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When do you die?
Old 12-01-2023, 11:04 AM   #1
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When do you die?

When do you die?

Hmm... I wish I know but the real question is that if you have "enough" and a bit older.. When is a good time to start to give away your money to your kids, relatives and charity?

Some relative lives poor the entire life and died with a massive asset just to give away to someone they don't know really know, instead of helping while they were alive.

I am not saying it's the right or wrong way to do it. Your thought?

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Old 12-01-2023, 11:23 AM   #2
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Guides like Firecalc can tell you when you have more than enough. Then I'd start with gifting small amounts, and ramp that up over time to those who handle the gifts well.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:24 AM   #3
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My dad started gifting to his grandchildren in 2004, and died in 2009. I had him meet with a lawyer and he told dad about 529 plans and printed the word "GIFTING" on a piece of paper.

I started gifting my son in college, first cash, then transferring equities to a taxable account. I want to help a truly good person who wants to teach for a living and, like me, does not want a job/career to dictate all their hours of every day.

Here we are, working to live, not living to work. Gifting and measured inheritance helps that to happen.

My brothers-in-law will get nothing. Heck, they move around state to state, one uses drugs to excess, never acknowledges his only nephew, son why bother with them.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:30 AM   #4
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Gifts I give before death will generally be focused on helping the grandkids. Things like their first car, school (trade or college), first house . . . But I won’t spend down my money in my final years because my main goal is not to be a financial burden on my two daughters. To do that, I want to keep at least $1M to the end if at all possible. Even that may not be enough, but that’s basically my LTC insurance.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:36 AM   #5
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Gifts I give before death will generally be focused on helping the grandkids. Things like their first car, school (trade or college), first house . . . But I wonít spend down my money in my final years because my main goal is not to be a financial burden on my two daughters. To do that, I want to keep at least $1M to the end if at all possible. Even that may not be enough, but thatís basically my LTC insurance.
C'mon Jerry1, just spend down those multi millions to 1 million and you are good to go.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:45 AM   #6
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I'm 80 and still in good shape, but I have buried too many friends and family members in the last 15 years. I'm giving my daughter (the only heir) as much as I can as fast as possible.

I also am working on a notebook with all the necessary up to date info in it for her use when she has to close me out.
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Old 12-01-2023, 11:46 AM   #7
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C'mon Jerry1, just spend down those multi millions to 1 million and you are good to go.
I wish. I have a pension and me and DW have SS. Those pretty much cover our spending. The nest egg isnít $2M so not a lot of cushion.

I do hope I can help the three grandkids secure an education that gives them a base to be successful.
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Old 12-01-2023, 12:19 PM   #8
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Gifts I give before death will generally be focused on helping the grandkids. Things like their first car, school (trade or college), first house . . . But I wonít spend down my money in my final years because my main goal is not to be a financial burden on my two daughters. To do that, I want to keep at least $1M to the end if at all possible. Even that may not be enough, but thatís basically my LTC insurance.
I agree. Almost 10 years into retirement I can see that what I'm withdrawing is sustainable; investments increasing an average of 2.2%/year after withdrawals. I haven't increased my withdrawal rate but have been gifting $15-$18,000/year to DS and DDIL and am putting money away in the grandchildren's 529 accounts out of what I withdraw but don't spend elsewhere. We're also doing a couple of family trips next year that I'll fund.

They know, and agree with, my op financial priority, which is not outliving my savings even if I need long-term care.
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Old 12-01-2023, 12:21 PM   #9
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If you have money to gift, you are probably a saver. Many, but certainly not all, of those who do not have much money are spenders. Changing a spender into a saver is as difficult as you changing from saver to spender. Look carefully if gifting to a spender will enable a destructive habit, such as drug use, gambling, non work, etc. I have seen lives ruined by large monetary gifts. Funding 529s is one way to reduce the chance a spender will put your gift to poor use.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:06 PM   #10
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I started seriously thinking of legacy and gifting about 10 years ago. With various gists from others, and inheritance, we've been able to build something substantial to "play" with.

I thought that it would be enough to just build that account, and pass it on to the kids. But I'm on a quest now of gifting some of that yearly to #1, to balance out the wedding of #2. Sorta, kinda, even...

After a few years of retirement I know we won't be able to spend this down unless we cut loose, within reason.

Time to start thinking of QCD too. Just 2-3 more years until RMD. It's amazing that we worked and saved to this extent.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Enuff2Eat View Post
When do you die?

Hmm... I wish I know but the real question is that if you have "enough" and a bit older.. When is a good time to start to give away your money to your kids, relatives and charity?

Some relative lives poor the entire life and died with a massive asset just to give away to someone they don't know really know, instead of helping while they were alive.

I am not saying it's the right or wrong way to do it. Your thought?

Enuff
In Illinois, a good time to start giving money away is when your net worth hits $4m. Illinois has an estate tax of 16% if your estate is over $4m.

