Planning for Change
Previously, we have explored why it’s so important to talk about money during different times of transition and how to engage the millennials in the conversation. We have taken you through four of the five steps necessary to have productive conversations. In the most recent one, we focused on reminding you to ask for help to plan and execute the talks. We urged you to choose the right professionals to fill the voids in skills and experience and include a third party with a more neutral perspective. As we discussed, these talks are like Shakespearean plays, filled with raw human emotion and drama typical to family units and heightened when money is the topic. It is really hard to try and go it alone.
Now it seems these talks seem more critical than ever. As Sean O’ Casey reminded us, “The world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed. “ The talks require a fair amount of preparation, practice and “rehearsals” to reach the goals you are tackling, whether it is successfully navigating retirement, estate transfers, new marriages, long term health issues or a change in financial circumstances.
Having a sound financial plan in place is only the beginning. As always, with economic uncertainty surrounding us, changes to the plans may need to be made and new conversations with family members scheduled to discuss the updates. In the final, fifth step, “Practice Makes Perfect”, we need to create a plan for having the conversations and then continue to “repeat as necessary”. This means the first round of talks will probably not get you where you need to go. You most likely have to commit time and effort to a series of talks.
As I think about the need for practice around any real skill, I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller OUTLIERS in which he explores the various factors that contribute to success. He refers to the “10,000 hour rule” which separates the truly successful outliers from the rest of us, the opportunity to practice specific tasks for more than 10,000 hours. A couple of the examples he provides are the Beatles who practiced and performed for four years in Germany amassing more than 10,000 hours before they hit it big and Bill Gates, who from the time he was 13 when he gained access to a high school computer was able to put in more than 10,000 hours of programming which set him apart at the time. I’m not suggesting you need to devote 10,000 hours to Money Talks in the course of your life. However, I expect you will have to establish your individually conceived process based on the steps I have outlined, and begin to practice and repeat as necessary until you achieve a level of comfort and success.
When it comes to Millennials and the Money Talk, my sense is they will be ready and eager to engage in the talks with you and be prepared to take on added responsibility and tasks as necessary.
As the largest segment of the work force and the most educated generation in our nation’s history, they come with an openness and willingness to meet the challenges.
SIDEBAR: About Lori Sackler
Lori has designed her team practice to help clients keep up with the pace of change in their lives, have time to reflect and satisfy security, lifestyle and legacy concerns. With her team and the professionals at Morgan Stanley, she acts as a personal chief financial officer for her clients. The Sackler Group chooses to work with a limited number of clients for whom they can have a meaningful impact.
Lori has the distinction of holding three designations: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST®, and FAMILY WEALTH DIRECTOR. An established thought leader, Lori has published numerous articles and books, including “The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have” and “The M Word Journal: How to Have the Money Talk.” She also created and hosted a popular radio program in New York City.
Lori earned her BA with Distinction from the University of Michigan and holds an MS in Marketing and Finance from the University of Texas. She is also an accredited (non-practicing) CPA and is a member of the NJ Society of Certified Public Accountants. Morgan Stanley honored Lori with appointments to the exclusive Regional and National Financial Advisor Councils, and named her an Alternative Investments Director and Impact Investing Director. In 2020 and 2017, Forbes Magazine named Lori one of the Top 200 Women Financial Advisors in the U.S. in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021, and chose her as one of the Best-in-State Wealth Advisors in the U.S. in 2018 and 2021.*