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What is a Trust Fund Baby?

Trust fund recipients are often perceived as being reckless with money because they may not have worked for theirs.
Trust fund babies may find their wealth to be alienating.
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  • Originally Written By: Matthew F.
  • Revised By: Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2014
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A trust fund baby is a person who is born to someone with a large amount of money, who puts considerable assets aside in a trust for the child to access and use later. The phrase, often used with modern socialites, became popular in the 20th century as more American families became wealthy and had children who inherited money. The connotations of the term are often quite negative, but many individuals who inherit their money do not fit the general stereotype and work very hard for themselves and others.

Getting Their Start

Parents or legal guardians who have significant wealth usually establish a trust early on for a child using inherited or earned cash, property or other assets. They often can manage the trust themselves if they want, but it's common for them to have someone else take care of it. Usually, in America, the child doesn't get control of the trust until at least age 18, when a person is considered a legal adult in most states. Sometimes, he won't have access until the parent passes away. He often lives at home until that time, or his guardian or parents help pay for his own place to live.

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Perception by the Public

People tend to describe trust fund babies as spoiled and lazy. They also typically see them as being out of touch with what most people experience or go through, or as not understanding what helpers do to make them feel better. Another common perception is that they don't have the abilities to handle a job or be independent.

Many individuals look down on these well-to-do kids, thinking that they often spend what they have on tropical estates, lavish living arrangements, countless vehicles or long nights out on the town. Buying friends or time in the spotlight is a routine accusation. At the same time, in some instances, the name attached with the trust fund baby carries with it a level of fame and opportunity for success, as well as a certain degree of respect, awe, resentment and envy.

Given how the public usually sees these children, many people, especially those in urban communities, use the term negatively or as an insult. If a person sees someone else who isn't working but who still has nice things, for example, he might say something like, "He's such as trust fund baby, getting everything he wants." Another example might be someone saying, "Nah, I'm no trust fund baby — I actually have to work for my money."

Concerns

Even though the goal of nearly every guardian or parent generally is to provide a good life for their child, critics often worry that, by having everything provided for them, trust fund babies do not develop a good work ethic. A related concern is that, because the parents or different trustees usually manage the assets, the children do not become financially literate on their own or really recognize what they have. They say that the assets make the children too egocentric, which can cause them to become rude or inconsiderate to others, even seeing those in lower classes as lesser people.

Debunking the Stereotype

Although some trust fund babies do fit the general stereotype, using their money just to enjoy themselves, travel and be socialites, some use it to pursue serious goals such as starting their own businesses. Others look into going to school — often at an Ivy League college or university — and developing a career of their choice. Many study law or business, as these subjects directly relate to earning, investing and protecting assets. Putting money toward a cause such as animal rights or feeding the hungry also are ways they use their wealth to contribute positively to society.

The idea that these people are always happy because of their wealth is another myth. Many find their wealth to be alienating, because others can perceive them as superficial simply because of the assets they have. Trust fund babies may become depressed if they believe their relationships aren't very deep, with some even taking measures to hide their financial status so it doesn't cloud what others think and how they interact. They also may question their ultimate purpose, struggling to find their own talents or place in the world.

Parental Role

Much of the stereotyping with these individuals depends on the idea that parents or guardians don't make an effort to teach valuable life lessons. This concept does not always apply. In fact, as of 2013, as many as 75% of millionaires didn't grow up rich, instead working their way to everything they have. Understanding the value of both money and work, many of these wealthy people make a conscious effort to keep their kids from being spoiled. Some, for example, require their kids to get jobs, go to school or contribute in another way before they can get any of the trust assets. It is becoming more common for those with money to leave less of an inheritance to their kids, giving much of it away to charities or scholarship groups so that the children don't become too comfortable.

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Discuss this Article

anon959733
Post 54

@anon23757: Tell that to people who live in their cars after losing their jobs and houses.

anon959732
Post 53

I am an artist and I make six figures a year off my work because I am amazing and not because mommy and daddy wanted me be a brat. I am nearly 50 and worked my way through art school. I worked three jobs until I got my first job as an art director in Manhattan. Now I live in California and bought a $1.2 million house with the money I earned. Grow up, people. If people were smart, they would shut up and live below their means.

anon342232
Post 52

Not all "trust fund babies" are irresponsible and wealth is not something to be ashamed of or looked down upon. Wealth is also not an indicator of personal self-worth or happiness. Wealth has its own challenges that help define personal character the same way a person with lesser financial means deals with their challenges.

anon339335
Post 51

Neither my husband nor I grew up wealthy and have both worked for the money we have. I visited this site because we are setting up a trust fund for our young son in case we perish, and we are trying to be smart and avoid removing his purpose and incentive to challenge himself in life.

Rather than provide him with income continually through his life, after his schooling, the trust will match his earned income, and match it twice for low-income or humanitarian jobs. I hope we are doing the right thing for him, and it has been helpful reviewing these comments. Thanks.

anon328015
Post 50

I'm a trust fund baby, but my trust fund isn't super huge, only 3k/month. I work full time as an artist and actually make a decent amount of money from it, but not enough to support me, so I'm grateful that I have this extra money to fall back on.

