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There's more to a legacy plan than you may think

The idea of legacy planning goes far beyond documents and account values. How are you going to pass on your legacy?

Fact Checked by

Taylor Hegna, CFP®

What do you think of when you hear the word “Legacy”?

The term legacy in the financial world can often be associated with estate planning for legal documents, or ensuring financial accounts are in order. However, the idea of legacy planning goes far beyond documents and account values. 

What do you want to pass on?

While it’s great for family members to inherit a financial windfall, there is an opportunity to pass on something even more valuable like memories, perspective, and expertise.

In one of our recent blogs,  "Non-financial Ways to Improve Your Retirement", we discussed the incredible amount of time that is returned when you transition out of your career and into a new season of life. These extra hours create an amazing opportunity to connect, serve, and teach others. 

Pass on Perspective

The world is in a state of constant change and “evolution” when it comes to culture. And yet, there are unchanging principles that can be seen throughout generations. These principles are often hidden in the life stories of the mature. One way to empower the next generation that goes beyond finances is taking the time to share your journey with them. Speaking about the realities of the past, the mistakes, the struggles, the overcoming, and the impact you have seen throughout your life can widen the lens through which loved ones or significant relationships may view the world around them. 

Pass on your expertise

It’s often quoted that it takes 10,000 hours of intensive study and work to become a master at something.  So after decades of working, the knowledge you’ve accumulated could be seen as that of an expert. When stepping into retirement, all of that knowledge doesn’t dissipate. The experience you have in your given field could be invaluable to the next generation looking to grow in their skill set. Consider mentoring or coaching a young person as they begin the journey of their career. This is a great opportunity for that knowledge to live on beyond one lifetime. 

Pass on your memories

A life story is something worth sharing with loved ones. Often the journey of past generations can be lost if left to oral tradition. So how can the past be kept present? 

Logging favorite travel destinations, cataloging art, writing a short story, or creating a family recipe book could help future generations connect with the family history. Creating a portfolio of your accomplishments for friends, family, and grandchildren to see your career over time could also be a great gift to pass on your legacy. 

 

Leave behind who more than what

The money left behind in an inheritance was accumulated through a life journey. It may have been built on a story of sacrifice, a story of innovation, or a story of patience and determination. However, more valuable than the dollars left behind is the ability for that story to be known and shared.

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