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"I'm Spending My Childrens' Inheritance!"

 
 
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 07:55 am
I am sure that most of you have seen this bumper sticker. Usually it is on a pricey car, driven by an older person. It announces to the world that the owner of that car is not holding back on his spending, for fear that he won't have much of an estate to leave to his children.

I had a discussion with a group of people about this exact same subject. The views on this were all over the map. There were people whose kids had done well on their own, and did not need an inheritance. There was a person whose children had not fared that well. She was pondering entering an expensive senior facility, but was reluctant because she felt that she would not have much to leave to her kids. Other people had varying "takes" on the subject.

What are your thoughts? Is it a parent's obligation to provide an inheritance for his heirs? Does the financial situation of the children make any difference?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 6,907 • Replies: 67
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:35 am
I'm of the opinion - its your money do with it as you want. If you have adult children, there is no need to worry about leaving them money. Perhaps you may want to consider something more sentimental or if there is something that a child may have some particular meaning (besides money).

On the other hand, if your children are young, you may want to make sure you have enough so they can be raised appropriately and have enough for college, but that is what life insurance is for. Or if you have an adult child that is dependent on you - like some sort of disability - then I would want to make sure they have enough for their life. Besides that - they are on their own. Doesn't mean I wouldn't leave them some money or valuables - just that I wouldn't neglect myself in any way just to give them an inheritance.
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:41 am
Phoenix
A good topic, Phoenix.

I worked very hard to create my savings before I retired at age 72. My intent was to have enough money to take care of any medical expenses I might have to avoid becoming a financial burden to my children. I haven't had to use any of it for medical expenses so far. However, I've been able to help my children when they've had financial emergency needs.

The biggest advantage was that I could pay cash for my Albuquerque home from the sale of my California home when I relocated, so I don't have mortgage payments, only property taxes. I don't want for any necessities and my two dogs have good care and a good home.

If there is any cash left after I'm dead and any debts are paid, it will go to my children. Either way, they benefit. Help when they needed it now; no financial burden for them; inheritance of anything left.

It's important to start saving early in life if you want protection in your old age.

BBB
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:44 am
Re: "I'm Spending My Childrens' Inheritance!"
Phoenix32890 wrote:
What are your thoughts? Is it a parent's obligation to provide an inheritance for his heirs? Does the financial situation of the children make any difference?


NO! and no. I am philosophically opposed to inherited wealth. My micro-economics professor in college had such a strong opinion on this and such an influence on me that I felt guilty when a portion of my mother's modest estate came to me. I couldn't spend it and stuck it in an investment account. I still haven't touched it and will donate the entire amount to a worthy cause in her name.

For my own children, I opened Roth IRAs for them and will fully fund them from the time they began working as teens for the period of 10 years. At $3000/yr for ten years, left invested for 30 - 40 years, they should have a fully funded retirement. The rest of my estate will go to charity.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:47 am
I am curious as to the opinions of some of our younger members. I keep reading how many younger people are not saving and investing enough for their own retirement. I am wondering how many of them believe that their folks will take up the slack through an inheritance.

To our younger members: Are you counting on some sort of windfall from your folks when they die? Does that expectation color the way that you are managing your finances now?
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:51 am
Wow, that's a good idea, JPB.

I haven't seen that bumper sticker but I'm not surprised it's common in Florida. Laughing I agree with Linkat's take. I think it's not wise for older people to spend like there's no tomorrow because you never know what tomorrow will bring, and I don't think "let my kids pay the bills" is a viable plan B. (If the kids want to, fine, I don't think that should be the assumption though.) If older people have a significant savings buffer, though, and they can afford it, I don't care if they buy the expensive car. I don't think people need to just scrape by so they can then leave a big inheritance.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 08:53 am
Just saw your last questions, Phoenix -- my answer is absolutely not. I may or may not get an inheritance, but it's not something I'm counting on in the least.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 09:11 am
I have provided well for my daughter should something happen to me before she becomes an adult. She also has an educational fund that is growing steadily, however my investment in her future is her education and her well
being now.

I don't expect any inheritance from my parents, and I hope my child feels the same way about it one day.
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Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 09:35 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
To our younger members: Are you counting on some sort of windfall from your folks when they die? Does that expectation color the way that you are managing your finances now?[/color][/b]


That's funny. Not at all. My mother doesn't make much, and my dad remarried a woman who has a knack for spending more than they can afford. I think the only person in my family that has money stashed away is my grandfather, and he has three kids.
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Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 03:46 pm
Obligation? No.

But like others, I have helped my kids, mainly with interest-free loans. But both are settled into professional careers and have homes and spouses, so they don't need help anymore.

What I like to do is take them on trips or surprise them with a large gift, either cash or something they really want for the house, when I visit them.

I don't intend to set up any funds for their children; I feel that's their job.

