Inheritance

Warning! Unstructured post ahead!

Some of you may have recently stumbled onto the blog from my recent post on Inheritance Tax on Monevator. If that’s the case, hello, thank you for visiting!

If you’d indulge me, I’d like to share some of the personal element behind that post. Because whilst it is an immense honour to be writing on the Monevator site, it is quite poignant.

The trigger for me seeking the FI journey was not having a terrible job (in fact I was very lucky to have had some really great jobs). Rather, my father suddenly passed away in his early 50s when I was a teenager weeks before my exams. Safe to say it was pretty devastating. I was lucky, however, in that my later father was a frugal guy, and he’d semi-retired in his late 40s from his long-hours accountancy job. (By all accounts he was not a frugal guy in his 20s, being some kind of ‘rolling stone’ who you’d find in some dive-bar in Bangkok).

I inherited some money from him, in the low six-figures but I don’t know how much (because nobody told me or gave me any paperwork, me being a spotty teenager). Thus began my FI journey. Well actually, I had already been saving long before then – I had built up around £20,000 in my own name by saving and working (and believe it or not, sharing some winnings from the National Bingo – yes it’s actually a thing!).

I’ve written about most of these various things before (except the Bingo, as it’s a bit weird) – you can read my FAQs. I’ve always been a bit reluctant to share ‘my personal story’ as I really don’t like talking about myself, to be honest, I’m quite uninteresting. But for some reason, people like to read more about me (the world is mysterious).

Between studying, working and caring for my disabled mother and younger sister I got one of the best educations money can buy – learning about investing from Monevator. Over time, I saved more, invested more and so on. And from that starting point, I kept compounding. Over time, I fell out of love with my job and quit – not because I was ‘Financial Independent’ or ‘Retiring Early’ more that I didn’t want to keep doing stuff I didn’t want to do (I’ve got a confession to make).

After much nudging Mrs YFG got me to start a blog and quite unbelievably people other than my mum actually read it (well, my mum can’t use a computer, so I have to print the articles out and read them to her). I don’t think I’m special or anything. But if I’m able to help some people out there with finances, then it’s been absolutely worth it. I’ve also learned a lot so I’m really glad I started writing.

Anyway, I just wanted to say this. I’m willing to bet there are a number of readers out there who’ve lost their parents and received some inheritance. I just want to say, it’s nothing to be ashamed over or embarrassed about. There’ll always be not very nice people who will belittle you at any opportunity – over anything (your appearance, your hobbies, your gender). The thing is, once you’ve been through some tough things in life, you know what those people say isn’t worth listening to.

I’ll go out on a limb and guess that most people would give every penny they have to get their loved ones back. I would. Getting an inheritance isn’t ‘cheating’ it’s just the aftereffect of a tragic event.

You can only play the cards you are dealt with. My advice is to play them intentionally and not to give a toss when somebody else tells you how to play them.

 

All the best,

Young FI Guy

Comments

  1. I remember in the early days you did share some numbers. And then you didn’t because of what some idiots said, which I thought was a shame.

    Some people just think of others getting inheritances a big bonus but as you say, those people have just lost a loved one.

    As mentioned in my comment on Monevator, i don’t include any inheritance in my plans so if I get zero, so be it. I’d rather not think about my parents dying, even though they will eventually.

    1. Hi weenie, great to hear from you. Yeah I did have that post and then removed it. Numbers can bring out all sorts, and it wasn’t very fun having to read lots of not very nice comments (some quite spiteful). So I thought, why am I doing all this just to deal with a load of hassle? I also thought that it might give the wrong message – that you can only be FI if you get a windfall or earn mega bucks, that probably true for something a bit extreme but, and I’m speculating here, most people are looking to shave a few years off retirement or move into a more relaxed way or working. Finally, I got cold feet on sharing numbers publicly.

  2. I got an inheritance about 11 when my grandfather died. Being involved with the money held in trust by a nice man at Nat West got me to understand investment early. One thing about rather having the parents rather than the money, this is very much personal circumstances.Everyone dies, and many become frail with poor quality of life, so a strong driver of the inheritance process is the elderly wanting to provide that last nurturing gift to their children, and the honour from the beneficiaries in feeling they were thought worthy of the gift.

    Bereavement is a difficult time, handling the complexities of the IHT and probate system while grieving is difficult. But the money can finally solve problems for the living, while it can’t for the dead, and its going to solve the State’s problems seems very remote.

  3. There is of course a big difference dealing with the death of someone in their fifties, and my circumstances watching my father die at 89 having outlived 90% of his cohort. My mother can’t use computers either, and one of my roles caring for her is to do magical things on mine. Handling computers and the modern financial world for the elderly could be a good future article.

    1. Thank you for sharing John. I found your comments really touching.

      You’ve got me thinking about the computers thing. It’s an interesting challenging – how do explain to somebody something that doesn’t really exist? Or at least not in any traditional physical sense. I’m going to have a ponder about that.

  4. Hello,
    As someone posted, getting an inheritance should be regarded as a bonus in
    life, and my thinking is that your first/only line of concern is to tell oneself “how do
    i go forward from this”. My grandmother passed away in 1980 and all 9 of grandchildren
    inherited £1,000 apiece. By the time the solicitor had dealt with her estate, we received
    the sums at the time that BT was coming onto the stockmarket. Since i was young
    enough, and this was something “new” i decided to have a go, and that started my
    interest in making my money work hard for me.

  5. Thanks YFG. Please don’t take the (now deleted) troll Monevator comments to heart. The Peter Pan fan just needs to grow up.

    They are not representative of your readers, who learn from, and enjoy reading your posts. Best wishes, and my condolences.

  6. Every path to FI has its sniping sceptics. Hell, even the idea itself does eg what would happen if everyone did it? Only those who are/have xxxxxx can do it etc.

    So you might not have had the same financial mountain to climb as others, but sometimes keeping hold of and growing your wealth under such circumstances can be as hard if not harder. Hence, various countries have a proverb similar to “clogs to clogs in three generations”.

    Personally, I do have a problem with inherited wealth in general because it can end up compounding social inequality over time and gives those without access to it additional barriers to climb. But I don’t begrudge anyone who has “benefitted” from it – especially those at a very young age like yourself – because that’s the system we have.

  7. Congrats on being a part of the Monevator stable, YFG!

    I’ve been reading FIRE blogs only for a year or so now, but was happy to discover we were already FI due to personality. (Still working part-time though, at 50-ish.) So whether you “splash the cash” or not seems to be natural, and as you say, without inheritance you were still heading in that direction.

    My siblings and I inherited nothing, and it doesn’t make me sad since I have heard so many tales of broken relationships when money becomes involved. We’ve done ok despite that.

    The sniping is annoying – have you seen the recent Guardian entry on FIRE? Yikes.

    All the best to you and Mrs YFG – I enjoy reading your posts.

Have some thoughts or comments? Please share!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: