A Financial Windfall

Receiving a large amount of money isn't all fun and games. How to avoid pitfalls.

Financial windfalls by inheritance, lottery winnings or insurance proceeds can be both a blessing and a difficult challenge. With new opportunities and possibilities come pitfalls and challenges.

1. First, consider an overall strategy

  • Identify your key goals and priorities for this “sudden money.”
  • Think about what can this windfall do for you in the short and long-term.
  • Distinguish how you want to impact the “Present You” vs. “Future You.”

2. Reflect on Emotional and Family Dynamics

  • Do you feel anxious or guilty about receiving this windfall?
  • Will you receive pressure from friends or family to share the wealth?
  • Will you make gifts to family, your kids, or charities?

3. Don’t Ignore Tax Issues

  • Do you understand the differing implications for lottery winnings, inheritance, gifts, insurance proceeds, and business buyouts?
  • Will you receive cash or assets?

4. Examine Personal Debt

  • Do you currently have personal debts, credit card balances, student loans or a mortgage?
  • Do you know what the interest rates are on each?
  • Does your strategy include paying down debt?

6. Formulate an Investment Strategy

  • Do you know your investment "Speed Limit?”
  • Align any investments with Long-term Objectives
  • If you receive assets (stocks, bonds, real estate), are they appropriate for you?

7. Avoid Lifestyle Creep

  • Differentiate between personal discretionary and essential spending
  • Decide if increasing your spending is needed or simply wanted.

For more on this topic and a deeper dive into avoiding pitfalls of a financial windfall, please check out our podcast by texting “Windfall” to (314) 597-1477. For more information visit

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