During a recent coaching call, everyone was sharing the best things that have come from the significant changes COVD-19 has forced upon our lives. One gentleman shared that his three kids (all in their twenties) have moved back in with him and his wife. After enjoying an empty nest for the last three years, he said it was quite the adjustment. To compound matters, his construction business had come to a complete halt.
He immediately realized that life is going to be different for him and his family: The future of his company is uncertain, cash flow is uncertain, and his retirement may look very different from what he had planned. His children had not lacked for anything, but that may very well change. So, he decided to make chicken soup out of the chicken feathers and called a family meeting to discuss the cold, hard facts. Yet, instead of hitting them over the head with a hammer with the news and the way things were going to change he encouraged his children to help build a family plan.
What are everyone’s goals? What are the family’s goals? What are the obstacles? What are the dangers? What are the opportunities? What strengths could each of them bring to the table? What strengths are there as a family?
What came of it was a masterpiece, he said. They all decided they needed some financial literacy. They really wanted to know - for the first time - how Dad and Mom did it. How did they come from nothing? They wanted the family story, the hardships and challenges, and how they overcame the biggest obstacles of building their life.
They decided a plan was needed to take care of Dad and Mom if the construction business didn’t recover. They even dug further into the future with the unknowns of someone dying or becoming ill for a long time.
These three kids in their twenties took control of their future and family’s future right before Dad and Mom’s eyes. Amazing!
Our experiences over the last thirty plus years have taught us that most children don’t get involved to that level until Dad and Mom are nearing the end of life. Some children never get involved. Maybe you have been through an experience yourself (good or bad) that speaks to this.
You may have heard the saying “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves” in three generations. Generation one built it. Generation two grew up in what it took to build it. Generation three had no idea what it took to build it.
The thing is that every generation has the capability to be just as great or even greater than the generation before them. They just need the tools, encouragement, and a little motivation. Perhaps COVD-19 can do this for your family as well! And if you are not sure where to start, you are luck. We have the tools to help.