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Every year, hundreds of individuals flock to Nepal to accomplish a feat many would never consider themselves capable of – summiting the tallest mountain in the World, Mt. Everest. Attempting such a feat, however, is not without consequences. It is estimated there have been over 280 deaths on the mountain, and while reaching the peak is an obvious risk, studies have shown that there is far greater danger coming back down. Of the known deaths on Mt. Everest, 15% occurred before the summit, 17% after turning back, and 56% on the descent. More than half of all reported deaths of climbers happened on the way down. *
But how does summiting Mt. Everest relate to financial planning? If we utilize the mountain metaphor and apply it to a lifetime of accumulating wealth, we’ll notice that reaching the peak (retirement) is the focus for individuals, but frequently, they forget about the descent. They spend so much effort building a business or acquiring wealth yet devote little to no time planning how to spend or transfer to the next generation once they reach their goal.
Researchers say that nine of out every ten very affluent families will lose their wealth and family unity within three generations. In climbing terms, this means that 90% of individuals die on the way down. So, what do the 10% do differently?**
At Ownership Advisors, we believe that the wealth we acquire is not solely ours. We are merely stewards of great gifts, and those gifts are a blessing and a curse. Money can build up and money can tear down. Our goal is to ease the descent down the mountain, paving a path and removing unintended consequences for future generations to create a lasting legacy.
*Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer & How deadly is Mount Everest? By Ben Butcher BBC Reality Check
***Evidence by the research conducted by Rod Zeeb of the Heritage Institude and author of the Midas Curse.theheritageinstitute.com/what-we-do