Today’s idea is a short one: Do not underestimate your participation in the real estate market through the legacy of a family member. Wealth is a family concept, not an individual concept. Therefore, what’s part of your parents portfolio is part of your portfolio.1 Whatever your parents leave as a legacy is (more likely than not) going to be yours (and your siblings’) to administer.

This goes for more than just real estate. If you have a parent who has significant stock market investments, you can consider that your own participation in the stock market.2

Do not fear the F.O.M.O. of the stock market or of the real estate market. Live vicariously through your parents. (At least, to a degree.)3

I hope this has two lasting impressions:

  1. This should help alleviate that depressed feeling when scouring real estate listings and looking at the sky-high prices. You can know that, if prices continue to rise, so are the personal net worths of those closest to you.
  2. This should free up at least some cash flow for other purposes. If you’ve put off your personal health, or have other financial goals you’re saving for, you can rest assured that waiting a little longer for that real estate investment carries less of a penalty.

Please read the disclaimer footnotes; I fully recognize there are a bunch of “Yeah, buts…” to this concept. And the last thing I want to do is promote an entitled behaviour.

Hopefully this can take some stress off the long-term real estate savings goals.

Disclaimer 1: Of course, you can’t count your parents’ personal net worth as your own personal net worth — bankers are sure to laugh you out of the office if you attempt to claim their wealth as your own.

Disclaimer 2: Not everyone’s parents will pass their wealth to their children upon death. I also recognize that one should not rest on the laurels of their parents — each individual should work for their own legacy, and ensure any legacy left to them is used to grow the overarching family legacy.

Disclaimer 3: Especially in the world’s most expensive cities, there’s a high probability the parent doesn’t own their home either. I imagine it’s extremely tough slugging in these cities. I do think the idea stands for other investments and assets in general.