Many parents have goals to build generational wealth, allowing their legacy to carry on financially after they’re gone. But growing wealth is only half of the equation—and, often, the easy part. How to keep wealth in the family presents a harder challenge. How can you pass down wealth to your children and ensure that they, in turn, will pass it onto their own children? And your great-grandchildren? What’s the secret to perpetual generational wealth?
In this article, we’ll discuss three things every family needs to do to help ensure their financial legacy continues over the next 100+ years. We’ll also show you a proven tool that can help families keep more wealth and maintain control over that wealth for generations to come. Finally, we’ll provide educational links to help you take the necessary next steps toward growing and protecting generational wealth.
HOW TO KEEP WEALTH IN THE FAMILY
Regardless of how much you plan to leave behind for your family, there are three things experts recommended doing to help guarantee your financial legacy: Treat your family like a business, prioritize education for your heirs, and put your plans in writing.
Treat your family like a business
At their core, families operate like small businesses with parents as the CEOs. Mentor your children to be key players in your company—a company they will take over someday. Consider paying your children an allowance, when they’re old enough, as payment for working for the company (making their beds, taking out trash, doing the dishes, etc.).
Many experts, both in the financial industry and in family psychology, recommend creating a family motto, or slogan. What is the #1 non-negotiable for your family? What does the company stand for, above all else? Creating a family motto puts what matters most to you at the forefront of everything your family does. It indicates where your values lie and what you prioritize financially. When your children inherit generational wealth, this motto should guide them as to how it should be used.
Here are several popular brand’s slogans that could inspire your own family’s motto:
If your family values creativity, innovation, and dancing to the beat of its own drum:
- Apple – Think different
- Nordstrom – Reinvent yourself
- Microsoft – Be what’s next
If your family believes in doing its best, standing behind its work, and working hard:
- Levi’s – Quality never goes out of style
- Mercedes – The best or nothing
- HP – Make it matter
- Estee Lauder – Bringing the best to everyone we touch
- American Airlines – Going for great
If your family believes in personal growth, believing in each other and self empowerment:
- L’oreal – Because you’re worth it
- Abbive – People. Passion. Possibilities.
- Delta – Keep climbing
- BlackRock – Opportunity favors the prepared mind
If your family loves to travel, values experiences or prioritizes doing things together:
- Toyota – Let’s go places
- Kodak – Share moments. Share life.
- Carnival – Fun for all. All for fun.
- Kellogg – See you at breakfast
- Netflix – It just might bring everyone together
Education is paramount to keeping wealth in the family. When you consider your family as a company, you want the brightest and best employees. Encourage your children to pursue their talents and passions. Teach your children their earning potential is up to them. If they want to be wealthy adults, they need to have the right mindset to generate wealth.
Educate your children on where to find opportunities and on the value of hard work. Depending on how old they are, this could be as simple as paying them to do additional chores around the house, helping them seek out a part-time job on the weekends, or encouraging them to apply for an internship.
Not only do children need to learn how to capitalize on their abilities, but also how to manage the wealth they generate. Provide them with a solid financial education. Encourage them to save. If they’re old enough, teach them about investing, saving for retirement and credit cards. Give them the responsibility of paying for certain items, like their clothes, phone bill or entertainment, and saving up for wishlist items. Help your child prioritize expenses based on what is important to them and show them how to budget.
Educating your children and teaching them how to manage their own money increases the likelihood they will properly manage family wealth passed down in an inheritance.
Put your plans in writing
If your kids need to put dinner in the oven while you finish up at work, you leave instructions on what temperature to set the oven to and how long the enchiladas need to bake. Going out of town for the weekend and leaving an adult child to house sit? An even longer list of instructions, including when to bring the cans out for trash day, which packages you’re expecting, and where to find Fido’s allergy meds. And when you exit this world and leave wealth to your family… well that had better be the most detailed list of instructions of all.
A will is a good start, but it’s only one piece of estate planning. And depending on how much wealth you plan to leave behind, it may not be sufficient to keep your hard earned money in the family. Estate taxes can eat up a significant portion of generational wealth. In this next section, we’ll show you a proven tool that can help protect your wealth, and a smart way to use it if you plan to leave behind a large estate.
KEEP WEALTH IN THE FAMILY WITH LIFE INSURANCE
A certain type of life insurance called dividend-paying whole life insurance is uniquely structured to help you pass down more wealth to your heirs. This type of life insurance has several key features that make it particularly suitable for growing generational wealth:
- It is guaranteed to pay out a tax-free death benefit
- It earns a guaranteed rate of return
- It acts as a volatility buffer against market downturns
- It earns non-guaranteed dividends
- It earns cash value, which can be used while you’re still living without reducing returns
- It offers asset protections and is typically protected against judgements and creditors
Unlike term life insurance policies, which expire after a set term and don’t pay out unless you pass away within the term, dividend-paying whole life insurance is structured to last your entire life. Premiums are level and policies may be structured with additional insurance options, like a paid-up additions rider, to help supercharge growth.
Taking out a dividend-paying whole life insurance policy on yourself is a proven way to grow and protect wealth. But you can increase the power of your family bank further when you purchase additional policies for your spouse and children. And for an even better way to keep wealth in the family, put all these policies into a trust.
An irrevocable life insurance trust, or ILIT, offers extended estate tax protection, protection against lawsuits, and gift tax benefits. When policyholders pass away, the death benefit of any insurance policies held by the trust are paid, tax-free, to the trust. The rules of the trust dictate how and when these funds may be used by the trust’s beneficiaries.
If you pass away while your children are still minors, the trust can act as guardian of their inheritance until they reach adulthood. Similarly, if your spouse is incapacitated at the time of your death, the trust can manage assets on their behalf. And wealth in a trust can be distributed to people listed on the trust’s documents in incremental payments. This may help avoid taxes and can protect individuals who may not have the expertise to manage a large, lump sum of money.
FAMILY WEALTH: NEXT STEPS
Ready to take the next steps toward growing and protecting generational wealth? Paradigm Life is here to help. In addition to our comprehensive list of blog articles, we offer free financial education to help teach you how to keep wealth in the family and how to use dividend-paying whole life insurance as one of your primary financial tools.
First, check out our eCourse, Perpetual Wealth 101.
At Paradigm Life, we know that millions of people follow out-of-date financial advice that prohibits the future they deserve. Perpetual Wealth 101 consists of a series of free videos that teach you The Perpetual Wealth Strategy™ and guide you to a secure financial future.
Next, schedule a free consultation with a Wealth Strategist. We serve clients in all 50 states and Canada, and search the nation’s top-rated mutual insurance companies to find the best dividend-paying whole life insurance policies for your family’s unique financial needs and goals.
Once we find the policy that’s right for you, we’ll walk you through the details of your insurance illustration, outlining your guaranteed and non-guaranteed returns, your tax-free death benefits, and any additional features like paid-up additions riders. If everything is satisfactory for your family’s needs, we’ll walk you through final application steps and set up annual reviews to make sure your policies continue to align with your generational wealth goals, year after year.
It’s time to protect your family’s wealth.