Women are increasingly the main source or guardian of family wealth. Did you know that women now control more than half of the investment wealth in the United States? And an impressive 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35% controlled by men.
Some estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.
That’s a figure that certainly puts a smile on my face, and I want to help my fellow women ensure they are as well prepared and empowered as possible, so that their confidence and ability matches their financial responsibility.
WHO RUN THE WORLD?
In the words of Beyonce, “I work my 9 to 5 and I cut my check.” But do you know what to do with it next? Whether you’re employed, or managing the family finances, it’s equally important for you to be fully aware of your options so you can run your financial life without any unnecessary stress or concern.
Never has it been more important for women to be involved, informed, and comfortable with their role as guardians of family wealth. Active participation in wealth management can strengthen women’s commitment to protect and grow their assets with the goal of leaving a legacy for their children, their community, and beyond.
Whether nurturing the values of children, fulfilling charitable goals, or making investment decisions that affect their own as well as their beneficiaries’ financial security, women play a central role in establishing and preserving family wealth, and can benefit from following some “best practices” in wealth management and preservation.
Attaining financial security for you and your heirs typically requires you to accept responsibility for the management of significant investment assets. Whether you are single, married, or a surviving widow, it is in your best interest to obtain as much education as possible about wealth planning, investments, and related matters.
Even if you are not directly responsible for making important financial decisions, it is vital to have knowledge in these areas in order to communicate effectively with professional advisors charged with these duties.
BUILD YOUR TRIBE
One important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it alone – in fact, one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is build an amazing support team who can help you navigate the many complex financial decisions that can arise throughout life’s many changes.
A financial professional can offer objective, qualified services, and relying on their advice as opposed to family and friends is extremely important when making decisions affecting the accumulation, preservation, and distribution of wealth.
A good wealth advisor — or a team with other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants — should offer guidance and services in most areas of wealth management, including estate planning, retirement planning, insurance needs assessment, and college planning. On a more personal note, a wealth advisor should work closely with you to:
- Identify areas requiring special assistance, such as creating trusts.
- Minimize taxes and planning costs.
- Develop and implement a personalized wealth management plan.
- Review your plan periodically and suggest changes when needed.
PHILANTHROPY AND LEGACY PLANNING
Wealth holders have a greater opportunity — if not responsibility — to make charitable giving an integral part of the legacy planning process. Families that are charitably inclined may have clear goals in mind, but they may not know where to begin.
In order to choose the best strategy, you should work with a trusted advisor to evaluate a number of factors, such as tax management objectives, types of assets to be gifted, and your specific strategic intent. Then choose from among a range of charitable-giving vehicles, such as donor-advised funds, family foundations, gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts/charitable lead trusts.
TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY
Wealth is a gift that opens doors of opportunity not only for you, but also for your children, their children, and generations to come. Yet wealth can be a weighty responsibility that takes time to manage, maintain, and preserve. If you are a parent, you are no doubt concerned about the effects of wealth on your children’s values and how the money lessons you pass on to them will resonate as they mature to adulthood.
Family values — those traits, beliefs, goals, and morals that are shared by members of a family group — define a family’s character as much as dollar signs measure a family’s wealth. By holding shared values in high regard and setting an example of commitment to financial responsibility, philanthropy, and volunteerism for the younger generation, you will enrich your family’s legacy for generations to come.
A WOMAN’S WORTH
As stewards of the family legacy, women are in a unique and influential position. They are holders of great wealth as well as keepers of the family’s moral and philanthropic vision. There are many financial, accounting, legal, and business tools to assist women in implementing a plan of action.
If you’d like to discuss creating a legacy planning strategy unique to your situation, then I invite you to get in touch.
This information is not intended as legal or tax advice and should not be treated as such. Contact your estate planning and/or tax professional to discuss your personal situation.