Four Tips For Balancing Your Lifestyle With Leaving an Inheritance

Four Tips For Balancing Your Lifestyle With Leaving an Inheritance

Consider all options for balancing retirement and inheritance.

You’ve worked hard to build wealth and provide for your family. Now that retirement is near, it’s important to assess your desire to enjoy a rich life, your risk of outliving your wealth and your plans to leave behind a legacy. If leaving an inheritance without downgrading your lifestyle is a priority, here are four tips to help you do so from Stephanie Coln, Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management in New Orleans, Louisiana.

  1. Put yourself first. Do not sacrifice your standard of living in order to leave money to your children. Work with a wealth advisor to determine how much money you need not only to maintain your standard of living but also to pay for the unexpected. “The fact that people are living longer automatically impacts the inheritance discussion,” Coln says. Also set aside money for any bucket-list items you’d like to check off.
  2. Formalize your values. “Reflect on your core values that you’d like to see carried on. Ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to achieve?’ You can leave a legacy as opposed to a liquid-asset inheritance for your children and future generations,” Coln says. Discuss your values-based estate plan with your family while conveying your priorities and rationale to avoid surprises after you’re gone, Coln suggests.
  3. Insure yourself. With life insurance, you’re sure to bequeath tax-exempt money to children, even if you expend all your other assets. With some policies, the death benefit can be used in your lifetime to cover long-term care.
  4. Share the wealth now. If leaving an inheritance is a high priority, why wait? Cash gifts can be given as advances on an inheritance, reducing estate taxes later. As of 2016, the IRS allows you to give up to $14,000 ($28,000 per couple) in cash or assets to as many people as you wish each year without tax consequences. Or instead of money, leave memories. Treat the family to a trip or a cruise, or buy a vacation home you can all enjoy.

Learn more about preparing your heirs for an inheritance.


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This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented. Information provided and statements made by employees of Regions should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.