A legacy is what you leave, including your assets and possessions, to your beneficiaries so you can create something that lasts and help provide for them in the future. When planning the legacy you want to leave, you should also think about the generation after you and how they will be able to build upon what you leave behind.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a millionaire to leave a financial legacy. You can help provide for your loved ones after you’re gone with any amount of money. Learn what it means to leave a financial legacy and how you can do it meaningfully.
What Is a Financial Legacy?
As explained by U.S. News & World Report, planning a financial legacy is part of planning your retirement.
Financial guru Chris Hogan describes a legacy as “an enduring impact that you make on those who outlive you. Most of the time, it comes as (or includes) a gift, such as an inheritance, a family business, or property.”
How Can You Leave a Financial Legacy?
Not surprisingly, leaving a financial legacy depends on coming up with a plan for passing along your wealth. Here are three things you can do to ensure you leave a financial legacy that’ll have a positive impact when you’re gone.
1. Develop a Plan
Farm Bureau Financial Services emphasizes the need to create a wealth-transfer strategy that aligns with your goals. Your goals may be to:
- Provide financially for your loved ones.
- Contribute money to charities.
- Manage tax implications.
- Look ahead to how your wealth will benefit your family’s second and even third generations.
Your wealth-transfer plan should include wills, trusts, and other legal frameworks for determining how your estate will be handled. You may want to consult with an attorney, accountant, or financial adviser to help craft this plan.
“Planning your legacy can give you the reassurance that you’ve done all you can to organize your life, articulate your wishes, and shape how you will be remembered,” says Kevin Hindman, a managing director at Merrill Lynch.
2. Communicate Your Wishes
It may be hard to think about a future without you, but it’s essential to chat with your family about your financial legacy. However, survey data cited by Farm Bureau Financial Services shows that few potential beneficiaries are informed ahead of time about the intended plans for their inheritance.
“Only 37% of those surveyed were prepared by their benefactors for receiving an inheritance,” Farm Bureau Financial Services reports.
“Although…frank planning conversations may be uncomfortable as they’re happening, it’s necessary to have them so that everyone’s expectations are out on the table,” says Cynthia Hutchins, director of financial gerontology at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Once you’ve had them, you can enjoy life more fully, knowing you’ve done your best to see that your wishes will be observed and your family well cared for.”
3. Identify the Best Wealth-Building Options for You
If you haven’t already started, now is the time to begin building wealth in order to leave a healthy financial legacy. If your wealth-building program is already in place, be sure you revisit your strategies regularly. And keep in mind that your financial legacy doesn’t have to consist solely of cash.
Among the steps you can take to generate wealth are:
- Participating in the stock market.
- Opening or adding to a retirement account (such as a precious metals IRA).
- Launching a business that can be passed down to your heirs.
- Buying real estate, such as a home or an apartment building.
- Purchasing life insurance.
- Exploring alternative assets, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
One thing to note as you’re assessing your wealth-building options is that under the federal SECURE Act, passed in 2020, those who inherit a retirement account (such as an IRA) and are not the account owner’s spouse must withdraw all of the money within 10 years of gaining the inheritance. As you’re contemplating your financial legacy, this new wrinkle in the law should be considered during your estate-planning efforts.
Safeguard your loved ones. Leave behind a financial legacy with help from U.S. Money Reserve. Download your free Gold Information Kit and call a knowledgeable Account Executive today for a one-on-one consultation.