Recently, I shared the most common question I get asked in my line of work: when do I tell my children what they're inheriting? This post is about the biggest follow up question: where do I begin?
From my perspective, there are two main approaches to getting started with next gen education and engagement, the business/literacy approach, and the legacy approach.
Let's start with the business approach. In this approach, we look at the basic financial literacy of the group. To do this, we need to start with an assessment of the group's general understanding. I've developed a proprietary assessment of financial literacy that I can tailor to the individual needs of clients and families addressing topics that range from personal finance, such as budgeting and bill pay, to the basics of investing in the public and private markets. The assessment is designed to get an idea of areas of required learning, as well as what the clients in question may want to explore. Post assessment, we develop short and long term goals for literacy, and design a plan to get there in the most efficient manner possible.
The other approach is my preferred starting point. Beginning with a deep dive into where the family was, is, and wants to be in the future often helps determine which areas of financial literacy are most important. In this approach, we begin with family history and a family tree, and move forward into the present before we think about the future. It is important to listen and be openminded to the thoughts of the young people, particularly the young adults, about their vision of the future, and find ways to marry those views with the legacy of the family. Once we've established a vision, we can prioritize areas of literacy accordingly.
Neither of these approaches are the wrong way to start, but you would be remiss if you neglect either assessment, or legacy planning in the early stages of engagement.
Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments or if you would like to learn more about my work.