Just for fun...if you won the lotto...

rivkadrJanuary 16, 2008

This forum is so serious lately, and a little depressing so I hope it's okay if I post something a little more lighthearted. Most of us have probably played this game in their head...and if you haven't, now is your chance.

So today's MegaMillions is 42 million. Not the biggest jackpot, but let's say you buy a ticket anyway (let's ignore the fact that most of you probably don't buy lotto tickets anyway, okay?), and you win tonight's drawing.

The cash payout is 26 million. After federal taxes (in CA, you don't have to pay state taxes; not sure if that's true in all states), you're left with around 15 million.

What would YOU do with the money? What would your financial plan be?

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Something to ponder... and being left with @15m is about right after all the taxes are taken off the top and definitely a sum one could do something with with a little bit of care.

First: I'd keep it quiet and not go public with my name and picture in all the papers, make no excited phone calls to all the relatives and friends etc.
Second: If I were completely naive about dealing with large sums of money (fortunately, I do have some financial acumen), I'd seek out competent financial assistance, set up a plan for a balanced portfolio that would continue to provide me with both growth and income.
Third: set up a legal avenue for any charitable giving with the understanding that I was never, under any circumstance, to be hounded for additional largesse beyond my planned giving schedule.
Fourth: I'd stay out of car dealerships; I don't need the $65k Escalade and neither do any of my friends.
Fifth: I don't need a bigger and better house, and neither do any of my friends or relatives.
Sixth: I would not feel selfish and greedy if I did not pay off all the debts of people who came forth with their hands out. It would never be enough and they'd be back for more and more. Best not to start in the first place. Hard hearted? Maybe, but I can't see enabling chronic ne're do wells. There are some situations that throwing money at doesn't fix.
Seventh: One luxury I migh allow myself would be renting a villa in Tuscany or the French wine country for a season. Then I'd come back home and live my life the way I've always lived it. Maybe I'd try and dress a little better!

15 million is a lot of money, but it is always surprising to me how fast some idiots can blow through lottery winnings of any size. Without some planning one could end up with pretty much nothing after runaway spending on toys and foolishness and being the best friend (at least while you still have money) to everyone who comes out of the woodwork.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:27PM
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first thing i would do is pay off and renovate my house. pay off all CC, loans, and other debt. then setup trusts for my kids that neither I nor they could touch.

a good friend who worked for us inherited about 18 million in a couple years after his dad and grandmother died. 5 years later he is flat busted broke and has nothign to show for it. i will honestly say that he spent about 4 million out of pocket due to getting prostate cancer and not having insurance, and also because the inheritances were not properly structured he paid about 9 mill in TAXES. but the other 5 million bucks, he has no clue where it went.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 2:41PM
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I would invest wisely and conservatively for the future. My home is paid for, the payment for the garage is comfortably taken care of already, and we don't owe anything else.

For fun? we'd probably buy a bigger sailboat (used, 32-35') so we could do some local overnight cruising. We'd probably do some more landscaping, adding larger specimens of some really choice shrubs and trees.

I would see that my brother received enough to pay for his home and make his life easier and more fun than it is now. Like me, he is frugal and thoughtful and he would make wise use of such a windfall. Nothing would make me happier than ensuring his future comfort and ease.

We are in the habit of charitable giving so would continue to do so with the same thought and care we give it now.

(and you're right, I've never bought a lottery ticket of any sort ever)

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 4:09PM
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First, ten percent to my church,then fix up my house (new windows,a side porch or pergola,expand my front sunroom a few feet, new family room carpet and sofa), give some money to my kids, save the rest. Oh, and I'd keep it quiet, but share some with our siblings. I don't believe in gambling and lotteries. I've been given a few lotto cards, I won a few free games (that always turn out to be losers), and occasionally two or five bucks. I've gone to the Atlantic City casinos with rolls of quarters. i generally lose about $10 an hour on slot machines.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Stick it in the bank; even at low interest (at my bank), after taxes, you'd walk with 400K a year. Forever. I wouldn't spend ONE THIN DIME of it, however. Every part I spend, is significantly more I lose in the future.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:46PM
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We've talked about this at work a lot. I buy tickets every now and then but a couple co-workers buy them pretty often. I would pay off all debt including the house. We've been planning on adding a greenhouse so would do that. replace a couple rooms of carpeting that a certain dog that shall remain nameless- JERRI- chewed as a puppy. My only real indulgences would be my dream cars. yep two of them, a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix and a Jaguar. Other than that it would all be saved and invested.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 8:46PM
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I used to fantasize about that sometimes but the longer I live and the more I see from people with tons of money, the more I realize winning the lottery may not be such a good thing.

I'd invest enough to ensure a secure, comfortable retirement, donate some, and fix up what's run down in my house. At some point I'd probably buy a more "old-age" friendly house. But for the most part I'd try to live my life the same way I do now - I wouldn't quit my job, etc.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:45PM
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Transfer $10,000 a year to my daughter and watch how she handles it. This is already my plan for when I sell the house or have the ready cash. Move up my retirement plans, Im already past 60 and I am finding work increasingly challenging. Move to the area my daughter & granddaughter are living. Buy a house with a nice garden. Top up my granddaughterÂs education fund. Take up sailing again. Do a bit of travelling, Iceland interests me at the moment. Possibly hire a bit of domestic help. Determine how much income I require annually and invest sufficient money in conservative stock to generate enough dividend income. I would find it tempting to take the cash greater than my needs and invest it aggressively. If I managed to lose it all I would still sleep well and if I made substantial gains so much the better.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:27AM
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How about a suggestion, if I may?

Move your lottery (not the winnings - the lottery itself) to Canada.

Amount you win, before tax ... $26,000,000.00.

Income tax ... $00.00.

Amount you keep, after tax ... $26,000,000.00.

Don't know what kind of jeopardy that you might be in when you returned home, however - what kind of message would your income tax people have for you?.

Here's an idea. You have a year in which to collect your winnings.

Consider winding up your affairs in the U.S. (but don't take too long - think of all that interest on the $26 mill that you'd be losing) come over the border to collect the winnings ... just stay here.

For a while - while you investigate tax havens, then move there. All of those tax savings would permit you to charter a plane to take you wherever you wanted to go for medical care.

Think of all those extra millions that you'd be able to keep!

What would I do, first thing?

Hire bodyguards for myself and kids.

Use part of it to set up a charitable foundation, then through it give substantial funds annually to various charities: social, health, educational and religious.

Both local and abroad.

Provide some to the folks making micro-loans to desparately poor people in disadvantaged countries: 98% is repaid! Then lend it out to some other needy person to let her/him get a start in life.

Move the asset to a tax haven.

Travel to a fairly stable country of Africa where there is a lot of AIDS and set up some agencies to help care for families that are run by half-grown kids who should be in school so that they could be in school.

Dig some wells to install water pumps so that women don't have to walk miles with pot on head to pick up some dirty water from a stream - where people are also washing their bodies, hair and clothing. And cattle, wildlife walking through.

Help build and expand the trading channels so that cocoa, coffee, banana, etc. farmers can get decent pay for their produce and have it sold in various markets at a fairer price.

Buy a condo for my son. Give a couple of mill to him - he'd look after it.

Buy a house/condo for my daughter who's looking for one in AZ. Give her a couple of million - so would she.

Invest part of it - but, crowding 80, I'm not going to need a big pot of money for a lot longer.

We used to kid old Uncle, who'd been married to two wives but had had no kids, telling him that we figured that he was trying to find a way to take quite a bit of it with him!

