How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

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Chadnudj
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Chadnudj » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:29 pm

remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:47 pm
The "trusts for adult children" thread prompted me revisit our wills. They distribute everything to a trust to pay out 10% at age 25 and the balance at 30 plus health, education, maintenance and support (HEMS). When we made the wills, we didn't have a penny saved for college, The bulk of the estate was life insurance proceeds to be paid to the trust for their HEMS. Now, the amount of money involved is sufficient to be a disincentive to work. The kids are young. I have no idea what kind of adults they will be, whether or not they will choose their spouses well, whether or not they will remain healthy, etc. College is covered. What is the maximum a typical 25-year old could inherit without the money changing their work ethic? How would you structure the remaining payout(s)?
FWIW, we have a trust set up, whereby the trustee gives them a set percentage (I think 4%) of the value per year after we die (boys are 3 and 1 now and wife and I are in pretty good health, so ideally this will not be used for a long time). I'm sure there is a way to set up your will/trust to do the same, so that it acts more as an annuity than as a lump sum they could squander (although, presumably, if the trust is large enough, even such a percentage per year could impact their work ethic).

staythecourse
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Re: How much/little money to give kids so they continue to work

Post by staythecourse » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:27 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:18 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:48 pm
I have not set up trusts yet for my minors (5 and 2), but will be shortly. I have slowly started thinking about this. Just curious for those in the know (ahem Bsteiner) can't you just stipulate money to be left in the trust and only be used for something like health and education. Other then that how about just matching a % of their salary, such as: "to receive 25% of their gross income"? That would be seem the ideal way, no? You stipulate for important stuff, i.e. health and education (make a comment it is for only 5 years of college education or 8 years of college+ grad school so they can't just extend it forever) and the rest is matching funds based on their own success.
...
Thanks for the kind words.

You can make whatever provisions you want (so long as they're not illegal or against public policy). But there's no way to know what the future will bring.

Most of our clients give the trustees discretion to decide on distributions, and select trustees whose judgment they trust. Unless the child's situation makes it inappropriate, most clients provide that upon reaching a specified age, the child gains control of his/her trust. In other words, at that point, among other things, the child can become a trustee, and can remove and replace his/her co-trustee (provided the replacement trustee is not a close relative or subordinate employee).
Much thanks for the input. It is always great to hear what the "norm" is. It is a first world problem for sure, but thinking about how to handle transferring wealth is a difficult thing when you are talking about minor kids (mine or 5 and 2) where you have NO CLUE how responsible or irresponsible they will become later in life or even what situation they end up in, i.e. education, marriage, etc...

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:43 pm

Why do you want to run their lives? If a kid wants to take the money and spend the time painting landscapes or hiking trails around the world, why is that a problem?
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

HIinvestor
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Now that our kids are 28 and 30, I am reading “Beyond the Grave” to figure out what we’d like to do now for our kids. We will likely leave an estate of 7 figures unless we have extreme unexpected end if life expenses.

These issues can create friction among beloved family members—if that can be avoided, I would much prefer that.

letsgobobby
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:20 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:13 pm
I'd say leave them as much or as little as you want, with the rest going wherever you choose. I think what they eventually do as adults, including working or not, after your death should be up to them, not you.
PJW
The question is whether a certain amount of money can effectively, at least partially, strip their free will.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:40 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:20 pm
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:13 pm
I'd say leave them as much or as little as you want, with the rest going wherever you choose. I think what they eventually do as adults, including working or not, after your death should be up to them, not you.
PJW
The question is whether a certain amount of money can effectively, at least partially, strip their free will.
I understand your point, and suppose you must understand mine. Controlling one's descendants from beyond the grave strips them of making their own adult choices, including those which the benefactor, if she were alive, might disapprove of.

I think yours is on the order of the idea that men cannot control themselves, therefore must not be exposed to attractive women lest they, which would be the victim's fault, commit an atrocity.

In terms of the philosophical question, we have no choice but to accept free will. :happy

PJW

letsgobobby
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:43 pm

Philosophically, and spiritually, I agree with you. But science is arguing that what we call free will... May not exist as we conceptualize it. Given I have no responsibility to guide the lives of my adult children, do I at least have the responsibility not to screw them up?

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HomerJ
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm

Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:47 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:43 pm
Philosophically, and spiritually, I agree with you. But science is arguing that what we call free will... May not exist as we conceptualize it. Given I have no responsibility to guide the lives of my adult children, do I at least have the responsibility not to screw them up?
Can you please provide a reference to science, as a unified and monolithic whole, unequivocally claiming such a thing?

PJW

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:54 pm

We have gifted our children with amounts we consider significant (5 figures) in their 20s and they have used these funds prudently. We preferred to see how they will use the funds now rather than wait for some future date.

