Updated on 06.05.14

Reader Mailbag: Kickstarter

Trent Hamm

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question.
1. Facebook alienation and human interaction
2. Save or pay debt?
3. Thoughts on inheritance
4. Privacy and blogging
5. Slow student loan repayment?
6. Parenting blogs
7. Loan or no loan?
8. Savings versus complexity
9. A “getting started” checklist
10. Third child

For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is a website where people or groups can pitch a project for funding from the public. For example, you might have a game you want to publish, a book you want to distribute, or something else.

The site allows people to ask the public for support of their project. For that support, supporters are usually given some sort of reward: a signed copy of the book, an early release copy of the game, and so on.

Kickstarter has become my (no longer so) secret passion of 2011. I love the entrepreneurial spirit. I love the great ideas people come up with. It’s just fun for me to browse the projects and watch human ingenuity and creativity at work.

Q1: Facebook alienation and human interaction
Earlier this morning I was reading an article on the New York Times (source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/technology/shunning-facebook-and-living-to-tell-about-it.html?_r=3&hp=) about people who refuse to use facebook. Their reason is that in this modern day and age, they feel its actually driving a wedge between their closest friends and themselves. Where once they would call one another, now they shoot a quick message on facebook. Instead of calling to announce something, they would just post an open message announcing it. After giving it some thought, I actually agree with them a lot. I know you frequently write about the value of friendships and relationships, so what are your thoughts? Do you think that social media like facebook helps, or hurts our relationships with other people over time?

– Dale

From my perspective, Facebook is roughly as personal as a phone call. With a phone call, I can’t see the person and I can’t share an experience with the person. Quite often, I find myself leaving a voice mail, which means the conversation isn’t synchronous. Phone calls do have the voice element to them, but as with Facebook, you’re still chopping away big pieces of communication when you can’t see someone.

Both Facebook and phone calls are trumped by face-to-face interaction, though. With that, you get the full experience: you can see the person, you can hear the person, you can share ideas, and you can share experiences.

For me, the sole purpose of Facebook and phone calls is to lead in some way to face-to-face interactions. It’s nothing more and nothing less than that.

Q2: Save or pay debt?
I live in Costa Rica in central America, I’ve always lived here and probably will always live here so there’s no going back to usa to live or retire.

I’m married and have two kids a 3 and a 9 year old, our currency is the costa rican colon, and the exchange rate is approx. 510 colones to a dollar.

My financial situation is this. (All the money I’ve translated into dollars for ease of explanation, but we use colones.)

My salary is 4000 dollars per month take home pay this is after taxes and retirement (a pension plan), my wife brings about 2100 dollars a month after taxes and retirement, our living expenses including mortgage and car payment, school for the kids, food, entertainment etc is about 2500 dollars/month.

My savings are about 36000 dollars in cash, my debt is 33000 left on my home with a loan at 14% (the rate is high because is in colones not in dollars) with 14 years to go, mortgage is about 500 dollars a month, also a car loan of 28000 dollars at 6% (this is actually in dollars, I know our rates are insanely high) with 8 years to go and a monthly payment of 455 dollars including insurance. I have no cc debt or any other debt.

I am able to continue saving about 1800 dollars a month, I know that there might be a chance (50%)my income will go down to about my expense limit in early 2014, this means I’m going to be able to cover my expenses but not save, only about 200 dollars a month.

Also education for my kids is not very expensive here, Medical school for instance can be about 20000 dollars for the whole career, I’m also saving about 100 dollars a month toward college for my kids.

My question is this. Should I:
(1) continue to save $1800 every month (I can get about 8% in a CD, our stock market its not good)
(2) pay down my house (which I don’t intend on living for the rest of my life as it is, I want to either buy a new one or completely remodel mine in a period of 3-5 years, my house has about 100% equity which means that’s worth double what my original loan was)
(3) Pay down my car loan (In Costa Rica the cars depreciate not as bad as in the usa but pretty rapidly)
(4) A combination of the above, and if so in what %
(5) Or something else

– Ron

If I were you, I’d follow a very simple plan.

First, I’d set aside about $1,000 for an emergency fund. This would help you in the event of a personal crisis or other such issue.

Next, I would take the rest of your savings and apply it to eliminating debts that are above the 8% you can get in a CD. I would start with that 14% mortgage. I would just eliminate the whole thing with your savings.

