How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

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Chrysalis
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How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Chrysalis » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:49 am

As a companion to the thread on leaving money to children, I thought it might be interesting to flip this around and discuss how much we received, at what age, and what impact it had on us.
I note that many people are nervous about leaving large sums to their children. I wonder if there are negative views about any inheritances they may have received?

For myself, firstly, I’m in the UK so our set up is quite different tax wise - trusts are not really a helpful vehicle for inheritances and we have inheritance taxes that are higher I believe than in US.

Anyway, I have been blessed with many inheritances throughout my life, small and large. At 13 I inherited £500, which I spent a few years later on a nice camera and travel before I went to university. The next inheritance also went on travel during my student days. I few years later, by which time I was 29 and working, another chunk came my way - a bit bigger this time - and I used it to purchase more pension (a very good deal, no longer available). Gifts from parents and in laws followed, which helped us with house purchases and renovations, and when my mother sadly died 12 years ago, I again boosted pension provision. By now I was 40. So far, none of these gifts felt as though they changed my life track or choices dramatically. They did mean we were mortgage free soon after 40. Then a few years later a real big inheritance arrived rather unexpectedly. This one was large enough to potentially change our lives - we could now most likely both stop working. It took however several years to come to this realisation, and only now, 7 years on, am I winding down from my career job. Spouse continues to work as he finds it interesting and worthwhile. The other changes we have made are to move house again, a very positive move for the whole family, and to go on nicer holidays and not have to stress about what activities and opportunities we could give the kids. Arguably it is their lives that might be most impacted. They can now go through university debt free and will be able to purchase a house, something which in the UK has become very difficult for many young people.
Finally, my father has died recently. He was frugal and careful and died with a sizeable estate, relative to his earnings (college professor). His legacy is now, sadly, irrelevant to our finances. I have resolved to give it away entirely, to causes dear to my parents, and will be learning from this to develop a gifting plan for the rest of our surplus assets.

If you’re still reading (!) I guess the point is that I feel what I have received has been useful, I have made good use of it and I don’t think my life or my ability to contribute has been negatively affected. So maybe the same is true of what we pass on...

SQRT
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by SQRT » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:26 am

My wife received about $350k from a relative about 15 years ago. Came at a good time for us as I was working my way through an expensive divorce at the time. She is likely to get about $1.5-$2 million when her mother (currently 90) passes on. She got about $50k from her parents to help buy her first home I think. Before my time. We don’t count on any of this and wouldn’t be material to our circumstances in any event.

I have never received any financial gifts from my parents unless you count free room and board when young.

I also agree with the OP that, for most people, receiving gifts/inheritances improves their lives,sometimes dramatically.

However, there does seem to be a fair bit of concern around this site that gifts may cause the beneficiary to lose their work ethic or start acting “entitled” or become”profligate”. This could possibly happen, of course, but I think it would be relatively rare and usually seems to affect friends or acquaintances (other people) rather than one’s self or close family?

I think in most cases parents know their children pretty well and can judge whether a large gift (and how it is given) would be wise.
Last edited by SQRT on Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

jminv
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by jminv » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:28 am

I received 20k from a life insurance policy from my father when he passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. My siblings received the same. It was a surprise as we were unaware of the beneficiary election. My mother inherited the rest (ours was small percentage of estate) as she should. My mother wasn’t too happy about the split as it wasn’t such a small amount not to matter to her. I had originally wanted to decline it in favor of my mother but a family decision was made that we would leave things as they were. I saved it.

When I was very young a great uncle left all his grand nieces and nephews $50 in savings bonds with the rest (vast majority) going to his sisters and brothers all of whom promptly spent it. He had been very thrifty all his life and had an interesting career. The $50 was supposed to be a lesson on saving and wasn’t about the money. I ended up putting the money much later for college but I know the rest of my cousins/their parents cashed them out early.

Goal33
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Goal33 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:37 am

My parents paid for my college and most living expenses. Life changing because I didn’t owe anybody a penny when I graduated and already had a nice savings.

