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Recently, I watched a video on Facebook with Dr. Umar Johnson (school psychologist and PhD) while he spoke candidly to a pair of men about the economic plight of the African American family. According to Dr. Johnson, Black people want to catch up, we have to start saving wealth and passing it to the next generation”. I have since watched the clip several times and each time I glean new revelation.
Here’s my question:
Why don’t we - as African American’s, leave inheritances for our children? Yes, I am generalizing but if the shoe fits...wear it. Many times when I visit with a client, I hear them say - unequivocally, “I am NOT leaving nothing for them to get rich. I’m going to spend every dime before I leave here. I had to work hard for what I have, so they can too”. I have heard mothers say, “Somebody will take care of them [her children]”. While that may seem like a dose of, “tough love”, or “keeping it real”, it’s sad. Why - because not only are we lacking in the education of how the little bit of money we have works and the rules we need to know in order to play the game effectively but we are also forced to CONSTANTLY start over, generation after generation simply because someone decided their immediate gratifications were more important. It becomes a perpetual game of financial cat and mouse. Unfortunately, there is no way to ever win the game - long term.
Life Insurance: Who Depends On Your Income?
Dr. Johnson mentioned life insurance as a means that not only insures that the income of the primary breadwinner is replaced upon death but it also assures that the lifestyle you have established for your family can continue. It provides an opportunity for your children to go to college, mortgages and other debt to be paid off and that our families would not end up starting from square one. It sounds like a great idea right?! Then why are 95 million people without coverage? And the 5 million who do have it, most have no idea of how it really works. Most would dismissively respond, “I’m good”.
Is There Too Much Month At The End Of Your Money?
“We have to sacrifice our spending habits more than anyone else...to catch up”, says Dr. Johnson. And he’s right. While this is not a piece with attempts to bash Black people (for I am one), it IS written to ruffle a few feathers and make some feel a little uncomfortable living in the world of lack and passing that on to our children’s children as if some cloak of honor. As a people, we tend to want what we see others have but we aren’t willing to do the work it takes to get it. At what point do WE start making sacrifices for ourselves, our children and theirs to come so that we too can experience generational wealth?
Wouldn’t you want your son or daughter to struggle less than you?
Some say, “Money isn’t everything”. I say, “It’s right up there with air...you need it to live”.
Until next time,
Ingrid M. Ellis
Primerica Financial Services
Regional Vice President - "The Incredibles"
Serving the community for more than 38 years!
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