by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
I just finished Mr. Pollan and Mr. Levine’s book, Die Broke. While I found a myriad of interesting points between the covers, one that really resonated with me was the way they turned the old-fashioned view of children and inheritances upside down.
Why, argue Pollan and Levine, would you keep stashing your cash away into savings your children will receive after you die – most likely when they’re in their forties or fifties and finally at the age where most people are financially stable, anyway? Doesn’t it make more sense to contribute toward, say, their first home, or to help them out during the early stages of their careers, when most people hold low-paying, entry-level positions?
And anyway, wouldn’t this be more rewarding for you, too? Wouldn’t you rather be there to bask in their tremendous gratitude, when you make the dreams that are otherwise out of their reach come true? Instead of watching them struggle to make ends meet? Time is money, after all, and if you make their lives easier by giving them money, chances are, they will have more time for you. Who knows, they may even find themselves in a financial situation to start giving you grandchildren.
Old traditions are wonderful. I am all for traditions. But when someone has a better thought, shouldn’t we take it to heart and make a change? Isn’t that how we ended up with cars instead of horses-and-carriages, currencies instead of the barter system, and light bulbs instead of kerosene lamps? I bet tons of twenty-somethings are dying for you to read this.