Thursday, March 11, 2010

Diminishing Inheritance Returns?

One of my much-appreciated commenters, MikeS, emailed me this CNN article, "Stop Squandering My Inheritance!" 

Quick summary: If you want to preserve your inheritance, shower your elderly parents with time and attention.

Really?!  Parents actually appreciate being talked to?  Say it ain't so!

Okay, I'm dropping the sarcasm stick, but I did find this article extremely amusing for the following reasons:

1.  If you don't want to feel like a gold digger, then don't be one!  It's your parents' money.  Period.  Back off.  Unless their sanity is actually in question, buzz off bucko!  Save for your own retirement and treat an inheritance like I'd treat social would be nice but mostly unexpected.

2.  I can't believe actual money was spent on a study to prove that parents rather leave money for loved ones than kids that ignore them...does anybody see a break through here?

3.  If you do have actual worries, I think you should approach your parents respectfully.  They may tell you to suck it up and buzz off, but that is their perogative.

4.  Visiting and talking to your parents JUST because they are about to die seems very wrong.

I hope my parents have tons of fun with their money.  My only wishes are that they stay healthy for as long as possible, die late in life, and leave enough money to follow through on their final wishes.  They raised three very intelligent, willful, and stubborn children.  We will be fine.  :-)

What do you think?  Did you see this article in a different light?


  1. Ugh.. I read that article hoping, no praying, for some sarcastic ending to slap some sense into those who feel entitled to an inheritance.

    I received one, only because my mom died to young to even start her retirement. She had lots of plans, lots of wishes, for those years and she had diligently saved up for them.

    Do I care I got some money? Sure, it made buying a house easier (less of a mortgage) and added to my retirement money. would I rather she be here now, enjoying the fruits of HER labours instead? Absolutely.

    No one, but no one, is "entitled" an inheritance. Our parents don't "owe" us anything. We can only hope they live a long, full and healthy life and leave enough behind to take care of their last wishes. Anything over and above that is a gift, not a right!

  2. Glad to see there are others who had the same reaction I did. Just because your parents have money, doesn't mean they are going to leave it to you. Maybe they want to leave it to charity.

    As a parent, maybe a conversation with your children telling them what your plans are could take some of the unknown out of the equation and help ease tensions.

    As a child, the only time to step in at all would be if the parents are either being taken advantage of somehow or are becoming incompetent. Otherwise if they want to spend it all, they can. It's their money.

    I heard a saying one time, that goes something like, "The best financial plan is one where you spend your last dollar on the day you die." Sounds about right to me.

  3. I completely agree with Mylena. My parents don't owe us anything. In fact, while my mom is here helping me out, I insisted that I give her some spending money (only $100/week) because I don't feel comfortable having her buy us stuff when they are retired and have no income.

    She insists that she won't spend that much, but it makes me feel better because she is helping us out so much already. I cannot imagine being nice to a parent just to get an inheritance from them. I'd rather my parents live a long long life and that my children get to know them and love them as much as I do.

    Whatever happened to hard work and persistence? Imagining someone having a relationship with their relatives just for an inheritance makes me sick to my stomach.

  4. I love my readers!

    As my post might have suggested, I completely agree with all of you. I don't really know who this article could have appealed to...

  5. My siblings are in their 50's and mom is 79. Dad died three years ago. The WORST thing that happened is WE KNOW there is money to be had. It is messy- already. Some work to have her spend the money on the things they want to inherit, the one who makes the most cries poor and borrows for...taxes. I have gotten to the point that I do NOT call because the others call me a gold digger. It is terrible.What about my brother who has no retirement at 59? I am guessing the bulk of the crying will put him first in line for the bulk of the money my mom has left....
    My MIL died last month. The feeling was there was not going to be an inheritance. The shocker was that there was enough to split and have a bit for the bank. We all talked about purchasing something fun with the money (my 60 yr old will buy a Harley) and put "mom" on it.
    Much more fun- since we all have always known that we would have to supply our own retirement- and we all have.

  6. Janette, I'm so sorry for your whole situation! Does your mom not see what's going on? As the mom, I'd be pissed and tell all of the beggers to bugger off. I'm sorry you have to cut yourself off...I know it must be hard.

    I love the Harley idea! It does sound like fun!

    Hang in there...I hate it when bad stuff happens for stupid reasons.