Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Generations X, Y and Z: Are You Ready To Manage Great Wealth?













By Willie Thomas Butler, LPA

No Longer Just Passbook Savings Accounts

If you watch TV, cable, read newspapers, magazines or simply cruise Internet websites, then you know how your generations are being marketed as future wealth management clients.  That’s right.  Every bank, brokerage firm and financial services company has you in their sights as the generations to appeal to for the next thirty years.

Why, you might ask?  According to a recent article on the next great wealth transfer in America, author Phillip T. Tobin says that “Americans are currently experiencing the greatest transfer of wealth in history, and many may be unprepared to successfully navigate it.” 

He goes on to say “The statistics paint a picture: An estimated $59 trillion will pass from an aging generation to younger generations by 2061, including $21 trillion destined for charities. At its peak between 2030 and 2045, 10 percent of the total wealth in this country is expected to change hands every 5 years. This massive transfer of wealth between generations presents significant challenges for the parents or grandparents who now own this wealth, the heirs and charities who will be beneficiaries of transferred wealth, and the professional advisers who will guide their clients through this transfer and ideally remain as trusted advisers to the heirs after the wealth eventually transfers.

Navigating through today’s Financial Landscape

For those of you in Gen-X, you no longer have to imagine what a significant transfer of assets could mean to you at this stage of your life.  Unfortunately, some are experiencing the loss of parents due to early death or severe illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease well before they or their parents are old.  Others may have become recipients of what a grandparent has set apart for them at their death.  And, unless you were ready for what followed, that being unexpected financial responsibility, you may have found yourself ill-prepared and even loss some of the benefits of inheritance.

On the other hand, if your family is the type that shares all confidential information including any documentation involving the family finances, you are quite fortunate.  Why?  Because as many have learned in their brief season of navigating through budgets, savings, debt and spending, without some guidance, the financial landscape can be daunting.  In fact, you could be the type that wants nothing to do with managing finances, but you want all the benefits of lavishing in it.

Discover Your Financial Profile

In my book, “The Kingdom Life Approach: A Purpose-driven Strategy for Living Your Best Life,” I describe five money managers types which coincide with examining ones’ financial bent or leaning using EQ or Emotional Quotient to Money Management.  “Because emotions play a huge part in everyday decision-making, we must become self-aware of how they affect us as we endeavor to serve God, our family and each other.”  This is important because one of the most basic lessons to grasp about your role as a future wealth or money manager is that none of it belongs to you.

We are now at the intersection of life where believing in God and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord makes all the difference in how you should approach wealth and money management.  Simply stated, the Bible teaches us that the earth and everything in it—including you—belongs to the Lord. (Psalm 24:1)  This means that even though our tendency is to think that whatever we possess we have every right to manage it however we please, we don’t. 

A key word to remember on this subject of wealth and who owns it is the word stewardship.  For our purposes going forward, start to see you as a steward, that is, God’s resource manager on earth who manages things on His behalf.  Adopt this view and you will have no problem in managing money in the future.

The Five Money-Managers

This leads us to the task of identifying how you might align with the function and characteristics of one of these five manager types.  This is important because it will help you determine what type of financial advice and support you should seek starting today.

Most individuals will see themselves as closely aligned with and practicing money management from one of the following mindset: 

  1. Hubristic-    Many believe the world and everything in it belongs to them.
  2. Irascible -   Make decisions that are overshadowed and influenced through anger.
  3. Apathetic-   Much too easy-going and carefree to commit to money management.
  4. Avaricious- Lustful, greedy and covetous in wealth and money matters.
  5. Kingdom-    Seeks first and foremost to serve the Kingdom of God in all ways.

Additional information for each of these can be found in my Kingdom Life Approach book, available through Xulon Publishers, Amazon and other online bookstores.  While this approach to becoming wealth and money managers may seem different, it is, nonetheless, a necessary step in preparing to manage significant wealth either amassed or inherited. 

Only One Master Can Be Served

There is the world’s way of viewing money and traditional wealth management strategies, and there is a financial management process that God has designed for those who serve in His Kingdom.  If you profess to be a Christian, than that is you.  Remember, that the Bible warns us against serving two masters, citing Mammon as the other focal point of our worship.  Wealth and managing money or, worst yet, working, scheming and living solely to amass as much money as you can is not God’s plan for any of us.  This is why He warns us that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. ... You cannot serve both God and money”.(Matthew 6:24-NIV).  So, let the buyer beware!

Choosing to serve God’s kingdom in the earth is choosing to allow the Lord to make most, if not all, financial decisions.  After all, He is the source through which you are going to be blessed with wealth in this life, and He understands that you may need counsel to help you manage what is entrusted to you.  So, remember, it belongs to God, and He allows you to exercise use with some discretion.  However, He knows what He wants to do with what He makes available to you, and you must learn to seek Him before spending it to find what He plans for His resources.

Wealth Transfer is for Kingdom Service

Proverbs 13:22 teaches parents to set aside an inheritance for grandchildren and not just their children.  So inheritance is also commanded by God for the sake and well-being of those left behind.  Not only is there a secular forecast that a massive transfer of wealth will inure to Generations X, Y and Z, but there have been Christian prophecies for the past decade that God will be orchestrating a mass transfer from the world’s repositories to the Church, which is you and me.  So we have multiple reasons to hear the clarion call to prepare.

Inheritance can empower a beneficiary to achieve many things they would otherwise never do, and the Lord certainly knows and understands this too.  However, keep in mind that inheritance can help someone plan their future, care for loved ones, provide charity to those in need and financially underwrite the preparation of those called to fulfill their life’s purpose. 

Let Us Help You Prepare

Because of how important this instruction is to you, do not just choose any financial adviser or wealth management firm that says they can manage your money for you, but search for those who are Christian and Kingdom-centric who understand that any education and management training must incorporate God’s plans and instruction.  Again, remember Psalm 24:1 which says that “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and all that is in it.”  So let’s choose to honor Him!  And, may the Lord bless your efforts to serve Him first and always…


Willie Thomas Butler  is Founder and President of Kingdom Seed Foundation (KSF) and The Life Planning Institute (LPI), in Norfolk, Virginia.  An ordained minister and associate pastor, Butler is author of several books available in online bookstores, such as Google and Amazon Books, and creator of The Kingdom Life Approach Ten-Week Course.  For more information, please visit www.MyLPI.org.    Also, for practical insights in Biblical Stewardship and wealth management strategies, please visit our other blog titled LifePlanning Institute at Blog.MyLPI.org.  

References: 

1)  Wealth Management.com Article- Ten Questions to Help Families Navigate the Great Wealth Transfer, by Phillip T. Tobin (September 19, 2018):

2)      The Kingdom Life Approach: A Purpose-Driven Strategy for Living Your Best Life Ever (2012), by Willie Thomas Butler

3)      The Holy Bible Scripture References




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