Chapter 9. Navigating the High-Net Worth Environment
The high-net worth environment creates hidden messages. Some of the messages can have a positive effect on our children, and some communicate just the opposite of what we want to impart. In Chapter 8 we mostly dealt with the verbal, intentional messages: the who, when, what, where, and how we communicate. In this chapter, we will investigate the unintended, non-verbal messages of the high-net worth environment. We will ask you to evaluate how your value system lines up or contrasts with your choices and your environment.
You may drive a modest car, and you may not drip in diamonds or nibble on caviar, truffles, or sip from $4,000 bottles of champagne while the private jet shuttles you to San Tropez. But if you live in a neighborhood where that sort of lifestyle is the norm, it has a profound effect on you and your children.
If you dare, this chapter will help you take an inventory of your lifestyle and the broader high-net worth environment in which you live, work, and play. We hope you will examine the often unspoken messages your children may glean from what they observe at home and the world around them, in school, the community, summer camp, and on family vacations. By taking an inventory of your consumption choices, you will be able to understand what your lifestyle may say about what you value and the degree to which it enhances your ability to pass those values to your children.