What is Generational Planning?

Top things you should know about generational planning

By: Melissa Karns, for Family Defined Benefits

If you are reading this, you should have a generational plan. After all, a generational plan is for everyone — not just the rich. Even young adults should be thinking about the future and what they want it to look like for their families. It’s all about building a better life for the ones that come after.

Nick Nardulli knows that well. As founder and president of Family Defined Benefits, Nardulli has worked with families across northern Illinois and the lower Wisconsin region to ensure their family wealth goes on.

“It’s all about the next generation and ensuring they are better off than the ones before,” said Nardulli. “Our goal is to preserve the financial integrity of the family. That’s our whole focus.”

When Nardulli began in the insurance industry, selling Medicare supplement plans in 1988, he recognized his clients’ needs extended beyond health insurance. The aging population had a lot of questions — about even the basics, like writing a will. From that experience, he was driven to learn all he could to help people of all ages — and their families.

Fast forward 30 years, Nardulli has penned hundreds of articles and presentations. He offers guidance on critical topics, including retirement, estate planning, insurance transfers, understanding tax strategies, financial tactics and how to manage your lifestyle to free up assets for investment.

“As I’ve worked closely with clients and families throughout the years, we’ve evolved from a revenue-based, estate-planning service approach to a family-oriented, generational planning approach,” Nardulli explained.

Formerly known as Nardulli & Associates, the now Family Defined Benefits works with clients and their families throughout all periods in life. As an agency that examines finances holistically throughout a lifetime — and beyond — a focus on the family is key. And “defined” is a fitting term, as Nardulli noted of the firm’s new name. “Families are certain of what they’ve established and why,” he said. “We want something that will go on — a vehicle for the future.”

Here are the top three reasons why you should consider generational planning today.

1. Generational planning is for everyone.

While you may not have heard of generational planning before, think of it as estate planning with a focus on the entire family. Generational planning is not simply the one-way transfer of a wealth holder’s assets but a long-term strategy that benefits everyone involved.

 Building generational wealth may come from various sources, it’s not just “old money.” It can be derived from a job, a business or a passive income, such as an investment generating dividends. Wealth is built when you get enough income to cover your monthly expenses. Then, you can use any additional income to build assets for a potential, future source of wealth, like purchasing real estate, investing in stocks and more.

 “What we do is world changing because, for smaller estates, I believe it’s even more valuable,” Nardulli said. “Thousands of dollars can be saved with correct planning and for an estate of $100,000 that can be life changing.”


2. It’s never too early.

You are never too young to begin thinking about generational planning. The best way to build generational wealth for your family is to get started as soon as you can. Because wealth compounds over time, the earlier you can get started, the more opportunities you will have to grow your wealth. You should also be thinking about how to protect that wealth and pass it on.

Family Defined Benefits takes a comprehensive approach: enacting a planning strategy that accounts for your financial and non-financial life. It’s important to find a firm that won’t ignore an important personal need in your life just to see a greater financial return. It is possible to incorporate dreams and endeavors into a financial plan to ensure personal and financial success.


3. A trust can work for you in many ways.

One of the most practical steps you can take to build and protect your generational wealth is to set up a trust. “Effective estate management enables you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death,” said Nardulli.

A trust is a legal entity that can own property. It helps families maintain privacy, avoid probate court and the delays that come with it. Trusts are difficult to contest. “They provide effective management of your assets and distribution to your heirs,” Nardulli said. “Think of a trust like a legal contract.”

That’s why it’s important to consider working with a professional — no matter how humble your beginnings. Remember, you can always add to a trust fund; plus, the trust itself can be used to grow your wealth through investment portfolios.

Talk to a financial professional

When it comes to generational planning, no single strategy fits all. Look for a firm that believes in providing personalized financial strategies that are tailored to your unique needs. Aimed at helping you reach your goals, any financial plan you make should anticipate and address situations as they occur and will always be working in your benefit.

With a family-centered approach, Family Defined Benefits helps clients manage their money today to provide more for tomorrow’s generation. By reducing fees and risk, Nardulli’s team helps clients retain the gains they have made in their portfolio and enjoy the life they — and their families — deserve.

The team at Family Defined Benefits is here to help you. Take a workshop today to learn about financial planning and strategies, visit familydefinedbenefits.com to find out more and unlock your future.