On the other hand, sometimes I wonder if the extra money keeps me from stepping up my game and making better business decisions with regards to my earned income. The trust runs out in a few years, so I guess the answer will be revealed!

I'm really lucky that I've married a man who isn't into material things. He's taught me a lot about finding real happiness and buying less junk.

There's more to life than money, so being jealous of someone with a lot of money is short-sighted. They might have a horrible family or bad health or crappy friends; there's often something balancing it out. Nothing will make you unhappier than being jealous of someone. Only one person can be the richest in the world, so the rest of us need to figure something else out.

anon324062
Post 48

A wiser man than I once said, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor.”

What most people fail to realize about the trust fund baby is the impact it has on that person’s social life. Because the vast majority of the world is a conglomeration of ignorant people of median income, with average to below average levels of education, it’s not surprising they cannot comprehend anything beyond the basic principles of what a “rich kid” goes through in life.

What most narrow-minded people do is stereotype because they are unable to think outside the box. It is that very lack of intelligence that has kept the people who hate financially privileged children from making it past their inevitable blue collar life, and while these people also envy the rich who worked hard to make their money, they are exceptionally jealous and unable to handle the fact that some people will never have to seek employment to obtain their wealth. They are filled with jealousy, so they develop anger, and in order to justify their hatred of people who had no choice but to accept the money that was left to them, they label them all spoiled, lazy and or arrogant. The irony in this is that none of these haters, if given the same fortune, would turn it down. They would be tap dancing their way to the car dealership and looking online with a brand new laptop for a new house to pay cash for. It’s also important to note there are millions of spoiled, lazy, arrogant people in the world who don’t have trust funds, yet they aren’t cursed with the stigma that’s automatically applied to someone who involuntarily inherited money because of their family’s success.

The reality is that most people who have a trust fund realize early on the problems that come along with it, that all the “hard working” (non trust fund) people will never experience from unavoidable social discrimination. Regardless of how genuine, honest and friendly most TFB are to people they meet, once others find out they don’t have to work for their money, they will automatically be placed in a category that will spawn disrespect, back-stabbing, and worst of all, being used for their money.

As the TFB grows up, they will constantly be taken advantage of by phony friends, users, con-artists, and the most emotionally damaging, their significant others. While all the people who puff up their chests about how hard they work to pay their bills, and are always having to worry how to make ends meet, they should feel fortunate that they don’t have to know how it would feel if they constantly had to worry if their friends and acquaintances were around solely for ulterior motives, or if their wife / husband only married them for their money, with a diabolical scheme to cheat them out of it at some point, while cheating on them with one of their “friends.”

Imagine how uncomfortable it would be for you, on any given day in a social situation, to have people ask you what you do for a living, to feel forced to make up lies to avoid being judged for something that isn’t your fault because you don’t fit the norm. As much as you non trust fund babies want to complain about your 9-5 jobs, late payments, fear of being evicted and anything else under the stars, you all need to realize a simple fact: money doesn’t buy happiness. In fact, money is a major cause of family problems, divorce, depression and anxiety, especially in TFB, due to the social barriers explained before, coupled with a lack of purpose in life, which ultimately can result in unbearable boredom, self loathing and substance abuse. If you aren’t making ends meet, it is your fault for not applying yourself in life and/or living beyond your means.

This rant comes from 100 percent personal experience. I am a trust fund baby in my early 30s, I am married with a child and I can count my true friends on one hand. I have never suffered financially, but I have suffered emotionally through a few decades of dealing with all of the above and then some. I have lost countless numbers of people I thought were good friends, only to find out they were jealous haters, wanted something from me, or just simply couldn’t deal with the fact that I have what I have without having to earn it with a job.

I like nice things and I allow myself to enjoy them, but I never act as if I am better than anyone in spite of them. My parents made me get a job when I was 16, and I worked numerous jobs like anyone else from then until college, and after. I was taught at an early age to appreciate what I have and be responsible. When I was made aware of the wealth I would come into in my mid 20s, I can’t say that I was disappointed, but I never let it boost my ego. I suffered and dealt with the same kind of family, work and relationship struggles as anyone else, but realized I was blessed with the fortune of financial stability for life because my family wanted to provide me with the best future they could.

I am highly educated and talented, but today and for some time, I have not had to work. This has not only granted me the luxury of being able to buy nice things, but also the freedom to do whatever I choose in life, and most importantly now, to spend as much quality time as I can with my wife, child, family and friends. I have the means to travel, enjoy the finer things, and most of all, not worry about the future, but it has come with a price. My past with people because of my money has made me apprehensive about developing relationships with others, made me doubt everyone, and to some degree, become a recluse.