We do not feel our gifts have lessened our kids interests in earning their own money and doing work that provides income and uses their talents.

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Sandtrap
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:05 pm

remomnyc wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:03 am
Nearly a Moose: Thank you. I hope my children turn out as level headed as you. I will check out White Coat Investor's Twenties Fund.

Sandtrap: I can find a good attorney. The problem is deciding what I want. In my family, we've never had the luxury of worrying about having money since we had none.

If I live to a ripe, old age, I hope not to leave much as I will spend and give it away while I'm alive. College has been secured by 529 accounts. I want them to access money for graduate school if they so desire, a downpayment on a house, and provide an income if they cannot work for health reasons. I will probably set a limit on the amount available for graduate school (cost of medical/law school) and for a house downpayment (up to 25% of the median cost in a HCOL area). Beyond that, I'm unsure how I want funds distributed.

Thanks for all the replies. I have read Beyond the Grave and welcome recommendations for further reading.
Books on Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Beyond the Grave: The Right Way and the Wrong Way of Leaving Money to Your Children (And Others)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/08873 ... UTF8&psc=1

Wills, Trusts, and Estates
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/14548 ... UTF8&psc=1

Some random thoughts and ideas.
1 Consider family dynamics.
2 Equalize - no matter the level of understanding between siblings. . money is money.
3 Consider reimbursement of student loans, etc, once graduating as an incentive to finish.
4 Consider qualifying for a mortgage loan on one's own before subsidizing, thus ensuring financial independence and stability to keep the home once the down payment is made. Down payment is just the beginning. Otherwise, if marginal ability to pay, then the down payment may be creating greater demands farther down the line.
5 Consider an educational fund for grandchildren, also based on merit. Thus your legacy benefits many by giving them the "tools" for success.
6 Consider funding additional education and training thru their career as an incentive.
7 Of course, emergency funds for . . . legitimate emergencies, health, etc.
8 Consider descendency. The chain of beneficiaries. Etc.
9 Consider if you pass and spouse remarries. New guy has 6 children. . .(why legal counsel is important).
10 Consider son or daughter marries or remarries. New guy/gal has 6 children. . . (why legal counsel is vital).
11 Consider that whatever "can" happen, "will" happen. Take nothing for granted. There is a big difference in trust wording between "shall" and "may", and what you leave out may be interpreted as interpretive or tacit approval. Assume litigation between beneficiaries or guardians or other parties involved is always on the table. Nobody can predict.
12 Work with legal counsel on vital provisions such as a "spendthrift clause", "litigation provision", etc.

Again, finding quality legal counsel that you can work with is vital. There are ethics and morality and feelings, but there are also wealth and unique personal needs that need to be addressed dispassionately. Nuts and Bolts.

I hope this is helpful, and practical.
j :D

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by KlangFool » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:17 pm

Folks,

Many of the lottery winners went bankrupt after 10 years. If the kids never manage more than 5 figures of money and were given 7 figures as inheritance, it may not end well.

So, if someone is going to give/leave 7 figures to their children, please give them 5 figures while they are teenagers. 6 figures while they are 20 to 30 years old. Let them learn and make all the mistakes with smaller figures. Then, they may stand a better chance of managing 7 figures. You could adjust the scale accordingly.

KlangFool

letsgobobby
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:47 pm
letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:43 pm
Philosophically, and spiritually, I agree with you. But science is arguing that what we call free will... May not exist as we conceptualize it. Given I have no responsibility to guide the lives of my adult children, do I at least have the responsibility not to screw them up?
Can you please provide a reference to science, as a unified and monolithic whole, unequivocally claiming such a thing?

PJW
Now it’s my turn to quote you:
I understand your point, and suppose you must understand mine

LeisureLee
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by LeisureLee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:28 pm

I'd like to set up a trust for my kids which would pay for college, match a house down payment, and match retirement account contributions they make.

The idea is that they still need to work, but they should be able to get a house faster and retire about ten years earlier than normal (double the savings). I'm hoping psychologically they feel like it's like the tax deductions for things - an incentive from the world at large and not a gift coming from me personally to control them.

Reading this thread has brought up that I should think about medical and other emergencies. Good idea.

malabargold
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by malabargold » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:31 pm

We gave our kids a lot.

They work like dogs.

Possibly because it
gave them the economic freedom to follow their
interests without regard to remuneration.

Greatest gift.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:34 pm

letsgobobby wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:20 pm
...
Now it’s my turn to quote you:
I understand your point, and suppose you must understand mine
That's what I wrote alright, and I stand by it.
PJW

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:30 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:17 pm
Folks,

Many of the lottery winners went bankrupt after 10 years. If the kids never manage more than 5 figures of money and were given 7 figures as inheritance, it may not end well.

