We live in a fast-paced world, with an onslaught of activities and information that distracts us from thinking about what’s truly important in life. We’re so busy trying to get everything done, that we fail to question what it is we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and if we should be doing something entirely different. Are we doing the things necessary to leave the type of legacy we are hoping for?
The use of the word ‘legacy’ seems like something only used for a world leader or business tycoon. But we all leave a legacy. So, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and let’s take 5 minutes to look at your legacy.
We can’t take money with us when we die, and there are clearly more important things in life than money; but money is not inconsequential when it comes to legacy. This is because financial assets allow us to do ‘good’ both when we are alive and when we are gone. While we’re alive, the question for each of us is whether we are using our financial assets responsibly and for the greater good. That’s not to say we can’t enjoy the fruits of our labor, but when it comes to building a legacy, sharing our resources with others is a key component. When we’re gone, if we have planned well and ultimately left assets behind for others, those financial assets will help the people and organizations we left it to.
To help solidify this issue, imagine leaving money behind to the family and organizations that are important to you. What impact will that money have on those people and organizations? What can you do or say today to guide those people on how to handle resources you entrust to them? Imagine your financial assets are like an acorn you have planted, which has the chance to grow into a mighty oak if it’s cared for properly, both during your life and after you’re gone.
Q: To what extent do we align our finances to help further our legacy?
Anyone who has children leaves behind a legacy. The question is what type of legacy are we leaving behind? Have we engrained in our children the values that our parents taught us? Are our children committed to ‘doing good?’ Are they focused on their families and proactively seek to build their community? If we continuously focus on building up our family, whether our children are 6 years old or 66 years old, our legacy will continue well beyond our lives.
Q: To what extent do we align our resources to help further our legacy of family?
The more we look outward and beyond ourselves, the greater our legacy will be. Are we currently committed to help those around us? Can we do a better job at this? Whether it’s volunteering at church, coaching little league, mowing the neighbor’s grass, stopping to help a person with a flat tire, or spearheading a campaign to end world poverty, we are each called to do our part to help others.
Q: To what extent do we align our resources to help further our legacy of community?
There is a growing consensus that our society has grown more secular over the last 50 years. We spend less time praying, less time at church and less time implementing the Christian values of our parents and grandparents. It’s hard to quantify the benefits that Faith has on our Finances, Family, and Community but there have been documented studies that show faith-filled people tend to build a greater legacy of wealth, family and community relative to those who don’t have faith. To what extent is Faith important to each of us? To what extent do we live, speak, and act in ways where we share our faith with others, and therefore pass that legacy on?
Q: To what extent do we align our resources to help further our legacy of faith?
As with any type of goal planning, it’s best to begin with the end in mind. Rather than looking at a specific goal you are trying to accomplish this year, or at your current stage of life, take a step back and look at your big picture. At the end of your life, what is it you want to be most remembered for? What is it you will be most proud of?
Financial planning should focus on aligning your finances with these goals. When a plan is put in place to accomplish these goals, you not only achieve peace of mind, you also establish a legacy.
Let us know how we can help you achieve your legacy.
Shakespeare Wealth Management | Financial Planning | Pewaukee | Wisconsin