When making investment decisions, so many on this board (and elsewhere) are quite focused on leaving assets to heirs. Setting aside how we might view the importance and/or problems of leaving assets to heirs; focusing on “legacy” surely changes our investing decisions.
I raise this issue because of the last post I read from SnootFool, but really it’s a subtext of 50% of this board.
In what order do we draw assets down, to minimize taxes and/or leave the maximum to heirs?
How do we create trusts that minimize the tax burdens and “losses” of capital that our heirs might otherwise experience?
How do we structure our estates to be be least burdensome from a tax standpoint for our heirs, nevermind the fact that they will (may) be getting something for nothing?
How much dough do we need to survive and thrive, and still leave a gob for our heirs?
How about asking this-
Do we really have a responsibility to set our heirs up with a heap of cash and if so, or if not, how does that change risk calculations for ourselves?
“How much dough do we need for us to thrive and not worry a fig about our heirs?”
Would this shift not simplify our lives and financial calculations on more than one plane?
Maybe this stuff has come up before on this board, but it’s the sort of subject I rarely see discussed. Really, what are we all doing here?
Do we all need to be Carnegies and Mellons?
You know that didn’t really work out so well for their heirs, yet we seem not to learn anything from that fact.
We (try to) teach our children to be self-sufficient for all of the right and obvious reasons. Why the focus on making it somehow easier for them when we’re dead, when it may in fact make life more difficult?
As previously noted, I have two children; one who would be ruined by a fat inheritance and one that is unlikely to ever need it.
How much of my band-width must I expend to sort that dynamic out?
We have also practiced “The Art of Looking Poor.” The practical benefits are tax advantages for us, now, in real time. But when we’re gone? The government can have what they can get, and with our blessing. It is the social and legal and financial structure of this country that has allowed us to live this beautiful life. I’m happy to pay for that…with the residuals.
That said, sure, we have set up 529s for our grandkids, so it’s not all about (not) taking it with us, but there is a heck of a lot of mental energy spent in this system that may not be entirely helpful (for #1 and other #1, a/k/a my spouse).
Anybody have thoughts on this?