So, if someone is going to give/leave 7 figures to their children, please give them 5 figures while they are teenagers. 6 figures while they are 20 to 30 years old. Let them learn and make all the mistakes with smaller figures. Then, they may stand a better chance of managing 7 figures. You could adjust the scale accordingly.

KlangFool
I would be cautious about using this as a support for your position. People who buy lottery tickets are a self-selected group and undoubtedly not representative of the general population. If my kids bought lottery tickets regularly, I would be inclined to name other beneficiaries in my will.

northtexan
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by northtexan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:38 pm

It all depends on the child. I got a good amount of money from my parents. But they also gave incentives for working. They would contribute to my RothIRA if I worked. That was a big advantage and motivating factor for me since I understood the benefits of starting a RothIRA when I was 16. When I have children I feel I would do the same for them to help them learn the importance and power of investing at a young age. My sister is totally different, my parents would do the same for her but she does not want to have FOMO during her younger years. I feel she will regret it by not taking the time to understand the impact that the opportunity could have provided her especially when she will be working when I retire early.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by AlohaJoe » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.
I suppose that's one way to tell one's daughters they are never allowed to be a stay-at-home mom for their children or even just switch to part-time work....

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:24 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.
I suppose that's one way to tell one's daughters they are never allowed to be a stay-at-home mom for their children or even just switch to part-time work....
Hey, don't forget house husbands!

OP, I wonder if you're not overcomplicating things. One thing I've learned in practicing law is that every time you make a rule, you have to come up with a set of exceptions to account for unforseen consequences, which might then need more rules, etc. I don't know your kids, which obviously is the key, but I'd encourage you to at least draw up for comparison a simple scenario where they get support as kids and then three disbursements (or something that doesn't put it into their estate, is that possible? Not an estate lawyer) at fixed times. Maybe 25, 30, and 40, I don't know. Gives them a few chances to screw up and try again if needed. And in the meantime, start the conversations - "if we pass, here's what happens and here's what we'd encourage you to do." It might be that simplicity is easier.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by AlohaJoe » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:42 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:24 pm
AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.
I suppose that's one way to tell one's daughters they are never allowed to be a stay-at-home mom for their children or even just switch to part-time work....
Hey, don't forget house husbands!

OP, I wonder if you're not overcomplicating things. One thing I've learned in practicing law is that every time you make a rule, you have to come up with a set of exceptions to account for unforseen consequences, which might then need more rules, etc.
It is true that house husbands are a thing...but the clearest consequence of policies like "pay them for every dollar they earn" is to send a strong message that "women's work" has no value. That having children has no value. That raising children has no value. That taking care of sick relatives has no value. That's probably not the intention but it just shows how easy it is to create rules that have unintended consequences.

When people talk about rules other people make, everyone always talks about unintended consequences and how dumb Those Other People Were for not seeing obvious loopholes and how laws that encourage/discourage certain behaviour are dumb and so on. Yet, when given the chance, lots of people apparently turn into massive hypocrites that don't listen to all the "obvious" things they complained about other people (politicians, bosses, etc) doing.

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FIREchief
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by FIREchief » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 am

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:43 pm
Why do you want to run their lives? If a kid wants to take the money and spend the time painting landscapes or hiking trails around the world, why is that a problem?
(this is not my situation)

A parent trying to leave funds to a child in a prudent manner is in absolutely no way trying to "run their lives." The money doesn't belong to the kid when the parent dies unless the parent leaves it to them directly. It may belong to a trust, which in no way is owned by the kid. If it is the parent's money (which it 100% is), then they, not the kid, can "do whatever they want with it." If this means they have an independent trustee sit on it for fifty years, and then see how certain beneficiaries are doing, then that is entirely up to the grantor of the trust. Why do people think that money left to a kid "in trust" is now the kids money that they should be able to freely spend/blow/throw out a window/etc? it's not. It is the trust's money. If the kid doesn't like it, so what?? :confused Maybe in twenty years when they're in bad health, broke and can't work; they'll be happy that the trustee disperses money for them to pay their rent, despite the fact that they never were able to fully engage their desire to paint landscapes and hike around the world.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by msk » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:38 am

What I would do with a 8 figures is not what I would do with under $10 million. Below $10 million I would choose some simple all-out inheritance at a certain age formula. 25 to 35 all sound fine to me. Some aunt/uncle management for younger heirs. At $100+ million I would be fully aware that the probability of anyone among my descendants building up that kind of NW again from scratch in real terms is quite remote. Hence I would plan for multi-generational passing-on. Presumably what we are talking about in this thread is somewhere in the (low?) 8-figure range, hence the various tensions in directions and strong opinions. Median forecast from Monte Carlo simulations of a 100% stocks portfolio: It can deliver 5% of portfolio cash annually for forever. The nominal $ withdrawal should keep up with inflation and also the remaining portfolio, for forever, can be more, can be less. But it will last forever. Hence I am tempted towards:

$10 million produces $500k annually. Set up trust to distribute the 5% of portfolio annually among heirs, for forever. Let each heir and subsequent heirs sort out his/her spending. Some kind of trust management is required if some first generation heirs are minors.

