Will It Ever Be Enough?

Freedom From Want

Norman Rockwell’s painting “Freedom from Want” depicts a family gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table expressing that they have enough for what they need. What strikes me most is that the setting isn’t elaborate. It’s simple, relational, and cheerful.

This image sets the stage for three planning questions. As we approach these questions over the next few weeks, do so with the thought of what your Norman Rockwell “Freedom from Want” looks like for you.

The first question is: How Much Is Enough for Me? In other words, how much money do I need to keep for my spouse and me in order to maintain our desired lifestyle?

That may seem like a silly question. You can have just about anything in this world you want. There probably aren’t many things you truly want and don’t have. If that’s true, that makes the question even more crucial.

When it comes to answering the question, it is probably less than you think. Most likely, it is somewhere between the two extremes of never enough and giving away everything.

Right now, write down an amount of money that matches the lifestyle you feel is appropriate for you to live. To consciously quantify the amount creates the opportunity to do serious planning that accomplishes your heart’s deepest desires in life.

Discuss this amount with your spouse, and then send me an email at [email protected] to start aligning your plans with the answer to the question: How much is enough for me?

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now. Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


“I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”—Mother Teresa

Will You Ever Be Satisfied?

A Man is reclining in his chair
Tell me if this sounds familiar. “Once I land this big account, then I’ll be happy.” Or how about, “Once we build our dream home, then we’ll be happy.” Or maybe this one, “If only my kids could settle down, then I’d be happy. When will you get there? When will you allow yourself to say, “I’m satisfied?”

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What’s All That Speed For Anyway?

As the only car in the world to crest 270 mph, the Hennessey Venom GT is the fastest car in the world. With a staggering 1,451 horsepower, it can hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, and 200 mph in 12.8 seconds.

At a price tag of $1.2 million, that’s a lot of potential that will probably NEVER get used by its small handful of owners. I mean, who ever goes that fast?

Like the blazing potential of the Venon GT, the tools for creating a zero-estate tax plan and reducing capital gains, and even lessening your income taxes, are available. You don’t have to use them—and you can certainly “get around” without maximizing the potential of the engine.

But is simply “getting around” good enough for you? Why own a Venom GT if you aren’t going to maximize its potential?

If you want to maximize your potential and gain the most benefits, you need a professional. Let 2016 be the year that you find the professional you need to get the most out of this ride.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


“I have a lot to learn about NASCAR. But I’ve learned if you have the right people in the right places doing the right things, you can be successful at whatever you do.” – Roger Staubach

Is THIS Your Strategy?


If someone were to ask you if your wealth strategy was based on assumptions, you’d probably answer, “No way!” After all, the definition of assumption is this:

“To take for granted or without proof; suppose as a fact.”

It’d be crazy to approach your wealth and your legacy with such a haphazard approach—and yet I see it every day. I meet people who assume their heirs will understand their deepest feelings or know what they mean simply because they grew up in the same house.

For instance, you give to a nonprofit organization and perhaps have done it for years. You assume your family and heirs know what you’re doing and also grasp your reasons so they’ll carry on your giving after you’re gone.

But will they? It takes intentional and thoughtful planning as well as decisive actions that inspires your heirs to fulfill your wealth wishes and instructions. Your responsibility is to make certain they understand exactly what you want them to do and catch your vision of why you want to do it.

Let’s say you own several businesses and you assume your heirs know how to carry on what you started. “I established this before they were born,” you might say about your children. “They’ve grown up around my business.”

It’s true they’ve grown up around the business. It may be true that they understand the business thoroughly. Maybe not. Don’t assume. Be certain. Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.


Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.




“Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.”


A Band-Aid Won’t Be Enough

Kid ripping off band-aidOne of the hardest things to do as a parent is to watch your child get hurt. From a tumble off the jungle gym to their first real heartbreak, we wish we could swoop in and make it all okay.

That’s how life works. Our kids (and we) live and actually grow through each mistake and tumble. But there is one area where this is not true. You can succeed in every area of your life, but if you fail in your wealth planning, you risk your legacy being forever tarnished.

I hated to write those words because it forces me to think about my dad. His legacy is tarnished. It’s not what Dad would have wanted.

Our situation—our confusion and heartache in particular—didn’t represent the wise and humble, caring man he was. He didn’t know there was another way to go about planning. He didn’t know how to incorporate critical planning techniques to help him accomplish his goals.

If only my father had known, he wouldn’t have allowed this mess. You aren’t going to get a chance to pick yourself up and try again. Get it right the first time by using the right techniques and implement a plan that represents you, and you’ll discover the results to be positive and powerful.


Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.


Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.



“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
-Benjamin Franklin


Based on and adapted from top-rated book,
The Secret of Wealth With No Regrets by Barry H Spencer.
Rich DeVos, Co-Founder of Amway, on Forbes-500 List, Owner of NBA Orlando Magic says: “Too few wealthy people ask the bigger questions… I can highly recommen

A New Kind of Vaccine

A New Kind of VaccineThe word “affluenza” has become embedded into our culture. The definition of this modern-day disease is this:

“A psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation.”

Do your heirs suffer from this crippling disease? If so, then I have good news—there is a remedy. It’s been said that generosity is the cure for affluenza.

