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Turning Over New Leaf

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

If I Had $1 Billion . . .

dollar


I know what I would not do if I had $1 Billion. I would not live a lavish lifestyle of yachts, servants, and palatial homes.

Of course, I would travel more, and spend most of my time writing, fishing, etc. Whoops. I do that now.

I suppose I would give most of it away.

What would you do?

. . .

47 comments:

  1. I would buy an island and appoint myself governor. Then I would create a reverse tax system and pay my citizens based on their contribution to my state. I would of course hold regular elections, but I think my position would be pretty secure.

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    1. Bruce: Great to hear from you, Gov! If you proposed that system, I would vote you in for life. There is nothing better than a benevolent king.

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  2. At some point great wealth becomes a responsibility and a burden. I think 10 mil would do quite well for me and my family in allowing to live comfortably and monetarily stress free yet without the pressure of everyone knowing you are filthy rich. I guess I would put the rest in a trust to pay for college scholarships for deserving students and hire someone to run it, meeting only several times a year to go over an audit of the trust.

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    1. joeh: I understand and agree. However, people would still call you filthy rich. Then again, if you live in NJ, maybe not. I do wonder, however, why stress and money always seem to go hand-in-hand with most people.

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  3. Some giving, some investing, and a little spending. I'd try to manage it like I manage what I have now. Smart. Sad that most people who win a bunch of money are broke within seven years, isn't it?

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  4. I wouldn't do anything different from what I do now.
    Perhaps I would organize a special trip once a year. That's what I would do.

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    1. Julia: I am happy that you are happy!

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    2. Thanks. I forgot to mention that I would also like to support the animal shelters to make sure that every dog and cat is taken care of.

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    3. Julia: I'm sure you would!

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  5. Well, on a personal level at least. I would certainly think about donating some money to special organizations that care about people and the environment.

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    1. Julia: I assumed that you would. Hopefully, most of us would.

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    2. I wrote "some money", but I should have written most of the money. I don't think I would need to keep all that money.

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    3. Julia: I agree. I thought about Donald Trump getting up this morning, putting on a tie, and fighting New York traffic on the way into work. I got up, made some coffee, and sat on our porch with my dogs looking at the birds we feed every day. Then, I went fishing. I spent the afternoon writing. But he does have more money than I ever will.

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  6. I'd share it with others, not just my family members either! For sure I'd be taking a couple more trips! But I'd be sure to stock much away for all those rainy moments.

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    1. Karen: What is very comforting to me is that thus far everyone seems to agree that their lives would pretty much go on the same way as they do now. I am really tired of hearing people claim that money will solve all their problems. We know that is not true. It would be great to travel more, fund an orphanage, and make sure our kids were secure, but none of us will fall apart without the monetary fortune.

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  7. I would do the same that I do now. Maybe I would travel more. And I would save and share a part of it. But one billion is too much, a much smaller amount would do :-)

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    1. Fanático_Um: I agree. You would have to give most of it away. I would have no trouble doing that.

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  8. I would continue to teach... maybe fund some scholarships at the school. I would see how far a great piece of that money would go to change our current political structure... Maybe $1 Billion would be enough...

    I would maybe buy that mountain out in New Mexico or Arizona... and those two mules... and a couple of Winchester rifles to take with me...

    There would be much good I could do... I would think...

    ~shoes~

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    1. Shoes: Good goals. The whole point of acquiring that much money should be to do some good. However, some people get a charge out of the accumulation of wealth. I would want to make my family financially secure and do whatever else I want to do, but one does not need $1 Billion to achieve that goal.

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  9. I would pay off my house. Then I'd spend at least a year traveling to all the parts of the world that I want to visit already. After that I might move to one of those places. To me, the most valuable thing in life that anyone can have is good friends and their own family. If while traveling the world I made some good friends I'd probably move closer to them. And then I'd buy a buttload of cool cars and drive the crap out of them. :-) After that I'd be free to sit and write as many bad books as I wanted and pay people to promote them. Hey, there are a lot of bad writers who somehow have successful careers simply because their fans don't realize how crappy their books really are. I could be one of those writers!

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    1. Memphis Steve: You don't need a billion to have good friends and a family, nor do you need money at all to write a crappy book. Traveling is easy without a billion. I've been doing that for years. I know a thousand ways to accomplish that goal inexpensively. You are already in the process of paying off your house, so you're almost there. A bunch of cool cars and you have everything!

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  10. Wow. Great question. I am not certain that my life would change all that much. I would rest easier about big home repairs. It would be nice to donate to organizations that I believe are worthy and need the help. I would feel totally okay about just writing and working in my garden. I really want to become a better gardener/caretaker of the earth/liver off of the land. And I would very likely pursue that Big Idea that I had so many years ago of starting a non-profit and building homes for honest, hardworking people who became sick, and ultimately homeless. I believe in offering a help up rather than a hand out. Once you are sick and homeless, you are in a cycle that is nearly impossible to stop. However, I don't expect the government to fix this (though it would be nice if they banned GMO foods, which I think contributes to many health crises, instead of giving them a pass). The bottom line is that we all have to help ourselves... and if I had billion dollars, I would be able to do that and lots of other people, too.

