Parents are not going to die soon enough

I have been silently calculating my financial health by including the money (even though it isn't much) my parents will be leaving me when they die. I know it is an unseemly thought, but face it -- many of us do this. It is certainly not something one talks about, but it is also stupid.

I have been silently calculating my financial health by including the money (even though it isn't much) my parents will be leaving me when they die. I know it is an unseemly thought, but face it -- many of us do this.  

It is certainly not something one talks about, but it is also stupid.

There are three major reasons, beyond what is and is not appropriate, for pausing before you start counting your parents' money as yours.

First, they are going to live a long time.  You might be in your 50s, 60s, or 70s by the time both die.

Second, living a long time doesn't mean -- most of the time -- a healthy life to the end.  A lot of money is spent on medicine and healthcare in the last years of life.  Medicare (even if it still exists) and other insurance will not meet these needs.  You might even have to contribute to these costs.

Third, with increased real estate valuations, and with continuing inflation, the estate tax is becoming a reality -- and increasingly will -- for even modest estates.  And, when the next president takes office, even without acting, it is going to increase dramatically and take a bigger and bigger bite out of money passing from one generation to the next.

So, my advice is forget it.  In fact, I would start budgeting a reserve to take care of them at the end of their lives. 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    June 29, 2007

    Good advice. A lot of us are doing this -- quietly, and it is pretty stupid.

  • Anonymous

    June 30, 2007

    Oops. I have been doing this.

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