3 Financial Strategies That Could Forever Benefit Your Family


When he was age 11, Curtis Estes’ house burned down on Christmas day. That experience was traumatic, but ultimately inspiring for Estes. 

Truth is, Curtis’ parents didn’t have financial planning in place. They had no fire insurance. As a result, they had to move into a trailer home and get clothes at the Salvation Army.

While this was a brutal start, it created a deep resolve for Curtis to never let this happen to his family and also to help as many other families to thrive through the best and worst of times. He’s dedicated his career and has helped thousands of others create extraordinary financial security for their families, and is the founder of the company, Your Life by Design, and author of Smart Money. He’s one of the most connected and successful financial advisers in Los Angeles. 

Question is: How solid is your current financial planning?

Do you have things in place to protect your family?

Are you setting yourself up for failure?

Are you ready to step up your game and stop repeating the cycles and patterns of your parents and their parents?

Are you ready to become more mature and become financially savvy? 

Here are three key strategies that Curtis provides in Smart Money.

1. Don’t ignore the goose the lays the golden eggs

While many people have home insurance to protect their homes against fire or flood, very few people are protecting their greatest asset, and that’s their future earnings potential. 

That’s something you can and should protect. You are the goose. Are you treating yourself like the golden egg?

Are you taking good care of yourself? Or do you treat yourself like junk?

2. The secret to an exceptional college career

Curtis also talks about the three things that happen when kids are responsible for paying at least a portion of their college education costs:

  • they spend less money
  • they graduate sooner
  • and they get better grades

He goes on to talk about creating a “Personal Responsibility Account.” He will fund their PRA through college. Instead of having to take loans to pay for school, they’ll borrow from themselves through their PRA.

When they graduate from college, they will take over the annual funding of the PRA, as well as pay themselves back from the money they borrowed from the PRA. The mechanism he’s using to fund the PRA is a permanent life insurance policy on each child. His kids have already begun to appreciate how fast the cash value is growing in the life insurance policy for their future benefit.

He started their plans at birth and has given them a gift they could never recreate on their own. This is something I wish my parents had done for me, so I’m thrilled to provide this for my children.

3. Protecting your kids from “Affluenza”

Finally, he addresses the rapidly spreading disease of Affluenza. In other words, children born on the third base mistaking that for hitting a triple. So many people today fear that their efforts to create wealth for their family might just ruin their kids by creating a strong sense of entitlement.

Affluenza’s surest cure is active philanthropy. He talks about seeing the dramatic change of heart in his son, who did not want to build homes in Tijuana, until he was sitting atop a roof with nails in hand.

Allow your children to experience how and why their parents have selected the charitable organizations they support and the difference their giving has made in the world. He calls these “pre-inheritance experiences,” and they prepare children for the real responsibilities they will take on later in life.

One strategy he recommends is to give children “small bites.” He provides them with access to small amounts of money and then mentors them on how they can manage this money. From this, and many other experiences, they have developed a passion for actively giving away as much as they can to meet the incredible immediate needs around us and see the impact during their lifetime.


Here’s my question for you: Are you ready to take your financial game to the next level?

Are you ready to protect yourself?

Are you ready to protect your family?

Finances are all about mindset, values, and care. Do you care?

Most people don’t care, and it’s reflected in their finances. Problem is, life throws curve-balls. And curve-balls hit unprepared people all the time.

Even if you don’t get hit by a curve-ball. But the peace of mind you could have by getting yourself in order is worth infinite amount.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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