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Starting Conversations | Linn Livijn Wexell
Linn Livijn Wexell is an innovator and an activist with a passion for questions concerning human rights, especially youth empowerment and gender equality. She is a firm believer in communication as a facilitator and tool for social change which led her to the field of Digital Media. Last year she co-founded a creative collective. Their most recent project, #notonappstore is a visual critique of the digital aspect of our everyday lives. It has spread to more than 50 different countries, generating in a big conversation around current social behaviours.
The power of conversations | Zeenat Rahman
Zeenat Rahman works as U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry’s Special Adviser on Global Youth Issues. Her focus has been to incorporate youth voices into critical debates that help shape global affairs. She collaborates with over 50 Youth Councils scattered all over the globe with achieve a positive development for the world’s youth. She speaks about the importance of youth leadership in promoting civic engagement and harmony between diverse communities. During Zeenat Rahman career, she has been active to promote leadership and interfaith dialogue in down-town Chicago.
How does estate planning disconnect couples? Certainly there may be many issues where a husband and wife are on the same page. They may be happy with their marriage, with their current lifestyle, with the common friends they have, but when it comes to making an important decision within estate planning, they are not in alignment. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons for misalignment.
Different Assumptions related to Upbringing
Different family backgrounds influence the way people see life. Those who grow up in wealth are likely to see an expensive lifestyle as normal. Naturally, they would expect the same for their children. Many beliefs and attitudes grow out of early life experience.
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They play a significant part in the the way you view life, generally determining your priorities. Whether you recognize them or not, they are there, and they are the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
Although it is challenging to examine how your emotions intersect with your thinking, this level of self-awareness is necessary to identify the values that motivate you. Once you recognize and acknowledge your values, you can make plans and decisions that honour them. Understanding each other’s values can easily help a couple come to agreement on decisions.
Our perspective – the viewpoint we bring to any consideration – influences our perceptions. You have probably heard the expression, “Perception is reality.” We are satisfied that the way we see it is the way it is, and we are unwilling to entertain the thought that our view is distorted or incomplete.
Lack of understanding leads to loss of communication
When spouses don’t agree on certain topics, they often avoid the subject. This false peace can lead to devastating consequences in the future.
All of us deal with an internal nature that wants our own way. We often feel that our way is the best and that if everyone would just do as we say, or believe as we believe, the world would be a much better place. This pride can cause us to become defensive when we are challenged. It can also lead to a closed mind.
The opposite of pride is humility. To be humble means to be willing to listen to thoughts and opinions of others with an open mind. It means being willing to submit your own ideas to the scrutiny of others. So many conflicts in life can be resolved if two people approach the issue with a listening ear and an attitude of humility.
So how can a couple resolve the issue of goal incongruity? Often they cannot do this alone. Their differences often bring on heated discussions that lead to anger, hurt feelings, shutting down by one spouse, and pain. An impartial advocate can have a huge impact with a couple.
Often the advocate guides the family through a values discussion. This helps them understand why their spouse holds the position they do. Once they see and understand their values, they can be helped to see the ones that may be contradictory to their core beliefs.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO Tom?
Tom Conway leads Conway and Associates in assisting families to get clarity around what they believe God wants them to do with their resources.
A CPA by training, Tom has held numerous ministry and financial service positions with such organizations as Ernst & Young, Campus Crusade for Christ, Ronald Blue and Company, Perimeter Church, Generous Giving Inc., National Christian Foundation, Kingdom Advisors, and the Haggai Institute in Atlanta.
Tom has a passion for legacy planning that encompasses five areas: personal, family, financial, business, and philanthropic. As he helps people quantify their needs for the future, what they wish to leave for their family, and how the remainder of their resources can be released to organizations that reflect their values, it often leads to zero-estate-and-IRD-tax situations.
Living and serving in Africa for a number of years and ministering extensively in Europe, Asia, and Russia enhanced Tom’s Christian global perspective.
Tom and his wife, Susan, have been married for thirty-five years, have four children and four grandchildren, and live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Why Talking To Little Kids Matters | Anne Fernald
The Family Compass by Jerry Nuerge
Families often lack a compass for navigating through potential distractions. Most high net worth people believe that if they have signed all their trust documents and wills, they have taken care of their future. After all, their attorneys and CPAs have assured them that the maximum amount of financial assets will be transferred to their spouse and then to their children with as little loss to the tax man as possible. Unfortunately, research shows that only ten percent of financial assets make it to the fourth generation.
A family’s values are just as important as those of a corporation, but they receive far less attention. I have found it more beneficial to families to focus on three often ignored components that have the potential to extend a legacy indefinitely:
1) What are your values?
2) What virtues will we pursue?
3) What do we want our family story to be?
Collectively, these are family brand equity, the core of a family’s culture. The values define the family, the virtues build the family, and the story describes the family.
Rather than elevate whatever human values are currently in vogue in our culture, we identify our family’s values based on the evidence of our calendar and pocketbook.
Virtues are frequently underestimated in importance. Aristotle argued that substantial happiness and human flourishing could be grasped only through the virtues. King Solomon stated it this way: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” (Proverbs 3:1-3)
The battle of morality is not so much about knowing what is right as it is doing what is right.
The family story is a crucial component. Think of the family story as an ongoing stream of past, present, and future stories of family members woven together. These stories, infused with the family’s values and virtues, provide a sense of identity as well as motivation to not be the generation that weakens the heritage.
Imagine the priceless joy when family brand equity is the focal point of our transfers to the next generation! These assets empower families to live intentionally productive lives for multiple generations.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO JERRY?
Jerry Nuerge is founder and owner of the Financial Independence Group. He is also the creator of the Wealth Integration and Transfer System™, the Generation Connection Process™, as well as the Revenue Retrieval System™. Jerry holds a BBA and MBA degree, holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Certified Family Wealth Counselor (CFWC), and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). He is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), and has qualified for its “Top of the Table.” He also belongs to the National Estate Planning Council, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is a past-president of the local chapters of these organizations.
Jerry is a member of Kingdom Advisors (KA) and a charter member of the Int’l Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP), which he served as president in 2009.
Jerry has been married to his wife, Sharon, since 1967, and has three children and eight grandchildren, all living in the Fort Wayne, IN area.
Co-author of Family Wealth Counseling: Getting to the Heart of the Matter and author of The Priceless Gift, Jerry is active as a consultant and national speaker.
How Words Create Worlds: Sebastien Christian