I like to go for walks. I prefer long walks in places of solitude that let me dial into the peace of the natural world. My favorite walks have a backpack, family and friends that appreciate solitude, my dog and comfortable boots. I like lightweight boots that are barely noticeable on my feet yet provide excellent support. When I stop for a rest on a long walk I look at my boots and remember past walks. My current favorite boots have been a lot of places including The Grand Canyon, the Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff, the West Fork trail in Sedona and recently, the Bear Creek Trail in Telluride. Where will these boots take me next? What will happen to these boots at the end of their useful life?
From a money perspective, when we finish our walk in this life we’ll figuratively untie our financial bootlaces for the last time. Our financial accomplishments and spending failures, borrowing achievements and investment regrets will impact those whom we leave behind. Here’s a few ways our financial “boots” will impact those around us at the end of life’s trail:
- Your boots will be put in storage, never to see the light of day. The financial impact of your life on this world was so meaningless that you are quietly forgotten. Your spending and borrowing was responsible but centered on you.
- A family member, friend or business associate will choose to walk in your boots. The way you lived serves as a beacon for future generations of responsible borrowers. Your financial legacy will add value to people coming behind you.
- Someone will be forced to walk in your boots. Your lack of accountability and reckless borrowing will require someone to pick up the pieces of your financial life.
- They’ll be displayed as a reminder of a life well lived. The legacy of your financial life is preserved with loving care by future generations. How you lived and worked with what you had becomes a “how-to” guide for future spenders, savers and borrowers.
- Your boots will be donated and find the feet of a grateful stranger. The prudent spending, investing, borrowing and generous giving you made during your lifetime will anonymously enrich others.
Be a responsible spender, saver, investor and borrower during your lifetime and you’ll leave a living legacy of financial security to your followers. The choice is yours.