This strategy looks ever more attractive for amounts radically larger than $10 million and few heirs. To me it looks attractive as long as the number of heirs is not so large that each ends up with less than Minimum Wage as a stipend. If one of the kids turns out a druggie, at least he cannot blow up his entire inheritance in one go. Some fine tuning the above is of course required, e.g. age related, but a responsible adult is not going to be corrupted simply because he knows he is getting $250k annually. Chances that he will end up trying to save the planet unpaid are just as good as ending up a drug addict. Dissolve trust when each heir/sub-heir receives less than Minimum Wage. Hence a $10 million trust may last a couple of generations, a $100 million trust possibly 3 or 4 generations.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by bungalow10 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:16 am

Honestly, I think it's a little weird when adults are told they are getting x for an inheritance. It changes their decision making, sometimes not for the better.

An inheritance, in my opinion, should be a windfall, not something you rely on or count the days to receiving.

Giving an inheritance (or knowledge of an inheritance) to someone young, even if they are financially savvy they may not be emotionally/relationship mature and may make bad decisions on spouse or partner.

I have a two close friends in the "I know my inheritance" boat. One has consistently made horrible financial decisions and whittled his money down to zero. He's my age (39) with a networth of zero and not great career prospects. The other is a friend who is a lawyer who is constantly bemoaning the poor money decisions of her family members and watcher her inheritance (it's a portion of an investment in a private company) go from $5MM to $3MM to the current $1.2MM. To keep herself sane and her relationships intact, she is just considering it to be zero and living with the disappointment.
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Nearly A Moose » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:42 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:42 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:24 pm
AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.
I suppose that's one way to tell one's daughters they are never allowed to be a stay-at-home mom for their children or even just switch to part-time work....
Hey, don't forget house husbands!

OP, I wonder if you're not overcomplicating things. One thing I've learned in practicing law is that every time you make a rule, you have to come up with a set of exceptions to account for unforseen consequences, which might then need more rules, etc.
It is true that house husbands are a thing...but the clearest consequence of policies like "pay them for every dollar they earn" is to send a strong message that "women's work" has no value. That having children has no value. That raising children has no value. That taking care of sick relatives has no value. That's probably not the intention but it just shows how easy it is to create rules that have unintended consequences.

When people talk about rules other people make, everyone always talks about unintended consequences and how dumb Those Other People Were for not seeing obvious loopholes and how laws that encourage/discourage certain behaviour are dumb and so on. Yet, when given the chance, lots of people apparently turn into massive hypocrites that don't listen to all the "obvious" things they complained about other people (politicians, bosses, etc) doing.
Oh don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you here. Tone is hard to convey via the Internet, especially a dry sense of humor. To the extent I was making a substantive point, it was just that the same thing can happen to men. I have a friend who, based on the couples' personalities and career trajectories, would probably be an excellent candidate for a stay at home dad once they have kids. But I think the wife is a little uncomfortable with the idea, and her family has indicated they would strongly disapprove (using family financial support as leverage). So the issue you raise affects both partners. But I agree it can be especially pernicious for women.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Nearly A Moose » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:46 am

bungalow10 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:16 am
Honestly, I think it's a little weird when adults are told they are getting x for an inheritance. It changes their decision making, sometimes not for the better.

An inheritance, in my opinion, should be a windfall, not something you rely on or count the days to receiving.

Giving an inheritance (or knowledge of an inheritance) to someone young, even if they are financially savvy they may not be emotionally/relationship mature and may make bad decisions on spouse or partner.

I have a two close friends in the "I know my inheritance" boat. One has consistently made horrible financial decisions and whittled his money down to zero. He's my age (39) with a networth of zero and not great career prospects. The other is a friend who is a lawyer who is constantly bemoaning the poor money decisions of her family members and watcher her inheritance (it's a portion of an investment in a private company) go from $5MM to $3MM to the current $1.2MM. To keep herself sane and her relationships intact, she is just considering it to be zero and living with the disappointment.
Fwiw, I have a copy of my parents estate plan and trust in my filing cabinet, and I have a decent idea of their net worth (+/- $500k) and thus my potential inheritance. I even could do a rough projection of growth based on their general living expenses. I don't do that. I hardly even think of it. In my general financial plan, I have added a conservatively vulued windful when I'm 65, which is well past the time it would do anything useful for me.

