The Lemonade Stand

The Legacy You Leave Behind

the legacy you leave behind, The Lemonade Stand

My new book is finally in my hands and it feels so good to hold it. We are busy preparing for our book launch, which has made me stop and think about my legacy. While I expect (and hope) to have many more years, reading the new book with my girls has made me think about how I want to be remembered when I leave this earth.

Money is often the first thing we think about when it comes to our legacy. Understandably, many of us would like to leave behind some sort of financial legacy to our loved ones and organizations we value. However, there is another legacy everyone leaves behind through the people we’ve touched and the lives we’ve changed by simply being ourselves.

We more often think about the power of our financial legacy, then how the lessons we instilled in our children and others are carried forward into new generations. This is our most powerful legacy. And you don’t need to be wealthy or famous to have this kind of influence, you just need to think about what gifts, beyond money, that you want to leave behind. Here are a few of mine.

To Be a Great Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister and Friend

These are my most honored titles and I proudly wear each of them. It’s my hope that my words and actions in these roles make the lives of my daughters, husband, mother, sisters and friends better as every single one of them have made mine.

To Be a Role Model of Appreciation and Gratitude

I feel blessed that we are able to provide such a good life for our daughters, and I also know there are families who have bigger and smaller bank accounts than we do. I could choose to be envious of those with more and complain about their good fortune and our lack in comparison. Or look down on those with less. I could play “keep up” and risk our family’s financial security to do so. Or instead, I could appreciate all the things we are able to do and have. To be grateful that every night I tuck my daughters in to a warm bed in a nice home with full bellies. This is a luxury not every parent has and I recognize and appreciate our good fortune

To Find Your Passion, Work Hard and Believe in Yourself

Today only a third of financial advisors are women, and I’ve been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) for 23 years. You can imagine how few women there were when I began my career, and I worked twice as hard to earn my place at the table. There were times it would’ve been easier to give-up, but I love what I do and wanted to help people. My passion and rock-solid belief that I could make a difference kept me going. Whatever career path my daughters choose, I know they will face some obstacles because everyone does. I want them to know that I weathered good and bad times too and even in the darkest moments, I never lost faith in myself. I believe in them and can’t wait to see what amazing women they will become.

To Change How We Look at Financial Literacy

Not to sound cliche, but I really want to make a difference and change how we value financial literacy in this country and world-wide. Most people are unfortuantely unfamiliar with the term financial literacy and why they should even care about it. It’s no wonder so many money problems exist today.

There needs to be a seismic shift in how we view and use our money, and I would like to help parents reshape how they think about money, especially when it comes to their children. One of our goals as parents should be to help our kids build a positive, working relationship with money. One where they understand if they make smart decisions with how they use their money, they can create the lives they truly want for themselves.

My dream is for people to feel both empowered and happiness in their money lives, just as my father taught me. And I am teaching my girls and you. Too many people feel paralyzed, afraid and miserable in their money lives when it doesn’t have to be that way. Financial literacy is the key to unlocking your money happiness and if I can you help you do that, then that will be a legacy I am proud to leave behind.


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Leave a Comment


  1. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    These are all great things to shoot for, Shannon! Also really excited about your book launch. What age group will this one target? You'll have to share. I have two young cousins who might fit the bill. It would make great Christmas/Birthday presents.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, DC! I am really excited about the book launch too. It's a picture book so we suggest ages 4-9. It will go on sale in July and I, of course, think they would make wonderful Christmas/Birthday presents, although I am may be biased. :)
  2. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Huge congrats on your book Shannon, that's awesome! That said, these are all great things to want for and strive towards. While I do, of course, want to leave a good financial legacy, so much of it also comes down to the role I play in the lives of those around me. If I don't impact people positively, then the financial aspect is going to be largely meaningless in my opinion. But, if you combine the two then great things can happen in my opinion.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, John! I'm with you, John. While I want to leave a financial legacy behind as well, the personal legacy is far more important to me. I have been blessed with so many people in my life who have made it better and want to make sure that I return the favor.
  3. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    With intentional living, once of the first things that's important to do is think about how you want to be remembered (often described as "what would you want your obituary to say?"). This post really gets to the heart of that. I truly believe happiness can be found in the mundane daily routine of life if we can focus on the "why", remembering always why what we're doing is important to us.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Intentional living is so important, Natalie. Yet, it is something so few of us do! I agree wholeheartedly that happiness can be and often is found in the ordinary, daily things we do. It's something we all need to remember, especially when we find ourselves spending outrageously trying to create over the top moments.
  4. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    First, congrats on the new book. Second, you are absolutely right about this.

    My grandmother (mamá) is not going to leave a financial legacy, but all the money in the world doesn't come close to her actual legacy.

    She has taught us how to be better human beings, how to love one another, how to care for people even when you don't care for them, and countless other things that have improved our lives tremendously.

