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April 08, 2009


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At this time of my life, when I nearing retirement, I'd put the entire amount into cash, and just use some of the $ to continue to fund my Roth IRA. I have a pension( aren't I the lucky girl!).

I would setup a home and programs for children to have a place to go to when parents can't take care of them.

I would set up an affordable daycare for working mothers based on what they can pay.

I would buy about 1000 acres build a big house at least 15 bedrooms with a large lake stocked with fish. I would have horses and dogs and outside cats.

I would build a state of the art human shelter and hire a full time vet to work there.

I would have classes for parents, children of the elderly, and other programs that can teach people what they need to know. All of it Free.

$1million - I'd do absolutely nothing. I'd put the money in some investments and savings and I'd pay off my mortgage and drive to work every day in my same old car. But my child could then afford to go to college.

$60million - oh hell yeah - donate a TON to 1 charity - really make a difference for them. Buy a nice vacation house for family & friends to use, continue to live in my town, but move to a nicer section of town. Still keep the same car (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). Probably buy a boat. And of course, pay for college.

And still invest and save a lot of it. Still shop at thrift stores, still cook at home. Probably still work, but maybe part time. If I didn't work for salary, I'd get involved with charities. I need a place to go every day.

What a nice daydream on a Wednesday. :)

I'd conservatively invest it all and live off the interest. I would then devote my life to creating non-profit, totally free financial awareness programs for inner cities around the country.

Funny, I was just thinking that most of these windfalls aren't really that much (especially at my age). Anything under $6 million or so wouldn't let me retire at the standard I'd like to, so it wouldn't significantly change my lifestyle, except that I could pay off my student loans and perhaps choose a somewhat less-well-paying job as a result.

1 million - invest it normally in the hopes of retiring sooner.

2-4 million - Invest conservatively, live off the interest, consider quitting my job and doing something else with my life. Travel a lot.

5+ million - Same as before except quitting the 9-5 would become a 100% probability.

With $5 million I'd quit my job and enjoy life. That would be plenty to live off and have extra to give to charities.

1 million and less: Pay off student loans, get a new car and a few other toys. Try and find a decent house and a better job.

1+ to 5 million: Same as above, but nicer house and a job i truely enjoy where money isn't so important. (the higher the amount the less important money would be)

5 - 10 million: relax and enjoy life, but don't spend myself back into the poor house

10+ million: I could enjoy a lot more things.

#1. Find a top quality financial advisor.

#2. Pay off my mortgage. (My student loans are under 3% and my car loan is 1.9% so I don't see any need to pay these off any time soon.)

#3. I would NOT move, buy a yacht, expensive jewelry, McMansion, etc. etc. I MIGHT indulge in a luxury sports car, but nothing greater than $60,000.

#4. I would consult with my financial advisor (see #1) to find out how to invest the money safely & prudently in order to obtain yearly interest (while still growing principal) that I could live off of for life, without dramatically increasing my current cost of living.

#5. If #4 were possible, I would quit my job, and find a new low paying job in the non-profit sector or possibly education.

#6. I would spend a lot of time reading, cooking, swimming, learning languages, taking day trips, and raising my family. Basically relax and enjoy life.

I think these stories are the exception rather than the rule. I know about 10 people who struck it rich ($5 million+ windfalls) during the internet boom and everything single one of them is doing great. At least they *appear* to be doing great. Maybe one of them will show up in an FMF "Rich People Going Broke" post in the near future.

I think the main difference with my group of friends is that they all worked their asses of to make those windfalls happen. They all also happened to be in the right place at the right time (a high-tech college with robust internet development during the birth of the WWW; see Gladwell's outlier theory). People who win the lottery might be an entirely different story.

Going on the basis of $5M:

1. Pay off all debt.
2. Keep $1M liquid.
3. Put $5,000 yearly into our 529 (my state gives a 20% tax credit)
4. Purchase a new-to-us minivan.
5. Max out our retirement plans yearly.
6. Sell our house and purchase a house within walking distance of my work.
7. Set up a Donor Advised Fund at our local Community Foundation.
8. Travel

I'm a proud Christian and my faith guides me. I would hope to not be tempted from the path if I was that fortunate. Consider how wealthy even the poorest of us here in the US is. I'd use the money to save the lives of those dying from thirst all around the world. A pump costs $400 dollars to bring water up for some villages. A school sanitation block for 150 boys and girls in India would cost about $700. It would be crass, uncaring and just plain un-Christian to deny life to our brothers and sisters purely to fatten ourselves; our Lord will reach out to us if we reach out to others. I'm continuously sickened by those who clothe themselves in righteousness and talk about hoarding money and ignore the suffering of others.

It would be status quo for me. Naturally, I'm a quiet and private person; so, I would not announce this. I would definantly pay off my debts. My wife, on the other hand, would probably freak out and tell everyone.

I had $350,000 dropped on me as a result of an insurance settlement. I spent that and went $120,000 into debt (I had no previous debts). Now I'm slowly working my way out of debt.

A large lump sum of money is difficult because your immediate thoughts are that you can afford "anything". The problem is 100 anythings later and you are out of money. I know there were several answers above about quitting your job and enjoying life. You'd be suprised how quickly you can chew through $1 million.

Now I have a lot more financial discipline and feel I could handle a large lump sum a lot better, but you have to learn from your mistakes.

As to the question at hand:
First and foremost, I would give 10% to my church (I did that with my insurance settlement too).
Next I would pay off my mortgage.
Third, depending on the amount, I would donate a significant amount to charity.
Fourth I would buy myself a new computer and start my own business (blogging / graphic design work). I'm technically doing that already, but I would go fulltime into it rather than a side job.
The rest would go into very diversified investments.

I would set aside enough to pay for retirement, doctors and home care for my husband and myself (we have no children).

I would set aside enough to care for my father and my husband's parents, although his parents likely won't need any support from us.

I would pay off my brother and sister's mortgages and credit cards.

I would buy a new roof, elevator and handicap accessibility for our local library.

I would try to get my husband to express a desire for something, so I could grant his wish!

I would adopt two ponies, and fence and renovate our outbuildings.

p.s. - we have been debt free for almost two decades, own our own business, and have a "don't laugh it's paid for" house to live in.

Why, I'd give 90% it to Barack Obama to heal the country. After all, shouldn't I be punished for my good fortune? Or maybe skip the middleman and just give it to Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo so they can post some more record profits.

I can't believe I'm the first to say this!


I'd quit my job for one thing.
I'd also give money to my family but not in the form of a lump sum.
I'd give an annuity or something like that.
I wouldn't want them to go on binge shopping trips.
Too much, too soon is not a good thing.

i would first rent a better house, then further my studies in ACCA post graduate programme.

If I had 1 million , I would certainly quit my job!

I have about 150,000 (euro, not live in US) of savings, a house and no debts. I am seriously thinking about quiting my stressfull job and not returning to any other job. If I don't succeed in my own company, I will live with 10 to 12,000 a year, and if I would live soberly even less money is involved. When the money is finished, I would sell my house etc.

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