164. Ask Tori: What Do I Do with an Inheritance?

June 20, 2024

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We’re back with another Ask Tori episode! If you’ve ever wanted to know what to do with a huge sum of money like an inheritance or the proceeds from the sale of an asset then stay tuned! In this episode Tori tackles questions on what to do with a windfall from selling a property, strategies for managing a sudden influx of cash, and the best financial products for short-term goals. She also addresses more personal financial dilemmas, such as dealing with a partner’s pride in financial education and managing inherited IRAs without triggering high taxes. Whether you’re navigating a major life change or simply looking to improve your financial literacy, this episode is for you.

Tune in to learn:

  • What two things you need to have in place before investing  
  • The one thing you need to make sure of when paying extra money towards a loan
  • Where to put money you will need in the short-term (less than 7 years)
  • How to handle a partner’s ego when it comes to money-management
  • The steps to take when moving money out of an IRA 

Notable Quotes

“I’m your money mommy — therapy is in session!”

“I think gender rules f*ck men up just as much as they f*ck us up as women.”


≫ 00:00 New York trip recap

01:36 Ask Tori: Home ownership and selling a house

03:27 Investment strategies for when you have extra cash

06:37 Ask Tori: Moving to Australia and financial planning

09:55 Ask Tori: Partner’s reaction to learning from women

21:07 Ask Tori: Inheriting an IRA

25:01 Conclusion and resources

Mentioned in this episode:

The Financial Game Plan podcast episode

Her First $100K’s favorite money tools

Stock Market School

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Tori Dunlap:

Hello everybody, welcome to the show. I didn’t turn my mic on, so I just had a full nearly 10 minutes of me talking and doing what I was supposed to do for today’s episode and the mic was on, it was just not selected, and so it was coming from my internal mic on my computer and not the good podcast mic. Do you know when you do that, when you’ve done an hour’s worth of work and then it doesn’t save on God damn Microsoft Word, and then you’re just like “Fuck”. And you just like, “I don’t want to redo this again. I don’t want to start”. And then you just get so discouraged, that’s where I’m at. That’s where I’m at right now. It’s okay. I’m excited to see you. I was just more excited to see you and I was already 10 minutes in so I didn’t have to repeat myself, but you wouldn’t have known unless I told you.

I just want you to know that even the professionals, the people who get paid the big bucks, sometimes don’t select their proper microphone. And my poor podcast team is just like banging their head against a wall. But you know that’s what happens sometimes when you leave me alone to record. It’s my own fault. It’s my fault I didn’t check, I should have checked. Anyway. I teach women how to be good with money and fight the patriarchy doing it. You know that. This podcast is expensive to produce and clearly expensive because Tori’s wasting her own God damn time. So the easiest way you can support the show, if you like it, is subscribing and sharing it with your friends because it’s free for you, but expensive for us. We’re going to take your questions today. We’re doing an Ask Tori where I answer your voicemails. And if you want to submit a voicemail for a future show, the link is down below.

So you can do that and I can potentially answer your question. I actually did this recently. I hosted an entire hour of live radio on SiriusXM. Did this a couple of weeks ago. Oh my God, it was thrilling. It was so thrilling, but also very scary because I was convinced nobody was going to call in. We had an entire hour of calls and we didn’t even get to all of them, so that was really cool. So this is a version of that except pre-recorded because, again, Tori doesn’t know how to use her God damn microphone. Okay, first question, talking about home ownership and selling a house.

Speaker 2:

Hello, Tori. I am calling because I bought a property in 2020, not my primary residence, and I am now selling it closing in less than 30 days for roughly twice what I bought it for. This means that I’m going to have a very large amount of cash coming my way very soon, and I do not know what to do with it. My only debt is my current home that I live in, and it’s not enough money to pay off that debt. However, I’m wondering if you could advise on how to potentially pay down that mortgage or loan so that my overall month to month expenses are lower, making it easier for me to work less hours in the long-term / short-term. That’s my goal. I’m going to be having a baby soon and I would love to return to work part-time. Or if that’s not the right direction to go, and maybe I should be looking at other things that are more beneficial and can turn around in a better way for me. Thank you so much, I’m compelled to say have a great day. Bye-bye.

