Your legacy: Time to shine

For me, James Kerr’s book ‘Legacy’ is the benchmark of what leaving a legacy is all about. It focusses on the All Blacks rugby team and is a valuable reminder to think about what your values are, what your personal brand is and how you want to be perceived. It also powerfully demonstrates that your legacy is rarely about money – it is about you and it is what you do that really matters.

Working in finance, it can be easy to dismiss us as purely money focused. But this overlooks so much of what we’re all about. Yes, as financial planners we help people figure out their finances so that they get the best from their investments.

But by working through your financial goals, we naturally focus in on what you want from life, what you want to achieve and what you want to give back. It is therefore not uncommon for us to find ourselves chatting to people about what they want their legacy to be and the more philanthropic goals they might have.

Will you choose to donate time or money?

What’s interesting is that these conversations rarely focus purely on money. Philanthropy and legacies can be about donating wealth to charitable causes. True. But for me and many of those we speak to, donating time is in fact far more valuable and rewarding than donating money.

With this in mind, I have personally chosen to spend more of my time helping others –  youngsters in education as well as those not in education or employment, as well as being interviewed by prison radio, station, schools and charities. Being kind is not a noun, it is a verb – it’s about doing more to create more good. This is a vital guiding principle for the way I want to live my life and the legacy I want to leave. As the great Martin Luther King said “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is what are you doing for others?”