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Published Jul 02, 22
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Take the time to implement a wealth-building strategy that works for your family. Not everyone wants to invest in real estate or build a business, so find something that works for your situation. Whatever strategy you choose, make sure to pass down your financial know-how to your children. Armed with the personal finance knowledge you can provide, your kids will already be one step ahead of the game as they make their way into the world.

Warren Buffet funded a $2 billion foundation for each of his children. 1 Gloria Vanderbilt received a trust worth $36 million when she was just 15 months old. 2 There are plenty of famous stories about one generation leaving a notable fortune for the next. What gets less attention is the average person saving what they can when they can, hoping to pass along something—from an inheritance that amounts to a first-home down payment, to college tuition that helps a young person start out with less debt.

“We all quickly default to ‘passing assets’ as a legacy, but it’s not just that,” says Stanley Poorman, a financial professional with Principal®. “What if your legacy is experiences with your family? Then the challenge becomes figuring out how you can use your money today to create a living legacy.” The first step may just be to decide what you’re going to pass along to the next generation, and then to talk about it, says Heather Winston, assistant director of financial advice and planning at Principal.

Perhaps you’ve also decided you want to leave money to a charity. Be open with your loved ones about your wishes so they understand your decisions and can help make them happen after you’re gone. “Far too often we act as if our lifetime is infinite when sadly it’s not,” Winston says.

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Say that you want to budget for a new kitchen remodel in a year or two. You’re probably already thinking about what it might cost and how you might save for the project. Take the same approach to build generational wealth. If your goal is to pay for a year of college, setting up and adding to an education savings plan can help.

“Ultimately, it’s not just thinking about it but taking action, and that can be hard,” Winston says. “But that’s the difference between a dream and reality. To be real, you have to make it concrete.” Complete documents to protect your legacy. If you do intend to leave something to others, explore what to include in your estate plan.

Warren Buffet worked in his grandfather’s grocery store and delivered newspapers in high school. He still lives in the house he bought in 1957 in Omaha, Nebraska. 7 “Buffet made very deliberate decisions to be able to amass wealth and educate generations of investors to come,” Winston says. None of us are Buffet.

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“It comes back to the fact that money is just a tool,” Winston says. “It isn’t a replacement for the value that a person brings.” That’s a good final thought about building wealth: From one generation to the next, it’s often incremental. “Each generation can, and typically does, a little more,” Winston says.

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But what they make of it will be up to them.” .

Finance businesses will “say and promise an awful lot to get your money. Their fees will cut into your wealth over time." .

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One thing that’s common to nearly all the people who successfully transfer wealth to succeeding generations is that they don’t go it alone. “Historically, estate taxes have been known to devastate wealth,” Smallwood said. “It’s impossible to know what the trends will be in the future. Maybe you’ve accumulated a lot of your own personal wealth, then inherit money on top of that.

Loading Something is loading. One out of five households in the US has zero or negative wealth, meaning they owe more than they own, according to the Institute for Policy Studies. Additionally, more than two-thirds of Americans think their children will be financially worse off as adults than they are, and most don't have money saved for them, according to the Pew Research Center.

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The home your parents bought 40 years ago appreciates in value and is passed on to the next generation. Being a beneficiary of a life insurance policy is another way generational wealth begins. The proceeds can be used to pay off debts or start a business. Unfortunately, a recent study showed 43% of Americans don't have life insurance.