A financial windfall like a lottery win or inheritance is not only about new possibilities, but also about money shock. How to deal with it and turn the sudden money into lasting wealth?
Why can sudden money turn into a living nightmare? Unexpected cash infusion may derail a person’s emotional stability. Many people don’t realize the size of the windfall may be not enough to satisfy all the goals they have in mind. So, if you lose your head, it’s easy to skip something really important. Also, you may experience feelings of guilt and fear, pressure from your family and friends.
You don’t have to get a really big sum of money to start experiencing money shock – 4 months’ worth of salary is enough.
Take some time for cooling off
You need a 6-10 months’ pause to adapt to the money shock and fully understand the limits and the possibilities of the newly found wealth. It’s not uncommon to overestimate it – the fact due to which so many lottery winners fail to prioritize their goals. Certificates of deposit may be a safe way to park the money till you’ll be able to deal with it.
Think of any emergency situations you have. Having funded them, you need to make sure that you’ve got an emergency fund. Many people already have one, but if you don’t have a dime in savings, that’s what needs your attention first.
At this point you need to act judging from the amount of your newly found wealth. Credit card debt might be your priority, but if it’s going to eat up all the money, don’t clear it up at once. You need to have some money saved for an emergency; otherwise it’s hardly possible to get out of debt. Choose the credit cards and loans with the highest interest rates.
Invest in your future
How many windfalls like this can you possibly have during your life? This may be a chance of a lifetime to safeguard your future. Some of the long-term goals you may consider include saving for retirement, getting a degree or educating your children.
To create an investment strategy, you may need expert help. A financial professional will help you estimate profitability index of projects you’re considering.
Experts recommend spending around 10% of new wealth on yourself. This doesn’t mean only purchasing things, but also something that can give you a memorable experience.