My parents and grandma contributed significantly towards my first car (used) which I drove for 9 year and then sold it and used the proceeds to buy a different and even older car. So basically avoided a car purchase on my own dime for 12 years so far.
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Nissanzx1
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Nissanzx1 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:49 am

I have been very lucky to receive the max taxable gift for several years now while my parents are living. They aren't top 1% in the USA but have done well (worked/saved hard). We purchased a home to rent in cash and payed off our primary in the past years and are actively shopping for another rental (with cash). Wife's parents gave surprise $10,000 for Christmas which we payed off her student loans with. You cant imagine how grateful we are for their help.

Now when we get our paychecks, we can invest most of the money. We are a touch behind on retirement so it should work out well.

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luminous
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by luminous » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:28 am

I received a $1000 gift from my grandfather to help pay for college. I put myself through school other than that gift, and left college with a lot of debt. I have given my parents “loans” that were never repaid over the years. I have not received any inheritances or gifts since.

My divorced parents aren’t forthcoming with their finances, but based on what I know I don’t expect any inheritance when they pass.

Because of this I originally had a really hard time thinking about saving for my kids college educations. The idea of having anything provided for me was so foreign. I figured that becoming financially secure on my own was an experience my kids should have too. I’ve since come around and have healthy 529s for both kids.
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jharkin
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by jharkin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:45 am

Nothing. I financed much of my college education through loans and in my late 20s/early 30s ended having to help support my parents for years (to the tune of 5 figures) when they lost jobs in the Great Recession. They have zero retirement savings so I will be supporting them when they become too old to work as well. My wife and I paid for our own wedding, she didn't get any parental help for college either.
Last edited by jharkin on Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:43 am, edited 4 times in total.

runner3081
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by runner3081 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:02 am

All parents are alive right now, but I am well aware of their financial situations.

My wife's parents did not pay any of her college, while mine paid tuition for 4-years (2 at a CC, 2 at a local university). I even paid cash for my first car. A lovely Dodge Aries for $650 :)

When they do eventually pass, there will be very little inheritance, <$10-15k from each side. It is more than likely we will be faced with taking care of my mother at some point (my parents are divorced, in-laws still together).

What really helped, in a weird way, was the car accident I was in during my early 20's. This was roughly $6k after legal fees and was used as a starting point for a down payment on our first condo.
Last edited by runner3081 on Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

likegarden
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by likegarden » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:03 am

When my grandmother passed 45 years ago we received $5k, I was surprised because I thought she did not have anything. When my father died I received $50k, which we spent on our son's last 2 years in college, came just at the right time. My education was paid by the state. From my wife's side we received only about $5k, because we were relatively well off. Her parents had paid her education in full, which was their gift to her. So no $1 million gifts or inheritances here.

SaveStrong
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by SaveStrong » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:18 am

Similarly have received various gifts from various relatives at various times that haven’t significantly changed my financial position but have given me a different perspective. Things that stick out:
- great aunt gifted investment shares to pay for college. It covered two semesters and that plus working summers and scholarships allowed me to graduate debt free.
- parents let me “borrow” their 3rd used car which I held unto for 17 yrs. funny enough it was the “newest” of the used cars.
- grandparents (teacher + steel mill) regularly bought $25 or $50 bonds since my birth. Many of these are still maturing

All of this to say that my goal now (as a father) is to continue these same traditions and be a steward for my own family. For example, any birthday or holiday money addressed to my son is directed immediately to his investment account. When he’s old enough (college or other) can share the stories and love of those relatives as a living legacy. In my own regards, it’s allowed me to be more generous with my younger relatives as they start out, for weddings or other major events.

shorty313
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by shorty313 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:31 am

Both of us are grateful that college was paid in full. Spouse’s parents gave a car at graduation. My parents also footed about 90% of our wedding. Over the years my in-laws have gifted us approx $30k that we’ve used to purchase cars or home repairs. My parents contribute monthly to kids’ 529. We were always grateful for any gifts, as they have made life easier in small ways.

allones
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by allones » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:35 am

My dad passed away when I was 29, just a couple years into his retirement. He was divorced and I'm an only child so he left everything to me. We were always lower-middle class and lived very frugally, so I was surprised that he had managed to put away about $250k.

