Preaching to Myself?

A few days ago, my wife and I had a discussion about our wishes for our children, when we eventually die.

Essentially, it was: inheritance must be invested and never used to pay off debt.

Or, put another way, any debt that you incur is yours alone. Never, ever, expect that an inheritance will pay off your incurred debt.

It sounds simple enough.

It comes down to making meaningful, long-term financial decisions and is dependent upon having a basis for financial frugality.

Perspective 1

You’ve accrued $53,000 in debt and regularly make minimum payments. You quickly buy the new Th’need the moment it’s available. Quite suddenly, your mother passes and leaves you a home in good repair with a market value of $250K. Having a new money mentality and not wanting to have another house to care for, you promptly sell it for the first offer then pay off your $53K in debt, buy a top of the line new car, and take a trip to Tahiti, because it’s found money and you’ve earned it.

Perspective 2

Having a different view of money-matters, you regularly restrain the urge to make frivolous purchases and instead make meaningful purchases that have longer-term reliability and value. You still have debt, student loans, of $53,000. Your mother passes, etc, etc. You continue with your own commitment to repay your own financial debts. And restrain the urge to make additional purchases. Instead of quickly selling the property, you evaluate it and assume complete financial responsibility for it, ensuring it has regular maintenance and repairs and that its taxes are paid. You also carefully consider renting it at a reasonable market rate. You continue to address your own financial debts and sit back happily and comfortably whilst the value of investments grows.

In each case, what’s the enduring value — the worth — of what’s left of your mother’s life?

Now, I have a bit of a dilemma. I’ve reached the point, after *mumble-mumble-mumble*-years, where I’m comfortable putting my money where my mouth is so to speak. Shall I apply the same sort of logic to bonuses and treat them in terms of inheritance?

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