Real wealth can’t be tabulated on a balance sheet
I also have a bunch of clients with assets between $ 20 million and $ 50 million. Most of them have 2,000 to 5,000 acres. Most of them have worked hard and some have seen certain things in life “fall into place”.
I have a client with a net worth of $ 380 million. I was introduced to him and five minutes after meeting him he showed me a one-page balance sheet. I remember thinking it was quite a large number. He was a really good guy, and we had nice meetings.
This article does not apply to anyone listed in the categories above. This is one of my richest clients who has just died. Oh no, her track record wasn’t as huge as anything mentioned above, but she was golden. Ever since I first met her and her husband years ago I thought they must be some of the nicest, sincere and hardest working people I have ever encountered. Several years ago, I was sad to learn of his passing. I helped her in the process of closing the estate. I’m sure the loss of a husband made her sad, but she was very “done” and kept moving on in life, never asking for sympathy.
Her list of monetary assets was a comfortable list of assets that served her well, but I’m pretty sure she lived on her Social Security check until she moved into a retirement home in her later years. .
His real wealth lay in assets that did not have a dollar sign. Here is his list of “other” assets:
Kind: I don’t remember her having an angry word to say about anyone.
Humble: She had everything she needed, but she would never be proud or haughty.
Honest: Her life was transparent and the truth was always told.
Grateful: She was so grateful for everything she and her husband had accumulated and she was even grateful for the opportunity to work and stay home raising her children. Sometimes she would ask me to help with something and regardless of the size of her request, she was always grateful.
Organized: She always had her very neat and well-written asset list, where everything was and how everything was invested. She had thoughtfully prepared a list of questions each time we met or spoke on the phone.
Amusing: There was always something to smile or laugh about. She wasn’t a big joke-teller, just always a little witty about something.
Spine: She had a spine! Never rude, arrogant or stubborn, but she certainly knew where she was and what her values were.
Children: I didn’t know all of his children, but the ones I know have many of his same golden qualities. They respected and honored her greatly, which clearly reflected the way they had been brought up.
Eternal: She certainly knew where her real treasures were stored.
Now we are going to put together a list of assets that have a dollar sign by them for the lawyer and her estate will be closed, but she will leave a list of assets much larger than those with a dollar sign for her family and friends. ‘others remember. How do you get on the list of assets that you will leave behind without a dollar sign?
Myron Friesen is co-owner of Farm Financial Strategies Inc. in Osage, Iowa. He can be contacted at 866-524-3636 or [email protected]