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How Financial Professionals Can Get In The Way

April 7, 2014 0 comments Finances, Financial Freedom, Weekly Ahas

How Financial Professionals Can Get In The Way 

By Greg Hammond

In the world of financial professionals, a major obstacle to getting people to do more is, unfortunately, the professionals themselves. Frequently, professionals such as attorneys, investment advisors, insurance professionals, and accountants tell us their clients aren’t interested in charitable giving but instead want to minimize taxes and maximize the wealth that their family and heirs will receive.

How does the financial professional industry in general come to this conclusion that people don’t want to support personal causes and organizations? The most common basis for this assertion is: “I asked them, and that’s what they told me.” When questioned about how they asked, we usually hear some variation of this not-so-creative or sophisticated question: “Do you want to leave money to charity?”  And the response they usually elicit is about what you’d expect.

Such a blunt question seems to dredge up those primal concerns in people about whether there’s enough for them and whether there’s likely to be anything left for the family. Even if those are not direct concerns, there is rarely any explanation or education to clarify the common misconception most people have: That a charitable legacy means the family will receive less than it would otherwise.

The vast majority of professional advisors have little to no experience in how to facilitate an engaging and productive conversation on legacy planning and philanthropy. Here are some fairly simple and effective questions that advisors could ask their clients to develop this important conversation:

  • “If you knew you could afford to give more to causes and organizations you personally care about, without compromising your financial independence and lifestyle, would this be interesting and potentially valuable to you?
  • “Were you aware that in most circumstances, when you leave money to charity through your estate or trust, it does not have to reduce your family’s share?
  • “Would you prefer to take the portion of your money that otherwise would be paid to the government in taxes after your death, and instead redirect those assets to your personally chosen causes and organizations?

These three questions are much more likely to help people begin thinking differently and dispelling whatever ignorance or misconceptions they may have toward this subject. Ultimately, with just a bit more thought and care, professionals can guide and counsel clients in ways that encourage and empower them to get into a game they do in fact care about, but never really thought they could afford to play.

Download a chapter of the book at domorethatmatters.com

Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA
is a wealth impact strategist who works with individuals, families, closelyheld and familyowned businesses, helping them grow and preserve wealth, plan for retirement and  manage their charitable giving. You can reach Greg at 1-800-416-1655 or info@hammondiles.com  for financially intelligent guidance or a Wealth Impact Assessment to show how you can build a legacy of your values, influence, and money without sacrificing your own lifetime goals and objectives.


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Greg Hammond
Greg Hammond is passionate about helping people make a greater impact in their lives, their families, and in their communities. Using his remarkable range of experience, Greg helps individuals establish what’s most important, then set and pursue goals toward preserving and growing their wealth. He believes everyone should have a chance to “do and achieve what matters most.” As a wealth advisor, Greg has counseled hundreds of individuals, families, and business owners on developing strategies for investments, intergenerational wealth transfer, building a legacy, reducing taxes, protecting the value of their estates, and charitable planning. A sought-after charitable giving and financial educator, consultant and speaker, Greg has been in financial management for more than 20 years. He is frequently interviewed by the media; recently by the Wall Street Journal for “Earning Income While Making a Gift” and the Hartford Business Journal Nonprofit Notebook for “Planned Giving.” Greg co-hosted the radio show, “Planning for Tomorrow” on WTIC News Talk 1080AM covering topics such as creating lifetime income, charitable use of life insurance, and philanthropic planning. He has been interviewed on WTIC AM news, published a special report on nonprofit challenges, and regularly speaks on “Building a Legacy” at national and regional conferences, estate planning councils, religious and nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio with a B.A. in Accounting, Greg is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional and Certified Public Accountant. Greg is also a certified True Wealth Consultant, a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP), The Planned Giving Group of Connecticut (PGGCT), The Financial Planning Association (FPA), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP). Greg’s commitment to making a difference has guided him to participate in Habitat for Humanity and to lead groups on mission trips in the United States and Mexico. Greg contributes to his local community as a board member for PGGCT, Treasurer for Westminster Presbyterian Church and Advisory Board member for The Connecticut Forum. Greg and his business partner, Scott Iles, sponsor many annual fundraising events for nonprofit organizations including a golf tournament to benefit ALS and fundraising for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. A published author, Greg lives in West Hartford, CT with his wife Karen and their two daughters. Greg enjoys research and writing, tennis and a challenging game of golf when he is not at the office or enjoying time with his family.

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