The Whitnell Way
Insights For Business Owners, Executives And Affluent Families
Viewing Blogs by Christy Pedersen
How Family Stories Protect Wealth For Future Generations
Trauma Stories Can Transmit Values That Guide Heirs’ Decisions
I’ve noticed that many of the families I’ve been privileged to serve share a common experience. Somewhere in their family history, a traumatic event impacted them. This event shaped the values of the generation who lived through it. But in many instances, that generation chose not to talk about it. The generations who follow are often minimally aware of the event or its significance.
The stories you tell your family make a statement. They tell your heirs what matters. If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t talk about it. If your family seeks to preserve wealth for generations to come, I’d like to suggest that telling the right stories can make a big difference. The stories can transmit values that guide the decisions of future generations, without being preachy. Here are some suggestions for developing those types of stories.
How To Preserve Family Stories And Why You Should Do It
The Link Between Values, Narratives And Preservation Of Family Wealth
I’ve always had a keen interest in my family’s history and began recording it when I was a teenager. Recently I started converting my grandfather’s old home movies into digital files. I wanted to preserve these family scenes for the generations who will follow me. I also reviewed notes and journals that my grandfather had written for his heirs. In these messages, I find my grandfather describing his morals and what he wanted us to know about his life and our family history.
He did this to communicate values, create family unity and give us an identity. But I believe he also did this to encourage his heirs to be good stewards of wealth. Among the clients I serve, this is a major concern. If you would like to preserve your family wealth for the generations to follow, telling family stories might be one of the most effective ways to do so. Here are some ideas to help you do this.
Whitnell Podcast: Insights With Christy Pedersen
Will Your Family Ruin Retirement And How To Prevent This?
In this podcast, originally aired on Chicago’s Premiere talk-radio station, WGN, Christy Pedersen discusses the stress that many people face when making decisions about retirement. Some of the biggest stressors come from the people we love the most, parents, children, siblings and dear family-friends we want to help. Many people struggle to know, with certainty, that the financial strategy they have in place today will actually allow them to live their desired lifestyle in retirement.
What Do I Do With Mom And Dad’s Money?
How Not To Feel Guilty And Truly Benefit From Your Inheritance
Many Americans will inherit some level of wealth from their parents’ estate. While this event should come as a source of comfort, for some people it is a mixed blessing. I counsel clients who are dealing with feelings of guilt and anxiety about their inheritance. The challenge seems to be that they know how much their parents sacrificed to provide the inheritance. This produces a deep sense of obligation to be wise with the money and even to make it stand for something, to honor their parents.
After working closely with numerous clients who are facing this situation, I’ve learned a number of lessons that I’d like to share with you. If you want your family inheritance to be a source of joy, comfort and protection from life’s uncertainties, here are five guiding principles to consider.
How Do You Measure And Maximize Impact?
Lessons Learned From Young Adult Financial Literacy Programs
Recently, I heard a story about a young man from Chicago’s inner city. He was fortunate to participate in a program that matched him with a successful mentor. One day they rode the elevator to the conference floor at the top of the Chase Tower where the mentor worked. Upon arriving and looking out the window, the young man could not help but exclaim: “Wow! Chicago is so amazing! I’ve lived here my whole life, this is the first time I’ve seen my city as beautiful.”
Before that mountaintop moment, all the young man had seen of Chicago was violence, poverty, and struggle. But that new view gave him hope for a brighter future. He suddenly saw what was out there in the world, as well as what might be possible for him personally. This caused me to ask myself – how am I impacting my clients so they have mountaintop moments and make a difference in the lives of others? Here are my perspectives.
How Do I Fit It All In?
Financial Guidance For Busy People
I recently moved from condo living in downtown Chicago to a single-family dwelling in the suburbs. This included a number of life changes for me. I love being outdoors in our yard when the birds sing. I enjoy the smell of freshly mown grass. It’s comforting to hear the cicadas and see families spending time together. I have friendly neighbors who’ve welcomed us with smiles, handshakes and even home grown tomatoes. The suburbs really do seem to support quality family living.
As much as I love my new life, there are many new demands on my time. Before moving, I daydreamed about all the hours I would spend reading under the pergola amongst the honeysuckle or playing board games as a family. That dream hasn’t quite come true.
How To Help Your Adult Child Through A Divorce
Key Considerations For Emotional And Financial Health
I recently helped a client guide his adult child, a daughter, through a divorce. I watched the two of them struggle with a range of issues including custody of children, the emotional burden of the breakup and how to protect the adult daughter’s financial interests.
Divorces are difficult and can drain a person’s energy and focus. This is where a parent can be a real help to their child, if the child is willing. In my experience, a parent can actually strengthen the bond with their child, and even their grandchildren, if the parent offers the right kind of support.
Will Your Family Ruin Your Retirement?
How To Reduce The Risk Of Aging Parents And Adult Children Consuming Your Retirement Income
When I meet with clients, I consistently hear this question: Christy, how do I know if I will have enough? My clients may be thinking about a traditional retirement full of travel, hobbies and time with grandchildren - or simply wondering if they can stop working for the money and start working for more deeply fulfilling reasons. It is a real concern.
Most of the families I’m privileged to serve are still building their wealth. They are earning incomes, saving and investing for the future. I can usually help these clients build a retirement plan based on some standard analyses and projections. But these first analyses and projections will always be based upon known factors, thing we can predict today.