The first step to investing in your quality of life is to think about and clarify what is most important to you. This is a time to listen to your own heart and to focus on what you value most in life. Whatever you identify will become the foundation of your life goals.

As you think about your life in the future, it is also important to view your financial plan within a framework of your closest relationships. If you have a spouse or life partner, you will want to factor in his or her dreams and expectations as well as your own. In addition, you will want to take into consideration your responsibilities and your hopes for your children, parents, siblings and whoever you consider to be “family.”

You can further expand your vision for the future by considering how your life and assets can benefit others. Current trends in charitable giving indicate that a growing number of philanthropists are ordinary people who share an extraordinary desire to “give back” and to “make a difference.”

In addition, donors are demonstrating more personal involvement by also contributing their time, energy, and expertise. They also express how their own life satisfaction has multiplied by their charitable giving and community service activities.

Therefore, an essential element of your life plan will be to determine the kind of legacy you want to leave to those individuals, organizations, and causes that are most important to you. To guide your reflection, consider the following questions:

  • Who fits within your circle of caring?
  • Whose lives can you bless?
  • Do you have family members—or those you consider to be “family”—that you would like to help financially?
  • In what charities do you feel impressed to invest your time, energy, and /or financial resources now or in the future?
  • What causes do you want to advance?
  • With whom do you want to share your deepest values and that which is most meaningful to you?

Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, NP

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