Age and Responsibility

When searching for an accountant - or any professional who you rely upon on a day-to-day basis - you'll often find that experience and trust go hand in hand. At Altruic Advisors, we're proud to offer a level of experience and commitment to service that goes above and beyond the norm. Our Nonprofit Accounting Manager Traci Carson has a few words to say about experience and the benefits of growing older, in both personal and professional life. After all, with age comes more than wrinkles - it comes with wisdom too.


A couple weeks ago I got an email from a friend at church asking me to consider becoming a mentor to some of the younger moms at church. My first thought was, of course, "What a great opportunity!" and then my next thought was, "Wait, when did I become an older mom?"

Last week I received an email from my sister-in-law who was having some parenting issues with her 1st-grade daughter. Her email started with, “Hey lady, wanted to pick the brain of an experienced momma.” "Wow," I thought, "how nice to be asked," and then I thought, "When did I become the experienced momma?" I responded to her with great wisdom - LOL - and she responded, “Traci, I consider you to be a very balanced and wise parent/woman.” Another WOW!

Then later last week, we received a phone call from a couple at church that wanted to talk to my husband and I about some financial issues. The conversation was a very humbling request to be named the trustee of the living trust that they were preparing. We were asked because they have been impressed with our handling of our personal finances and watching our marriage and child raising. Wow. My first thought was what a privilege and responsibility it was to be in such a trusted position. My second thought was the realization that there are people outside our home who see our character displayed in the way we live our lives.

So as I sit pondering, I wonder first if I am old. When my grandparents were my age, they were already grandparents. When my parents were my age, their kids had already graduated from college. Our oldest is currently a sophomore in high school and I am certainly not expecting to be a grandparent any time soon. My age in years is only a number and I am only as old as I feel, right?

But with every year that passes, I have increased my experience, my wisdom, and my responsibilities. I am responsible to our children as they discover who they are becoming and what the next few exciting years of change hold for them. I am responsible to those outside our household that see something in me that they want to share in. And I am responsible for those that I leave behind, whenever that may be.

As I sat in the attorney’s office reviewing the trust documents, I thought of how important it is to have our will, our powers of attorney, our medical directives and access to all of our financial accounts and records in place and accessible to those who take the baton of responsibility from us. I urge you to take the time to understand what you will leave behind – a mess in the midst of grief or something simple and well-organized? When you leave your job one day, will your successors be able to continue without confusion, or will they discover a legacy of unorganized files and indecipherable accounts? What are you doing to ensure the healthy future of your children, your loved ones, or your organization?

Do those questions make me sound old? No, just responsible!