This past weekend I attended a family event that celebrated the accomplishments of various family members. There were two college graduations, one graduation to Jr. high school, a few marriage anniversaries and a few birthdays. Family is more important than people think. The major point being what you built up for your children and grandchildren.
If we look at famous families like the Kennedy’s, the Rockefeller’s and even the Bushes and the Kings (Martin Luther King), we see families who have left something for the kids to start in life. I have tried to prepare to leave something for my children and grandchildren.
I have used most of my earnings as a lawyer and publisher to purchase income producing assets (real property) that can be passed down to create something for posterity. Over the years I have talked about income producing assets because that’s one way we as a people create wealth.
Too many of us gave up our wealth to buy big cars, big houses, and ﬂashy clothes, leaving nothing for future generations. I think that is how we end up broke. If we think about it, if we do not give up our present houses to buy another house, we have a house to rent and a house to pass down to the next generation. That rent is potentially an addition to your Social Security or other retirement income.
If you can add to the source of your income, you are a true entrepreneur, who will be able to pass down to your family for their future. Buy that ﬁrst house. Buy that ﬁrst expensive car later and trade or sell it as an asset. Don’t lease the car because it will eventually belong to someone else, not your family. Think about your family as you spend your money. That car could be your child’s tuition, or at least his or her transportation to college.
All we had was $200 when I passed the bar exam nearly 40 years ago. However, using some of that money wisely it grew because we used it toward income producing assets rather other conspicuous consumption.
As the father of the Hopkins family, I realized that I had the responsibility of preparing for my family’s future. I am the elder male in the family. I have tried to establish a pattern, especially for my sons and grandsons to follow. I think I have done a good job, like my dad did for his family.
I am a great grandfather now, and I am proud of my son’s and grandchildren’s progress and accomplishments. I invite other fathers and grandfathers to look at where their plan for their family’s future is and, if necessary, modify it accordingly.
Happy Father’s Day!