I'm going to enjoy the rest of my life and they're welcome to share what's leftover when I'm dead. As long as they don't keep my ashes, that is. I want to be incinerated and left there.
0 Replies
 
TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 04:59 pm
Re: "I'm Spending My Childrens' Inheritance!"
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I am sure that most of you have seen this bumper sticker. Usually it is on a pricey car, driven by an older person. It announces to the world that the owner of that car is not holding back on his spending, for fear that he won't have much of an estate to leave to his children.
Phoenix32890
I have seen that bumper sticker and I don't remember the exact wording. Am I reading what you wrote wrong? If the owner of the car is not holding back on his spending, why would he have any fear that he won't have anything to leave his kids? I have seen the bumper sticker that says something like - I am spending my kids inheritence. If I am wrong about what you wrote, I apologize and you can call me dense. The sentence just didn't make sense to me and I wanted to understand it correctly.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 06:27 pm
Re: "I'm Spending My Childrens' Inheritance!"
TTH wrote:
Phoenix32890 wrote:
I am sure that most of you have seen this bumper sticker. Usually it is on a pricey car, driven by an older person. It announces to the world that the owner of that car is not holding back on his spending, for fear that he won't have much of an estate to leave to his children.
Phoenix32890
I have seen that bumper sticker and I don't remember the exact wording. Am I reading what you wrote wrong? If the owner of the car is not holding back on his spending, why would he have any fear that he won't have anything to leave his kids? I have seen the bumper sticker that says something like - I am spending my kids inheritence. If I am wrong about what you wrote, I apologize and you can call me dense. The sentence just didn't make sense to me and I wanted to understand it correctly.


The bumper sticker itself is actually intended as a joke, TTH.
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TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 06:43 pm
Well that explains it CalamityJane since I don't usually get jokes. Now it makes perfect sense. Thank you, I appreciate your reply and in the future feal free to call me dense Laughing
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plantress
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 06:06 am
I both expect to inherit and plan to leave an estate for my kids
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TTH
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 01:00 pm
I don't want anything from my parents. I even told them to write me out of the will.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 01:12 pm
My parents have done fairly well for themselves. They aren't rich by any means but they live in retirement fairly comfortably.

I suspect that I'll end up inherting something but it won't be much. I don't count on it and I really don't care if it ends up being nothing. They have a few photgraphs that i'd like to have but whether I get them or not, like the rest of their estates, is entirely their business.

(I'll just add here that I'm opposed to the whole concept of "estate planning" where people hide all their assets in a trust so that their childrens' inheritance is preserved while their living and medical expenses are paid for by the public.)
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 01:32 pm
That's an odd opinion to have, fishin'.

I have a trust set up for my family, but I don't hide my assets there,
I protect my family financially with it, should something happen to me. I also work and pay into the system, so why shouldn't I get free medicare when I'm eligible to receive it? I'm not so sure what you mean by free living expenses...
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 01:45 pm
I will get some inheritance and if I have any children, i will leave inheritance to them as well. That is how I want it. If I don't have any children, I imagine I will give much of what I own to my nephew and another bulk to a charity - preferably to the center I currently work at if it's still around.

My inheritance will be mostly the house my parents live in. I cannot sell it. Well, legally I could, but I will not. My father built most of it with his own hands, he doesn't want to see it go out of the family. And not only do I respect that, I myself would not bear to part with it to strangers. That will take quite a bit of investment rather than anything else, but such is life. I hope to move back home and live there eventually, or retire there or something. I know I will also inherit some money, but i have no idea how much that would even be. I have three savings accounts for various purposes (life insurance, retirement, "construction savings"? - account for young people who plan to buy property one day) - and I provide for myself for years and will when I retire. I see absolutely nothing wrong with leaving inheritance for children if one can afford it. If not, then not, that's a matter of course. It's not obligatory and it's a personal issue for each person. There is no right or wrong.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 02:01 pm
CalamityJane wrote:
That's an odd opinion to have, fishin'.

I have a trust set up for my family, but I don't hide my assets there,
I protect my family financially with it, should something happen to me. I also work and pay into the system, so why shouldn't I get free medicare when I'm eligible to receive it? I'm not so sure what you mean by free living expenses...


Why is it an odd opinion?

If/when someone reaches an age and physical condition where they can no longer be taken care of at home why should they be able to hide their assests in a trust so they can qualify to have Medicaid (Medicare only pays for nursing home care in very limited circumstances) pay for their nursing home care and allow their children to inherit their assets? Medicaid is supposed to be for the indigent - not people who want to leave an inhertiance to their children.

People are hiding their assests in trusts to hide those assets form the government - it is a legalized form of fraud.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 02:07 pm
I agree, fishin'. It is not fair to have other taxpayers foot the bill, while someone hides money so that they can be taken care of by Medicaid. On the other hand, if the estate tax returns, I don't want the government to take my hard earned money and spend it on some other people's kids. Fair is fair, and it should work both ways!
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