If anything, I find myself trying to convince my parents to spend more money on themselves.

Just another perspective. It depends so much on the individual kids.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm

FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 am
A parent trying to leave funds to a child in a prudent manner is in absolutely no way trying to "run their lives."
How is it not? "You can have this money if you live your life of a way that I approve."

I see people wanting to give money if children get married. Why? Marriage isn't for everyone, and a bad marriage for the sake of inheritance is a poor idea.

One of the big themes on this page is to get financially independent so you can quit working. What's the point of forcing people to work for an inheritance.

Sure, a trust dispersing the inheritance at intervals, with some discretion for emergencies, can make a lot of sense. But do it for the right reasons, not to make sure the kids live life in a parentally-approved manner.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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FIREchief
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by FIREchief » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:25 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 am
A parent trying to leave funds to a child in a prudent manner is in absolutely no way trying to "run their lives."
Sure, a trust dispersing the inheritance at intervals, with some discretion for emergencies, can make a lot of sense. But do it for the right reasons, not to make sure the kids live life in a parentally-approved manner.
I think we're saying the same thing here. I generalized as "prudent manner." You said "at intervals, with some descretion for emergencies."

That said, it really does go both ways. Just as no parent can dictate how their adult child lives their life. No adult child can dictate how, and to whom, a parent leaves an inheritance. Hopefully you caught my disclaimer in my previous post "(this is not my situation)."
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by staythecourse » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:28 pm

AlohaJoe wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:01 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:45 pm
Give them a dollar from the trust for every dollar they earn.
I suppose that's one way to tell one's daughters they are never allowed to be a stay-at-home mom for their children or even just switch to part-time work....
This is what I recommended earlier. I would match a % of their income. As mentioned above there are many downsides to this idea as well, but the one thing that is guaranteed is they can't just live off the trust without working. Obviously, health and education is a different matter for themselves or their own progeny.

Good luck.
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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by delamer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 am
A parent trying to leave funds to a child in a prudent manner is in absolutely no way trying to "run their lives."
How is it not? "You can have this money if you live your life of a way that I approve."

I see people wanting to give money if children get married. Why? Marriage isn't for everyone, and a bad marriage for the sake of inheritance is a poor idea.

One of the big themes on this page is to get financially independent so you can quit working. What's the point of forcing people to work for an inheritance.

Sure, a trust dispersing the inheritance at intervals, with some discretion for emergencies, can make a lot of sense. But do it for the right reasons, not to make sure the kids live life in a parentally-approved manner.
Our goal with the inheritance trusts is for them to disburse money to help our kids in ways that we would have done if we were still living. So money for home downpayments, college educations, contributions to retirement accounts, help in the event of disability or other costly medical conditions. So a backup in catastrophic situations and support that enables the long-term accumulation of assets (real estate, investments, education).

Those choices reflect our values. If we spend according to our values, does that mean we are trying to control our kids’ lives? Maybe some would see it that way; we don’t.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:36 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm
Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm
FIREchief wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 am
A parent trying to leave funds to a child in a prudent manner is in absolutely no way trying to "run their lives."
How is it not? "You can have this money if you live your life of a way that I approve."

I see people wanting to give money if children get married. Why? Marriage isn't for everyone, and a bad marriage for the sake of inheritance is a poor idea.

One of the big themes on this page is to get financially independent so you can quit working. What's the point of forcing people to work for an inheritance.

Sure, a trust dispersing the inheritance at intervals, with some discretion for emergencies, can make a lot of sense. But do it for the right reasons, not to make sure the kids live life in a parentally-approved manner.
Our goal with the inheritance trusts is for them to disburse money to help our kids in ways that we would have done if we were still living. So money for home downpayments, college educations, contributions to retirement accounts, help in the event of disability or other costly medical conditions. So a backup in catastrophic situations and support that enables the long-term accumulation of assets (real estate, investments, education).

Those choices reflect our values. If we spend according to our values, does that mean we are trying to control our kids’ lives? Maybe some would see it that way; we don’t.
I believe that the "spirit of the trust" imbued in the trust provisions reflect, or should reflect, the same financial and supportive relationship between parent and child, trustee and beneficiary, that existed prior to the parent's demise. That's why the book, "Beyond the Grave" by Condon, is so applicable. Just as every parent and parent child relationship is unique, so should be one's trust/will. As parents, we take the time, spend the money on legal counsel, and do whatever it takes to "get it right".

