Avoidable Mistakes for the Suddenly Wealthy

Avoidable Mistakes for the Suddenly Wealthy

February 01, 2024

Tips to help your wealth have a legacy that lasts beyond a lifetime.

The allure of sudden wealth is enchanting. It's the narrative that has inspired countless rags-to-riches tales, propelling ordinary individuals into the financial stratosphere overnight. But the golden glow of prosperity often casts a shadow of financial pitfalls. From sports stars to startup sensations, the newly wealthy often find themselves on a treacherous path due to avoidable mistakes.

National speakers and authors of The Sudden Wealth Book Series, Shane Moore and David Rust, define sudden wealth as anytime you are personally responsible for more money than you have been before. “Sudden Wealth is all about life events.”, says Rust. “It can be positive events such as winning the lottery or selling a successful business or more difficult events such as an inheritance or personal injury settlement.”, adds Moore. 

Positive or negative, the emotional aspects and responsibilities that accompany sudden wealth are similar. Rust and Moore weigh in on some of the most common blunders they see and ways to sidestep them.

Managing It All on Your Own

While many people can handle all aspects on their own, sudden wealth can come with many emotional hurdles making it difficult to manage

Avoidance Tip: Gathering a team of experienced professionals can help identify priorities, coordinate, and pace the many decisions you will likely be confronted with.

Ignoring Long-Term Planning

Focusing solely on the present and ignoring the future is a classic mistake of the suddenly wealthy.

Avoidance Tip: Create a comprehensive financial plan. Invest in assets that offer both short-term and long-term benefits. Retirement, even if it seems eons away, should be on the radar.

Forgetting About Taxes

Many assume that a sudden influx of wealth is a free pass, neglecting the significant tax implications that come with it.

Avoidance Tip: Your team should include a tax consultant. Understand your tax obligations and strategize to minimize liabilities.

Succumbing to Lifestyle Inflation

While the temptation to splurge is undeniable, rapid lifestyle inflation can deplete funds at an alarming rate.

Avoidance Tip: Begin by maintaining your pre-wealth lifestyle. Your advisory team can gradually introduce changes and help budget.

Hasty Investments

The newly wealthy often fall prey to dubious investment schemes, hoping to multiply their fortune.

Avoidance Tip: Never rush. Your financial team will help you thoroughly vet opportunities and make informed decisions.

Neglecting Estate Planning

Believing they’re too young or that there’s plenty of time in the future, many overlook estate planning.

Avoidance Tip: Draft a will. Consider establishing trusts or foundations. Protect your assets and ensure they are distributed as per your wishes.

Succumbing to Peer Pressure

Joining the bandwagon of fellow wealthy peers can lead to unnecessary spending or investments.

Avoidance Tip: Be confident in your financial decisions. Remember, everyone's financial journey and goals are unique.


While helping loved ones is commendable, unchecked generosity can strain finances.

Avoidance Tip: Establish boundaries. Create a charity budget or set up a foundation to channelize your desire to give back.

Neglecting Personal Growth

Wealth is not just about financial growth but also personal development. Many forget to invest in their skills or education.

Avoidance Tip: Allocate funds for courses, workshops, or experiences that foster personal and professional growth.

Be Aware

Sudden wealth is as much an opportunity as it is a responsibility. It offers the chance to not only enhance one's life but also make a lasting impact. However, the path is riddled with pitfalls.

By being aware, seeking expert guidance, and making informed choices, the newly wealthy can plan appropriately to help their fortunes have a legacy that lasts beyond a lifetime.


Important Disclosures

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific tax, legal or investment advice or recommendations for any individual.

To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing.

This article was prepared by FMeX.

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