Ask Terry Questions Inheritance/Investing


By Terry Savage on October 23, 2023 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi Terry,

I have been blessed to be named beneficiary of estates from my grandmother, aunt and uncle. This included inherited IRAs, now in my name and being managed by a financial advisor, life insurance, stock liquidation and real estate sale proceeds. I also was left a life estate in a home so I do not have a mortgage. This has enabled me and my husband to save about 20% of our net income each month. We’re 34 and currently have no children but that may change in the future. The home we live in is older and needs a lot of updating as well but we’re content and in no rush. We spend modestly and our combined income is around $150k and we both contribute to employer 401k plans. I have a bit of student loans left so I figured I could pay those off. Since I was given an incredible leg up I have saved up a fairly large chunk of cash and I’m wondering how I can make the most of this money? We opened a joint tenant account with the financial advisor and have been making deposits in there. How do you feel about platforms like Fundrise, Groundfloor, etc.? What other financial instruments would you recommend to help build up a good safety net and for retirement?

Terry Says

Wow, that’s like winning the lottery. And I’m happy for you, not only because you suddenly have this money, but because you are trying to plan for the future.

My first question is how you found your financial advisor, whether he is a FIDUCIARY (promising in writing to put your interests first) and how much you are paying this advisor. You should ask and he/she should put that in writing. If not, get a second option through a fee-only FIDUCIARY advisor by clicking on this link to Wealthramp. It can’t hurt to get a second opinion.

Obviously, your first priority should be to pay off those high rate student loans. That will save you a small fortune in interest over the years.
Second, you should really see an estate-planning attorney to arrange how to title those assets (in a Revocable Living Trust), so if something happens to either or both of you, you will have the proper documentation. You have assets now, and have to plan for the future! Perhaps the attorney who handled your family estates can help. If not go to to find an estate planning attorney near you.

Right now, there is no rush to invest that chunk of cash until you create a long-term plan. Most financial advisors these days get paid by commissions (which you might not see) or by a total of ‘assets under management.’ So your ‘advisor’ might not like this advice, but temporarily at least you should open a TreasuryDirect account and buy 6-month Treasury Bills, currently paying about 5.5% with total safety.
Read this article on how to do that — without any help from any advisor:

Take your time. Interview several advisors. And trust your instincts. With fee-only Fiduciaries, it’s hard to go wrong. Again, these planners are not trying to sell you anything! That’s the place to start. And please feel free to write back if you have any questions.



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