It made a significant impact on my life. Although I had put myself through college I racked up some credit card debt in my 20s. I was able to pay 20k off in an afternoon and put nearly all of the rest toward a downpayment on a house - forced savings because with my credit card spending I was self-aware of needing to develop better money habits with that much cash accessible.

The house I bought (and sold last year) was in Seattle, so eleven years later I think I'm doing good by the gift, and I shaped up my budget and investing habits. I always consider the inherited amount (and its earnings) his money still and it sits in a retirement account, which I'm sure he'd be happy with.

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8foot7
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:37 am

I have not received any gifts of substance (nothing over a couple hundred dollars) -- I have received a total of $57,500 in loans from my parents spread out over three different events in my life. $15,000 during my divorce from my first wife about a decade ago, paid back within a few months. $37,500 to assist with a downpayment on a home about six years ago, paid back within a year and a half. $5,000 after the birth of our second child when there were several medical complications not covered by poor insurance; although in this case we accepted the money because it was clear my parents wanted to feel like they were helping rather than because we actually needed the money (we saved it for a year and then paid it back in full). All were very much appreciated and paid back in full; we kept nothing.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by fourwheelcycle » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:38 am

My wife and I were fortunate that our parents were able to pay for our full college expenses. We met in graduate school, where we each received full scholarships and stipends that covered our living expenses. We have not received any inheritances or other gifts to date. We expect to receive a few hundred K by TOD when our last surviving parents die, but we plan to gift that money to our children and to our grandchildren's 529 accounts.

schachtw
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by schachtw » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:44 am

My parents were blue collar, working class people. My father was a ‘saver’, going to a restaurant for dinner every couple of weeks was a treat.

When my father passed, my brother and I each inherited
an IRA worth 100K, and taxable CDs worth 200K.

We feel very fortunate.

SDLinguist
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by SDLinguist » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:49 am

The biggest gift I got from my parents indirectly, as in I never handles the money, was my education. My undergraduate and graduate degrees we fully payed and so were room and board and my car. I ended up being able to get a 6 figure job without a penny of debt and a fairly new car.

Now I get nothing and it's not like I need any more from them. When they do die, I will get somewhere between $0 and 7 figures depending on how my dad spends money.

My wife had to take out 50k in student loans but here parents payed 40k for our wedding. It's the only real friction between me and the in-laws. I would have much rather they payed off the debt and had a small court house ceremony and special dinner but the wedding of their only child turned into my MIL's 3rd wedding as my wife says. We are paying off the last of that debt next year though.

Her parents will realistically be an expense to us in their old age given their money handling.

The only money we know we will receive in the future will be from her uncle. He is childless and a great friend and has told us of his plans. He was a federal employee for 40 years in Stockton California and inadvertently lives something of a mix of the MMM and bogleheads lifestyle. Why he waited to retire until he was 65 I have no clue. He also payed a large chunk of her educational expenses, had he not she probably would have been setting out with double her debt.

Me being debt free has meant that my wife and are able to save almost exactly a years expenses this year or about 35% of gross.

Once we have her debt payed off I am hoping we can move to 40% of gross saved. Even with that we probably have way more expenses in a year than we 'need' but being DINKers under 30 I think we are ok.

Our plan is $1 million saved not including returns before 40 and since we only started at 26 we need to save a lot per year but we should be able to get there.

tldr; the gifts didn't change our situation but rather started us out in a very good place.

Thegame14
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Thegame14 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:25 am

my parents work for the govt and never made much money. Mom was SAHM, dad worked two jobs to make ends. the last few years both got big promotions which put them into six figures and increased their pensions quite a bit. They helped pay for college, gave us 10K towards our wedding, and from what I know, I have a real estate property set aside in trust for me worth about $550K, and my dad says likely there will be additional cash depending on how long they live. I hope I don't inherit anything for another 20 plus years, and having time with them and hopefully them being at my kids weddings will be the best gift.

edit: also got $5K when grandmother passed away, used it towards purchase of solar panels....

