Sadly we had another death in our family with the sudden passing of my beautiful mother-in-law Sue last month, and after my dad dying earlier in the year, I’ve been reeling a little.
During the lovely tribute my husband prepared for his mum, I found myself reflecting about really how little time we have (she was only 70) and sometimes when a death is sudden, it jolts you into action.
The questions I asked myself were... “Am I living the best life possible? What do I want to achieve in my life?
And, what will I leave behind for my kids or what will I be remembered for?” This bought me to ask...
”What will be my legacy when it’s my time to go?”
A legacy is something that is left behind after a person has passed. Commonly people think of bequeathing money or property or other things of value. To me, a legacy is more about sharing what we have learned, not just what we have earned, and bequeathing values over valuables, I think material wealth is only a small fraction of a legacy.
Until now, I didn’t realise it but I have been working on material legacies. Coming from a working class family, my parents taught me how to make money from hard work. I leant you’d be payed a good salary for a good days work.
I wanted to break the ‘earn from working’ cycle for my family so that our income could come from investments and managing our money, and from the business. I also do not want to rely on the government to dictate my retirement. My aim was to set my family up for financial freedom and retire with money.
But upon reflection, whilst sitting in Sue’s funeral service, I realised that there is much more to life. Yes we need money to live and support our families but what is beyond that? You can achieve a material or monetary legacy quite easily if you focus on it. Within a space of ten years I have done that; built a property portfolio and a successful business. It wasn’t easy but I feel really pleased that all the hard work is paying off now.
But more importantly, I realised that the real value is in what I’ve learnt in the last ten years. This may be of use to others and I hope particularly to my kids. I hope that what they learn from my life will enhance their life. Maybe they won’t see the same value I do to be financially independent? I can’t do much about how they perceive life and their wants and needs. All I can do is live my own life to the fullest on my own terms. They’ll take out from it what they need.
Just what is it that I want my sons and step daughter to be mussing over when they are sitting in my funeral service?
I hope my life’s message will be that you can do anything in this wonderful world of ours, just be persistent and focussed and follow your dreams.
So what’s your legacy going to be?
I love this quote....
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined”
- Henry David Thoreau