He gave quite bit of his to various charities.

Here's to learning how to manage money effectively - both income and assets.

The payoff?

Several years retiring early.

There was a guy who wrote in Canada's smartest money management mag a while ago about how he retired at age 34. Then he, living in a cottage by a beautiful beach by the lake, wrote a book (when he felt like it) called, "STOP Working - Here's How You Can!".

Invest a substantial portion from every pay cheque from the first one on, learn how to manage the money well.

What to do with your money??

Do yourself a favour - learn how to run it yourself!

You can do a better job.

Enjoy your week!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:41AM
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1) I'd pay off my mortgage, my son's mortgage, and purchase a house for the other son. We have no other debt.
2) I'd rewrite my will - leaving 10% to my favorite charities
3) I'd establish a 529 college program for both grandsons and fully fund it.
4) I'd invest most of the rest.
5) Take a long trip with DH who just retired.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:56AM
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In a balanced portfolio, $15M could give you a modest 4% drawdown of $600K before taxes. Net would be around $400K which is $33,333.33 per WEEK. Of course, this assumes the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) hit is under 40%; I didn't check this.

We've already thought about where to live when we retire, and decided to stay here - the San Francisco Bay Area. Our friends and family are here, and altho I like making new friends, it's a little more difficult making new family or moving the old ones around, LOL. Besides, people come from all over the world just to visit this area, so what's the point in leaving it when we're already lucky enough to live here?

Have already paid off the house, have a comfortable pension waiting for DH along with retirement health benefits. We have some very modest credit card debt that one day's winnings would pay off, so since we already have a six figure income (OK, a low six figure income, but still...) that's not a big concern either.

The biggest issue is gifting. A $15M portfolio pops you way over the estate tax limits, so there would be some sizable attorney fees to set up suitable trusts to take care of my family - we have no children - without undue tax consequences to any of us.

Fortunately, there's very few relatives I'd be willing to give money to! But for those beloved and special people, I wouldn't have any problems gifting them generously. Why not? I can't take the winnings with me, after all.

We would probably move up to a slightly larger house, since we live in a small cottage and right now with my MIL living with us, it's a little cramped. Having 3 bdrms instead of only 2 would be a definite help and get my DH's hobby room out of the garage! Plus it would enable us to live even closer to my family, a consideration as we get older and possibly need those younger relatives to drive us around, hehehe.

I'd definitely fund 529 plans for any children my niece or nephew plan to have - they both got married this year. It's only sensible in today's environment to invest for a young relative's educational future.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 12:56PM
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Pay off my mortgage (the only debt I have, which I could pay it off now, I just choose not to), invest the rest and live off the interest ... which would be wayyy plenty. None of my family needs any financial help except my grandmother, and she could share in the interest proceeds.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 2:23PM
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First: I'd keep it quiet and not go public with my name and picture in all the papers,

One of the conditions of entering is that the lotto company can publicize your win.

I'd rush out IMMEDIATELY and hire a housekeeper (not just a cleaning lady--a true household manager) and a valet/clothing stylist (someone to take care of laundry, clothing repairs, and buying new clothes).


Then I'd hire a GC to spiff up my apartment, so I could sell it.

And then we'd have serious talks about what city we want to live in.

I have always loved the story of the young single mom who won a huge lottery. She ran out and bought a bright red sports car. Then she bought a three-bedroom house in a nice middle-class neighborhood, and went back to college.

all her other decisions were so sensible, but I love that she ran out and bought herself a fun car.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 3:46PM
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- Pay off the mortgage which is our only debt
- Invest the majority and live off the interest
- Travel more
- Hire a chef & housekeeper. Two things I dislike doing.
- Give to charity
- I'd give a little to only 2 of my sisters, but no one else because they are not deserving.

I wouldn't purchase material things, because they are just things, besides, I can do that now.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 4:54PM
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I've done this mental exercise so many times I almost feel like I HAVE won something. But no, I've never bought a ticket.

I'd take some of the cash and buy a nice but not over-the-top apartment in Manhattan. I'd invest the rest to guarantee a decent income. DH and I would quit our jobs, travel, and do interesting volunteer work. I'd spend a lot of time working on music (lessons, practicing, performing). Only within the limits of our income (i.e., not handing out fistfuls of capital), I'd help out deserving family members and set up regular worthwhile charitable contributions. I'd fix up our current house to make it nicer and either keep it or sell it, depending on what else was going on.

talley sue, I love the idea of hiring a stylist. I don't know if I'd want a housekeeper, though.

Now, another interesting question for us here is how many of these things could we do without having a lot of money, and if so, why aren't we doing them? And what things would we have to give up if we had that much money?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Let's see...with $15 million, I would

- fully fund my children's college funds, even for private colleges!
- keep my children in private schools
- pay off the house
- fix up the house
- put away about $5 million for retirement
- give to charity
- and THEN, I would blow the rest of the money away!!

I don't think I would necessarily quit my job nor do I think my husband would quit his job. For us, having a regular routine and having something to do are important to us.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 7:03PM
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I'd become a beach bum - all over the world.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 10:57PM
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I can see that the banks will just love several of you guys ...

... putting a substanial portion of the windfall there and living off the interest!

Tell you what - among the other stuff that you choose do with it ...

... take 3 million to use for a special project, a bit of an experiment:

- lend one million to various other agencies, into the best interest-earning investment(s) that you can find (maybe even with the Bank of America)(1), letting someone else use your money, usually making more on it than you do, and ...

- invest one million into various mutual funds, equity and balanced, dividend-paying, bond-based ... or whatever, paying the managers about 1/5th of the growth produced, usually to do no better than the market averages, plus ...

- invest one million into a variety of quality stocks, U.S., (maybe even Bank of America)(1), Canadian and internationally based. (After you've taken some time to learn how that game is played).

We'll all come visit you after five years, and see which system has been pleasing you best.

And return after 10 years - same mission.

Only I may not be there, as I'll be crowding age 90 by then - if I'm still here.

But my assets are about 80% in stocks and stock-based mutual funds, at present, nearing 80.

I don't see me changing that picture much over the next ten years.

Partly because I live on less income than that provided by my pensions. Did you read my story elsewhere as to the major difference between pay-cheques and pension cheques?

Especially since my kids (aged 40+ "kids" - no grandkids) won't need money, when they inherit the stocks.

If they do, sell some of the stocks, eat the money.

Then use some of the rest of the stocks as collateral to borrow as much as they just ate, investing it in good dividend-paying stocks, paying, say, 3%.

Paying interest on the loan currently 6.25%, deductible (as proceeds of loan used to buy income-producing asset), takes cost down to about 4.8% - 5%. I like those tax deductions - when they pay me!

Dividends of 3% might produce 2.25% after-tax in U.S. (it'd be more like 2.5% here, as Canadian dividends taxed at a much lower than regular rate), taking cost down to about 2.5 - 3%.

If they make $10,000. investment loan, paying interest only, and carry it for 10 years, then go to pay it off, how much do they pay?

Precisely $10,000. - which would buy much less than 10 years previously.

They gained from inflation.

Their gain from inflation - 2 - 2.5% or so, officially - but I think that many of us have seen our costs rising faster than that!

The guy who put his/her money into "guaranteed" assets at the bank ... lost to inflation, they gained.

Good wishes to all for wise use of income.

