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5 reasons why you should spend your kid’s inheritance

Thought of spending your kids inheritance? This concept now even has a new term dubbed “SKI’ing” – spend your kids inheritance. Below are five reasons why this is a great idea.

  1. Life is way too short to delay having fun

You’ve worked all your life despite the long hours, difficult bosses, obstacles to overcome, and endless deadlines. If you’ve built yourself a healthy nest egg, this is the result of your time, effort, and energy. As a 93-year-old man told one of our advisers late last year: “I’ve been saving my whole life for a rainy day, now it’s a rainy day”. Just as this gentleman pointed out, now is the time to be reaping the rewards of your hard work, not sitting back on a nest egg that has taken you a lifetime to build. Think of things you’ve always wanted to do, and go and do them. This could include:

  • Exotic or domestic travel
  • Achieving something you always put off
  • An item or experience you always wanted, or once wanted
  • Spending more time with relatives, children, and grandchildren
  1. There’s a 50% chance your kids will blow it

Research in the United States has indicated that half of all inheritances are either spent or ‘lost’ by various methods. If there’s a fifty-fifty chance your kids will just spend or lose it, you may as well enjoy it yourself first!

  1. Your children won’t remember “the stuff”

If your goal of providing an inheritance is to enrich your children’s lives, then cash might not be the best way to do it. Think about the good times in your 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 that your children will cherish long after their inheritance has been spent.

  1. Develop your children’s values

One of the most common wishes among parents worldwide is a desire to see their children make it on their own. The overwhelming majority of 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 – or a combination of all those things. The values of hard work, dedication, and frugality are almost universal among financially successful people. Most people appreciate that handing such values down to your kids is very important. As such, leaving a large inheritance to your children may be more harmful than helpful. This is because like anything in life, the less we work for something the less we seem to value it. Giving your children a large inheritance can install a sense of privilege and reduce their desire to work as hard as you did.

Most of the world’s wealthy elite also realise this, and in recent years figures as diverse as Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Sting, and Bill Gates have all taken steps to give away their fortunes instead of passing it to the next generation.

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

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

After losing a loved one, the last thing people want to deal with is the time, logistics, and hassle of settling an estate. Even if the deceased has an up to date will, there are no challenges, and the whole process progresses smoothly and simply, typically beneficiaries will have to wait around six weeks for probate to be granted and then another six months from there before any distribution can be made.

However, when grief and money are combined, the family dynamic can rapidly change. As the estate is wound up and lawyers or estate professionals must work with people who cannot agree or who don’t adequately communicate with each other, there can quickly be significant complications. Such complications can make this process take well over a year, and in some cases several years. (Anecdotally, it is often reported that the spouses of the children of the deceased are the most difficult during this time).

Even worse, challenges to wills are becoming increasingly common. There are numerous criteria for this to occur, and even the implications of an unsuccessful challenge can result in higher costs, longer delays, and almost certainly ill-feeling among family members.

To avoid the issues above tainting your legacy, it’s best to spend the inheritance before lawyers become the only winners.

The bottom line

Let’s recap the five key reasons you should spend your kids inheritance (or go “SKI’ing”), which are:

  1. Life is too short to delay having fun
  2. There’s a 50% chance your kids will blow it
  3. Your children won’t remember the ‘stuff’
  4. To develop your children’s values
  5. To avoid legal costs, delays, and challenges to your will

Despite the points above, a recent report by the Australian arm of the global consulting firm Milliman, showed that among the 300,000 Australian retirees whose real spending habits were monitored showed that many retirees are holding money back for future years when they will never spend it. For anyone in this position, this page on retirement planning may be of assistance, or it’d be the pleasure of our advisers to assist anyone by projecting their drawdown of funds based on their current investment strategy – or a new strategy an adviser can assist you with. If you’d appreciate some professional assistance in this area, then please get in touch below:

Click here to find Milestone Direct on Eldernet.

This article has been contributed by Joseph Darby, CEO and authorised financial adviser at Milestone Direct Ltd. This article first appeared on the Milestone Direct website. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Joseph Darby and not necessarily those of Milestone Direct Ltd. The views and opinions expressed in this article are intended to be of a general nature and do not constitute a personalised advice for an individual client. A disclosure statement relating to Joseph Darby is available, on request and free of charge.

About Milestone Direct Ltd

Milestone Direct Ltd
Milestone Direct Ltd is a full-service financial advice firm with a focus on retirement planning, wealth management, and ensuring your funds don't run out before you do. Milestone Direct is unique, with; no product provider ownership, no quotas, and all financial advisers are paid a salary instead of commission. Milestone Direct Ltd are already trusted as the official financial advice provider to organisations such as the NZ Defence Force, so you can trust them too. Call now for a free and no obligation initial consultation, toll-free 0508 645 378 or learn more at: www.milestonedirect.co.nz.

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