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Unexpected Cash

Not many of us will win the lottery, but some may receive unexpected cash by way of a severance package or an inheritance. Be aware of emotional stress; the feelings that come with a lottery win are quite different than those from a severance package signaling the end of your career or an inheritance from the loss of someone close. Investing in a short-term or cashable GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) will give you time to consider what and how your lifestyle may change. Funds will be accessible when you are ready to proceed, but not accessible enough to burn a hole in your pocket.

Get professional advice; depending upon your age and the amount you receive, it may not be possible for you to quit working. You will need to determine what lifestyle you desire and how much you will need to fund it annually and ongoing. A net worth statement, listing your assets and liabilities, and a cash flow projection should be done before you make any impulsive purchases or changes. Your advisor can assist you with this.

You may find that you have unexpected friends and long-lost cousins inviting you over for a barbeque, not to mention close friends and family that may not understand your responsibility and sensibility. You can decide how much and to whom, but you also want to ensure that you don’t become an ATM (bank machine).

If you do want to help someone, consider setting up a trust and having the income stream go to the person you wish to aid; that will still leave you in control of the principal allocated, while ensuring the lump sum will not be ‘blown’.

You may find that you can’t say no to any charity that calls on you; setting up a charitable foundation or purchasing a charitable giving fund will allow you to decide how to allocate funds to various organizations while providing structure and allowing flexibility. Having a plan can help to comfortably provide for the rest of your life, and to provide a lasting legacy for your children and grandchildren.

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