In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that $59 trillion will transfer from generation to generation by 2061. But a legacy is far more than zeros and commas.
Your legacy isn’t just the assets you leave, but also the life that you live, the moments you share, and the values you instill. In this episode, Greg explores the true meaning of legacy — and how you can use the Plan, Live and Give strategy to be the architect of your legacy and have a positive, purposeful and authentic impact on the world.
Confluence Financial Partners — The True Meaning of Legacy | Episode #22
Greg: Hello, and welcome to the Imagine That podcast. I’m your host, Greg Weimer, founder, partner, and wealth manager at Confluence Financial Partners. Each month, we’ll explore new ways to help you maximize your life and your legacy and meet some extraordinary people along the way. So if you’re looking to get more out of your life today and legacy tomorrow, let’s get started.
Today, we’re gonna talk about legacy. And before you turn this off, because if I heard legacy, what is that? Boy sounds boring. Sounds complicated. From a practical matter, I was actually looking at the dictionary this morning and looking up legacy and some of the definitions, they are boring, but at the end of the day, it’s really a simple concept. And in the, and simple concept is our parents all told us when you arrive at a place, you always wanna leave it better than the way you found it.
You always wanna leave a place better than the way you found it. And folks, listeners, please understand at the end of the day, that’s your legacy, it’s your legacy. And, you know, Confluence Financial Partners, we pride ourselves in helping people maximize their lives and maximize their legacies. I think one of the things we do well is we don’t just look at your portfolios, a bunch of zeros and commas. We look at your portfolio and say, how is this gonna support maximizing your life and maximizing your legacy? So at the end of the day, your legacy is, did you make, did you make an impact? Did you make it a better place? So in thinking about today’s conversation, I thought about three words. And if you could just think about three words as it pertains to your legacy, I think it’ll help you be the architect of your legacy and they are Plan, Live and Give.
If you want to be the architect of your legacy — Plan, Live and Give. Let me go through ’em quickly. Plan. Why is that so important? You’ve heard these numbers over and over again, and we’ve shared ’em multiple times and I’m gonna read for you, to you just so I get it exactly correct. In a study of wealthy families, the Williams Group Wealth Consultancy found that 70% of well-to-do families lose their wealth by the second generation, by the third generation, 90%. I’ll do that again. You’ve heard these numbers before. 70% of wealth is squandered in the second generation, 90% in the third. Only way around that is you need to plan. It’s not only squandered giving too much of it to the government, but unfortunately, generations are not prepared. How do you get around that? You plan through estate, we have multiple estate tax attorneys.
We use, we act as point guard. We work with them with you to make sure that your money is passed to the next generation and the generation after that, the way you expect it to be passed along. Also, number one reason that that they’re squandered by the way, is lack of communication. We also help facilitate communication with your family. You know, I’ve said over and over again, we have a family meeting at the Weimer house. So we’d love to help you have a family meeting. Do you really talk about, at your family meeting, what your priorities are? Do you really talk about — oh, one of the things we’re doing right now, which I think is really exciting, we use something called Personalysis we’re getting certified in, where we can come in and we can help your family improve communications by understanding and learning the way each family member communicates differently.
So like ours is on Sunday. So if the Weimer kids are listening, we’re gonna, we’re gonna analyze how we all communicate. Maybe try to communicate a little bit better. And this is important because not only is it squandered, I think a lot of people, they say, well, this money to hopefully leave this bequest. And they think their children — I’m telling you this happens, we see it every day — they think their children’s gonna think this is awesome, but, but they don’t. Sometimes it’s not viewed as a blessing. Sometimes it’s actually viewed as a burden. So allow us to help you. Let’s put the right people in the room. And let’s make sure that we are helping you not be that statistic and avoid that and make sure that your children and your heirs, whoever they are, look at your bequest as a blessing.
