Options for Investing a Family Inheritance

A family inheritance provides an unexpected windfall, but you might not know how to deal with inheritance money immediately. If you're smart about investing inheritance money, you can reap the rewards far into the future. Consider this inheritance advice if you're not sure how to invest your inheritance:

Consider How You Want Your Inheritance Money to Work for You
Do you want to access your inheritance money periodically, or do you want to set it all back for retirement? Do you want to earn a regular income on your inheritance money, or are you content to let it sit and build itself? What tax bracket are you in, and do you need to set up your inheritance investments in some sort of low-tax scenario?

If you're not sure about the answers to these questions, it's probably time to consult a financial professional for inheritance advice. The tax implications of an inheritance alone are enough to make most people seek professional advice, but the different ways in which you can make an inheritance work for you warrant examination. If you're not sure how you want to use your inheritance money, a financial professional can help you examine your options and offer sound inheritance advice.

Invest Your Inheritance Money for Long-Term Goals
If you're investing your inheritance for long-term goals, such as retirement, you can afford to take a broad range of approaches. You should always diversify inheritance investments; for a long-term approach, you might want to put some of your inheritance money in stocks, some in mutual funds and some in bonds. Consider dollar-cost averaging investment methods so you don't invest all of your inheritance money at once, only to lose it in a market decline. You could also use your inheritance money to set up an IRA against future need.

Investing an Inheritance for Short-Term Use
While it's a good idea to invest inheritance money for long-term savings, you might want to invest a portion of it against short-term need. If you think you'll be buying a house or may have other need for your inheritance money in the short-term, consider investing in a money market account or Certificate of Deposit. Money market accounts offer better benefits than straight savings accounts, while CDs give you better interest rates but tie up your cash short-term. A combination of these investment types is ideal if you're investing inheritance money for use in the near future.

Investing Inheritance Money to Provide an Income
Many people don't want to use their inheritance money immediately, but they also don't want to let it sit around and wait; instead, they choose to invest inheritance money to provide an income. You can do this in two ways: investing in an annuity or investing in a rental property. Annuities are much lower-maintenance than dealing with a rental property, but they can have higher risk potential and may not provide as much immediate income or long-term equity as a rental property.

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