I recently woke up to a wonderful surprise. Three couples (all clients) were vacationing together and sent me a picture with the caption: Having fun on our "SKI" (spending kids' inheritance) trip – thanks to you! They were smiling ear to ear.
The picture led me to think about the balance between spending less to maximize a legacy for your children vs. spending more on what provides you with joy and fulfillment. It's something that many of our "empty nest" clients contemplate quite a bit. Particularly when the kids are out of college, and most of their (really, I mean your) major expenses are in the rear view mirror.
Here's some questions on whether SKI-ing is right for you!
• Have you educated your children about money? Regardless of how much they may inherit down the road, their financial independence starts with financial literacy.
• Have you talked to them about the trade-offs of spending vs. saving? We've had several situations where it is the children who encourage the parents to spend more on themselves.
• Do you have a financial plan that incorporates both non-discretionary spending (regular living expenses, healthcare...) and discretionary spending (vacations...), while still leaving money to your beneficiaries? Are you comfortable with the plan results?
• Does the item or experience you want align with your Values?
• Should your kids and grandkids (or other family members and friends) be part of the experience? Have you considered the lifelong memories that the dream vacation or celebration will bring to your family?
If the answer is yes to a majority of these questions, then you are prepared to SKI. You may need to start out on the beginner slopes and get your bearings. After a while, you will SKI with ease.
Please send me a picture of you SKI-ing, hopefully with a huge smile! I know you will be Maximizing Your Return on Life.
Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.