It is customary for people to take inventory of their lives as they grow older, wondering about their impact on the world and the people closest to them. A legacy is often the story of one’s life and the things he or she did through the years.
The good thing about a legacy is it is never too early to begin planning. The following are some guidelines that can help people establish lasting legacies.
Keep track of your story. Grab a journal and start jotting down events that occur in your life. Mention particular achievements or notable things that occur from day to day. Pepper these accounts with stories of your family and childhood to start establishing an autobiography of sorts.
Consider your daily actions. Even though people may imagine it is the grand gestures that are remembered most, quite often it’s the simplest acts that make the most impact. Think about the way you treat others each and every day. Smile at people, compliment others and offer positive advice when it is sought.
- Research investments that are profitable. If the goal is to make money to leave for future generations, investigate your options. These include assets that can retain their value. According to NewRetirement.com and Stepping Stone Financial, Inc., vacation homes mean a lot to families and they also can be a source of future revenue should they be rented or sold. Speaking with a financial advisor also can be a sound way to invest the right way to accumulate assets that can be passed down as a legacy.
- Name children or other relatives as beneficiaries on Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). With Roth IRAs, distributions are tax-free as long as the person who set up the IRA met the five-year holding period for contributions and conversions. Beneficiaries can have five years to take out money from the account; otherwise, they can convert the plan to an Inherited IRA, which stretches out distributions over their life expectancy, according to Investopedia, an online financial resource.
- Write a legacy letter. A legacy letter is a way to speak directly to loved ones and say all those things that you had wished you told them earlier but maybe didn’t find the words or perhaps never had the time, according to Forbes. The letter ensures others know just how much joy they brought to your life and the pride you had in knowing them.
Leaving a legacy is something people start to think about as they grow older, but it’s easy to start planning a legacy regardless of your age.