Industry Insights | 2 min read

What will your legacy be?

By Khanyi Nzukuma, Chief Executive

“Legacy is not leaving something for people.  It’s leaving something in people.”

Peter Strople

As important as money is to our daily lives, financial success remains one part of a successful life, overall.  Success means different things to different people, so just how big a role money plays will depend on what’s important to you and how you define success for yourself.

A 2010 Princeton study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton showed that money brings happiness up to a certain level of income (dependent on where you live), but the researchers found that beyond that point there was no steady increase in happiness in line with an increase in income.

Thinking beyond money

Legacy planning, like retirement planning and drawing up a will, tends to be something we put off until “we’re older”.  But it’s important to start any journey with the end in mind, so I challenge you to start thinking about this now. 

Legacy planning is not just about the wealth you leave behind in your estate – it’s also about the difference you make now, whether in your family, place of work, or the broader community, as well as what you stand for.  How you live every day of your life adds up to your own personal .  I learnt from my father that with patience, diligence and consistency, you can build pretty much anything over time.

A good place to start is to identify what you value and what motivates you.  The lockdown period will hopefully have provided some time for reflection.  If you’re just starting out in your career and find this a difficult exercise, try to see yourself in ten, twenty or even thirty years’ time.  What will you have accomplished and how will you have spent your time?

I find this helps in order to live life more consciously.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily routines that we forget about the bigger picture. 

Positivity is contagious

Every person we come into contact with has potential.  A word of encouragement or kindness may inspire someone to take that next step they were afraid to take.  Many people around us have grown up without encouragement or strong role models to show them the way.  Sometimes you may not even know you’ve touched someone’s life.  Your time, skills and even financial contribution go a long way towards making a difference, but sometimes just your passion, positivity and kindness can make a difference that someone may remember for the rest of their lives.

Whether the financial you leave behind is large or small, the personal you leave behind is fully within your control.  It takes time to build though – today might just be the day to start.

Glacier Financial Solutions (Pty) Ltd and Sanlam Life Insurance Ltd are licensed financial services providers.

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