A Legacy in the Making

Over the next year, we will feature each of Mint Hill Wealth Management’s partners – Tim, Tyler, Matt, and Jake – in an effort to help our clients learn more about the individuals they have entrusted to help them manage their financial lives.  This month, we share Tim’s story and the role that legacy plays in financial planning.

At Mint Hill, we are committed to working with you and your family to create the financial infrastructure you need to live a life of meaning and purpose – both while you are here and after you are gone. Each of us leaves some kind of legacy. We live on in the work we have accomplished, the lives we have touched, and the ideas and values we have exemplified. This month we invite you to consider what legacy you are creating, even now. 

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.

Barbara Kingsolver

Almost exactly 26 years ago, on Saturday, November 23, 1996, Tim Beldner’s life was changed forever. As a 14-year-old, Tim was adventurous, fun-loving, and appropriately naïve. The second eldest of six children, Tim was accustomed to the chaos that accompanied a large family. He learned to hustle for what he wanted – particularly sweets, like ice cream and his mom’s cherry cheesecake, which were rare treats that brought out a competitive spirit among brothers – and he dreamed of changing the world.
One of Tim’s passions is history. He loves to read biographies and is fascinated by the lives of individuals who left a lasting mark on the world. Yet Tim is equally fascinated by those whose names and lives are left out of the history books. He understands that legacies live on in many ways because none of us gets to be around forever. Our lives are just a blip in time, during which we must answer the question, “What am I doing with this gift of life that I’ve been given?” 

To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability . . . and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.

Brené Brown

As a young person, Tim learned that life itself is not guaranteed. In 1996, the Beldner family piled into their van to drive several hours to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. They were traveling to Charleston when a car accident claimed the lives of Tim’s mother (Judy, age 44), brother (Brent, age 8), and baby sister (Hope, age 16 months). Tim also suffered life-threatening injuries – lateral femur breaks that punctured the skin, threatening him with the prospect of bleeding out. A doctor saved his life that day.

What made you want to become a doctor?

Each Mint Hill client has probably had to answer this question dozens, if not hundreds, of times over the course of their education and training. While each story is unique, they tend to have a common thread: the desire to help people, heal the sick, and ease suffering. For Tim, there are two doctors whose help and healing made indelible marks on his life. The first is the doctor who literally saved his life after the accident. While Tim cannot recall that doctor’s name or face, his actions at a pivotal moment are remembered with profound gratitude. Even today, that doctor’s life-saving competence fuels Tim’s appreciation for doctors and the work they do.

The second, Dr. Doerr, was the orthopedist who worked with Tim during his recovery. While Dr. Doerr did not make a life-and-death decision for Tim, he was the person who offered ongoing encouragement to a grief-stricken 14-year-old whose own future felt uncertain and fragile. In Tim’s words, “God’s plan for me was to be, among other things, my daughters’ daddy. I tell my girls that God used those doctors to do their job well and give me 26 more years of life – and counting. I don’t know if being a doctor is their life’s work, but in those moments, they saved mine.”

These experiences contribute to Tim’s passion to serve Mint Hill’s distinct clientele and help them leave lasting legacies of their own design – as professionals and as people. Indeed, doing so is part of Tim’s – and Mint Hill’s – legacy. Mint Hill financial advisors are fiduciaries, meaning they are legally obligated to act in the best interests of the client. At Mint Hill, this standard is much more than a legal obligation – it is an intentional choice to embody the value of putting others’ needs first. This value was modeled for Tim from a young age by his father, who demonstrated an attentiveness to the needs of others and a willingness to put those needs ahead of his own. Tim’s interest in helping clients build wealth is motivated by a desire to equip them for generosity in their own lives. 

Building wealth is important to Tim because financial stability allows clients to invest time and energy in what matters to them right now. Tim knows firsthand that those we love can be taken from us in an instant. His mother devoted herself to the family, but she did not get to see what became of her investment as her children grew into adults. While there is sadness in this reality, there is also hope. Legacies are meant to outlive their creators. While the legacies of Judy, Brent, and Hope are reminders to Tim that life is fragile and fleeting, their legacies also inspire him to pour out his life for the benefit of others while he can – and to invest in work, lives, and values that will endure.

Faithful Stewardship

Tim once had a coin that was engraved on both sides. On the front it said, “You steward a great trust”; and on the back, “Be found faithful.” When Tim was in the ICU after the accident, over 100 miles from home, a stranger came to visit him. The stranger was a young man, barely older than Tim, who had suffered the same injuries from an accident a year earlier. Somehow the young man learned about Tim and wanted to offer encouragement, reassuring Tim that he would walk again. Experiences – whether wonderful or devastating – become wisdom that we hold. If we are good stewards of that wisdom, life will almost certainly present us with opportunities to be found faithful in using it to care for others.

At Mint Hill, we know we are stewards of the great trust of our clients. We bring to bear the wisdom of our experiences, as professionals and as people, on our work. Our desire and commitment is that we be found faithful in protecting and growing our client’s resources and simplifying their financial lives so that they can invest in what is most important to them now – and so that they can build wealth and leave a legacy for the future. In an industry that is marred by dishonesty and greed, we want our clients to be able to say, “I am better off today because Mint Hill did well with what I entrusted them to do. They were good and wise stewards of my resources and my trust.” 

Legacy encompasses the people I love and the strangers I may never meet in my lifetime on earth; are we leaving them in a better place?

Tim Beldner


About Melissa

Melissa Smigelsky, PhD, is a clinical psychologist by day and a freelance writer for Mint Hill Wealth Management by night. As someone who sacrificed earnings in her 20s and 30s to pursue a doctorate, Melissa has a deep appreciation for the unique services and perspective offered by Mint Hill. She also knows from personal and professional experience that money is one of the most important (and often neglected) topics in relationships. Melissa is excited to use writing to foster personal reflection and purposeful communication that can contribute to intentional living for all Mint Hill clients.

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