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Appreciating An Inheritance

Some of the unhappiest people in the world are those who have mismanaged an inheritance.

Bryan Hirsch




You’ve received a great inheritance, but want it to last. What should you do? 

Coming into an inheritance may seem like the end to all your problems and the beginning of all your dreams. Depending on the size of the inheritance, this may indeed be the case. No matter what the sum is, though, an inheritance needs to be approached with caution and must be managed wisely to ensure that its potential is maximised.

An inheritance, by definition, is a gain that comes with a loss — the loss of the benefactor. This loss may be painful if the benefactor was a close family member or friend. In such cases, the inheritance will be received amidst feelings of grief and possibly shock, especially if the death was unexpected.

In this type of situation, wait until the worst is over and you have recovered your composure before you make any decisions, because those made when one is in an emotional state are seldom sensible. Even if the inheritance is not tempered by a sense of bereavement, receiving an unexpected inheritance can be overwhelming and confusing. Once again, wait until emotions have subsided before making any decisions.

Avoid hasty decisions

Keep in mind that not all inheritances are equal. Some can be life-changing, such as inheriting millions after years of scrimping and saving. Others are more of a welcome windfall, helping to pay off a mortgage or making a dream family holiday possible.

The first step in managing an inheritance is to assess the amount involved and to understand its potential.

If the sum is large enough, you may want to stop working and live off the interest generated by this. In this instance you will need professional advice to make sure that this is really possible. Even a large amount of money will need to be invested well in order to ensure that it lasts as long as you do.

If the interest from the inheritance is to be your sole income, then it may need to be invested conservatively – and conservative investments do not yield the highest interest. Bear this in mind when doing the calculations.

You may also want to consider still working on a part-time basis, both to buffer your savings and to keep you occupied. Consider all these issues carefully before leaving your job or closing down your business. You need to be very sure that your inheritance will be sufficient to stretch to the end of your life before taking the drastic step of early retirement.

A key issue is your mortgage

There is no point in continuing to make mortgage payments to the bank, along with the high interest involved, when you have cash in hand. This is even truer if the interest you would receive on the money invested after tax is less than that of your mortgage.

The added upside to using the money to settle your mortgage, is that the money is wisely spent and you no longer run the risk of spending it indiscriminately. Similarly, if you do not own your own home, this may be the time to use the inheritance to purchase a property.

Once you are clear of debt, make a list of other priorities: Footing the bill for a family wedding, children’s education or even a dream family holiday. Allocate money according to your priorities and the time constraints of the obligations — a university education may lie further in the future, giving you more time to save, as opposed to other issues which might be more pressing.

No matter what the size of the inheritance, you and your finances will not remain un-changed. Remember that someone worked hard to give you that money, and they wanted you to benefit from it. Use it to improve your quality of life and manage it wisely.

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BRYAN HIRSCH has been in the financial services industry for 47 years and is a director of Bryan Hirsch Colley & Associates. He has written two books, the first Bryan Hirsch’s Guide to Personal Finance and more recently, Steps to Financial Freedom. Bryan has written for many of South Africa’s top financial and business publications, has been a weekly guest on Radio SAFM for 18 years, and has his own weekly TV show You & Your Money on Summit TV.


Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands



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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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Personal Finance

If You Think These 5 Things, You’ll Never Get Rich By The Time You’re 30

Five common mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business and how to correct them.



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Last week, I had lunch with a millennial who wanted some advice about a business he’s starting. After the usual small talk, we got down to discussing his business plan. Within a short time, it was clear that his business idea was great, his plan for executing was fairly solid and he had gathered together a strong team to help him make it happen.

So far, so good. But, to be frank, this guy has no chance of being successful with his current mentality. What it takes to be rich (or successful in any measure) has a lot more to do with your mindset than your ideas and plans.

From the time we started in business at the ripe ages of six and seven, our Grandpa Joe taught my brother Matthew and me many lessons about the details of running a profitable business. Over the years, we learned about how to create a business plan; how to market our products and services; and how to take care of customers, vendors and employees. All this knowledge has been invaluable to us in creating and running successful businesses. But, what our grandfather taught us about attitude and mindset trumps all other lessons.

Without calling out the specific individual I spoke with recently, below are five “hypothetical” attitudes that will get you nowhere in your journey to success – and the attitudes that should replace them.

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Personal Finance

5 Habits That Lead To Millionaire Business Success

You need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

Timothy Sykes




What do all millionaire businesspeople have in common? Well, a lot of things.

I found from a recent study that 80 percent of all millionaires still go to work every single day. They’re working people just like me. But, they have to keep themselves in work or it all grinds to a halt. So what are the habits you need to make your business a success?

1. Patience

Nothing is ever going to come easy. You can look at the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, as well as the other usual suspects, to realize that success didn’t come with their first venture. Many of them failed time and time again. It took patience for them to become successful.

I read an article recently about 36-year-old teacher Andrew Hallam who became a self-made millionaire on a teaching salary. But, in his spare time he invested smart and lived frugally.

It proves you don’t have to inherit lots of money or become an instant success to make a millionaire business.

Related: 4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

2. Dedication

You have to be dedicated to your craft if you’re going to become successful. Going back to Bill Gates again, he started his business in the back of his garage. Now that’s dedication.

It’s what I tell all my students. If they’re not dedicated to this, then they should leave. You need to be able to push through the barren periods if you’re going to reach the oasis of success.

3. Ambition and big dreams

Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”?

I take that to heart because even if you aim to become a billionaire and miss you still might be a millionaire many times over. Take the Wright Brothers as an example. Not content with creating a successful glider in 1902 they went on to create the world’s first airplane in 1903, making four brief flights in Kitty Hawk. It demonstrates the importance of dreaming big because you never know what you might achieve.

Related: 12 Millionaire Habits To Start Making Serious Money Soon And Build Wealth In A Hurry

4. Learn from mistakes

Every good businessperson will mess something up. It’s inevitable. What’s important is how you learn from your mistakes over time. Do you adapt after making your mistakes?

Millionaire businesspeople always set some time aside to reflect. Then they create a plan of action for ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Most failed businesspeople put it down to “bad luck.”

5. Focus on niches

This important! Try to take over a whole industry at once and you’ll inevitably get swallowed up by the competition. Start small and control your own niche before moving into another niche. When you master your small area, you can push on and expand.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to expand after you master your own niche/audience first.

Do you have what it takes? That’s the question I always ask novice businesspeople. You need a plan and you need the right habits if you’re going to succeed.

This article was originally posted here on

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