The current life expectancy for adults in the U.S. is around 76 years old.¹ We have gained roughly 25 years of additional life expectancy in this country over just the last century. This is an amazing statistic when we think of how our lives have expanded in such a short period of time. For some
Greater comfort. Isn’t that what we all seek in this new era, where a rogue virus can shut down the entire world in a matter of months? Where our portfolios can be cut in half in a matter of weeks? And, where we have so many messages and so much noise coming at us in just a matter of minutes, we don’t know who to believe or trust. Particularly in times of chaos or when so much seems out of our control, it is natural to seek comfort. It’s what’s sold to us. But it can come at a high price.
On June 25th , Wealth Architects turned 16. It is hard to believe we have reached adolescence as it seems like it was just yesterday that we opened our doors. In many cultures the coming of age is an important milestone – the transition between childhood and adulthood which can often be a very meaningful yet difficult transition. Reflecting on our anniversary, I am struck how similar this transition is now for Wealth Architects.
At Wealth Architects, we hold a “University” every year where we dive deep into subjects that help our clients live wealthier lives beyond just financial stability. Years back, we created a 10-point framework for navigating family money conversations. We’re seeing an increase in the need for more family money conversations today, and hope this framework provides some clarity.
I often ask my clients to get a bit vulnerable. It takes courage to sit with your financial advisor, maybe even for the first time, and talk about sensitive topics like the purpose of your financial wealth or your goals for non-financial growth. Yet, over the past 25 years, I’ve seen these unvarnished conversations pay real dividends on both material and emotional levels.
“History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” – Often Attributed to Mark Twain
Eleven years ago Monday, March 9th, 2009, marked the bottom of the bear market of the great financial crisis of 2007-09. I was struck by the irony that eleven years to the day we found ourselves in the midst of another global panic. But this time the fear feels different. Right now, we not only perceive a threat to our financial security, but also to our fundamental health and well-being.
Research findings confirm two things central to our philosophy at Wealth Architects. First, our wealth and well-being are much greater than just our money. Second, although much of life is uncertain and out of our control, what we can do to achieve greater wealth and well-being is within our control.