DEAR HARRY: I am an 80-year-old softy. I have two sons who are constantly after me for money. They have all kinds of reasons for me to give it to them while I'm still alive. But I'm afraid that I won't have enough for myself. When my husband died in 2005, there was almost $2 million; now I have a little more than half of that. So far I have not touched the inheritance for myself. My SS and pension cover my expenses. They have gotten me down to the worry point. There must be some way to keep from giving them more. Both are professionals who surely can get along without my money. Please direct me, Harry.
WHAT HARRY SAYS: There are ways to take the money from your control. You can have your lawyer set up an irrevocable trust in which the trustee controls he money. This requires deep faith that the trustee will operate to prevent you from taking large sums for your sons. You will need a lawyer to set this up. You also can go the route of an annuity. It can be structured in any number of ways to delay payments, get fixed amounts for your lifetime, and be wholly or partially invested in mutual funds. Another way would be to learn to say a firm, permanent "No." You can blame your negativity on me. Remember, your money almost certainly will not come back if you should need it.