Choosing An Inheritance That Will Leave Joy, Not Despair – 2 Issues

Issue 1. Financial ruin.

It sounds so counterintuitive, but those who suddenly inherit a lot of money can very quickly fall into financial difficulty just as fast. Consider, if you will, the fact that over 70 percent of NFL and NBA athletes are bankrupt or in dire financial straits within five years of retirement.

Why? Many people believe it is because these people are not psychologically and financially prepared to deal with the issues that come with large amounts of wealth. For many people, questions about money are relegated to assistants, friends and family members who may be ill-prepared to render proper advice and services. These people may also take advantage of the people whose money they are supposed to manage, often leading to not just financial ruin, but destroyed personal relationships.

Issue 2. Happiness.

Neither the poor nor the wealthy have a monopoly on happiness. However, while you are much less likely to be happy if you are poor, your chance at being happy does not increase proportionally with the size of your wealth. Researchers have determined that beyond a minimal amount of money you need to live and to meet certain desires and needs, happiness does not typically come from material possessions, but rather from a sense of purpose and meaning that we derive from other sources. Inheriting wealth is often a hindrance to this sense of purpose as there are few obstacles a person must overcome when their wealth allows them to indulge any whim.