Good wishes to all for wise use of assets - be they small or large. Even massive, as suggested here.

ole joyful

1. Remember my reference elsewhere to the guy writing in the no-ads-magazine (mostly useful text on plain paper, not slick), telling of how he retired at age 34?

He wrote again last fall, saying that he owned some Bank of America stock - didn't quote price, but probably around $50.00. It closed today just under $37.00, but is he upset?

I doubt it - he'll figure that, despite the U.S. mortgage crunch currently, that it'll do well, over the years (and the U.S. banking sysytem is consolidating, the big guys eating the little ones).

He says that he's in the game for the long haul ... and at age 37, he very likely has quite a few years to go.

To enjoy his retirement - including doing quite a few interesting things!

Living on the income produced by his (usually growing) investments ... but not much of it interest.

o j

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 11:27PM
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I would probably have a midlife crisis.

I've never exactly decided what I want to be when I grow up, and while my job is interesting enough as a way to make a living, I probably would not do it "just for fun" if I didn't need the money. With $15 million, I could do WHATEVER I WANTED. Ok, that's a bit of an exageration, but certainly could fund a moderate sized business or charity startup. Just living a life of (relative) luxury off the investment income, while enjoyable enough for a year or two, would probably get boring pretty quickly. So, now that I can financially do WHATEVER I WANT, without worrying too much about practical considerations like having a roof over my head, I'm thinking that would put some serious pressure on to actually figure out what I want-- presto, instant midlife crisis!

So... lets say, pay off my mortgage, put aside an amount to help out any close friends and family that might be financially struggling, put aside a second amount to "play" with for a year or so-- and do so, definitely travel, splurge on good restaurants, probably a personal trainer, definitely a housekeeper when I'm actually home making a mess; meanwhile try to figure out "what I want to be when i grow up" and at the end of my play year, put the rest of the money to doing whatever it is I figure out.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 9:57AM
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We retired early. Our house is paid for and we have no debt, cc or otherwise.

First thing we'd do is have an attorney set up a trust under a name other than our own. HE would be the one to who goes to the lottery office to claim our winnings under this assumed name. We would move some of the money to a tax haven in another country and invest the rest in rock solid investments here in the U.S..

We'd pay off our relatives mortgage's and set up small trusts for their kids education, etc. The balance of their trusts would be turned over to them in its entirety when they turn 30. ONLY on the condition that they have taken a minimum number of financial management/CPA courses so they don't screw up and lose the rest!

Like joyfulguy, we would invest in institutions that make micro loans to the very needy, like the Grameen bank.

We would buy a small plane and hire a pilot to fly us where we like, when we want. We would use these trips to shop for a second residence in another country. When we weren't flying, we would use the plane to participate in programs that provide specially discounted commercial flights for patients in need.

Ideally, we would like to buy (or build) an entirely self sufficient home in a remote locale. Perhaps on an island. This 'vacation home' would be solar/wind powered, have satellite internet access, an independent water supply as well as a greenhouse.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 2:08PM
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Dream garden.

Outstanding citizen.

o j

P.S. May I recommend investing at least a portion of your asset internationally/globally?

The " ... good old U.S.A. ... " is getting a bit long in the tooth.

And Canada along with it - though we haven't been running deficits, lately ... (have a pretty large debt, though).

And since a large portion of our national commerce goes over the border ...

... when you guys sneeze ...

... we get pneumonia.

o j

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:34AM
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joyfulguy-"P.S. May I recommend investing at least a portion of your asset internationally/globally?"

We already have some international funds in our portfolio but thanks for the suggestion!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:53PM
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blow it on cheap women and expensive cigars!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Hi bill h,

Hey - you could fly to Cuba (from Mexico, or CanAda) and get the cigars cheap!!

As for the cheap women ...

... in what way does HIV-AIDS differ from Russian Roulette?

Actually ... with all of that money, you could afford some non-cheap women.

And may I recommend, again, that you move your lottery, before the winnings, to Canada.

Won in lottery $26,000,000.00.

Incometax $ 00.00

Take-home amount $26,000,000.00.

That seems a better deal, somehow.

Have yourself a great week.

o j

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 8:48PM
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Let's see, first would be to pay off the mortgage and cc bill. We already have bonds, 529,etc. for the kids college. They would still have to go to college too! Education is everything even if they didn't have to work another day in their life. We would retire early and travel, donate a few million to the high school so they could build a new music/band auditorium and classroom space. The short sighted people in our town keep voting down the monies to do it. Donate to the charities we have always helped. Pay for our nieces and nephews education. It is fun to think what it would be like to have more money then we could use in our life time. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 8:50AM
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First, I'd be planning a few trips I've always wanted to take but haven't been able to afford. And a few more I just haven't gotten around to.

Of course, I'd fix up the house (always thought I'd sell, but am not so sure now, as I've replaced so much of the house that I *know* it in a way I wouldn't with a new one ...) and set aside money for college and retirement and the rest.

But one thing I would love to do is to fund a substantial college scholarship in the area where I practice law, a city that's very much down on its luck. In fact, I'd like to hand-pick one or two kids when they're young teens and offer them college tuition, room, board, books, and a small stipend if they do well in high school and don't succumb to any of the many temptations in their world.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 2:53PM
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OK, first go spend a month in the islands.

Remodel the kitchen and build a sunroom for the orchids. Fix up the basement.

Buy some land somewhere nearby, where I can plant trees I run across and like but don't have room for in the yard.

Pay off my brother's law school debts.

Go spend a month in Italy.

Buy a vacation house on a hill in the caribbean.

And of course invest the rest in a diversified portfolio whose income will provide most of my living expenses (further trips to exotic locales might have to come out of principal).

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Just off the top of my head...since it will never happen (I don't buy lottery tickets)

I don't think my church would take the money...being that it's what some call 'sin cash'. :)

1 - Not tell anyone other than my husband & kids
2 - Establish ground rules re: spending...not going out to buy everyone a new car kind of discussion
3 - Invest, invest, invest!
4 - Add on to home and pay down home loan....but not pay it off (we'd need the tax write off)
5 - Put big money in college funds
6 - Set funds aside to give each child/niece/nephew help toward down payment on a home
7 - Make donations to Medical Teams Int'l, Childrens Hospital, etc
8 - Send parents on a vacation
9 - Set money aside for husband and I to go on big trip in four years when kids are at college...preferably a humanitarian type of trip as I'm not a sit around on the beach type of person

I'd like to say we wouldn't change our day to day stuff too much...but I'm sure it would change more than I'd like to think.

I'm not a materialistic person so I wouldn't buy tons of stuff....but I'm sure I'd upgrade a few things....
my husband on the other hand!! He'd have new music equipment, new electronics, new car, remodel everything in the house, etc. You know what they say...opposites attract! :)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 9:09PM
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1- Not a tell a soul other than my SO.
2- Call me boss and tell him I would not be in tomorrow, the next day or ever again. (Actually, knowing me I'd give two weeks notice.)
3 - Lay low and map out an investment plan. I don't have any debt or mortgage.
4 - Plan to stay put in this house and not make any huge purchases (like another house) for at least one year.
5- Find a way to make sure my Mom no longer worries about finances without blowing my cover.
6 - Prioritize my chartiable giving and create a charitable endowment or foundation.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Find 600 acres somewhere in the warm and put a house plumb in the middle of it. I've been looking, but I can't find the right property. Gotta be near a SuperTarget or Super WalMart... not into Malls.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2008 at 8:08PM
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$15,000,000 invested in muni bonds will yield about $600,000 per year in net income (U.S.) or about $1,000,000 in taxable income. I think the question should be "how would you spend an income of $600,000 per year?".

