Build your legacy of compassion…and hope! (Part 2)

Build your legacy of compassion…and hope! (Part 2)

You’ve just turned 40, with three young children in school. You’re juggling a career, mortgage, and caring for your young family. College tuition for the kids is looming, and you’re trying to boost your retirement savings. But you want to be charitable! You want to build a legacy and make a lasting difference after you’ve passed—even though that’s a long way off. Where do you begin?

Sound like you?

Even though retirement may be in the distant future (and perhaps you haven’t yet accrued much wealth), there’s still so much you can do now to build a legacy that carries on even after you’re gone.

To unpack your options, I’ll address two common objections I hear when we approach “younger” donors (I’m looking at YOU, Millennials and Gen X-ers!) about estate planning.

Objection 1: “I don’t know where to start!”

  • Get a will!

This is your number 1. Without a will, you’re leaving all decisions about your family, physical assets, cash, etc. in a vulnerable position—depending on where you live, your state may distribute everything the way it thinks is best. That’s like tossing everything up in the air and hoping it works out the way you hope. Don’t risk it. Get a will and document your wishes!

  • Add a charity to your will.

Guess what? Leaving a charity in your will is actually WAY simpler than you might think! For instance, did you know that you could add an organization as an additional beneficiary to your life insurance policy?

And WE can help! We have staff dedicated to planned giving. All we need to know is that you’re interested in making a planned gift to Wheeler. We can immediately connect you with someone who will talk you through all your options, explain tax implications, and gently guide you through the process. No need to wait to come to us after you’ve got everything figured out. We’ll walk with you as you learn. And in the meantime, we’d love to enfold you into Wheeler’s community.

Objection 2: “I have children. Since I need to make sure they’re taken care of, I don’t have room to do anything else.”

We would never recommend you give to Wheeler over providing for your family. In this case, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Learn your options.

There are so many ways to make a planned gift! And you may be surprised to learn that you’re in a position to make a designation sooner than you think. We put together a simple, easy-to-understand chart outlining about a dozen charitable options. We encourage you to study and reference it as you plan your financial future.

  • Volunteer and study…as a family!

While you’re learning, take a hands-on approach to your legacy building. It’s so important to do your research, and make sure you trust your beneficiary organization(s). Study agencies that matter to you, learn their impact, discover how they would steward your gifts, and get your kids involved too—volunteer and participate together as a family!

(“Move your feet so others can eat” as a family! The Drumstick Dash is one of many ways that you can teach your kids that service is important…and fun!)

At Wheeler, we have numerous ways for your family to serve together. We even made a handout on how to talk to your kids about homelessness and outlined what THEY can do with you to help.

  • Start giving now!

As you dip your toe into legacy giving, consider giving regularly now, even if it’s just a modest amount. Predictable, consistent gifts sustain organizations (like Wheeler!) and make budgeting more reliable. And bonus: regular giving keeps you closely connected to agencies you care about! Plan to grow your investment over time, but until then, this is a way to start small and still make a considerable impact.