Exceptionally affluent families can use a wide variety of elite wealth planning strategies regularly used by the super-rich as legal tactics and financial products as approaches become more mainstream. These reports are provided is association with Virtual Family Office Inner Circle, a global financial concierge group engaged in research on strategies for addressing key concerns of successful families.
Elite Wealth Planning—What it is, Why it Matters
Elite wealth planning can play a key role in the lives of today’s highly successful individuals and families — as well as those who are on the path toward great professional success. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at just what elite wealth planning is — how it works and how it can potentially have a powerful impact on your life and your family as you seek to build, preserve and protect your wealth and your legacy.
Here’s Why Your Estate Plan May Need Updating
Estate planning—the process for how your wealth is transferred to family and causes you care deeply about — can be important for anyone who wants to be as sure as they can be that their loved ones are provided and cared for adequately after their demise. When done well, estate planning allows you both to pass on your assets in the best way, and to minimize the bite of federal and state income taxes and sometimes estate taxes that accompanies transfer of significant wealth. Your estate plan may not be preparing you as you may think according to what you want today. That’s because over half of the estate plans among those surveyed are more than three years old.
Choosing the Best Executor for Your Estate
Here’s an uncomfortable reality you must come to accept: Someday — hopefully in the distant future — you are going to die. The good news: You can make that event easier on your family and heirs by taking a few simple steps. One of the best ways, financially, to prepare today for that day is to choose who will be the executor of your estate for yourself. Unfortunately, that is a frequently overlooked or under appreciated aspect of estate planning—which can spell trouble for your family and your wealth if not done or if not done thoughtfully.
Tax-Wise Charitable Giving, with Informed Planning
Americans—especially the affluent and wealthy — are among the most charitable people in the world. Chances are, you may support causes, communities, or organizations that are important to you and lives you want to touch. Here’s how to evaluate the effectiveness of the contributions you give — along with approaches that could potentially magnify and leverage your philanthropy many times over.
The Power of Charitable Remainder Trusts
A growing number of individuals and families want to use some of their wealth to support the causes and organizations they care about most. From helping those less fortunate to facilitating scientific breakthroughs, from promoting spiritual causes to sharing the arts, philanthropy is a core value for many. Here’s a closer look at one philanthropic tool that many charitably minded people and families use: charitable remainder trusts. CRTs can be extremely useful and powerful wealth planning tools that allow you to have a major impact on a charity you value while also providing benefits like lower taxes and a regular income stream for retirement.
Testing Your Wealth Planning for Stressful Times
When making critical planning decisions, knowing steps that extremely affluent families often take to protect and securely grow their wealth may also apply to you. Consider the technique of “stress testing,” for example. Stress testing is a process that
carefully examines the wealth strategies you already have in place to assess how well or the likelihood that they’ll deliver the results you expected in a range of different environments.
The Super-Rich Stress Test Their Planning
– So Should You!
The Super Rich (those with a net worth of $500 million or more) who have family offices typically engage a sizable lineup of professional advisors to help them create and implement financial plans. To help ensure those plans are both state-of-the-art as well as in ine with their needs and wants, many of them regularly “stress test” these plans. Here’s why you should join them in that effort — even if you’re not nearly as wealthy.
Three Big Fears of the Ultra Wealthy
– and How They Deal With Them
Significant wealth can reduce many troubles in life—but trouble can’t be eliminated. Even the richest have things they fear. More to the point: many of those fears, worries and concerns are the same as the rest of us. But there is one difference. In our experience working with the Ultra Wealthy — people with a net worth of at least $500 million — frequently take highly effective steps to address those worries and, quite often, overcome them. So here’s a look at three fears these people tell us they struggle with — and some ways they combat those concerns.
Why You Need a ‘Business Plan’ for Your Family
How is a family like a business? Both need smart planning to succeed, survive and thrive. The fact is, it’s harder to raise kids in the digital age when communities aren’t as tight-knit as they once were. As the rising rate of suicide among teens reveals, children are both struggling more and feeling less certain about how to cope with their problems. But you can turn the tide. Learn how to create a family plan that can potentially strengthen existing parent-child bonds, repair any bridges that need fixing, and instill more resiliency and competency in your kids. The end result: A better family dynamic that empowers children to overcome those moments when they struggle — without resorting to dangerous behaviors that could turn them into a statistic.
The Value of Multigenerational Family Meetings
The decisions families make about their wealth—how to manage, transfer and spend it—can lead to serious conflicts among family members. With affluence comes the risk of family in-fighting that can damage a family’s financial position and even ruin intra-family relationships forever. The good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. Discover a formal process used by ultra-wealthy families to educate heirs and potential heirs about sound financial decision-making, to identify shared family financial values and to maintain (and grow) family wealth in a unified and harmonious manner.
Preparing Heirs for Their Inheritance
Inheriting money comes with plenty of benefits. From being less stressed about paying for life’s necessities to enjoying more than a few luxuries of affluence, inheritors often find that many of life’s stumbling blocks are no longer in their paths. That said, an inheritance does not automatically mean an easy, worry-free life. Inheriting substantial wealth often create unique challenges and conflicts for your family.
