The Price of Ignorance
In the 30+ years I have been doing this work I’ve heard a lot of money stories. Most come from a place of not knowing any other way. Money is one of the least taught subjects and certainly not a topic most of us will discuss with one another.
So it’s important to withhold judgment as I share with you a recent conversation with a couple who just finished writing a 5 figure check to the IRS. The zoom took place between myself and the husband, the wife was sitting out of sight and passing questions to the husband to ask me.
We talked through several tax mitigation strategies, some of which they had already done a little homework on so they were familiar with them. They asked lots of questions to better understand how the strategies would apply to them.
Then, as the conversation turned to legacy there was little to talk about. There were no children, no passionate causes, no family to pass any wealth on to. The question that was asked is, “Can I spend every dime I have and bounce my final check as I step into my grave?”
The answer of course is yes.
It’s your money and you get to decide the work that it will do in the world. You get to decide how it will take care of you and your family. You get to decide the difference it gets to make in the world. You get to decide who will carry on the legacy of your life’s work when you are gone.
The money is always for something, it’s never about the money. The degree to which you can dream is the degree to which the money will flow.
This couple has a dream that is limited to just them. Not bad or wrong, just interesting. Today it flies through their hands with a check payable to the IRS. Any tax mitigation strategy we have will eventually lead back to writing a check to the government unless they are willing to look beyond themselves.
What will it take for people like these clients to learn about the joy of giving?
Where do they go to start the conversation?
What would it take for them to be willing to ask a different question about how to spend their money?
So what is the money for? Spend some time and answer this question. How many generations forward can you think about?
Now watch what happens.