by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
George Best died yesterday in a London hospital after a long illness. Some Americans may not be familiar with him. Those that know me well know that I am a soccer (football ) fanatic. Growing up in London, at the beginning of the 1970s, I was privileged to have witnessed first hand the sublime talent and wizardry of George Best, the Manchester United and Northern Ireland icon once referred to as the "best in the world" by the great Pele. For me, having seen George Best dribble past 4 defenders and then score from an impossible angle is a lasting childhood memory. My memory also unfortunately recalls that some of his most impressive performances came at the expense of my favorite soccer team, Chelsea. Best's popularity was such that he was once referred to as the "El Beatle".
George Best, who first achieved fame in his mid-teens, was famously quoted in 2000 as saying " I spent my money on booze, birds (women) and fast cars. The rest I just squandered". This quote is the segue to the message of today's post.
Best's proclamation is a classic fortune and fame dissipation story. We're all subject to our own human frailties when money is involved. Recipients of law suit proceeds are no exception. Sometimes we need to be protected from ourselves. Giving a teenager or young adult access to large sums of sudden money is a recipe for disaster. Adults are not immune to this sudden money problems. Fully customizable structured settlement annuities and and other devices such as Settlement Preservation Trusts can be useful in providing such protection for law suit recipients. A spendthrift trust is one tool may be useful for non lawsuit recipients.