What Not to Do When a Financial Windfall Happens

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Imagine this: You suddenly learn your Uncle Jack has died and left you a sizable sum. Sounds like a dream come true, right? Movies often portray it that way; a sudden bonanza pops up out of the blue and saves the financial day.

But reality can be quite different. It doesn’t take much for that beautiful dream to lead to a living nightmare, a squandered opportunity that will never come again.

We all hope to receive a dazzling, eye-popping bonus at work one day. Or have a piece of real estate skyrocket in value. Or, yes, have a relative pass along a sizable inheritance. That unexpected stroke of good financial luck is called a windfall. And as a wealth manager, it is your responsibility to help your clients handle this unanticipated bankroll.

I write a lot about helping people be smart with their money. This is a prime example of how you can provide an invaluable service. When your bank account swells, that new BMW is within reach. A big boat looks tempting. It’s possible to book that long-dreamed-about getaway to Tahiti.