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Legacy and Artifacts – Sharing Your Past Into The Future

Legacy and Artifacts – Sharing Your Past Into The Future

By Richard Weijo  

My granddaughter loves to listen to stories.

I have heard storytelling is how most children learn. So, if a grandparent is going to pass on a bit of advice from the past, why not do it by telling a story!

One of my wishes for my granddaughter (and future generations) is to learn how to manage money to grow wealth through time.

When I was a child, no one told me how powerfully investments could compound over time. To try to teach these concepts, my wife and I have set aside some old coins as gifts.

Some of these coins were part of a legacy received from a prior generation. Others are coins we purchased to represent a meaningful family event.

For example, my wife was born at a U.S. Air Force base hospital in Puerto Rico. To help tell this story, we purchased an old Puerto Rican precious coin. We wrote about this event in a journal, including our recent visit back to this location. The hospital is now a hotel, with a casino located on the site of the old maternity ward.

Similarly, I found some of my father’s old coins; memento’s from his time in the U.S. Army serving in the South Pacific during World War II. I don’t want his past forgotten, so I wrote about the history of these old Australian and New Zealand coins in this same journal.

While I never was a coin collector, I have now assembled all of these legacy coins into a collection along with this journal to tell each of these stories. And I have made a point to highlight how the value of these coins has appreciated over time. One of the Australian pennies is now worth over a hundred dollars.

Creating a family legacy is so important, and one of the best ways to capture this history is through telling stories.

Coins are one way to capture these stories, as well as to teach a valuable lesson on how to build wealth over time.

But maybe your family is not into collecting coins.

There are many other family artifacts that you could use. Art, jewelry or other collectibles will work just as well to tell your story.

The most important intention of this type of activity is to do just that – to tell your story and share your family’s legacy in an interesting way that will be remembered by future generations.

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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.