Leave your legacy
For some people, the retirement years are about getting back some time in their lives for themselves. For others it’s a time to give back – to family and friends, a cultural or religious institution, a philanthropic cause or those in need. Whether you choose to give back with your time and experience, a financial contribution or both, this is a wonderful time to start leaving your legacy.
Sharing with family
One way to start is very close to home – passing down assets to loved ones along with some personal advice or perspective that will make them treasure your gift even more. For instance, if you decide to make financial gifts to your children or grandchildren, explain to them the type of account that it is set up in or how it is invested. Introduce them to your financial professional, if you have one. This can be a great way to start educating the next generation on wealth management and you will surely make your gift go farther by helping them understand how to make the most of their money in the future.
Introducing younger members of your family to cultural institutions or philanthropic causes is another special way to spend time together while also making an impact. If you have season tickets to the opera, take your children or grandchildren along sometime so that they might learn to appreciate this experience and support it as you do.
Supporting a cause
Being involved with philanthropic causes offers many ways to leave a legacy. Many of these causes may be grateful for your personal financial contribution, but also your help in fundraising within your network or other volunteer efforts. If you are involved in a particular charitable cause, talk to younger people close to you about why it is important, what kind of work you do and how they might be able to get involved – or inspire them to get involved in a cause that moves them.
Sponsoring a scholarship
Founding a scholarship is another highly impactful and personal way to leave a legacy. You could establish one at a school that you attended based on something you feel passionately about – academic merit, athletic excellence or musical talent, for example. Beyond financially assisting a student, you have the opportunity to connect with the next generation and stay involved with an educational institution that you value.
Stating it in your estate plan
While it may bring extra joy to be involved with leaving your legacy while you are alive, you might also want to make provisions in your will for loved ones and beloved causes. You have the option to leave a specified amount of money or set up a trust for an individual or institution. This is also a time when you might wish to pass on family heirlooms to the next generation or something of historical or artistic significance to a museum.
Leaving your legacy is truly a win-win situation. The beneficiaries of your generosity will be grateful and you may feel fulfilled by being able to pass on your hard-earned experience and wealth.