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Frequently Asked Questions


Why did you decide to write the Lessons to My Children book?


After years of helping families manage their finances and sometimes fight their way back from financial mistakes, we realized that something was missing.  The back-to-basics, bedrock wisdom of how to manage your finances was no longer being passed down through the generations.  In some cases the parents were passing on their own bad money habits or sharing outdated or simply incorrect information with their children.  It occurred to us that families needed a strong, straightforward tool that they could use to learn these lessons together or pass them along to the young adults they loved.  It was out of a strong passion to help the children of the next generation – and their parents – that we wrote Lessons to My Children as an easy-to-read guide to developing the healthy financial habits that will put you on the path to a stress-free financial future.  As parents and financial professionals, we’ve passed these lessons on to our own children and we want to empower every parent to do the same.  Too many adult children are financially dependent on their parents today.  This book will help families get back on track – back to financially independent adult children – back to generationally growing wealth – back to the basic principles that lead to financial success, wealth and abundance generation after generation.


Who is the book written for? 


This book is for anyone who is just starting out or just starting over.  Whether you’re an adult looking to get back on track, a parent hoping to share these 11 simple life lessons with your children, or a young adult taking your first steps down your own financial path, we’ve written Lessons to My Children for you.


What is the biggest mistake a parent makes in teaching one’s children financial responsibility? 


The biggest mistake most parents make in teaching their children financial responsibility is failure by omission – by failing to pass down the basic habits and knowledge necessary to become financially responsible.  Lessons to My Children is a tool for parents, grandparents, and mentors to avoid making this devastating mistake.  Use this book to start the important life-changing financial discussions every young adult needs to have.


What have parents said is their biggest financial fear for their children?


Our clients at Navigator Wealth Management have shared many fears with us over the years but the one we hear the most is: a child’s failure to launch.  The majority of parents want their children to be financially self-sufficient, and eventually, accumulate wealth, yet most parents admit they don’t have a plan or the knowledge to show their children how.  Lessons to My Children can be used as a lesson plan for parents as they impart this critical wisdom to their children.


How and why did you choose the 11 lessons you teach in your book?


Lessons to My Children contains  some of the most basic, yet often overlooked, financial lessons that are essential to lead a life of financial success, wealth and abundance .   Life’s most powerful lessons are often its most simple, and that is true of the 11 lessons in our book.  These simple life lessons are easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to discuss as a family.  Families are encouraged to adopt this book as a year-long curriculum, reading and discussing one lesson each month and using the twelfth month to create personal financial plans and start putting the Lessons into action in their own lives.


If someone just followed one or a few lessons, which would they be?


Our own children have said the most important Lesson we’ve passed on to them was Lesson One: Pay Yourself First.  In other words, save first, save now, and save often.  You can never start too early and our subsequent lessons will show you how to save, how to grow that savings, and how to wisely manage the wealth you accumulate.  The big message is: Don’t wait~ start saving today. 


How can a parent teach one’s children to accumulate financial wealth?


It is a process and one that should start as early as possible. Lessons to My Children provides parents – and their children – with the basic building blocks to create a life of financial success, wealth and abundance.  We recommend parents or mentors read the book first and then give a copy to their teen, young adult, or adult children.  Get the knowledge, start the conversation, and begin to take action.  If your children are too young for the real world application of these Lessons, arm yourself with the knowledge and start setting the example by adopting the healthy financial habits outlined in the book.  You’ll not only be modeling good financial behavior, you’ll have the knowledge to answer their questions and the wealth to help them get started.


When should your child read this book?    


