If you want more money (who doesn’t?), then you can easily imagine having a trust fund to make all your dreams come true.
Hollywood and the news add to this desire by trumpeting wealthy people who create trust funds. They also report on the fabulous lives of the kids who inherit trust funds.
We all remember the names of the original tycoon’s like Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, and Morgan. Plus, the present billionaires like Musk, Bezos, and Zuckerberg will leave insane fortunes behind them.
What Would You Do?
My question for you is what if you were offered a $25 million dollar trust fund with no strings attached? Would you take it?
I bet all of us would take the money without a second thought. You would be insane not to, right?
Think of the comfort and pleasure that would come from never having to worry about money; getting personal assistants, cooks, drivers, and maids; owning fancy cars and a yacht; avoiding lines with your private jet; and traveling wherever and whenever you please.
But, even with all the luxuries I listed, I believe that if you took the $25 million dollars, you would come to regret the decision.
Maybe not right away, but your decision to take the money could eventually make your life drastically less meaningful and less fulfilling.
You’re probably better off without the trust fund, and here’s why.
Troubles That Can Come With A Trust Fund
1. Guilt from not feeling like you deserve the money.
When you know you don’t deserve the money, the guilt can become hard to handle as you think about poor people across the world who are unable to afford shelter, clothing, education, or food.
Or, you will feel guilty when you see your friends struggling to pay bills and take care of themselves, knowing that you don’t have to work and face any of those hardships.
Unless this guilt is handled properly, the inheritor might try to numb out the feelings with unhealthy habits or a mindset of apathy. Many addictions come from people being unable to sort out their guilt, and looking for a way to suppress this feeling.
2. Hard to trust friends and partners’ motives.
Once people know you’re wealthy, it’s very hard to trust their intentions. You will constantly have to ask yourself, “Do my friends really like me, or do they only like me because of my money?” And, “Does my girlfriend/boyfriend actually love me, or do they only love my money?”
Less wealthy people don’t have to worry about this issue. They are more free to trust people and be confident in their relationships with friends and significant others.
3. Difficult to fit in and have to regularly face jealousy.
When you have significantly more money than someone, you will often get disliked or hated for it. Other peoples’ jealousy can cause many headaches for a trust fund kid who wants to fit in and be accepted.
If you’re comfortable dealing with the haters, then this is more of an annoyance than a major problem.
4. Any motivation to work hard is in danger.
When you’re handed $25 million, would you then have an ounce of ambition to study? How often would you go to class? Would you drop out entirely?
The millions make doing well in school and graduating seem pointless. Also, it can seem useless to work hard to find your dream job when you don’t necessarily need to work again.
Since you are “set for life,” education and a satisfying job don’t hold much weight at all.
But, the person above isn’t set for life. Losing the drive to achieve and make something out of yourself isn’t appealing to me, at all. This is because slowly each part of your life loses importance.
First comes school, then work, and what’s next?
William K Vanderbilt (the grandson of the tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt) might have said it best, “Inherited wealth is a real handicap to happiness. It is as certain a death to ambition as cocaine is to morality.”
5. Life can quickly lose meaning.
When you reach the pinnacle of success, at least financially, and realize you’re not happy, then the world can become very dark. The next conclusion is nothing will make you happy.
Also, many people who achieve worldly success but can’t feel satisfied, will look for other options, like hard drugs or even suicide, to fill the void.
I believe that happiness doesn’t come from external elements like wealth or fame, but internal elements like love, solid relationships, and a purpose for your life.
Key Difference Between Earning And Receiving The Money
For clarity, I’m making the point that being handed millions of dollars—without proper guidance and personal development to have a healthy relationship with the money—is what often leads to an unfulfilling life.
So, this isn’t a critique of the people who created the fortunes, because many of these people changed the world with their innovation and wealth.
For example, Rockefeller and Carnegie changed the future of American business. And then they both gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to help the general public. And Bill Gates has accomplished fantastic feats in his generous giving through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Challenge To Change Your Perspective
My challenge for us (and myself) is to change our perspective.
If you know someone who is ridiculously wealthy, instead of being jealous, you might want to be sympathetic to their situation. Their life may seem amazing on the outside, but you don’t know exactly what is going on inside.
And, I want us (and myself) to be thankful for the situation we are in, no matter our current finances, because there are a lot of upsides to coming from a family without a trust fund.
While you can’t afford ridiculous luxuries, the ability to work hard, chase dreams, and create a meaningful life is always free.
Readers, do you know anyone with a crazy amount of money? How are they different from you in terms of their ambition and work ethic? Do you agree that those who inherited a trust fund are set up for a more difficult life?
Also, after reading this, if someone offered you $25 million, would you take it or leave it? Why?