What if you had a billion dollars, free and clear – what would you do with that?
That’s not an easy question to answer – if you received a lump sum of a billion dollars and if you didn’t have to worry about taxes? Would you spend it, save it, give it to charity? There’s so many possibilities there that the mind wobbles, and still there are things that pop up: submit a one-month advance letter of resignation at work. Pay off the house. New cars for the wife and me. Nothing too fancy, just a couple of fully-loaded Tesla Model S roadsters and a charging station in our garage – that’s about $100K right there. But then we’d need 4WD vehicles for winter, because North Dakota does not fool around! In that case, we also need a Ford 4-door extended cab pickup for me and something nice for the wife. Chalk up another $100K to that, just to be safe. Add another $120K to pay off the (new) house. Running total: $320K: a drop in the bucket.
We could talk beans all day, but I’m a practical man with few needs. I’d give Mme. Ross a $10K one-time dealio to spend however she wants, that way she won’t feel left out. I’d sock away another $20K for a rainy day (which is never!!!) I’d leave ten million in CDs, and start rolling those over for big-time interest gains. I’d hook up with a Betterment.com account with another ten, so that I don’t have to do a monthly deposit and I can start playing with stocks and bonds, the stupid-simple way. Then I’d start looking into how I might be able to go into business for myself. Because now I’m unemployed, oh noes!!!
I’d send my Dad a big fat check because he could use a tractor, a new truck, and he could pay off his bills. He’s got a ticking clock on his employment viability and I think he’s worked so hard for so long, he deserves to be able to do whatever he wants with his time. Ditto for my Mom. Pay off the house in Ferndale, and do whatever she wants with the rest; I don’t really care so long as she would actually call me once in a while. Maybe on my birthday, or holidays? I DON’T KNOW. Maybe I’d kick a little over to my sister and brother in-law, since they need to pay off their debts and live in California – not a cheap place to live in. I feel overly-grandiose saying all the stuff in this paragraph, but the thing is I don’t need that much money. If I give away $2.5M to my family, the running total sits at . . .
calculating . . .
Which leaves $977,150,000. Oh shipwrecks, I’m going poor. You know who I need right now? M.C. Hammer. That man could blow a hole through a fortune like nobody’s business. Besides, you can’t sink all that money into stocks because you can’t count on the market – don’t want to put it all in one basket! You can’t trust government bonds, either, so some money in bonds would be smart but not a large chunk. I think ultimately, CDs would be a good way to go, and I’d shop the local credit unions for interest rates because guess what? I hate the big banks. Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America can suck it. Dakota Community Bank, Capital Credit Union – that’s the way to go – keepin’ it local.
So you have to spend some, you have to save some, and you have to invest some. But guess what? Unless you want the whole world knocking at your door, you have to give some away, too. Your life, your fortune – it’s a public record and having a billion dollars would put you in a position to help shape the world. How would you shape it? Personally, I’d start with cleaning up the beaches. Developing better educational programs that emphasize quality home education and community development among peers. Things like that. I’d have to do my research. I’d give money to NPR and Wikimedia, because I do rely heavily on them in various aspects of my life.
I don’t know; it seems to me like being handed a billion dollars to spend at my discretion is like being given a new job. Quit the old job, start working four to six hours a day figuring out how to offload this money that grows as fast as I can spend it – it’s like giving me a single-shot .22 on a spaceship full of tribbles; how does that end?
One thing I’m certain of – at least I would be able to afford to go surfing anywhere I want.
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt
I’m looking for a new blog theme that doesn’t emphasize featured images and offers a straight feed with a couple of sticky posts at the top. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know!
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