Family Matters Logo

Family Matters is a collection of resources and programs designed to facilitate an awareness of how wealth can reach across generations to help family members prepare for a solid financial future, get support in times of transition and gather ideas for how to establish a lasting legacy.

Included, is an extensive library of topic-driven papers written by experienced wealth guidance professionals – and presented from a multi-generational perspective. In addition to content, Family Matters’ in-person programs facilitate intra-family dialogue to promote a common understanding and vision for how wealth will impact and play a role in the lives of family members today and into the future.

Family Matters Library
Learn more about topics that affect and shape family dynamics.
Advisor’s Viewpoint
Members of our wealth advisory and strategy team share their insights based on their experience with generations of families.
Tom Kukulski, CFP®, CIMA®, AIF®
Find ways to share the difference between money and wealth. Let’s start with “money” . . .

Money is a current medium of exchange—whether that’s physical banknotes or credit at your bank. Money is used to purchase goods and services. Casually speaking, “money” is having the cash flow to afford monthly payments on expensive car. “Having money” is having the car—and displaying to others. But having the car isn’t the same as accumulating resources. After all, the car disappears if the source of funds for the monthly payments dries up.

Wealth, on the other hand, is owning the car outright. Wealth is freedom. Wealth is time. Wealth is the ability to choose whether to work or to care for an ill loved one.

Teach children that money flows in and flows out. Managing those flows requires care—teach them budgeting skills. But also find ways to help them understand the concept of stewardship, because that’s what wealth requires. Properly stewarded wealth can remain useful over long periods of time.

So find age-appropriate ways to help children properly steward their own belongings. Over time, help them see and understand the care you devote to stewarding wealth through time. That’s how each generation comes to learn the difference between money and wealth.

Richard Gotterer, CFP®
The answer I generally provide surprises most parents. Because that answer is . . .

Yes, kids should have credit cards as soon as they qualify and are ready for one. But don’t just add a card onto your existing account. Use credit cards to teach financial discipline…

Having a credit card deepens kids’ exposure to transactions—which is important given their limited exposure to the cash economy in our era of electronic transactions and point-of-sale. That transactional awareness encourages children to become more aware of prices.

Credit cards also lend themselves to lessons about budgeting, given the need to pay each month. But these lessons are dulled if the child’s card is on the parents’ account. How will children come to appreciate the value of a dollar if they never see a statement of their expenses or if their purchases are commingled on the statement with their parents’ expenses?

Instead, set up a separate account (with a modest spending limit) in the child’s name and make sure he or she pays it off every month. The result is plenty of teachable moments about financial discipline—and the start to a credit history that may serve your child well in future years.

Christina Castrejon, CFP®
If you have to go through divorce, be sure to do so with your eyes open about financial details. Your stress level may be extreme, but don’t put off financial planning. Here’s why . . .

Without in-depth financial planning, a divorcing spouse risks making uninformed decisions about how to handle divorce settlement funds. For example, in one case we know, a woman who received a large sum of money as a result of divorce proceedings left the entire sum sitting in cash—for years, completely missing out on substantial gains achieved in financial markets during that period.

But financial planning isn’t just for after a divorce settlement—it’s also important earlier in the process. For example, financial models can help you and your attorney understand the implications of potential settlement terms, not just now but over years to come. For example, is the family house more likely to be a blessing or a burden? Or, how far does a given combination of up-front assets and spousal maintenance (alimony) go toward sustaining a lifestyle post-divorce?

Talk with both your attorney and your wealth advisor early in the process. Make financial planning a priority. Quality financial planning is an antidote to long-term stress.

Sterling Sullivan, CFP®
Positioning the wealth advisor is an important part of inter-generational conversations about money and wealth. Likening the wealth advisor to a football quarterback is a good place to start . . .

In my role as a wealth manager, I serve as the quarterback of a team of experts from varied disciplines such as accounting, banking, and investments.

The quarterback analogy helps communicate that the wealth advisor’s role is broader than a single specific function, such as financial planning. In addition to planning-focused areas—such as tax, philanthropic, and estate planning—a wealth advisor “quarterback” applies guidance in investment portfolio management, estate planning, risk management, business succession planning.

The wealth advisor—or “wealth manager” as I like to think of it—also coordinates closely with tax, legal, and banking specialists to ensure efficient management of all aspects of clients’ wealth. Otherwise, opportunities may be missed to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth.

The quarterback analogy works well whether you’re talking to adult children—perhaps in sharing aspects of your estate plans—or to younger children. Everyone in the family can benefit from peace of mind by understanding how wealth management is a truly integrated discipline.

Make Our Family a Part of Your Family
Explore opportunities to introduce your family members to the services at Calamos Wealth Management.
  • Family Meetings – Some families find it uncomfortable and challenging to communicate with adult children, grandchildren or other heirs about wealth and its inevitable transfer to the next generation. Calamos Wealth Management can help:
    • Informal meetings to introduce your Advisor, who can be available to family members to answer questions or provide guidance.
    • Facilitated discussions with our wealth strategy professionals to inform family stakeholders of intentions and rationale for estate structures and funding vehicles.
    • Family Meeting – A hosted event at a Calamos Wealth Management location. Advisors and wealth strategists will work with the family matriarch and patriarch to put together a custom agenda with facilitated discussion and activities on matters pertaining to family legacy, estate structures, planned giving and succession planning. Accommodations, meals, and activities may also be coordinated.
  • Courtesy account management – As a client of Calamos Wealth Management, you may be eligible to extend the relationship you enjoy with your Advisor to members of your immediate family including adult children and grandchildren.