If you have all of your debts eliminated that have an interest rate higher than the CDs available to you, then I would return to a focus on savings. As long as you’re getting a return that’s higher than the interest rate on your debt, keep saving. If your debt interest rate is higher, pay off debt.

This will get you into the best financial shape for the future, I think.

Q3: Thoughts on inheritance
I was just wondering…how much of the the economy and growth in the U.S. depends on inheritance (in your opinion)? People dying, other people getting their money/house, adding value to it, then passing it along when they die? And I don’t mean millions of dollars in inheritance–even smaller sums like a few thousand dollars. I feel that I hear an inordinate amount of stories from people who are only able to have a down payment for a house or fund their child’s education due to an “unexpected” inheritance from a late family member. Is that really how money works from a bird’s eye view?

– Jessica

I think that receiving an inheritance from a parent or grandparent that passes away is a fairly common thing, and that people who receive such windfalls often put it towards a major purchase, such as a house down payment.

I think the entire process of parenting, from the birth of the child to the death of the parent, is a transfer of wealth and other resources from the parent to the child. Obviously, there are things that an adult child can give back, particularly late in the life of the parent, but the largest transfer is from the older to the younger.

That’s always been the case, I think. Since the earliest civilizations, resources have been kept within families. Farms, homes, and other assets were passed from parent to child and on down through the generations. What you see with such inheritances is just the modern version of that.

Q4: Privacy and blogging
You mentioned that you shut down your popular parenting blog due to “privacy invasion issues.” Can you tell me about some of those issues — specifically, what advice do you have for other bloggers who are trying to maintain a balance between being open/transparent and protecting their privacy?

– Ellen

In 2005, I started a parenting blog as I prepared for the birth of my first son. I continued it after his birth for a while, into early 2006, when I made the decision to take it down. There were a few personal threats made toward me and my child that went beyond what I consider normal internet “trolling.”

My suggestion to new bloggers is twofold. First, never post anything on your blog that you would not be perfectly comfortable with a stranger knowing about you. Hand in hand with that is to be extremely careful about what you post regarding people besides yourself. I often edit specific details of people I know and specific situations in order to protect the privacy of people I care about. The Simple Dollar isn’t about invading the privacy of people.

Second, get a thick skin. If you start writing about yourself and gain any degree of popularity, people are going to come out of the woodwork to say negative things about you, often unbelievably negative things. People can and will try to hit you where it hurts. Most of the time, they’ll use a curtain of anonymity to do it. My advice is to just ignore most of, if not all of it. There are sometimes valuable things that are said in there, but if it’s truly a valid concern, it will become apparent in other ways.

Q5: Slow student loan repayment?
My fiance is moving from San Francisco to New York in a month to begin grad school. I had hoped to move with her but I don’t want to change companies and my ability to move with my current employer is in doubt. As a result, I will be moving back in with my parents for perhaps as long as two years when she will graduate and move back to SF. At that point we would get our own apartment again.

I was planning on saving a good chunk of money to help pay down her debt, or save enough to reduce the amount she would have to borrow in her second year. At the very least I was thinking I would be able to pay a big chunk of her debt (15 to 20K) right as she exits school. I was explaining this to a friend recently who said I should research because I may be able to write off loan interest.

My question is two parts; 1) Is my friend’s assumption true and is there upside to paying off debt slower? and 2) Is it better to not spend that money on paying down debt so we can use it toward a down payment on a small 4 to 6 unit apartment building (my dream) or our first house (more realistic). I’d expect we might look to buy a home in as soon as 4 to 5 years.
– Leo

If I were you, I’d hold onto the cash until you’re ready to buy a home together. One big reason is that you’re entering what is going to be a challenging period for your relationship.

Long distance relationships are very difficult to maintain – I’m speaking from experience here – and you don’t want to have invested a lot of money into paying off your partner’s loans only to find that your relationship has not survived.

If you do find yourself together after this period, then I’d sit down and figure out what your shared goals are and what your realistic job opportunities are. These will provide you the clues you need to decide what to do next.

Q6: Parenting blogs
Question for you – do you have any parenting blogs that you read on a regular basis? I’m a new parent, and now and ex-pat, and am looking for a few to keep me motivated in that part of my life.