Also will inherit probably about $40K from wife's father one day which isn't much, but we would pay off debts with that money.

onourway
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:27 am

I got half of a low cost in-state tuition paid for and a very inexpensive vehicle paid for when I graduated.

basspond
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by basspond » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:28 am

Jr college for one year, $1,000 CD (I still have almost 40 years later) from the proceeds of a life insurance policy they had on my brother, and my grandparents compact used car.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:37 am

Chrysalis wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:49 am
As a companion to the thread on leaving money to children, I thought it might be interesting to flip this around and discuss how much we received, at what age, and what impact it had on us.
I note that many people are nervous about leaving large sums to their children. I wonder if there are negative views about any inheritances they may have received?

For myself, firstly, I’m in the UK so our set up is quite different tax wise - trusts are not really a helpful vehicle for inheritances and we have inheritance taxes that are higher I believe than in US.

Anyway, I have been blessed with many inheritances throughout my life, small and large. At 13 I inherited £500, which I spent a few years later on a nice camera and travel before I went to university. The next inheritance also went on travel during my student days.
Just posting to say that I love that you did this with an inheritance at that age. On this forum many members seem to want their kids to start saving for retirement before they are old enough to drive. Phooey. Using the money to buy an experience was a great idea, glad you took that opportunity.

As you are finding out, there is plenty of time to save and plan for retirement. Taking time to enjoy the ride is important too.

stoptothink
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by stoptothink » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:43 am

$0. My mother raised 5 children on her own as a medical assistant; how she managed to keep a roof over our heads consistently is a total mystery to me. I have helped financially support her on-and-off since I left to begin my college education. She is doing better now, but has zilch in retirement and is getting close to that age. She has a lot of pride and I suspect will work until the day she dies in order to not be dependent on me (siblings are not in a position to help).

My wife...$0. She was raised in a similar fashion as I, except that it was a two-parent household. Her parents have lived with us off-and-on over the past few years and they are in far worse shape financially than my mother: networth in the negative 6-figures thanks primarily to FIL's nearly 3-decade old school loans and parent-plus loans which were used to fund my SIL's education. They don't beat around the bush, their retirement plan is to be financially dependent on my wife and I (her siblings are in no position to help).

I love my mother and my in-laws, they have provided a great example of what not to do. Wife and I are on the same page: priority #1 is not putting our children in the position that our parents have put us.

TravelforFun
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:29 am

$0.

I came from a poor family. Worked my way thru undergraduate school and an employer paid for my graduate school. I'm projecting to leave a mid 7-figure inheritance to our kids, grandkids, and a few charities. We also have LTC insurance to make sure the inheritance would not be decimated by our old-age health issues.

TravelforFun

Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:08 am

My parents paid for approximately half of my undergraduate tuition, as my wife's parents (mom and stepdad) did for her. Each side also gifted us $15,000 for our wedding/honeymoon, which certainly allowed us to have a larger wedding and more exotic honeymoon than we would have had we footed the entire bill. Both of our parents made good but not great money during their working careers, and the amount surprised (and humbled) us. Both sets of parents are alive and well, and I hope they spend down to the last dime.

My wife's parents divorced when she was quite young and she was mostly, although not entirely, estranged from her father. He passed last year, leaving her with an estate worth around $450k. She received those fund in August, and she/we have been sitting on most of it while slowly DCAing some funds into a three-fund portfolio as she is getting more familiar with finances (I've historically handled). Our only purchase was to replace an aging car with a new-to-us sedan in anticipation of having our first child this month. Goal for now is to invest it and forgot about it until we are in a place to reassess our priorities and goals after baby (and hopefully baby 2 down the line).

pejp
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by pejp » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:41 am

Both my parents are only 63 and in good health, so hopefully it's not something I'll have to think of for a while. However, I thought this was apt.......I collect watches and have done for a long time. I truly love them, and focus primarily on vintage watches, but my collection over the years has included all kinds of things. I was recently quoted in the NY Times about watch collecting, I was interviewed by IWC a few years back...you get the idea, it's more than just a hobby, it's my passion. Anyway, a few years back, I bought my Dad a Rolex GMT for Fathers Day. He wasn't expecting it, and was very touched, to the point that he was quite emotional. He grew up in a fairly poor background, and a Rolex is not something he ever expected to own. I turned to my mother, who had a fairly amused look on her face (not the response I expected) and she said "I don't know why he thinks this is so generous, all you've done is buy yourself another watch, just one that you're not going to get for 20 years!"

