Considering Your Legacy: What to Remember

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been discussing your legacy: From how your values and experiences shape your legacy to barriers to imaging your legacy, and much more. Today, we’re going to focus on what you REALLY need to remember when you’re considering your legacy.

The thing is, legacy is an incredibly personal thing. It’s also not the same for everyone. What one person needs to take into consideration might be different than the next. But let’s discuss some of the bigger picture considerations to help you get started.

What to remember when considering your legacy

1. It starts now

One of the themes within legacy we’ve been discussing is that it doesn’t just mean after you die.

Your legacy is something you live every day.

The fact you’re already here, considering your legacy, is a great start! It’s also a sign you’re ready to create a life and legacy you’re proud of.

You can live for today and still plan for the future.

On that same note, remember you can live for today even if you’re planning for your future legacy. When you plan financial gifts and who will benefit from your money when you’re no longer here, it doesn’t mean you can’t live in the moment, too.

2. You’re more powerful than you know

One of the barriers to imagining your legacy I see with many of my clients is the belief that if they don’t have millions of dollars to donate, their gifts don’t matter or won’t make an impact.

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Consider these statistics from a 2010 study about charitable donations in Canada:

“The average annual amount per donor was $446 in 2010, while the median amount was $123. A median amount means that half of donors gave less than this amount and the other half gave more.”

Now consider these donations totaled more than 10 billion dollars that year. It goes to show how EVERY dollar matters. No donation is too small to make a difference.

Here’s something else to keep in mind when considering your legacy: only 5% of Canadians, based on a 2019 study, left gifts in their wills. Click here to read four important realities about dying without a will.

3. Legacy is created by following your heart

During a recent discussion with professional speaker Jackie Handy, she shared impactful thoughts about considering your legacy and what it means to YOU, not just how others see you:

“Don’t expect perfection. Trust yourself. We are somehow at exactly the right place in our lives that we should be right now at any given point. So don’t worry about what people might say in terms of well, I don’t really get it or I don’t really agree with it.

Instead, follow your heart.

That’s how legacy is created, through following your heart.

I think legacy doesn’t have to be only how others see you but it’s also how you see yourself.

If I can get to the end of my life having thought you know, I followed my heart. I followed my passion. I followed the dreams in the way I wanted to change the world and maybe some parts of it I won’t have changed it as much as I’ve hoped. Maybe some parts of it I’ve changed it much more than I could have ever dreamed. At least I know and I will always know that I tried. That would be the advice I leave people with.”

3 Things to Remember When Considering Your Legacy: Summarized

On that powerful note, let’s summarize three things to remember when considering your legacy:

  1. Your legacy doesn’t only matter once you die. It’s something you live every day and it’s time to take control. Not to mention, you’re never too young to start imaging your legacy either! Here’s how young people can take the first steps toward financial literacy.
  2. No charitable donation is too small. Whether it’s five minutes of your time or five of your dollars, every bit counts and contributes to the greater good.
  3. Your legacy is created by following your heart. It matters how YOU see yourself and what you value, not just how others imagine YOUR legacy.

Are you considering your legacy, hoping to improve your financial literacy, interested in planning for the future while enjoying the present, or being more philanthropic while paying less tax? I can get you there. Let’s talk.

Did you find this article useful? Here are three more you might also enjoy:

Have you thought about what you want your legacy to be?
Who do you want to benefit from your money when you are no longer here?
Estate planning with your loved ones

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