How would you spend $400 million?
The other day I was walking past a local liquor store and…
[screech!] OK, OK, let’s start over.
The other day I walked INTO a local liquor store to purchase some wine, and I saw that big sign in lights that stated the Powerball Lottery was $400 million. “What the heck?” I thought, and I purchased one quick-pick ticket which of course then started the thoughts about what life would be like if money was not a worry.
My thinking was that we’d probably end up with about $200 million after taxes. That’s 148 million euros or 2572 million pesos. It’s a ton of money. But it wouldn’t be hard to spend, would it?
Well, first, we’d want to take care of immediate family, which would be sons, brothers, sisters, brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, parents. That’s about 20 people, so let’s say we gave (or put in trust) $2M for each, there goes $40M.
Then, we’d have to build the retirement home and buy the luxury boat so we could spend six months of the year at home and six months of the year traveling the world by water. I mean really, money is no issue! That’s another million or so down the drain.
Then, there’s travel. Even though we might spend part of the year in the ocean on a boat, we might want to take one other trip a year, going to places we wouldn’t be able to get to on our own boat. A trip where money is no object; so perhaps something like a two week National Geographic cruise to the Galapagos or the Mediterranean or perhaps a trip to Alaska. So let’s say we set aside maybe $25K per year for that and let’s just assume we live for another 30 years. That’s a little less than another million.
OK, now we all know that once you win zillions of dollars, people will come out of the woodwork asking for money. Maybe people who said hello to you in the hallway at grammar school. Once. Ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, and ex-friends will all of a sudden be calling to “catch up.” People you’ve never met will tell you all about the hardships in their life and how you could solve their problems. Even with an unlisted phone number and a change of address, they’ll find you! Nowadays there are email addresses and cell phones and lots of ways to reach you. Plus I’m a real estate agent (I’d keep doing that) so I’d HAVE to have my number and contact information available. We’d be found!
Anyway, some of those people might really have a good story, or might really need help. So we’d set aside a fund to be used over the years to help those that might really need financial assistance. Even if we helped 10 people a year, over 30 years, that still might only come to another $30M.
So we still have a lot left. Now, do we give to charities? Yes, but which ones? We have about four we think are great now, so let’s say we give them each $5M; that’s another $20M.
Well, guess what, we still have MORE THAN HALF left!!!!
We’d obviously want to spend some on other things, perhaps buying more expensive food or cookware or some new clothes and those kinds of things. We’d buy nicer gifts at holidays and birthdays. But that still just puts a tiny dent in the money.
So now come the real decisions. Do we buy real estate? Do we put the rest in our will? Do we double the amount we give family? Do we give money to certain people in poverty? Do we help some small businesses in need? Do we start our own business? Do we invest it? How do we resolve the issues that are bound to come up when someone we gave money to wants more? How do we resolve the people issues when people DON’T want to call us because they think we might think they want money, or people DO call us and we think they want money. How do we make sure we don’t turn into weirdoes with our money? How can we stay grounded and “normal”? And what about….
Well, really, who wants all that trouble? I’m GLAD we only won $4, not $400 Million!!! I don’t want that money… Nope, not me.
At least I don’t think so.
How would YOU spend $400M?????