Wealth enhances the relationship dynamics, good or bad, that existed prior to the parental passing. And, if anything, will either improve or degrade these dynamics. The difficulty lies in constructing the trust provisions so things will be fair, equitable, supportive, and enduring, without prejudice or enabling. Based on merit vs entitlement (greed). Encouraging and nurturing vs rigid or restricting to human potential.

The "Bogles" focus on accumulation and preservation of wealth. Besides charity, there can be no greater purpose than to pass on a useful legacy for our hares to build on. An opportunity for education, career advancement, personal growth, and safety.

j :D

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by rcjchicity » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:39 pm

Chadnudj wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:29 pm
remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:47 pm
The "trusts for adult children" thread prompted me revisit our wills. They distribute everything to a trust to pay out 10% at age 25 and the balance at 30 plus health, education, maintenance and support (HEMS). When we made the wills, we didn't have a penny saved for college, The bulk of the estate was life insurance proceeds to be paid to the trust for their HEMS. Now, the amount of money involved is sufficient to be a disincentive to work. The kids are young. I have no idea what kind of adults they will be, whether or not they will choose their spouses well, whether or not they will remain healthy, etc. College is covered. What is the maximum a typical 25-year old could inherit without the money changing their work ethic? How would you structure the remaining payout(s)?
FWIW, we have a trust set up, whereby the trustee gives them a set percentage (I think 4%) of the value per year after we die (boys are 3 and 1 now and wife and I are in pretty good health, so ideally this will not be used for a long time). I'm sure there is a way to set up your will/trust to do the same, so that it acts more as an annuity than as a lump sum they could squander (although, presumably, if the trust is large enough, even such a percentage per year could impact their work ethic).
When we set up our trust, we were pregnant with our first child, so really no idea what the future would bring. And, most of an inheritance at that time would have been from life insurance. But we definitely didn't want an 18-year old potentially inheriting millions of dollars all at once. So, after allowing for HEMS provisions, we set up the trust to distribute the remainder as 1/3 at 25 y/o, 1/3 at 30 y/o and 1/3 at 35 y/o.

Now, we have 2 kids (also a 1- and 3-year old), we're still comfortable with this distribution plan. But, these threads have made me think we should re-evaluate every so often (10 years? After major milestones such as kids finishing college?) to make sure this still makes sense, and fits with our children's personalities, life situations, etc.

When it comes down to brass tacks, we can only control so much. If there is a potential inheritance payout for our kids, it means they lost both of their parents at a young age which could really screw them up. Establishing guardians and successor trustees who represent our values likely could have a bigger impact than exactly when our trust distributes.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by ssquared87 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:46 pm

For me personally, if I had a windfall before turning 30, things could have gone either way...gotten lazy and kind of waded through work or kept my enthusiasm.

By the time I was 30, I was much more focused on advancing through my career and had solid ideas of how I would invest in myself or business ideas should I have the money or time to do so. I'm currently in my early 30s and doing well in my 9-5 type career. I have ambitions outside of that, but am not in a place yet where I have the skill set to become entrepreneurial. I'm expecting a decent size windfall in the near future, and am building the skills that I know I will need in a more entrepreneurial environment so that when I do get some extra cash, I'll at least feel more confident in myself to give things a go.

Everyone is different, but based on my experience and the people I know, sometime in the 30s is when people's habits and career ambitions sort of set in. Some people would do great having the money in their 20s, but most probably wouldn't

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by flamesabers » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:03 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:01 pm
One of the big themes on this page is to get financially independent so you can quit working. What's the point of forcing people to work for an inheritance.
I think there's a major difference between becoming financially independent through your own means and becoming financially independent because you inherited a large sum of money. A absolute worst case scenario for young people who suddenly become financially independent via inheritance is they misspend the money to the extent they're forced to go back into the workforce in mid-life when they have become accustomed to the care-free lifestyle. In other words, because they didn't have the journey of becoming financially independent, they may be clueless about concepts like safe withdrawal rate, living frugally, making wise investment decisions, etc.
delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm
Our goal with the inheritance trusts is for them to disburse money to help our kids in ways that we would have done if we were still living. So money for home downpayments, college educations, contributions to retirement accounts, help in the event of disability or other costly medical conditions. So a backup in catastrophic situations and support that enables the long-term accumulation of assets (real estate, investments, education).

Those choices reflect our values. If we spend according to our values, does that mean we are trying to control our kids’ lives? Maybe some would see it that way; we don’t.
What if your kids choose to be renters instead of homeowners? Or what if they decide to start their own businesses instead of going to college? Would you refuse to give money to them because their values differ somewhat then yours?

