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Voice of Experience

Voice of Experience: August 2023 | Where to Live

Spend It All

Bonnie Michelle Michelle Smith


  • It is important to live life to the fullest and not be afraid to spend one's assets rather than leaving them for heirs.
Spend It All
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Since COVID, I have had an increased number of people coming in my office to do death, probate, and asset sales. For many of these folks, I knew the deceased and helped them with their assets and planning.

I have clients who have scrimped and saved and planned for their surviving relatives.

Do you know what the first thing these relatives do? SPEND IT ALL.

Yes, these lovely legacy heirs immediately upon the death of their beloved relative, liquidate the whole kit and kaboodle. They don’t save it. They don’t wait for the market to become better on the rental houses, they liquidate everything right now. They sell it and spend it all.

So, to quote my dear, deceased Cousin Vickie, “What are you saving it for?” She told that to her would-be beau in high school back in 1970 in rural Georgia, who wouldn’t have relations with her. He told Cousin Vickie he was saving it. Cousin Vickie in her quick wit that she maintained the rest of her life until she died of liver complications, quipped back, “What are you saving it for?”

So, my dear friends I ask you- What are you saving it for? Your assets I mean. And well that too if you are so inclined to give it away. If your heirs are going to spend it all, shouldn’t you? I mean then they can sell what you bought and at least you can have had a lot of fun.

Death is inevitable. We either die a little every day or we live. We should spend our days, our time, our energy, and our money on what makes us happy. If you want chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, buy it. Eat it. Spend it. Enjoy it. Eat the entire pint of ice cream if you like. Savor every spoonful.

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. But when we woke up today, we have that. I love to read Thich Nhat Hanh’s books. According to my favorite, Vietnamese, Buddhist monk, “When we live our lives on autopilot and keep our mortality buried, we take much of life for granted and may end up having regrets.” Thich Nhat Hanh, from his book, No Death, No Fear.

Have no regrets. Spend it all. Enjoy yourself. Buy what you want. Do what you want. Travel where you want. Eat what you want. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. But do you know what is guaranteed? Your heirs and beneficiaries will have no problem or inhibitions spending what you saved.

Spend it all. There will be some left. And if not, Cousin Vickie is right, what are you saving it for?