Sunday, November 28, 2004

If I Had $10,000,000 

Genuine says: 'post it on your site so I can find you!'Been saving Genuine's meme-slash-gift for a rainy day and a bit more forethought. Now the rain drums on the library roof and -- unless you want to hear Willow's Christmas list -- I've got nothin' much to blog about. So here's what I'd do with my ten million tax-free bucks:

1. Pay off mounting credit card debt. Amount remaining: $9,985,000.

2. Buy primary residence. Must be New England rural but less than 30 minutes to major shopping and restaurants; should abut state park or land trust farmland, sit back from the road, and include both open acreage and plenty of wooded areas with paths and swimmable river-runs-through-it. Spacious inside, hardwood and post-and-beam, with an open floor plan and an especially large living/dining/kitchen area. Bathrooms for everybody. Off the grid and/or private well a plus. Amount remaining: $8,250,000.

3. Outfit primary residence. Hi-tech, fully integrated wireless would include large HDTV with Tivo and DVD, surround sound in every room, and several laptops, plus one mega-computer to control it all and run multimedia development software. We'll throw in the iPod here for consistency's sake. Oh, and comfy chairs and a glass-topped coffee table, I suppose. And a Japanese-themed gazebo with Jacuzzi and massage tables. Amount remaining: $7,750,000

4. Buy vacation home. A cozy beachfront spot along the northern Nova Scotia coast with rocky ledge for summer splashing. Includes small sleep-in sailboat and sailing lessons. Amount remaining: 7,000,000.

5. Cars for everybody! A sporty BMW convertible for me, whatever the spouse desires, one of those new Porsche SUVs for the family, and a pair of Vespas for short jaunts down the lane and back again. We'll need a new garage, of course, so we might as well put a rec room in it. Amount remaining: $6,500,000.

6. Establish travel "trust fund." Figure a million in the bank will allow us to travel lightly but with relative impunity off the interest alone for the rest of our life. In the first year, this would include a month-long tour in the less obvious cities of Holland, Belgium, France and Italy; subsequent years would attempt something similar in other continents and regions until we'd hit everything. Also yearly trips to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (April/May), Vancouver in the early autumn, and Sanibel Island, Florida in February. Amount remaining: $5,500,000.

7. Establish general lifestyle "trust fund." Because you can't anticipate what you might want. Here, too, we're talking untouchable capital, but spendable interest -- at least until retirement or health emergencies. Amount remaning: $5,000,000.

8. Establish education-plus trust fund for children. This one's tricky; we'll have two kids by the end of the year, but 1.5 million in a fund now will accrue a heck of a lot of interest by the time they're ready to go anywhere. This would allow them each to go to prep school, college, grad school, etcetera...and then, after they'd all been "schooled out," would allow them to spend out the interest only as a supplement to their income for the rest of their lives. Not enough to become idly rich, or even middle-class, mind you. Just enough to make it realistic for each one to pursue a vocation, not a job. Amount remaining: $3,500,000.

9. Build Mom and Dad their dream retirement home. 'Cause they deserve it, and I owe them. Amount remaining: 2,000,000.

10: Give Darcie's Not sure, here. A new boat for Neil, w/ docking fees? A trip around the world for Patty? Refinish their house? Anyway, they deserve it, too. And I owe them a bunch. Amount remaining: $1,500,000.

11. Give siblings, wife's siblings new cars/cash. One luxury vehicle for each of 5 adults, or the cash equivalent (about 50k per person). And an additional 30k for the holidays, just for the heck of it. That's two years for my brother to pursue art full-time, and cash for my sis to put away to start her own vet clinic when she gets out of school. Amount remaining: $1,150,000.

12. Buy something nice for everyone I've ever loved. Many, many nice things. For many, many people. Amount remaining: $1,000,000.

13. Tithe, part one. Spider Robinson has the right idea, here: Call local law school, and ask them for the name of someone who was eminently qualified but fell through the scholarship cracks. Call one, and offer to pay outright for their education in return for free legal services for the rest of your life. Do the same thing for the local medical school, massage school, and business/accountancy school. Amount remaining: $350,000 (massage school is pretty cheap).

14. Tithe, part two. Call every local artist in your area and commission a relatively major work. Call the bank and offer to pay one month's rent or mortgage of every teacher in town as long as you can remain anonymous. Hit the paypal button on every blog you ever visit.

Amount remaining: zero.

Thanks, Genuine, for the gift...and for the opportunity to realize that the personal lifestyle of my wildest dreams costs no more than 5 million. Now, if I only bought lottery tickets...

posted by boyhowdy | 8:30 PM |

Thanks for posting this . . . I'm "working" on my responses . . . Part I is posted, but Part II will be the actual nuts-&-bolts.

Genuine Millionaire
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