HIinvestor
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:00 pm

My parents gave me and each of my sibs some shares in a family corp that has been making distributions over the past decade or so. Initially, the distributions were modest but they have now become fairly large (more than annual gift amount). These funds were especially appreciated when our budget was tight—we were paying down our mortgage and our kids college expenses.

Now these funds are helpful in supporting a disabled dependent loved one, allowing her to live 2500 miles from us and get appropriate medical care.

H inherited 2 commas from his sister when she passed away 6 years ago, the year he retired at more than FRA. We were able to use some of the inheritance to fully fund his voluntary contribution account and then convert it into a Roth IRA which has grown very nicely.

The inheritance has made it more comfortable to give our kids up to the maximum gift amount each year. They have used these gifts very responsibly. It reassures us, as we are likely to leave them two commas apiece—some while we are alive and more after we die.

JackoC
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by JackoC » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:33 pm

I got free upbringing to age 18, parents and I shared room and board at college (I had an academic scholarship for tuition) plus an allowance, eventual gift of ~12 yr old car. I lived with them for free a couple of years after college. After that nothing really besides ordinary gifts (a sweater or something, and lots of toys for my kids later on). I turned down their offers of help with grad school and first home down payment. The tax guy told my mom to do gifting to reduce estate tax liability after my dad passed away (the threshold was IIRC $675k in the US then, it's $11mil+ now) but she was too uneasy about money based on her Depression upbringing to do it. We wrote the IRS a ~$300k check when she passed away and my sibling and I each inherited ~$450k, IIRC. The tax guy was able to construct some structure even after her death where I renounced most of that and it went into trust for my kids, I personally got an inherited IRA of ~$100k. Those were not life altering amounts for me by then.

I didn't have a problem with my parents' handling of money toward me with partial exception of the college thing. They basically wouldn't pay because paying for sibling's med school, so I had to go lower prestige w/ scholarship v higher prestige w/o, I guess I could have borrowed, anyway it was selective support. My dad had a right to fulfill his obvious long term dream of raising a doctor with their (my mom went along as always) money, and I think I had a right to somewhat resent the unequal treatment, everyone entitled to their opinion. Anyway it wasn't the biggest issue in our difficult relationship. This whole question underlines to me that the big difference in my relationship to my parents as an adult v my relationship with my adult kids now is not really about money.

mptfan
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by mptfan » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:37 pm

I have never received an inheritance, and I have never received any gifts or money from my parents since I turned 18.

ebrasmus21
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by ebrasmus21 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:38 pm

I had the good fortune of having college paid for by my parents. This allowed me to graduate debt free. My wife and I make decent pay (nothing extravagant) but still, if we had student loans, I just don't see how we could save for anything meaningful... Entering the workforce debt free has been immensely helpful.

I suppose when my parents go that my brother and I will inherit some money + land. My parents are still healthy and in their early 60's so I suspect that when/if I inherit anything else it won't be for another 20 years at least (I hope even longer). Maybe, with any luck, what we receive will allow us to retire a year or two early. Who knows - that's looking out into the distant future and life happens.

My plans include me receiving nothing. Whatever I get (if anything) will be a most welcome bonus.

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Edie
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Edie » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:44 pm

My mom paid for a year's rent on a house when I took my three kids and left an abusive marriage (moving a couple states away in the process). Probably 10k, but worth more than anything. As much as my mom and I don't get along, she enabled my freedom and through that freedom I was able to get my college degree which supports our entire family, and I will be forever grateful. I do not expect to receive anything inheritance wise, and will probably need to support her in the future, but without the gift of a place of our own at that time in my life, I wouldn't be in the position to help at all.

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StevieG72
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by StevieG72 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:46 pm

Zero, and have no plans of recieving anything significant which is ok.

I encourage my mom to spend and not worry about leaving an inheritance.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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celia
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by celia » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:26 pm

NotWhoYouThink wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:37 am
Just posting to say that I love that you did this with an inheritance at that age. On this forum many members seem to want their kids to start saving for retirement before they are old enough to drive. Phooey. Using the money to buy an experience was a great idea, glad you took that opportunity.
I think many on this forum contribute to a Roth for their minor children using their own money. It is a great learning experience to see the account value grow (or compound) over time. If you take the child's money away from them to save it, the child can see this as a dis-incentive to work.

I inherited $150K 10 years ago. It was partly used for a kitchen remodel, which improved the value of the house. The rest was put into a separate account for my children to inherit from me. A good chunk of it was company stock for a Fortune 500 company the deceased had worked for and purchased shares using payroll withholding over a 40-year time span. That company is part of our family history (several other relatives worked there during the summers while in college). As a genealogist, I want my descendants to appreciate the small everyday things we did to make our lives better.

DH and I were in the situation of converting our traditional IRAs to Roth after we retired, but before we started SS. We were (fortunately) ahead of schedule on our conversions when he inherited a large traditional IRA and a small Roth IRA. That threw us and our conversion plan for a loop. (Inherited IRAs--both kinds--have RMDs starting in the year after death at a higher rate than if the IRA was one you contributed to and you can't convert it.) To keep our tax bracket level through future years, we had to decide whether to finish converting or start withdrawing from the Inherited traditional IRA at a "maximum" rate (while staying in the same tax bracket). We ended up doing some of each, but will have the traditional IRA and Inherited IRA cleared out in 2 or 3 more years by using QCDs.

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goingup
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by goingup » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:01 pm

Got $100K from dear dad upon his demise. That doubled our savings at the time and was a great comfort. He would have been pleased to know how much that was appreciated.

22twain
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by 22twain » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:11 pm

My parents (a frugal firefighter and school secretary in a smallish Midwestern city) paid for my stay at a small non-elite private college in the 1970s. At this time tuition and room and board were probably about half of today's costs even after adjusting for inflation. I then paid my way through graduate school for a PhD in a STEM field, via assistantships. My parents helped a bit by paying my plane fare when I visited them in Florida after they retired there, and by gifting me their second car (a secondhand VW Beetle) after they decided they no longer needed it. This was my first car, at age 28.

After I landed what turned out to be my "permanent" college teaching position, I met and married my wife, and we bought a house. This being a VLCOL area, the house wasn't very expensive, and we could have paid for it ourselves; but my parents contributed some of the money for it anyway. Later we found out that one reason they did this was because they had been helping my brother and sister-in-law who had been having financial difficulties despite his holding a series of presumably fairly well-paying engineering-related jobs. They wanted to equalize things a bit between the two of us.

My brother and I ended up inheriting the remaining money when my mother died. About half of it came from my mother's selling the Florida apartment just before the housing bubble burst there in the mid 2000s. By this time I was in my mid 50s, and as it turned out, only a few years from forced semi-retirement and then full retirement a few years later. My share of the inheritance (after growth) now amounts to about 1/3 of my retirement funds. I'd still be OK without it, but having it in a taxable account gives me more flexibility than having only my tax-deferred 403B account.

My wife's situation has been rather similar. Her parents (a mid-level manager at a NYC megacorp and a stay-at-home mom) paid for her college but not graduate school (non-STEM PhD, financed via a teaching assistantship). Like my parents, they contributed towards our house, and left my wife a moderate inheritance which she left intact for retirement. As with me, it's about 1/3 of her money. She still teaches part time, even though we don't need the money, because the college hasn't been able to find someone to come here to teach those courses for the peanuts that they pay adjuncts.

My wife also received a small inheritance from an aunt a few years after we married. We used that money to pay for some home renovations, including a deck.
Last edited by 22twain on Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:38 pm, edited 7 times in total.
My investing princiPLEs do not include absolutely preserving princiPAL.

Yellowhouse
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Yellowhouse » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:12 pm

I received roughly 750k in property, Inherited traditional IRA and cash upon my mother's passing. I've run a small contracting business for close to 20 years and my salary had highs and lows. Some years were fantastic and others were quite lean. This inheritance has truly been a blessing and I vowed to my wife that I wouldn't spend it foolishly.

