Imagine you’re looking in a crystal ball and clearly seeing what your future looks like. Some of us would love to do this and others wouldn’t want to know. Regardless of your opinion, by midlife you can’t help but think about what’s ahead. In addition, you might be wondering about how you’ll be remembered. What will your legacy look like?
Typically when you think about leaving a legacy, your focus is on finances. As a result, that might mean preparing a will or doing an estate plan. But as well as finances, there’s a more spiritual or personal type of legacy to consider. What do you want to be remembered for? How have you touched the lives of family and friends? This type of legacy is definitely one that has personal significance and is independent of your financial situation.
Your personal legacy may involve hobbies or interests that you’ve passed along to family members. It may be your dedication to a specific cause or something you’re passionate about. What people will remember about you is based on what’s been significant in your life. So what steps can you take now to create a personal legacy that’s meaningful for you?
It could be as simple as sharing some of your special treasures with friends or family members. Spread joy by offering favorite books, jewelry or family heirlooms with others who would appreciate them now. You’ll like knowing your selected pieces are being enjoyed and well cared for.
Maybe your support for a sports team is legendary. When you’re wondering how to create a personal legacy, why not begin by offering sports memorabilia to interested family members? Pass along meaningful pieces and you’ll all be able to support “your” team. Your personal legacy of being a dedicated fan is guaranteed to live on for at least another generation.
If you’re starting to think about downsizing in midlife, begin by finding family and friends who have expressed real interest in some of the things that are precious to you. Because by offering these pieces to them now, you’ll both be able to continue enjoying them. You’ll enjoy knowing they are in good hands and the recipient will enjoy knowing they are sharing a special slice of your life.
As you enter midlife, you’ll naturally begin to think about the generations that follow you. If you can share your financial security with them, that’s a real plus. But recognize there’s something else that’s important to pass along as well.
Create meaningful memories by sharing your personal legacy. Begin to think about ways you can make sure your passions and interests live on in the next generation. What can you share now? What would someone else appreciate receiving? And most importantly, what will your legacy look like?