Live Better, Leave More….
Many people believe that they must live frugally to build an inheritance for their loved ones. They deprive themselves of indulgences, such as travel and hobbies, even doing without necessities to preserve their wealth. However, in scrimping to leave more to those they love, they may actually be creating a consequence to their heirs that they didn’t see coming and depriving their heirs of an even richer legacy.
My wife and I have worked hard all our lives to create a desired lifestyle and take care of our many kids and grandkids. A few years ago, we started taking big family vacations, where we’d pick a destination vacation spot, and rent a home or resort for a week or 10 days, and then have all the family come join us for as much of the time as they can afford to take. We have kids in other cities and even other states, and we’d pay to have them fly in and enjoy their time with us and their siblings, nieces, and nephews. Although expensive, it has truly been one of the best things we could do for our family as it has created experiences, that are worth much more than what we spent.
But you know that little voice in your head that sometimes questions your actions? “Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this…we are spending so much money and we should be careful, because we want to leave a legacy for the kids and grandkids?”
Then I remembered this concept from years ago, that makes a lot of sense to me now. It’s called Live Better, Leave More.
There’s a type of policy out there called a Second-to-Die life insurance policy. It insures two people, and it pays no benefit on the first to die, but only pays the benefit on the death of the last one to die. These policies were created for very wealthy people who need liquidity for death taxes which are only due when the last of the two people pass away. But today, there are no death taxes unless a married couple has more than $23 Million…and trust me…that is not us, nor is it most of my friends.
But because the insurance is on two people and since the price is really based on the healthiest of the two, and the one who is expected to live the longest, it is reasonable in cost. So, my wife and I have purchased one of these policies, to guarantee that we’ll leave a legacy when we’re both gone.
Owning this policy gives us a sense of freedom. In our budgeting, we just must be sure we have enough money to pay for the basics (food, shelter, internet, cell phones), and this policy. The rest of the money is ours to spend during our lifetime, on other things that make our lifetime meaningful and fun.
For us, that is family vacations, holidays, gifts, and education. We believe these family experiences will probably be an even better legacy than the inheritances the kids will eventually receive. And even if, over our hopefully long lifetimes, we generously and joyfully spend most of our savings and IRAs, that money will be replaced, at our eventual death.
Turns out it’s a smart tax play also, because leaving an IRA is taxable to them, and life insurance is tax free.
If you’d like to explore this idea and see how it could work for you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-569-7666 and leave a message and I’ll get right back to you.
Here’s to good times,