There are now 13.61 million American households with assets over $1 million, excluding their homes and retirement funds. Dr. Larry Samuel of the consulting group Culture Planning breaks them down into five basic groups:
- Thrillionaires. These millionaires live on the edge, consuming conspicuously. They’re more likely to be found rolling the dice in Las Vegas than taking a family vacation. While they’re not impulsive, they take calculated risks. Think: Donald Trump.
- Coolionaires. These millionaires live in the cultural centers and support fine art, architecture, and other expressions of creativity. They probably acquired their wealth through a combination of innate talent and an extraordinary amount of hard work. Think: Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer.
- Realionaires. These unassuming millionaires live ordinary lives. They do not like to spend money unnecessarily. However, they do spend money on their priorities, like education. These millionaires may be the “Millionaire Next Door” as described in the book by Drs. Stanley and Danko a few years back. They are hard working and down to earth. Think: Warren Buffet.
- Wellionaires. They value their spiritual, mental, and physical health. They are open to new ideas and methods, which may be how they acquired their wealth. Think: Mark Hughes, founder of Herbal Life.
- Willionaires. Their wealth is often inherited and they view it as a sacred trust. They view their wealth as a responsibility to better their environment. These are the philanthropists. Think: David Rockefeller.
While these millionaires vary considerably from one another, they all have one thing in common: planning. It has been said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Whether you are a millionaire or aspire to be one, planning is the way to achieve your financial and life goals.
As with most endeavors, planning is essential when it comes to deciding what should happen when you are gone and how to deal with that eventuality. Will the kids be taken care of? What if my spouse remarries? Will I pay too much in taxes or expenses? What if my family fights over my estate? If you start now, you can make that eventual transition smoother and less traumatic emotionally and financially for you and your family.
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you set up a plan that will put your mind at ease. Taking care of matters now can avoid big messes down the road when you are incapacitated or after your death. You will know that things are taken care of and you can concentrate on more important things, like creating memories with your family.
Compliments of the McGee Law Firm, Attorney Brandon McGee
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys