Inheritance – What to do?

I’m much more of a lurker than a poster here, but I have learned so much from those of you that do post.

We are currently almost finished paying off debt. We have our $1000 emergency fund. With current snowball and assuming Murphy doesn’t come to visit, we should be debt free by the end of February, 2015. We never had a ton of debt, just not always smart about our money.

My grandfather recently passed away. He was a young 92! 🙂 He had a good life and he grew up during the depression on a farm. He definitely knew the value of a dollar and tried to teach all of us that.

I was informed last week that I will be getting $76,000 minimum. The final amount will be determined after the house and personal items are sold. Based on my percent of inheritance and estimated value of his home, I could get anywhere from $90-95,000. But we know for sure it is at least $76,000. No telling when I will actually get the check. We were all told at the reading of the will (I thought they only sat around a table in the movies) to make sure we take care of his great grandchildren and to remember how important we all know that he thought college was.

DH and I have two children, 8 and 5. We both work and make enough to cover all of our bills, especially when we are no longer in debt. We currently rent so no mortgage. I can’t believe it’s almost here!

I know after paying off debt is to fund 3-6 months of living expenses. We can easily put that much into savings from the inheritance. Just basic, 4 walls, living expenses would be about $18000-20,000 for 6 months. The next step is retirement. Then college fund.

After we are finished with debt, we will apply the snowball to investing in each of our 401K’s. We already invest some. I’m a teacher so 6% of my salary is taken off the top to go to the state retirement plan. I also have a 401K that gets $75 a month right now (no match). DH’s employer requires them to participate in a 401K that is company matched 50 cents on the dollar up to 7% of income. He’s only putting in 7% right now. He also has a pension. He works for one of the largest aggregate companies in the nation (rock quarry) so we don’t have a fear of the company and pension dissolving before retirement. (At least 20 years from now for both of us).

So my question, if it were you, how would you handle the other $56000-58,000? How should I separate this into college funds for both of our boys? They have 529 accounts with very little in them (less than $1500 each). We stopped contributions while we get out of debt. We still have time to continue saving for the boys and they will be required to work as well.

We don’t want to buy a house now. DH should be getting a promotion before too long (next year or so) and that will probably be another move. But that should put us there for the long haul and we will buy then. Should probably save a chunk of inheritance for a down payment.

Thanks in advance. Sorry this is so long. We had no idea we would be getting this much and this has definitely been a mixed blessing and windfall. I have to work 3 years to brig home this much as a teacher. We don’t want to make any quick decisions and look back in 10 years and wonder where the heck all of the money went.