It seems to be an age thing. You get to a certain time in your career or retirement and you start to see your life as part of a bigger picture. Leaving a legacy becomes more important. Suddenly the idea of how much you’ve earned and where you’ve been doesn’t seem quite as important as leaving a legacy. Or in other words, being remembered in some way for what you’ve contributed to the world.
Making the right choice
As with all things, legacies come in all shapes and sizes and the sheer number of options can feel a little intimidating. After all, how you go about leaving a legacy may be one of the most important or significant decisions of your lifetime. There is no one size fits all solution, and a legacy isn’t just about making a Will and what happens after you’re gone. In fact, ensuring you leave the right legacy may require a great deal of thought and reflection on your part.
You get to a certain time in your career or retirement and you start to see your life as part of a bigger picture.
Enlist the help of a Life Planner
The insights a professional Financial Life Planner can bring to the table when it comes to leaving a legacy cannot be overestimated. The experience is often described as profound, cathartic and revealing. Using a combination of skilled questioning and mindfulness techniques, your life planner will help you to dig deep and discover what really matters to you. What are your deepest wishes and goals which, if you achieved them, would enable you to feel you’d led a life well lived? Some of the answers may be obvious, others less so. Your life planner will also help you identify what’s stopping you from achieving those goals and what you need to do in order to overcome any obstacles.
Five ways you might consider leaving a legacy
- We’ve discussed in previous blogs about starting your own business, but this doesn’t have to be strictly for profit. You could start a business to hand on to later generations, to fund research and development or to provide financial support for a cause that matters. With a myriad of business models to choose from, starting your own business can be an effective vehicle for leaving your mark.
- We’ve also talked about giving back. There’s a real rise in the number of baby boomers taking later life gap years and volunteering overseas. Giving back can also of course include volunteering at home or making charitable donations during or after your lifetime (which can bring tax benefits if structured correctly).
- Supporting family. Your family may represent your legacy, particularly if you have children and grandchildren. Supporting them, whether it’s by providing funds for education or housing, being a role model or leaving them an inheritance – making provision doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing your own lifestyle.
- Sharing your experience and story. This could involve writing and publishing your memoirs. Researching your family history. It might mean mentoring. It could mean setting up an institute to carry on your life’s work. There is perhaps little more precious, informative and inspirational than what you’ve learnt and experienced during your life.
- Perhaps your legacy will simply be following your passion or sense of purpose or refining your skills for the greater good. Going back to college or university, starting a new career or hobby, realising your wildest dream. They’re all good legacies in their own right.
A sound financial strategy based on your goals
With the foundations of what a fulfilling future and legacy would look like for you, your financial planner can start to create a financial plan that enables you to achieve those goals. That inevitably means a close up look at your financial situation and any tax advantages, savings vehicles, borrowing potential or other financial structures that may be available. As we approach the end of another financial year, now is a good time to take action and seek professional financial advice. It also means working out what impact your legacy plans will or could have on your financial future. Far from being a negative experience, often, what may have seemed financially impossible or far too risky or expensive, may in fact be perfectly achievable with the right high quality financial advice.
With the foundations of what a fulfilling future and legacy would look like for you, your financial planner can start to create a financial plan that enables you to achieve those goals.
As with all sensible strategies, the last piece of the puzzle is to ensure that your financial adviser regularly checks back in with you to make sure that your goals and finances are still on track and make any alterations and adjustments to your plan, as required. Because just as your financial situation may change over the years, so may your dreams, let alone your financial needs! In our experience, identifying and ensuring you leave the right legacy is one of the key components of a happy retirement. The process you’ll go through with us is an exciting, inspirational and thoroughly enjoyable journey. None of us know how our life’s going to end but what could be better than knowing that you’ll be remembered long after you’ve gone.