A Living Legacy: Gaskin Asset Management


We attended a lot of funerals in 2023. Listening to someone’s legacy or life story compressed into brief monologues really makes you think about your own life and the words that follow your name in a sentence. Death is not reserved for the elderly. Young people die tragically. Parents bury their children. The certainty of death is the agreement we all make when we take our first breath, which makes life that much more special, knowing there is an end. The idea that we are guaranteed a long, healthy life is worthy of hope, but it is out of our control. Whatever time we are given is a gift, and it’s foolish to let our shot at life slip and waste away.

Still. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the chaos of life, in a rut, thinking that you don’t have enough time or energy to pursue your dreams or discover who you truly are. I’m in the thick of raising three young boys, building a career of my own, with a husband that just started his first job out of surgical training. Life can be hard. Somedays all you’re trying to do is just make it to tomorrow. Any idea of embracing the journey, living intentionally or building some kind of meaningful legacy may feel frivolous. Who has time to think about their legacy? What is a legacy anyways?

In working with our clients, especially those with children or charitable intent, leaving a legacy is often a goal. A legacy is not necessarily a trust account, a business or real estate portfolio. Yes, money is often involved in the discussion of leaving a legacy, but more importantly, it is the countless daily decisions that we all have to make. It’s in the passing moments of kindness. It’s in the lessons you teach your children either in words or in action. It’s in consistently adding value to the lives of others. A legacy is how your life will live on in your absence. You don’t have to be gone to have a legacy; it lives with you.

I happen to work with my dad and my uncle, Paul. We are often discussing time and its fleeting nature. When I moved to Cleveland, Ohio for a brief period, I told my dad, “It’s only three years. It will fly by.” I will never forget his response, “Ivey, I want you back, but I don’t want time to fly by. I have a lot fewer years to live than you.”

Dad turns 60 this month. He is the husband to my mother of nearly 40 years, father of three girls and grandfather of five. He is a business owner with his brother with our family name on the door. He is a proud veteran and helicopter pilot, outdoorsman, craftsman, Sunday school teacher, avid reader and writer. Dad is a loyal and honest friend. He is the stable hand when your body is shaking. He is the kind of man young women hope their husbands will grow to be. He is the honorable financial advisor that many of our clients consider part of their families.

Ever since I was a kid, I was my dad’s sidekick. He would take me on the weekends to look at cars, sailboats and pygmy goats. Some 20 years ago, he took me (not my mother) to see a piece of property in the country he was planning to buy with his oldest brother. It looked like a dump. It had a cinderblock hunting cabin with no power or running water. There was a burning pile of brush from where they just logged the fields and planted new pine trees. At first glance, all I saw was that it needed an overwhelming amount of work. He saw 60 acres of potential, with the Uwharrie mountain range in the background and bordered by a mile of riverfront. Twenty years ago, Dad was investing in his career and raising three young girls himself. He didn’t have the time or excess income to spend on a plot of land in the middle of nowhere. Today, with a fishing pond, miles of trails and a fully renovated and expanded cabin, this property looks entirely different. It represents decades of his vision, love and hard work. What we didn’t realize is that he was investing in a piece of his legacy. Family land that would live beyond his life, treasured by his three daughters and their families.

As financial advisors, we are often a critical part of the planning related to leaving a financial legacy, but it goes much further than this. As I sit in meetings, with mourning families settling the estates of their loved ones, I can promise a legacy has even more to do with who you are in life than what financial assets you leave behind. People who fear death often fear that there are stones left unturned, words left unsaid or goals unaccomplished. A legacy incomplete. Amidst the chaos, our goal as advisors is to help individuals check in with their values or to work through the obstacles in pursuing their dreams. If there is a business you’ve been pulled to start or a piece of property on the water calling your name, stop waiting. If you feel called to talk about it with someone, give us a call and let us know what dreams you’re pursuing. We’re eager to hear about them.


Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Gaskin Asset Management is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Any opinions are those of Ivey Gaskin Baker/or Gaskin Asset Management and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

7615 Colony Road, Suite 100

Charlotte, NC 28226





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