$600,000 per year is a significant amount of money but it doesn't put you in the ultra rich category. The reason that lottery winners go broke in a few years is that they think amounts like $26,000,000 before taxes is inexhaustable...wrong!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 6:52PM
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Bond prices don't grow.

The interest that they pay, tax-free or not, doesn't grow either.

Well-chosen stock prices grow, over a substantial number of years.

The annual payout rates usually grow along with the price imcreases.

With multiplied millions in your kitty, you wouldn't need to worry too much about short-term reduction in prices of the stocks ... you'd still have more income than you could consider using.

But - if you don't have a million ... all the more reason to consider investing at least a portion of that part of your assets that you plan not to use for ten years or so into well-chosen equities.

I thought you U.S. folks were supposed to be entrepreneurial?

Was that just an old wives' tale? Don't tell me that you guys are really a bunch of scaredy cats!

Good wishes for using your income and assets shrewdly.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 9:13AM
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"Bond prices don't grow"

The price of long term treasuries in the secondary market are up significantly since June. Bond coupons are fixed so changes in interest rates are reflected in the price of the bond. When interest rates fall, bond prices rise.

That said, I think I understand your point. Equities provide a higher return than bonds over the long run. I used bonds in my example to remove most of the risk. Also, many people invest in bonds after they amass wealth in the eight figures. At that point they are willing to accept the lower returns from bonds in exchange for lower risk.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Boy, I don't know, deerslayer. I think I could get by on $600,000 a year just fine ;)

My husband and I were talking about this the other day, and trying to think of what we would want if we won the lottery, and beyond the obvious (a new car for me, since mine is 10 years old, probably a new house since we live in a "transitional" area), the stuff that we would want to buy is fairly minimal. Board games for him, books for me. New computers. But neither of us is the type to spend $20k on a watch, or to blow $100k on a sports car, or buy a yacht. I think it would be pretty easy to live within our means -- we'd have a much bigger budget than we do now, but we'd still budget!

I've watched a few of those TV shows where people have won the lottery, and some of the people are ridiculous. Owning 10 cars, and gold-plated bathrooms. It's like -- they feel they have to spend the money because they have so much.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 12:34PM
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"Boy, I don't know, deerslayer. I think I could get by on $600,000 a year just fine ;)"

As I wrote earlier, an income of $600,000 is significant. However, many people don't realize that attorneys and accountants that are partners in national firms have annual salaries in excess of $600,000. These people consider themselves middle class. Some people win the lottery and think that they are Donald Trump. Heck, a private jet costs more than $600,000 per year to own and operate. Along with a price tag that ranges from $6 million to $50 million, factor in necessities such as fuel, insurance, catering and pilots.

I realize that my comments are getting a bit rich but remember the subject of this thread. 8^)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 2:31PM
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1. Move up retirement to Immediately!
2. Move someplace without snow
3. Have body scuplted to look good in bathing suit!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 3:53PM
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I would:
-keep it quiet
-put $2 million aside for each of my 3 kids, 1 million each in college funds, and 1 million in trusts so they could own a home someday.
-pay off the mortgage
-give a lump sum to each of my 4 brothers, 2 brothers-in-law, mother and in-laws (don't know how much, but it would be a one-time thing)
-invest the rest so my husband could retire (he's 49)
-I would splurge on new stainless appliances for my kitchen (probably around $3000-4000)

I might buy each of my kids a new car (they are 15, 17, and 19), but they wouldn't be fancy cars, just something reliable and fuel efficient that would see them through college.

I am quite happy with my life as is, and I wouldn't want to change my lifestyle. If we could continue living the way we do now and never have to worry about money I would be content.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 4:02PM
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According to my cousin, he'd probably keep on farming until the $15M was gone, too.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 6:48PM
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What does that major money give you?


The people who live paycheque to paycheque, who would be in serious financial trouble were they to miss three or four of them ...

... are wage slaves.

One of my major goals as a personal financial advisor was to help my clients build a cushion, so that, if they had no income for 3 months, 6 months or even a year ... they'd still be able to manage (without sweating blood).

That's a measure of freedom.

There's some news for you folks who are planning to keep the winning quiet.

The lottery people take your picture and publicize it.

It won't take more than one or two relatives or friends having heard that news for it to become public property in your life's area.

If you follow one person's idea of sending his lawyer with the ticket ... you'd better have complete confidence in the guy/gal!!

Some of them are confidence wo/men!

Do like some of the criminals who've become millionaires via ill-gotten gains do - move to somewhere far away and live the life that you choose. Money doesn't smell!

And it doesn't advertise - you have to be the one to do that.

One of the problems of rich parents giving their kids a home in a fancy neighbourhood is that it costs many people a lot to live there - sometimes more than they earn ... there are all of those costs that go along with the affluent lifestyle.

Quite a number of such "favoured" kids ...

...end up going bankrupt!

Read "The Millionaire Next Door" ... or "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" ... quite a few multi-millionaires live in unfancy neighbourhoods and are rather indistinguishable from their much less affluent neighbours.

And, as my Dad used to say about some people careful with their money , "They'd skin a louse for its hide and tallow".

Question on a real-life exam: Describe a lottery (preferably in six words or less - use up to 25 if you need to).

Answer: A voluntary tax on the stupid.

Good wishes for wise management of money -
... whether it's One Thousand ...
... or One Million ...
... or Fifteen Million (after-tax residue from Twenty-six Million U.S. Lottery) ...
... or Twenty-six Million (after-tax residue from Twenty-six Million Canadian lottery).

ole joyful personal financial advisor ... who, finding entertainment elsewhere, (can you tell?) never buys lottery tickets: a lousy investment

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 6:16AM
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"Describe a lottery (preferably in six words or less - use up to 25 if you need to)."

Here's my entry:

A tax on the mathematically challenged.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 11:27AM
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"... or Fifteen Million (after-tax residue from Twenty-six Million U.S. Lottery) ...
... or Twenty-six Million (after-tax residue from Twenty-six Million Canadian lottery)."

Evidently, Canada doesn't tax lottery winnings. However, taxes are collected in other ways. You can put lipstick on a pig and call it a woman but it's still a pig.

Canadian Taxes

After all, the Canadian government needs huge sums of money to feed their socialistic system. Unfortunately, the U.S. may be headed down the same path. Democrat Congress + Democrat President = Socialism

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:18PM
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As someone who has lived in both the US and Canada, I have to respond.

Yes, Canadians DO pay higher taxes. However, salaries are proportionately higher. The very rich do not get the tax breaks that rich Americans do, but why should the top 5% of the population get a break at the expense of the rest of the population?

No one in Canada ever goes bankrupt when they or a family member gets a serious illness. The stories of people dying while waiting for treatment which opponents of socialized medicine love to bring up are the exception, not the rule. My father had numerous knee and hip replacements, and never had to wait more than a couple of months for his surgeries. He died last year of cancer. He was stage 4 when he was diagnosed, and there was no chance of recovery, but he still got excellent and immediate care. In the end, my mother had to pay the hospital $22 for the phone. If she had been living here, she probably would have had to sell her house to pay the outstanding bills.

I have a thyroid condition which requires me to take medication ($4 per month). I can't get private health insurance because of my "pre-existing condition". That would never happen in Canada.

College tuitions in Canada are actually affordable. My 4 brothers were able to put themselves through school with the money they earned from summer jobs.

