The 4 Factor Wealth Plan: Family

Last month we introduced the four factors to consider in a wealth plan.

They are:

  1. Career 

  2. Family 

  3. Home

  4. Retirement

We’ve already discussed the importance of establishing a career that’s aligned with your passion. This month we will discuss how your family can impact your financial plan.

Trying to create definite plans can be tricky here.  Sometimes having children can be difficult and sometimes they just show up.  However, I think you must have a discussion concerning your wants. I met a young couple who said when they first married, one spouse wanted no children and the other wanted a large family. That’s a wide river to cross.  They now have two healthy children. The “no-children” spouse says it is the best thing to ever happen. The “large-family” spouse says, “What was I thinking?”

And because these four factors are interconnected, we must also consider how your career impacts your family.

Another thing to consider is how your career impacts your family.

Some careers demand heavy travel.  This might seem exciting at first. Unfortunately, it becomes a challenge when you have a family, and only becomes more challenging over time. The hard part is when your career keeps you away from your children and you miss out on them growing up.  Other careers require long, demanding hours that cause burn-out.

I had a client who worked in an industry that historically demanded 80-hour work weeks. Don’t get me wrong, he was paid very well. Once he was the CEO, he decided to change that, as he had personally experienced the negative impact on employee’s families. The company’s Board of Directors said, “That’s not our problem.”

The long-range career obligations need to be honestly thought through.  

How does this tie to wealth planning? The career compensation sets the standard of living for yourself and your family. The CEO I spoke of earlier found it very difficult to move to lower-paying positions that gave him more time with the family. This all circles back to money – the leading cause of marital spats.

Start out on the right track.