Tori Dunlap:

Okay. So first of all, congratulations on an investment that literally doubled in your asset. That’s just fucking crazy that we went from a certain rate in 2020 to now doubled. Okay, so I’m going to take the first part of your question and apply it to anybody who’s listening. We do get this question a lot. It might not be I bought a house and I’m selling it for double what I paid. It might just be I’m getting extra money, I’m making more at work, or I have a windfall of cash somehow. We’ve answered the inheritance question on previous episodes, but maybe that’s you. I always say to go with the game plan, the financial game plan, I have an entire chapter on it in my book. It’s chapter three. You can also listen to episode five of this show for the TLDR version.

But basically it’s like, okay, you got some extra money, first of all, we’re going to do that emergency fund. We’re going to contribute and either beef it up a little bit or if we don’t have the emergency fund already, we’re going to contribute more to it. So that’s the first thing. Second thing is if you have credit card debt, we’re going to work to pay that off. We’re going to work to eliminate that credit card debt. And then finally, if you don’t have credit card debt and you already have an emergency fund, we’re going to invest it for our own retirement. And then work to pay the lower cost debt down things like a mortgage or student loans. Normally that’s what I would just tell you. However, you put a helpful wrench in the equation, which is saying, “Hey, Tori, but I want to go part-time, I think, with work and I want to lower my expenses monthly so that I’m not paying as much”.

What you need to do though is check and make sure that you paying off or paying down your mortgage is not just shaving years off, but actually making the monthly rate cheaper. So what I mean by this is let’s say you have a 30-year mortgage and you’re able to get it down to five years. Well, that’s great because ultimately you’re paying less over the long term, but it doesn’t help you immediately because you’re still paying the same amount every month. Does that make sense? So I need you to actually make sure, and you can just call whoever your mortgage is through and check and make sure that, okay, if I contribute money, this is actually going to lower my monthly cost as opposed to my years if not decades long cost. There’s benefit to lowering your decades long cost, but it doesn’t solve the problem that you’re presenting me with.

As always, when we’re paying off debt, especially with a large amount of cash, please make sure that your extra money is going to the principal, not the general cost of the loan. A principal, as a reminder, is the original amount of money you took out. It might just be more advantageous to put all of this money in a high yield savings account, earn 4-5% on it, and then allow that little bit of extra income, which it is it’s income, to help support your life and help support your lifestyle. So those are the kind of two options you need to do some math on and research on is, okay, if I pay down my mortgage, is it actually beneficial month over month and is it going to save me more money in lowering my expenses compared to the amount of money I might be saving with a high yield savings account with that interest? So again, congrats on a great investment and hopefully that was helpful. All right, let’s take our next question. Which is also about selling a house.

Speaker 3:

Hi, my name is Elise Miller and I have a question about what to do with the money from my house sale. I am getting ready to move to Australia for two years, up to four depending on my visa renewal, and decided to sell my house. I know a lot of people think that’s a mistake, but dealing with all of that from so far away is a challenge. Anyways, because of all the money I have in my house, I will have a couple of hundreds of thousands of dollars that I don’t know what to do with because I would like to buy a house whenever I come back to the US. What are some good financial products that I could put my money in? Is it CDs? I’m very hesitant to put it into the market because I want to have the money for a house when I come back. So I’m really hoping that Tori will answer this question for me. Thank you.

Tori Dunlap:

Elise, great question. Fucking down under, have a great time in Australia. I’m really jealous. You sound very set on selling the house, I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to sell the house, but if that’s something you’ve already decided, great I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. Anybody out there who is trying to buy a house, this is really the question she’s asking is, I want to buy a house. I have some money saved. Where should it go? High-yield savings account or a certificate of deposit. You’re 100% right, it is very risky putting it in the stock market because let’s say you want to buy a house in three years and things are going well for two and a half years but suddenly six months before you want to buy that house or have enough money to buy that house, the stock market under performs, and that’s not ideal.

Some people are comfortable with that level of risk. I am not. On average, it takes the stock market about seven years to fully recover from something like 2008. So for goals that are less than 7 to 10 years out, high-yield savings account, certificate of deposit. Just depends on the interest rate. Right now, most high-yield savings accounts are giving you the interest rate CDs are with less restrictions, so that’s where I’d pop it into. You can find our high-yield savings account recommendation at herfirst100k.com/tools. It’s just on our website. So yeah, I’d stock it there or put it in a CD, a certificate of deposit, and just let it ride, baby.

