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Potentially life changing inheritance - anyone experienced this?

(47 Posts)
bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 13:56:05

What did you do with it? did it allow you to do something you had always wanted to or did you just carry on with the life you had before? How did you decide? Did you find anywhere to give good advice?

We are all about to inherit substantial amounts (including my 10 and 8 yr old dcs). I am really not sure what to do with it. The only ideas I have had so far are to buy a new computer and some clothes!

I am dissatisfied with aspects of my life. Bit fed up with work etc. However the thing I lack most is time, not money. Am also a bit of a tight wad frugal dougal so just can't get my head around it at all.

Its not enough to just give up work and live on the proceeds (not in our normal style anyway) - but it is of the order of a house worth. each.

ninedragons Fri 30-Sep-11 14:00:39

I have no experience, but I love the expression Frugal Dougal.

I think you need to find an independent financial advisor and pay for a couple of sessions. Don't go to a free one because they make their living by taking commissions on the products they recommend.

Sorry for your loss.

PonceyMcPonce Fri 30-Sep-11 14:00:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exexpat Fri 30-Sep-11 14:08:28

With DCs your age, if you have any hopes for them to go to university, I would be investing a very large chunk to pay for their education - fees plus living costs mean it will soon be at least £15,000 a year to put a student through university (so £45,000 to £60,000 for a normal degree course), and I can only see that going up. Having money put aside to help them buy somewhere to live when they are old enough would also be a good idea.

If you're not happy with work, is there a different kind of career you might be interested in retraining for? The inheritance might mean you could afford not to work for a year or two and pay for any training costs. Or go part-time and spend the rest of the time doing voluntary work you might enjoy more?

For investment advice, check very carefully before you sign up with any particular financial adviser - I'd go for a fee-based one: you pay for the advice to make sure it is unbiased; most advisers work on a commission basis so are naturally drawn to the type of investments paying the most commission.

Alouiseg Fri 30-Sep-11 14:10:52

"You can only spend it once"

Is my mantra.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:12:10

hmm yes I'm with you poncey - am ultra cautious with investments and anything in equities has always done really badly. So am a bit unsure what to do as probably our highest priority is dh's pension which is all equities (and a bit pathetic to be honest. Mine is ok though, as long as I stay in work for another 15 years...). IFAs, yes. I have actually seen one since we knew this was likely to arrive but I don't know, I have never found one I am happy with as they all give the same stock answer that you can find in a book anyway. I'd like someone who is prepared to think beyond the 'rules' really. I suppose buy to let is one thing we could do, but am wary about taking on a load more hassle I suppose - as I said, the main thing I lack is time. I'm not sure money will help me with that!

ninedragons - thank you for your sympathy, I had almost forgotten where this was coming from blush It is from dh's grandfather who died several months ago at a ripe old age, having built up a company from scratch. So I haven't done a thing to deserve it.

What about dcs? I don't want them growing up with everything on a plate (they want for nothing now). Under terms of the will they will have control over all the money when they are 25.

casawasa Fri 30-Sep-11 14:17:55

Its worth speaking to a good financial advisor. If you don't mind tying it up for a few years you can earn monthly interest on it. This would give you a monthly sum to save/enjoy while keeping your capital. Definitely worth taking advice though.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:18:05

exexpat - the work thing is complicated. Recently I have been finding it a grind, stressful, wondering what the point is, but have always clung to it as my security blanket as I was scared not to have the income. But now that excuse is gone (well not entirely), i haven't a clue what else I could do. I have invested a great deal of myself into my work and it still doesn't satisfy me, but the idea of doing something else is terrifying. (hmm, maybe this thread isn't about money matters at all!) I already work part time, but it is one of those jobs where the expectations are the same as for full timers and the work doesn't really stop, so it still feels hard to maintain enough balance - give myself permission to do less.

omaoma Fri 30-Sep-11 14:18:20

we had the possibility of this recently although it didn't come to anything (long story). i sat down with DH and we answered a few key questions - what really makes us happy/what do we feel we want more of in our life/what do we feel we want less of and another one I've forgotten! the idea was to really look at both the small things that make a difference and try to do some big blue-sky (sorry hate that phrase) thinking in a 'what if...' manner. and then seeing where we could put the sum we were expecting that would make the biggest possible difference to the quality of our lives as individuals and a family. neither of us had the desire to suddenly get a bigger house, or buy more 'stuff'. I ended up deciding the best way to spend the cash would be having some way to escape to the sea every couple of months, and having a cleaner for a few hours a fortnight.

casawasa Fri 30-Sep-11 14:20:50

I was working part time in a job i didn't enjoy. I got a nice but not that life changing sum. The monthly interest i earn has meant i could give up my part time job and take some time to decide what i want to do.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:25:21

omaoma - that's interesting. When I do that kind of thought exercise, I always come up with wanting to go away travelling for several weeks a year. but then I come up against dh who really isn't that bothered and doesn't have enough holiday allowance anyway! In fact i don't really know what it is he does want - unlike me, he always appears content with what he has and with no great desire to change things. I am always restless and wanting something different - which is a bit of a source of tension between us tbh.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:26:31

casawasa wouldn't it have to be an awful lot to be able to live on the interest?

