AS more people become conscious of their financial wellness, the importance of building a firm financial foundation for themselves and loved ones remains top of mind.
For many individuals, especially parents who want their children to have more opportunities than they did, leaving a legacy for the future generation is an ultimate goal. According to financial experts, when a person achieves this goal it is called generational wealth — passing on meaningful assets to the next generation in a family.
But for many families, there has never been any money, real estate, securities, or family businesses to pass on, so the current generation must build the family's wealth. Building generational wealth involves asset acquisition and saving money beyond retirement needs which can be passed on to future generations.
This sometimes is easier said than done, especially in light of the current economic situation. Though this can be a daunting topic for many, fortifying your family's financial strength can be achieved.
Below, Eugenia Wilson, wealth advisor, Sagicor Investments, and Tiffany Lawson, financial advisor at Sagicor Life Jamaica, outline five tips for building wealth and changing the trajectory of your family's financial security.
1. Get comfortable learning about money
Generational wealth isn't just monetary — it's also knowledge. Spend time to learn about money and how to invest it wisely. Not many of us were taught about money and managing finances, but understanding how it works beyond buying and selling items will aid in wealth building.
“After learning how to manage money and invest for yourself, you will be better equipped to teach your children about money and personal finance, and empower them to multiply the wealth you build,” Wilson said.
2. Invest while you can, when you can
A little goes a long way, and a few thousands today could lead to millions in the future. Starting your investment portfolio right now could be your first step to creating generational wealth. Investing in real estate and the stock market are good financial tools to build wealth for the long term. Real estate is an appreciating asset that will almost always allow you to turn a profit given its many capabilities; while being a part of the stock market will allow you to benefit from the profits of the companies listed.
“Many persons tell themselves they'll wait until they hit their first million to start investing, but the truth is many of us never get there. No matter how small, there's an investment option for everyone. Get started today,” Wilson encouraged.
3. Purchase life insurance.
Make the effort to invest in life insurance now to safeguard your family's financial future. Illness, unsettled debt, and burial expenses can put a financial burden on your family, and having life insurance can lessen that financial load.
“Life insurance provides financial protection for your loved ones in the event of your passing. Also, with asset acquisition comes the necessity for cash in your estate for expenses such as estate taxes,” Lawson shared.
4. Put aside money for your child's education — open a trust fund.
A trust fund is a vehicle that can take you to your destination of generational wealth using varying assets. Lawson explained that putting aside money for your child's education is a sure-fire way to avoid passing on generational debt, which can be a disadvantage to the child after completing school. It also safeguards against your child not being able to pursue higher education because of a lack of funding.
“A college education sets up your children to be able to provide for themselves; education is something that can never be taken away. If you can help your children get through university with minimal or no debt, then you are helping to set them up for a brighter and more financially stable future,” she said.
5. Teach your children about money.
Explaining concepts such as savings, budgets and goal setting will help your children to learn good money practices. Try starting early by giving them a small allowance to manage or giving financial incentives for extra chores or finishing homework early so they understand the concept of hard work.
“It makes no sense acquiring this wealth for future generations if you're not teaching your children how to manage that wealth properly. If they don't learn proper money management skills, it is likely the wealth you leave for them will be reduced significantly throughout their lifetime,” Lawson shared.
Although the amount of wealth you can accumulate will depend on several factors, it can become your reality if you are willing to commit yourself to it.
The financial and wealth advisors encouraged people to seek help from financial professionals to develop the wealth-building strategies that work best for their families, based on their income and financial situation.