A Legacy Beyond Heirs

Most of us want to be remembered after our death, after all, being memorialized is a form of never ending life. Many of us remember and honor those who came before us – our Fathers, Mothers, Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents and hope that our heirs will pass along at least part of our own story.

But what if you don’t have heirs? What if your heirs are worthless no good people? What if your heirs are selfish, unthinking, uncaring and you don’t believe they will accept or pass along the legacy you want to to leave?

How can you leave a legacy without heirs? Use your life to touch others and the world around you. Continue reading

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Whinny Learns to Earn Her Way – Part 2

Whinny woke to the sound of Valerie’s voice. Valerie was the police woman who was to be her rider. Today they started training.

“Good Morning Whinny! Today we start your lessons. ”

Valerie led Whinny out of her stall and started her lessons right away. Whinny learned that Valerie is the one who should be in control – Whinny had to do what Valerie wanted. She learned to let Valerie put all the tack on her. She learned to respond to voice commands in an arena. She learned to let Valerie swish a rope around all over her. She learned to back up, to stop to turn, to move her legs a certain way.

Every day for the next 3 weeks, Valerie worked with Whinny – teaching her what she needed to know and do, helping her learn. The ability to keep learning, according to Valerie, is one of the requirements to being a police horse.

During the 4th week, Valerie started riding Whinny. First she climbed on the fence with Whinny tied to the fence, so Whinny could get used to seeing Valerie above her head. Then she had a helper hold Whinny, while she put one foot in a stirrup, to help Whinny learn to feel the weight on the tack. Next she laid across Whinny’s back to get her used to the full weight of a person. Each step was gradual and Whinny handled each new part calmly. When Valerie finally sat in the saddle and walked Whinny across the ring, Whinny knew she was on the way to being a real police horse! Val riding

“OK,” said Valerie one day, “you are ready for the real training now.” Continue reading

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Whinny Learns to Earn Her Way

Sleepy smWhinny’s head drooped down in the stall in this strange new stable. She was tired, she just had a very exciting day – running away from her new owner after being sold by Natalie’s Mommy and Daddy; cornering a criminal in the park so that the police could capture him; becoming part of the police chief’s horse team and finally being led to the barn and bedding down in this stable full of other police horses.

Whinny was born on a farm in Missouri to the mare Momoa. For the 2 years since her birth she had roamed freely on the farm, side by side with Momoa. She had enjoyed being groomed and loved by little Natalie, the farmer’s daughter. Whinny had learned all kinds of things on that farm – how to stand still while being brushed; how to wear a bridle, blanket and saddle and to take a bit into her mouth. She had learned lots about what horses do from Momoa and had yearned to do something more than be a pet to Natalie.

Today she had succeeded in making her dream of becoming a police horse come true. A feeling of contentment ran deep within her as her head drooped and her eyes slowly closed in exhausted sleep.

But Whinny had forgotten than she had not yet learned to carry a rider and that she did not really know what was required of a police horse. The other horses would soon remind her of both of those things! Continue reading

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The Non Storyteller’s Guide to Sharing Family History

Not a Storyteller? No worries, there are many ways to pass along your family’s history and legacy to future generations.

The importance of telling your family’s story to each new generation has been studied and proven. According to New York Times Article – The Stories that Bind Us:

“Dr. Duke said that children who have the most self-confidence have what he and Dr. Fivush call a strong “intergenerational self.” They know they belong to something bigger than themselves.”

Marshall Duke, did a study with Dr Fiush at Emory University to come to that conclusion. The Times article notes other studies as well that support the importance of knowing your family narrative.

But what if you aren’t good at telling a story. I put people to sleep with mine! What if your family members don’t get to talk to one another very often? Life is busy, especially for folks with jobs and young kids. Even if you are in the same city, you may not be talking. When you do get together, perhaps you only have time to catch up with current happenings, and can’t squeeze in family history lessons. This is currently the case with my family.

Here are some ideas on ways (other than family history lessons) to pass along your family legacy. Continue reading

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Observations on the 2014 Berkshire-Hathaway Meeting

Have you ever been to a company’s annual shareholder meeting?

If you directly own stock in a company, you are invited each year to attend the annual shareholder meeting. I typically don’t go, because most of the meetings are out of town and I don’t own enough shares to make much difference. I just vote by proxy – as I believe most others do.

DSC03791smThe Berkshire-Hathaway company run by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger of course, also holds an annual shareholder meeting. Unlike most other annual meetings, which typically are pretty dry and dull and are not well attended by shareholders, Buffett’s meeting draws huge crowds (around 40,000 in 2014).

My family and I went this year for the first time. I bought some B shares back in February and was able to get 4 ‘passes’ to attend – so I invited my two adult sons to go with my spouse and I.

Here are my observations on the meeting. Continue reading

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Why You Won’t Be Rich

One of my new favorite poems is from “My Wage,” The Door of Dreams, by Jessie B Ritenhouse:

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

If you are working for a salary or hourly wage, especially if it is a low one, you may be asking too little of life! I know I did for years.

But this really is just one of the reasons you might never accumulate wealth. In my book Choose Wealth – Be a Millionaire by Midlife, I have detailed what I think are the reasons many of us don’t reach financial independence. This post will give you a taste of those reasons. Continue reading

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