Ways to Build a Legacy with Your Kids

By Last Updated: May 20, 2024
ways to build a financial legacy

Did you immediately think of money when you read the title? Or did your mind wander to your collection of state quarters or Star Wars figurines stored pristinely in boxes? A legacy doesn’t need to be financial or physical. In fact, the most meaningful legacies are often those that are intangible. Here are several ways to focus on the values, memories, and family traditions you create with your children and grandchildren.

Spend Time Together

  • Create Memories: Schedule regular family dinners, game nights, or outings. The simplest activities might become the very things you will miss the most one day.
  • Be Present: Put away cell phones and other distractions to be engaged when you’re with your kids. Practice active listening and show genuine interest in their lives.
  • Special Time for Each: Carve out unique 1-on-1 time for each child. This could be a weekly phone call if distance separates, a card game, or grabbing a bite to eat.

Create Traditions

  • Regular Routines: Annual trips, holiday traditions, or birthdays celebrated in a special way become hallmarks throughout their lives.
  • Pass Down Customs: Share family recipes, cultural traditions, or stories from your own childhood. These actions connect family members to their roots.
  • Create New Traditions: Talk with each other and come up with new activities that are unique and special to your own family.

Live by Example

  • Values in Action: Show what you mean rather than always talking about it. Demonstrate the importance of kindness, honesty, and hard work by embracing those values in your own everyday actions.
  • Resilience: Show how to face challenges with grace and rebound from setbacks with a learning mindset.
  • Passion & Purpose: Go after your passions and interests to show your children the importance of finding what motivates them.

Physical Reminders

  • Record Memories: Create a family scrapbook, photo album, or videos to document special times. Capturing your voice will become invaluable once you’re gone.
  • Your Words: There’s nothing like writing letters to show your love, aspirations, and dreams for your children.
  • Legacy Project: Work on a project together, like researching genealogy, planting a tree on family property, or recording family history in your own creative way.

Invest in Your Family

  • Education: The best gift besides love and time might be education. Providing your children with this foundation that will enable them to flourish is invaluable.
  • Life Skills: Teach them valuable life skills like managing finances and balancing a checkbook, cooking, laundry, or basic car repairs. Enabling independence will set them up to face life and all it brings.
  • Unconditional Love: Above all make sure that they never doubt how much you love them. Having parental support and love will build the confidence and resilience to develop into strong, able adults.

The most valuable legacy you leave your children is not financial or material. Remember that some of the poorest families remain richest in love and contentment. By instilling these values in your children, they will have the necessary skills to develop financial success in adulthood.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us.

Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA®
Senior Financial Advisor, Wiser Wealth Management

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