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    1. Robin: That is the bottom line. Of course, I put my family first, then I am happy to help myself. With that amount of money, I would focus on others, as would you.

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  11. The first thing I would do is give Edwards Center a big chunk of it. Edwards Center is a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities, including my two sons who have autism. It's a great organization and I would love to give it enough money to free it from the whims and fluctuations of government funding. Everything I make from speaking and writing is donated to them.

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    1. Galen: I would expect that of you.

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  12. I don't think a billion dollars would change me much. I never aspired to having a lot of money, and am quite content with our life. However, I might be inclined to buy my hubby a Shelby Cobra, or whatever other dream car he wanted. No amount of money is gonna persuade me to move out of our little house, so here we'll stay. Some money would go to our kids, to pay off all their mortgages, and some more would go into trust funds for their kids' educations. But most of the money would go to worthy causes. Giving it away would give me a lot more pleasure than blowing it on stuff we don't need.

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    1. Oh I dream of winning the lottery or at least the Publishers Clearing House. Hubby and I would take early retirement most likely travel to all the places we talk about wanting to visit! It sure would be nice.

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    2. Gossip_Grl: Please tell us where you would like to travel.

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  13. What comes to mind first is that I'd pay 100% of my kids' college expenses so they wouldn't have to graduate w/ a mountain of debt (even though I firmly believe that a college education isn't nearly worth the ridiculous amounts they're charging these days but it's a golden ticket that we're forced to buy).

    With another chunk of the money I'd look into why college tuition is so out of control and then do what I have to do to reverse that.

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    1. Nicki: Hmmm. Sending kids to college. Been there. Done that. As a long-time college professor, I can tell you why the education might not be worth it at many colleges, but not why the costs are out of control. And yes, without it, the kids have a grim future.

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  14. . Actually thinking about the cost of college educations and having a billion dollars, college educations would be "pocket change." So family education aside, I would stay where I am, buy a plane,hire a pilot and travel in luxury. Of course, I would also start a foundation for the education of under privileged children and contribute to the support of the arts and cancer research. All this after buying myself a pair of Ugg boots.

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    1. Linda: Sounds like a plan. A plane might be nice, and traveling in luxury is always nice. I would expect you to start a foundation, as I would. But the boots would be useless in Florida!

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    2. But an essential when I got to Greenland. :-))

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    3. Linda: Yes, a place I have not been, but would love to visit. I guess you would need a few boots. I only use them for writing!

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  15. I'd help family first, then I'd travel for a bit, renovate the current little house I'm in (who needs a massively huge house??!!!), help others in need, and then I'd fill an olympic swimming pool with M&Ms and dive right in.
    Okay, so maybe not the last one ;)

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    1. Lynda R Young: I do agree on the house and the helping of others. I wonder where you would like to travel.

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  16. oh fun to think about: yes, like many others my children's education does come to mind. That is 6 times what astronomical number these days? But with what was left, I've always wanted to take a global ski tour. I'd like to do one of those tours in the Alps where you ski from one resort to the next. And I'd like to ski South America because just saying that sounds so exotic. And every state in the U.S. with snow. And if anything was left after that maybe a week on the beach to sleep and get ready for the next adventure.
    Not very philanthropic I know ;-)

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    1. CailinMarie: Since I came from New Hampshire, I was an avid skier. I did have an opportunity to ski in several places in the Alps, and in one place in South America. It can be accomplished quite inexpensively. Of course, living in Florida, the beach thing comes with the territory. In any event, we don't need a billion to do many of those things.

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  17. Fantastic question.

    I would certainly have a few choice homes, but I would love to set up sanctuaries for animals in distress, and create many different types of grants for the arts... Music, art, and literature is very important to me... So much of it lost in today's world.

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    1. Michael: Protection of animals would certainly be high on my priority list as well. As for the arts, absolutely! They are the first courses to be cut in schools and should be expanded.

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  18. Hi JJ .. I'd certainly look after others, offer them some education to improve their lot, protect wildlife and encourage conservation ...

    I'd travel too - but not that extensively .. and I'd be sensible with the cash .. I don't want to be brash!

    I'd learn and attend courses to educate myself more .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary: Those are terrific, worthy goals, which I would expect from you. Cheers!

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  19. The greatest pleasure would be in sharing it with those I love. Family vacations with future grandchildren, and having their college and graduate school funds all set up for them. It would also be great to hire a driver for evening events. I really like Lynda's pool idea!

    Julie

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    1. Julie: Sharing is the only way. Absent that, money does not bring happiness.

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  20. So many good ideas here in the comments!
    At nearly 40, I am just beginning my journey of life- at least the part that has me knowing that I can actually hope and achieve more in this life than I ever imagined. Maybe a way to instill that in other younger people so they can start this wonderful adventure a little sooner than I have!
    I do now dream of maybe owning a small island one day and doing something cool with that and of maybe working with dogs in some way and I know I believe in educating kids in many different ways.... so many possibilities to think about!

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