• Question for the board. Is receiving an inheritance in your retirement plans?

    The reason I ask, is several conversations with contemporaries has revealed (from my admittedly small sample) that this is part of their 'plan'. A number of studies (easy to Google) indicate that 2/3 of Baby Boomers will receive an inheritance of some kind, and the average is $300K/household. Some of my contemporaries have saved very little, the years have flown by, divorces, kids in college, interrupted worklife, investment losses and market crashes, etc. have left their retirement plans in uncertainty. For some, it is a sure thing and will be substantial; for others, it seems like wishful thinking and a 'magic bullet' that will solve an amorphous problem.

    For myself, my parents have done a tremendous job in making sure that they will not be a financial burden to their children, and they have made plans for a special needs family member. I look to them as an example for how to plan in consideration of others. I hope they spend every penny on their satisfactions, and expect nothing. My wonderful wife and I do not plan to leave any significant amounts to family, and plan to support our satisfactions with our remaining estate. Thoughts?
  • I have to agree with you. When I found my current broker one of his questions was how much I/we wanted to leave to the kids. He laughed when I quickly stated, nothing, none, zip, zero.... We have planned for our retirement as well has prepaid our funeral and documented our wishes. Anything left over will go to them, but it is my hope we manage to burn thru it all. In addition we told both of our parents to enjoy any saving they have for themselves and for the most part it looks like they are doing just that.
  • Inheriting or winning large amounts of money can destroy you.

    My brother and I both inherited a substantial amount from our frugal grandparents. He spent it all, I managed to only spend half. It was wasted on us because we didn't know how to save and manage money.

    Now that I have more financial discipline, a windfall like that would go straight into my financial plan, speeding it up by a few (or many) years but not changing my life in any way. I have all the money I need day to day, and my growing pot of investments is just insurance.

    Unless you are living below your means and saving regularly, a windfall can tempt you into inflating your lifestyle to an unsustainable degree. If you don't know how to invest to conserve the principal and reinvest at least some of the interest, you are going to run out of money. Once it's gone, you cannot sustain your new level of spending without going into debt. Scary stuff.

    In short, people hoping for money from the sky to solve their problems are likely to end up even deeper a few years down the line...
  • I'm blessed to have had some success and my estate plan is to give enough to family to allow a cushion, but the majority will go to charity. If you didn't work for it, it spends differently I firmly believe. My parents worked there a$$es off raising me and my siblings and sacrificed a ton, now they are retired and we had the "talk" this summer about their estate plan. They've done very well and want to leave each of us kids about $1M, but I have talked some sense into them and I'm making sure they have fun and do everything they want while they are young and healthy...screw giving it to us kids. Now they are conservative, so they will not burn through it all by a long shot, but come on you made it this far, live a little! I fortunately don't need the money and have made it clear that whatever is left to me will be spent directly to fast cars and hot women, so spend up...they laughed and have taken my advice to heart.
  • Very impressive responses! It is quite interesting to see what people think about this subject. A recent conversation with a contemporary revealed that he was mortified his elderly mother recently re-married. Her new husband immediately sold her home, and my pal feels he and his siblings have just watched their deceased father's wealth snatched from them. I am trying not to judge, and do understand his concern and disappointment. For those interested in a comprehensive survey on attitudes of those with high-net-worths and inheritance, this link provides some great info. The most interesting thing to me is how different the attitudes are generationally, i.e. pre-babyboomers think it is important to leave their children money, and the youngest cohort puts very little priority on that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, hope others might, too. http://www.ustrust.com/publish/content/application/pdf/GWMOL/2012-UST-Insights-Wealth-and-Worth-Full-Report.pdf
  • I have no plans for an inheritance as I don't like to think about the death of my parents. I know the day will come, but I try not to think about it ever.

    I hope they spend all their money and live the fullest lives possible with the time they have left. I plan to spend much more time with them over the next 10+ years.

    Sam

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