Chapter 36. Create a Personal Legacy

Like many children, I can thank my parents for giving me a good financial start in life. My sisters and I always took it for granted that our parents would cover the cost of college, and careful financial management was the rule in our household. My father, a lifelong stock market junkie, taught me about investing and even told me about a fast-growing little company called Morningstar back in the early 1990s, before it was my employer.

Thankfully, my parents are still alive and well. But when they're gone, I know that their legacy for me will be much greater than a financial one. They raised six children, including one with special needs, with grace and joy, and from them I learned that family can help you sail through the stormiest seas. I've already rhapsodized about my mother's ability to make the best of any situation, and I can thank my Dad, a former business owner, for showing me the value of conducting business with the highest level of honesty and integrity.

I could go on and on, but the larger point isn't about my parents. Rather, it's that each of us, whatever our life stage and whether we have children or not, can leave a legacy that extends far beyond our financial wherewithal. While I've devoted this book almost entirely to helping you create a financial plan, we all know that all the money in the world doesn't amount to a hill of beans if you didn't help those you love, and learn a few things yourself, along the way. That's why I ...

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