Structured Trusts

By Doug Mayberry

June 4, 2018 4 min read

Q: My son has a big heart and brightens the day of everyone he meets. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any financial sense to speak of. He spends money without any consideration of planning for the future.

I will be leaving behind a modest trust for him but am afraid he'll deplete it almost immediately. How can I prevent him from wasting it all?

A: You're in luck. There are ways to structure an inheritance that deal with this exact issue. You may want to establish a spendthrift trust.

Spendthrift trusts have rules in place that limit access to the principal. You will need to appoint a trustee to oversee decisions about the account. This trustee should be someone who feels comfortable saying no without too many relationship repercussions.

Financial sense is something that doesn't come naturally to us all — your son is not alone in his financial illiteracy. Ideally, your son will change his habits. Sadly, many people never learn. That's why these types of trusts exist.

Talk to a financial advisor, who will be able to guide you through this process. — Doug


Q: I turned 60 this year and just arrived home from a physical exam at the doctor. I have been heavy ever since my late 30s, but my weight has now tipped the scale into the obese category. Retirement hasn't been helpful for me there.

My doctor is concerned about my health and encouraged me to make some major changes, but it seems like nothing I change will make a difference. I've tried swearing off bread for Lent for several years, but it doesn't seem to matter. If nothing changes, why should I make any effort? I might as well enjoy life.

Do you think that I should listen, or should I continue what I'm doing?

A: Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, an unhealthy lifestyle in the long-term comes with serious consequences.

Prioritizing our health is essential, especially as we enter old age. While it may be mentally healthy to have a few vices here and there, moderation is key.

Begin with some small, consistent changes, such as pledging to take a 30-minute walk every day. If the weather isn't cooperating, do some walking indoors. Play some music, or try a workout video. Try an early-morning walk around the neighborhood before it gets too busy or too hot.

Replace your bad eating habits with healthier ones. Drinking more water is a simple and effective lifestyle change. If you drink a glass of water each time you feel hungry, you may feel full afterward and delay eating unhealthy foods.

Life as a retiree completely changes our schedules and our habits. Every time you want to eat, ask yourself whether you are hungry or bored.

Keep yourself on a schedule — it will help you keep track of your habits and help your body regularize and keep a steady blood sugar. Start your day by drinking an 8-ounce glass of water. Weigh yourself in the mornings so that you can track your progress; whether you do so daily or weekly is up to you!

Your results will depend on how much effort you put into it. If you alter your existing bad habits but adopt new ones, you are unlikely to see much change.

Most importantly, stay positive! Choosing to be happy will make these changes easier. You will enjoy life much more if you aren't worrying about serious health issues in the future. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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