I don’t want to put up with any more users, or with people trying to get me to invest or ask to borrow money. I have probably turned away many decent people looking to build a true friendship based on my paranoia from being messed up in the past so many times, and it’s made me something of a jerk. I’m sure that many who meet me now think that is because I’m a pompous rich boy, but it’s actually a result of the years of horrible experiences I have had trying to be a good friend to people who can’t deal with my situation. This has made me feel very distant from the world. I have battled horrendous bouts of depression and anxiety throughout my adult years. For a time it was so bad, I became agoraphobic for almost 6 months. But to the regular idiot, because I have a Ferrari in my garage, I must not have real problems. That idiot wouldn’t know that I had a good childhood friend die in an accident, that my parents sent me to a boarding school when I was 12 where I was physically abused for years, or that my sister suffers from severe bipolar mania and has essentially ruined my immediate family’s dynamics because of her condition.

They wouldn’t know that my neighbor poisoned my dog because it barked too much, or that some jealous jerk at a party once loosened the lug nuts on my car, causing me to crash into a ditch when I was a teenager. They wouldn’t know that once I had to pay for an abortion that my girlfriend demanded when I was in my early 20s, only to find out that she was having sex with my supposed best friend on the side, and it was his kid. I could go on... we all have problems, rich or poor.

It’s going to be a long, painful experience in life for those who are consumed with envy. Be thankful for what you have, don’t hate others who have what you don’t, and just make the best of your time on earth. There’s always going to be someone who has more, and some of them won’t have to punch a clock to get it, but life isn’t fair for any of us, we all deal with crap, and at the end of the day everyone who has their health and freedom should be happy and enjoy it until their final day.

anon309483
Post 47

I'm dating a trust fund baby, and he is absolutely wonderful. He's actually one of the saner people I've met, and tends to have wholesome values. Yes, he can be cocky and a bit arrogant, but he knows he is lucky. When all you've known your whole life is luxury and feeling like you own the place, I can understand the cocky attitude. But he is very intelligent, educated, ambitious, driven, and hard working. He is down to earth, and very sweet and tender.

Yes, some trust fund babies can be obnoxious, spoiled, lazy good-for-nothings. But there are also pros to trust fund babies. Because of their wealth, often they lack fear - fear of the future, of uncertainties, etc., and so they tend to have less anxiety than other people. Hence, they tend not to see people as "what can I squeeze out of him/her?' and if they're raised well and with good values, they will tend to the see the good in people more, and approach relationships with others with more sincerity and innocence. At least that's my experience of the wealthy and very wealthy.

It's a certain gentility, I suppose, and culture, which I find very nice and refreshing. Not like the mad rush of the masses to tear what they can from each other's hands.

anon292789
Post 46

Trust fund babies. It's just one of those things. Some blow their money and act like jerks, and then there are those who try to conserve the money, donate some here and there, and keep a steady job, which is good, but there's that thing, and I'm pretty sure it's the reason why most people have a resentment of trust fund babies even if they've never met one. It's the fact that in the end, unless they lose it all, they'll never truly have to worry about anything -- no worrying about bills, no trying to make ends meet, no having to starve yourself so you can put the last of your money in the tank of your car so you can make it to your crappy job just so you'll have money to do it all again next week. That's the reason I think people have a problem with trust fund babies, but that's just what I think.

anon262781
Post 44

While working full time at a crappy job to pay my way through college, I used to see some with (what I thought) were nonchalant attitudes about grades and school. They drove expensive cars, partied and shrugged at low grades that would have devastated scholarship recipients. I used to watch with some level of disgust and, yes, envy.

I happened to stumble upon this page and I'm glad I did because it's given me a different perspective. I wouldn't know from experience, but I see now that growing up rich has its advantages and disadvantages. If given the choice, most, if not all, would prefer to be rich. You didn't choose to be born rich any more than I chose to be born poor. At the end of the day, we're all just human. All paths eventually lead to the same destination for us all. Thanks for helping me to know that you guys have problems just like the rest of us. Wish you all the best on your journeys.

anon262072
Post 42

Interesting discussion. Like some other posters, I am a trust fund baby. I feel very blessed and lucky, for the most part.

I am in my mid forties and have worked most of my adult life, although I dropped back to working on a casual part-time basis about a year ago and have started doing a few volunteer things.

I drive a 5 year old Toyota and live in a typical stable, middle class neighborhood. I live below my means and try to keep a low profile about my wealth. A considerable portion of my income is either saved or donated to charities.

True happiness is not Jaguars, mansions, and Tiffany jewelry. I do occasionally eat out in fancy restaurants or take nice vacations so I do use some of my money for the occasional personal pleasure. For me, it is all about balance. Sometimes, too much or too little money can magnify other problems.

anon253384
Post 40

I was born into an upper middle class/wealthy family. I've always been able to spend what I want, to a reasonable degree, but I've found that it does make it hard to trust people. I don't like to tell people I have money anymore, because I've found that it makes things different somehow. I like it best when I can be like everyone else.

Sometimes it's hard for me not to feel bad when I do need to spend money. I've been through false friends, who just want money or donations from me, and that has been hurtful, and has made me mistrust people. I grew up hearing that I was spoiled or a brat. It wasn't my choice to inherit money, just like it wasn't anyone else's choice to pick the lot they've got.

