Preserving your family values for handling money and wealth. Discover some simple practical activities you can do with your children to plant the values of Perpetual Wealth and Wise Stewardship even at a young age. Here is the link to get the children books discussed in this episode: https://www.life-benefits.com/store.html
Tom: Welcome to Wealth Talks where we talk about solutions, money and other things that create wealth in your life. John, today we’re going to talk about wealth and family.
John: Yes, a very important topic. One that is near and dear to many people’s hearts.
Tom: In fact, we just recently did a survey and found out that of 21 different things, this one came up near the top. Almost the very top. And so, I think it is important that we spend a little time discussing really what wealth means. Because a lot of people just think that wealth has to do with how much money you got in the bank account or how many Cadillacs or how many Escalades or how many airplanes or boats or whatever it is that you own.
John: But when you start to have a deeper conversation with people about what wealth really means to them, it means having some of those things of course but being able to do it with people that you love and do it for people that you love.
Tom: And we just met with a family the other day, Michelle and I did, and they had just lost their father, young family. I’ll tell you. Wealth does not mean money to that family. Wealth is all the memories and the relationships they had with their father and that’s important for us to realize as we’re thinking about what is it that we’re trying to accomplish in life. We can’t chase the dollar; the dollar is never going to buy us happiness and it’s never going to buy us success. It’s not even going to buy us a worry free world. Because the scripture tells us that if we focus on money, it will make itself like wings like an eagle and fly up to heaven.
Looking up what happiness, wealth, riches, abundance, prosperity, what does all that mean? And it all boils back down to a root word in the Middle English called wele, w-e-l-e. They all come from the same word. So, our health is part of our wealth. Our wellbeing, emotionally and spiritually is part of our wealth. The abundance that we have is not just in things that we can grab or hold, and fact is we got a great sign in one of our rooms in this house that says, all the most important things in life are not things. That’s what real wealth is. Now, can we produce more wealth if we manage our money well? Oh yes! Can we be happier if we manage our money well?
John: Of course, we can. Certainly we can!
Tom: But if we’re just focusing on getting the dollar then often what we’re really looking for, the real wealth, evades us. And so, when we’re working with people they want to know how are you different than everybody else. That’s the number one thing; it’s our value system. Our value system has to do with real wealth not money.
John: Oh, yes. A value system also ties in very much when we are talking about money and family too. Because when you look at very wealthy families’ people who have a lot of money, they often work together as a family to build that wealth together. But then when you look at that family a few generations later and the wealth doesn’t necessarily stay in the family.
You look at the Vanderbilts, he was a big railroad magnate in the 1800s here in America. You look at his family a few generations later and you won’t be able to tell the amount of wealth that he had passed on to them, it just doesn’t. It isn’t there anymore. Whereas other families, the Rothschild family is often mentioned, they’ve been able to keep wealth in the family a lot better. Maybe they don’t have some of the values that everybody agrees with but there’s no question that they’ve been able to keep more wealth in the family for a longer period of time. And that comes down to how we work with the family both now and planning for the future.
Tom: And that comes down to like you said, values. Do we value family or don’t we? If we’re just in the pursuit of creating lots of material possessions, there is no guarantee that those material possessions are going to be passed on. But if we’re in the business of creating value not only in financial things, material things but in relationships, then our chances of passing that wealth onto the next generation goes way up.
And that’s one of the big things, that’s why we’re so involved in life insurance. It’s because creating a legacy is part of good leadership. We talk to people now and again who say “Well, I don’t care about what happens to the next generation, I just want enough money to live on myself and want to spend all the money and maybe even let the check to the undertaker bounce.”
John: That’s not a wealthy mentality.
Tom: It’s not a wealthy mentality. That’s a scarcity mentality. The only thing that can overcome scarcity in our life, and scarcity is a law of the universe. But the only thing that can overcome that is the law of abundance, prosperity, wellbeing, happiness, that Middle English word, wele, w-e-l-e. That is the contrast to the law of scarcity. And when we can really connect with that and focus on that then the law of scarcity doesn’t affect us as much.
John: That’s right. So, bringing this down to a more practical level, people who are building wealth in their lives right now, whether they’re doing it with their life insurance policies like many of our clients are so that they are building their wealth now and for the next generation. But what can they do to permeate their family values and make sure that those pass on to their children in a way where the legacy that they want to leave them someday is not going to destroy their kids or their grandkids.
Tom: There’s a story that Jesus told that I think about often, actually there’s two stories. One says that, you don’t put new wine in an old wine skin. If you do, the old skin is burst as the wine expands and you ruin both the skin and the wine. You put new wine into a new wine skin so that it can stretch and grow and mold according to how that skin is loose and pliable.
A lot of people want to have a lot more in their life whether its value of relationships, money, whatever it is, but they are not willing to change. And so, that’s an old wine skin mentality coming in and wanting something different and it’s not going to happen.
John: It’s going to break the old wine skin.
Tom: It’s going to break the old wine skin. The other story that Jesus talked about is He talked about how of the children of this age are more shrewd with the money that they manage than the children of light. And that they understand that sometimes you have to, and the story is in Luke 16 if you want to read it. But it’s about a servant who was going to lose his position and all of a sudden, he realized that he can cut his commissions, make his boss happy and keep his job.
