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Saturday, December 1, 2012

"If I Won the Lottery..."

Have you ever played this game? I did not buy a lottery ticket, but a friend who did not and I discussed what we would do with the money. I had very specific ideas. So did he.

My plans were moot since I have never  bought a lottery ticket. However, I always thought I would not end up poor afterwards if I won the last one.

I have categories--education, home/property, car, health/dental, literary pursuits, travel, fair weather friends, and charity.

I would pay for a PhD for myself, an MA and PhD for son, daughter, and dil. For my daughter that quit college I would pay her to go to school and not work, paying also for at least the MA. I think that after being a poverty-stricken single mother after her divorce, she might just be willing now. I would make sure all four grandchildren had funds to attend school through the PhD. If exbf who has been such a help to me desired any school or classes, I would pay for those.

My home would be demolished and rebuilt after an architect drafted identical plans. There would be a garage, greenhouse, and little garden house. Before the house were built, I would buy the house behind me, the two houses beside those, the two houses next door. I like the two houses on the other end of the block.  I could expand my hen empire, have a house for company to stay in, and plenty of room for flowers and vegetable.

I would pay off my son's home or buy him a new one. Both my daughters would receive  homes and not excessive ones. Somehow, they would never have to sell either home if they marry and divorce.

Exbf would get a whole home remodel, anything he wants. He would also have a lawn service for whatever he needs.

I would never invest in fancy cars, just basic ones. My son, his wife, my two daughters and the grandson would all get new cars. Oh, yes, I would get a new car and a Dodge truck and keep them for many years after they were paid for. None of us buy new cars every few years.  Yes, exbf would get a new car. Knowing him, he would keep it forever. He is frugal.

All  my dental needs would not be a hardship or deferred. Although all my children and grandchildren are covered by medical and dental insurance, I would pick up any co pays or expenses they might need. Yes, exbf would get whatever he needs when he has his hip replaced.

I would have operations for vertebrae that is sitting on bone, two herniated discs, L5 that is out of place, torn meniscus, and torn rotator cuff. I can do this now with Medicaid, but I cannot afford help for the recovery periods.

Literary Pursuits
I would finish my book since stress would not occupy my thoughts. I would publish the fairy tales I helped translate from French with my friends Florica and Johan.

My children and grandchildren and I could stay in touch  more easily. Plus, we could travel anywhere on earth we wished,together or separately.

Fair Weather Friends
These would be at my door. You know this is true. My monetary favors would be few and far between for the leaches and insincere and users. However, I could resume having parties each month and always be assured I would have a great turnout.

Maybe this is crazy, but I prefer to give money to those I know that really need it. I "know" lots of deserving Internet "friends" that I believe truly need help. There are some I just like and would give a gift. Most of my charity would be anonymously given.  Enough said.

Update: I did not leave out the steps of financial planning and trusts. This was not meant to place any one area  over another in importance. Yes, calling an attorney would be my first move. I would want my children and grandchildren to know the joy of accomplishment, so, no, they would not be given everything. No, we would probably not travel so much, but it would be possible. New cars would be more about safety than glamour. I am not trying to make my loved ones targets. "Homes" does not mean mansion or extravagant fixtures. No, I have not worked out all the details since I have never bought a lottery ticket.

Your turn
What would you have done if you had won this last lottery?


  1. I buy a lottery ticket about once a year, and since I already did this year, I declined to buy one for the most recent powerball drawing.
    Still, if I did, I would first claim it through my attorney, in an attempt to ensure as much anonymity as is possible. Then, I would get an accountant, and pay the exorbitant taxes for such to both the federal and state governments.
    My next task would be to revamp my Will and I could create a Trust ensuring that the farm would not have to be sold to pay capital gains tax when I die. It would pass to the child of my choosing, who is best suited to farm life.
    Then, I would create accounts for each of my children which guaranteed their proper medical and dental care for the rest of their lives. Then, I would create educational accounts for all of them. I would pay off the heavy student loans that two of my children carry for their university degrees. I would not pay off my daughter's mortgage to her house. She needs to work to do that for the satisfaction that it will bring to her. I would aid my son with Crohn's in selecting a builder, and aid him in building a house which is not extravagant, but would meet his needs for a larger bathroom and for storage there. I would finance his refurbishment of his truck. I would do nothing more for the two younger sons than I do now. They would have university paid as long as they continued to perform well there. continued/

    1. Jane,
      I would get the attorney first and do all the tax stuff and trusts so that things would turn out as well as possible for my children and grandchildren. Working would be necessary for the two with degrees and teaching jobs. The daughter who works has no time at all to do much, so not working for the duration of a degree or degrees would be part of the plan for everyone but her. Satisfactory progress would be part of all the education plans. The two have no student loans because they lived at home and attended on grants.

