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What Is My Inheritance?


        I am hoping to retire at 55 and wonder what portion of my parents’ assets will become mine at some point. I do not want to ask them, but it materially impacts my retirement decisions. While I believe that I have enough to retire in five years, it would make a big difference if I knew what I am going to inherit in the future.

Is there a way that I can ask without sounding like an intitled child? I do not want to appear as though I am counting on the money.  How do you think I should approach this situation?




        My answer to this question is to rethink your retirement planning.  My reasoning is that it appears that you are partially counting on money that you are not guaranteed to inherit. I do not think anyone should base the entire second half of their life on assets their parents may or may not leave them. It is far too risky a proposition to plan a retirement on such a shaky foundation.

Start by realistically planning your retirement years based on what your portfolio and retirement accounts have in them. It is very easy to go online and use one of the many calculators available. I would use at least three of them. If they all produce the same or near same results, which they likely will, you have the information you need to start planning.

Go on and look up your social security projected payments. While you cannot collect Social Security before age 62 in most circumstances, you can get the payments at each age.

Next, I recommend consulting a financial planner. Many employers have one associated with their retirement accounts that you can speak with, at no cost. 

If all your financial affairs are in order and you can safely support yourself until death with what you have, you are good to go. 

I do not recommend counting on your parents to fund your retirement. One never knows how their assets will be needed in their later years. To count on an inheritance that is uncertain is simply not advisable. Once you let go of your job there is no guarantee that you will be able to replace it at the same earning level later if need be. 

Yes, you could approach your parents and ask them about their assets and their plans, but I would not advise doing so. Their most important gift to you is that they provide for themselves until their death.  If they have done that, you should be grateful. I do not recommend asking them what they are leaving you, so that you can retire early.  Instead work a few more years if needed to plan a comfortable retirement.

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