Empty nest syndrome is defined best by most parents as a shock reaction. Not having had the opportunity to plan for this abrupt change, many parents are not prepared to cope with the next phase of family.
I am now officially an empty nester. My son recently graduated from college and my daughter will be off to college in the fall. I’ve been a parent for more than two decades and over the years I have read dozens of books on parenting. But for the last several months I have found myself, like millions of others, in a quandary about what happens next. Thankfully I stumbled upon “Family Building,” a fascinating new source of information on a subject I call “after-parenting.”
Ron Law, MD, the founder of the Family Building Institute, says his organization offers essential strategies. “Without some balance between financial and non-material wealth, all wealth creation and transfer strategies are ineffective,” he says. “Between parenting and grand parenting lies Family Building – a post-parenting paradigm that will transform your paradise lost to paradise found.”
What I found most intriguing about Law’s strategy is what he calls “The Big Question.” He asks, “For the voyage over turbulent waters … should you build a better boat or train a better captain?” The answer sheds light not only on maritime travel but also on the voyages that families make. Family Building is not a book, it’s a seven-step guide for family leaders who favor training a better captain for the generational voyage. A voyage not focused on fame, fortune, power or control, but about the biggest investment, the family.
As advisors you are hopefully building a “boat of wealth” for your clients, with the ultimate goal being a successful retirement. Law believes without Family Building you are building a boat without a captain.
“Client loyalty comes from meeting your client’s total needs. You have done what is expected of you. You have listened carefully, crafted the perfect investment portfolio, protected your client from unexpected risks, eluded the tax man and even suggested insurance for long term care … decades away,” Law says. “But you forgot the greatest risk of all, the other 50 percent of family wealth – which is the sum total of financial wealth and non-material wealth.”
While we all know conversations about family issues can be difficult and “money complicates everything” – you can make the pain go away by showing your clients this seven-step guide, which is results-driven and has clarity of purpose. Consequently, you become the hero, meeting all your clients’ needs. In fact, the “Family Building Questionnaire” can be your most powerful tool in starting the process.
Understanding the importance of your client’s greatest concerns shows them you are on their side and will only strengthen your relationship. It’s certainly no secret that strong relationships and family ties are bound most often and securely by women in the family.
And in my opinion, as a woman, offering the Family Building guide to your clients will certainly build you an even larger family of clients.