The bad news is that a legacy is what you leave behind when you die. The good news is that your legacy is something that lives on after you’re gone. The question for us in the retirement zone—facing retirement or in it—is, how can we carve our name on hearts? It starts with family.
Ridley Scott is 79 years old. He’s currently launching a new movie, Alien: Covenant, and is thinking of doing Gladiator 2? At 79. Allow a couple of years for it to happen and he’ll be in his early 80s when it’s released. Obviously, retirement is not for him. He’s enjoying what he does too much.
Not to be morbid, but when you die you will leave a legacy of some kind. If you’re fortunate to have enough money you may be able to fund something that will help a whole lot of people way into the future. Your name may linger on in the venture or, perhaps, the building in which it’s housed.
I’m a grandparent and the scary thing is that, from today, I have adult grandchildren. I’m writing this on the 18th birthday of our twin grandsons. One of them has an exam next week and then they’ll have both finished school. There’s a whole new world ahead of them.
When people in retirement homes were asked about their regrets, it was less about the things they did, but ‘the things they didn’t do—never learning to salsa dance, never travelling the world, or never learning to play a musical instrument, for example’.
Talking about your legacy may be misinterpreted as talking about your death. Well, yes it is, and no it isn’t.