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Community Foundation of White County

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  • Leslie Goss

How Much is Enough?

Planning an inheritance has been, in essence, fairly easy for many Americans. Most have long assumed that “we’ll leave it all to the kids.”

Yet, these days many children tend to be just as successful, or even more so, than their parents. As a result, some parents have begun to realize that the long-standing formula of rearing children, living frugally, and saving as much as possible to leave an inheritance has changed.

As Americans, we are living much longer, using our own assets much longer, and accumulating more than any other prior generation. By the time our children inherit family savings, they may well have made their own lives and fortunes – oftentimes in a business or town far removed from their own hometown. In many ways, this increases the importance of estate planning and in fact, offers new opportunities for inspired and meaningful asset distribution.

The intergenerational transfer of wealth statistics for the United States over the next 50 years are astounding; in White County alone, an estimated $313 million in assets will transfer within the next 10 years. It is important to handle that transfer intentionally and responsibly.

The question then becomes, how much is enough? How much is enough for me and enough for my children? How might I expand the potential impact of my assets? What is important to me? What can I do to communicate that message to my children and grandchildren? In a country where “more” always seems to be the answer to any money question, none of these answers come easily.

Planning an inheritance these days requires knowledge, passion, and commitment. First of all, it requires you to list the people and things that are important to you. Think big. Think wide. Think creatively!

If someone handed you a million dollars today and said that you had to spend it all – but none of it on yourself – what would you do? That question might be a good place from which to start an estate planning conversation with yourself!

That conversation can lead to many others – with family, friends, your professional advisors, and the Community Foundation of White County. What are your passions? What opportunities might you have to make a lasting difference in someone else’s life? With careful and thoughtful planning, you can probably do more than you ever dreamed possible – and still take good care of your family.

How much is enough? I don’t know. What I do know is that your Community Foundation is committed to you and to this community – and that together, we can strengthen and transform White County for an even better future.

For more information, contact Director Leslie Goss at 574-583-6911.

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