I feel as though I just have to make the most of my situation by learning how to invest and spend wisely. I want to have money when I'm older to donate, and give to my children, or for my retirement. Although I'm still young, I need to work hard and to find meaning in my life to have lasting happiness, just like everyone does.

anon246566
Post 39

I was given money a few years ago. I do not have to work. I do not have to stress or worry and you know what? I am loving it. I have been very blessed to focus on other things then material survival this lifetime. I am a single mother of a ten year old and I can be fully present for him. Yes, in the eyes of many, it is unfair. Why does one suffer and the other not? But life is hardly equal for any of us in many other aspects besides this loaded topic .

I have learned a lot from the very harsh “logical” judgments of other, which more often rationally covers up envy. Yet money does not at all stand equal for love. Some aspects of having are easier, yet others are totally not. Due to the emotionally loaded energy people tend to project onto money (which actually is a form of energy), I find that not so many people are not able to accept me for who I am.

At times, angry judgements cloud the previous good encounter, so I avoid the question “what do you do for a living ?” No I do not work for money. I work ( I am a painter ) because I want to. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I thank God every day for such big gift.

No, I do not have many friends, but I am blessed with a few good ones. The ones that are able to look beyond the exterior circumstances, the material “stuff,” the non suffering, non struggling for financial gain.

Beyond all that, I am very human. I do experience life, feel happy and also feel pain and above all, I heal. It took me several years to step beyond the outrageous harsh judgments of other people. As if psychic crap can be thrown just because you have more numbers in the sky (the bank account) than them.

People told me I am a nobody, lazy, spoiled, the looked down at me as if I was lower than donkey poo, you name it. The truth of it is, they do not even know me. I met many men who wanted marriage in order to secure social status and other bogus stuff like that. As if I had a price tag attached to my ear. Yet I am much more than that. I have had, and still have, extreme experiences in life good and bad and I always stand back up.

Maybe American people are very survival-oriented, and have kind of been sucked into the material dimension of life. In one go a person can lose it all and be on the street. It is a very hard country to be in. Europeans are very attached to their heavy cultural history and class system.

Who is truly free? Often our own mind is the ultimate prison. Who are you to judge? It is considered very wrong to be a racist, wrong to judge poor people, homeless people. But this may seem a bit odd for some, or a totally new view, but all of us came here, on earth, to have a specific experience and no, it is not all about money. I have met people in Africa, Brazil ( yes, I happily have traveled with that given money) who have no “stuff” and are very rich, happy people. They shared whatever they had with me. When I tried to offer them money, it was like a insult, as if I looked down on them. I have been to the projects in Brooklyn and boy, never have I felt such soul and joy in being together, dancing, celebrating. There was no talk of money or of where you got it from. I did not ask them, either.

When I grew up and we had “everything” (not Paris Hilton style though) yet love was pain. Money replaced what was lacking in love. I felt guilty and ashamed for having money. I pretended to be part of the race. People even thought I was a prostitute when they could not figure it out. For many years, I looked for love everywhere. I found it, not in my bank account, but in myself. (I know it sounds so cheesy but it is true!) Money is funny! It can be a curse or a blessing.

anon244089
Post 38

I've met one. The guy was a complete jerk and worked at my job and had no responsibility. It must be nice to have gotten everything exactly how you wanted it in life and then be a sad little piece of crap on top of making someone who pulled his life together have a bad day at a job he has to go to. Thanks a lot. It's probably for the best mommy set that trust fund up for this idiot.

anon210891
Post 37

Interesting points here.

I really like what was stated about money being like fire. It can hurt or help. And I definitely can relate to 185515, friends taking advantage. I don't tell anyone about my trust money, because I'm so afraid that they'll take advantage of that and they won't be my true friends. I'm paranoid that they're just involved because there's money involved.

And I did not grow up as an upper-class kid. This paranoia started pretty recently actually. My dad worked hard to support the family and is really stingy. He pays cash for the family vehicles and bought the family house in cash and all that, but he drives a Honda and we certainly don't live on Rodeo Drive. I didn't really even know about all this money until I started getting distributions at 17.

A year ago, my good friend Chelsea found herself in a financial situation where she needed help. I broke the rule about letting friends borrow money, and I offered to let her borrow it straightaway with monthly installments over about 13 months. A year later, she hasn't missed a payment (although I made them automatic straight out of her account, the day after her direct deposit went through). She only owes me a couple more payments -- a small amount of money now.

I've always liked her as more than friends, but she didn't feel the same way about me -- until during this loan process she stumbled upon a figure of how much money I have. Note that I get distributions twice a year and I don't spend any of the money from my trust, I only spend what I earn. I put the trust money in a separate savings account so it really just piles up. She saw the statement of the piled up distributed money, then asked a lot of questions which resulted in her discovering that there is more trust money that hasn't been distributed.

Now that she knows about the trust, she's all over me. Obviously I play along. But in the back of my mind the situation is really sickening.

trustfundmom
Post 36

I found this site because I have been upset all weekend. My daughter just went to the wedding of a friend who married only for the money. She finds him "disgusting," his family is cruel – and I mean cruel – and obnoxious, but she went through with it anyway only for the money. Her friends and parents begged her to back out. I don't want to go into the specifics because I need this to remain anonymous.

