In last week’s post, “And Then There Was Avery Grace,” our Wealth Manager and new father Chris Annello shared some of the wealth planning initiatives he and his wife are prioritizing during their first year as new parents to their daughter Avery Grace. This week, we bring you “Grampy” Larry Annello’s perspective on the same.
The Doting Grandfather: Larry
When Chris and Lindsay first told us about the expected arrival of Avery Grace, I had vague notions that being a first-time grandparent would probably be quite a bit different from my days as a dad. Wow, what an understatement that was. Besides spending every moment I can adoring the cutest, most precious granddaughter in the world, here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about since Avery was born.
Estate Planning: Nothing like the birth of a grandchild to spur us into revisiting our estate-planning documents. Making sure they reflect our current wishes, covering the “what ifs” (such as if Chris predeceases us), considering possible trust arrangements to prepare a newborn for potential inheritance … all points to ponder.
“Excitement Management”: I hadn’t really thought about this one until it happened to us. We have to remind ourselves, as absolutely amazing as Avery Grace is in every way, she may not be our only grandchild. With any luck, she’ll be joined by siblings, and/or first cousins from our other two children. In that context, how much should we contribute to Avery’s college education? In what ways should we pace ourselves and our assets so we can be fair to everyone?
Our Own Safety Net: As a wealth manager and accountant, I’ve seen how important it is for we Baby Boomers to safeguard our own financial independence before over-spending on the kids or grandkids. We want to give generously to them, but it won’t help any of us if Bev and I imperil our own retirement in the process. That leaves us considering trade-offs, like, “Are we better off helping Chris and Lindsay purchase their first home, or contributing to Avery’s college education?” Even for those of us who are financial professionals, these questions aren’t easy.
Work, Travel and Home: The chance to create memories with Avery has become a high priority, leaving me mindful of my work/ life schedule. So I can visit with her regularly, I’ve committed to periodically working out of our Massachusetts office. We’re also planning a family vacation next summer, so we all can be together, perhaps renting a home on the Rhode Island shore for a week. But, again, we’ve got other family too. We’ve started looking at the possibilities for a new family homestead, where we won’t be too distant from any of our kids.
Health and Well-Being: Sadly, Chris and his brother Jeff did not get to meet their grandparents, who passed away before they were born. This reminds me how important it is to take care of my physical health as best I can. I want to be there for Avery as she grows up, as well as for any other grandchildren to come. That makes it a little easier to tend to my diet and fitness regime.
My Photo Jones: Anyone who knows me, knows that photography has long been a focal point in my life (no pun intended). Imagine my delight at combining my latest love with my longest passion. I intend to continue making time for photography by taking and sharing pictures of Avery Grace. When I recently photographed her at three months old, I was amazed at how her Day One pictures already seemed so distant. How swiftly our most precious moments fly by!
SAGE Serendipity: Pets and kids, we can’t resist them. Time.com published Four Things Your Cat Can Teach the Kids About Money (really, any pet will do). And how about What Cats Can Teach You About Investing in the Stock Market? The people at Time must love their animals as much as we love ours!