windfalls and inheritances

Don’t count on a windfall.

You should not plan on receiving an inheritance, windfall, or lottery at all. Money isn’t yours until it is yours. They can also be spent, wasted, or donated to charity before the money gets to you. Do not spend money you do not have.

Do these things if you receive a large windfall:


Well, you can tell your spouse and any financial advisors, but it’s best to not share with other family, friends, or anyone else, especially for a larger windfall.

Get educated on saving and investing.

Watch these videos on the Bogleheads investment philosophy

Read and digest the US Personalfinance wiki article “How to handle $”

Read The Bogleheads managing a windfall article. It’s a good resource for how to handle large inheritances or other windfalls.

Read several books from the reading list.

For larger windfalls, consider reading one of these books:

Sudden Money: Managing a Financial Windfall by Susan Bradley and Mary Martin

Sudden Wealth: Blessing or Burden? by David Rust

Windfall: Managing Unexpected Money So It Doesn’t Manage You by Maria Brill

The Windfall Club: What to do When Life Deals You a Good Hand by Janne Ashton

Protect yourself

Be careful about who you tell, especially for large windfalls. Take your time making a plan. Learn how to invest your own money, lower your costs, etc. (see above). Don’t burn through your money (buying cars, living an expensive lifestyle, housing you can’t afford longer-term, risky investments, gifts, etc.). Fund those things as a part of your regular income and budget, not from the windfall. If you have income, use the extra money to boost your retirement savings.

*Informative Posts, from r/personalfinance *

“You just won the lottery. A gentleman’s guide for handling the money that you didn’t earn nor deserve.”

/u/BlakeClass commments on “you just won the lottery