In the forest you will occasionally see Shrines.
Bumping into a Shrine will give you the option to pay resources to it. If you do this, then whenever you die you will restart from the year in which you paid the Shrine (as opposed to starting over from Year 1). I.e., you're establishing a checkpoint in the current year so that you can restart from it if you die. The checkpoint lasts until you establish a checkpoint in a new year, complete your 15-year career, or delete your checkpoint.
For example, let's say that you activate the Shrine in Year 4 and die in Year 6. Normally you'd have to start over again from Year 1, but since you activated the Shrine, you'll instead start from Year 4.