How Playing the Long Game Can Grow Success
Many extremely wealthy people have a much better handle than most on a key concept of achieving success: playing the long game. For them, the long game begins with a clear vision of their ideal future down the road—that may be years or even decades from now — and taking carefully considered, action steps at every stage along the way specifically aligned with their vision that enhances their ability to get there.
Sudden Wealth — What If You Strike It Rich?
While sudden wealth may sound like a dream come true, it’s often accompanied by serious challenges resulting from the “sudden” aspect of that money. With sudden wealth, everything about being rich — the good and the bad — happens all at once. In contrast, most
people who build wealth slowly are able to address issues and concerns incrementally over time.
The Importance of Personal Umbrella Policies
What would happen if you or your child caused a car accident that resulted in serious injuries or the deaths of others? How would you pay for the treatment and damages of someone who was hurt in your home and claimed negligence? What happens when they claim to have suffered greatly because of the injury? What if your dog was attacked by a stranger on your property and bit the person in self-defense—but you were still sued? These are questions that anyone could face. However, one component of a wealth protection plan that is often overlooked or underused — even by the affluent — is the umbrella policy.
Three Questions to Answer Before You Purchase Life Insurance
Life insurance can be an extremely important, even essential, part of your financial planning. Its most attractive aspect for most individuals and families is the policy death benefit—the guaranteed money that the insurance company pays out in the event of the insured’s demise. But navigating the life insurance landscape can be tricky — and people often make costly mistakes. In order to make smart life insurance decisions, there are three questions you need to ask yourself and answer.
Smart Ways to Build a Moat Around Your Wealth
Have you taken steps to protect the assets you have worked so hard to build? Chances are, you know someone who has been sued. Maybe that someone is you. The fact is, your enviable position as a successful person comes with a major downside: You’re a potential magnet
for lawsuits—which may very well be frivolous and unfounded—and other attacks that can wreak havoc on your financial health. That means you need to take steps to protect the assets you’ve worked so hard to build. Otherwise, you may jeopardize the financial security of yourself and your family.
Smart Ways to Take Control of a Trust
As you may know, trusts can be a good tool for minimizing taxes, transferring wealth and protecting assets. You may have already set up a trust, or you may hold an inheritance you received in a trust created decades ago. One challenge can arise when families give up more control over their trusts than they need to, which can potentially put their goals for their trusts at risk. This report, Smart Ways to Take Control of a Trust, sets out three options for helping ensure that you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to maximizing your trust’s effectiveness.
Finding the Right Work-Life Balance
The “work first, life second” mantra guides far too many of us these days — from driven entrepreneurs to ladder-climbing professionals to overcommitted parents. One result: little to no time for spouses, family, friends, self-care and other vital parts of living our best lives and enjoying an abundant lifestyle.
Work Smarter – Not Harder!
Reclaim your time and energy to live your best life. Each of us has just 168 hours per week to accomplish our tasks and goals—at work, at home and out in the community. If you feel like you spend too much of that time on things that don’t add value to your life, you’re not alone. The good news: It’s easier than ever to generate stronger results, both personally and professionally, while actually making less effort.
Buy Experiences, Not More Stuff. Here’s Why.
When we spend money, we’re doing more than simply buying things. We create feelings of happiness, satisfaction and well-being for ourselves. But are we spending money in ways that are really achieving those results? The answer, unfortunately, is probably not much
or even most of the time. As one world-famous Japanese “tidying expert” might say, our spending habits don’t spark joy. The good news: We can adjust the way we spend so our purchases deepen our happiness and help us experience more satisfaction in our lives.
A Common Sense Guide to Heart Health
It’s been said that a man with health has a thousand dreams, while a man with no health has but one. Don’t you owe it to yourself, your family, your career and your community to have not only a thousand dreams, but also the energy and engagement to make them happen?
Few would dispute that, to live our best lives, we need to be healthy enough to be fully engaged with our jobs, our loved ones and the world around us. And yet, how many of us regularly forsake lifestyle choices that could help us achieve great things? We may be proactive in other parts of our lives, but we wait until there is a problem to pay attention to our own health.
What to Do When Your Doctor Has Bad News
Certainly, none of us ever wants to face a medical crisis. However, it’s quite likely that you or a loved one will someday receive a serious health diagnosis. And when that happens, it’s important to know what to do. See how to get a handle on the best steps to take to smooth out the treatment process, along with how to find the help you would need
Insightful Questions That Can Ramp Up Your Success
We all find ourselves in conversations where it’s important to connect with and understand the other person while still communicating our own aims and point of view. The secret is to ask very insightful questions—and then to be an engaged listener. Gain insight into the most important questions you can ask, along with why, how and when to ask them, to build rapport and increase the chance of generating positive outcomes.
Estate Planning: Don’t Forget Your Pet!
If you are part of the 68 percent of U.S. households that own a pet,* you probably think of it as a true member of the family—one you love and cherish. But what would happen to that cherished family member if you died suddenly? Have you taken any steps to ensure the family dog, cat, horse or other animal will be well taken care of if it outlives you?