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Strategies for Creating a Lasting Legacy

Strategies for Creating a Lasting Legacy

You don’t need millions of dollars to leave a meaningful legacy to your loved ones. Here’s how to start thinking about your legacy and building it now, both financially and through shared values.

Why think about a legacy now?

As a mom who lost her own mother, I understand that life is not permanent. Because of my past, I have taken proactive steps to secure my finances. I have life insurance and a will to ensure that my daughter will be taken care of no matter what the future holds.

While finances are important, intangibles such as memories, experiences, and values are equally valuable in leaving a legacy. A legacy should encompass both financial assets and the values that you pass down.

Here’s a guide on how you can create a legacy for your loved ones.

Take control of your finances (if you haven’t already)

Raising children can be expensive. Whether you’re expecting your first child or already have a growing family, managing your budget can be a challenge. According to a recent survey, 53% of millennial parents have less than $5,000 in savings.

While saving can be tough, it’s important not to ignore your finances. Take stock of your assets, including retirement accounts and investments, as well as your debts such as student loans. Having a clear understanding of your financial situation will help you create a savings strategy and identify areas that need attention.

Create a worst-case scenario plan

As unpleasant as it may be, it’s important to plan for unexpected events such as the death of yourself or your partner. How would you provide for your children in such a situation?

Life insurance is a crucial part of a contingency plan. The death benefit from a life insurance policy can provide much-needed financial support for your loved ones, covering expenses like daily living costs, childcare, and education. Having a life insurance policy can bring peace of mind, especially as you start a family or think about leaving a legacy for future generations.

For example, a healthy 30-year-old woman can get a 20-year, $500,000 Haven Term policy for about $15 per month. A 36-year-old man in excellent health can get a 20-year, $750,000 term life insurance policy for as little as $30 per month. The cost of life insurance is often more affordable than people think, especially in their thirties.

You can get a free life insurance quote online to get an idea of the premiums you might pay.

Plan for your own future

While it’s natural to want to give everything to your children, it’s important to plan for your own retirement so that you don’t become a financial burden to them. Consider setting up a robust retirement savings strategy.

You can explore retirement options offered by your employer, such as IRA or 401(k) accounts. It’s advisable to contribute enough to receive the full match if it’s available.

You can also set up your own individual retirement account (IRA), either traditional (tax-deferred) or Roth (taxed upfront). A healthy retirement portfolio ensures your financial security during retirement and can also benefit your children if they become the beneficiaries.

Creating a will

Every parent should have a will. A will not only designates a guardian for your children but also opens up an important conversation with your loved ones. By clearly stating your wishes, you eliminate confusion and ensure that your values are understood and respected.

The monetary value of items in your will is not as important as the sentiment behind them. Leaving a vinyl record collection, a prized guitar, or a collection of journals to a child shows how much you value and trust them with the things that meant the most to you.

Build a legacy with charitable gifts

When creating your will, consider including charitable causes to which you may want to leave assets. Even if you are not able to make donations now, leaving a legacy gift can have a lasting impact and keep your name alive beyond your lifetime.

Naming charities in your will also helps your family and friends know where to donate in your honor. By sharing your intentions and including them in your will, you ensure that your wishes are clear.

Build a legacy of values

Your legacy is not just about the money you leave behind. It’s about the lessons you taught, the memories others have of you, and the way you lived your life.

My mother’s legacy was her dedication to others, her love of adventure, and her belief that life should be fun. When I take a day off to go to the beach with my daughter and tell her how much her Grandma Gail would have loved it, I am continuing my mother’s legacy. Creating intangible legacies like this is important to me, so I prioritize spending quality time with my family.

Start now

While I would rather spend my time at the beach than deal with financial tasks, I know that taking care of these matters now will allow me to truly enjoy my time with my daughter. When my mother passed away, we were grateful that all her paperwork was in order. It made coping with our grief easier and eliminated any financial confusion.

I want the same for my daughter. I am building my own legacy to ensure that I can provide her with emotional and financial freedom. Don’t put off these tasks – start building your legacy now.

About Anna Davies

Anna Davies is an innovative copywriter, experienced magazine editor, and award-winning essayist. She has written for various publications including The New York Times, New York Magazine, Refinery29, Glamour, and Elle. With 13 young adult novels published, she is passionate about writing and her family. She currently resides in Jersey City, NJ, and enjoys traveling, running, and finding the best cold brew coffee.

Read more by Anna Davies

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance, personal finance, and overall wellness should be simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). As a customer-centric agency, we aim to make decisions about life insurance, personal finances, and overall wellness as straightforward as possible.


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