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Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money!: Getting The Most From Your Investments in Retirement by Paul Merriman

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Chapter 16. My 500-Year Plan

Diamonds are only lumps of coal that stuck to their jobs for a long time.

B.C. Forbes

If you are fortunate enough to have surplus funds left when you complete your life, there is an enormous opportunity to do some things with this leftover money. It's called estate planning.

Attitudes are gradually evolving about the ways people leave money to their heirs, and my own views have changed over the years. I have decided that when I finally must leave this life, I don't want my estate to simply write big checks to my children and grandchildren. I want the financial results of my life's work to amount to more than lump-sum bequests.

Encouraged by the possibilities of the ideal portfolio described in this book, coupled with the variable withdrawal schedules we saw in Chapter 13, I have devised a 500-year plan for my money. Unfortunately, I won't be around to see how it works. But here's the overall plan: I'm going to leave money in a way that will supplement my family's own income and (I hope) will also give them opportunities they wouldn't ever have otherwise. And my estate plan will ultimately provide continuing support to charitable causes that I believe are worthy of this money.

This plan is the result of a great deal of thought and discussion, and I know it's not what most people would want to do. I'm sharing it with you in the hope it will stimulate your own thinking about the legacy that you may want to leave.

In the 1960s, when I first began working with ...

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