– Kristy

I had a lot of parenting blogs that I used to read that slowly went defunct over time. It’s very hard to keep the fuel behind a focused blog over a long period of time.

The one blog I’ve enjoyed for a very long time that’s still going strong is Parent Hacks, which I occasionally link to in my weekly roundup. I find useful tips there all the time and I often find myself searching through the archives for ideas.

I don’t read most of the “big” parenting blogs that people often mention.

Q7: Loan or no loan?
I am going to school for my MBA (Master’s of Business Administration). My work has a policy to where they will pay for my schooling, but I have not heard a definate answer one way or another. The VP has approved it but the President has not, and until the President approves it, I may or may not get reimbursed for it. My dad has offered to pay for school until work pays me back, if they do so. If not, then i’ll owe my dad for the tuition. My dad is about to retire in the next few years, so I feel bad taking a loan him, especially since if work does not pay for school, it’ll take me a couple years to pay my dad back. My question is this: should I take my dad up on his offer or go ahead and take out a student loan to cover the remainder of my MBA? Oh and a few other things, my dad “gifted” me first semester’s tuition already. I don’t have a whole lot of credit either. I am working on that with my first credit card this year. A secured card. I have zero debt. Would a student loan boost my credit? is it worth the risk, if work doesn’t pay for school? Or should I take the “safer” route and take out a loan from my dad?

– Ed

First of all, I wouldn’t borrow money from your father who is on the verge of retirement. I’m sure that he’s quite willing to loan you the money, but this is a time where you need to stand on your own two feet and not inject a lender-borrower relationship into your relationship with him.

That being said, if I were you, I’d probably directly ask the company president about the situation before I do anything else. If he denies it, then you’re working for a company that doesn’t stand by their word and I would start looking elsewhere for work, because they’re likely to change their mind about other things, too.

If you’re forced to take a student loan, that’s not necessarily a bad outcome. Student loans do help your credit. They can just feel like an albatross around your neck after you graduate and get your first post-graduation job.

Q8: Savings versus complexity
Over time I’ve picked up specific credit cards that offer a 5% discount at specific locations, two airline cards, and three general cash back credit card (1% on everything plus 5% on rotating categories). In total I have 10 total cards and charge roughly ~$1000/month combined on the cards. So over the course of a month I can “save” between $10 and $50, but I add a lot of complexity to having to pay multiple cards at the end of the month and I worry that any “savings” that I get will be eaten up by the first mistake I make when I miss making a payment. The additional time isn’t major (maybe 15 minutes a month to pay the bills online) but how do I put a cost on the mental energy that that keeping track of this requires. I have a spreadsheet where I record all of my spending (and have for the past 3 years, a marketer’s dream) so I know what needs to be paid every month, but that doesn’t stop me from worrying that a mistake will still be made. I really think that I need to find a way to look at this issue just beyond any potential financial savings, any advice or suggestions?

– Martha

If this is causing you significant stress – and it seems to be – then it’s not worth the $10 or $20 a month that you’re saving due to this plan.

If I were you, I’d simply decide on the one card that seems to rack up the most rewards for you based on how you spend, then just use that one card for everything. I would then close most of the other cards, keeping only the card I’ve had for the longest (to help with credit history).

For me, playing such games has never been worth the time or the concern about mistakes made.

Q9: A “getting started” checklist
I’m about to graduate with a bachelor’s and go to law school. I’m also about to get married. Up until this point my parents have been so supportive and generous even to a fault. As a consequence I haven’t thought too much about money or done much about it. Considering I’m going to be really on my own soon I was wondering if you could offer a concrete checklist for people who are just starting out. I think this would be helpful for a lot of people.

– Jim

One could write a “checklist” a mile long in this case because there are so many variations and contingencies in the type of situation that you describe here.

If I were you, I’d hit the library and check out a few books targeting your position in life. Two books that immediately come to mind are Automatic Wealth for Grads by Michael Masterson and Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach.

On top of those, I’d also read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. It’s the book that changed my life in terms of my finances.

Q10: Third child
I read a few of your articles and found them very interesting! we are also trying to pay off debt AND decide about a 3rd child. I notice you decided to stop at 2 but then changed your mind? What did it?

– Jessie

Sarah and I had long ago decided to have all of our children relatively close together in age so that they would feel roughly like peers as they grew older – or at least have a sibling or two that they could consider a peer.

