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May 4, 2018

Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!

Wow! I can’t believe all the ground I have covered in the last 45 days traveling to Vistage Executive Summits across the country. It’s been a wild ride! Vistage is a leading business advisory and executive coaching organization.

Here at our firm, we have in-house experts who are Vistage members and keynote speakers to Vistage across the country. And we are a major sponsor of the Vistage Executive Summits. We value our relationship with Vistage in a huge way.

Traveling around to the Summits made me feel like this group, “follow the yellow brick road.”

I met so many wonderful people. From members, to Chairs to tons of other great sponsors. I also ate only the healthiest of foods which this photo from the San Diego Vistage Summit proves.

My travels took me to Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, San Diego, Portland and Boise. Colorado and more still to come!

At every stop I had the chance to talk with the local business leaders and professionals who were attending the event. What fantastic conversations I had. Learned a lot about various businesses and the challenges and successes these people have gone through.

I got an inside peek at software companies, manufacturers, start-ups, real estate firms and so many others. What I found to be the case for these business owners and professionals is that all of them are thinking all the time about the growth and longevity of their businesses.

They are all focused on a happy work/life balance too. The issues they were all talking about ranged from how to pass the business to the next generation to the problems keeping great talent. From how to handle exceptional growth to social branding.

Asset protection and proper estate planning was very much a hot button topic with all of the owners and business professionals I spoke with. Didn’t surprise me because I think all of us could be a bit more organized with our planning.

Listening to these dynamic business leaders at the Vistage Summit’s got me thinking about the state of comprehensive planning in our country. What’s fascinating is that the majority of Americans DO NOT have any estate or asset protection planning in place. Hard to believe, but true. Here’s the reason:

People don’t really have a “planning quarterback” who is helping them to get organized and updated. Nobody is proactively working with them to make sure their planning pieces are tied together. And when this is the case, it just becomes too hard to get anything done. You are probably in the same boat. You are busy with your job and family and don’t have the time to spend hours and hours to figure things out.

The problem however, is that when life throws a curve ball and the planning needs to kick in, it doesn’t. This is when people and businesses get hurt. And proper planning can be getting your basic estate plan in place or putting a solid asset protection plan together.

Our experts always pose this question to people; “Do you know what exactly would happen to you, your business or your family if life threw you a curve ball and your planning needed to kick in?”

Doesn’t have to be a negative scenario. And it could be just the evolution of your life or business. I am talking about events such as these:

  • Buying a new business.
  • Selling a business.
  • Divorce.
  • Taking on a new business partner.
  • Your minor child starts driving a car (think increased liability footprint).
  • Business partner becomes incapacitated or gets personally sued.
  • Your rental property portfolio is doing well and you are buying more property (think taxes, asset protection, estate planning updates).
  • You have to deal with a long term illness (think asset protection helping you to preserve your funds from expensive illness).
  • Your business is starting to sell stuff overseas.
  • You run an on-line business and the local taxing authorities are attacking (think Amazon sellers).
  • A new baby in town!
  • You have key employees who are critical to the success of the business and you need to find a way to retain them.
  • You are a blended family and your estate planning is out-of-whack (the Brady Bunch effect and think unintended consequences).
  • Your parents are elderly and you are not sure they have proper planning (so they and maybe you will get hit with unnecessary taxes or creditor attacks or family fights).
  • You want to bring kids into a family business and teach them.
  • You are wondering what “retirement” really means for your own situation. Will your plan truly pan out? How does estate and asset protection factor into your retirement years?
  • An unruly tenant is spouting about mold and you are nervous.
  • You have intellectual property and don’t have it asset protected.
These are just a few of the front burner issues that I have been hearing about in my discussions. Maybe one applies to you? What all of this comes to is getting good input from a trusted source on how to get organized. And stay organized.

We love proactive education here at our firm. We love our blogs, videos and podcasts. And we think this type of outreach on important topics is the key to keeping you “in the know” and totally updated.

So on the video front, I want to deliver this fresh video on a hot topic that comes up all the time. It has to do with revocable and irrevocable trusts. You probably know why a trust is important. But maybe you are a bit fuzzy on your own trust??

Wherever you are with your own living trust and planning, this short video is highly informative and to the point.

One of our TOP estate and asset protection keynote speakers, Brad Barth, walks you through what it’s all about. Click below to watch.

Need a check up? Feeling a but unsure if your planning is 100% pulled together? 
Is your planning updated to reflect new laws? 
Has your life or business changes?
Maybe you need to get started for the first time?
Click below to check out our FREE check up



Paul Hitchcock

Director of Business Development

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