    Money comes and goes, but there are things in life that stay with you forever. Her legacy is a legacy of love.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thank you, Aldo! I appreciate your support. :) Your grandmother sounds like a tremendous woman who will leave behind a powerful legacy that you will carry forward. I love that her legacy will be one of love as I cannot think of more powerful legacy.
  5. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Congratulations on the book :) and you are right, we need to make sure we leave a good legacy behind so that people know how to be better human beings :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, Nicola! A good personal legacy is something everyone needs to think about and we all have the power to help other people be even better.
  6. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Shannon you are absolutely building an amazing legacy for your daughters and their children. You are a pioneer and it's sad that in 2014 there are still so few women advisors out there, we need to fix that! You start on the west coast, I will start on the east, and we will meet in the middle. :-) Congrats on your book!!!! Where can I buy a copy for my son?
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thank you so much for your kind words, Shannon! It is sad that it's 2014 and there are still so few women financial advisors. Between the two of us, we can show young girls that being a financial advisor is a very worthy, satisfying and fun profession! The book will be available in July and you will be able to buy on the website and ebooks at Amazon, iBookstore and B&N. I appreciate your support so much!
  7. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    An excellent legacy to aim for. I think it is particularly important that you keep fed and housed your kids. I have been close to homelessness once to often and have come to fully appreciate just how important those two goals are. Keep up the great work.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, Brad! Sometimes we overlook things like a home and food, but not everyone is has them unfortunately. I am always grateful and aware that we are fortunate to be able to provide those things to our daughters.
  8. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    I love this Shannon! Even though I'm not a parent, I still leave a legacy behind to whomever is still in my life. Was I a good person? Was I genuine? No one is going to remember the boat you owned or the car you drove. I've been thinking about this so much lately as I try and move towards becoming more type B. I want people to view me as someone who loved life and was truly enjoying moments...not the overly-stessed girl. You know what I mean?
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, Tonya! Everyone leaves behind a legacy, regardless of whether they have children. Those are great questions and ones I constantly ask myself as well. They are a good guiding light. I certainly think of you as someone who loves life and has fun. And I certainly understand what you mean. Too many people wait for "later" but later keeps getting pushed back. Plan for the future but live and enjoy every day.
  9. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    That's very exciting about your new book, Shannon!! I hope it's a very successful book launch! I love your legacy statements, as well - and think you definitely achieve them on a daily basis. I agree with you that my "labels" as a wife, daughter, sister, and friend are pretty important to me, as well. Please let us know when the book is available on the site! :)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, Anna! I appreciate your support! I certainly try to live my legacy statements every day and lead by example. Those labels or titles are ones that I am most proud of. I worked hard to earn my professional "titles" and they mean a lot to me, but know in the end the ones that will mean the most are mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. I know that you are owning those titles too and someday will be able to add the mother title too. :)
  10. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    First off congratulations on the completion of your book Shannon! The idea of living a life of sharing knowledge and doing good works that can be passed on to others even when you're no longer living is something that continually motivates me. Being grateful for all that you had, have and work towards is such a key element. It took me some years to really figure out this but I am so glad that I have because being truly grateful positively affects every aspect of my life.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks, Kassandra! Gratitude is so important and I always make an effort to express gratitude every day. It's easy to focus on what's going wrong or what we lack and forget about how much we do have. I'm glad you found the power of gratitude as it really does make a huge difference. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I appreciate it!
  11. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Congratulations on the book, you must be so proud! I am sure it will be a success.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 16th, 2014
      Thanks Pauline! I appreciate your support!
  12. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Congrats on your new ebook, Shannon! That is wonderful news and I am so happy for you! :) Cheers to your success!!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
      Thanks, Mackenzie! I appreciate your support. :)
  13. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    Maybe it's a mid life crisis, but I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit lately. I think part of it was two back to back visits with my family then my inlaws. They are both very special people and we love them, but both our families are very tied into the "this is how it's always been and we can't change it" attitude, and that guides their thinking. I hope our legacy as parents is to raise a child who understands that it's OK to think outside the box and how to be responsible for herself financially, physically, and mentally without using excuses. That's really exciting about your book. I think my daughter would love it. Since we cancelled satellite TV, she always asks about watching that money show (Suze Orman), so I think she would love your book.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
      I think everyone reaches a stage where they start to think about how they want to be remembered. The legacy you want to leave behind for your daughter sounds wonderful. There are a lot of people who have the "it's alway been this way mentality" and it can be really limiting. I love that you're helping your daughter think outside the box and believe in herself. I love that your daughter wants to watch the Suze Orman show too! :) I think she would love the book too as she's very close in age to my youngest daughter.
  14. Monday, June 16th, 2014
    What a beautiful post Shannon! I have been thinking about this topic a lot too lately and agree I want to leave my kids with great lessons, experiences and the knowledge they were loved. I sometimes stress about the finances, but I think we are doing the right things to get them through college and ensure they won't need to take care of our finances when we age.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
      Thanks, Kerry! I think if every parent can leave this earth with kids who knew they were loved, we've done a good job. I have no doubt that you will leave behind a beautiful legacy for your children and set a good example on how to be financially responsible.
  15. Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
    "Too many people feel paralyzed, afraid and miserable in their money lives when it doesn’t have to be that way. "

    I agree with this 100%, Shannon! I know so many people who live as victims of their bad choices without realizing that it doesn't have to be that way. Education is the answer.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
      It's so sad. I understand when fear is dominant that it can be difficult to take action, but they hold the power to change their situation and make it better. I agree wholeheartedly education is the answer and so many people don't know what they need to do. Or as Kim mentioned in her comment, the "this is how it's always been" mentality is holding them back.
  16. Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
    Congrats on your new book Shannon! I think it is really important to think about your legacy and what you want it to be. Thinking about what legacy you would like could really influence your actions and change the way you go about living your life. I for one have never given it much thought. I'm thinking I should change this!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
      Thanks, Liz! For me, knowing how I want to make a difference, absolutely guides my decisions and my words and actions. I definitely encourage you start thinking about it as knowing can help be a guiding light for you in tough times.
  17. Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
    So important to be thinking about your legacy as it can guide your life and help you focus on what's important! I think you are well on your way! Love the spirit of this post - just beautiful! Congrats on your book!!!!!! Another accomplishment!!!
  18. Friday, June 20th, 2014
    Many, many congrats on the new book, Shannon. Can't wait to read it!!!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
      Thanks, Laurie! :)
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan