LifeSteps Financial Briefing | April 2019
Henry's Take
Spring is springing up around us. As spring break season ends, summer is around the corner and plans are underway for graduations, summer jobs and vacations. With the low unemployment rate, companies will, most likely, be welcoming the temporary help that students can add to the workforce. While consumer sentiment is cautious and interest rates are making investors nervous, the economy is still growing in a positive direction and the markets continue to receive good earnings news from companies. April has been active and May should see reaction to deals made regarding tariffs and trade, before investors slow down their activity for the summer. 
As you begin to consider taking a break for the summer, it is a good time to also consider priorities. Managing financial affairs, especially collecting rents, paying bills, etc. can be time consuming and burdensome given the various commitments that compete for your time. This month, we provide information on a growing aspect of financial management, the Family Office. While you may be able to manage the details now, it’s always good to be aware of options available when you are ready to outsource some tasks. 

As always, we will keep you updated and informed of changes or shifts in the financial landscape.

Henry Ford, Principal
Managing Financial Wellness
Family Offices
Managing wealth requires considerable time and attention. While this may seem easy, family business, philanthropy, personal and other obligations can make demands that leave little time to concentrate on oversight, investments, addressing individual needs and distribution. In many cases, the solution for wealthy families is to outsource everyday management and maintenance tasks, so that lives running efficiently. Family offices solve this dilemma by offering a holistic approach to wealth (and family) management.

Family Offices
A family office is designated by an individual family to oversee, facilitate and maintain a family lifestyle and legacy. It provides the family with desired oversight of assets, management of bill payments, resources and frees up valuable time to focus on other endeavors, such as philanthropy or growing the business.
The Facts

A household with a $1 million net worth ranks in the top 88% of households in America. A household with a $4 million net worth ranks in the top 97% of households in America. A household with an $11 million net worth ranks in the top 99% of households in America.

Used with permission from By the Numbers

A 65-year old American couple has a
48% chance that at least one of them will
live to age 90 , i.e., at least a 25-year
?life expectancy .

Source: Social Security Administration
Used with permission from By the Numbers   

A trust (a collection of assets) is a legal agreement through which funds or assets are held by a third party (the trustee) on behalf of a beneficiary. It is often considered an alternative to a will.

The one major benefit from a trust is that the assets can be passed to beneficiaries without using probate which saves time and money.

There are three main pieces in a trust:
  • Trustor (Trustmaker)—the person who creates the agreement and transfers ownership of certain assets to the trust. Also called grantor or settlor.
  • Trustee –The person responsible for managing the trust (the property or assets the trustor gives them to keep and are titled in the agreement.)
  • Beneficiary (or Beneficiaries)—The people who receive the benefits of the trust agreement.

There are several types of trusts, but two of the common ones are a living revocable trust and a living irrevocable trust.

A Living Revocable Trust allows you to retain control of the assets during your (the trustor’s) lifetime. It is designed to allow for easy transfer of the trust creator’s assets to beneficiaries and avoiding the expensive legal process of probate. Assets in a trust are private, as opposed to probate where assets become public. A Revocable Trust can be changed during a person’s lifetime, while an Irrevocable Trust cannot. Setting up a trust should be done by a professional.
Giving Back
Our featured charitable organization for August is  Hope through Housing Foundation.

Hope through Housing Foundation's mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty by advocating for policies and implementing programs that empower individuals and change communities. 
This report is for information purposes only and is not a recommendation for any particular security. Mention of individual securities should not imply that we own the security or have owned it in the past. In addition, the information provided here should not form the basis for investment decisions. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This information should not be used in any transaction without the advice and guidance of your Tax Professional. LifeSteps Financial has not independently verified, or attested to the accuracy or authenticity of the information, including any investment performance measurement.