The road to retirement is paved with good financial habits

Millionaire status might seem far out of reach, especially as unemployment remains high and household incomes fall through this pandemic-driven recession. But you can still learn some good financial lessons from those who’ve joined the seven-figure club, even if your own net worth might always be expressed in fewer digits. After all, millionaires rarely strike it rich overnight or even pull in huge salaries. “A lot of people confuse wealth and income,” says Sarah Stanley Fallaw, coauthor of The Next Millionaire Next Door — a follow-up to The Millionaire Next Door, originally published in 1996 by her father, Thomas J. Stanley, who died in 2015.

If you could turn a million dollar estate tax liability into a $2 million gift to charity (or a $100,000 capital gain tax liability into a $250,000 gift to charity), who would you give that money to and what would you have them do with it?”  Or, “If you could really make a difference in just one area of life, what would it be?”  Or, “How much wealth is enough for your heirs?” 

The vast majority of wealthy people do not adequately address the different aspects of their wealth. As a result, their estates suffer devastating taxes and they reap only a portion of all the benefits that their wealth could have provided to them, their children and society. There is, however, incredible opportunity for those who learn how to effectively leverage all three aspects of wealth, what we call Family Wealth Planning.

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