      No extravagant houses would be part of my plan because upkeep and taxes could be onerous.My son has been paying on his house for 14 years, so it may be paid off.

      I do want to be generous in some areas, relieving stress, but I do not want dependent children or grandchildren. Also, I do not want them to be a magnet for leeches! So, they would not be given disposable income, EVER. A man who thought he had landed on easy street would cause a tightening of my already stringent budget for help. This one area would be the hardest part of winning the lottery.

      Jane, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I would not buy any new cars whatsoever. I would get some additional work done on my very deserving diesel car. I would also have our two tractors serviced. I would pay to have my husband's truck refurbished. I would start a scholarship program at a university for academically promising students with financial need, in the name of my father, and then also one at another university in the name of my son who passed when he was 12. I would start my own foundation in which I provided small grants to people who fell through the cracks for social services, or for some other reason cannot get help. This could be for anything from food to diabetes supplies, money for operations, or medical equipment or books for college. I might even call it the "Fell through the Cracks Foundation". I would tithe not by blindly handing it to a church which is not as frugal as I am, but by finding those in need by myself, and there are plenty of them. I would also start my own publishing company where I could be a part of publishing all varieties of books for deserving authors who simply haven't found the right agent or the right publisher, and there are many of those as well.
    I would give some money to the caretakers of our Canadian cottage because they would know how to make that money dance and sing, and because they are truly frugal.
    I would have a real problem with my husband in that he would want a boat or yacht capable of circumnavigating the globe, and lacks the training, and I suspect the judgement to do this safely. I would expect this to be a real problem.
    Lastly, for me, I would do two things. I would hire someone to clean my house top to bottom, as I have let some things go while writing two books this year, and because I have asthma. I would also hire someone to take care of my farm animals. They would be someone vet recommended and would have to pass a background and criminal check. I have had difficulty this year mucking pens as frequently as required, fixing fencing, cleaning barns, and organizing animal supplies. The cleaning lady would be a temporary luxury, and if the farm hand were as respectful to the animals as I need, he or she could remain indefinitely. I would still administer all the animal shots and worming meds as I do now. I might landcape a little bit here, to protect animals from winter winds.
    I wouldn't travel to anywhere but Nova Scotia. I'm finished with Europe, and no longer well enough to visit Russia again.
    Part 2: With everything I have taken on under control, I would buy that miniature pony I have wanted since I was a child, and once he was bonded to me, I would get him a companion animal because no species should live alone without another of his kind. Then and only then, I would pay the $67,000 for the cardiac ablation I need, and not give a thought to the percentage that insurance might not pay.

  3. Jane,
    Those are all good choices, especially the foundations. I thought of that. If my two children had just bought cars, I would just pay them off. My daughter and I drive 12-yr-old cars, so a new car would be in our near, if not immediate, future.

    House cleaner and animal caretaker sound great to me.

    If you had a publishing house, maybe you would consider my work!

    Being free of insurance regulations or what someone else thought our lives were worth would be a relief.

    I was laughing at your husband's actions you surmised. You must really like him since you are not willing to lightly send him off to possible doom

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is always an interesting topic. In our household, we live a very blessed life, so our actual lifestyle would not change at all. No new cars, houses, help and so on because we are so blessed to already have that and more new cars or houses would do nothing to add to the quality of our life. Our families are also richly blessed, so at this point I don't see where anyone would feel that they needed more either. If that was not the case, we would definitely make sure that family and friends were provided for.

    That said, we would set up a trust so that all the winnings could be used for good deeds. We would continue to support all the foundations, charities, and scholarships that we currently do, but on a much larger scale. There is no since in re-inventing the wheel when so many wonderful foundations, charities and scholarships exist. We are actively on boards or participate in a number of these organizations so I personally know how frugal they are. They manage to do so much for so many with very few resources. I have witnessed thousands of people being helped over the years. Every kind of group, from Food Not Bombs, Fisher House for our Military Vets, Bread for the World, Oxfam, World Vision, to local housing, heating assistance, and dental and health services. The list goes on and on.

    There is so much need in the world, and its really amazing how little it can take to help change a persons life. That kind of money could make a difference in so many lives. It would be an amazing thing to make that kind of difference in the world.

    1. Kathy,
      I answered this. the last comment, the one with FNB comment.

  5. Linda, Yes, there are a number of bloggers whose work I would use in anything from novels to poetry books, if I ever could start a publishing house !
    No, I am not willing to send my husband off to certain doom. It has taken 25 years to break him in, and I don't have the strength to even contemplate doing that again !

    PS I think parsimony IS my favorite vegetable, that and ketchup !

  6. Two of my children do not need anything. My daughter and I do need a house. All our cars work fine even though my daughter's car and mine need to be replaced soon. She has to drive in NYC, and I want her safe.

    You have a great list. Food Not Bombs would get support as one of my friends works with this group.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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