Again, congrats on Australia. Congrats on selling the house. I want to know what you’re doing in Australia because I’m nosy. I went to Australia and New Zealand in 2022 and I was immediately obsessed and I want to go back and I kind want to live there. I don’t know if you feel that way. There have been very, I think only one or two places that I’ve ever been in my entire life where I was like, I do not want to live here. That is my toxic, I shouldn’t say one or two. I’ve been to the Midwest.

Any Midwest listeners, I love you. I don’t love it there. I’m not the biggest fan. So yeah, I think that is one of my toxic traits is I go places and I’m like, “I could live here” having only been there for 10 days. But that’s what I would do, high yield savings account or CD. Congrats again. Okay, let’s take our third question. Oh, this one is one I’ve been waiting for. When Kristen sent this over, I was like, “Thank you for the piping hot tea”. Kristen just wrote, because she gives me little TLDR so that I can intro it properly because I don’t listen to the voicemails before, I try to give you live reactions as we’re going. This is the one sentence description Kristen gave me. “Partner is mad, she wants to learn from someone who isn’t him (might be a little fiery)”. Oh, the tea is hot. Let’s do it. Oh my God, I can’t wait.

Speaker 4:

Hi, Tori. I hope you’re well. I recently signed up for your stock market school course coming up in May, and I’m really excited to learn about investing in a space that was created by a woman for women. Before I bought the course, I told my partner, who was a man, that I was interested in signing up for it to learn about investing. And my partner knows how to pick stocks out just through his own research, I believe, and he just told me that he could teach me. I told him I appreciated it, but I felt like entering a space that was specifically for women was the right thing for me. And he shut down a little bit. And recently we were texting and the subject came up again and it’s just a little tough.

I feel like he really wants to be the person to teach me about investing because he has experience doing it before, but I really want to learn from a space that is specifically for women, and I think he doesn’t understand that. So I guess I’m wondering, this may not be a you question, this may be a question for my social worker, I don’t know. But how can women who are learning how to manage their own money deal with maybe their partner who is a man having some pride issues when they don’t want to learn from their husband or their boyfriend how to manage their money, and they want to do it independently or in spaces for women? Thanks.

Tori Dunlap:

Wow. I want to do a whole episode just on this question. Okay. Oh, I should be writing this down. I should be writing my thoughts down. Okay, I’m just going to raw dog it. Okay. Wow. Okay. First of all, it is a question for me. Thank you for coming, I’m your money Mommy. Therapy’s in session. Okay. I’m going to give you the I like your boyfriend, and I’m going to give you he’s well-intentioned response. And then I’m going to give you, I don’t like your boyfriend, what the fuck response. Because both of these things can’t exist because I don’t know you, I don’t know your life, I don’t know your partner. If we are doing the, which I think is important because men are impacted by gender roles too. If we’re doing the, we assume positive intent and your partner loves you and this is great, here’s what’s happening.

Men like to be needed. We all like to be needed, but men, I think especially, they like to be needed. And they like to feel like their expertise and their experience is valued. And again, if we’re going really stereotypical gender roles here, he probably has a little bit of, I want to save her. The knight and shining armor of like, I can handle it, I can do it. I can help her. And anytime that somebody thinks they’re good at something and offers their partner, their friend, their family member help and hears no, it’s very easy to shut down or to get defensive and be like, why don’t they want to learn from me? It’s not even that… They take it personally, right? Michael Jordan took that personally. But they believe it’s a critique of them as people, right? So if he hasn’t done some of the work on himself in this regard, what’s happening is he’s going, why doesn’t she trust me?

Why doesn’t she trust me? I’m her partner. I know a lot. Does she think that this random girl that she’s never met on TikTok knows more than me? Which by the way, sorry Bruce, I do. And he’s feeling, I don’t know if this is too dramatic, but maybe a little emasculated, maybe. That’s totally understandable. I don’t know if I can say I feel the same way, I just understand the feeling. Which is like, let’s say my parents, actually, I do this with my parents a lot. This is the perfect example. Is I know a lot about food, I am very good at picking restaurants. I’m very good at this. I have restaurants I love that have really good food. And I’ll say, my parents are, “Oh, we’re coming to Seattle”. I’m like, “Okay, great”. And I’ve picked the restaurant and then they ask me a million questions about the restaurant like they don’t trust me.

