As we celebrate mothers this month, I have to stop and reflect on how fortunate I’ve been as a mother, and as a grandparent. When I started my career in 1975 I never imagined that it would one day evolve into McGee Wealth Management (MWM), an award-winning firm where three generations of women in my family all work as a team. It’s pretty exciting to be working with my Gen Y grandchildren, and my daughter, Linette Dobbins who is the President and CCO of MWM and Co-Branch Manager of RJFS.
Experiencing and witnessing this unfolding legacy has been both a pleasure and an education! I’ve seen first hand how the different generations view finances, philanthropy, and life in general through their own individual lenses. Each generation teaches us something new. Attitudes and lifestyles have been molded and affected by politics, the economy, family environments, and concepts of the world.
Never in recorded history have we beheld so much change, so quickly. My grandmother was born in 1899—in the horse and buggy days — and passed away in 1994—at the dawning of the Internet. And now, with the high technology revolution, change is accelerating exponentially.
For those businessmen and women from the boomer generation who are struggling to keep up with technological changes, take it from me—having savvy grandkids sitting in an office next to you is a saving grace! It turns out that mentoring is a two-way street. And if you are fortunate enough to have a daughter who is not only insightful and highly motivated, but also committed to the same high vision and business ideals as your own, consider yourself fortunate.
A big advantage of having all three generations in one firm is that we can all share our own individualized perspectives. This gives us a broader view and understanding of the needs and challenges facing our clients, whose lives also span multiple generations from Baby Boomers I & II to Gen X and Gen Y— (the Millennials).
While everyone evolves in their own way, we have observed how past life experiences affect opinions about money and security. For instance Depression-era kids grew up watching their parents pinching pennies, which instilled the need to be thrifty and save for retirement. But their children—many of the Baby Boomers—as hard as they have worked, today find they may be underfunded and ill-prepared for retirement.
Gen X (the MTV generation) was told early on that they would be the first American generation to do worse than their parents. As if a self-fulfilling prophecy, the market and global forces seemed to conspire to bring that about.
Generation Y struggles with starting careers and paying debt, but they also view jobs and money a little differently than other generations. Being less materialistic, they seek satisfying work experiences, are socially conscious, and pursue opportunities to volunteer and support non-profits.
Our team at McGee Wealth Management places a lot of emphasis on giving back to the community through philanthropic and volunteer work. We frequently speak to women’s groups about how we can both do well and do good. Sometimes we join forces; it’s a group of us working together for a special cause.
We grandmothers and grandfathers have a lot of history to share. And we have an opportunity to use everything we have attained to influence and support the next generations. Many of us want to make sure we aren’t spoiling our kids, but we still try to give them whatever they need to be their best so they can help make the world a better place.
This “Happy Mother’s Day!” greeting goes out to all the moms and grandmothers who share their values, dreams, and talents with the next generations.