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by delamer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:09 pm
Our goal with the inheritance trusts is for them to disburse money to help our kids in ways that we would have done if we were still living. So money for home downpayments, college educations, contributions to retirement accounts, help in the event of disability or other costly medical conditions. So a backup in catastrophic situations and support that enables the long-term accumulation of assets (real estate, investments, education).

Those choices reflect our values. If we spend according to our values, does that mean we are trying to control our kids’ lives? Maybe some would see it that way; we don’t.
What if your kids choose to be renters instead of homeowners? Or what if they decide to start their own businesses instead of going to college? Would you refuse to give money to them because their values differ somewhat then yours?
Yes, we would refuse in most circumstances that I can foresee (unless it was small amounts or temporary).
Last edited by delamer on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by mac808 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:21 pm

I'm always amused by threads on this topic.

My high school graduating class had half a dozen kids from billionaire families and the rest weren't exactly poor if you catch my drift. Most had substantial trust funds or other resources that made them FI on some level. I saw a lot of different parenting styles and now decades later, I get to see the results. Parenting - selflessness, sacrifice, time spent - that's what it all comes down to. Kids are great BS detectors. Sometimes I think people like to talk about money because it's easier to control than thousands of hours invested into a child's life.

In the vast majority of cases where the parents were active and involved in a child's life (knew their friends - me, for example) the kids turned out to be kind, mature, ambitious, motivated, successful adults.

In the vast majority of cases where the parents were absent, the kids ran into a lot of trouble. There's something that arises from a deep lack of self esteem that seems to slow down the maturing process dramatically. A couple were able to course-correct later on in adulthood but after serious struggles with addiction that could have killed them.

If you're a great parent, then you're likely to produce great kids and I would err on the side of trusting their judgment from late 20s onwards. If not, then good luck!
Last edited by mac808 on Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:55 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 pm
What if your kids choose to be renters instead of homeowners? Or what if they decide to start their own businesses instead of going to college? Would you refuse to give money to them because their values differ somewhat then yours?
Yes, we would refuse in most circumstances that I can foresee (unless it was small amounts or temporary).
Why? Hasn't it pretty well been established that the superiority of some of these things is largely mythical? Why force a child into home ownership? Or conventional education? A kid who is skilled in other ways but ill-suited for college is not some sort of failure to be punished.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by delamer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:09 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:55 pm
delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:19 pm
What if your kids choose to be renters instead of homeowners? Or what if they decide to start their own businesses instead of going to college? Would you refuse to give money to them because their values differ somewhat then yours?
Yes, we would refuse in most circumstances that I can foresee (unless it was small amounts or temporary).
Why? Hasn't it pretty well been established that the superiority of some of these things is largely mythical? Why force a child into home ownership? Or conventional education? A kid who is skilled in other ways but ill-suited for college is not some sort of failure to be punished.
My kids are through college, so business v. college is moot. And college has value outside of job training that we were willing to pay for.

That “the superiority of some of these things is mythical” means nothing in the context of my family. We make decisions based on our values and our analysis of what will most help and/or motivate our kids.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:19 pm

delamer wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:09 pm
That “the superiority of some of these things is mythical” means nothing in the context of my family. We make decisions based on our values and our analysis of what will most help and/or motivate our kids.
At the end of the day, it's your money and you can do what you want. You could give it only to kids that are registered members of your political party if you want.

To me the fair thing to do is split the money completely evenly and trust that the kids you raised will make good decisions. If they don't, then those will life lessons for them.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by mega317 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:49 pm

So if you had two children who got the same grades at the same college and went into the same profession, one took a job in North Dakota and bought a house, s/he gets more than another who goes to San Francisco and can't afford to buy? What if they buy something 3 times as expensive, do they get more?

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by flamesabers » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:19 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:19 pm
To me the fair thing to do is split the money completely evenly and trust that the kids you raised will make good decisions.
+1.

Barring special circumstances (i.e. one of the kids is unable to work due to a serious physical/mental disability or requires ongoing expensive medical treatment, etc.) the fairest option is to divide the inheritance evenly. Otherwise, the kids who received a smaller inheritance may resent their siblings who received more.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids in will so they continue to work

Post by delamer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:25 pm

mega317 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:49 pm
So if you had two children who got the same grades at the same college and went into the same profession, one took a job in North Dakota and bought a house, s/he gets more than another who goes to San Francisco and can't afford to buy? What if they buy something 3 times as expensive, do they get more?
And what if one of my children has 6 kids to put through college and the other has none? Or what if both have 2 kids but one has a kid who has extraordinary medical expenses? Or what if one of my children becomes physically disabled?

We will deal with these situations as they arise, both on a day-to-day basis and in our inheritance plans.

If we die tomorrow, then our children split the estate evenly and they each get full control of their money at age 40. But conditions until then.

