Limitless Contributor
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Our family has been a military family for the last fifteen years. We're nearing retirement and so our thoughts have turned towards where do we want to "land" and where do we want to call our forever home. What jobs/careers do we want to further once we're out of the military and most importantly what plan do we have to make all of that happen. We've been saving and discussing this for years. But it's been even more heightened because of some family changes that have been taking place with our parents and our grandparents as of late. We've really started thinking about what we want our legacy to be.

 

Merriam-Webster defines "legacy" as something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past or a gift by will especially of money or other personal property. Have you thought about what it is that you want to leave your family? Is it a lump sum of money that you worked hard to save? Is it good saving/spending habits and money values? Is it a house on a hill? Or is it a successful business that you can pass on? All are very great options - and maybe it's your goal to do all of them.

 

Last week I traveled with my children to my home state of Missouri to see my family one last time before we headed back to school for the fall. While at home I visited with my mama. My mama's plan has always been to work until she paid off her small business, sell, build a home wherever it was that Kevin and I decided to finally "park" our military family.

 

We went out to dinner and we were traveling along the road past her house when she took a sharp turn to an unpopulated area. It was there she pointed and said "see, see that piece of land? We want to build a little house here and if all my calculations are correct we can do it in three years." This was a huge surprise to me. But I could see after we talked through it all that she had thought long and hard about what was best for her and for our family as a whole. She wanted to make sure there was something left for all of us and that she was somewhere she could be comfortable, secure, and be able to be self-sufficient.

 

What I learned in that conversation just reinforced what I've learned all my life from my mama. I learned to always have a plan A and a plan B, too. I've learned to play hard, but work harder. I've learned to spend wisely, and save more. I've learned to be an entrepreneur and "find money" in unexpected places by celebrating my passions and talents. That's a legacy that is worth more than any house on the hill, small business, or lump sum of money. Though teaching me those things will allow me to see how I am able to leave exactly the legacy we want to for our children.

 

DISCUSSION

 

What will your financial legacy be?

How are you working towards building this legacy?

 

2 Comments
Doug Nordman
Contributor
We've taught our daughter everything we know about managing our finances, and she gets it. She's just starting her junior year in college, and we can already see that she's going to do fine at handling her own assets. But what has really left a legacy is something you probably already know from your own experience-- writing "The Military Guide" book and the blog. She can consult them at her convenience, as little or as much as she cares to learn, and as many times as it takes her to master the info. I don't have to distill a lifetime of advice into a few conversations while we're surfing, or pontificate around the dinner table, or fit it all into a letter in my "If I wake up dead" folder. She can just go to the blog and search for keywords. I started writing for a bunch of other reasons, most of them about paying it forward. I never thought that I'd be creating a legacy for my own family. I think all parents should write down their advice, especially now that they can do it in a private (searchable) blog for free.
Limitless Contributor
Nords, You're an amazing dad with a wonderfully resourceful blog. Thanks for sharing with us! Tara