I'd rather have a pot of money than an empty lot.
November 10, 2011 3:49 PM Subscribe
I spent a large chunk of inheritance money on a real estate purchase, and now I want it back. My husband doesn't agree with this feeling. There are of course special circumstances and emotions involved.
About a year and a half ago, my father passed away. His death was expected and I knew in advance that I would receive a certain amount of money as an inheritance. What I did not know at the time was that he had an additional life insurance policy with my brother and me as beneficiaries, and we each essentially ended up receiving double the inheritance we had expected.
I had already had a plan for the amount I expected to receive, which involved spending a certain amount and saving a certain amount. When it turned out there was more than I had originally planned for, it opened up new opportunities. One thing I ended up doing with a large chunk of it was buying a piece of real estate with my husband. We paid cash for a piece of property with a tear-down house, and have since shelled out a few thousand dollars for the demolition of the home and some landscaping work. We now have a garage left on the property which we have talked about adding an apartment to, and the option to build in the future if we'd like.
While my father's death was no surprise, the array of feelings and circumstances I have found myself in since his passing have left me feeling at time a bit adrift. For instance, immediately after he passed away, I left my job of several years, took the summer more or less "off" and then started graduate school, only to decide I did not have an interest in the program I was pursuing. So, I ended up going back to my old job but after a year I am again ready to move on and would really like to take a few months to spend time with my family on the opposite side of the country before again pursuing something that I am truly interested in. It is my feeling in retrospect that I minimized the amount of time I would need to really let myself feel my way through the grieving process, and I have spent a large amount of time in the last year and a half trying to work very hard and stay very busy, but I see now that if I had just let myself have more time to process and think about what was really important to me, many of my choices might have been different.
I am feeling very much like I wish that I had not spent the money on the property at the time we did. I feel as though I took money that had been left to me as a gift and turned it into an investment for my husband and myself, but which I would personally rather get the benefit from now. This of course gets blurry when I start trying to think through the ins and outs of "our" money vs. "my" money, but it may also be helpful to clarify that we only married a little over a year ago and all of this is new.
I feel like if I had not spent the money on the property I would have an additional safety net now that I do not. My husband feels like it was a good investment that we can leverage in the future and he thinks I am being impractical to have a desire to spend some of it freely. I cannot figure out if I am just being too emotional and would like some outside advice and perspective.