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Author: Glockenspieler Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310154  
Subject: Re: Debt Hell in Oct Date: 11/7/2006 3:10 PM
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Recommendations: 17
Hi SD,

I am a little confused about how your family views the place of "the trust" in your lives. It seems that it was set up to provide a constant level of income to your wife, regardless of life circumstances, and that is what it has done. The trust is doing its job.

200K is a nice amount of money, but as the last poster pointed out, it will not last forever. The "feuding" with the trust almost seems as if there is an entitlement mentality regarding the money in the trust -- like the trust is a wealthy parent that is reluctant to give his grown children a handout (otherwise known as "economic outpatient care" in The Millionaire Next Door.) We don't know why the trust was set up, but someone may have been concerned that if there had been a lump-sum inheritance, the money would have disappeared quickly. That monthly $1400 check has kept your heads above water for quite a while. The trustees may have recognized that if they had increased the monthly stipend, that much more money would have simply disappeared each month, with the principal rapidly decreasing.

It is illogical to first hope that the trust fund will pay for your children's education (even in lieu of the $1400 disbursement each month) and then, when denied, not save at least some of that money yourselves in their college funds.

Ideally, it would be great if you could get to the point where you live entirely from non-trust money and can save that amount each month so that when the trust fund itself runs out, you will still have some of it left over. Maybe it has helped your family psychologically to feel "taken care of," but that feeling will come to an abrupt halt someday, unless you choose to save the money yourselves.

Regarding the SuperTarget job, I would again encourage your wife to be upfront about her residual impairments, however subtle. I realize that she may feel embarrassed by this, but it may help her get over the fear (of failure?) that she is experiencing. She can say something like, "When I was a teenager, I was in an accident and hit my head really hard. Sometimes I still have some short-term memory problems or get a little disorganized. It's not usually a big deal, but will you just let me know if I forget to do something/let me write down my tasks for the day?" Any decent human being/manager would accept that she is being proactive, and try to direct her a little more or shield her from unwelcome comments.

This is the time of year to get started, when they need extra hands around the store. In my mind, she either has to work or she has to be in a situation to get social security. At this point in your lives, there really isn't another option. If the job thing still freaks her out, voc rehab is the next best option. I know that I am a broken record, but being convincing is so hard in writing :)

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