Spending Your Inheritance

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Receiving an inheritance is a time of mixed emotions. There is the anticipation of receiving a sum of money, possibly a very large sum, but also the sadness of the loss of a loved one. Sometimes this tangling of emotions can lead to decisions being made which are not the best from a strictly financial point of view.

There is a group of people for whom inherited money is sacrosanct. Such people will talk about how their family member – usually a parent or a grandparent – worked hard and saved hard to build up their wealth and it therefore needs to be invested conservatively and preserved in their honour. In some cases, such people set an intention not to use this money themselves but to pass it on to their children, just as it was passed on to them.

There is another group of people who sit at the opposite end of the spectrum. These people have often inherited money unexpectedly as a result of the premature death of someone close. For these people, the shock of losing someone at a young age is a reinforcement of the need to live life to the full while you can. Their view is that you can’t take money with you so you might as well spend it sooner rather than later.

In between these two extremes is another group, probably the largest of all three, who take a balanced view. For these people, inherited money is to be invested wisely, with most being spent over the course of the retirement phase and perhaps a portion being passed on to the next generation.

Attitudes towards money are different for everybody. The key issues to consider are who is going to spend the money (because someone will) and when it is going to be spent.

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