• Shaun O'Keefe I Financial Adviser

Leaving a legacy

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Life has its cycles. Some cycles might look similar but they're not all the same. And sadly, some life cycles are cut way too short for whatever reason.

Wealth has its own life cycle also. There are patterns and behaviours which lead to how it comes into our lives and how long it sticks around. Some families have built great wealth over multiple generations, and for some, their accumulated family wealth has been cut short - only to find itself in the hands of better management.

When I was a kid, I can't recall having a lot of conversations about money. I'm not sure if it was an awkward topic at home - or something else - but one thing I do know is that it would have been helpful to get a handle on the basics of earning, spending and saving a little earlier than I did.

It wasn't until I was married that my wife showed me how to manage our money and we started to get ahead. I don't think that's too unusual though. Most people start getting serious about managing their income and expenses when adult responsibilities start coming their way. And that's usually the shake-up most of us need.

Scott Pape - The Barefoot Investor - has done a great job in educating Australian's on the importance of good money management. I'm a big fan. In particular, there's a section of his book that's pretty close to his heart - 'Leave a Legacy'. Legacy is close to mine also.

And leaving a legacy is a massively relevant topic for discussion right now.

Over the next 10 - 20 years over $3 Trillion of family wealth is going to transfer from Parents to their 60+ year old kids. This is the greatest intergenerational wealth transfer ever to occur in history.

And many older Aussie's just aren't prepared.

Most of them don't even have a valid Will to handle how this wealth needs to be passed down the line. Worse still, most of them haven't even had 'the chat' with their loved ones about what their wishes are for a family legacy.

A survey conducted by investment and trustee services group, Perpetual said;

The survey of 3,000 Australians found that 76 per cent do not currently have a will in place, while 53 per cent of parents have not discussed their will and legacy with their children. Perpetual estimated that 70 per cent of families will lose their wealth by the second generation and 90 per cent will lose it by the third.

The wealth cycle gets completely broken in the second and third generations. That's a shocking waste - and doesn't have to happen.

Most people tend to shy away from discussing money amongst their families and friends. I get that. However, as we approach the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history - with more than half of Australians expecting to inherit - 'the chat' needs to happen sooner rather than later to make sure the legacy stays alive for the generations to come.


Shaun O'Keefe thinks that families are important. He's found that he can help more people, more effectively when he helps families. As a fee-based financial planner, he works with families just like yours to bring personal values and financial resources in line so that you can keep focussed on the priorities in your life.

The information contained in this article is general in nature only. It is not intended to be a recommendation, offer, advice or invitation to purchase, sell or otherwise deal in securities or other investments. Before making any decision concerning a financial product, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified professional. We believe that the information contained in this document is accurate. However, we are not specifically licensed to provide tax or legal advice and any information that may relate to you should be confirmed with your tax or legal adviser.


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