What Would You Do with a Million Dollars?

by Vered DeLeeuw · 153 comments

It’s a fun game, isn’t it? Imagining you have won a million dollar windfall and trying to figure out what you would do with it. Or, a different scenario: you work your butt off for 40 years, saving and investing wisely, and eventually get to a net worth of a million dollars. Phew. Now what?

A Million Dollars Isn’t That Much!

I think we’re all very aware that a million dollars isn’t what it used to be. In either scenario, whether you have worked and accumulated a million dollars, or whether you’ve received a windfall, you absolutely cannot go crazy and start spending uncontrollably. Let’s take a look at what you CAN do with a million dollars.

Invest for Income

This applies to the second scenario – the one where your net worth, after years of hard work, is a million dollars. Assuming your investment mix can generate an annual taxable income of 8%, a million dollars can generate an admittedly nice income of $80,000 per year – for many this is all it takes to comfortably retire, and for those of us living in more expensive areas, in major cities along the US coast, it would still be a major boost to whatever other retirement income we might have.

Spend Wisely

If you get a million dollar windfall at some earlier point in your life, when you still have many working years ahead of you, I would advise against viewing this as your ticket out of the workforce. As we saw above, this kind of money generates a nice income – but not necessarily enough to retire on, especially if you’re young and still need to raise kids. In addition, if you start using all the income that your nest egg generates at an early age rather than reinvest, your money will be gradually eroded by inflation.

how to become rich

What Would I Do?

The things on my own list if I ever received a sudden windfall include non-exciting items such as paying off any credit card debt, student loans and home mortgage. I would also reserve a small percentage (anywhere from 1%-5% or up to $50,000) for helping close family members such as parents and siblings with repaying their own debts and give another 1%-5%Β  to charity.

No Splurging At All? You’re So Boring

I actually do not rule out splurging a little. It’s normal to want to splurge when you receive an unexpected, large sum of money. I guess in my case I would allocate 1%-5% for splurging – this could go towards buying a new car, renovating the house or buying new furniture or art. Whatever floats your boat, by all means splurge a little on it, but do limit that splurge. It’s very easy to waste away a million dollars.

And the Rest?

So I repaid debt, gave some to family and some to charity, even splurged a little. Let’s assume I was left with half a million dollars. Now what? Now I invest, and I treat this as any other investment, creating a mix of stocks, bonds, cash, commodities and REITs – Whatever asset allocation I’m generally comfortable with. Now I sit back, watch the money grow, rebalance once a year and resist the urge to do anything else with that money, except for enjoying the extra security I now have.

What would YOU do with a million bucks?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Allen says:

    I would take the money and use it mostly for my son ,So he will have a better life in his future .Then I could give him.

  • Judith says:


  • Liza says:

    I’d divide it into 5 categories:
    ~Firstly, buy the book “Tax Evasion for Dummies” πŸ˜‰
    ~Then investing some of the money into my new start-up business Hollow Leg Store, which means a lot to me and I hope develops into something that can make a meaningful contribution to the world.
    ~Thirdly, giving to other causes and companies that I respect the morals of and want to support.
    ~Fourthly, I would travel. Exploring new spaces and cultures always keeps my perspective fresh.
    ~And lastly, I would put the rest away– you never know when you might need it, and I tend to squirrel away savings for the unexpected. (and the occasional rainy day) πŸ˜‰

  • Frankie Christy says:

    I is wonderful to dream of getting that kind of money, It would be a dream come true…….And it would make alot of people happy. However I am just trying to get enough money so I can start school and make a life for myself and my family.
    All it takes is $200.00 ., who knew that this is all it takes to get things on the right track.

  • Ian says:

    If I have a million dollar? I will finish my project in finding a cure for cancer, hiring a lab to complete what I started was very expensive, I was 2 steps away from testing my designed drug. Had to stop, it was painful to see my dream fading in front my eyes, lost all my life saving and now jobless. A million could put me on track again.

  • miss g. says:

    if i had just 1 million, i would stick it in the bank, live on the interest. if that was say 8% thats about $80,000 a year, since i currently live on 7,200 a year, i think i will live pretty good…on that new budget… what i would like to buy, is a used surburban, maybe a little cottage on the lake, or near a starbucks so i could have my coffee each morning and read the paper.

    • Peter N says:

      The interest on on a savings account is near zero.

      “or near a starbucks so i could have my coffee each morning and read the paper”
      This is why you are not a millionaire. Initially millionaires are very frugal and would make their own coffee and not buy Senseo or Keurig coffee makers.