So, yes, Canadians pay more taxes, but they save on healthcare and education costs. My brothers who live in Canada have the same standard of living as my husband and I do living in the US. Gas costs more, but utilities are less, and car insurance is considerably cheaper. In the end it pretty much evens out.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 4:12PM
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"So, yes, Canadians pay more taxes, but they save on healthcare and education costs."

I agree. Socialism is when the government takes your money and spends it for you. Socialist governments believe that they can spend your money better than you can.

"The very rich do not get the tax breaks that rich Americans do, but why should the top 5% of the population get a break at the expense of the rest of the population?"

Regarding U.S. income taxes, the top 5% (above $145k AGI) of the taxpayers pay about 60% of the income taxes. The bottom 50% pay about 4%. How much more do you want the top brackets to pay? What do you think is fair?

Income Taxes Paid

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 5:15PM
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So Deerslayer, would you feel that our healthcare system is preferable to Canada's? or England's, Italy's, France's, Denmark's-- whose?

Statistically we spend more with poorer results than just about any other first-world country. I do not enjoy seeing my income get eaten by taxes. Nor do I enjoy paying for employer-subsidized health insurance at $700/month for a healthy family of 5 (versus the $1400/month my DH would have to pay.) For that you get spotty, disorganized care with high deductibles.

Ordinary families have to save from infancy to pay for college educations. Advanced degree students from middle class families (not eligible for grants) are graduating 100 to 200 thousand dollars in debt.

The only thing we seem to have lots of money for is the war.

I try not to be quarrelsome as I believe that all of us (well almost all of us) have some corner of the truth. But it really makes my blood pressure soar to see statements like "Democrat plus Democrat equals socialism." Did we have socialism under Bill Clinton? What on earth do we have under the current regime, other than a weak dollar, tanking economy and a terrifyingly expensive mess in Iraq? I understand the balancing need for personal responsibility and fiscal frugality which the best Republicans represent-- but honestly, I haven't seen much of that these past 7 years.

I'll go don my flame proof suit.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Deerslayer: I stand corrected on the taxes. But when someone like Warren Buffet pays less tax (proportionately) than his secretary who makes $60K per year, there is something seriously wrong with the system.

Of course I want to keep my taxes as low as possible, but I would be willing to pay a little more for universal healthcare, and reasonably priced education.

demeron: I agree with all you have said.

My daughter is a freshman at USC. She did her part, getting a 4 year half tuition scholarship, plus several smaller scholarships, but it is still costing us $2000 a month. So far we haven't had to dip into the college fund, but with her two brothers following close behind her (junior and freshman) that won't last long. Did I mention that she and her brother want to be doctors? Ouch.

You"ll get no flames from me.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 6:20PM
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First of all, I believe that forum discussions shouldn't be taken too seriously. I think that most of us are here for recreation. That said, I'd like to respond to your comments.

"But it really makes my blood pressure soar to see statements like "Democrat plus Democrat equals socialism." "

Let me explain. Many folks don't know what socialism is. Clinton and Obama have stated that, if elected, they will let the latest tax cuts expire. In addition, they will socialize healthcare. Both plans are socialistic. The Democrats in Congress approve both plans. Charles Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, has said that he will repeal the tax cuts. If a Democrat is elected president, there's nothing to stop them from implementing their agenda. Therefore,

Democrat Congress + Democrat President = Socialism

In the U.S. our two major parties are named Democrat and Republican. In France, the two major parties are called Socialist and Capitalist. When Hillary Clinton's agenda was compared to France's Socialist party candidate's agenda, Clinton's agenda was more socialist.

I'm not a big fan of France but I must admit that they have more descriptive names for their political parties than the U.S..

As I wrote earlier, "You can put lipstick on a pig and call it a woman but it's still a pig".

"Did we have socialism under Bill Clinton?"

No, because we had a Republican Congress.

Republican Congress + Democrat President = Gridlock

Name one major change instituted by Bill Clinton. As I remember, he spent most of his early years defending himself in various financial and sexual scandals. Later he spent a good deal of his time dealing with the specter of impeachment.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 6:31PM
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"But when someone like Warren Buffet pays less tax (proportionately) than his secretary who makes $60K per year, there is something seriously wrong with the system."

You can always find aberrations with one data point. The reason Buffet pays a lower percentage than his secretary is because his income is primarily dividends which are taxed at 15% and capital gains which are taxed up to 28%. You can make a case that dividends should not be taxed at all since they were already taxed at the corporate level. Even so, he probably pays 100s of millions of dollars in income taxes. Obviously, you think he should pay more so others can have a free ride.

Consider this, Buffet has pledged the majority ($31 billion) of the money he has made during his lifetime to the Gates Foundation. How much has his secretary pledged?

"demeron: I agree with all you have said."

Socialists tend to stick together.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 6:52PM
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15 million?

Firstly on the homefront I would have the landscaping completed, fences replaced and repairs done on this house. Then I would buy or build a dream house in my dream location. Would also invest in a beachside holiday cottage.
A portion would be invested for our kids. Another for our parents - or even an offer of a rebuild on their properties. Another portion invested for our retirement.

I'd also donate some of the money for charitable use, orphanges, building houses overseas, etc.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 7:25PM
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Well deerslayer, I'm not debating Buffet's generosity. People with modest incomes do give to charity, but their contributions obviously pale in comparison.

You say that socialists stick together, well so do conservatives, democrats, republicans, and just about any other group that shares similar opinions.

I find the US healthcare system to be unfair. We have the best technology and doctors, and yet a large portion of the population cannot afford to get sick. Lower income families often do not have health insurance because they can't afford it. Giving these people access to healthcare is not a "free ride", it is giving them access to a basic necessity of life. Insurance companies making huge profits and denying sick people benefits makes me ill. No one chooses to get sick.

My brother has a special needs child. He is 8, and my brother figures that he will reach his lifetime maximum for health insurance in about 2 years. Then what? No other company will insure him because of his preexisting condition. My brother has paid thousands of dollars out of pocket each year for deductibles, items not covered, etc. He has no other children. He doesn't want a "free ride", and has always paid his premiums, but he will be cut off. Is this fair? There are literally millions in the same situation. Call me a socialist if you want, but I don't think that anyone should have to be put in this position.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Well Mapletex, our healthcare system can be reformed without socializing medicine. The socialist's answer to all problems is a government takeover. I doubt that I can convince you. It appears that you already drank the Kool-aid.

Did you notice that an individual in another thread said that she doesn't own health insurance and doesn't want it? Even though I disagree with her decision, I'll defend her right to make it. Socialists don't believe in individual free choice or the free market for that matter. They believe that the government knows best. Socialist governments take your money and spend it as they see fit. Individual choice is secondary to what they believe is best for society. Before you know it, everyone's wearing gray clothes and funny hats. 8^)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:34AM
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We in the western world hear a good deal about "freedom" and "democracy", usually related to our political and social system.

I hardly ever hear anyone refer to any relevance of "freedom" and "democracy" in relation to economic affairs.

It seems to me that some more economic democracy would be helpful in our society.

A system in which one person can become the richest person in the world in a third of a generation ...

... is badly in need of reform.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:58AM
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It appears that this financial forum is a den of socialists! 8^)

ole joyful, are you saying that money should be distributed on some basis other than by earning it? What do you suggest?

I suppose that the government could confiscate Bill Gates' money and redistribute it. Keep in mind that Gates has already pledged the bulk of his fortune to his charitable foundation. This highlights a key difference in thinking between socialists and capitalists. Socialists believe that the government should distribute all money earned by its citizens and capitalists believe that individuals should distribute their money themselves.