They don’t trust my recommendation, and they don’t trust that I can actually, I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. And then they’ll get to the restaurant and then they’ll eat the food and they’ll look at me and they’ll go, “Wow, this is actually really good”. Like I didn’t know that already. And let me tell you, it drives me fucking bonkers because I’m like, yes, I am good at this. This is something that I value that I feel like is part of my identity. I like food. I’m a good cook. And so I feel weirdly insulted when they don’t trust me, when they don’t trust my recommendation. So that I totally understand. If we’re going really spicy, what’s happening is maybe he doesn’t like you being independent from him. Maybe he doesn’t like that you can learn from other people. And that, again, the feeling of needing to be needed could be pretty toxic in this way.

But again, as much as I think I have some great dating advice, I’m not a dating podcast. I’m not out here trying to tell you to dump him because I don’t think you need to. I do think this is worth a conversation. If you do have a partner who is open and vulnerable, which you should. I’ve just being like, “Hey, so me wanting to learn from this other person, from this New York Times was selling author, multi-million dollar business owner podcast host who has a lot of credentials, that seems to make you feel weird. Can you talk to me more about that?” And sit down and have an actual conversation about it. Sit down and have a conversation on why he feels weird. And if you bring that vulnerability, I think he will too, and you can better get to the root of what’s going on.

I will also say to echo, first of all, I’m so thankful that you are choosing to learn from women and me specifically, but second, literally what you’re talking about is the very reason Her First $100K exists. Because I think it is so incredibly powerful and important to learn about something that has been forever gate kept, forever masculine, and it’s so incredibly powerful to have a group of women learning about something together full stop. And second, to have them learning about something that is stereotypically only been left to men and that men only discuss. Thank you for being part of stock market school. That’s literally the whole point of it, is to teach you in a very non jargony, non-finance bro environment. And to be able to not only teach you how to invest, but actually get you investing. So we appreciate you being there.

And I think it might just be, if you’re willing and able to do it, just a reminder and a little bit of education to him of like, this is why this is important to me. It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s not that I don’t want your advice, it’s that I am really looking to be on my own journey about how to invest, and I want to learn from somebody that looks like me and sounds like me and talks like me. And yeah, I also feel for you. I feel for you. I just think that he’s having some emotions. I think, again, gender rules fuck men up just as much as they fuck us up as women where, yeah, he feels like he needs to provide for you. He feels like he needs to be the expert. And you turning him down is not just like, no, I’m good.

It is I don’t trust you. He’s taking it personally, right? I don’t trust you. I don’t trust your recommendation. So I would just give him a little grace. He’s having a reaction. That’s okay. And when you can sit down and talk, just be like, “Hey, I value your feelings. I want to talk to you about what’s going on, and I want to talk to you about why this is important to me”. And I think that will help you get to the root of the problem as well as a potential solution. I would also bring it to your social worker. But I love that you brought it to me as well. Cheering you on.

And maybe also, this is a great idea. This is what I do sometimes. This is how we get boys to eat their vegetables. If I want my, because I am with a man, if I want my partner to do something, if I want him to listen to a podcast episode that I think will be really important for him, but I know if I send it to him, it’s going to feel like a subtweet, which sometimes I do anyway because he usually doesn’t feel threatened by that. When we’re in the car, I’ll just turn it on and I’ll be like, “Hey, I heard this podcast I think is really interesting”. Start doing that with financial feminist. Not this episode. Definitely not. Definitely not this episode. Keep this episode from him. But turn on an episode that you really like in the car. Or I wouldn’t show him a TikTok because that’s going to be too obvious or show him an Instagram, but maybe have him join stock market school with you. Actually, that’s an even better idea. If you’re already in stock market school, which again thank you, bring him into the conversation.

Be like, “Hey, I’m on our live coaching session with Tori”. That happens every month. “Do you want to come?” Maybe you can learn something and we can talk about it, make it like a shared activity, a group activity. This is my answer. So that he does have involvement so that it does feel like, okay, we’re learning together. I’m learning maybe a bit from you and we talk about it, but I’m also learning from Tori. Hey, there’s this workshop coming up that Tori is hosting about retirement accounts and about taxes and about retirement, early retirement, financial dependence retire early. Which is all things in stock market school, by the way. And this is turned into a plug for stock market school. But this is literally the reason I’ve built it is for people like our caller. Invite him in. Invite him in, allow it to be a group activity. Allow it to be something that actually makes your relationship stronger and something that is a good foundation, a good basis for financial conversations so that he does feel included and that you can learn things together. And thus, not only better your relationship, but better your mutual understanding of money. That’s my official answer. Okay, next voicemail. How do we top that one? That was a hell of a voicemail. All right, we are going to talk next to a person who is the beneficiary of a loved one’s IRA.

