Gord Schakelaar EPC

Branch Manager, Senior Financial Planning Advisor

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The smart way to view an expected inheritance

October 12, 2018 • Financial Planning, Retirement Planning

It’s tempting to count on an expected inheritance as money in the bank – but it doesn’t always work out so perfectly. Anyone’s parent or parents could encounter situations or challenges that jeopardize the legacy they wish to leave to their children.

Understand the risks

An inheritance could be less than anticipated simply because life expectancy is increasing. Funding the cost of living until age 90 could erode savings that would otherwise have been given to children. Or, funds designated for heirs could end up paying for long-term care, which could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for an extended stay in a long-term care residence. Perhaps heirs receive less than expected because the parents leave large sums to other beneficiaries, such as charities, grandchildren or new family members from a blended family. Then there’s the unexpected – like a single parent remarrying, travelling the world and leaving the majority of estate assets to the surviving spouse.

A gift, not a guarantee

You just never know if it’ll be your parents who are unable to leave the inheritance they wished to leave. What happens if you plan on an inheritance but the amount you receive is much lower than expected? Before retirement, you might not have saved enough. Or you might retire earlier than you should have. During retirement, you might overspend your savings. That’s the trouble with counting on an inheritance – you can fall short of meeting your financial objectives.

A better way to view your expected inheritance is as a welcome gift. You’ll avoid unpleasant surprises if you designate the funds to enhance – not support – your retirement lifestyle. 

Whenever you’re planning your financial future, you can always reach out to us. We’ll help you meet your life goals with a financial plan based on factors you can control.

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