Many successful families use trusts to minimize taxes, transfer wealth and protect assets from creditors and others. You may have already set up a trust, or you may hold an inheritance you received in a trust that was created decades ago.
Trouble is, too many families relinquish more control over their trusts than they need to, basically hoping that the trustees they have put in charge will serve them well. They take a passive role in their trusts rather than an active or proactive role.
It’s what no one ever wants to hear: “The test results have come back positive.”
And yet it’s quite likely that you, a loved one or both will one day be given a serious health diagnosis that throws your world into uncertainty, confusion and fear. That means you have two choices:
- Wish and hope that you or someone you care about never gets really bad news from a physician—and be forced to react quickly and emotionally if that does happen.
- Be proactive and get a handle now on the best steps to take if you’re faced with a major medical diagnosis.
You can likely guess which approach we recommend. With that in mind, we asked one of the nation’s top concierge physicians—Dr. Dan Carlin of WorldClinic—for his best advice on what to do (and not do) when the news about your health is really bad.
There’s a great quote by Jean-Paul Sartre: “We are our choices.” When it comes to our happiness and our overall success in life, that’s truer than you might have realized.
Taking time to examine the choices you make in your life and work each day and over the long term to make sure they are enhancing your well-being can do more than just make you happier. Working on enhancing happiness has actually been shown to have a tangible return on investment and can make you more successful.
Here’s one example from the business world. According to positive psychology researcher Shawn Achor, if you are happy and you have happy people around you in your organization, you can improve your organization’s performance and productivity by anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent. And if your team is happier, you will take better care of your clients and have greater impact on them—which in turn will enable your team to do well financially.
With that in mind, here are steps for increasing your happiness in ways that will lead to better results in your work and in your life. These come courtesy of Henry Miller—a truly exceptional trainer, coach and consultant who helps companies and organizations improve their performance and productivity. He spent years analyzing the growing research on well-being and synthesizing it into his book The Serious Pursuit of Happiness—an essential road map to greater happiness.
One key way to build serious wealth—whether in a business or your everyday life—is to effectively and consistently negotiate deals that are good for you and your bottom line. Ideally, everyone walks away from a negotiation feeling good about the outcome—a win-win scenario. But ultimately, to be successful you must achieve your minimum goals and preferably a whole lot more.
Trouble is, it’s common for people to end up failing to get what they want due to how they approach negotiations right from the start—from the first declarations of their terms. Here’s how you can avoid that negative outcome and get the results you truly want when hashing out a deal or arrangement with another party.
Being named the executor of a family member’s (or other loved one’s) estate is, in many ways, an honor. The decision shows that the person saw you as a highly trustworthy, capable person of integrity.
But it’s also a major responsibility that can quickly become a burden if you aren’t set up to do your job properly. The fact is, administering an estate comes with plenty of potential pitfalls that can threaten your loved one’s wealth—and your peace of mind. That goes double if the death is unexpected and leaves you reeling emotionally as you try to take on the legally required duties of an executor.
The Super Rich (those with a net worth of $500 million or more) who have family offices typically engage a sizable lineup of professional advisors to help them create and implement financial plans. To help ensure those plans are both state-of-the-art as well as in line with their needs and wants, many of them regularly “stress test” these plans.
Here’s why you should join them in that effort—even if you’re not nearly as wealthy.
A key objective among many single-family offices serving Super Rich families (those with a net worth of at least $500 million) is to enable future generations of family members to build their own wealth and create their own entrepreneurial legacies.
With that in mind, the Super Rich are embracing ways to develop the business acumen of inheritor family members—as well as ways to support them in forming new ventures of their own.
One way the Super Rich are making that happen is through family banks. And increasingly, families that aren’t as wealthy as the Super Rich are using these banks as well.
Imagine yourself in a vintage tuxedo, sipping a “shaken, not stirred” martini as you make eye contact across the bar with a beautiful secret agent who is about to covertly hand you a dossier with information that will help prevent World War III.
Okay—that’s almost certainly never going to happen to you. But you can use some of the same strategies employed by professional spies and operatives to prevent criminals from harming you, your family and your company.
These strategies come courtesy of Jason Hanson—a former CIA officer who spent nearly a decade at the agency. He then founded a business, Spy Escape & Evasion, to teach people how to be safe using insider spy tactics and wrote The New York Times best-selling book Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. Continue reading
The foundations of your rock-solid estate plan
For so many of us, family is paramount. You probably expect to use your wealth to take care of your family in the here and now—health care, travel, college tuition and the like. But chances are you haven’t thought nearly as much about positioning your assets so they’re ready and able to help the people you love after you’re gone. Even if you have made some headway in this area, your plan for your estate is probably a little—and maybe a lot—out of date.
If that describes your situation, don’t fret. Even if you have many moving parts to your finances, you can get on track by focusing on two main areas of estate planning: wills and trusts. Here’s how to do it.
Getting your family involved in charitable giving can create a powerful legacy
A growing number of successful people have a strong urge to “pay it forward” by financially supporting causes and organizations that are near and dear to their hearts.
Many of you already make regular and sizable charitable contributions. And we know from research that one key reason successful people like you want to become even wealthier is to help other people increase their own success and advance in the world.
But have you gotten your family involved in philanthropy? If not, you could be missing a truly massive opportunity to teach your children and other loved ones about smart financial decision making and impart key financial values that can guide them throughout their lives. Continue reading