Large scale charitable giving isn't a new idea. Andrew Carnegie, an earlier richest man in the world, established the U.S. library system through his foundation. Most of the libraries built in the U.S. in the early 1900s were made possible by Carnegie's donations. I know that the library in my town was built by Carnegie. BTW, he also built many libraries in Canada. I sometimes wonder how many lives Carnegie improved through his donations.

At the core of capitalism is individual freedom and choice. Under capitalism, people are free to earn as much money as their potential permits and spend it as they wish. Bill Gates built Microsoft from scratch by applying his skills and working hard. Now he's giving away his fortune. What's more free and democratic than that?

NEWSFLASH -- The U.S.S.R.'s experiment with socialism has failed.

Socialism in the U.S.S.R. failed because it drained the initiative of the country's most productive citizens. The output of the country suffered tremendously as a result. Now that capitalism has been introduced to Eastern European countries, their economies are booming. China is another example of the failure of socialism and the success of capitalism.

ole joyful and mapletex, if you want to give more money to the government, that's your prerogative. Just keep your hands out of my pocket.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:33AM
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"Socialists don't believe in individual free choice or the free market for that matter. They believe that the government knows best."

"The socialist's answer to all problems is a government takeover."

"It appears that this financial forum is a den of socialists! 8^)"

If I thought this were going in the direction of rational opposition, I would gladly continue. But from these statements it looks like you are having more fun setting up a row of straw men to torch so I'll leave you to it.

So, back to the original question-- maybe buy a little house in northern Italy so I could hang out with those gray-hatted, socialist drones :) Or maybe just a pick your own farm. With a creek on it, and possibly a mountain in the back. Lots of cherry trees.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:39AM
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Demeron, if you think that socializing an industry such as healthcare isn't practicing socialism, you need to look up the word socialism.

BTW, when I put a rotated smiley face at the end of a sentence, it means I'm kidding. It's a way of interjecting some humor into a discussion. The following are clearly overstatements and were intended to be humorous:

"It appears that this financial forum is a den of socialists! 8^)"
"Before you know it, everyone's wearing gray clothes and funny hats. 8^)"

A socialist is the opposite of a capitalist. I readily admit that I am a capitalist.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Carnegie may have initially started many libraries, but you do realize that your local library is funded by your taxes? As is your police force, your local fire house, and education. Hate to break it to you, but we are already a largely socialist country. Just about the only major "socialist" agenda item that our country doesn't cover is socializing medicine.

If you're going to sit there and say, "Well, sure, of course my taxes should cover the police, firemen, education, libraries..." and yet you're not willing to cover people who can't afford insurance themselves, who are dying because they don't have the money to pay for health care in this country of such great riches -- then frankly I find that mind-boggling.

Now, if your argument is that our taxes shouldn't be covering any of those items, that might make logical sense. It won't ever happen, that we'll do away with them all, but at least you'd be conforming to a logical argument.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:47PM
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I"already drank the kool-aid" ?

I think that's a bit extreme. I can assure you that in Canada people do not walk around wearing grey suits and funny hats. They are free to make as much money as their potential allows, and can spend it as they wish. AND if they wish, they can go to private doctors and clinics and BUY their own healthcare.

Admittedly, the Canadian healthcare system has flaws. But I would take a flawed system where EVERYONE is covered over a flawed system where only the very wealthy or those with unlimited lifetime coverage are assured that they will always get the medical care they need.

In the US, we like to believe that all men are created equal, but that certainly doesn't apply to healthcare.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:37PM
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Many of you say you would fix up your house. Yes, I know this is a fantasy thread because in reality, don't you know you can't keep your same life if you won that type of money?? You can't live in the same house. The news would get out, no matter who you did not tell. Stalkers, kidnappers with bone-head ideas, they would all visit you and try to get something out of you. In my home town, word of mouth about a $100K insurance settlement got a little girl kidnapped. I don't want to win life-changing money. Would not mind winning say, $250K, after taxes. That doesn't generate a lot of publicity. Enough for me to cover all my debts, set up a good emergency fund, have some free spending money, and give my immediate kin a relatively clean financial slate. The people who really get to live like we all are saying here are those quiet millionaire-next-doors.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:42PM
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"In the US, we like to believe that all men are created equal, but that certainly doesn't apply to healthcare."

Mapletex, do you feel entitled to own the largest home, drive the most expensive cars, or take the most lavish vacations available? If not, why do you think that you are entitled to the best healthcare available? Just wondering...

I believe that the founding fathers meant that all men should have the same opportunity to reach their full potential. I don't think they meant that all resources should be divided equally. That's a Marxist idea.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:29PM
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How can you put healthcare is the same category as big houses, luxury cars and vacations? Obviously a family living on 60K a year will not have the same lifestyle as a family with 200K a year. Healthcare is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

Disease doesn't discriminate between rich and poor; why should access to healthcare be dependent on personal wealth?

I just hope that you or anyone you love is never put in the situation of not being able to get the medical care they need. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:45PM
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Deerslayer, you said:

"Did you notice that an individual in another thread said that she doesn't own health insurance and doesn't want it? Even though I disagree with her decision, I'll defend her right to make it."

Do you also think car insurance should be the individual's choice as well?

Your arguments, while amusing, are not very well thought out. In the UK there is a national health care system. There is also a private health care system which you can pay for. If it gives you a buzz to call it a socialist system, then ok - you go for it. Socialist or not I would rather have that than what we have now!

The national health system is not perfect, but if you want, you can go private and get fantastic health care.

I have never heard of someone in the UK going bankrupt because they got sick. The fact that it happens every day here in the US is something that every citizen of the US should be deeply ashamed about.

With my lottery winnings : ) I would put aside 4 million dollars split between very safe (high interest bearing account) and equities.

10% of the remainder to charities of my choice.

$500,000 to each parent (both mine and dh's are divorced), so that accounts for another 2 million.

I would purchase homes in London, Boston and Sydney worth around a million each and split my time between them.

I think that would leave me $5 million'ish to spend on various things. I would definitely buy a fun car for both dh and I and would give money for trees to cover the carbon footprint.

I would have horses again. Two showjumpers and get back into showjumping....

and we would travel - a lot. As much as possible.
I would also like for DH and I to take at least 1 month per year to volunteer on a charity - perhaps to help build homes, perhaps to go and protest against baby seal clubbing, etc, etc.

I would also throw about $500,000 at my home staging company and hire someone else to look after it.

I think that should give us more than enough to live off with interest and the $4 million we have put away. Plus the houses can be seen as a long term asset. We would still have plenty of fun spending money and I would use it - live every day as if it's the last!

I would not stay in the same house. I would definitely quit my job and hope that DH would do the same and we could spend time doing things which are more fulfilling.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:56PM
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"why should access to healthcare be dependent on personal wealth?"

Spoken like a true socialist. At least you admit it. As far as I know, hospitals can't refuse people in need of medical care and there are many free clinics. Basically, you want someone else to pay for your medical care and you want the best available.

"Your arguments, while amusing, are not very well thought out."
"Do you also think car insurance should be the individual's choice as well?"

Auto insurance is required to protect the insured motorist from the uninsured motorist. Your arguments, while amusing, are not very well thought out.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:43PM
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Are you really saying that the only person affected by a bankruptcy is the person who got sick with no health insurance? That no-one else gets pulled down with them?

