Updated: Sep 4, 2020
I talked to a random guy at the park the other day about financial literacy, taxes, and wealth creation. Although we had some differences of opinion on how to achieve specific goals, we both agreed that we wanted to leave a legacy. That conversation got me thinking. Did we REALLY agree on the legacy part? Was his definition the same as mine? Better yet, did we know what it meant to leave a legacy?
The word "Legacy," in its purest form, means to leave money or property to an heir or heirs. Which leads me to two big questions:
1.) If we are to leave a legacy to an heir or heirs, how much money and property did we want to bequest (Scrabble word alert - LOL) to a loved one?
2.) Once we've established clear goals from question one, did we have adequate life insurance coverage and a will to ensure our vision could be executed even after an untimely death?
To be fair, I am still trying to get a handle on what is feasible and what is enough. I have a number in mind. And I revisit it often. But it bothers me that I never dig beneath the surface when I have a conversation with the fellas about leaving a legacy - especially as it relates to life insurance and wills (Important thought: Do you have life insurance and a will?).
It always ends the same say. Someone says, "I just want to leave a legacy." And I say, 'I feel you! I want to leave a legacy, too!' We dap each other up and start talking about something else. That's it. So, I figured I should have a conversation with you.
I hope you don't mind?
While doing my research, I also came to realize that leaving a legacy is relational. We can pass along our social capital or cache to our heirs as well. The downside is that our heirs can inherit negative social capital just as much as positive. Character matters. Which got me to thinking again:
1.) How are we being intentional about establishing relationships based on mutual benefit and trust?
2.) And how are we connecting our children to these relationships and opportunities for access and upward economic mobility?
Again, another missed opportunity. I keep kicking myself for not taking our discussion further. That gentleman and I could have had a more productive conversation about leaving a legacy. But I digress.
All this thinking did lead to one positive outcome. Well, two. I am writing this post, aren't I?
Our legacy is not something we leave. It's something we live. As such, I nor you have to wait to leave a legacy. We are building that legacy every day - one person, one opportunity at a time.
From now on, instead of having a big picture conversation with the guys about wanting to leave a legacy. Ask slightly different questions.
How are you saving money, acquiring property, and establishing positive social capital? How are you protecting your assets through life insurance and a will? How are you living your legacy?