What Will Your Financial Legacy Be?

“Retirement” conjures images of sunny beaches, leisurely afternoons, and finally having the time to pursue your passions – but what about the legacy you leave behind?

Many people think a legacy is something that forms after you’re gone, but in reality, the way you live your life each day is what leaves the biggest mark on the world. It isn’t just about the money in your bank account, either. A true legacy encompasses both your financial impact and the values you hold dearest.

Related: 3 Steps to Build a Financial Plan that’s Truly Focused on Your Goals

Below, we’ll delve into five strategies for building a lasting legacy – from charitable giving and smart estate planning to fostering financial literacy in younger generations.

Beyond the Balance Sheet: 5 Steps to Building a Financial Legacy 

While leaving a legacy means more than just accumulating money, we can’t deny that smart finances allow you to maintain a desired lifestyle, eliminate financial burdens for your loved ones, and empower the pursuit of philanthropic endeavors. Here are five ways you can start laying the groundwork.

1. Keep Your Values Front and Center

Your values are the core of your legacy: They influence how you manage your finances, make decisions, and interact with others. If you’re unsure what values are driving your desire to leave a legacy, that’s a great place to start. 

Take some time to reflect on what matters most to you, and then think about how you can incorporate those principles into your financial and personal life. This could mean prioritizing creating a charitable giving plan, work that supports and aligns with your values, or consistently demonstrating integrity and compassion in your everyday interactions.

2. Plan for Your Future

Effective retirement planning is the cornerstone of a lasting legacy—it’s the fruit of a lifetime’s labor. 

By setting clear financial goals and developing a comprehensive retirement strategy, you ensure that you can enjoy your golden years without financial stress and spend more time doing what you love. This involves not only saving and investing wisely, but also gaining a strong understanding of your future expenses, healthcare needs, and potential long-term care costs. 

Related: 5 Ways to Prepare for the Cost of Long-term Care

3. Planning for Your Loved Ones’ Futures

A well-defined estate plan can:

  • Offer peace of mind now and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled after you’re gone 
  • Minimize the burden on your family to make decisions and sort through your assets during a difficult time
  • Allow you to leave a gift in the form of financial security to your family’s younger generations

An estate plan usually includes a will, which helps keep things cut and dry as far as how you’d like your assets to be distributed. Wills often contain who inherits your belongings (such as property, bank accounts, and investments), guardianship for any minor children, and a designated executor (a trusted individual or institution to oversee managing assets, paying debts, and distributing inheritances).

You may also wish to add life insurance or a designated Power of Attorney to your estate planning toolbox to provide further protection for loved ones if you become incapacitated or pass away. 

Related: Click here to read “The Clarity Difference: Learn What Sets Us Apart from Other Financial Advisors”

4. Empowering the Next Generation Through Mentorship

Retirement isn’t just about relaxation (although we hope you get a good share of that, too). It’s a golden opportunity to connect with younger generations and share the wisdom you’ve accumulated throughout your life. 

Think about how you can become a financial mentor for your children and grandchildren. Can you open discussions about budgeting, saving, and responsible investing? What experiences and stories can you share to better equip them with the tools and understanding they need to navigate their own financial journeys?

Legacy via mentorship also applies to your professional experience. In fact, 3 out of 4 leaders “say mentoring played a key role in their success.”

A simple morning coffee can be a great time to offer insights to younger family members or colleagues as they navigate career paths and make crucial financial decisions. Your valuable guidance can be instrumental in shaping their professional success and financial perspectives.

5. Taking Time to Give Back in the Present

Volunteering provides a powerful example of giving back to organizations you value and allows you to leave the world a better place. Both pre- and post-retirement, dedicate time and skills to a cause you believe in, whether research, non-profits, causes important to you, local programs, literacy programs, or something else entirely.

Beyond volunteering, simple traditions like regular family dinners, shared hobbies, or annual vacations can create a strong foundation for passing down your values. These shared experiences strengthen family ties and provide a platform for open communication, allowing you to weave your experiences and values into the fabric of your family’s legacy naturally.

Related: Click here to read “Design Your Dream Retirement: 3 Steps to Find Purpose in Your Golden Years”

Remember, retirement is a journey, not a destination. Take control of your finances, cherish your loved ones, and explore the myriad ways to create a lasting impact and legacy. 

Ready to Start Building Your Legacy?

You can begin building your financial legacy today. Schedule a free consultation with a Clarity team member to discuss and define what matters most to your retirement (and your goals beyond it).

Latest Posts

Meet the Team: Jennifer Mast, Senior Client Services Associate

Meet the Team: Jennifer Mast, Senior Client Services Associate

Welcome to our latest “Meet the Team!” This week, we’re getting to know our Senior Client Services Associate, Jennifer Mast.  Meet Jennifer Jennifer grew up and attended college in Northern Indiana. After high school and during part of college, she lived in Germany....

Meet the Team: Kay Dee Cole, CEO and Founder

Meet the Team: Kay Dee Cole, CEO and Founder

We’re back with another “Meet the Team” – and this week, we’re getting to know the Founder and Owner of Clarity Wealth Development, Kay Dee Cole! Meet Kay Dee Growing up a farmer’s daughter just south of Corvallis, Oregon, Kay Dee learned the value of hard work and...