I would be investing the DCs money for education, and then a house deposit.

My own I would be putting at least 50% into investments for my pension - whether that be an actual pension pot, or buying property, or some Premium Bonds or a combination.
If you and DH feel that you have unsatisfactory pensions then that surely has to be a priority, because the last thing you want is to spend it all now and then be struggling in retirement.

Would paying a chunk off the mortgage be a good idea?

And I think you should have at least one, fabulous family holiday and a few bottles glasses of bubbly to toast your benefactor smile

cat64 Fri 30-Sep-11 14:26:55

Message withdrawn

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:27:28

and are you any nearer to working out what you do want to do?

cat64 - I think DH and I would do that now.

When I inherited from my grandma, we had just moved in here, were about to get married. We had a fabulous honeymoon, and bought ourselves a really spectacular wedding present. And a new boiler and kitchen. And then the rest went into the bank.

AAAvegetable Fri 30-Sep-11 14:32:22

I inherited a bit (don't know what you define as life changing).

We used it to buy a nicer, bigger house with a lovely garden for DCs (tbh we spent too much on this and as a result we feel quite poor again!).
I enjoy working and my career is important but I went down to 4 days a week and got a nanny so the kids would feel totally secure, be able to have play dates etc and we would not have the stress of running to nursery etc.

My inheritance was from my lovely Mum so has always been tinged with great sadness. Yours sounds v different so really enjoy it!

cat64 Fri 30-Sep-11 14:32:29

Message withdrawn

Lizcat Fri 30-Sep-11 14:35:36

One outside the box thing I would think of doing is starting a pension for the DCs as a long with no university debt and a deposit for a house this could give them the real financial leg up.

ninedragons Fri 30-Sep-11 14:39:45

An IFA will help you with tax planning, which is dull but essential.

See if you can find one who has an international slant, so you don't get offered just the same old British chestnuts of London-listed equities and buy-to-let. You probably don't want to buy alpaca farms in Brazil or lapis mines in Afghanistan but if you can find someone with broader horizons you may find better yields abroad. Australian at-call bank deposits are currently paying around 6.0-6.3%, which would keep you comfortably ahead of inflation (of course the AUD is very strong so buying it with your Pommie Pesos grin may cancel out any benefit, but this is the sort of thing that an IFA could walk you through).

casawasa Fri 30-Sep-11 14:44:08

I suppose it depends on how much you need to live smile I certainly didn't inherit enough for my dp to give up work too. I do earn in interest what i earned in my wee part time job. I still don't know what i am going to do but i've had 9 months of enjoying being at home for my ds. I know i am very lucky.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:51:16

cat64 thanks for your experiences. I think it is probably a good idea to sit and think on it for a while. I know that I do already feel less anxious about losing my job (positively cavalier actually, maybe I will end up so demotivated that it makes the decision for me...)
For the dcs, the amount is enough to cover university AND a first house AND still have some left, which feels to me like a lot to be given on a plate. How will they ever motivate themselves to work? We do not intend to tell them about it but since they will get whatever we haven't managed to spend on their behalf at 25, there is not a lot we can do about it. Of course it is nice to think we don't have to worry about paying for their activities, instrument lessons etc etc, but we always gave those a high priority anyway and were not stretched. The obvious thing would be private school but we are both strongly against it in principle.
Pension yes is the big thing. Gawd knows where to invest it though. It feels like we should be doing something more constructive, putting the money to good use, I don't know. Stockmarket doesn't feel like a great place to be at the moment.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:53:44

sorry not keeping up!
AAAvegetable - sorry about your mum. I lost mine too 5 years ago - still miss her heaps - and I have kept very carefully the £25k she left me, with the intention to spend it on some really memorable holidays (we have done one already). Now it feels that is swamped.

bitclueless Fri 30-Sep-11 14:59:25

ninedragons - any idea where to find a good IFA? I have seen a few in my time and never been mighty impressed - all investments I've done based on advice have turned out rubbish, whereas my own (ultra-cautious) judgements have been ok on the whole.

Pension for the DC is a good idea. If we still have a stockmarket by the time they grow up. I think actually the wisest investment might be a smallholding! ('buy land - they're not making it any more' !)

cat64 Fri 30-Sep-11 15:00:50

Message withdrawn

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