What’s Your Legacy Going to Be?

What’s Your Legacy Going to Be?

If you read the magazines or surf the web, planning for retirement is all about the numbers: how much should I save, where should I invest, when should I take Social Security?  Just about any first year broker or online calculator can run those numbers. But have you ever thought about the kind of legacy you want to leave behind? Individuals are often surprised when I ask this question at a meeting or in a workshop. The typical individual thinks of leaving a legacy as something for only the rich and famous, and since most folks think of themselves as financially average (or below average) a legacy has never come to mind.

What is a Financial Legacy?

A legacy isn’t measured by size of the donation. Its worth is personal and internal, based upon what is important to you, and the positive contributions you want to leave behind. A legacy might be as grand and long-lasting as creating a scholarship fund, or as simple as making a small gift to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. It might be funding a project for the local parks or paying for a dental exam for a stranger.  A legacy is defined only by your imagination and passions.

How Do You Leave a Legacy?

I often suggest individuals consider leaving a legacy through a beneficiary designation on their IRA or 401(k), especially when your legacy involves a charity. First of all, dollars held in a qualified retirement plan or Rollover IRA have never been taxed, and a qualified charity doesn’t pay taxes on the gifts they receive. What a perfect way to take full advantage of the current tax environment. (Since tax laws are forever changing, be sure to consult a professional tax advisor and review your plans regularly.) Secondly, while most individuals name a spouse or family members as the beneficiary on such accounts, I know my family won’t miss 10% of my account, especially when it goes to a cause I love.

Many legacies are only communicated through instructions contained in a Last Will and Testament, or in a Trust. Both of these options require an attorney well versed in creating good estate planning documents. (In other words, don’t use just any attorney who says, “yah, I can do that”.) A good attorney is well worth the cost to make sure your wishes are accurately carried out.

Lastly, no one says you need to be deceased to begin building a meaningful footprint. Current contributions of your time can be even more powerful than cash paid out from your estate.

How you leave a legacy, is entirely up to you. You’re limited only by the power of  your imagination and the passion in your heart.  Now go forth and plan!!

OSBORN Wealth Management is a fee only advisory firm dedicated to providing conservative asset management, experienced retirement planning and unbiased financial advice. Blog posts are intended for informational and educational purposes, only, and are not an offer to sell. As individual's circumstances are always unique, please consult a professional before embarking on any changes to your investment, planning, tax or legal situation. For questions on this Blog post, or general inquiries about our professional advisory services, please give us a call at 800-889-7401 or email me at drummond@osbornwealthmanagement.com.

SYNERGOS Financial Services d/b/a OSBORN Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor currently registered in the states of Indiana and Michigan. The firm provides fee-only portfolio management and advisory services, and is not associated with any banks or broker-dealers. For more information, please view our current ADV filing.

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