Coming into money
Receiving a financial windfall means facing some complex decisions, financially and personally. Before taking any action, consider how this windfall can affect your life. We’re available to help you plan wisely and make the most of this opportunity.
Congratulations. Now what?
Pause to assess your situation and set goals before spending any of your windfall. Consult a tax professional about tax consequences and an estate planning attorney to create or update your will. This is an exciting time, but don't go overboard; live within your means and use your windfall to build a solid financial base.
Taking the first step
Take your time before rushing into any financial decision:
- First, put your funds to work in a low-risk, fully liquid investment like a savings account or money market fund.
- Savings accounts are insured by the FDIC (up to $250,000), providing a level of safety that is not available with many other types of investments.
- If your total is greater than $250,000, we can provide additional options.
Taking care of taxes
Your windfall may be subject to income taxes:
- Most gifts, inheritances and trust distributions won't be subject to income tax when you receive them.
- Tax laws are complicated though, so it's best to seek professional advice.
- Find out how much you may need to set aside for income taxes and determine what will be left for investment or other uses.
Invest or pay off debt?
Which should take priority? There's no simple answer. Here are some guidelines.
Consider investing if:
- Your debt carries a low interest rate
- The interest on your debt is tax-deductible (mortgages or student loans)
- The proposed return on investment is greater than the interest you are paying
Consider paying off debt if:
- You're paying a high interest rate
- You have trouble with current payments or need to increase monthly cash flow
- You are carrying credit card debt or a car loan which is not tax-deductible