I had some other plans for the blog this morning - but after reading an AP article about the $190 million lottery winner who is staying hidden (presumably waiting to decide how to handle this sudden windfall) I decided that it was time for me to fulfill my civic duty.
That's right -while suddenly being handed truckloads of cash may confuse some people - others of us (that'd be me) have spent their whole lives researching how to handle this challenge if it were ever to present itself.
My regular readers may want to read just in case this kind of shock ever befalls them, but this is truly just for the winning Lotto Ticket Holder (whomever he or she may be)
#1 Real Estate. Now you may be thinking private island with that kind of cash - but beware... you may not want to deal with the property taxes associated with this. Not to mention the liability issues in case your island has bred some sort of man-eating dinosaur. I would suggest looking for a reasonable neighborhood and purchasing EVERY house on the street... quietly. This way you can hand pick your neighbors. If you're interested about 1/2 of the houses on my street are already for sale... and although you don't know me from Adam (well, okay - I'm the one without the fig leaf) I would make a spectacular neighbor. I've been known to bake too many cookies on occasion and need some help in consumption.
You may also be interested in a few homes around the country... but keep 'em reasonable - something that you will be comfortable in for a few weeks/months while you visit that part of the country is sufficient. Hotels have all the amenities, but seriously, even with millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket $4 for a water bottle is still highway robbery. Time shares are a great option... and you'd probably make the day of those poor guys who sit around all day trying to sell them to people who just signed up for the free vacation.
Globally - stay in nice hotels or bed and breakfasts when you're traveling out of the country... there's too much hassle in owning real estate around the world. Or so I've heard... I don't even have a passport!
#2 Gold. it may sound like I've been listening to too much Glen Beck, but hey - you've gotta have something to stick in all those basements alongside the food storage right? Don't just stick to the big blocks of gold though - there's a lot of stunning gold jewelry out there that would look lovely on you or someone you love :) It may not hold its value in quite the same way... but really, you gotta live a little!
#3 Travel. and then travel some more - go someplace you've always wanted to go... and stay long enough to get sick of the food. Shop for some souvenirs that will look classy in your new home(s) instead of the kind of stuff that's sitting around on the shelf at your grandma's house. (with apologies to my grandmother - because I actually really think her souvenirs are beautiful) Befriend a nice local to help in your search...
#4 Charity. find a charity or two you want to donate to BEFORE coming forward. Everyone and their dog will be begging you for a few bucks afterward. Probably their dog's hairdresser's cousin's ex-wife's lawyer's neighbor's second cousin twice removed will even want a piece. Decide now and stick to it. My kids' education funds are available... just sayin'... (well, you know... if I'd begun such a fund that is... my poor kids...)
#5 Support Staff. I'm sure you're looking into a financial planner... which is a good idea - but consider other smaller things - you probably don't need a full time gardener or a full time maid... but with those homes of yours you'll definitely need a lawn service.
#6 Keep a low profile. well, good luck with that at least. However - a low profile doesn't mean you have to go without a decent car, pedicures, and some snappy new clothes... just try not to flaunt it... because flaunting it leads to our next suggestion...
#7 Family. Let's be real - family will hear about your good fortune and they will come out of the woodwork. I'm sure you've never met your cousin Eunice before, but she will suddenly have stories of changing your diaper when you were a baby. Establish a plan NOW - make it equitable - and stick to it. Either tell them all to go jump in the lake - or finance an incredible vacation next summer... if you choose to do something like pay off some homes or whatever - try to keep that quieter... Or just call up the Jerry Springer show today and book your visit so we can all enjoy the ensuing chaos.
#8 Budget. Hey, apparently they don't just hand you the $190 million all at once - you have to make each installment last a little while. Live as if you're never getting more than that first check (what is that... around $25 million after taxes?) yeah, maybe hold off on the lawn service for now.
you're welcome... and if you need further assistance just e-mail me... I think I'd actually make an incredible personal shopper...
Readers - Any more advice for our winner? Or the one thing you'd purchase today if $1000 just dropped in your lap? I saw a gorgeous rug the other day...
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