We have a couple of three fund Roths, two traditional IRAs with less than 20k in each, my inherited IRA that is invested with a three fund approach and three properties, two of which are rentals that generate around 25k each year.

It's a great responsibility inheriting this amount of money. I have a cousin who has actually inherited not one but two million + fortunes and he's squandered both inheritances because he quit working when he inherited the first one. He is a man without a purpose who smokes marijuana and drinks beer daily. Don't become that guy!

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GerryL
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by GerryL » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:28 pm

My paternal grandmother died when I was in my early 20s, and I was surprised to get $500 from her estate. It was weird to think that I got money because someone died. As I recall, I put that money into savings even though I was just getting by traveling around Europe and trying different jobs.

My parents (divorced) died about 3 years apart. As I recall, my brother and I each got about $20k from each of them (plus some stock from our dad). We talked about donating half of the funds from my mother (a WWII WAC) to charity as much of it was from a lump sum delayed payment from the VA for Aid and Attendance, and my practical brother suggested we each do so after we had the funds so we could claim the deduction on our own taxes. We did the same with the funds from my dad.

My bro and I are both quite comfortable in retirement. That can in large part be attributed to what our parents taught us about personal finance from early childhood. That inheritance is priceless.

Darth Xanadu
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Darth Xanadu » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:38 pm

Interesting thread!

My folks paid for most (65%?) of my undergrad (I graduated with no debt). Spouse's folks paid for full undergrad, plus a new vehicle as a graduation gift. In-laws paid for 80%+ of our wedding. I've received several $10k-$15k gifts from my folks (probably close to $40k over the years). When my father passed away, I received about $60k in various accounts.

I've used these gifts to try and help prepare my own family financially, with a healthy emergency fund, and maxing retirement accounts as much as possible.
"A courageous teacher, failure is."

FoolMeOnce
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by FoolMeOnce » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:36 pm

When I was a child, my family made a real estate investment that was mostly in the kids' names. That turned into about $500k for me by the time I was in my mid-20s when we sold it.

Grandparents and parents gifted during my childhood in trust. Those investments, plus a large infusion from a one-off event in my 20s, was another ~$1.2 in my mid-20s.

College and law school was paid for (either by parents or from the trust, really not sure but same effect).

I've been quite fortunate in this regard. Pretty sure I'm not screwed up by it; about half of my wardrobe is from Target. :D Though we certainly would not be in the house we are in and would probably be more frugal otherwise without these accumulated gifts.

Wife got a little help for education but still had a good deal of debt after undergrad and grad school.

kayakprof
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by kayakprof » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:19 pm

My parents are in their mid 70's. Both were teachers. In addition to the first 18 years, they helped pay for undergrad (I had a full-tuition scholarship, but they covered housing and food. I worked 20 hours a week for spending $$/gas/insurance/travel). They put 3K in a ROTH for me when I was in college. I bought my first 5 very cruddy cars by working at gas stations, summer camps and grocery stores, and then my parents surprised me with a new Honda Civic hatchback upon graduation from college. Although I had both teaching assistantships and jobs in restaurants, they helped me with small cash infusions throughout graduate school (a Ph.D. in social science). They paid 80% of wedding costs. They offered 5K for our first house purchase. They gave 15K for a major remodel of our second/dream home that was built in the 50's. They recently took my wife and I on vacation to Europe (my first time in Europe). They give generous cash gifts (about 1K) on birthdays and holidays.

We have great jobs that are fairly stable. Our salary is about 150K combined annually. We save as much as we can for retirement. They still tell us to expect something significant (250K) for inheritance - but we tell them that their needs/desires come first. We are not basing our future on any inheritance and tell them to live life to the fullest as long as they are mobile, and to pay for security as they become less mobile.

My DW's family is much less financially secure, but they still give us a cash gift (1K) once every few years.

We feel blessed, and I agree with others - the two things I value most in terms of what they have gifted include the financial education my mother provided throughout my life, and the college degree (not to mention unwaivering love and support).

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Will do good
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Will do good » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:26 pm

$0

I help with minor expense for both of my parents. I rather be able to give than receive.

baseball2horse
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by baseball2horse » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:05 am

My parents are very frugal people and big savers. They were able to purchase both their first condo and then later a single family home in cash.

