Michael Falder `94

So, I’m 40. Now What?

Amidst the busyness of life, including my yard that needs mowed while my nine-year-old wants me to play in the sprinkler, I sometimes ask myself the question, “What really matters?” If I truly think about this question, despite my selfishness I know that part of what really matters is what I do for others out of love—my family, friends, and even people I will never know.

Since the death of my parents a few years ago, I have frequently thought about what kind of legacy I would leave behind. Maybe this is why I was drawn to serve as the Associate Vice President for Major and Planned Gifts: to help others plan a legacy that leads to a more fulfilling life now.

So what does legacy mean for me at the age of 40? Well, it means many things. It means things like making time for people. It means passing on my Christ-centered values to my children. It means supporting the professional aspirations of my wife. It means serving and supporting my church and community. And very specifically, for me it means including Taylor in my estate plans.

The Apostle Paul tells us, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13 NIV). Paul is not talking about the feeling of love; he is talking about the action of love.

Winston Churchill is credited with saying, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Churchill was not just talking about money—he was talking about time, talent, and treasure. He was talking about legacy.

My wife Traci (Tiberi ’96) and I recently completed a very simple document called a codicil—a one-page addition to our will that legally designates Taylor University as a beneficiary of a percentage of our estate. It was so easy, and it feels so good that part of our legacy includes the development of future Taylor students. They will have the same kind of Taylor experience that transformed our lives.

My parents would be proud to see their legacy living on.

For more information about including Taylor in your estate plans or about other forms of giving, contact the Office of Planned Giving at (765) 998-5538 or e-mail mcfalder@taylor.edu.



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