Is your legacy going to be remarkable?
You can prepare for it now. How do you want it to read? If you’re thinking Warren Buffett-type legacy, that’s not what I’m talking about. And in my opinion, money is only one aspect.
According to Dictionary.com, another version of the definition is “anything handed down from the past”. The closer I get to retirement and see our kids and grandkids getting older, the more that definition means to me than just money and “stuff”.
But to get it out of the way, let’s mention money. Sorry kiddos, but I plan on spending your inheritance. But in the event that I do have money and stuff left at the end…I’d rather leave it to loved ones as opposed to taxes or chance. Therefore, there is good reason to plan your financial legacy accordingly.
Get a will or trust. Do the proper level of estate planning that your personal situation requires. I even wrote about digital planning and how that can affect your heirs, too. It’s just sound planning that we all should do. Go do that!
But beyond our legal and financial legacy…what do we want to leave behind for our family and friends? I think there are at least 5 ways we can make our legacy remarkable.
Do you have something to teach? Anything from fly fishing to how to change a tire to making great BBQ ribs. It all matters. You can teach at a school, around the dinner table, or to others in the workplace through agencies like SCORE.
We’ve lived life. Experienced highs and lows, rights and wrongs. What power and value that can be to a neighbor, grandkid or friend. We need better morals in the world. Don’t be shy in sharing them with others. It doesn’t have to be “preached”. But it can be lived by example. There is nothing more valuable than good morals and character to show the next generation.
Live your legacy now. A great legacy starts with a great life. Don’t wait for someone to read kind words at your funeral. The best way to leave a remarkable legacy is to lead a remarkable life. Don’t put off the stories, history, love and relationships that can be built now. This is our opportunity to share our wisdom and experiences with others before we’re 6 feet under.
Time is one of the biggest assets we have. Spend it wisely with family and friends. Even if you’re pre-retirement, you can spend your time wisely. Give of your time. Yes, this is your retirement. But giving of your time might be that one thing that others don’t have. Be willing to volunteer. You can take time with family, friends or community without spending a dime of that precious IRA.
Choose a pen and paper or digital…but write. You don’t have to be a “writer”. But start a written journal of your life. That might be especially welcomed for families. It can be so easy to forget from generation to generation. Start a journal while you still remember details and dates. Tell stories that can be shared and passed down.
There are so many things we can do to leave a positive legacy. They might not all fit you but try one and see how it goes. If it doesn’t seem right, try something else.
For me personally, the best legacy I could ever leave would be to hear, “What would dad/papaw do?”. Music to my ears!
Think about your non-financial legacy and how it will reflect on your family and friends.
Be intentional and start just ONE of the 5 legacy ideas today.