Retirement Planning

Financial planning is a family affair

Many people lament that schools do not teach students about finances, investing, or managing money. But what hits closer to home is that parents generally don’t discuss finances or investing with their children either. In some cases, one person is responsible for all aspects of the family’s finances. When that person becomes ill or passes away, their spouse and children have to scramble to figure out their financial situation.

mcnair200x300Joseph R. McNair, CFP®, JD, CPA, with Warren Averett Asset Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor headquartered in Birmingham, AL, says that the family patriarch or matriarch should be transparent with their partner and children on the family’s financial picture. This includes educating family members – particularly children – on the financial plan and how to manage wealth.

“When there is a lack of financial transparency in families, multi-generational wealth often disappears after three generations,” said McNair, who joined Warren Averett Asset Management in 2010 specializing in comprehensive financial planning and institutional investment consulting. “That’s why it is important to teach children about how to be good stewards of wealth – and getting them involved earlier is better.”

As trust is central to family transparency when discussing their financial plan and wealth management, it also extends to the relationship with their financial advisor. To be effective, the family’s patriarch or matriarch – or the person within the family responsible for making financial decisions – must share financial information with the advisor, and trust that person to help make decisions based on their financial picture and future plans.

Working closely with families to help them build their comprehensive financial plan, McNair says that one key challenge is getting them to understand the benefits of building a well-balanced portfolio, while ignoring the hysteria that surrounds the market’s short-term ups and downs. This includes explaining different types of investment risk and their related rewards. He digs into his clients’ challenges and their overall financial goals to help them identify and solve their specific problems.

“Our goal is to be a trusted advisor and help our clients to solve their problems,” said McNair, who is based in Pensacola and is a licensed attorney in Florida and Georgia.

“This could mean trying to figure out how to use every dollar saved for retirement, or liquidating a business, or transitioning from closing their business and using the funds for investments. In every case, we’ll sit down with clients to figure out their issues and then find a way to solve those problems.”

For more information on Warren Averett Asset Management, visit:


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