This post is part of Generation One Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world how we are creating generational wealth, CLICK HERE!!
Credit score, what is that?
I can remember very vividly being in college and seeing a commercial for a credit report service and wondering what that was. Because I’m naturally curious I went to the website and started filling out the form to get my report. When the reports were generated as I read over them I was thinking “Who are all these companies and why are they saying I owe them money?!” I took that as an opportunity to learn. As I educated myself about the process and asked people more knowledgeable about financial matters, I knew I had some work to do to get my reports cleaned up. I began the process of paying off, disputing and generally getting my financial house in order…and I couldn’t help but to be a little upset. I wondered how come no one ever taught me about credit, debt and credit scores. I was disappointed with my parents for not teaching me about these things, but the more questions I asked them the more I realized that they weren’t withholding info…they didn’t know much about it either. This is what my parents knew about money matters: work for a living and then pay the bills as best they could.
401 K plan and retirement accounts, what are those?
When I graduated college and landed a job they started talking about 401 K plans and retirement accounts, and again I was so lost. As a young man that finally had some decent steady income I’m thinking “Why do I need to put money away, MY HARD EARNED MONEY, that I can’t touch until I’m a senior citizen?!” Furthermore, I didn’t understand much of the terminology and had initial difficulty grasping these foreign concepts while my colleagues seemed to know exactly what to do. Then I started asking more questions to my family…surely they knew about retirement accounts and long term savings! I soon realized they didn’t have much of a clue about either of these things.
Estate planning, wills, power of attorney…this sounds like rocket science!
My mom passed away in 2012 from Multiple Sclerosis, and in her last few years here as her health declined I had to take the lead on the legalities related to her health and estate. When these terms continuously came up I knew that this was going to be a more difficult process than I thought. I had to take a crash course on matters associated with living wills, powers of attorney etc, meet with various lawyers, and as a result I was thoroughly exhausted! I was once again disappointed that many of these things weren’t in order I had to make sense of it all. When the time came and my mom ultimately passed away, there was another moment of truth for me. There was no big inheritance, trust fund or big insurance payout. If anything I was left to handle debts that still needed to be settled. What happened to the stories I heard about people getting inheritances and family heirlooms when their parents passed away? That sure wasn’t my story so somebody was lying…or maybe my story was much more common than I had ever imagined…
Family planning and creating wealth, how do you do that?
Fast forward a few years to me getting married I knew even before I got down on one knee that a change in what I was used to in terms of money and finances had to be made. My wife’s familial background with these topics was eerily similar so we made a steadfast decision to break the cycle of the lack of generational wealth and financial empowerment. Now that I am more informed we have a financial planner and we have regular meetings about not only how we will generate more income but also how we will make that income work for us so that we can pass something on to our children. My wife and I learn as much as we can about how to make our money work for us, and we have these types of conversations with our friends and family as well. More importantly though we want to educate our children so that they aren’t stuck uninformed and wondering the answers to all of the same questions we had.
My story is why I love what Black and Married with Kids is doing with new documentary. These are important topics that we must discuss openly and honestly so that we can be proactive about creating generational wealth in our communities! Knowledge is truly power and I plan to share as much as I can for the sake of future generations.
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are co-founders of BlackAmdMarriedWithKids.com. They wrote and directed Generation One to give African American families the tools and strategies they need to begin building wealth for their families TODAY. The Tylers know this film has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE Generation One Movie.