Do You Care about Leaving an Inheritance for Your Kids?

Do You Care about Leaving an Inheritance for Your Kids?

I’m not all that fussed about leaving a huge pile of money for my son. Building his inheritance isn’t my main financial goal.

I often hear from others about how they hope to leave a bunch of money for their kids. Even my son asked me not too long ago about his inheritance.

My poor child looked a little confused when I said, “I’m not going to try to leave you a large amount of money. You can make your own money. Your dad and I intend to spend most of our money before we die.”

Inheritance

Perhaps it’s a selfish view of things, but we’re more concerned about making sure that our son knows how to manage his financial resources, and earn his own money. We’re not into scrimping and saving our whole lives so that we can leave The Boy a huge pile of money.

Creating Income Streams: Maybe He’ll Get Something After All

If my son does end up with an inheritance, it will likely be due to income streams built over time. I’ve started an income portfolio with the help of a few dividend stocks, and there are other ways to create regular income. Right now, we rely heavily on my freelance writing and my husband’s university teaching for income, but we hope that will change in the future as we build our assets.

Assuming my husband and I don’t go really crazy there at the end, there will likely be something left for my son after we’re gone. But we’re not teaching him to rely on an inheritance from us to solve potential problems down the road. Instead, we’re hoping that teaching him sound financial principals will encourage him to build his own wealth.

Enjoying Our Money Now

While my husband and I have somewhat different spending priorities, we do agree that now is a good time to enjoy our money. We’re not penny pinchers. We do set aside money for retirement, and we donate to charity and have an emergency fund, but we don’t get into the living like paupers for 30 or 40 years so that we can have a pile of money in our 60s.

We figure that we’ll be in a better position to enjoy our money now, rather than trying to make it work with failing health during our “golden” years. So we go out to eat a few times a month. We get good tickets to local sporting events. He buys scale statues of his favorite superheroes. I travel a little bit. We do the things that we like doing now.

Money TreeThis means that our son may not end up with millions of dollars from a family trust set up to pass assets to him. Instead, we hope he has an example of general financial responsibility, as well as an interest in living life now — when good health makes it easier to enjoy our financial resources.

What do you think? Are you trying to build an inheritance for your children? Or would you rather spend as much of your money as possible before you go?

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

4 Responses to Do You Care about Leaving an Inheritance for Your Kids?

  1. I don’t necessarily think I’ll go out of my way to save up money for my future kids to inherit, though I definitely do see the benefits of leaving a bit of money behind. It definitely helped my parents pay off the rest of their mortgage when they got an inheritance a few years back. But all in all I think the best thing to do is to show your kids that they shouldn’t expect any money but should make their own. Great post!

  2. I believe building an inheritance for your children should not be the only goal. Parents should worry about their own retirement first, then use money in the here and now to provide for the family and create lasting memories for their kids. The lessons and memories we leave behind with our children will have a far greater impact in their lives than any inheritance we could leave them.

  3. Any inheritance my children will receive will be completely accidental, assuming we live to a ripe old age. I hope to spend our money enjoying life with our kids, including things like travel and time together. I think that is much more valuable than leaving money.

  4. My goal is to teach our kids to be financially savvy and to be able to be self-sufficient. If they grow up depending on an inheritance, I believe it will compromise that goal. Any inheritance that receive will be, like Kate has said, an accident.

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