Friday, December 3, 2010

What's In Your Wallet

Without discipline you wouldn't know what to do with luck.

Carl Zuckmayer
I hope you are very wealthy. I wish I were. But if you aren't and you suddenly became rich what would you do with the money? You hear stories of someone winning 100 million dollars in the lottery and five years later they're broke. How can that be? They squandered it, that's how.

So you look at your 100 million, or whatever part of it they let you have, and say that now you can quit your job, pay off all your debts, get some health issues taken care of and buy a new car. Then you look again and realize you have barely made a dent in your new found wealth. So what else can you do with it.

You buy a new home, perhaps a big one, a mansion, and then hire a staff to take care of it.

You say "What the hell, you only live once, let's live it up" and take your wife on a trip around the world, or maybe you go it alone.

You had such a good time doing that you buy a yacht and a crew to take care of it, so you can go to sea again anytime you want.

You wouldn't think of going into a gallery or art auction and buying a Picasso or a Matisse for a few million and have something of lasting and increasing value. No, you start collecting rare and expensive automobiles once owned by movie stars.

Now you're living an easy and comfortable life you decide to run for Governor. That ends up costing you the rest of your fortune and you lose the election,.

Now you're broke. You have to put your mansion up for sale at a loss. The same with your yacht and your used car collection. You might actually sell the yacht, but the house will languish on the market and it's costing you a lot of money to keep the cars. You finally make a donation of those to help you with your taxes.

You go looking for a job.

Does that story sound like a fantasy? It is. But it's a very real possibility for someone who doesn't have the common sense to realize he hasn't just gone straight to heaven.

If I remember correctly the first New York City resident to win the New Your State Lottery, which was one million at the beginning, was an inner city Puerto Rican gentleman who when asked what he was going to do with the money said he would retire from his job and grow a vegetable garden in his back yard. I admired that.

If you suddenly get rich, if you aren't already, and I hope you do, it is not the time to throw your sanity out the window along with everything you've worked for. Wealth is a gift, a blessing. Many people who were born into wealth don't realize that. And many people who achieve wealth in their lives don't realize how lucky they are and tend to look down on the poor as being lazy or ignorant. But those who know the discipline of a difficult life, and don't forget it if they get rich, are the truly wealthy.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?

Only 8 responses so far. Let's go folks.

Thank you.


pacifica62 said...

Thanks for the opportunity to day dream a bit here this morning. No wealth in my life from a lottery or otherwise. Every now and again I don't mind forking out a buck or two for a ticket and then having the chance to dream a little about what I would do with my winnings. We do not pay tax on lottery winnings up here but the following year you would pay tax on interest only. Through life I have noticed that those people who have "old" money, are very disciplined and never squander it nor do they live a lavish lifestyle. Those who are or become "nouveau riche" go on spending frenzies and have no good financial management plans in place. As the saying goes, "Easy come, easy go".

Arlene (AJ) said...

I've never won a million, but feel rich at heart anyways. Know if I ever won a lottery, I'd not just go out and blow it, not how I was raised. I'd allow us to enjoy some special things that we'd enjoy having or doing, but, I'd help others for sure be it college scholarships, mobile meals, anyone in our area with major health needs who need support financially for medical care. Guess I'd prefer to give back then take and just spend it all.

Beth said...

I've thought about this before, and had the conversation (sometimes drunken) with friends. I honestly can't imagine living any sort of extravagant lifestyle, and I would love to plan all the ways I could help others. I have friends who are teachers, I would love to sponsor a scholarship for a Medical Technology student (wouldn't it be fun to read the essays and choose the recipient?), I would love to sponsor an art exhibit, I would love to do so many things...! To me, that would be the most fun of all. Hugs, Beth

P.S. Have I answered the autumn question yet? If not, drop me a line, and I'll respond. I honestly can't remember what I've written and who I've responded to!

That corgi :) said...

I have thought about this very thing, DB, of course I should start playing it if I expect to win the lottery.

Hubby and me decided that if we should win the lottery, we wouldn't do a thing the first year of our winnings, we would continue going to work, etc. We would plan what we wanted to do. Obviously paying of debt would be a top priority, but we wouldn't go wild on cars or houses or vacations. I would set up a trust account type of thing for son and something similar for us where we could live ocmfortably but not extravagantly and then I think I would give the rest away to worthy charities.

So maybe I should buy a ticket this weekend....


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

We enjoy our lifestyle, and having significantly more does not really interest us. All we want to do is have enough to live in our house, take 2-3 vacations a year, and contribute to charities. If we had much more, we would most likely give most of it away.