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A Foundation for Phelps County Based in Rolla, the Phelps County Community Foundation is the CFO’s 55th regional affiliate. Learn More
CFO Stories

New year is perfect time to focus on legacy

By Winter Kinne, Vice President of Development

“Not just what you leave, but how you leave it” matters

You’ve seen them: The advertisements for storage containers, shelving and organizers that started Jan. 1. The stories on the “10 Best Ways to Organize for 2022.” A funny cartoon features two flies talking to one another, with one saying: “I know I say this every year, but this year I’m really going to get my you-know-what together.”

Something about the turn of the calendar page makes us reflect on our lives and focus in the new year on what we want to do better. One thing that often pops up is that we have too much you-know-what.

The de-cluttering movement has gained momentum in recent years. Look around and see how many self-storage units have been built, and you’ll realize we have a problem with accumulation. Our piles of stuff has spawned numerous books and fostered an entirely new industry.

A nationally syndicated columnist and author who writes about downsizing realized there’s more to talk about that just physical you-know-what. Once you deal with physical stuff, the next step is what to do with your financial assets. In 2021, Marni Jameson published “What to Do with Everything You Own to Leave the Legacy You Want.” She saw it as a natural progression of her earlier books such as “Downsizing the Family Home,” yet more difficult because it implies we all won’t live forever. She writes: “When I was a girl, I used to think only one in 10 people really died.” I can relate.

Through a mutual contact, Ms. Jameson reached out to our staff at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, and was introduced to two donors that she included in her book. Both said having a plan eased their worries, and will make things less stressful on their families and heirs when they no longer walk this earth.

Talking about such things might seem unpleasant in a hopeful new year, but as Ms. Jameson writes, it is actually one of the most critical resolutions you can adopt: “Most important, it will help you figure out what matters, and what to do now to leave the legacy you want later. Because it’s not just what you leave, but how you leave it that matters.”

Our region has numerous planned giving professionals who can help you with that journey. Our experienced staff at the CFO also can provide helpful suggestions on where to start. What to do with the rest of the you-know-what, you’ll need to figure out.

Winter Kinne is Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

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