Retired at 40

SteveR said:
It is just the way she feels about it.  I will accept whatever may be left but will put it into a trust for my grandkids (if I ever have any). 
I bet a lot of people are having this conversation with their parents.

It might be worth asking her to modify her will to include your kids (her grandkids) as contingent beneficiaries via a trust. That way she could leave everything to you (to make her happy) and you'd have the option to disclaim your inheritance, at which point her will would direct those funds into a trust for the grandkids.

That's what my grandfather & father did for me and it worked fine for a small amount of money. But you'll definitely want to discuss your situation with an estate/tax lawyer.
 
[Don't blame you if you don't want to  but would you mind share at least a ballpark picture of your financial situation?]

We received a settlement of approximately 2.6 Mil after attorney's fees.  400K was placed into a deferred annuity which will provide a lifetime income stream in 6 years and will provide a college fund for our kids once they reach college age.  Annuity is completely tax free as it is income received as part of a personal injury which is not taxable.  Interest rate for annuity was about 6.5% which I thought was favorable considering it is 6.5% tax free.  The remaining cash was placed into Vanguard funds split about 65% stocks 35% bonds.

Since a considerable amount of time passed (about 2 years) between the injury and the settlement, we had plenty of time to research investment options and whether we should hire a financial planner.  We decided to go the most cost efficient route as possible and manage the money ourselves putting most of the cash in low cost index funds and municipal bonds.

It wasn't easy taking the retirement plunge at such a early age but so far we have no regrets.  The multiple retirement calculators on the web certainly helped us feel more comfortable with such a long retirement phase as did Vanguard's Personal Financial Planning service which was free of charge since we invested such a large amount with them.
 
   I've been away for a few days and am sorry I haven't been able to contribute before this to what I believe is a very relevant thread (though I may be biased as it hits so close to home). So in no particular order I have some first hand experience with aforementioned posts.
   "bloodmoney".
    Thats what my Irish/Italian catholic mother called my brothers small insurance settlement upon his suicide. She wouldn't touch it and I struggled with this philosophy greatly upon my wifes death (not a suicide). A friend put it more reasonably..."life insurance is for the living..." she said. There's a great deal of wisdom in this, we'd planned for a worst case scenario and it cracked me upside the head. I get absolutely no pleasure from the benefit, other than it allows me time with my kids. I take a 75k annual loss in income by staying home, and its worth every cent. I know if it were me that had died I would hope for nothing more than to have my wife care for our kids (not daycare or the relatives). I wouldn't call myself ER'ed, but hey, at least for a coupla hours during the day I can pretend.
   Everybody's expectation is different.
   My inlaws are much wealthier than my side of the family. Their response was "you can't "retire" on THAT !". My mother (depression child) insisted I go back to work, "a jobs a job and hard to come by these days". I've never come clean on the $ to my side of the family 'cuz if they heard the number I think in their mind I'd be rich; to my inlaws its not enough. For me its enough to get by and care for my lovely girls and thats all that matters now.
   Sorry for the long post...wish I could condense all I'm thinking into a sweet sound bite. PS Martha, I knew there was a reason I related to your posts.
   
 

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