RETIREMENT TIPS: Women, Wealth and Legacy Planning

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AlanKondo-238x300By ALAN KONDO, CFP, CLU

Whether nurturing the values of children, fulfilling charitable goals, or making investment decisions that affect their own as well as their beneficiaries’ financial security, women play a central role in establishing and preserving family wealth. Consider these statistics:¹

● Women now control more than half of the investment wealth in the United States.

● 48% of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35% controlled by men.

● Some estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.

These and other trends magnify the need for women to be involved, informed, and comfortable with their role as guardians of family wealth. Active participation in wealth management can strengthen women’s commitment to protect and grow their assets with the goal of leaving a legacy for their children, their community, and beyond.

Best Practices in Legacy Planning

The following strategies may help assure the smooth transfer of your wealth — and your values surrounding wealth — to the next generation.

Education leads to confidence. Attaining financial security for you and your heirs typically requires you to accept responsibility for the management of significant investment assets. Whether you are single, married, or a surviving widow, it is in your best interest to obtain as much education as possible about wealth planning, investments, and related matters. Even if you are not directly responsible for making important financial decisions, it is vital to have knowledge in these areas in order to communicate effectively with professional advisors charged with these duties.

Professionals offer objective, qualified services. Relying on professional advice as opposed to family and friends is extremely important when making decisions affecting the accumulation, preservation, and distribution of wealth. What should you expect from a qualified professional? A good Certified Financial Planner™ — in a team with other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants — should offer guidance and services in most areas of wealth management, including estate planning, retirement planning, insurance needs assessment, and college planning. On a more personal note, a Certified Financial Planner™ should work closely with you to:

● Identify areas requiring special assistance, such as creating trusts.

● Minimize taxes and planning costs.

● Develop and implement a personalized wealth management plan.

● Review your plan periodically and suggest changes when needed.

Children should learn about the responsibilities of wealth. Wealth is a gift that opens doors of opportunity not only for you, but also for your children, their children, and generations to come. Yet wealth can be a weighty responsibility that takes time to manage, maintain, and preserve. If you are a parent, you are no doubt concerned about the effects of wealth on your children’s values and how the money lessons you pass on to them will resonate as they mature to adulthood. Your Certified Financial Planner™ should be willing to work with you to educate your children and guide them towards their own success.

Family values should be held in the same high regard as family wealth. Family values — those traits, beliefs, goals, and morals that are shared by members of a family group — define a family’s character as much as dollar signs measure a family’s wealth. By holding shared values in high regard and setting an example of commitment to financial responsibility, philanthropy, and volunteerism for the younger generation, you will enrich your family’s legacy for generations to come.

A Woman’s Worth

As stewards of the family legacy, women are in a unique and influential position. They are holders of great wealth as well as keepers of the family’s moral and philanthropic vision. There are many financial, accounting, legal, and business tools to assist women in implementing a plan of action. Contact a Certified Financial Planner™ for guidance in mapping out a legacy planning strategy unique to your situation.

This information is not intended as legal or tax advice and should not be treated as such. You should contact your Certified Financial Planner™, attorney and CPA to discuss your personal situation.

¹ The American College, Te Wealth Channel Magazine, “Women and Money: Research reveals unmet opportunities and risks,” by Mary Quist-Newins, CLU©, ChFC©, CFP©, Director, State Farm©Center for Women and Financial Services, Spring 2010.

The opinions expressed above are solely those of Kondo Wealth Advisors, LLC (626-449-7783, [email protected]), a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of California. Neither Kondo Wealth Advisors, LLC nor its representatives provide legal, tax or accounting advice.

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