Generosity has the power to help others and even to transform your own life. The approach you take to generosity is determined by your bias in giving. My mentor in wealth planning, Jay Link, artfully articulated two major approaches to charitable giving: The Rifle Approach (giving larger amounts to fewer charities) or The Shotgun Approach (giving smaller amounts to many charities).

There is no wrong way to choose to be generous… the important thing is that you choose! Make sure you are giving as much attention to your wealth distribution as you did to your wealth creation by discussing your planning options with a professional who can help you focus your generosity where it matters most.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.



“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
—Henry David Thoreau

Your Bucket List Awaits

bucket-listThe movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, popularized the now widely popular term.

Our “bucket list” gives us a way to make sure we accomplish everything in this life that means the most to us.

Chances are, there are many things left on your bucket list. Are you going to have time to check them all off? Let’s hope so. In the meantime, there could be one thing keeping you from trying… and that is holding on too tightly to your business when you should be enjoying life.

Typically, ownership is linked to control. However, there are proven planning tools and techniques that allow you to relinquish ownership, and yet retain control as long as you need or want it for your lifestyle and income. In doing that, you’re also able to train the next generation to be owners.

It may or may not be time to pass the reigns. If you are wondering whether now is the time, then know this: Giving up ownership can open up a world of opportunity for you and your heirs. It’s beneficial in helping to eliminate estate taxes and reduce capital gains and income taxes.

Take control of your wealth planning by making necessary decisions now. Give up ownership, but maintain control as long as needed by using available techniques that help you accomplish these things.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.



“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”
-Mario Andretti

Let Go and Gain Control

unnamed (4)In 2012, Donna Chen was out for a leisurely jog with her dog on aSaturday afternoon when the unthinkable happened. She was struck and killed by a drunk driver. One second, she was enjoying life, and the next, her husband and three children were mourning her sudden loss.

We have a lot of control in this life—we can decide who we want to marry, where we want to live, what we want to eat, what we want to drive, and where we want to go on vacation.

But one thing we cannot decide is when and how we will leave the world.

Since none of us can know when our time on earth is done, it’s time to start exerting control another area of your life—and that is the decisions about your wealth that are based on what you want to achieve for yourself. And why shouldn’t you have that control? You worked hard and you deserve to decide what happens to the things for which you struggled and sacrificed.

Ironically, in order to gain control, sometimes you first have to let go and find new perspectives. Ask yourself: What’s holding me back from taking control of my own wealth story? And what can I do to let go, and therefore take control?

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


 “Only you can control your future.” -Dr. Seuss

You Deserve a Say

unnamed (3)The final days of America’s favorite radio DJ were a nightmare. According to reports and various court proceedings, Casey Kasem, who suffered from Lewy body dementia (a disease similar to Parkinson’s), lived out his final days being controlled by a wife who did not seem to have his best interests at heart.

Everything surrounding his death and his final wishes were shrouded in trouble and sadness. There were no winners—only a group of relatives who clashed at every turn as the final wishes of this American radio legend went unfulfilled.

No one can say with certainty what Casey Kasem could have done differently to avoid this tragic conclusion to his story. But one thing is for sure. If you have purpose in your giving and clearly convey that purpose to your heirs, you’ll discover joy and inner peace.

Think about your own journey. You focused heavily on earning your wealth, and now that you have it, you may not be sure what to do with it. Give as much attention to the distribution of your wealth as you did in building it. If you don’t direct where it goes, it will most likely go in ways you didn’t intend. Your complete inheritance-preparation strategy is guided by how you want to inspire others in a way that reflects your journey in life.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


“Surplus wealth is a sacred trust, which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.” —Andrew Carnegie

Speak Up (or Forever Hold Your Peace)

unnamed (2)Many of you were born with next to nothing and worked your way up to where you are. And now, for many of you, your kids were born with everything. So, where does that leave them?

It leaves them trying to prove their worth.

Your children’s stories are different from yours—it’s just a fact. And, just as it does for you, philanthropy needs to feel personal to them. And here’s what you need to know: The face of philanthropy is changing, and the younger generations aren’t interested in getting their names on the side of a building or above the cage of the new gorilla exhibit.

What does that have to do with you? Well, here’s the thing. If you don’t convey your charitable wishes clearly to your heirs, chances are, your money is not going to go where you’d like it to go.

Don’t assume for a minute that your children know where your philanthropic priorities lie. If you make this assumption, you could become an “involuntary philanthropist.” The choice is yours to give it while you’re living, or it will be given when you’re gone.

Will you be a voluntary or involuntary philanthropist? If you don’t decide to give while you’re alive, the government becomes your primary beneficiary after your death through mandatory estate taxes. One way or another, you (and your heirs, by extension) will be charitable.

But it won’t be in the way that anyone intended.

You CAN give with purpose and allow your children to do the same. Learn how to give to others in a way that benefits the most people by working with a specialist who can help align your goals with your passion for giving back.

Wealth is more than money. Don’t just plan for your future, live it right now.

Pass it on and share the insights like this that you find valuable.


“No one need wait a single moment to improve the world.”—Anne Frank