When most people hear the word legacy, they immediately think of money or something passed from one generation to the next.  But legacy is actually more about how we live our lives and how we are remembered. This idea seems to be shared by poet, Linda Ellis in the last line of her poem, The Dash:

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

With the end of 2018 quickly approaching, I feel it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss one of my favorite topics – legacy. December is often when we contemplate not only what we have accomplished during the year, but what we hope to achieve in the new year. It’s usually a time to be with family when we celebrate our values, food, and cherished traditions.

It’s also an ideal moment to ask our loved ones about their lives and what’s important to them especially our elders.  Listen to their stories, experiences, and lessons they have learned. I spent a week with my sister-in-law, Marilyn, last winter when my husband, Mark, was on his sabbatical. Each night over cocktail hour, the three of us would sit down together when Marilyn would share her life’s journey. We laughed and cried for hours together, and I captured all of it on my iPhone.

We received a call this fall that Marilyn had passed away.  What if I hadn’t recorded those stories?  These recordings are now being combined with photographs to create a Legacy Video for Mark’s family so these memories will live over time for our children and future generations. You too can do this, too!

This month, we have two interesting interviews for you on Smart Women Talk Radio.  Our first show this month features the inspirational Damyanti “Rani” Gupta, who has been creating her legacy through many “Firsts.”  Rani was the first woman to study engineering at her Indian college, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  She was the first female to receive a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University.  After graduation, she moved to Detroit where she became Ford Motor Company’s first female engineer with an advanced degree. Her story was recently featured in TIME Magazine’s FIRSTS:  Women Who are Changing the World.  I’ve already had in-depth conversations with Rani, and you won’t want to miss this inspiring interview!  And if you are wondering about her name … yes, she is the mother of CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta.

Our second interview is on Christmas Day, and it’s an encore interview I did with author, Robb Lucy, where we talked about his book, How Will You Be Remembered?  The Definitive Guide to Creating and Sharing Your Life Stories.

In addition, you are invited to listen to my 25-Minute Legacy Story Master Class where I share how I combined the legacy planning process with traditional estate planning for my own parents and also share a powerful exercise you can immediately do to get more clarity about your life purpose and the meaning of your personal Dash. Have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones. And don’t miss this opportunity to listen to their many stories. Happy New Year!

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new ebook, The Five Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make and How to Fix Them, visit www.katanaabbott.com