According to Investopedia, generational wealth refers to “assets passed down from one generation of a family to the next.” These assets can be in the form of property, cars, precious metal and stones, cash, and even the family business. By building generational wealth you can provide long-term financial security and opportunities for your children, grandchildren, and beyond. The goal of leaving this sort of legacy is to place your loved ones in a better position than you were at any given stage, or at least enable them to live their lives with a level of financial security or peace of mind that you were unable to have.

Physical possessions aside, another way we inherently seek to improve the lives of those who follow after us is by sharing nonphysical possessions such as information and ideas. I like to think of this as generational wealth in the form of knowledge. If you ever find yourself in a conversation with someone significantly older than yourself, you may experience this inherent transfer of information from one generation to the next firsthand.

It is common for our elders to want to talk about what they would do differently if they had the chance to be our age again, but with all the things they have learned over the years. It is the familiar “If I had known then what I know now…” conversation that, in my experience, is often followed by: “I would have saved more money,” or, “…taken more trips,” or, “…taken more risks in life,” etc. As a Life Insurance Advisor, I hear a similar dialog in my office on a daily basis. In fact, one of the most common things my more experienced clients say to me is, “I wish I would have taken out my life insurance policy when I was your age,” or, my favorite, “I wish my parents would have done this for me before they passed.”

These are all forms of information passed down from a more experienced outlook on life that may be completely foreign to many of us because we are just not there yet. It comes directly from the folks that have already lived through many of life’s trials and tribulations and, having been fully immersed in the experience, they are often able to see the importance of leaving a legacy from a clearer standpoint. Sadly, this clarity often comes as a direct result of these negative experiences. Listening to the people who have lived through these experiences already can give you a far greater advantage in life, which can help you achieve your personal goals and desires, as well as the hopes and dreams you have for the people you love – your children, for example.

In its simplest form, the role of all living things in nature works the same way. A being is born, it acquires information, and it passes on what it has learned to the next generation with the goal of improving or leaving them better equipped to manage and succeed in life. The forest started with one tree. That tree dropped its seeds with all the information and experience it had gained over its lifetime to create the next set of trees until it became a thriving forest. Like the tree, it is also in our nature to pass on what we have learned or acquired to make life better for the next generation. As such, if I asked any number of parents if they would like to secure the future for their children today, I am confident that the majority would want to do so. Unfortunately, this desire is often marred by a lack of action – and desire or intent without action is really nothing at all. So, not only must you learn from the sage advice of those more experienced than yourself, you must also apply that knowledge.

By turning this knowledge into action, you can achieve your natural desire to improve things for the next generation. The tools available are out there, you just have to take the time to look, learn, and begin the journey. Unfortunately, I have had far too many conversations with people who have suffered or have been left with the short end of the stick due to their parents not having specific things in place to provide peace of mind once they have passed. One of my primary goals is to change this the best way I can.

When you succeed at putting things in place to leave a legacy, not only will you set your children and loved ones up financially before you pass, but you are also equipped to pass on the knowledge you gain through your journey so that the next generation are better prepared to secure the future for their children too. My goal as a Life Insurance Advisor is to help you do exactly that, using a tool called life insurance. Proactivity is still the key to prevention. Knowledge without action is useless. Now will always be the right time to take control and secure that peace of mind.

Keishon Wilson is Senior Life and Pension Sales Advisor at Freisenbruch. To learn more about life insurance, or if you have any other questions, please contact him at kwilson@fmgroup.bm, or call +1 441 535 6352, or +1 441 294 4616.