And it really is, end up being a great legacy. And by the way, that’s all about planning. It’s all about planning and, and you need to work with advisors by the way, that are thinking 50 years out or a hundred years out. Like you have to be thinking, you can’t be thinking over about an advisor like it — you know, I guess it, it goes both ways. If you work with someone too young, maybe they’re not experienced enough. You work with too old, someone too old, they may not be here for your children in 50 years. So you have to make sure that when you’re planning, you’re planning on the right team of advisors, which is why that’s the way we do it at Confluence.
The second one was live, you know, spoiler alert: life and legacy. They overlap, right? Like it’s not about money.
Like it’s not all about money. Yeah. I talked about that first because it, you know, it’s such a huge responsibility to the next generation, but, but it’s more than just money. It’s also the way you live. If you think about your grandparents, God bless their souls. If you think about them, you think about your family dinners. You think, think about having dinner on Sundays, right? You think about maybe your vacations that you took together, a lesson that they taught you. A recipe that they passed on. I mean that with my mom and dad and my Nonna and Pappy, that’s what I think about. I think about when I would paint houses with my dad. I mean, that, that’s a legacy! That, that memory’s a legacy. I think about our whole family going on vacation. That’s, that’s one of the things we realized at our family, like a big part of our legacy is spending time together. You know, great Thanksgiving, it was a while ago, I get it, but great Thanksgiving. We were, we were on vacation, and we had Thanksgiving dinner by the swimming pool in Naples. Killer legacy. And now we were spending their inheritance, but I’ll bet you, they would rather have that memory than whatever amount of money they would inherit that’s greater than that. So really thinking about your life, the way you live, is your legacy. It’s not just the bequest. It could be your career. It could be the lessons. It could be the time. That’s your legacy, the way you live.
The final thing, Give. So many people just participate in checkbook charity. I think the real legacy is the difference we can make through philanthropy. And that needs to be planned and organized for. Do you have a donor-advised fund? Oh man. Is that a good idea just to get started with your family, because then in your family meeting, you can talk about like how you want that money to be managed. Guess what? That helps your children and the next generation think about how they manage money. Cuz they’re managing this donor-advised fund. The donor-advised fund goes on in time and it makes an impact on philanthropy. It should be part of the family plan, just not only money, like there’s this, there’s this guy, Father Mike, we’ll call him. And he’s man, what the difference he’s making. He has the, and I feel like this is a positive virus going on around the, around the world right now. He has people listening to the Bible over the next year and he’s reading the Bible over the next year. And I can’t — someone in the room is nodding — I can’t believe how many people, this guy, you wanna talk about his legacy? He has America listening to the Bible. I mean, holy moly, everywhere I go, the people are talking about Father Mike.
So anyhow, he’s changing the world. So if you think about your legacy, be the architect. Let’s make an impact. You’ve saved, you’ve worked, you’ve earned all of this wealth. This wealth is not just zeros in commas. This wealth is about making a difference and leaving the place better than when you found it, leaving your family better than when you found it. And, and at the end of the day, if you just think about: let’s plan together, let’s plan, right? Let’s make sure we have a plan. Let’s communicate with our family. Two. Live. Let’s really win every day. Let’s think about how we’re living and realizing whether, you know, you are leaving a legacy. You’re leaving a legacy. It’s, you know, and so, you know, just, just think about those memories and those experiences and those lessons and your career and that’s all part of your life.
And that’s part of your legacy. And then let’s think about how we’re really giving back. And let’s think about how we’re gonna bend the curve on some charities, you know, through other podcasts. We’re very passionate here about several charities. You know, we’re, we’re all involved in a lot of charities at Confluence. One of the ones I’m passionate about, I wanna bend the curve on mental health. I think it’s the pandemic that’s not going away and we all need to get together on that. So if you think about Plan, Live and Give — at the end of the day, we’ll make an impact. And my goal today was nothing more than help you think. To think about your legacy and offer our help in helping you be the architect of your legacy every step of the way. Thanks for listening.
Thank you for listening to the Imagine That podcast. We hope you enjoyed this episode and welcome you to reach out to Confluence Financial Partners with your questions and comments. If you’d like to hear more episodes, head over to ConfluenceFP.com/podcasts, or find us wherever you get your podcasts.