But, the way she, her family and friends were treated, it was like she had married into the Mafia -- except the "rich family" had a lot less class. But, I have to say, this girl is getting what she asked for. We just all feel bad for her parents, who are heartsick. Everyone begged her to back out. But, she did it for the money, plain and simple. I can tell you, whatever money she gets from this marriage, she will have "earned" every penny. We have all lost respect for her.

Ironically, my own daughter does have a trust fund, but she has her head firmly on her shoulders. She has perspective and excellent values and works at something that she excels in. I am proud of her. But, I do have to say that from the time she was a little girl, I used to tell her that money is not a "purpose in life." A purpose is something that only you can discover. And it is something that gives one a reason to get up in the morning (as my mom used to say).

So, those on this site who have a purpose will be happy; those who don't, won't. The money is irrelevant when it comes to having a purpose. Hence, the different levels of discontent or satisfaction found among those commenting.

anon185515
Post 35

Not a trust fund baby in the sense that I don't have a trust fund, but I used to spend about 50k a year in addition to my own income which varies, not including tuition and rent. I used to treat people all the time because money seemed so trivial. People always preach about sharing, and I think that's why a lot of wealthy kids spend money on their friends and gf/bf. Then I realized that it's hypocrisy, the people preaching about sharing are the have nots. They want you to share with them because they don't have what you have, but rest assured that they would not share with others.

I've had friends who bring friends when I said I'd treat them, under the guise of getting to "know me", and yet after mooching off a couple thousand, I never hear from them again. They look down on you because you so carelessly spend money on them, thinking they're better than you because they managed to spend your money, but at the same time they are jealous because you have that money. I think this is the main reason why people act differently to money, so I've been weaning myself off and specifically told my family not to give me money in the future.

I work because I get bored if I don't, and I think the key is to spend money on yourself, and having control of that money. I'm learning, and I've got to say, whatever else money brings, it feels good to be in control. Spending money is neither control nor power; having money is!

anon178043
Post 34

I know a trust fund baby as well. And everything posted on this article is pinpoint accurate. She went to a good school (UCLA) all expense paid by her parents, studying law *ding ding.* She drives a 300k car paid by her parents, and guess what? She's squandered millions of dollars on reckless purchases and trips with nothing to show for it. It's really sad, actually. Oh -- did i mention she doesn't work and is now in credit card debt.

anon174880
Post 33

I have to agree with anon: nothing is easy. in fact, i think if you have a trust, your life is harder than a person who doesn't and has been working their whole life for their money.

i say this because your friends are never true to you. they always want something from you. if you say no they disown you an you feel like you're always alone, always watching your back.

now if you're not dumb about it, just because you have that money doesn't mean you wouldn't try to work. that money could be gone just as fast as you got it.

my advice is don't be lazy. get off your butt and get a job and if anyone asks where you got your money from say it's from a job. be smart with your money before someone comes along and snatches it from you.

anon166938
Post 32

I think it's even more incredible when an intelligent profession is succeeded down the line and money is accounted for by a family.

anon166937
Post 31

I never really placed that much value on being a trust fund kid or royal heir either. I liked the rummy I played and oyster stew with my grandparents. Everyone else was finer dressed in my school aged days, and I suppose that got to me a bit. My grandparents were conservative brick layers. Money did not come easily. Yet I am a lazy, content girl if I permit myself to be. So some of the above stories are fun to read. I identify.

anon166935
Post 30

I believe if your family cared enough to save money for you then it creates wrath. My only sympathy for those without trust funds these days are I am sorry you were not planned for and are your basic needs met?

anon164703
Post 29

I have multiple trust funds and when i turned 21 i got 1.5 million dollars. old money. It has its ups and downs. Friends and girls use you but you also use them. It's jacked but I wouldn't trade it for working a normal job. That stinks way more. I've tried it.

peace8433
Post 27

@anon150744: As a fellow TFB, I would advise you to figure out what is missing in your life and what will make you happy and content. Material possessions are just things. They do not make us happy. People make us happy. Doing what makes us feel like we have purpose makes us happy.

You cannot change your circumstances, so embrace them, and understand that if you live to please others, you will not be living to please yourself. Thus, you will be miserable forever. I hope you find your peace. Have a blessed day.

anon154305
Post 26

I, too, am a trust fund baby. I have been married three times and all three have failed due to all three husbands having not worked during the marriage (quit their jobs after wedding and refused to get true and fair employment after the wedding). This has been hurtful as it used to make me wonder if I was even lovable without the money. Of course, I have felt used.

Also, I have struggled with understanding life and finding satisfaction. It's easy for others to sit in judgment because their lives allowed them to learn basic life lessons quicker than those with lots of money. I finally signed my money away to be protected from me, so I could never be taken advantage of again.

Now, the trust covers my bills at the amount most average middle class couples make together (about $5K/mo). I support myself, my education at a public university, and my three children with this income. I try harder than many people to succeed. And I have spent vast quantities of time trying to beat down any sense of entitlement that occurred naturally as a result of my birthright.

