Oftentimes, the terms estate planning and legacy planning are used interchangeably. While
both are important, they are very different. Estate planning utilizes wealth transfer strategies, beneficiary designations, and legal documents such as a Will or a trust to efficiently guide the transfer of assets upon death.
Legacy planning considers how to use your two most valuable assets: your time and wealth. We commonly hear from those recently retired that they are busier now than when they were working. On the financial side, one of the most common fears is the thought of running out of money before you run out of time. Using or giving away some of that nest egg can create anxiety if there is uncertainty about how much you may need. Fortunately, some of the greatest gifts do not require a lot of time or money.
1. Plan it out
Let’s talk about it. Here at Doyle Wealth Management, we talk to clients every day about how to achieve their goals. We will help you organize and prioritize both your estate and legacy goals. We can also share some ideas and experiences from other clients to guide you to get where you want to be.
2. Do what you love
If you love spending time with the grandkids, make more trips to see them. Spend more time teaching those things that maybe Mom and Dad don’t have time for with their busy schedules. It is great hearing stories from a client whose grandson helped him restore a classic car. If you are passionate about animals, then volunteer at your local animal shelter. Consider a monetary donation to your cause if your schedule or health does not permit you to volunteer.
3. Teach someone to fish (not actual fishing- unless you love that, and then it falls under #2)
Over the next 20 years we are set to see a major shift in retirement. Pensions are all but a thing of the past, and Social Security and Medicare will require major changes or risk running out of funds. You probably know people who are working long past when they hoped because they need insurance benefits or simply did not save enough. If there is one thing you can do to leave a legacy, it is to educate people you love and care about to prepare them for their future. Start a 529 account for your grandkids, or gift a few shares of stock so they can watch it grow. Invite your kids into an account review when you meet with your advisor from our office. Show them how and why you are investing your funds. In turn, you can make sure they have a plan and are saving enough. We enjoy meeting the people in your life that you care for and have talked with us about for years as well.
Anticipating your death is an uncomfortable topic for most of us. It makes having a difficult conversation that much harder when we are busy and would prefer to avoid discussing the topic altogether. Consider shifting your mindset away from just death and move it to focus on how you will be remembered.
A multi-generational family vacation, a graduation of an underprivileged youth that you assisted through mentorship or scholarship, or a taught skill and shared love of your favorite hobby are all things that you can enjoy, and will become memories that are never forgotten. When the asset of time does run out, your family, loved ones, or charitable organizations will know that you cared enough about them to think about them during your life and beyond it. Save them from the burden of family squabbles and a lengthy legal process by making your estate planning and legacy planning a top priority this year.
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.