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To Millennials, Money Doesn’t Equal Love

Bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094About 70% of baby boomers see a gift of money as an expression of love, according to the results of a recent survey. This may sound like a very thoughtful act, but it can really complicate estate planning—particularly when the generation receiving the inheritance doesn't feel the same way.
Reuter's recent article, "Equating inheritance with love can cause discord," explains that Millennials hold very different views about receiving gifts. According to the survey, roughly 33% of them feel that a monetary gift is a way for the older generation to exert influence over them.
The fact is that when generations have different opinions about the motivations of an inheritance, they also fight over how assets should be distributed. While most of those over 50 think it's fair to divide estates equally among heirs, only a third of millennials felt the same way. The younger generation is more open to weighing financial needs and other factors to determine a recipient's worthiness.
Getting family members to talk to one another about estate planning can be tough. But try to get everyone involved early, so that the giver can help avoid any disappointments or misunderstandings. Don't leave any surprises for loved ones to sort out after you have passed. Make certain that they are aware of the emotional legacy rather than the financial details.
Strong family communication can make an unequal shares distribution easier to handle. Sometimes a trade-off is helpful—as the giver can pass along something meaningful to each heir—when the gifts don't have the same financial value.
With the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, even people with very little are able to give in an extremely meaningful way.

 Reference: Reuters (April 15, 2016) "Equating inheritance with love can cause discord

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Financial Planning for Millennials

Coupleadvisoryoungcontractsmi600-resize-600x338Rachel Lake had worked with financial planners before, but the relationship didn't click until the Millennial began working with an adviser who focuses his message, and methods, on her generation. "It's more like a partnership,'' said Lake, 32, who is a home loan specialist living in Boston. “You want your personal trainer, your CPA and you want your financial adviser but I want somebody to be there more as a coach than as someone telling me what I should be doing. Because I don't feel like I'm on a traditional path, and I don't think I'm alone in that. … (Millennials) want someone that sees us as individuals rather than as a stereotypically corporate worker.''

The USA Today article, “For Millennials goal is financial freedom,” says that when it comes to mapping out financial futures, some financial planners are finding that Millennials prefer to work with those who understand their generation. This is a group that’s probably going to have several jobs in their lifetime and is used to being able to get answers with the click of a button.

Many Millennials also may have a ton of student debt and may have had trouble finding a job which means that the financial strategies that worked for their Baby Boomer or Gen X parents might not fit their circumstances.

The article quotes one financial planning firm that targets Millennials. That firm noted that traditionally financial firms have emphasized the management of assets; however, the average Millennial doesn’t have much in terms of assets and is just starting his or her career. To appeal to Millennials, this firm bills itself as a "personal trainer''—guiding clients to financial health. For young professionals, these experts say that financial freedom to chart their own course is a higher priority than saving money for retirement. Likewise, the article explains that purchasing a home is also not always a top priority to younger adults who may prefer urban living, or need to relocate to chase their professional goals.

Even with these less concrete plans, having a strategy for the future and a way to finance the dreams and ambitions of a Millennial are critical. Take the time to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you to your other qualified professional “coaches” to help you chart your course in life.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: USA Today (April 11, 2015) “For Millennials goal is financial freedom”

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A Lesson to Our Younger Selves: Start Saving Now

The-Future-is-now-lMillennials. You've grown up in an ever-changing world of technology, pop culture and reality TV. Ask any other generation, and their list of career options wouldn't include professional blogger, mobile app creator or YouTube star. You've seen the stock market fall apart in 2009, and as a result you are competing with older candidates who have 10 times the amount of work experience than you. It's a jungle out there. Where there is a con, there is always a pro. What you do have is easy access to mounds of information at your fingertips. You can learn from the past in ways that weren't available even a few years ago. You can turn money mishaps that your parents might have made into money victories for yourself. But first, you've got to get money smart.

A recent The Huffington Post article, titled ”4 Things I Wish I Knew About Money in my 20s,” emphasizes that the most important thing a millennial can do today to improve his or her financial future is to start saving. Although the Fall 2014 Merrill Edge Report showed that 80 percent of millennials think about their long-term finances when they are paying bills; nonetheless, they also need to pay themselves. It's important for millennials to find a balance between paying off any debt and saving for their future goals and retirement.

Making retirement a priority among many competing financial needs can be a challenge. The original article recommends that millennials go through their employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) account, or set up an automatic transfer from their bank or brokerage account into their personal IRA, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) or SIMPLE IRA.

Along with retirement planning, a budget must be your top priority. While creating a budget might be the very last item on your to-do list, it’s essential to maintaining a solid financial foundation. Budgets are essential to estimate your monthly income and expenses, and at the end of each month, you should look at how your actual spending stacks up against your budget and make adjustments. Budgets also help to make sure you live within your means, and help you plan for day-to-day spending.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: Huffington Post (February 2, 2015)”4 Things I Wish I Knew About Money in my 20s

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Millennials Don’t Know How to Save / York, PA

Th (1)People younger than 35 are not saving money, according to a study by Moody's Analytics. In fact, their savings rate has dipped to negative 2%, meaning that they're spending more than they have. They're the only age group that has a negative savings rate. In contrast, workers between the ages of 35 and 44 have a positive savings rate of about 3%.

A recent article on the CNN website, titled Millennials aren't saving a dime,” reports that most millennials are in trouble even though the job market looks brighter. The unemployment rate was down to 5.8% last month and the U.S. economy added 214,000 jobs.

However, wages have remained flat without much increase since back in the 1990s. As a result, even with good news about jobs and the low unemployment rate, millennials continue to have a rough time making ends meet.

In addition, another negative factor is their student loan debts.

The original article explains that things were a lot worse just a few years back. Moody's reported that millennials had a negative savings rate from 2004 to 2009, and in 2007 they hit rock bottom with a deficit of about 15%. They recovered in 2009 and were treading water until 2012, when they again went under.  

Many college-educated millennials have been fortunate to land professional jobs, but they have limited upward mobility because some baby boomers above them are facing similar money crunches and aren’t retiring early.

Aside from savings and basic financial planning, once adulthood is reached estate planning should be a part of everyone’s budget. 

Talk with an experienced estate planning attorney and see what you can do, even with limited finances, to save and plan for the future of your estate.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference:  CNN (November 10, 2014) Millennials aren't saving a dime

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