Sometimes when I'm watching a game show I feel that if I won some money, even a small amount, it would change my life. I'm one of those people who would go on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and be happy just walking away with $16,000 or $32,000 rather than attempting to go for the whole million.
I am right. Money can change one's life (or at least make certain things easier). In no way am I saying you'll be happier with more money. I don't believe for a second that money can buy happiness. However, it can make things less stressful if you're smart about it.
My dad and mom made some good investments during their lifetimes. This turned out to be quite a blessing when Mom had to move to assisted living. With all of Mom and Dad's investments, including the sale of their house, we probably had enough to take care of Mom for 6 or 7 years, so that was a comfort.
Mom would have hated to know that the money she and Dad had saved would be paying for her to stay in a place she initially hated. We were glad we had that money, though.
Obviously Mom's death made the use of that money null and void as far as her care was concerned (although we used a portion of it for her funeral and burial, any unpaid medical costs, and her remaining taxes, none of which was nearly as much as I would have anticipated). We have been actually been quite blessed by what remained to be split among her four children. All told, each of us has ended up with about $86,000. And that is life-changing money.
Mom (and Dad) would be delighted to know that the money they intended to pass on to us would be used for the betterment of our lives. And it will be, I hope.
I, for one, have been able to pay off my student loan (which I've been paying for the last seven years) and put a down payment on a brand new car (I've never had a brand new car until now). Jonah and I hope to take a trip somewhere and maybe make some improvements to our home, things we've dreamed of doing but never had enough money to really do. Instead of feeling like I'm living paycheck to paycheck, I finally feel like I can save some money away for our future.
My sister, who has been drowning in debt since she got married, may finally have a chance to get on top of things if she and my brother-in-law are smart about it. And maybe she, too, can take a vacation, which she's not really had a chance to do too often.
My brother and his his wife can help pay for their son's wedding and their other son's mission and maybe make some good investments.
My other sister and brother-in-law, who have been through bankruptcy themselves (mostly due to my brother-in-law's first wife's medical bills) now have enough to make home improvements and support their family.
It truly is a blessing, and Mom and Dad would be so happy. My parents were two of the most generous people I've known. They would be overjoyed that all they worked for is helping their kids and grandkids. And it's a gift that will keep giving (for a while at least). Mom and Dad have oil and gas rights inherited from my grandfather and grandmother (who smartly invested as well), and we'll hopefully get about $2000.00 a year each from that as well until the wells eventually run dry.
I miss Mom and Dad every day, but they left us a great legacy of good values and a nice financial one to boot. It is such a blessing for this struggling artist.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.