Today, I tell no one of the money, except a friend who is in the same financial situation and gives fantastic advice. I live in a small country neighborhood where the average home price is $120K. I live well within my means and do not feel entitled to anything that I do not earn myself.

Even then, I'm only borrowing it and will try to take very good care of it while it is with me, so the next person can enjoy and appreciate it, hopefully.

I find that people who I come in contact with are themselves with me more than ever, now that none of them know I am a millionaire. And when I put my head on my pillow at night, I do not think of myself as a millionaire, but as a person - like most others - just trying to be the best person I can be to those I am blessed to have in my life.

We are no different from one another. Bank accounts do not have to define a person.

anon150744
Post 25

Trust fund baby here, from a grandparent. How do I recover? I loathe myself for my irresponsible spending. It continues. every purchasing decision I make, I regret. my father's philosophy hates the wealthy, and so he laughs and is happy every time I make irresponsible decisions. I hate him and myself.

anon147879
Post 23

Though my parents are just self employed middle class, different reasons have results in us having about four different sets of tens of thousands in the last two years. I have just blown though it. I feel like a thrust fund baby but I'm going to use it to motivate me to be successful. Now I've tasted a bit of champagne, I don't want to go back to a beer budget!

anon134112
Post 22

I knew a trust fund baby pretty well. He went to private schools and failed out, and then went to college and the joke was his blood alcohol content was higher than his GPA. I met him when his father brought him on board to work for me at the small company he ran. The kid was very intelligent, but ruined because he was a trust fund baby.

He would come in at odd hours, take long lunches, sometimes never come back from lunch, leave early, etc. A couple of days, he just never showed up and didn't call in. I reprimanded him, the VP at the company had no fear and reprimanded him in front of his dad, his dad reprimanded him, but he just couldn't seem to pull it together and kept coming in late, etc.

Then his Dad sold the company and within six months, the new company had had enough and he was fired. He didn't seem to mind though since he got $3M when his Dad sold the company.

It was really sad though because he was a bright kid, and very capable. But he couldn't take directions, didn't stay on task, dressed like a slob, basically didn't care because he had no fear of life without an income.

anon124643
Post 21

someone called me a "trust fund baby" the other day because I have done well during the recession. it turns out this person said this out of pure jealousy because I have been smart with the money I saved and found ways to make more.

Often people who use this term say it to explain why they have not done better in life. That has been my observation. Also, they don't understand that money isn't everything - they really need to look at their own values. As someone pointed out, there are a lot of different types of trusts.

Middle-class families set them up all the time, by the way, people are clueless when they hear "trust fund" and think "rich."

anon106180
Post 19

I dated a trust fund baby. She is 57 years old. I met her when she was in her last year of her ten-year PhD program. Yep, that's right. Ten years of dabbling in academia. She eats out at expensive restaurants five nights a week (fifty dollar per person bill).

Her only "job" is teaching one history class each semester at a community college. The kids in the class hate her guts. For what reason, you ask? Well, they see her get out of her car which is plastered with private, expensive universities' stickers that she attended (MIT, Smith, etc) and they know she is slumming at the community college. She wouldn't send her own kids to a nationally ranked public university five miles from her house. It had to be private high schools, private universities.

Anyway, she smokes two packs a day and weighs 220 pounds, but she also lives in a house that she paid one million dollars in cash for that is five minutes from Harvard campus. Still, she has no meaning in her life.

She has been in psychiatric facilities on multiple occasions and takes a dozen meds each day to survive. She sleeps twelve hours a day. So, she has no financial worries and on paper, she looks great, but I would say that her trust fund life has made her very lonely.

anon93756
Post 17

My name is Hunter and I am In fact a "trust fund baby" if you will. My grandparents are both trust fund babies so you can imagine what the bank statement says. I'm not here to discuss that, though.

I just wanted to know what people really think about the label "trust fund baby". I don't tell anyone that I'm just that, but I seem to be labeled by it openly. How do people see this? Is it my expensive taste or what? I'm not sure.

I work at starbucks, i go to college and my parents make me do it for my own good and when i get my second degree they said they will sit me down and explain why my life was the way it was. I don't see myself the way other trust fund babies do though. they always seem so cocky and stupid with no education about the world. it kills me. I wish I wasn't part of this label. Thanks.

Orville Sharp
Post 16

why do people think that you're rich and that you have all this money when you say you have a trust fund? there can just be a dollar in it. All it is, is a bank account with money in it that grows high interest.

anon76205
Post 15

you argue metaphysical points. go a single week without food and then complain to me about the lack of a meaningful life or receiving sufficient understanding. tens of thousands die daily for lack of potable water. let me cry you a river.

anon72907
Post 14

It all boils down to being proud of yourself. Although just average income, coming from a rather poor family, I am proud of what I've accumulated, and yet, at age 64, worry if that money will last. Yet I did it myself. Maybe that's bullcrap.

I don't know if I'd rather be content and a little proud, or really rich and not content for whatever reason. I think average income earners like to think they are happier than someone wealthy and like the stories of those who don't appear to benefit from their situation.

