Investing for retirement is a long-term business. To stick with it, you have to envision your end goal and refer to it often to stay motivated. For many people, that end goal is a secure retirement where all your needs are met . . . and maybe you can even splurge on a few luxuries you denied yourself during your working years.
But you don’t have to wait until retirement age to reap the rewards of a solid retirement plan. And, if you’re fortunate, your plan can continue to provide for others for generations to come.
When you pay off debt using the debt snowball, you pay the smallest debts first. Those small victories keep you moving toward the bigger goal of being debt-free. Investing for retirement doesn’t have those built-in rewards. You have to look beyond your quarterly statement and see the effect your investing plan has on your family.
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Decades before you reach your retirement goal, you’ll see how your example of disciplined saving affects your children’s financial habits. Kids who grow up to be good savers often credit their parents with teaching them, so talk with your kids about how and why retirement savings is a priority for you.
It’s important that your kids understand you’re not doing it just so you can kick back and relax once you call it quits at work. They should know that by taking action now to provide for your own retirement, you will avoid burdening them with your financial needs in the future.
That concept may not mean much to them when they’re young, but once they’re on their own, your kids will appreciate the legacy of personal responsibility that not only transformed your life, but also theirs as well.
A Lasting Legacy
Only 56% of American retirees plan to leave an inheritance for their children. Most believe they won’t have any money to leave their kids after they make it through retirement.
But by following a retirement investing plan that works, you can leave a legacy of responsibility as well as a financial legacy that can impact your family and your community for generations to come. I call this concept the three L’s of leaving a legacy:
1. Loving – Family, community or charitable causes
2. Lifting – Providing a financial lift to allow family, community or charitable causes to go further faster because of you
3. Leaving – Leaving a memory of your hard work and focus; honoring your family tree by passing the baton forward
Legacies like this are never accidental. It takes intentionality, focus and effort. If you’re investing 15% of your income for retirement, you are well on your way to establishing a legacy for your family. As you continue your journey through the Baby Steps, saving for college expenses and paying off your home early, keep your eye on the prize: building wealth and giving! That’s how legacies are made.
From Investing to Legacy Building
Transforming your retirement investing plan into a legacy builder doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s not something you want to handle on your own. Work with a trusted, experienced investing advisor who can teach you how to make the most of your plan and give you advice about how to safeguard the legacy you’re building.
Don’t let the world tell you leaving a legacy is impossible or not worth the effort. Few things are more satisfying than knowing the results of your hard work will live on and do good through future generations of your family.
Chris Hogan helps spread Dave’s message of financial hope to audiences everywhere speaking on subjects like leadership, business and retirement. To promote financial education, he speaks at colleges and businesses, and conducts on-site training sessions at companies. Chris also works with high-profile clients such as athletes, entertainers and businessmen to help them develop a financial strategy to protect their wealth and secure their future. You can get great advice from Chris every day by following him on Twitter @ChrisHogan360 or facebook.com/chrishogan360. If you would like Chris to speak at your company event, church or organization, visit daveramsey.com/chrishogan.