They married sixty years ago when both were barely out of high school. They raised four children on the ranch she inherited from her parents. I heard him described as, “He was ugly mean. He didn’t like anyone, not even himself.”
Right before he died, five years ago, unknown to his wife or kids, he secretly sold all but eight acres of the ranch and immediately took a mortgage out on the eight acres. Today, the wife and disabled daughter live below poverty level while the church helps them buy gas for home heat and groceries.
You might be thinking they squandered the wealth, but the truth is, they never saw one penny of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he received from the sale of her parents ranch, plus the wife is responsible to pay back the mortgage. The transaction was legally recorded and the land transferred.
Yes, this story stinks fishy, and it isn’t 48 Hours or Dateline. It is one of many sad but true stories.
It makes me wonder why someone works hard their whole life, accumulates wealth, and then chooses not to leave it for the benefit of someone or something. It makes no sense to me. This guy must have been exactly as described, ugly mean, plus majorly lacking intelligence, logic, or compassion.
As for myself, I want to accumulate wealth to be debt free, leave my kids with enough cash to pay some of their bills and then enjoy each other on a trip to Venice where they can toast my life stories with good champagne from a gondola.
My husband said, “I am going to enjoy life to the fullest and spend all of mine.”
My parents surprised their five daughters with an equal distribution of their modest savings. We were shocked; we didn’t know they had excess to share.
My husband’s parents, who both lived well into their 90’s, spent their savings on their end-of- life care.
Whatever you choose in accordance with your values, don’t bury your wealth in a tin box. Trust your family or financial confidant with answers to who, what, where, when, why, and how. Don’t run the risk of being remembered as ugly mean, illogical, loveless, or stupid.
Value your mental wellness and those who share your life, then decide and disclose what your wishes are, before you die.
Why do YOU accumulate wealth?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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