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Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a Legacy

May 09, 2018

There are many ways in which an individual can leave a legacy for those that outlive them. Whether it is extended family members, a spouse, or children, the legacy you leave behind will impact those you loved in life. Though many do not think ahead to consider how the decisions they make today will impact their loved ones in the future, leaving behind a positive legacy requires the ability to look ahead. The choices you make now impact the legacy you leave behind, so here are a few tips to consider to improve the legacy you are leaving for the next generation.


Leave Minimal Debt

According to CBS News, the average American is dying with $62,000 of debt to their name. The study cited by CBS News noted that 73% of consumers died with some sort of outstanding debt. Though most of the debt was tied up in home loans, the average balance when home loans were removed from consideration still stood at $12,875. If you want to leave a positive legacy behind, leave as little debt as possible for your beneficiaries.

Although notes that creditors are often paid through your assets, this can still impact your beneficiaries. They may not have to pay out of their own pocket, but family members lose out on a property, access to accounts, vehicles, and any other assets when those items are used to pay off the debt you left behind.


Model Positive Financial Behaviors

If you want to help the next generation, take time to model positive financial behaviors for them. The old saying, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" applies here in concept. Just because you leave your family or beneficiaries with ample amounts of money, does not mean they will be financially set for life. Modeling positive financial behaviors ensures that assets you leave behind will be handled properly and provide a lifetime of support to your beneficiaries.


Teach Beneficiaries About Money

On a similar note, teaching beneficiaries about money can have numerous positive impacts on the future. First and foremost, those individuals are less likely to squander any direct cash assets or accounts you leave behind. Furthermore, if you pass on some of your financial knowledge, your beneficiaries can use that information to build wealth starting with the assets you leave behind.


Obtain Life Insurance

Life insurance is a simple tool you can use to leave a legacy behind. Various plans are available that offer different levels of coverage to your family members upon your death. While Bankrate finds that 6 in 10 Americans have life insurance coverage, nearly half of those people have insufficient coverage to address the financial needs of their family at the time of death. Take the time to not only obtain life insurance but research a plan that will adequately support your family members.


Teach the Spirit of Giving

Finally, you can simply leave assets to your family members to support the next generation, or you can teach your family members today about the spirit of giving. Doing so can ensure that your assets are used to not only support your next generation, but that wealth and financial strength can be built up to help numerous generations to come, down the road.


For help with legacy planning and to discuss strategies that can help retirement last longer, call an advisor at Manhattan Ridge.