The thing is that we have to give people what they want in order to get what we want in life. Zig Ziglar used to talk about that a lot. If I can help enough other people get what they want that’s creating value for the people, then we’ll get what we want in life too.
But if we start out looking at how much can I get for myself at the expense of someone else which is the mentality of the stock market, ok, and speculation and the gaming industry that we see so much of here in Las Vegas. How can I get something that’s someone else’s? That’s the wrong way to go about creating wealth. In fact, statistically we know that people that win the lottery or a game or do very well in speculation are worse off five, six years down the road, they’ve never done it in the first place.
John: Yes. And so, for families with young children, one of the things that’s important is to share even stories that have morals, the good morals that instill the values that you want your children to have as far as money goes and things like that. So that’s why Gracine and Eva have written books, some children’s books that distill important facts about money at a level that children can understand.
Tom: And that came about because our contacts, our prospects and clients they say, “How can we start teaching our children the value of money?” Well how do we teach them values at all, and that is through enlightening them about what really is important in this life. So we have Grandma’s Coffee Can that my daughter Anna wrote and illustrated with lots of pertinent questions for you to have a discussion with your child about what is really important. How do you handle someone in life that’s just taken advantage of you, without acting like you’ve got your nose up in the air?
And then of course Gracine’s latest book, What I Heard in the Hall, is really good because it’s a Dr. Seuss style story, very entertaining as it goes through and explains ‘what are the values in life’. How can we focus on those and get our children to start thinking about all the things that create happiness, prosperity, abundance, wellbeing and wealth in our lives.
John: And so, for those of you listening to the podcast you can get these books on our website store. Go to life-benefits.com and then find the store, it’s under, I think, the Resources tab and then you’ll be able to get the books there. Now as your children get older, one of the things that’s very powerful, something that our parents had us do. I’m speaking as a son here, is they had us carry, they gave us a fairly large sum of money to carry around with us.
It wasn’t our money but it was money that was entrusted to us that we were to carry around and safeguard. That taught us that we didn’t have to spend everything that came into our hands, it’s a very important lesson that your children can learn as they get to be older. I’m thinking around age 10 is when they probably gave us money to start carrying around.
Tom: Yeah. It depends on the child’s maturity level and their responsibility level, but the sooner that we can do that for a child, the sooner it allows them to see that the finances and the material things that come into our life are not really ours; we’re just stewards of them. And when we learn that we don’t have to spend it all or use it all as soon as it comes into contact with us, it allows us to learn the discipline of savings. And that is the most critical measure that is missing in Americanism, is the fact that we do not save enough money.
Now some people hoard things and that’s different than saving and some people invest and that’s different than savings, but as a general rule in 1976 Americans save 14.7% of their income. Today it fluctuates in between being negative and up to about 2%. Huge, huge difference and that is going to be the demise of our society if we don’t train younger individuals to realize the power of saving. In fact, as Robert Shiller of the Nobel Prize winner in economics said, that that’s the number one thing Americans need to do is save more money.
John: Yes. So, carrying the money around helps children to be more comfortable with money, certainly helped me to be more comfortable with it, and not to feel like they have to spend it when they do get it, doesn’t burn a hole in their pocket. Then as they get older I think it’s very important that they spend time with their parents and see what their parents are doing with money. That’s the other thing that you did for us as we came alongside and worked with you. A lot of people think that they have to spend more time with their children, but often it’s the children that need to spend more time with the parents. And it can be a very exciting time, it doesn’t have to be a boring long drawn out process.
Tom: Not if you do it on a regular basis. And we tried to do that once a week, where we would sit down and reconcile what we had spent with what we’ve made so that we could see the ins and outs. It’s kind of like a balance sheet in the business. And so we knew who we were, we knew that one of us couldn’t go out and spend more money than what was there. And it was not a time to pick on what the other person had spent, it was a time to sit down and see what our living expenses were so that what was left over could be saved or could be spent on something more pleasurable for the family.
And as your children came along and became part of that, it helped you to become more responsible and see that money is not the issue, it’s where our values are. And the sad thing is that money in 97% of all divorces is listed as one of the major causes of the divorce. So if we can create a positive happy feeling around dealing with money then we will have more wealth, we will have more abundance, we will have more prosperity. Because again all those things come from the same Middle English word.
John: Yes, very good. All right well, hopefully that gives our listeners some ideas as they work with their children and their family to expand their values about money and how to handle money, so it can create true wealth in their life. It’s an important facet of true wealth. If you have a lot of money but you’ve lost your family, how wealthy would you be? Not very wealthy.
Tom: You know when you talk to people that have made lots of money, and we talk to millionaires all the time, okay. They’re not concerned about the money, if they’ve made it themselves they’re concerned about what making that money made them. Because once they have been made, if they lost it all they could make it again. Because the money means nothing.
For those of us that have made a lot of money it’s not the money that counts, it’s the relationships and what it turned us into be. And that
goes back to the old wine skin or the new wine skin. Let’s be new wine skins so that we can be filled up to overflowing because the more resources that we have the more people we can help. And you can never help too many people in life.
John: That’s right. Alright, well those are some great lessons, a lot to chew on, especially for people who are wanting to implement these values into their family, more so if their family is better with money. It can be a huge generational thing and we have to think long term for that to be able to happen.
Tom: Well, have a great week and we’ll be back right here next week to talk more about solutions, money and other things that create wealth in your life.