Just stop for a minute and consider how many different ways your family and its members figure into your future as a business unit that is dedicated to helping you make your financial dreams come true.
Your spouse or partner goes to work and brings in a second paycheck.
Your children finish school and suddenly a major expense is gone from your life.
Your parents have accumulated some wealth and could help you achieve your financial goals.
Your parents finally pass on and assets they have accumulated are passed along to you.
You and other family members-brothers or sisters or maybe cousins-pool your wealth to start a business that benefits the whole family.
But sometimes your family will slow down your progress toward achieving your financial dreams.
Divorce splits the family and what wealth you have accumulated must be divided up.
A spouse loses his or her job or becomes ill. and the family loses income while expense pile up.
You lose a job and progress toward achieving financial dreams is slowed down for the whole family.
Aging parents may require help from their children to get by.
Your children or other family members run into financial distress and require help.
Your children need help buying a first home or starting a business,and progress toward realizing your own financial dreams must wait until the needs of family members are taken care of.
In other words, you're not alone in the world. You can't make plans in a vacuum unless you are an orphan-without sisters,brothers or other family members-and unless you stay single and don't have children. Since that definition fits almost nobody,assume you must take the family into account every step of the way,from setting your financial goals to achieving them.
To do well financially,families today must function as a tightly-knit,flexible and well-informed team. Without a high degree of lasting consensus among family members-at least among the adult members -the financial future of the family is bound to be in serious jeopardy.
Put another way,families that manage their finances as team-by paying great attention to details of each member's need and wishes and then acting to accommodate them-are the ones whose financial future is the brightest and whose enjoyment of life today is at a maximum.
It doesn't matter whether you're rich or not-quite-rich or whether your family has two members or 12. the key to family happiness and to a sound and rewarding financial future is teamwork,teamwork,and more teamwork