Thatís from a financial standpoint. But really a good time to give money away is whenever you feel comfortable doing so.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:22 PM   #12
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We already have given substantial amounts to kids, one to purchase stock in his engineering company, the other to enroll last child in private school like his 3 older siblings. Just couldn't imagine sending one to public (although it is a HCL area with great schools) while the other are in first class private. So Grandma and Grandpa have stepped in for that.

Our spending has fallen off a cliff since DW experiencing Alzheimer's. Even if I join her and we both need years of memory care there would be 1-2 mm left in large part thanks to pension and SS. In all likelihood we'll help fund college for 6 grandkids. I have no idea how long DW has, but my guess is that while I've taken good care of myself when she goes I'll have lost what little travel desire I have left if still here.. Therapist asked me what I'd do after she passes over. I said probably get another Basset Hound or two (was actually serious). Love the breed, have one now who's a little over two. It kills me that he has developed hip dysplasia so am taking him to state vet school for total hip replacement. It'll increase spending for about $20k!

Just deleted a long paragraph about caregiving. Short version ... it sucks but we had over 51 great years and have a lot to be thankful for. We don't live in Gaza or Ukraine, so there's that. Cheers!
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:30 PM   #13
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Two issues I can think of. You lose step up basis by gifting while alive. The other issue is if you even need Medicaid they do a look back to see if you gave away your money in the last 60 months. If so your eligibility would be delayed as a penalty.
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Old 12-01-2023, 01:31 PM   #14
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No grandkids here. Only one kid, and she is already financially secure without anything from me (having "married well"). Frank and I don't want each other's money while we both live.

So, gifting before my death is not in my plans. The same was true of my parents and all other relatives. No free houses, no free cars, no free college. I had to earn all of it myself. That's how we do things in my family.

It's very important to me to not be a burden on anyone, though. So I'll save what I can, to deal with any unexpected money needs without leeching off friends or relatives.

I finally had a will drawn up last year. So my assets will be taken care of after my death, according to my wishes.

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When is a good time to start to give away your money to your kids, relatives and charity?
In my case, after my death. But YMMV! Different families handle these issues in different ways.
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Old 12-01-2023, 02:26 PM   #15
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We've been w*rking on this for a while. We've been gifting to kids and our charities for many years - yet the "pile" keeps growing. Only real issue is whether we might just need some for LTC (over and above our LTC policies.)



We've been upping the giving for several years and intend to keep doing so as we age. We had that thread on "Giving with a warm hand" recently. That's our goal is to give our excess BEFORE we die. No major desire to up our spending level - other than meeting the significant inflation of the past 3 years. Heh, heh, that's already a "good" way to get rid of some excess money!
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Old 12-01-2023, 02:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
I'm 80 and still in good shape, but I have buried too many friends and family members in the last 15 years. I'm giving my daughter (the only heir) as much as I can as fast as possible.

I also am working on a notebook with all the necessary up to date info in it for her use when she has to close me out.
Me too... In the past ten years the DW and I have given my DD a new car, bought her a new house and gift her the max allowed (w/o reporting) each year. Sometimes I wonder if this financial treatment has made her lazy, (maybe it has) but she will inherit enough that it really doesn't matter. Wish, I had it so easy back in my day.
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Old 12-01-2023, 02:48 PM   #17
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Weíve been gifting to our 2 children for the last 6 years and will continue to do so. They are in their 40s and it feels good to be giving money to them at a time when they will appreciate it more. Both have proved themselves to be very responsible with money, both are good workers, and in particular it makes our sonís life much more comfortable.
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Old 12-01-2023, 05:37 PM   #18
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Weíve been gifting to our 2 children for the last 6 years and will continue to do so. They are in their 40s and it feels good to be giving money to them at a time when they will appreciate it more. Both have proved themselves to be very responsible with money, both are good workers, and in particular it makes our sonís life much more comfortable.
This is what my parents have been doing (started when I was in my mid-30s), both my brother and I weren't expecting it and had established comfortable lives that we enjoyed so the gifting didn't throw us off being financially responsible. For me the money just meant I could invest more, which was great over the last 15 years. My parents really enjoy the fact that they get to experience the impact the gifting has on our lives.
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Old 12-01-2023, 07:43 PM   #19
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No kids here, but I gave my niece a down payment for a house and will be trickling cash to her over the coming years. I'm holding on to a big chunk in case DH and I need to hire some help or need LTC someday. But I do want to help my niece some now because her parentsómy brother and his wifeóreally short-changed her by having no financial plan for their lives or for helping her. She is marginally responsible with money, so I don't want to give her too much right now though.
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Old 12-01-2023, 09:55 PM   #20
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My main concern is that DH and I will have enough for LTC and be comfortable in our old age.

We give regularly to charity, and have spent plenty raising the kiddos (schools, tutors, camps, sports, vehicles, clothes, computers, medical, free room and board after graduation) and, in fact, delayed our retirement to give them good, debt-free starts. They've been given some gifts along the way (including for weddings), and we will continue to do so for occasions, and to help with grandchildren, but I'm in no rush to seriously deplete our assets to support offspring whom, at this point, should be perfectly capable of supporting themselves.
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