Finance · Lifestyle

Leaving A Legacy

Like most people, I’m hoping to make the world a better place. But without kids of my own or any nieces or nephews, what’s the best way to go about doing so? In today’s post, I’ll talk about what I’m doing today and also ask for your input regarding other ways I can make a positive impact.

A recent post by Steve over at really resonated with me. And I left a lengthy comment saying just that. One thing I failed to mention in that comment was an explanation of exactly why I don’t plan to have kids. Primarily, I’ve always felt that I could have a more positive impact on the world by not having any kids. Being childless has provided me with extra time and money and that’s what I’m using to create my legacy.

Large Scale Impact

I’ve mentioned before that my favorite charity is Donors Choose. I love being able to directly impact a classroom and the kids in it, either in my own community or across the country. This is by far where most of my donations go. I have to admit that it makes me really sad to see teachers asking for money to buy basic supplies. These kids will be running the country one day so I’m a firm believer in ensuring they have a strong educational foundation. This is the same reason why I vote in favor of school bonds. I just don’t understand why we don’t do more for our public schools or at least give teachers the basic supplies they need so they can focus on teaching.

In addition to Donors Choose, I give to various organizations, albeit not as often and not even close dollar-wise. These include ASPCA, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Public Radio, PBS, Second Harvest Heartland, and my alma mater. There are so many great causes that I care about — I just wish there was more money to go around.

Direct Impact

Even though I don’t have any blood-related little kids in my life, I do get to be auntie to my friends’ kids. One of my closest friends has a 5-year-old and 3-year-old. Since I despise buying toys for gifts, I asked her if I could instead set up custodial brokerage accounts for them. She happily agreed so I’ve been putting money into their accounts for each birthday and Christmas gift and the accounts will be theirs when they turn 21. The hope is that we can use these not only as a place to grow money, but as educational tools to help them understand investing and compounding. The accounts are both invested in total stock market index funds and, thankfully, have done quite well.

My hope is that these two methods of creating a legacy can help leave a positive impact on the world. I would love to have a building named after me one day but it’s far less about the recognition and all about the possibility of helping others.

Is there anything you’re doing or plan to do to leave a legacy, especially if you don’t plan to have kids? Is there anything more I can do to make a difference? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Leaving A Legacy

  1. Good on you for making choices that are best for you–and not what other people pressure you to do. I think our society is misguided by assuming that kids are the only way to leave a legacy. You can have kids and still make the world a much worse place, after all. I think you’re doing a wonderful thing by prioritizing charitable giving. I do plan to have kiddos, but that’s because I think it would be a hoot and a half. 🙂

    P.S. that is so sweet that you’re setting up brokerage accounts for your friend’s little ones. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

    1. Thanks Mrs. PP! I’m hoping that my friend’s kids can start learning about investing even younger than when I did. Such an important life skill and so easy now that it’s all online 🙂

  2. Pretty much doing the same as you – donating to various causes (particularly pertaining to education, including Donors Choose), and I’ve set up a 529 for my sibling’s child. Curious to know why you chose a custodial brokerage account as opposed to a 529, although I suspect so it’s they can use the money for anything, including education. I chose 529 for now because I get some tax benefits.
    little green revelation recently posted…Frugal-ish Jetsetting and Kinda Minimalist TravelMy Profile

    1. That’s a great question! The kids already have 529 plans so we thought this would be a good way to teach them about overall investing. When they’re old enough I’ll give them the option to invest in something other than a total stock market index fund.

      They also can’t access this until they’re 21 so I’m hoping they can use it to get on their feet after post secondary school, whatever that might be.

      529 would have been my first choice if they didn’t already have them. You’re lucky you get a tax benefit. Minnesota doesn’t offer that.

      Thanks for commenting!

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