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Your Legacy: Advocating Today for Tomorrow

Your Legacy: Advocating Today for Tomorrow

By Richard Weijo  

By the time we reach our 50’s, many of us will have honed our skills in a variety of specialized areas of expertise.

Chances are we will have accumulated about 10,000 hours of capability in not just one area – but developed competencies across several critical areas. No longer only experts in just one narrow field; we have collectively developed a depth and breadth of knowledge and experiences.

While working, how many different meetings and how many hours did you spend in their preparation?  When projects didn’t go as planned, how many times were you the one to listen to the issues and concerns of others, identify viable solutions, and then rallied and cheered on others to persevere?

As we plan for our retirement, we have the opportunity to use these same skills & talents in new and meaningful ways to be advocates for future generations by supporting or influencing policy and legislative causes.

As an example, let’s explore just one of these issues.

America’s childhood poverty rate is one of the highest among industrialized countries in the world. In 2013, the US was ranked 34th out of the 35 industrialized nations included in a UNICEF report.  The US has a poverty rate six times higher than the country with the best performance, Finland (3.6% vs. 23.1%).

The United Kingdom is a modern example of how a concerted effort to reduce child poverty can be successful.  In over ten years, the British government was able to successfully reduce childhood poverty in half.

We too can be advocates to reduce childhood poverty.

Whether the topic is childhood poverty, college affordability, intergenerational debt, environmental sustainability, or one of several other issues important to you, each of us has unique skills & capabilities that we can leverage to influence their impact on future generations.

Many of us think of legacy only as involving what we have already achieved.   However, it can also include all of the wishes and dreams that we are still working on as a gift to the future.

As you plan your retirement, who or what do you plan to advocate for?

Having a wonderful past to look back on is great – but what you decide to do now can have a big impact on the future – and that can be amazing.

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Richard O. Weijo, PhD, received an undergraduate degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and went on to receive his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Richard was also a Senior Analyst at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and his most recent corporate position was as a Manager of market research and Director of customer channels at Portland General Electric. Currently, he is a consultant and a writer. He adores his young granddaughter Elsie, whose birth inspired his book, Our Dreams For Our Children: Creating Legacies That Inspire Each New Generation To Achieve A Brighter Future.

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