It's a mystery, really. If any rich trust kid wants to help me out, I can be reached at... That's not even funny to someone wealthy and sad. We all need love and acceptance. And that's real love and real acceptance, not the fake stuff.

anon58527
Post 12

I am not a trust fund baby of any sort. I stumbled on this forum looking for assistance and advice on how to start my own business. I can believe anon23757 is not satisfied with his life because money cannot buy happiness.

People born into wealthy families have just as much pressure on them from the circle of people they are associated with (other wealthy persons), just as people who are born into middle class and poor families also have pressure on them. The only difference is the large sum of money. Most people want to succeed and do well in life (having more money makes it easier because you have more chances to make financial mistakes).

Scenario: A poor person's dreams vs. wealthy person's dreams.

A poor person living in the ghetto dreams of becoming a very successful businessman. He has many adversities against him. His "circle of people" are poor, usually not highly educated, many single parent families,have a lot of debt, and "bad" criminals of society.

It is very difficult for a person in his circle to achieve their dreams. Some of them are successful in maintaining ideal grades in school but they cannot afford a higher education. So many of them in turn return to the ghetto because working a job paying minimum wage is not enough to live on much less pay for school.

Fortunately this person was able to go to school with a scholarship for maintained excellent grades (he worked hard in school not knowing if he would be awarded a scholarship or not). At any rate he went on to become that successful businessman despite his environment.

A person living in a wealthy upper class community dreams of becoming a successful businessman. He has a lot of pressure on him to succeed and do well. His "circle of people" are wealthy, usually have trust funds or a large inheritances, own businesses, stock, real estate and the likes, highly educated, usually both parents are present in the home, and are "good" criminals of society.

It is very easy for a person in his circle to achieve his dreams (is it really?), because they have what seems like endless amount of money. Many people in "his circle" are successful and continue to build on the wealth they already have. He can go to any ivy league school with grades that are just good because his parents can afford to send him. He too went on to become a successful businessman.

The point: Both became successful businessmen, but at different costs. The poor man suffered more and is more appreciative than the wealthy man. The wealthy man knew that if he did not do well and flunked a class or two his parents would be able to pay to take the class over or send him to another school.

The poor man knew that he only had one chance to make it through school because he would not get another chance. At any rate, another cost of rolling in different circles is that sometimes you may not want to always do what everyone else in your circle is doing (hence the poor man went against the grain and succeeded). Sometimes persons with wealth expect their children to also succeed (sometimes the child may not always want to do what everyone else is doing) at doing something along the same line of work as themselves and the child may want to venture out on a different path.

Maybe the child with the silver platter would not be given any money if they did not do exactly as the parents desired. Hence they would lead a miserable life.

Some of you are inconsiderate of anon23757 when he states he is not happy. Just because you have a large security blanket (money) is not a good reason to think oh you have it better than 99 percent of society.

Guess what? You don't because money can't buy happiness. It can buy a lot of things but when it comes to the inner person and self it does not matter how much money you have. If you don't have friends or someone you can talk to and share things with, you can be the richest loneliest person in the world.

To the person(s) who made the statement(s) he will not get rid of his inheritance neither would you. If someone tells me they are not happy and they have a lot of money I would not think they are complaining just to be heard. I would believe them.

How many famous wealthy people have committed suicide or died of some type of drug overdose? They had a lot of money but they were not happy.

anon56874
Post 11

Why is there always bickering when the subject of other people's money is the topic?

I have a trust fund of $35,000,000 from my grandfather and a smaller one from my parents i have never touched (Not to be confused with inheritance, which i did receive when my grandparents passed; enough to go to school while working full time.)

In the past 20 years of my professional life i have amassed a net worth of $700,000,000. My parents and grandparents set up some funny stipulations when they created the account. There is an executor who i met once and there are forms i would need to fill out that would be reviewed by the trustees if i were to apply to withdraw some of it. Fortunately i do not need it.

I will someday donate my trust fund to charity for a write off if possible. However, it is my understanding that the executor does not have to approve my wishes and can keep the money for his firm if he sees fit.

However, if i am alive, i don't see how the fund can be divided by the trustees, so it has to remain alive somewhere in case i do need it. I never really looked into it, but i think i will have to some day.

I do think there is a difference between a "Trust fund" and a "Trust fund baby." I am not a trust fund baby as i did not get a regular installment as a trust fund baby would have. I do know people who are "Trust fund babies" and they never worked a day in their lives, though many are royalty and the security required for them to go out in public would not justify a 9 - 5 job.

anon55447
Post 10

It's worthless to argue over anon23757's comment. Just as it can be argued that 23757's complaints are unwarranted and pathetic, anon44422's statement that "those who have truly suffered tend to have matured and developed their personality a lot more" is equally disputable. In fact, it's ridiculous to make such a claim. A lack of privilege doesn't make a person a hero. Likewise, wealth alone doesn't ruin a person's life.

Furthermore, the argument over whether or not trust fund babies have it easy and every conversation attached is unproductive. The reality of any person's life, trust fund baby or not, depends on their own unique circumstances, details of their life experiences that no outsider can ever fully understand.

