Building the Foundation

by Eric Kies

“I’m not worried about us, what I’m worried about is our kids, and our grandkids.  They’re not going to have the same type of life we’ve had.  Who is going to help them along the way?”

This concern, who is going to help our children and grandchildren, emerged from a series of discussion groups during our strategic planning process a few years ago.  Genuine concern about future generations emerged consistently from those discussion groups.  The questions asked included: How would they ever be able to achieve and live the type of life that we have been able to live? How are they going to make it?  Who will work with them the way that The Planning Center has worked with us?  We realized during those meetings that there was an opportunity to be of service to those families, and to provide value to multiple generations inside those families.

Our firm went to work on an idea of how to create some sort of service where we could match the next generation of planner with the next generation of a family.  We asked “what are the fundamental skills that if we helped those clients with consistently, would create a foundation for them to use the rest of their lives?”  According to family wealth counselor and psychologist James Grubman, who in his book “Strangers in Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations” summarized that there are 5 key financial skills individuals must learn:

  • How to spend within ones income
  • How to manage and maintain a savings reserve to minimize impact of large or unexpected expenses on the household spending plan
  • Managing debt & credit responsibly
  • How to keep track of what comes in and what goes out in order to make adjustments to the plan
  • How to manage ones assets, either personally or through the use of professional advisors

We realized that if we taught the next generation of client our cash flow planning system and they really mastered it, along with how to understand their balance sheet and a way to set goals and implement towards those goals, they would be well on their way to having a successful financial life.  In teaching them how to nurture their own their financial well-being, it not only impacts their lives, but the lives of those whom they touch and the causes they care about.

Let’s have the conversations that matter.

If you have younger family members who aren’t working with the firm, I encourage you to bring up the conversation with your planner on ways to talk about this with your family.  If you feel someone in your family is ready and open to being coached about life and money, introduce us.  Even if they don’t live in the same geographic area as one of our offices, we have the ability to meet with them virtually and serve them in a similar manner as meeting in person.  Our vision continues to be a place where the next generation of client can work with the next generation of planner and have a safe place to talk about money.  Let’s have the conversations that matter.

Eric Kies, CFP®, is a Partner/Sr. Financial Planner in the Quad Cities office of The Planning Center, a fee-only financial planning and wealth management firm.

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