Year-End ‘Family Meetings’

As I’ve blogged before, year-end is a busy time for me. I try to wrap up loose ends, both business and personal, one of which involves financial moves.

Some of that involves family members. So, I’ve scheduled a few Family Meetings.

One of them involves helping our children invest in Roth IRAs. Three of them have earned wages this year, and I was stunned to calculate that $1 invested today, compounded over 50 years, can be worth $18+ after-tax dollars when our children retire.

So, that seems pretty important to convey.

A second meeting involves our Family Giving Fund. As I’ve written before (here), we set aside money each year for philanthropy and invest it in the capital markets. We get the tax deduction in the current year and can take our time to give to good causes.

Going forward, I would like our entire family to decide on our giving priorities. So, I’ve called a Family Meeting, which we will do over a dinner, to share that we do have a Giving Fund, propose that we decide on future grants as a family, and start thinking about our giving budget for 2018.

I think it would be great if each of our children thinks about which charities really appeal to him/her. And, to empower them to make gifts.

I think it is important to encourage our children to think about others.

A third meeting involves asset allocation. Each of our children inherited a small amount from one of Mrs. T’s relatives. I invested the dollars, and they have grown. I think the accounts are overly conservative, and, so, I will propose that we increase their exposure to equities.

True, it’s a geeky topic. But, asset allocation, according to numerous studies, accounts for 85%+ of your investment returns. So, I’d like to get that topic on the table, as well as the value of low-fee index funds.

Eric and I often talk about how finance is this “black box” and that it is important to pass on what we know to our children. He is incredibly informed on many, many finance topics, and I feel that I am doing my best to catch up to him.

So, in addition to Christmas, that’s what I have on the docket over the next week. We are all together again, as our son is home from college and a daughter is home after her Gap Semester.

It’s a great time to reconnect, have fun and plan for the future.

I hope your pre-Holiday preparations are going well. Enjoy this time! It is busy but well worth it.

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