I personally agree with anon 43981's statement that "money is like fire: it can hurt you or help you." It all depends on the character of the person in question.

A few parting remarks:

1. Phil shouldn't be so quick to assume that anon23757 will forever be a whining "victim" of good fortune. Perhaps we should listen to those in need instead of hastily shooting them down with discouraging words that will only further alienate them. Crazy thought, huh?

I will admit that sometimes those in need may not seem qualified to complain, but anyone going so far as to say that a trust fund has ruined their lives is probably unhappy and in search of any shred of understanding they can find in others.

2. Once again, I have an issue with Anon44422's thoughts.

"Let's face it, anon23757 is just complaining about his better than average lifestyle, even though he knows that he has it better than 99 percent of the world."

Here we have a dangerous assumption that money equals happiness. At least, that's what I think anon44422 is saying when he/she states that anon23757 "has it better than 99 percent of the world." How do we know that their quality of life is better than that of a person with less material possessions simply because they *might* be in the 99th percentile of the population in regards to wealth? We don't. Sure, wealth can make comfort more accessible, but does it actually make things easier for the trust fund baby?

Isn't it just as likely that a person with less money than the trust fund baby could have a higher quality of life than the trust fund baby due to a better upbringing?

Wouldn't this mean, in the hypothetical case, that the non trust fund baby "has it better" than the trust fund baby?

Now, it is entirely possible that I misunderstood anon44422's comment, and if this is the case, I would strongly urge anon44422 to better communicate his/her ideas and not make so many assumptions, but I personally think that his/her input speaks for itself.

anon44422
Post 9

I have to agree with phil on this one.

anon23757 complains about how everything has been handed out on a plate, and he's speaking from personal experience.

I don't think Phil meant that *all* trust fund "babies" are spoiled brats, but rather this particular case it was and I agree with that.

I'm sorry that anon23757 feels that he's been disadvantaged that everything's been placed on a silver platter for him, but frankly I'm not going to sympathize for him as it's probably one of the last things on my agenda/list for worrying about.

Now things I have to worry about include working a full time job while going to college while others don't have to, or paying for electricity and food, or for car insurance and even broader more encompassing ideas like eliminating world poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, eliminating suffering, famine, hunger, increasing equality of sexes, races, etc.

these are things worthy of complaining about if at all --- but again those who have truly suffered tend to have matured and developed their personality a lot more and end up realizing that complaining about things in life will bring no true sympathy from others and will fall on deaf ears, and that it makes you feel and look pathetic when you're complaining about minor things like this.

Let's face it, anon23757 is just complaining about his better than average lifestyle, even though he knows that he has it better than 99 percent of the world.

I think the best way to solve his "dilemma" is if he donates all his money to charity so that he learns work ethic and gets things the hard way -- but of course we all know that will never happen.

anon43981
Post 8

Oh I know a trust fund baby. I'ts my boyfriend and he is far from lazy. He works a full-time job while his money sits in a trust set up for him. A trust fund is a savvy tool that enables money to earn maximum interest while holding the funds properly until the child is mature enough to understand the financial windfall. The rich are rich because they are smart with money.

Who is to blame a person for being born into wealth? Not all trust fund babies are lazy, unmotivated people who sit on their butts.

In terms of Paris Hilton, I am not a fan. However, Paris (trust fund baby) has been working. She made somewhere around $20 million-plus one year when she was on the "Simple Life" for Fox. She has countless endorsement deals that she garnered on her image and name alone so she is not a person who does not work. It is easy to be envious of people like her because in truth it is not normal for many people. It is not an easy life when there is no silver spoon. I don't hate the rich person for being born into wealth. In truth money is like fire: it can hurt you and help you. It depends in the strength of the person with character.

anon43135
Post 7

You are both wrong. There are many different kinds of trust funds, and reasons for them being set up. Not every child who has a trust fund comes from billion dollar families. Or lives off their parents' money and never works. My grandparents set up a trust fund for college when my parents got divorced so that I could go to a nice school and have a decent apartment if I needed one. I still work, full time, and go to school full time, and I assure you it is *not* easy even getting approved to use the money in a trust fund. I can't just pick up the phone and say "wire me money, I want to go shopping." I have to have actual reasons, good reasons, to use my money that is educationally based or necessary to live. I have to write letters and have actual proof of what my money will go towards, and then be looked over by a board of trust managers that will decide if my requests are necessary enough to approve. Yes, I am grateful for the opportunities I can have that my parents could not offer me, but that doesn't mean it makes my life easy.

philhummel
Post 6

Oh boo hoo to anon23757, if you think your life is so bad, donate all your money and earn your money like a real man! Of course you won't, and that's why all you'll ever do is whine and complain.

anon23757
Post 1

In reading your description of a Trust Fund Baby, it is clear that you aren't one. You have NO idea. Your description may lead one to believe that the life of a trust fund baby is easy. It's not. Money comes easily but there are so many other precious things in life that a trust fund baby doesn't experience, due to the simply fact that everything has been handed out on a plate. This is not always a good thing and can ruin a person's life. It certainly has ruined mine.

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