Blog with Rob: To trust fund or not to trust fund?

It’s a huge dilemma that every parent faces – how much is too much? Obviously as a parent you want to provide everything your child needs, but does that sap at their drive to push forward, to learn, to succeed?  Does simply handing them the newest iPhone, Xbox, Wii game, or tablet as a reward for their various achievements (or maybe just a special occasion) simply provide them with a sense of expectation instead of a hunger to go out and get it themselves?

Well it turns out that parents from all walks of life struggle with these questions.  Sting recently made headlines for commenting that he wasn’t leaving his 300 million dollar fortune to his kids, and the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman also made news when it was discovered he left his entire fortune to his longtime partner instead of his three children.  In fact, in 2012 a study completed by U.S. Trust found that only half of millionaire baby boomers think it’s important to leave money to their kids. A third of them said they would leave the money to charity rather than their kids.

In the words of Sting, “they have to work.”  But today’s kids are swamped between school work, sports, extracurricular activities, not to mention the drain of smartphones and all the other technology out there.  What kid today has time for work?  And how is that shaping (or not shaping) the workforce of the future?

These are questions that we need to ask ourselves – are we raising our kids with the drive to succeed? As the entrepreneurs of the future? Or do we have an obligation to support our children both emotionally and financially as long as we possibly can?

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Rob Basso is a recognized small business expert, successful business owner and entrepreneur.

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