Sarah had a very close relationship with her sisters, particularly one that was born less than two years after her. I had a more distant relationship with my siblings, mostly because the closest one to me in age was nine years older than me. We wanted a dynamic more like the one she had with her siblings.

As time passed after our second child, we just kept talking about this subject more and more, and we basically decided that if we were going to actually ever have another child, we were either going to do it now or never do it. I think the immediacy of it convinced us to just go for it.

Got any questions? Email them to me or leave them in the comments and I’ll attempt to answer them in a future mailbag (which, by way of full disclosure, may also get re-posted on other websites that pick up my blog). However, I do receive hundreds of questions per week, so I may not necessarily be able to answer yours.

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  1. Tom says:

    Q5, you won’t be able to write-off your fiance’s debt until your married. She probably can write it off of her tax forms in the meantime. However, once you are married, up to $2500 in interest paid can be deducted in most cases, I think income limits apply. You do not have to itemize deductions to take it, either, which is nice. That is a bit of an upside, but realize that you’re still effectively paying interest on a loan. The tax deduction, strictly from a balance sheet perspective, doesn’t make paying it off over time “better” vs paying it off immediately or ahead of schedule.
    I agree with Trent’s advice, wait until you’re married and living together to start making money decisions involving tens of thousands of dollars.

  2. Steven says:

    I largely despise Facebook for exactly the reason stated: it’s a replacement for real interaction. I have 200 “friends” on Facebook, but hangout with 2 of them. Really? By comparison, before Faceboook, I was hanging out with numerous friends on a regular basis. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and people are settling down into family life, but I really feel that Facebook has damaged human interaction. The same is true for text messaging. People don’t call anymore, they text. Why?

  3. Des says:

    I am a Facebook refuser as well. I signed up for an account back in 2007 and never really used it. Then when I logged on again I realized that they had been displaying my email address and phone number IN THE CLEAR by default! Who does that? Default setting should always be to hide personally identifiable information unless otherwise instructed. There is no way I can trust a company that would miss such a basic internet security premise. It would be like eating food from a cook that didn’t know the difference between salt and sugar. Really? If you don’t get that, what else don’t you get?

  4. AnnJo says:

    Martha @Q8,

    Canceling 8 or 9 credit cards, as Trent suggests, could give your credit score a major hit. And it isn’t necessary to relieve your stress.

    My advice isn’t for everybody with credit cards, but you obviously track your credit spending carefully and spend strictly within your means, so in your case, I would automate the payments. Every credit card I’ve ever seen can be set up for automatic payment directly from your bank account, and that is what I have done, to make sure I never face interest or a late charge.

    Auto-payments can be set up to pay in a fixed amount each month, to pay the minimum payment due each month, or to pay the entire balance due each month. Assuming you set the fixed payment high enough, any of the three options will avoid late fees. The last option will avoid all interest, also.

    In fact, I’ve done that with just about every payment that allows it, including insurance, property taxes and some utilities. Some bills, like car or homeowners insurance, charge a “service fee” if you don’t pay the annual bill in full, but will waive the service fee if you pay monthly by direct deposit.

    Even though I used to be pretty good at handling bills, it seemed like at least once every year or two I’d manage to get over-busy and miss a payment deadline, incurring charges. That hasn’t happened in years now.

    You can also set up your credit card account to send you an email alert with your balance due at statement closing and another alert when payment is about to be made, so that in the remote chance that you suffer fraudulent charges, you’ll catch it and can dispute it before the auto-pay happens.

  5. Riki says:

    AnnJo — do you provide your account information to the companies in question, or do you originate auto-payments yourself through online banking?

    I’ve always hestitated to give outside parties direct access to my bank account but I definitely see the benefit of having auto payments.

  6. valleycat1 says:

    Q8 – It sounds like you’ve already figured out that now the stress of having all those separate payments hanging over your head is higher than whatever added rewards you’re receiving.

    I’m with AnnJo that setting up automatic payments would reduce that stress. You could also test using just one or two cards for a month or two – you don’t have to use every card you own every month. If you find that works for you, then you could decide whether to close some of the newer ones – if you’re paying an annual fee, you wouldn’t want to just keep them without using them. If I had several that pay a minimum reward (1 percent) on a variety of purchases, I’d probably keep one & get rid of the rest – it doesn’t really make sense to have multiples.

