and having integrity in all of your actions is much more rewarding than having any piece of paper, including money. On the inside of this newsletter, you’ll read about your “big why” and what makes it
important. Your “why” not only defines how you view success, but it also illustrates values you find important. These values can directly affect the way your successors interact with money, and more importantly, life.
how great your financial planner is. That’s why writing this letter was paramount. PERSPECTIVE One of the big things I want to pass on is what writing a letter similar to mine can do for you. Writings, whether they’re in the form of novels, history books, or letters, provide wisdom. A story can pass on a life’s worth of lessons and advice. When you write a letter to your future generations, it can have a similar effect that it had on us when we wrote “The Forever Millionaire.” The penned information can put everything you’ve learned into perspective and detail important values. Even more crucial, the letter can pass on the stories that may have never been told otherwise. THE STORIES NEVER TOLD I was driving with my daughter one day and turned to look at her. She has cerebral palsy and has been through the gauntlet of life. I asked her, “Do you know you are one of the most inspirational people in my life?” and she said, “No.” So many of these crucial stories we want to tell never make it to the people who most need to hear them. Write a letter to those closest to you detailing their value, and express how they helped you achieve great things. Valuables are one thing, but values are everything. Are you passing on more than just your assets? Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. -Dave Shepherd
SHIRTSLEEVES TO SHIRTSLEEVES There is an old saying in several cultures that translates to “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” The proverb describes that a family’s wealth can be built from nothing and demolished back to rubble within three generations. The idea behind the expression is that the first generation builds wealth by scratching and clawing through life, making extreme sacrifices to build their legacy. Then, the second generation remembers their parents’ hardships and the trials of their childhood, so they continue working hard to maintain the family wealth. But the third generation knows only a lavish life, so they are careless with their money and spend it all, returning the family to poverty. Without passing on values like the importance of hard work, persistence, and saving, your future generations will go back to shirtsleeves, no matter ... THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BENEFICIARIES' FUTURE DOESN'T RESIDE IN MONEY; IT HOLDS FAST IN VALUES.
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