Retirement often signals the accomplishment of a lifelong process of working, planning, investing, and saving. Once achieved, retirement can look different for everyone. For some, it’s a new chapter of travel and adventure. For others, it’s an opportunity to do more of what they love—hobbies, activities, or even a second career. No matter how retirees choose to spend their time in retirement, many want to leave a legacy.
What does it mean to leave a legacy?
Leaving a legacy means gifting something of real value that will be cherished or revered after your passing. A legacy, which often calls for thoughtful planning, can be an amount of money, an action, or a gift that has meaning for those that inherit it, or that honors and celebrates your life. Here are a few ways you can leave a legacy for yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
Share your skills and knowledge.
Passing along your abilities, expertise, and values is a great way to leave a legacy. Whether it’s setting up a colleague for professional success after you retire, or mentoring an individual or group from the younger generation, there are a number of ways to beneficially share what you know. Teaching and setting examples for the next generation can make a real lasting impact.
Volunteer in your community.
Giving back to your community is a great way to leave a legacy that will also keep you active, engaged, and rewarded. No matter what cause you choose to support—whether it’s a non-profit, a school, a sports team, or an animal shelter—volunteering your time, effort, and energy can make a lasting impact on this generation, and the generations to come that call your community home.
Creative items can be some of the most meaningful types of legacies to leave. Retirees can take advantage of their newfound time to tap into their creative side, or learn new artistic skills, and make art for their family, their loved ones, their alma mater, or the local historical society. Legacy in the form of art could be paintings, writing, an oral history, a photo book, and more. Combining memory with artistry is a powerful way to leave a legacy.
Leave something behind.
Leaving a legacy can also mean leaving behind a meaningful financial gift. This can come in the form of a charitable donation, a scholarship fund, or simply a gift for a relative. When leaving a financial gift behind as a legacy, there are ways to do so during and beyond retirement. For example, with a permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance, you can leave all or part of the death benefit from your life insurance to a charitable organization.