• Is it sucking the wealth right out of you?

    Dr. John Jay Roberts is a successful cardiologist making a very substantial annual income. He lives in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the city. He has a lovely wife who manages the home and is very involved with the various activities at the Country Club. Their three teenage children attend the best private school in the area. Due to this family’s very active lifestyle, they have four vehicles so that everyone can conveniently get to their daily activities. Johnny plays on the premiere soccer league five days each week. Suzy needs to get to her level eight gymnastics classes every day at the other end of town. Thankfully, Beth’s dance practice is at a studio close to Suzy’s gym, so Suzy can drop off her sister on the way to practice. Otherwise, it would be a stretch to get Beth to her practices since she isn’t old enough to drive yet. The Roberts’ family have been very blessed over the years with John’s substantial income. They are able to enjoy many of the luxuries life has to offer.

    This very well-off family is a picture of what many would consider as being a product of the American dream. While the characters used are fictitious, the story is very real. High consumption living is desirable by many Americans and it is not limited to high-income earners. Discount stores are filled with people spending the raise they just received. Fast-food restaurants are a weekly quick stop for the busy family. Income tax returns are often spent on the “toys” that couldn’t be previously purchased. Monthly payments for charge cards and personal loans are part of most American family’s monthly expenditures. Whether one is a high-income earner like Dr. Roberts or a minimum wage employee, both seem to have a tendency to live high consumption lives. For both, high consumption living is sucking the wealth right out of them. Most people don’t have enough wealth to sustain them for a few months, never mind for the several years that follow after retirement.

    Knowing one’s expenses and income, preparing a personal balance sheet, learning how to do a budget are some of the first steps in planning for a brighter financial future, but left to themselves they are not going to produce sustainable and generational wealth. Discipline in spending and re-directing that money to a wealth generating system should be the ultimate American dream. There is always something to purchase, an activity to pay for, and a club to join. Every unfocused day that passes; every dollar that is unnecessarily spent is another day and dollar that could have been used in generating sustainable wealth; wealth that can be passed on from one generation to the next.

    Wealth is NOT about having the ability to purchase multiple cars. It is not about having the means for your kids to be enrolled in the most elite programs or to be part of clubs. While none of those things are bad in and of themselves, they are not going to produce a successful financial future.

    Wealth is about building on financial success and creating a financial means that can be passed on to generations. Generational wealth is a mindset first, and then followed by intentional action.
    Do you know what your income and expenses are?
    Do you know what your balance sheet looks like?
    Do you know how many months your wealth will last if you were to lose your paycheck today?
    Do you know what you want your financial future and your family’s financial future to look like?
    Do you know what is sucking the wealth right out of you?

    What is your next step that will lead you to sustainable wealth?