The Purpose of Our Wealth
As most of us embark on our professional journeys, initial financial priorities are often clear: earn money to pay off bills and debts, save for a down payment on a home, and build an emergency fund to help protect us should we lose our job, should someone get sick, or a similar emergency. Once the basics are covered, we focus on building our retirement savings, where many of us use our annual Net Worth Statements as if they were a golf score card. “How are we doing this year? Did we score better or worse this year?” Nothing is wrong with this approach but building assets can serve a bigger purpose.
Once you have taken care of initial priorities – either from being successful enough to have built a larger nest egg, or fortunate enough to have inherited funds – identifying the purpose of your wealth can become more complex.
Wealth as a measure of security
At this stage, wealth may now be a measure of the security that you can provide for your family over the next year, and for years to come. It can help ensure that your children, grandchildren, and future generations have access to education, housing, as well as a sense of financial security. It can also enhance the experiences that you all enjoy together as a family and thus build stronger relationships.
Wealth as a means of giving back
Equally important is what your wealth can help you do in a larger sense. You can use it to help your community: by improving your hospitals, universities, and infrastructure – to help others who are less fortunate, or to make an impact on causes that are important to you.
Why understand the purpose of your wealth
It is important to understand the purpose of your wealth for a couple of reasons:
- Saving and growing your money can be about more than building financial independence. It is also about the experiences, passions and goals you want to achieve in life. Success becomes much more rewarding if it helps you focus on the impact you can make in the world. Clarity on the purpose of your wealth is critical to keeping you focused and to motivating you to grow your resources.
- As you think about the next generations of your family, the purpose of your wealth can take on added meaning. For example, millennials are seeking a greater sense of purpose than generations before them and want to believe in a larger mission. If you want to engage the next generation in building and preserving your family’s wealth, it is important to look for opportunities to link financial resources to a greater purpose.
How to achieve your full potential
Helping our clients achieve not just their goals, but their full potential in life, is the most gratifying activity that we can pursue at Kerr Financial. It is rewarding for us to help our successful families uncover their core values, identify their passions, and explore the purpose of their wealth. Once these have been confirmed, our duty is to help them build and preserve wealth with their goals in mind, all while providing the integrated services that have become our hallmark – minimizing income taxes, reducing costs, mitigating risks and growing their capital over the long-term. Only then can our successful families put their wealth to work and serve a bigger purpose.