  7. Daria says:

    I am also a facebook refuser. I have had my kids tell me that friends of mine have contacted them to find out about me and where my facebook page is. My kids tell them that they can email me if they want to contact me and what my email is. They don’t bother. I don’t hear from some friends anymore because I don’t do facebook. The friends I remain in contact with will call, they email, and we get together. That’s a friendship. To me, if you can look someone up and post short messages on facebook, then you can send a short email message. It takes the same amount of time. I also don’t like that you can see a facebook page and get information about them and they don’t know you have visited them if they have not kept on top of their privacy controls. My nephew, who disowned the family, finally set some strict privacy controls. Prior to that, we could all visit his facebook page and keep tabs on him without him even knowing we were visiting. My mother, who is in her 80’s, says she no longer sees friends walking along the beach. They are inside sitting on their computers with facebook. They aren’t even getting their regular exercise anymore.

  8. AnnJo says:

    Ron @Q2,

    Yikes! Trent’s advice misses what could be the most critical aspect of your financial planning – currency stability.

    According to Wikipedia, the Costa Rican colon has lost more than 50% of its purchasing power versus the dollar in the last 10 years, and that ignores the fact that the dollar itself has lost value in relation to other major currencies. I visited Costa Rica in the early 1980s and, although I may be mistaken, I think the colon was at something like 35 to the dollar, losing more than 90% of its value since then.

    I know that Costa Rica was recently supposed to go off its controlled devaluation versus the dollar, but even if that happens it’s not likely to solve the basic problem, and the risk remains.

    You can’t invest for the long-term under those circumstances without taking the stability of your currency into account. You’re expressing your question in dollars, but you must be investing in colones if you’re getting 8% interest on a CD. I would strongly urge you to become knowledgeable about investments that allow you to diversify your currency risk.

    I would find a solid (as far as that can be determined) financial services firm that does business in Costa Rica (I’d guess that American Express, Schwab, Fidelity and Vanguard probably do) and look into putting some of your investment money in a dollar-denominated account with a mix of U.S. and international mutual funds including some commodity funds.

  9. jim says:

    Q2 Ron: I agree with Trent that paying down that high 14% interest loan would be a good priority. However I wouldn’t empty my bank account entirely. I think if you keep a good 6 months worth of expenses on hand then use the rest of your money to pay off the loan that would be a good idea.

    Q3 : No inheritance doesn’t drive the economy that much. The economy is about $14 trillion a year. Total inheritance in 2006 was about $200 billion. Median inheritance was about $30k. Lots of inheritance is just transferred to a remaining spouse. Lots of people have no assets. Most people don’t spend much of a larger inheritance right away. Most of it just goes into the bank or stays in investments or assets. I’d bet only around 25% of the inheritance actually flows back into the economy so thats around $50B or 0.3% of GDP.

    Q5 : Best not to pay off anything until after you are married. After marriage it depends on the situation more. If the student loans are fairly high % and you have assets to afford other things then go ahead and pay em off. If the loans aren’t high % and you struggle at all then don’t be in a rush to pay em. THe interest on student loans may be tax deductible but thats not really a reason to pay interest.

    Q8 : I agree with AnnJo about automatiing it. Why not set the cards for auto-pay? PUt a $1000 buffer in your checking account then setup the cards to all pay automatically. Then you don’t have to worry about missing a payment. If you’re worried about access to your bank account then you can setup a separate account just for that. Then setup automatic transfer into the separate account from your main account. If you can get up to $50/month extra that seems worth a little card juggling. Apparently you’ve felt its been worth it for some time. 10 cards is a lot though, can you not narrow that down to the best 3-4 maybe? You can probably get almost as much rewards with the best 3-4 as with using all 10.

  10. AnnJo says:

    Riki #5, I provide the account info to the credit card company and set up an alert to notify me by email of when a statement closes, a couple of days before the auto-draw will happen and in what amount, and when the payment is posted and in what amount. You can set up an auto-pay via your bank’s bill-payer service, but only for a fixed amount, not for the total outstanding balance or the minimum payment due.

    If you pay your credit card account via check or bill-pay, they already know your bank account info. In fact, if the card is issued by your bank, depending on your agreement I believe they have authority to take money out of your account to pay the credit card whether you authorize it or not, if you’re delinquent and they want to.

