What kind of legacy do you want to leave? It is very uncomfortable for most of us to talk about our mortality. It seems we wake up, go to work, and live our everyday life without considering what we are going to do with all that we have accumulated through our hard work. With many retirees having accumulated significant wealth through their workplace retirement programs, as well as real estate and inheritance, there are more families than ever passing on wealth to their heirs.
Historically, most retirement income was generated through pensions and disappeared at death. Leaving a legacy may or may not be important to everyone, but if it is to you, you should honestly answer these three questions:
- Imagine you have enough money to take care of your needs; now and in the future. How would you live your life? Would you change anything?
- Imagine your doctor says you have only five to ten years to live. You won’t feel sick, but you will never know when death will come. What will you do? Will you change your life? How?
- Imagine your doctor says you have only one day left to live. Ask yourself: What did I miss? What did I not get to be or do?
Most of the time when you do this exercise, you begin to think how fragile life is and reflect on the way you have lived your life and what you have accomplished and what you have yet to accomplish. These topics for contemplation typically help you uncover what you value most in life.
You may be an individual who would like to leave a bulk of your estate to charity or you may want to leave all your assets divided amongst your kids or grandkids. Lastly, you may want to lie on your death bed knowing that you spent every penny you had. No matter what your agenda is regarding your legacy, it is important to work through the process of a proper estate plan and/or financial plan.
According to a new survey from Caring.com, only 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. Happily, older adults appear to lead the pack in readying these important documents. It is important for younger people to have wills too, especially if they have children. This ensures that they will be cared for by the people their parents chose as guardians in the event of their death. Yet, a whopping 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of Generation Xers (ages 37-52) do not have a will.
We feel strongly at Parrish Capital that drafting and executing a proper will and estate plan before it is too late is of paramount importance. At the end of the day, everyone deserves to be the writer of his or her own story and leave the legacy they desire.
If you have not gone through the exercise of putting together a detailed financial or estate plan, please call or email Ryan Moledor at 800.618.1940 and [email protected] to set up a fact-finding meeting.
As always, ignore the noise, stay focused, and may prosperity be yours.