I have lived a pretty luxurious life compared to your average American. See, my parents are pretty well off. My dad ran a successful law firm that he began long before I was born, and my mom, well, she didn’t have to work. We own a vacation house in the mountains, and when my dad wasn’t working his ass off, we’d take family vacations to some nice places. My parents shelled out the exorbitant amount of cash for private pitching lessons and high-end athletic trainers so I could excel on the baseball field. I was very privileged.
I grew up knowing that I had a financial backstop, even though getting $20 out of my dad to go to the movies was rather impossible. My college tuition, fraternity dues, truck, and cell phone were all paid for. The only thing I had to worry about was gas and extracurricular funds. I knew my family would be there to take care of me when times got tough, but my dad made sure that he instilled the same work ethic in me that got him to where he is today. But we both knew there would come a time when his assets would become my assets.
I’m a trust fund baby and I’m not afraid to admit that.
People are quick to the trigger to label me as spoiled or stuck-up. In fact, growing up in high school and college, my friends would always assume that I would pay for dinners and such because of my family. As I always told them, I was just as poor as they were. That was until my last birthday — the birthday when I started to receive payments from my trust thanks to the acquisition of my dad’s firm.
Did I quit my job and take my proverbial ball and go to the Bahamas? No. Mainly because it’s a complex trust and I didn’t receive a full lump-sum. What an asshole my dad is. Kidding, of course. Smart man to set it up to where my sister and I only receive certain amounts. Yes, I might make more than enough to live off just from my trust, but no, I’m not the guy you see in “The Rich Kids of Instagram.” I didn’t quit working because I knew that anything could happen to that money. I could spend it all, make bad investments, etc. I was determined to make sure I had financial security created by myself and not some trust.
Now don’t get me wrong — having the extra stream of cash coming in is nice and I can afford taking those nice vacations myself, going ahead and buying a townhome in the city, and upgrading to a car that I didn’t need my parents to buy without having to take out a loan. In fact, just last week I booked a week long trip to Cancún for me and five of my friends to throw a bachelor party for one of the guys. Being a good best man, I covered the whole thing just because I could and others couldn’t afford the full week trip.
Do I have it easier than some people? You’re goddamn right I do. Do I feel bad that my parents have given me that ability to live comfortably? Hell no. I don’t need to feel bad for the hard work they put in to make sure that they provided for my sister and me in life. While they can pay for our living now, the money can’t pay for the intangibles they also taught us. The job I have today? I got it on my own. Didn’t need dad’s help or money to get it. That diploma hanging on my wall? Earned that myself. That 1st place intramural flag football trophy proudly displayed in our fraternity’s house? Yeah, I caught one touchdown that game so I’ll take full responsibility for our 35-7 win.
I’m not your stereotypical trust fund kid because I’m not a stuck-up prick, nor do I expect the world to help me out because I come from money. But I definitely don’t have to feel bad for being one. It wasn’t my decision, after all, to create the trust in the first place. But I am forever thankful that my parents love me enough to do so.
And I know that with the hard work that has been passed on to me, I’ll be able to pass it on (along with a trust) to my kids someday..