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Re: How much/little money to give kids so they continue to work

Post by evilityb » Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:50 pm

remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:16 pm
To be clear, I am talking about how to structure our will to distribute money to kids who are now 14 and 12 should we die before they are self-supporting. It will be easy to dole out the money if we are still alive because then I can see what kind of people they turn out to be. Our existing will, written 14 yrs ago, bequests 10% at 25 and the balance at 30, which would now make them millionaires at a very young age, and I have no idea now how they will handle it. When we wrote our wills, we did not imagine there would be so much to potentially distribute. So, I'm looking for ideas to structure their inheritance in a way that encourages them to work and contribute to society.
My vantage point is that of a 34-year-old who started working full time 5 years ago. I can tell what what help my parents have given me through my adult life that has been helpful.

1) Post-high school education. My parents paid for my bachelors, I paid for my master's. I was able to live at home with my parents the whole time I was in school. Leaving school with very little debt was incredibly helpful. I have a leg up on my friends who are drowning in debt because of it.

2) An emergency fund. When I first started working full time, I had very little money to my name. I was saving like crazy but at the rate that I *could* save, it was going to take me 2 years just to acquire an adequate emergency fund. My parents accidentally gave my sister $10,000 -- they weren't clear that it was a loan, so instead of trying to patch up their mistake and get it back from her, they just gave the other siblings equal gifts. That became my emergency fund. I immediately slept better at night knowing I wasn't up a creek if something happened.

3) Assisted with a down payment on my house. This actually started as a loan, but, again to make things even with the siblings, my parents forgave the loan. This was because they'd given my sister money when she got married -- I'm "taking my time finding a husband" (dad's words) -- so my parents decided that it makes more sense just to give me the money now and call it even. In my case, I actually had the down payment, this just went to bolstering my emergency fund and paying for that first year of fixing everything. Again, slept a lot better knowing it was there.

Perhaps give each kid their college education and a small amount to help them get by while they're in college -- like $20k each year so they can have a decent roof over their heads, eat regularly, drive a reliable car, etc. When they're done with school, give them another $20k to help them launch. Then, subsidize their lives enough that they can contribute in full to their retirement accounts -- perhaps by matching, like if they put away up to the max $18,500, they can withdraw half of that from the trust fund, or something. Allow them to withdraw a set amount for big life events or in the event of a medical emergency, etc. After age 50, the rest is theirs to do with what they please. If they want to retire young and sit by a beach in their golden years, good on 'em :)
Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune you need - Ben Harper

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Re: How much/little money to give kids so they continue to work

Post by Shikoku » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:00 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:45 pm
I also have set up an "educational trust" for descendants. I don't every want a child to end up working at a lower job because he/she could not afford med school. This is my "priority in retirement", to grow this fund as much as possible.
Sandtrap,
I enjoy your posts and admire your goal to fund education of people you love. My thinking on med school funding is something like this. Med school students can take loan to fund their education. If someone can get admitted to med school, lack of funding will not stop his/her education. I am unsure if there is any example that someone in this country have not finished med school because he/she could not afford. I agree, it certainly becomes easier if funding is readily available. May be I am missing something.
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

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Re: How much/little money to give kids so they continue to work

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:42 am

Shikoku wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:00 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:45 pm
I also have set up an "educational trust" for descendants. I don't every want a child to end up working at a lower job because he/she could not afford med school. This is my "priority in retirement", to grow this fund as much as possible.
Sandtrap,
I enjoy your posts and admire your goal to fund education of people you love. My thinking on med school funding is something like this. Med school students can take loan to fund their education. If someone can get admitted to med school, lack of funding will not stop his/her education. I am unsure if there is any example that someone in this country have not finished med school because he/she could not afford. I agree, it certainly becomes easier if funding is readily available. May be I am missing something.
Thanks for the encouragement and compliment.
My trust funding is based on merit. If the student takes a loan and graduates, then he/she qualifies for reimbursement. Otherwise the educational trust funds aimless wandering but no completion. However, the successor trustee and co-corporate trustee has discretion for pre-funding if a beneficiary qualifies. These benefits also are for adults who later want to continue education and training.
Sometimes children have less costly ambitions because they don't want to burden their parents. That should not be so. It doesn't matter if it is trade school, Shiatsu school, Acupuncture, Education, Chi Kung, or Med School.
The whole point is to encourage young people to strive and give incentives to complete what they start. Perhaps it is very "old fashioned", but there is never money wasted on education.
Mahalo,
j :D

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Re: How much/little money to give kids so they continue to work

Post by Shikoku » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:45 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:42 am
The whole point is to encourage young people to strive and give incentives to complete what they start. Perhaps it is very "old fashioned", but there is never money wasted on education.
Well said!
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett

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