I simply cannot believe that you don't believe everyone should have an ability to get health care without it causing bankruptcy. Shame on you.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 8:28PM
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"Are you really saying that the only person affected by a bankruptcy is the person who got sick with no health insurance?"

Where did I say that?

"I simply cannot believe that you don't believe everyone should have an ability to get health care without it causing bankruptcy."

Where did I say that?

Shame on you for distorting the facts!

For those of you who don't know what a straw man is, the above two quotes are good examples.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 9:13PM
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Deerslayer, it is obvious that you and I will never agree on this issue,and I suppose you also think that insanely high costs for medical care are fair.

Example: My son got his chin sliced open while playing hockey. We had to go to the ER for stitches. Cost:$1500 to the hospital, and another $475 to the emergency physician group. We never actually saw a doctor, the stitches were done by a physician's assistant. She told me she made $50 an hour, and it took her about 1/2 hour . That's $25 out of $475. I don't suppose a suture kit cost the hospital $1500. Oh, I forgot. The triage nurse gave my son a piece of gauze to hold on his chin while we waited. That was probably worth $500. Our share after insurance was $285 to the hospital and $50 to the physicians group. But if we hadn't been insured, we would have been out $1975, for 9 stitches. Do you actually think this is fair?

I suppose we would have paid much less if we had gone to our family doctor, but we were out of town on Labor Day weekend. Didn't have a choice.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Mapletex, sure, the costs seem high but most hospitals are not-for-profit organizations. Are the doctors, nurses, and other staff members too highly paid? I don't know. I do know that one of the problems hospitals face are nonpaying patients. Hospitals spread those costs across the bills of the people who can pay. Is that fair? Again, I don't know but the hospitals must cover their losses somehow or they'll be forced to close their doors. It wouldn't be ethical to deny a sick or injured person treatment so what else can they do?

Much earlier in this thread I said that if a Democrat wins the U.S. presidency, we'll see more socialism. That struck a nerve. Since then, I've spent most of my time defining and describing what socialism is. It appears that many people don't know. You seem to be the only exception in this discussion.

Both of the Democrat candidates have said that they will support a form of "Universal Healthcare". In fairness to Barack Obama, rather than nationalizing healthcare, his plan supposedly will make health insurance affordable to everyone. During the debates he said that under his plan, health insurance will not be mandated. Bottom line, his plan is less socialist than Hillary Clinton's plan. However, both plans result in massive amounts of new federal spending. Who's going to pay for most of it? My guess is the same top 25% ($62k+) of the taxpayers who pay most of the taxes (86%) today. The Democrats have already stated that they plan to raise taxes on the top income brackets. That my friend is socialism. I can't help it if people don't like the term...it is what it is.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:55AM
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I hate to get involved in a political discussion on the Internet, but I just have to say this: deerslayer, you seem to be equating socialism with communism and totalitarianism. At the risk of seeming to talk down to anyone here, they are not the same. Where DID you learn that socialism is evil?

There are many democratically run countries successfully using socialism in various forms today. Perhaps countries with a national health service pay higher taxes, but they get a lot for that in return. People are healthier and they have MORE freedom (are not locked into a job for fear of losing their health insurance, do not have to worry so much about their quality of life in retirement). Employers are not saddled with the expense and responsibility for insuring their employees. I believe society is the better for it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:48AM
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"Auto insurance is required to protect the insured motorist from the uninsured motorist."

So shouldn't health insurance be required to protect the family and potentially employees of the person who gets sick? Where is the difference?

I don't believe that the Brits pay higher taxes than we do here either and they seem to manage just fine - while the syatem isn't perfect at least no-one loses their home because they got sick! Also, there was a national health service under Thatcher and I hardly think you could call that woman a socialist!

Anyway a government run national health system isn't something that you can opt into or out of - it's just there, like school. Should school be a choice too? Should we go back to a system where there are lots of privately run fire houses and if you choose the wrong one and yours doesn't get there in time your house can be left to burn? These things are run by the government for a reason.

Health service shouldn't be something that is a choice, it should be a right of all people; rich, middle class or poor.

Do I believe in the socialist mantra that there should be no privately owned property and people should work and live in co-operative systems? No. Absolutely not. But neither do I believe that a middle class family should be able to find themselves homeless even if they HAD health insurance because someone got sick.
Mapletex gives a good example about the child in her family. What is that family meant to do? Or is it just tough luck that the child's father doesn't have enough millions to pay for the child's health care. Is it ok for them to lose their house? All their retirement savings? Because if they lose all that, they may qualify for free health care, but not before everything they have ever worked for is gone.

People die in this country because health insurance companies refuse to pay for treatments, and many familes become homeless. Even for a staunch republican this should be simply indefensible.

Honestly I think that some reublicans throw around the word Socialism in relation to health care as a scare tactic to put people off. Socialism has a negative association to many people, so people like you use it to try and strenthen your point of view in a very selective manner.
It sounds to me like you have some sort of vested interest.

Anyhoo - wasm't this meant to be a lighter, fun thread?? Shame it got taken off course.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 11:00AM
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I haven't responded to all of the questions because I don't think that anyone has responded to my questions other than Mapletex who responded to one regarding income tax rates.

It seems that folks still need help with the definition of socialism. I'll try again.

"Where DID you learn that socialism is evil?"

Where did I say that socialism is evil? I think the majority of the people that have commented on my point that the current Democrat candidates have socialistic platforms may think that socialism is evil. While I don't believe that socialism is evil, I do believe that free market capitalism is better.

Why do you folks continue to create straw men? Here's an example of a straw man:

Person A: I don't think children should play on busy streets.
Person B: I think that it would be foolish to lock children up all day.

"There are many democratically run countries successfully using socialism in various forms today."

I agree but name one that is a better place to live than the U.S.. If you can, you are free to move there.

"you seem to be equating socialism with communism and totalitarianism."

I am not equating those terms but I think many people in this discussion are. Here's another internet quote:

"In Europe, Socialists are differentiated from Communists, with many nations having a substantial Socialist majority. The Socialist party is committed to worker's rights, access to health care and education for all citizens, as well as state support for citizens in need."

The above looks like the Clinton and Obama platforms to me. That's why I wrote:

Democrat Congress + Democrat President = Socialism

That's what started this discussion. I've been defining and describing socialism while burning straw men since I wrote the equation.

"It sounds to me like you have some sort of vested interest."

We all have a vested interest. My primary interest is the truth. I'm also one of the folks that gets stuck with the bill.

"Shame it got taken off course."

If you don't want more, don't respond. If people wouldn't have disagreed with my initial equation, it would have ended there. Personally, I enjoy a discussion with some substance.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Deerslayer, your comments about hospitals having to raise fees to cover the costs of non-paying patients who they are ethically required to treat seems to me like an argument for universal healthcare. If everyone was covered, then hospitals wouldn't be scrambling for funds to cover deficits.

I don't think Obama has a bad plan. If everyone had access to affordable insurance, it would be a step in the right direction. Of course, the the other important issues would be that no one could be refused coverage for pre-existing conditions, and there would be no lifetime cap on coverage.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 4:22PM
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"your comments about hospitals having to raise fees to cover the costs of non-paying patients who they are ethically required to treat seems to me like an argument for universal healthcare."

Not necessarily -- with Universal Healthcare you trade high medical bills for higher taxes. I don't support big government. Entitlement programs are the main cause of big government.

