All posts from Mitch
Mitch in $ Financial Freedom Chasers,

Should you leave an INHERITANCE for your children?

Those of you who reached the glorious retirement age will have to consider the age old question of whether or not to leave a retirement for your children. On the one hand, you would be doing a great deed and leaving a part of you behind to the next generation, your wealth. On the other, if your children are lazy and are not the type to be proactive and look for work, you're basically giving a drunk a drink.

So the answer to this question is, yup you guessed it - it depends.

If you have multiple children, the best thing to do is to tell them that you will leave a higher percentage to the one who is hard working and willing to constantly work on their personal growth. This could be incentive for them to work harder and the inheritance you leave them would work like an incentive for them to succeed.

In a recent survey, only 59% of parents intend to leave their kids an inheritance. Personally, I will be leaving as much as I can to mine and try to live off just the bare minimum. However, this is contingent that my kids learn how to budget first. I wouldn't want my kids to blow up the money overnight.

A good approach is to teach your children how to invest the money so that they can grow it even further and one day use it for greater goods and promote good causes. Teach your children how to build a business with the inheritance you will be leaving behind. Teach them how to invest in mutual funds and index funds. Finally, teach them the difference between assets and liability, how money can be spent on things that produce a nice return on investment (knowledge, college degrees, businesses, stocks, etc.) or they could be a liability (wasted on cigarettes, useless materials, steak, etc).

Also, take advantage of the fact that most inheritances are not taxed unless it is north of several millions. Although the U.S. is one of the few countries where hard work actually translates to more money and anyone can simply work their butt off to get ahead. In some countries, the only way to get ahead is to work for the gov't or inherit wealth, this doesn't mean you should spend your children's inheritance. My suggestion is to help them start their life right by contributing towards their ESA (educational saving account) and maybe even encouraging them to stow away whatever you leave behind into their own roth IRA retirement account.