Our country is one of consumption. We buy, we use, we throw away. Unfortunately, this mentality has led to a society where over half of Americans lack a stock portfolio and where we are judged not just on our buying power but what we do with it. After all, who wants to sock money away for retirement when the new iPhone 7 just came out? So, in a culture where nearly half of all Americans have no retirement savings, we must stop and ask; what’s going on here? This question may be best answered by an Anthropologist or Sociologist, but we can still learn a lot by just looking at the numbers:
- 45% of working-age American households have no retirement account savings
- 53% of all Americans have no stock investments
- $403.35 is how much the average American spent on Black Friday in 2015.
What do these numbers say? Most obviously, they tell us we’re better at spending than saving. And all this spending doesn’t necessarily improve our lives – in meaningful ways at least. So, the lesson to be learned here is simple; it’s easier to spend than to save. And all that spending takes a toll no just on our finances, but on our planet, as well. In the US alone we generate 220 million tons of waste a year, with over half of it ending up in landfills. Think about that the next time you buy a cheaply made, “disposable” item.
Saving for retirement and avoiding over-consumption, however, is easier said than done. Making a real difference is a result of making better choices, consistently. While it’s hard to see the benefit of saving a few dollars here and there, it does add up over time. I can put an amazing estate plan together to enable a client to pass on their wealth to the next generation, but if I don’t help that same client conserve – or better yet, build – wealth, there may be nothing left to pass. So, part of my job, at least, is to help clients improve their financial position throughout their lifetime, as well as help ensure the financial validity of their estate plan.
At my firm, we don’t just draft documents. We ensure clients make informed and empowered decisions about life. That includes their estate plan, finances, legal issues, and everything else that affects their ability to protect and provide for the people they love most in the world. By taking that holistic approach, we are able to be a part of real transformation – not only in the lives of our clients but for their extended families, too. That’s exciting stuff.
Dedicated to empowering your family, enhancing your wealth and embedding your legacy,