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Spend Your Kids’ Inheritance

Research shows that many retirees accidentally leave an inheritance for their children by not spending, instead of enjoying their money.

19 October 2021

Have you thought about spending all your money before you die instead? This concept is becoming more popular. There’s even a term for it, SKIing – spending your kids’ inheritance. There are five good reasons you should spend the kids’ inheritance.

1. Life is too short to delay having fun

You’ve worked all your life, through long hours, difficult bosses, obstacles to overcome, and endless deadlines.

Your money is a reward for your time, effort, and energy. Enjoy the fruits of your hard work; don’t sit on a nest egg. Think of things you’ve always wanted to do, and go and do them, like travelling, or buying an expensive item or experience you always wanted.

2. There’s a 50 per cent chance your kids will blow it

Research in the United States by J L Zagorsky has shown that half of all inheritances are either spent or ‘lost’ by various methods. The survey covered people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, and suggested roughly half of all money inherited is saved and the other half spent or lost investing.

3. Your children won't remember cash

If your goal is to provide an inheritance to enrich your children’s lives, then cash might not be the best way to do it.

Think about the good times in your own life, and you’ll find that most of our positive memories are based on experiences, not money.

Consider spending their inheritance with them, rather than just gifting it after you pass away. This is a great way to make memories your children will cherish.

4. Shouldn’t they work for it?

One of the most common wishes among parents worldwide is a desire to see their children make it on their own. However, a US survey in 1993 showed found that a significant number of people completely dropped out of the workforce after receiving a large inheritance.

Most financially successful people are first-generation wealth builders, meaning they didn’t inherit their money but accumulated it from saving, investing, or building a business.

The values of hard work, dedication, and frugality are almost universal among financially successful people. So, leaving a large inheritance to your children may be more harmful than helpful. The less we work for something, the less we seem to value it.

5. Legal costs, delays, and challenges to your will

Winding up a deceased estate can be costly, and even firms who provide wills for ‘free’ will be taking a cut from the estate. Costs can be substantial and cut into any sum you intend to leave behind.

Even if you have an up-to-date will, there are no challenges, and the whole process goes smoothly and simply, typically beneficiaries will have to wait six weeks for probate to be granted, then another six months before the money is distributed.

However, when grief and money are combined, the family dynamic can turn bitter.

There can quickly be complications and long delays when the estate is wound up and lawyers must work with people who can’t agree or don’t talk to each other.

Even worse, challenges to wills are becoming increasingly common. Even an unsuccessful challenge can mean higher costs, delays, and ill-feeling.


Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.

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