What's Your Legacy?

A lot of times when we mention legacy planning in my profession we’re talking about complicated wealth transfer tools and strategies. While they may have their place, that’s not what I’m talking about. 

I’m talking about the legacy of how people remember us. And to zero even further in - how those CLOSEST to us remember us. 

Chances are, not many people outside of our family and closest friends are going to think about us a whole lot after we’re gone. This isn’t to sound dreary or to champion a life of mediocrity - it’s just averages. 

An estimated 100 billion people have lived and died here on earth. How many do you personally remember? Or even less personally, how many people from history with extraordinary legacies (Moses, Martha, George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr, Jane Austen) can you recall?

Odds are - we won’t be one of them. 

But we WILL be remembered by those closest to us. Our kids, our siblings, our family, our dearest friends.

How will they remember us? 

Several years ago in a Fident Friday letter, I wrote about the passing of my friend Dave (also later posted at CalibratingCapital) and the legacy he left on me. 

I think our Legacy is wise to think about. And sooner (Today), rather than later (Tomorrowland). How will these loved ones remember us? 

As selfish - or selfless?
As preoccupied - or present? 
As generous - or greedy? 
As faithful - or faithless? 
As family-first - or career-first? 

These are easy questions to answer in theory - but challenging to put into practice. However, the effort is well worth it - because doing so helps us clarify our values, and can then further help give direction on how to best use our money to fulfill those values. 

We all should be crafting our Legacy carefully, because we don’t know when it’s going to start.

Interesting Resources

John Ortberg
"Gratitude always comes from a posture of humility."

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Deep Dive)
45 min from start to end | 
Pretty much everything you could - or want - to know about the personal planning aspects from the latest stimulus bill is unpacked here. Kiplinger's still has a solid high level summary and calculators (stimulus payment estimator here, and child tax credit estimator here) - but in true fashion, this is going to unpack things in a much deeper way. Interesting to note a few things NOT included in the latest bill, which could be signed into law by the time you're reading this (but isn't as of writing): no required minimum distribution (RMD) waivers for 2021, no adjustments to retirement plan savings amounts, and no minimum wage hike. 

The Bumpy Road to the Market's Long-Term Average
1 minute | Dimensional Fund Advisors
Perhaps one of the greatest single page education on what "volatility" looks like when investing in the stock market - this piece shows how since 1926, while the S&P 500 has averaged about a 10% annualized rate of return, the actual calendar year return has only been within 2% of that average SIX out of the past NINETY-FIVE years! Part of investing is preparing - emotionally and financially - for these ups and downs along the way. 
Just a reminder that we're still on our family trip, so I'm still a bit less responsive to emails and calls. I appreciate your patience and grace!

However, in some extended time to think, read, and journal some more - I've gained a lot of clarity on what I would like my own Legacy took look like to my kids and my wife. This extended family trip plays a large role in that, even with the day to day decisions we're making as a family down here. It won't be as easy to do this when we're back home, but it's been invaluable to me. And is going to be something I make a high recommendation to friends to consider doing as well. 

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Fident Financial, LLC (FFL) is a registered investment advisor offering services in the state of PA and in other jurisdictions where exempted.  Opinions expressed in this email are solely those of FFL, unless otherwise specifically cited.  Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources but no representations are made by FFL as to another parties' information accuracy or completeness.

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