    I wouldn’t authorize direct draws for individuals or most small businesses, even if I trusted them, just because they can’t afford the computer security that the major credit card companies and banks can afford. Not that theirs is perfect.

  11. getagrip says:

    Q3 I don’t see inheritance being a driving force in the economy. I often hear about the big windfalls or the major debts dispropotionately to what I’ve seen with most of the family and friends I know, where they get something that may help them fund their kids college or pay off some debt, but isn’t necessarily a game changer. In many of the cases I’ve seen people inherit a bit of money, a lot of stuff of questionable use or value, and not much else particularly if they have more than one sibling or the parent had a lot of medical issues the last few years of their lives.

    Q5 I’ll echo not paying any loans off for the fiance since as already stated you can’t take the tax deduction for her debts unless married. I’d just save, if the relationship survives two years on different coasts, great, if not you didn’t lose anything. Also speaking from personal experience, I was away from my fiance for over a year with a job and more money and opportunities than I’d ever had, and we survived. But I saw other relationships that seemed just as strong early on fall apart.

  12. George says:

    “You don’t knowingly give your phone number and email address to marketing companies do you? So why are you using Facebook?”

    Facebook is an evil money-grubbing empire making a profit knowing marketable statistics about your life and invading your privacy. Just say no and use regular email or make a phone call.

  13. Karen says:

    Facebook is a tool. If used in a thoughtful manner, it can greatly enhance relationships.

    I joined, despite privacy concerns, in order to keep up with my far-flung nieces and nephews. Now I have far more interaction with them than before Facebook. The same is true for my entire (small) friend list: neighbors, huge family, colleagues in the music business around town. We use FB as a tool to keep up with the mundane bits of daily life. I know when Friend S is having a very bad day, and I can call her, or offer to babysit for her. I know when Nephew C is homesick at college and I can message him. I know when Friend M has had a fabulous day at work and I can share her joy with my comments.

    It’s in sharing those experiences, relating them to one another, that strengthens the bonds of our relationships. Facebook, as any tool used well, has improved my relationships.

  14. Riki says:

    Through facebook, I’ve been able to connect with other photographers all over the world. I’ve made new friendships and even found incredibly skilled artists to critique my own work. Social network is an incredibly powerful too.

    That said, never forget that we are the product facebook sells. We are definitely not the *real* consumers.

  15. Christine says:

    To the questioner that asked about parenting blogs-I would recommend The Frugal Girl. It’s not exactly a parenting blog, but she does blog about parenting, frugality, home-making and homeschooling. She does have a religious slant, but she is not overly religious or pushy about it. SHe states her beliefs but also recognizes that others have different beliefs. It’s kind of like a life blog and its very uplifting.

  16. steve in w ma says:

    Rather than paying off your fiance’s student loans, if you have the scratch to get into investment property (rental units) I would focus on that. Obviously, you need to run numbers on both scenarios though. This may also mean delaying marriage because once you are married her debts will count against your assets.

  17. tentaculistic says:

    Q10 – about having a third baby, I just wanted to chip in a thought. In my family of 6, we had 2 generations of 3 kids, separated by a big age gap. In both generations, 1 of the 3 kids was always the one on the outside, the one left out.

    Kids can be, and often are, mean – but in this case you’re responsible for setting up the group dynamic that plays out in any group of 3, kids or adults or even animals. If there are 3, only 2 will be allied. Even if there are shifting alliances, there will always be one person out, even if the “out” person changes.

    Obviously they’re not still crying into their beer about that, but it… lingers. Is a wound from childhood. Colors later decisions and feelings.

    So my advice is to always have even number of kids (and space your kids as evenly as you can). 2 kids, or 4 kids, o4 6 kids. None of this 3 kids or 5 kids stuff.

  18. Q3: I am wondering if inheritance is going to be less and less of an issue at least for any but the upper class. IE unless someone dies before they retire with a fairly quick death, I doubt there will be any inheritance. Most people I know will retire, and in the end the nursing home, etc. will get the majority of their money, especially as people are living longer and longer and health care takes up more and more of a seniors income. I have a feeling that my generation, with parents in their 60s won’t see any inheritance. (Not that I am complaining. I think it is a fact of life. My grandmother felt it was so important to leave an inheritance, I don’t see that myself.)

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