I’ve always told my mother that, although I’d be grateful for anything left to us after she passes, I’m not expecting any inheritance and that she should work very hard to spend every penny that she and Dad saved up on herself and living her own life. She and Dad earned it, we kids didn’t. It’s our job to earn our own way.
What made me think of this was this sentence in a finance story I was reading today:
Fink told CEOs that the $24 trillion of wealth Millennials expect to inherit from their Boomer parents…
Anyone who “expects” to inherit wealth when their parents pass is doing life wrong. My parents earned their own way, I expect to do the same and I hope my kids have the same attitude. I sincerely hope they’re not “expecting” to inherit one red cent from me.
That’s not to say they won’t get anything…timing it perfectly so that the last penny in my retirement accounts is spent just as the last breath leaves my body is a pretty much impossible feat, but I’m not going to overly concern myself with scrimping at this stage of my life so that I have something left to leave them. Whatever’s left after I’m gone is whatever’s left. Like all parents, I sacrificed and scrimped and delayed gratification to provide for them while they were kids. They aren’t kids anymore. If I did my job right, they shouldn’t need me to take care of them after they’re adults.
Any wealth inherited when parents pass should be a bittersweet surprise, not the fulfillment of an expectation.
What I expect of my mother is to enjoy her life and use the wealth that she and my father worked so hard for in fulfillment of that. I hope my kid’s expectations for me are the same.