“If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”– Maya Angelou
Financial planning is a serious business. What you do and how you do it very much depends on your particular circumstances. I’ve mentioned in past blogs that I am working on “giving away” at least 80% of my net worth in the next few years. I’m doing that for several reasons…
Why I’m Giving Away My Money
For openers, I can afford to.
As I enter my seventh decade, my appetite for spending has been reduced to a fraction of what it was when I was in my 40s and 50s. Back then, I had a desire to have extra houses and expensive vacations and lots of costly toys that I would warehouse almost as soon as I bought them. But I’ve found that though I still like the occasional luxury, the experiences I most enjoy are free or inexpensive. As a result, our yearly LBR (lifestyle burn rate) is about a third of what it once was. This I can pay for by cashing in just a portion of the dividends I’ll be getting on the 20% of my assets that I intend to keep.
The money I used to be spending on a lot of unnecessary “stuff” is now devoted to investments I’m making in my family, my friends, and various charities. And since I want these investments to continue after K and I die, I’m finding them with tranches of existing income-producing assets. That way I can rest easy, knowing they are in place in perpetuity.
I have zero faith in the likelihood that all or even any of my government-backed annuities will be operating in 10 or 20 years. That is because I believe there is a good chance that the US will be not just bankrupt but unable to continue financing its programs in the future. (This essay by Tom Dyson – “Why I’m Interested in Gold for the First Time in 17 Years” – explains one of the reasons this is so.)
So the idea has been to set up trusts for each of the projects on my bucket list and allow them to start functioning immediately.
I’ve worked hard for what I have, and I’m grateful that I am able to do this. The actions I’ve been taking are making it possible for K and me to enjoy seeing some of the benefits of all the giving we are planning while we are still alive, rather than have it happen after we are gone.