Why I am not planning on leaving an inheritance to my children
So you can chalk me up to being the world’s worst future mother and parent right now, because not only am I not planning on paying for my kids’ college education, I am ALSO not going to leave them an inheritance either.
Let me explain before you get out your pitchforks.
An inheritance to me, is whatever is leftover at the end of someone’s life to pass on to the next generation to help them.
So this means if I need to spend $3000 a month to hire a live-in helper to make my last years easier, I am going to damn well do it.
I am not going to guard my money like a Scroogette JUST SO I can leave “something” to the kids. I am not of that cultural mindset.
THEY DON’T NEED OR GET MY MONEY EITHER WAY
I can only hope that with my parenting style, my kids won’t turn out to be total screwups (yes they exist, and I hope I am honest enough to recognize this), and will become independent early on.
In the event that this happens, they won’t need my inheritance (this is my current situation with my parents, I told them I don’t need their money, but I hate seeing them waste it and jeopardize their own retirement).
In the even that this fails miserably (there’s always a chance, no matter how good you think you are as a parent, your kids will not be successes), then they will be getting my inheritance over my dead body.
Even in death, I will refuse to enable them in leading a life I did not raise them to live.
As a result, I don’t plan on leaving them an inheritance, and they’re going to REALLY understand this as children, if the whole “I am not paying for your college education either” doesn’t sink in.
THIS IS FOR THEIR OWN GOOD
Culturally speaking, I am supposed to want to leave my next generation richer than mine was.
In reality? I think not.
I choose me and my retirement over my kids, because I will be helping them learn to be adults and to be independent in ways that cannot be expressed in dollars.
See, I don’t care if my kids end up working simple jobs as tradespeople, but if they can’t sustain themselves with such careers, and are banking on me to kick the bucket early on so they can cash in on the motherlode (literally), they’re in for a rude awakening.
I am not keen on ending up in a modern nightmare where the children basically deprive their parents who are senile out of their money, and bring them to the brink of ruin just because they don’t want their parents to spend their inheritance.
(Brooke Astor, anyone?)
My kids will be sure to have this drilled into them:
Don’t expect an inheritance from me.
You can be sure I will never leave you any debts or money problems, but I won’t have anything significant for you by the time I die.
The happy bonus is that if at the end of my life, I do end up leaving them something significant (unless they turn out to be bums, in which case I change my will timely and accordingly), I will die happy knowing that they will be pleasantly surprised and hopefully grateful for the money to help them achieve their dreams earlier than they had planned.
To be fair, I guess I won’t really be leaving them with $0.
At the very least, they will have the home I have lived in if I haven’t already been forced to sell it to pay for my rising elderly healthcare costs, and that must be worth something.
I say this now in the hopes that when I am a parent and in the sad event I am saddled with such dependent, entitled children, I will look back on this post and realize that I had a resolve early on before any of them were born in how they would meet reality.