Speaker 5:

Hi, Tori. I have been listening to your podcast for the last couple of months now and have been searching through old episodes trying to find more information about the IRA and different types of IRA accounts. But this is a bit of a specific question because it’s not my IRA. So for context, I’m the beneficiary of a loved one’s IRA, and they passed away unfortunately, and I don’t know how to go about taking out the money or moving the money to a different account without triggering high tax events. I’m not really sure how to approach this. It’s a very specific situation, but I’m 23, I’m a recent graduate, so I have no job yet. I believe that’s the lowest tax bracket I could have. But if you could provide some insight about this, I’d really appreciate it. I love what you do for women, but love what you do for everybody that’s just common folk to become more financially literate. So I appreciate what you do. Thank you.

Tori Dunlap:

Okay, first of all, so sorry for your loss. Second of all, we’re hopefully cutting out the fast three minutes where I sat in silence reading. But I do want to highlight that I had to look this up because this is something that I haven’t experienced and that we don’t have a lot of people who experienced it, or at least that call in. So I’m on the IRS website, and let me tell you, it is fucking confusing. And no wonder our company exists because wow, this is confusing. We’re going to go somewhere else. Okay, so here’s the thing. There are different rules depending on your relationship to this person, depending on when they died, and depending on if this person had some sort of estate or trust. So this is actually one of the unique times I would recommend hiring a financial advisor.

I don’t recommend it very often. I don’t recommend it for 99% of you. But one of the things I always say is if you have an inheritance, and it’s maybe a little bit more complicated. Now, you can do this on your own. But again, there’s a couple different things. You said loved one, not spouse. So I’m going to assume this person isn’t your spouse. If you as the individual inherited this IRA from somebody who isn’t your spouse, there are going to be different withdrawal rules depending on the type of beneficiary you are. Hire a financial advisor. Make sure that their fiduciaries, make sure that their fee specific, fee based. They’re charging an hourly rate. They’re not charging you a percentage of your investments or a percentage. They’re not charging you a fee every time they invest. This is the time to talk to a financial advisor. And you don’t need to keep working with them after this, but I would hire them to help you get this set up and to help you figure out, because again, I’m looking at all of this and even I’m confused.

Kristen’s here. Hello? Oh my gosh. Hi. Did you know I was recording? Kristen, this one’s spicy. This one’s fun. I was right in the middle. We can keep this, Kristen just popped in unexpectedly. Your girl was recording for eight minutes before she realized that she hadn’t selected the right mic. I’m a professional podcaster. I do this for a living. It was my eight minute fuck up. But I was right in the middle of telling this person whose loved one died, sorry, is that you actually do need a financial advisor. I’m reading this Charles Schwab website and it’s already confusing, and I fucking do this for a living. And I also don’t know you. I don’t know your life. I don’t know what parts of this you check and what parts you don’t. So I would get a financial advisor. Again, make sure they’re a fiduciary, make sure they’re just going to charge you a flat fee and allow them to help you navigate this. And feel free to break up with them afterwards.

Okay. Team, thank you as always for being here. We have even more questions that we’re going to answer in a future Ask Tori, and you can also comment your questions or submit a voicemail down below. We appreciate you as always for being here. These were some fun ones today. And I always want to remind you that we have so many resources on our website, and if you’re just wondering where to get started, you can go to herfirst100k.com/quiz. It’s the best place to go. You can take a six step or a six question quiz, and we can pair you with a personalized financial plan so that you’re not stressed about what to do in what order, and feeling super overwhelmed. So thank you as always, and thank you today for people’s vulnerability. It was really nice. I just love when people call in and they’re willing to be vulnerable and talk about things that are hard. So thank you as always for being here. We’ll talk to you later. Okay, bye.

Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist, a Her First 100K podcast. Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristen Fields, associate Producer Tamisha Grant. Research by Arielle Johnson. Audio and Video Engineering by Alyssa Midcalf. Marketing and Operations by Karina Patel, Amanda Leffew, Elizabeth McCumber, Masha Bakhmetyeva, Taylor Chou, Kailyn Sprinkle, Sasha Bonar, Claire Kurronen, Darrell Ann Ingman, and Jenell Riesner.

A huge thanks to the entire Her First $100K team and community for supporting this show. For more information about Financial Feminist, Her First $100K, our guests and episode show notes, visit financialfeministpodcast.com.

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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