That's not to say that I don't support healthcare reform. For instance, reducing the amount of red tape in the industry could save millions if not billions of dollars. There are too many forms that require armies of hospital and insurance clerks to process. There are numerous ways to reduce healthcare costs without creating new, high cost government programs.

I think that affordable healthcare is a worthwhile goal provided that it doesn't increase the cost of entitlements. Heck, we can't afford the entitlements we have today. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are on a crash course with reality. I'm concerned that our children and grandchildren will end up paying for our generosity.

"I don't think Obama has a bad plan."

Like I said earlier, I prefer Obama's plan to Clinton's. BTW, Obama's plan includes assistance for people with catastrophic illnesses. Keep in mind that both candidates' plans are subject to change.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Do you have health insurance companies that are willing to cover people with pre-exisitng conditions?

They just want to cover people who have a good possibility of not needing their services, don't they?

Like most insurance companies do - if you may well prove a major risk ... you'd better look after yourself.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Insurance regulations differ by state in the U.S.. Normally, a person with pre-existing conditions can obtain an individual health policy but pre-existing conditions may not be covered. Most employer group plans insure pre-existing conditions. Some states coordinate insurance programs for high risk people but those health plans are very expensive. Medicaid (government program) covers pre-existing conditions and is available to eligible low income people. Medicare (government program) covers people with pre-existing conditions who are 65 and older.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:13PM
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Mapletex said:
My daughter is a freshman at USC. She did her part, getting a 4 year half tuition scholarship, plus several smaller scholarships, but it is still costing us $2000 a month. So far we haven't had to dip into the college fund, but with her two brothers following close behind her (junior and freshman) that won't last long. Did I mention that she and her brother want to be doctors? Ouch.
You are complaining about the expense of a private college, are there not public schools available to you if you don't want to pay private tuition?
Feel fortunate at paying $2k a month, my oldest son went to USC, I paid all the tuition and housing, without scholarships, but I knew it was my choice and did it gladly.
We do have inexpensive tuition at our public schools, the UC's have good med schools.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2008 at 1:30PM
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cmarlin: We are from Nevada, so we wouldn't qualify for in-state tuition at any of the UC's, and it is nearly impossible to get into any UC from out of state.

My daughter did get a full ride scholarship from UNLV, but it really isn't the greatest school for sciences, and her chances of getting into med school are better coming out of USC.

I wasn't complaining about the cost; believe me, I am very grateful that she got the scholarship, because if she hadn't, she would have gone elsewhere. We could have managed if she was our only child, but with two others (who are good students, but probably not scholarship material)still to come it would have been too much.

I mentioned the cost just to illustrate my point about how much college educations cost, and that many families simply cannot afford to put their kids through school.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:43PM
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I mentioned the cost just to illustrate my point about how much college educations cost, and that many families simply cannot afford to put their kids through school.

My point still remains, you can't complain about private colleges when you have the option of public schools. I'm sure many families can't afford private schools, that is why there are scholarships and public schools.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Never want to win the mega millions. They always post your name and then all the freaks along with your family comes out. I'd be worried that someone would try to take my kids to get me to give them money.

I'd rather hit one of those pick 5 or 6 which gives you $10 - 100K depending on the state. No one posts your name so the freaks nor your family members would ever have to know.

Then I'd give up my tithe and try to pay off the highest bill that I have and then I'd go on a shopping spree.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:19PM
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First: hire bodyguards for self and grown kids (no grandkids).

Second: invest the whole schmeer in stocks, Canadian, U.S., international, real estate, gold, etc.

If the market drops by half?

If I'd won the 26 Million in the U.S., 15 Million after taxes, or $26 Million both before and after taxes in Canada, wouldn't matter much.

I'd still have $7,500,000. (or $13,000,000.) ... even if the drop took place right away, before I had developed any growth in the asset. I don't think I'd lose much sleep over it.

I wouldn't need the diversification of a mutual fund, for safety, paying the manager $1.00 on $6.00 or so of the growth ... I'd have enough diversification within my own system

After having moved self and asset to a tax haven, if I can develop 8% growth, maybe 1% for tax (maybe less), leaves 7%. Though the stock and real estate values would likely increase, when I consider 8% growth that would be the total amount, so deducting 3% for inflation would leave 4% ... $300,000. or $520,000. Maybe skilled investors could have it grow at a greater rate than average (if they didn't, they'd likely get replaced).

If I'd put it in the bank, at 5%, paid maybe 2% tax, leaves 3 ...

... and, since the number of dollars of principal can't shrink - it can't grow, either.

So I'd have to take the rate of inflation to add to the principal to keep its value intact (preserve purchasing power) - what, 3% (and when I hear people talking about price increases , I think it's more) ... that'd leave ....


Looks like livin' on the principal!

Oh, well, burning $200,000 a year would still let you live for quite a while.

But your kids might not be too happy about that.

I like the other scenario better!

I'd buy each of my kids a modest home - too rich and there's too much of a job keeping up with the Jones'.

Not much use in them paying interest on mortgage, as it's not deductible in Canada.

And when owner-occupied home sold - tax-free (for the percentage of the total time that you owned it that you occupied it).

I'm happy with the way that I live now, so think that I'd live about like I do now - plus give quite a lot to social, educational, health-related, religious charities, on local, national basis and internationally.

Have yourselves a lovely weekend.

Plan to retire early - that makes every day weekend ... no one to boss you around (if you're single). Except cats, if you have some ... you boss a dog (unless you're a first class wimp).

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 5:18AM
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This may be of interest (note that the article refers to "socialist health care" in the last paragraph:

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY : Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Socialized Medicine: Quebec's former health minister is tacitly admitting that the system he helped create is not sustainable. It has, as Claude Castonguay has succinctly noted, reached "a crisis point."

Actually, when 40% of the province's $60 billion budget is spent on health care, or when public health care costs in Canada are growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole, we'd say the crisis point was reached long ago.

But better late than never. And Castonguay, known as the father of the Quebec public health care system that was copied by the rest of Canada, should be commended for acknowledging that the province's health care costs are unbearable.

He should also be applauded for proposing further privatization. A report issued last week recommends that Quebec move toward a mixed-delivery system that includes more private care.

The report, "Getting Our Money's Worth," also calls for user and access fees that will cut the incentives to make those "free" doctor visits for minor ailments that have clogged the system and sent costs soaring. It also suggests eliminating the rule that prevents doctors from practicing in both the public and private sectors.
These are mere details, though. Of greater significance is the admission that state health care doesn't work. Perhaps most revealing is Castonguay's statement that "patients, instead of being seen as an expenditure for the hospital, become a source of revenue."

In nations that have the blessing of a liberalized economy, people are looked upon as sources of revenue in every facet of life. It's a formula that works well for both seller and consumer.

Even the poor in this nation, where we allegedly have a crisis of the uninsured, benefit from the arrangement: They have color TVs, microwave ovens, cell phones, multiple cars, VCRs and DVD players, air conditioning and plenty of food, enough for obesity to be among the top health problems for those below the poverty line.

"People can choose what car they want to buy, what suit they want to wear, what house they want to live in," Castonguay says. "But when it comes to their health, they don't have a choice. That's what I'm against. We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise a freedom of choice."

Too bad Castonguay failed to recognize this in the 1970s, when he was putting together Quebec's socialist health care system and stripping Canadians of their choice. He wouldn't now be forced to unravel the mess while trying to maintain the fiction that the public health care system that "has become a symbol that's very valuable in people's minds" will not be significantly changed.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 1:31AM
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