Thus they were able to save enough to fully fund my undergraduate and graduate education with about 200k left over that I received as a UTMA account. My brother who went to a much more expensive school did not have any leftover. My parents then also bought me car for graduation. My older brother also received a car at graduation. This 200k was all in a total stock fund at vanguard. I left it there, added a bond fund to the account and saved aggressively into for about two years post college. I was then able to use it for a large down payment to buy a house in a HCOL.

My parents have certainly done all they could to give me a good financial start and I hope to be able to return the favor to my kids some day

Incendiary
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Incendiary » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:42 am

My parents have paid for my college, two grad schools, half of my spouse's grad school, cars, wedding, and house down payment. They are now contributing to kids college funds, and have socked away several million for us in brokerage accounts. Same for my siblings. We will inherit more when they pass. I hope that is not for several more decades.

The most important things they have given me, however, are a love for my family, God, sense of hard work, importance of education, and a frugal character.

I am obviously enormously blessed and plan to do the same for my kids, God willing.

furikake
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by furikake » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:53 am

$0. Not as lucky as most of you.

Cuzz35
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Cuzz35 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:14 pm

furikake wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:53 am
$0. Not as lucky as most of you.
I inherited some amount over $1 million when my mom and sister died when I was 13. I don't feel very lucky.

Not sure on the details as it was kept from me. I believe there was some estate tax due because the exemption was extremely low at the time (unlucky, its over $11million now). My mom was not wealthy. She lived in a double wide trailer and drive a 15 year old blazer. The money she had just recently inherited from her father who had died. I know my dad got into day trading sometime after and incurred significant losses. After getting a degree in finance I wanted to take control of my inheritance and told my Dad. My inheritance was $400k at that time.

It made a different to some extent because I knew the money was there. I never did anything lavish or crazy but it had the effect of me not learning the value of a dollar until I was out on my own. Is that an awful thing? Maybe but I think I am in a good spot now, frugal and very responsible with my spending. Things seemed to have worked out fine. Probably a different story if the inheritance was a lot larger.

jacksonm
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by jacksonm » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:40 pm

furikake wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:53 am
$0. Not as lucky as most of you.
Me too.

My Dad once told me that they intended to leave each of us 3 kids the same as my grandparents gave them which was $75k. That sounded nice at the time but it was over 30 years ago and he said nothing about adjusting that figure for inflation. So I always figured I would be getting next to nothing and after seeing how poorly they were handling their investments (ALL in cash) I started planning on getting nothing at all. When my Dad went into extended care that became even more certain and right now my Mom is still alive and in extended care so we're just hoping she has enough to last until the end. Me and my brother don't really need but it's a shame for my sister because she's 62 and heading for retirement as poor as a church mouse.

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changingtimes
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by changingtimes » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:42 pm

My parents paid for my college education (out of state/state school in the mid 1980s, so it wasn't exactly bank-breaking), my first car, my wedding, and gave me $6k toward buying my first home. They did all of that (minus the wedding) for my brother.

I received $14,000 when my grandmother died when I was in my 30s. Spent some of it, saved the rest.

When my mother died my brother and I inherited two properties, 1.5 of which have now been sold, which brought me about $400k, most of which has been invested. This was the money that was going to allow DH and I to retire early, as bridge funds until we could get to 401ks.

I don't know exactly how much my father has, but I would imagine it's in the mid 6 figures. So I would share whatever of that remains when Dad moves onto the next plane of existence.

Suntan1
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Suntan1 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:59 pm

No monetary gift/inheritance however, parents paid for my college education including food and lodging. They also taught me how to budget and invest for which I'm forever grateful :D .
There are six of us kids and all went to college paid for by my parents so that's a lot of expenses! Only my youngest brother received monetary inheritance...no clue how much.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:05 pm

As a young person in college, I received three years of living at home (moving out when I was 21). I don't know exactly what the monetary value of that was in the late 70s. I was working while in school so I saved money.

When my mother passed away a few years back, she had some investments and savings, amounting to about 10k for each of us.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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