When you hear the words legacy and retirement together, what do you think?
Most people’s mind goes straight to money.
In the dictionary it’s defined as, “an amount of money or property left to someone in a will.”
That might have something to do with it.
Yes. Money can be part of legacy, but it’s not the only part.
What’s the other part of your legacy?
The funny thing is if you Google “leaving a legacy” most of the results are about how you want to be remembered or how you’ll put your stamp on the future.
There’s not a mention of money.
Very different from the dictionary definition.
This is the other part of legacy. The non-financial part.
Both parts are something for you to think about as you’re thinking about the type of business you want to start and the legacy you want to leave.
To dive deeper into both aspects of legacy in your retirement, I had a conversation with Fritz Gilbert.
Fritz is the publisher of The Retirement Manifesto blog, which focuses on practical Financial Independence and Retirement Planning issues for folks within ten years of retirement.
Leaving your financial legacy
He laid out the retirement planning roadmap from the financial stand point.
“As you’re working towards retirement, everything’s focused on the financials,” Fritz explained.
“Do I have enough?
When can I retire?
What’s my withdrawal rate going to be?
How much money do you want to leave your kids?
Once you retire, you know what you have.
You’ve got a system that keeps you within your safe spending levels. Once you get to that point, you don’t really think about the financial stuff anymore.
It is what it is.”
What this means is once you retire, you’ll know if it’s even possible to leave a financial legacy and approximately what that amount will be.
So a goal of your business might be to increase that amount.
“To me, that’s not the most important aspect of a legacy,” he continued.
“There are much bigger questions than ‘how much money do you leave for your kids?’”
Let’s get to those bigger questions.
Leaving your non-financial legacy
With the financial part pretty much set, let’s put the focus on the intangible part of starting a business in retirement.
“Demonstrating that the financial motives aren’t the most important motives in your life,” said Fritz. “That’s a huge legacy to leave.”
“Demonstrating that the financial motives aren’t the most important motives in your life. That’s a huge legacy to leave.” ~ Fritz Gilbert
Fritz posed some questions to help frame your thinking around this
What character lessons are you leaving?
Much like when you think of legacy, you think of money.
When you think of starting a business, you think of money too because the money is needed to survive.
At this stage in your life, the focus isn’t on the money as much because you’re likely set.
Though it might be about what the money allows you to do.
These are some character lessons you can leave through your retirement business:
- You can demonstrate generosity by donating the money to your favorite charity.
- Maybe you’re showing more of that loving side by using the money to create memorable experiences for your family.
- It could also be your showing determination because you never worked online before and now you’re starting a business online.
“You can do these things for good because you’re able to,” said Fritz. “That’s another big aspect of how a business can be used to create a legacy.
What footprints are you leaving?
When you were growing up you might’ve had some photos, newspaper clippings or written letters from your parents or friends.
That’s how things were documented.
These times are a changin’.
Think about it.
Every Tweet, Facebook post, Instagram photo, text message are all documents we’re leaving behind for the future to look back on.
These are your footprints.
This doesn’t mean everything has to be a profound statement.
It means, you can shape how you’ll be remembered.
When it comes to your business and what you’re sharing, how is it a reflection of how you want to be remembered?
What do you want to be known for?
This can be a tough question and also an extremely powerful one because it’s not something you think about…like ever.
How do you even answer it?
You can start off by asking those close to you, “What have they learned from you?”
The answers might surprise you.
Depending on what the answers are, you can then start to shape what you want to add to what’s already there or change the answers all together.
As you start your business, think about what you want your friends and family to remember about you doing this and how you can best demonstrate those qualities.
Next: Answer this question
Now that we’ve gone through different ways you can leave behind a legacy.
In the comments below, answer this question:
What legacy will your retirement business leave?