As summer comes this year and states continue lifting restrictions, many families are expected to travel. That means a possible return of the annual family trip that so many of us missed last year. These trips often involve getting multiple generations under one roof for an extended period. Many people cherish these trips and consider these memories to be some of their favorites. These trips create an atmosphere that’s laid back, relaxing, and fun for all generations. They also create opportunities for older generations to connect with younger generations. So, how can these trips be used as a planning tool for your family?
The last phase of our AGILE process is the “E” phase: Embracing Family and Legacy. We have discovered that this is often an overlooked or ignored part of people’s plans when they retire. Many times, we have seen people start working on this part of their plan too late in life, but now is always a good time to start. Embracing Family and Legacy means not only teaching your children about money, but passing on your values, wisdom, and story to the next generations. You can leave behind a lot of wealth for your children, but that does not necessarily mean they will be able to manage their inheritance. Passing on your values and wisdom to the next generation can help them successfully manage wealth. But passing on your story provides something deeper than wealth. Telling your story gives your family’s wealth a purpose—and provides a vision for future generations.
And there’s no better time to tell those stories than when everyone is seated around the dinner table after a fun day on vacation.
I had a discussion with a couple who does this at every family vacation. Every night when their family would sit down for dinner after a long, fun day at the beach, the grandparents would start to tell family stories. After years of doing this, their dinner times have now become a place where many family members share stories, young and old.
Family vacations are great for so many different reasons, and they’re an exceptional opportunity for older family members to connect with younger family members. If you are one of the many families that will be going on a family trip this year (or in the years to come), I encourage you to use that time to connect with your family. Share your stories, listen to others, embrace your family, and leave a legacy that will last for many generations.