what would you do? retire, buy an island, give money to all your family and friends?
so i keep seeing some lotto story in the news about a family winning a $300M plus jackpot and they are having their entire family retire. i don't play the lottery, but i have to admit that i've thought about what i would do if i DID win big, say over $100M, or more money than i could ever rationally spend in my lifetime.
first of all, money cannot buy happiness, but it can help lift some things that weigh us down. money is a powerful tool, and i could definitely do more with, well, more money. money is also a central focus of many of our lives, in that we work to earn it so that we can use it to get or do stuff. money has the power to help us fulfill our wildest dreams, but also to break up marriages and create suspicions and discontent.
still, i wouldn't complain if i won a large jackpot or got a hefty inheritance. but i would realize that it won't fix all of my problems in life, and that with its ease would come new problems.i watched some show that chronicled the lives of some lottery winners, and sometimes it doesn't turn out well. one of the themes in the show was how unscrupulous some friends and former family could become when the dollar signs appear in their eyes, and how the winners became unsure of who they could trust and then isolated and lonely. then there are the folks who spent their money too quickly and outran their bank accounts, leaving them worse than when they started, or the ones who were taken by crooks and lost it all anyway.
i think about how, even though it might be nice to not work so hard, having a purpose is very important to some people. i'm not sure what purpose i would find with having a ton of money, and i like to feel useful for my personal skills rather than what i have in my bank account. i also don't think it's a good idea to give handouts and enable people to look at you like their personal piggy bank, and let them become lazy and dependent.
with all of that in mind, below are the things i would do if i ever won the lottery (though i have to say that this should not be considered binding should i win, and that i have every right to change my mind ;)):
- pay off all of my debts and all of the debts of my friends and family. this would be way better than just giving people a hand out, it would free them from some burden and give them a fresh start without allowing them to become too complacent in the future. this would be a one-time deal, not a recurring bail out because anything else would be teaching them they can keep screwing things up and would always be taken care of (take note, feds).
- buy 2 or 3 nice houses, and a decent amount of property for the future. the world isn't getting any bigger, and i might need a safe zone should the zombie apocolypse ever occur.
- buy a decent house for each of my immediate family members, and give them enough money to pay property taxes for 20 years. no mansions, just a nice place to lay their heads and enjoy some space.
- buy my parents each the car of their dreams, and put half a million in their retirement account. they had to put up with me for 17 years in their home, they've earned it ;)
- keep $5M in my own account in addition to having 50 years of anticipated property taxes on all my properties, invest some of it, but more have it as a safety net.
- set up medical care funds for any friends or families that need it.
- donate the rest to pay for medical expenses for working class and poorer families. i have no need for so much money, it would allow me to be less of a person than i am and become lazy and complacent. i don't want people begging me for easy outs, or worrying that people are just using me for my money (i already feel so overly used for my amazing good looks *cough gag*) :P
so that's what i would do if i won the lottery. how about you?