Do You Plan On Dying Broke?

Dying broke isn’t a bad thing, unless you were broke long before you died. I’m not saying that money will make you happy, what I’m saying is money helps you live a less stressful life, especially during the latter years. This question goes out to all of the people in the personal finance community – readers, writers, and those just getting their financial feet wet – do you plan on leaving legacy wealth? Or, do you prefer to die broke? Let’s explore each option.

Legacy Wealth

I tend to lean more towards this camp than dying broke. Perhaps that’s because I have a child, or maybe it’s only because I have a child. It’s difficult to know how I would feel if we didn’t have Mini Monster, since we started on our FIRE journey after having her in our lives for quite a few years.

I also have a hard time thinking about spending all that money that I sacrificed to build up over the years to reach financial independence. I certainly don’t think we will live like paupers when we hit our goals, but I certainly don’t want to blow through it all on fancy dinners and travel – that’s not to say I won’t do those things on a much more frequent basis than I do them now 🙂 We will hopefully find a balance that fits us AND our bottom line.

Die Broke

spent it allThere is certainly something to be said for building wealth and enjoying the fruits of your labor by blowing through it all before you croak. I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea of checking out and not leaving a nice chunk for my child (possibly children). But again, I know that not everyone feels the same way I do – and that’s okay.

C’mon all you Die Broke Believers! Let’s hear it! 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nurse on Fire Jun 9, 2016, 10:05 pm

    While it’s ridiculously unlikely that I will ever amass enormous wealth like Warren Buffett, I love the quote he uses with regards to leaving his children an inheritance. I would love to be able to leave our son/grandchildren/great-grandchildren 😐 with enough to do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing. Like some others have mentioned, I hope to live long enough that my son will be well into his golden years himself. If not, then at least already retired (by 30???), so maybe he won’t need the money.

    All-in-all though, who knows what old age will bring? Maybe I’ll spend my days wandering around the streets in my underwear, mumbling to myself, and handing out Ben Franklin’s until they’re all gone! 🙂

  • Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor May 16, 2016, 3:33 pm

    I’d like to leave a modest amount for our children, and I think we will, but I haven’t thought terribly hard about this yet. I’m just trying to get through potty training! It’s good to think about, though.

    • Mad Money Monster May 19, 2016, 6:48 am

      Yeah, I hear you. It’s funny, when I wrote that post I wasn’t adding up how old my child will be when I die (assuming I live a nice long live). If that’s the case, my daughter could be in her 60s. No need to leave a huge chunk of change to someone who is probably already retired themselves. Ha. There could always be grandchildren, I suppose 🙂

  • Anonymous May 12, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Dying broke for sure–but how does one do that exactly? I think the target keeps moving because there is no way to know when you will die.

  • John May 11, 2016, 8:40 am

    I don’t plan on dying broke because I don’t know when I (and my spouse) will die! It would be great to leave an inheritance to my kids, but I don’t feel OBLIGATED to do so. I’d love to be able to help them out, but not at the expense of my wife and I living in dignity until our final day.

    Interesting post to think about!


  • Thias @It Pays Dividends May 11, 2016, 7:02 am

    I don’t plan on dying broke, mostly because I think I would die from the stress of seeing my bank account heading towards zero at the end of life!

    If at the end of our life we still have our nest egg, then we will find the most efficient way to pass it on but if we use it up while living a life that gives us joy, I am just fine with that. I have confidence our daughter will find her way whether we leave her legacy wealth or not!

  • zeejaythorne May 10, 2016, 12:51 am

    I plan on donating to three women I admire, who run incredible nonprofits that actually accomplish things and to my college, which gave me so much. I do not have any dependents, but money is a tool.

  • sabbaticalia May 9, 2016, 10:03 am

    Hmm. I guess I fall into the same camp as my parents: prefer to die nearly broke, with the main legacy from university and the launch into adulthood. Family on both sides live healthily into their eighties, so any “legacy for the children” would simply buff retirement preparations and pass through to college expenses for grandchildren.

    • Mad Money Monster May 9, 2016, 10:25 am

      Yeah, I guess if you’re going to live a long life it isn’t as satisfying to leave 60+ year old “children” legacy wealth 🙂

  • The Personal Economist May 6, 2016, 10:59 pm

    Mmm interesting question. Hopefully we would leave our owner occupied property to our kids assuming we can live off other assets. But I won’t feel obliged, I think a parents job is to bring their kids up well so they can look after themselves. It is interesting too because my life expectancy is 93, my kids would have to be 60+ before they’d get it! And with health costs increasing it might be used up by then.

    • Mad Money Monster May 8, 2016, 5:10 pm

      You are so right! I guess I haven’t given much thought to how old my child(ren) will actually be when I check out. Good point!

  • thejollyledger May 6, 2016, 9:30 am

    Absolutely not! Mainly because how do you plan for such a thing and also because I would like to leave some money behind for my child (or grandchildren!). I don’t know why exactly, it just feels right to me.

    • Mad Money Monster May 6, 2016, 4:12 pm

      I agree. It just feels like I should leave money for my daughter.

  • youmeanme May 6, 2016, 6:47 am

    Those are interesting points. I’m not quite sure where I stand. I don’t have kids but I suspect if I did I may follow my parents’ path: our inheritance was the four years of university. Anything else has been and will be a bonus.

    My.plan is to have a very different financial future than my parents’ present so I don’t know where I’ll land on this.

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