In BSW Blog

You asked and we delivered. In late February, the BSW Great Conversations Series brought a much-anticipated topic to the front lines with our “Connecting the Generations: Raising Children with Lasting Money Values” event. The event was well attended, with clients asking important questions based on their individual situations. BSW hosted the event at Boulder’s historic City Club building.

For many of BSW’s clients, the intersection of children, wealth and values is a topic very near and dear to the heart. It can also be a complex and sensitive road to navigate. To dig deeper into this topic, BSW partnered with Joan DiFuria and Peter Speek of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute. Joan and Peter specialize in the psychological issues and challenges of wealth for individuals, couples and families.

Great Conversation - Joan DiFuria Picture - 03.12.14
Joan DiFuria addresses the group, discussing multiple scenarios which illustrate the difficult decisions parents face surrounding healthy relationships with wealth for children and other family members.

When working with families, Joan and Peter emphasize a three step process. Taking inventory of the family assets is the first step. Importantly, this exercise reaches far beyond financial assets, including introspection into the human, intellectual and social assets of the family. Human assets include the core values of and relationships within the family while intellectual assets refer to each family member’s unique skills. Social assets include the family’s philanthropic endeavors. Joan and Peter then recommend conducting a series of family meetings aimed at discussing money issues such as sharing, saving, spending and wealth transfer. Ultimately, the goal of the family meetings is to produce a family mission statement. The third phase of the process is to develop strategies for financial parenting based on the family’s assets, behaviors and values.

Why is this work so important? The statistics are staggering – 65% of family wealth is lost by the second generation. By the third generation, more than 90% of estate value is lost and, even worse, the generation three can usually articulate very little about the values that accumulated the wealth. Beyond loss of wealth, studies have revealed that without proper coaching on the purpose and values around wealth, many next generations suffer from personal and emotional challenges similar to those raised in poverty.

BSW’s aim is to help families Make Life Better through healthy communication and succession planning so that future generations will continue to thrive.

Tina Ottersberg, Advisor

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