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GOALS - Is Your Own Family More Deserving Than Others?

Charles Burke

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Some very wealthy people will donate millions to charities and foundations, but give very little to family members because they don't want to “spoil" them or make them soft.

Others feel that the whole reason for their fortune is to make life better and more comfortable for their family.

Which is right?

The scriptures say that charity begins at home. But of course, this word “charity" was the old English word for love. So, yes, love begins at home, but how we express that love can vary widely.

In the book “The Millionaire Next Door, " Thomas Stanley and William Danko surveyed millionaires. One of the subjects they examined was how the children of millionaires turned out - whether they inherited the trait of accumulating wealth.

Those who grew up in rich families went on to build wealth of their own ONLY if they learned thrift and restraint in spending while they were youngsters.

In other words, children of millionaires who only learned spending skills (to the exclusion of saving skills) almost never learned how to hang on to money. An undisciplined money waster will end up poor, no matter how much money their family gives them at the beginning.

So with that background in mind, let's discuss whether it's good to “help" your family.

Madeline, a single mother, raised several children, but she always pampered the youngest. She made the older children do homework for the youngest “because he's the baby. " As a result, the “baby" never learned to do much for himself, and now that he's an adult, he's still expecting somebody to come along and do everything for him.

His mother tried to make life easy for him, but ended up causing stunted emotional development, immaturity, lack of confidence and years of misery. Of course, she meant well. . .

Edith, another single mother, also had several children, but they all grew up self reliant and confident. How did she accomplish this feat? She always took the time to help her kids, but never did everything for them. If it was homework, she made sure each one did their own work. If they needed help, she'd gladly show them how to do the assignment, but she never did it for them. They never felt they were facing life's problems alone, but she encouraged them to develop their own resources.

So as you start reaching some of your wealth goals, and you have more money available to share with your loved ones, do spend some time thinking about the kind of help you're giving them.

For more information on how to shape your future, download the free PDF report “It's All Good Luck - Five No-Fail Tips for Turning Bad Luck into Good. . . Every Time" at


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