The 11 simple life lessons contained in Lessons to My Children are the knowledge, tools, and habits that will lead anyone to financial success no matter where you’re starting from – whether you’re just starting out or just starting over.  We envisioned this book as a tool – a tool for parents to read or share with their children to empower them with the gift of financial knowledge and the good habits that will serve them well over a lifetime.  Use this book in the way that is best for your family: parents could read the book and share the lessons, or simply use the book as a starting point for the important discussions that shape how young adults – and even not-so-young-adults – manage their money.  People with adult children may want to read the book and give their children a copy to read.  While people with younger – say high school aged children – may want to make this book their family project and read it together.  Bottom line:  this book is for anyone who wants to know the 11 simple life lessons for financial success, wealth and abundance – or wants to pass them on to the young people they care about.


Are there any favorite stories in the book that really stand out?


Earlier in his career as an attorney when his wife and he upgraded to a large home to accommodate their recently born children, Mark tells the story of one of his most disliked chores - mowing the lawn, which took him at least 2 - 3 hours every precious weekend. One day he was rolling up his sleeves with mower in hand, when a young man walked up and offered to mow, edge, and clean the 1/8 acre all for $35.   He thought about it for all of two seconds and agreed.  The man accomplished everything using his specialty equipment in just under a half hour.  He not only did the job faster, but far better than Mark could have, even if he had spent all day.  He hired him, and now, 18 years later, his company still does all their lawn care.


The moral of the story is that Mark quickly calculated how expensive it was for Mark himself to cut his lawn, considering his billable hourly rate as an attorney, and considered the scenario of paying himself the minimum of two hours that it took him to mow the lawn, and in fact, figured out he’d be, in effect, losing over two billable hours in value, not to mention doing something he disliked and missing time with his family.   Sometimes even an expert needs to hire a different expert to not only get the job done, but to get it done in an efficient and effective manner.  The same goes for people doing their own taxes and financial advisement.  Sometimes, it pays to hire an expert.


In these tough economic times, what advice do you have for young adults?


Lessons to My Children is the perfect place to start if you’re trying to get back on track financially – or even if you’re still weathering this tough financial storm.  The 11 simple life lessons apply whether you have thousands of dollars or if you’re thousands of dollars in debt.  These are the basic principles that hold true no matter where you are financially – and followed carefully – can be your roadmap back to a stress-free financial future.  Storms come and go, but sound, time-tested advice like Lessons to My Children endures.  If you don’t have money to invest, invest in yourself by learning the valuable tools, advice, and lessons in this book.  It will pay you – and the ones you love – priceless dividends many times over during your lifetime – and theirs.


How can a reader benefit if they have a very small income or none at all?


Lessons to My Children is not a get rich quick scheme.  It reveals the best practices for setting up your financial future, regardless of what your current paycheck or bank balance looks like right now. Bottom line:  You don’t need to have a penny to benefit from the lessons in this book.  The dollar you receive today is worth more than a dollar you receive a year from now if you’re armed with the 11 simple life lessons.  It’s about how your treat the money you receive from this point forward that will shape your financial future.  Lessons to My Children is the smart start no matter what your age or stage in life.


How can you motivate your children to avoid debt and save for the future?


It’s nature and nurture.  The best motivation to avoid debt and save for the future must come from leadership by example.  It must also come from within.  If a child has a parent who carefully managed debt and saves for the future, he or she must still have the personal motivation to succeed.  Conversely, if he or she is deprived of the knowledge necessary to succeed, even with the best of intentions and self-motivation, he likely won’t thrive and may ultimately fail.  This book can serve as the best nurturing a parent can provide his children.


What advice have your children offered you?


My kids have asked us to give them their “space” to implement these lessons their way.  So for example, I give them the money for the year in college and it is their responsibility to manage their budget and spending for the entire year.  If they don’t manage it responsibly, they don’t get more if they spend it all.


Do you have any other special advice?


In these erratic and uncertain financial times, we want parents to reach for the lifeline of long-term financial success.  We believe that lifeline is knowledge and that knowledge is contained in the 11 simple life lessons for financial success, wealth and abundance that are revealed in Lesson to My Children.  Giving children money isn’t always the answer.  Giving children the wisdom to save, manage, and grow their own wealth is the answer.  Invest in yourself, your children, and their children: read Lessons to My Children.