The Other Side of the Journey – Family and Financial Planning

by Robin Bitner

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said simply: “The most important thing in the world is family and love.” Who can argue with that?

At Meikle Financial, we see time with family as a goal and end in itself. We help you create your financial plan with this in mind: prioritizing moments with family and deepening the relationships that make you who you are and make life worth living.

My husband and I recently took a trip that taught me about family legacy – financially and otherwise.

The Summer Trip

This year on the 4th of July, we were privileged to visit our new grandson at just a few days old. My father-in-law, who turns 97 soon and is the last one of his generation in our family, was also there.

I couldn’t help but think about mortality as I saw this contrast of old and young together. One who is beginning his life and dependent on all around him, and the other full of memory and experience, reflecting on the years.

I came across a helpful definition of “family tradition” recently: “…an aggregate of attitudes, ideas and ideals, and environment, which a person inherits from his/her parents and ancestors.” Tradition, then, is much more than just the spoken values or beliefs, but the way we live passed down to the next generation.

Steeped in Tradition

My husband’s family had a reunion during our trip with over 90 people from the extended family at their family ranch. There’s a building on the property that’s registered to the National Historical Society as a stagecoach station and bears this description:

In the late 1800s the hotel was a way station along the Overland Stage Route. Passengers traveling east or west found themselves bedding in 1 of the 11 rooms that were considered some of the finest along the Overland Route. Those guests included Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and Horace Greeley.

My father-in-law was born in this building, which was purchased by his grandfather in 1908. He grew up on the ranch that is still in the family and now our children and grandchildren have enjoyed staying there.

What was just a building on the frontier has become a financial legacy for generations, and helped us all to see the value of saving, hard work and putting down roots so future generations can flourish.

The Legacy Lives On

My father-in-law prepared for his next step by paying for his funeral in advance. He is putting together his financial legacy for the family, planning his estate and making sure his will is in order.

On the other side of the journey, our son, the new father, has now started budgeting for the diapers, and all that his infant son will need to thrive. He and his wife are working hard to build a foundation for their boy.

When my husband’s grandfather made the choice to purchase this land over a century ago, he had no idea the relationships and memories of generations would be blessed by it.

These memories and traditions are priceless, of course, but this financial legacy for our family started with hard work, wise choices and the belief that life is about future generations, not just yourself.

Financial planning can help you pass on a legacy for your family, call us today to start the conversation.

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