Congratulations! Youâ€™ve Won a Million Dollars! Now What? Copyright 2001 by Perry Jones
First of all, Congratulations. Second, I don't want your money. But many other people will, including long lost relatives, the aging relative, every charity you can think of (and then some) and your friends. The purpose of this is to help you keep your money. My research has revealed that people who suddenly come into wealth, such as in an inheritance or a lottery winning, - like you for example - often go through all they've received within 2 years. During these two years they are often subjected to an unusually high amount of stress and have friends and relatives they never knew they had come asking them for money. Many people often feel guilty. "Why me?" "What do I do with this?" "Who do I turn to?" "Who do I trust?" Hopefully, you won't experience any of these feelings and everything will go smoothly for you. But if you find yourself feeling this way, you aren't alone. To help, I've developed some simple rules or guidelines. Accept those which feel right to you or which seem to make sense. If it feels wrong or just doesn't make sense, don't do it. 1. Wait. This is already what most people do. Wait a few days until the excitement dies down before claiming your money. This gives you time to calm down and relax and look at the situation a little more rationally. Winning a large jackpot is a big responsibility and you need time to get yourself used to the idea. 2. While you're waiting those few days, find yourself a competent attorney and a good accountant, CPA or financial advisor. How do you find such people? Trust your friends. Yeah, the word may leak that you've won, but it is more important to get an attorney and financial advisor in place rather than not trust your friends and go to the lottery office without such a team behind you. Who would your friends recommend? Ask them, ask around. Maybe you could consult the mayor of your town - if its small, or ask your doctor, tax preparer or someone who owns a small business. You could also just go through the Yellow Pages and select a few financial service firms at random and then call them for an initial appointment. When you appear for the appointment, be honest, tell them you won the big jackpot and ask them what suggestions they have on how you should invest the money. Meet each of the advisors you select and then wait at least 24 hours after meeting with the last before deciding which one you'll be working with. Then call that one back and give them the good news. Trust me, they'll be very happy. 3. While you're waiting, you may want to change your phone number and/or get yourself a new mailing address - a post office box or a mail box at a nearby mailing service. Otherwise you'll be inundated with phone calls and proposals in the mail to help you part with your money.
So you go to the lottery office and collect the big check. You get your smiling face on all the local (and maybe national) media. So what's next? 4. Take 10% and blow it. Yeah, this may not seem like sound investment advice, but you've just won the lottery for pete's sake! Have fun! That's what winning is all about. Take that vacation you've always wanted. Get that sports car you've always dreamed of. Throw yourself the biggest party you can imagine. Rent out the nightclub or restaurant or theater for you and some of your best friends. Have a good time. Have fun. But don't forget: 5. Be yourself. Don't be someone you're not. Don't assume "airs" or a persona just because you're suddenly wealthy. Your friends will resent it and sooner or later, so will you. This really hasn't been much of a problem for most people and shouldn't be with you, so just keep it in mind. 6. If you don't go to church or believe in God or a Supreme Being of some kind, now may be a good time to reconsider your position. You're going to need all the advice, wisdom and support you can get. When friends and family you never knew you had suddenly begin calling you and showing up on your doorstep, you may start to wonder who you can trust. Who will you turn to? God is infinite love and wisdom and this may be just what you need right now. 7. Relax. Don't feel guilty. Praise God. This money is a gift. Lightning has to strike someone sometime. This time it just happened to be you. You may now have enough to retire. If so, go ahead and retire. Quit your job, or at the very least stay away for a few days. You'll probably be too excited to concentrate on your job anyway. So take a vacation and maybe it'll become permanent. 8. Be careful who you trust. All the people you knew and were friends with before you won are probably safe. Any "friends", "relatives" and others you may have encountered since you won may not be. 9. Talk to your family, lawyer and financial planner and set up an investment plan. Discuss what you would do with this money. Don't make any rash decisions. The longer you keep this money in a safe place - even if its just a regular bank account for now - the longer you'll be able to consider all your options, plan for the future, and dream of what could be. Consider capping your donations to church or charities at a maximum of 10%. If you're receiving your money in annual payments, keep your donations at 10% per year. After the first year you may want to increase this percentage, but for the first year, keep donations to a 10% maximum. 10. Don't give money away to just anyone or for any reason. People may start coming out of the woodwork with news of relatives needing lifesaving operations, to pay bills, to start a medical clinic, pay for an abortion, save the whales, feed the hungry, to pay the rent so they won't be evicted, to start a new business which is "guaranteed" to turn their life around, etc. Don't do it.
Refer them all to your attorney. Even the United Way, Girl or Boy Scouts, your local church, Red Cross and even your favorite Uncle Billy. Ask them all to submit a written proposal to your attorney. And tell them he'll take it from there. 11. Take a vacation. Get out of the country. Or just get out of the area for a while. You may need a few days, you may need a few weeks. But now is the time to think and relax. You've been given a great gift. What are you going to do with it? To figure that out, take that vacation you've always wanted. Go away. Go someplace where no one knows you. Take your immediate family (or not) and bring along a trusted friend or friends or relative(s) if you wish. (Or not.) Go sailing. Go to Europe or Asia. Take that cruise. Go to Las Vegas (but be careful if you go there)(the casinos have many years experience of helping people part with their money), or Cancun or Fiji. Whatever vacation or place you've always wanted, now is the time to do it. If you take your family, they may impose too greatly upon your conscience. You don't want that. You want to be able to rationally and logically figure out what to do with this great gift you've been given. Having your family around may not allow you to do this. Or it may. Only you can make that determination. If they are not with you, call home. Call your family, pastor or a trusted friend. Talk. And make lists. This is number 12. 12. Make lists. What dreams did you always want to do or achieve? Who did you always want to be? Now may be the time to do that. Or maybe you'll too old. Or not. And don't be hasty. You've got all the time in the world. You can live anywhere you want. Do anything you want. Buy any car you've wanted. Get that big house in that luxury area. Keep on making lists. Think about all the things you've written. Do you really want this or that? Do you really want to go here or there? Think about these things. It may take some time, or maybe it won't. Maybe you won't need to get away, maybe you've had all this planned out already, if not on paper then in your head. Enjoy yourself. 13. Move on. Your plans are in place. Your family has been taken care of. Perhaps you've bought that nice house or car you've always wanted. Now is the time to move on. Start living your life. Maybe you won't change anything, or maybe you will. Maybe you'll change everything. But life goes on, and so do you. You may be able to live at a higher level of affluence, you may be able to donate to those charities, you may be able to do some good things you never had the time or money to do before. Now you have both. So do them. You may even want to go back to school. You're never too old. Begin implementing the investment plan you worked out. Begin living that life you dreamed of while on vacation and while making lists. And that's it.
There's plenty of competent investment advice out there so I'm not going to offer any. Except for this. If you're going to buy that new house, pay cash. Buy it outright. Same for the car. Get out of debt. Now is not the time to be adding new debt. You're going to need time to learn how to invest wisely. Many people study for years and never get it right. But with the proper team around you, the love and support of family and friends and God on your side, you'll make the right decisions. One more thing. Congratulations! Perry Jones
Invest your winnings to create an income for life (the best part? You donâ€™t have to work.). Go here: http://perry-jones-passive-income.blogspot.com/