Today there are a number of ways you may find yourself suddenly with a large sum of money.
Besides winning the lottery, you may come into money through inheritance, life insurance payouts, selling your business. This can also include if you have sudden success as a professional athlete or in the creative arts, like a musician or an actor.
Coming into money can turn your life upside down overnight, and not always in a good way .
Some people handle this fiscal change with grace and ease, and others end up feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and in some cases financially self-destructing. We have all heard of stories where lottery winners are completely broke within a short period of time, people blowing through trust funds, former sports professionals now bankrupt and living in friend’s houses and rappers whose houses have been foreclosed on. I have personally watched families self-destruct and be torn apart by money too. So in this post I want to offer some guidance on how to handle this fiscal change in your life with intelligent grace.
How to get used to your new your fiscal status
So perhaps you’ve come into money, and suddenly you find yourself drowning in a sea of questions and possibilities, so to help you get back your equilibrium here are a few things to help you stop from spinning out of control.
1) If you are feeling overwhelmed - Take a Breather
This may seem like over simplified advice, but sometimes you need a moment to pause to let this
financial shift in your life settle in. Aside from addressing timely or urgent financial decisions, take a day, a week, even take a month if you need, but go about your life as if nothing has happened, to help you feel normal for now. If you think about the money, reassure yourself, you don’t have to come up with any answers until you are ready.
This is especially critical if you received the money through an inheritance. Give yourself a break, be kind, you have potentially faced a sad loss and need to honor those emotions before anything else.
2) Build your team of Trusted Wealth Advisers to help you create a healthy wealth plan that supports your dreams and goals
Once things have calmed down a bit and you feel more centered, gather together the trusted wealth advisers you need to help you manage it all.
Your Wealth Advisory team should include:
1. Attorney (example - Estate Planning)
2. Financial Advisor
3. Certified Public Accountant
4. Wealth and Transformation or Empowerment Coach/ or Therapist
Critical factors when choosing your Wealth Health Advisers:
+ Are they already successfully serving clients with their wealth advisory experience and education?
+ Do they have experience working with clients in similar situations and fiscal status as you? Don't be shy, ask them for recommendations from their current clients – and then pick up the phone and see what their current clients experience with that advisor has been.
+ Are they a good fit for helping you achieve your personal and fiscal goals in life?
A word of caution: Never make an emotional decision when choosing your wealth advisors.
It is really important not to hire someone as a wealth advisor because you feel bad or guilted into doing it. Just because your Uncle Joe is a CPA for some small businesses, does not qualify him to know how to best serve your needs. Advisors have to not only be someone you can trust, they should also be great at what they do for wealthy clients, to help you keep and grow your money.
Fortunes have been lost by trusting the wrong people. Don’t let this happen to you.
In fact, my own grandfather hired the wrong financial advisor, who stole a half a million dollars from him before it was discovered. Needless to say he was more cautious about the next financial advisor he hired. So at an early age, I learned about how critical it is to select the right wealth advisors.
3) Decide what to tell people about your financial change
One of the things you may be excited, nervous or stressed out about is deciding what to share with your friends and family about your new financial status.
There are so many unknowns you face when you have these conversations about how your fiscal status has changed and what that means to you… and what that means to other people in your life too. The best place to start is to ask yourself the following questions, and keep working on the answers until you feel comfortable with what you would say.
Some Questions you might think about :
+ Should I tell everyone, or if not, who do I want to share this with?
+ What will I tell people who are asking me why I am quitting my job, or no longer working?
+ What if someone asks me what I do for a living?
+ What if a family member or friend asks me for money and I don’t feel comfortable about it, what should I say?
By preparing and coming up with answers to questions like these, even before someone asks you, you will feel more comfortable answering when you are asked. So whether you write in a journal or practice answering these questions in front of a mirror, by practicing how you will reply or have that conversation will make it a lot easier.
One more word of caution: It can be risky telling strangers you are wealthy
Although the world is full of wonderful people, there are a lot of bad seeds out there. There are some who will steal from you through false investments, or literally break into your home, or even try to steal your identity if they know you are wealthy. So I would caution you to be discreet about who knows you have come into money. For example - social media is not the right place to announce your new wealth!
If you follow the above 3 steps, you should be well on your way towards getting adjusted to the changes, challenges and opportunities that come with having wealth suddenly come into your life. Don’t worry once you have your trusted advisors in place, and you get your personal equilibrium back, you will get to a “new normal”, a life with money. And then you can be free to focus your life on your passions and purpose.