  • Steve says:

    *Assuming this is after tax*
    1) Pay off all the family debt (i.e cars, credit, etc.)
    2) Purchase a home in cash. (have yearly tax divided to monthly)
    3) Buy the sister the car she wants.
    4) Pay the rest of mom’s car.
    5) Take 300k for college.
    6) Put the rest in a high interest accumulating savings account, or into my mom’s separate IRA saving. (Her job doesn’t have 401k, IRA or anything for retire)

  • Frankie says:

    Kyle: I understand what your are going threw….Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts….Work on what is most improtant to you and let what everyone is telling you go in one ear and out the other….Treat it like a pay check and take care of the improtant things first….Before all else!

  • Kyle says:

    I’m 20 years old and this has actually happened to me. My father passed away and left me around 1.1 million. I have a very good investor working for me at the moment but I have so many people barking at me telling me what to do. To say I’m very confused is a gigantic understatement.

  • Frankie says:

    For sure I would help my family and get them back on track and then start my own business to keep the money rolling in so I can do more good!

    • James White says:

      I think on the basis that you want to make money it would have to be in a sector that you already feel comfortable in (i.e. have worked in for a considerable amount of time). ..otherwise easy come easy go!

  • Quincy says:

    when i become an actual millionare my fisrt goal is to secure my family with having more advantages in ownership my plans start from purshaseing a home and next focusing on our education createing a secure foundation for my family is my biggest intrest

  • Kiran says:

    So I have a couple million…. in cash. Debating real estate… One thing I recommend is just trust yourself, surround yourself with like conservative educated individuals and stay focused.

  • Angela Chaney says:

    I would build several houses, plant many gardens, gather some live stock and invite some people I know that could really need some help to stay and work the land with me. The houses wouldn’t have to be elaborate but would be run on solar energy. Enough for the families I have chosen. I would also have enough land for some gatherings and events for added income making sure everything stays on budget with the deduction of taxes. I just want to be able to make sure that those I love and care about have food and shelter, with the opportunities to invest with their time and creativity to further our resources.

  • Frankie Christy says:

    I did some thinking and If I recevied a million dollars, I would definitely check to make sure it was legit. I have been scammed too many times. It just makes sense.

  • Frankie Christy says:

    If there was any possible way of me getting a million dollars, I would deposit it into my bank account, go out for dinner, make a list on all the things that need my attention ASAP. I would also treat my mother to a vacation and then work on my wish list.

  • simran singh says:

    if i had a million dollar i will feel like the king of the world..will surely give away my dear sister 250000 even though her husband is super rich but that would still make me feel good..will give away another 250000 to various charities,child orphanages,disables,places of worship. with the remaining 500,000 il buy a pretty nice home for myself and my lovely mum as i dont have one and renting sucks..will be setup for the rest of life stress free will study hard at college and be the man i always wanted to albeit stress free πŸ™‚ god bless u always may the whole world b happy healthy wealthy wise and holy

  • Shakeya McGee says:

    if I win a million dollars, I would make sure my heavenly father is taking care of first. Then, I’ll take care of my family. It will be the first time I win something like this, and I will be so proud how I made it through this it would be a great blessing.

  • William Neal says:

    I truly wish a million dollars would come my way. I want my wife to stop working because of her health. Also she has been dealing with hair thinning because of a bad mistake by the beauty shop folks. I love her so much and want her to live the rest of her life without stress and pain . She could continue to see her natural doctor if we had the money. Even if we had just some of the money to pay off bills , she could quit work but I would continue. I love to see her wonderful smile when our grand kids come over, that brings me joy just watching her feel good for those moments. I pray to God that one day my dream will come true , for the sake of my sweet heart .

  • Frankie Christy says:

    Wishing for money never works. But if I had a million dollars, I would take my mother on her very first vacation, fix up our home, buy a working car and help the rest of my family before starting my own business.

  • Bethel says:

    If I won a good deal of money, I would pay up all my bills,help my family pay theirs and if it was a very large amount, I would try to open a pet refuge and help to feed and clothe alotof the ophens,possibly have a new home for them. These are my thoughts today.

  • Frankie Christy says:

    The first thing to do is get the money, then pay off the house and bills, start a buisness that You have allways wanted, set up trust funds for grandchildren, get a car that works and in your name, help out family that needs it badly, and last but not least…..Take a much and never had Vacation!

  • Rebecca says:

    I would buy 40 acres of plow able land. I would build an organic farm that only relies on solar power and wind generators for electricity. The farm would have its own spring fed well for my future animals (chickens, goats, ducks, cows, pigs and fish) and my family to take care of ourselves while being off the grid. I would have a couple bee hives for honey, both for use in baking, and for retail. The bees will ensure steady pollination of my fields for a better harvest season. I will plant berry bushes (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries) a couple of apple trees for future use, and sell my goods at a local farmers market for income. I want to make my own cheese, bread, pies, canned goods, jellies, and some wine as well. I would teach my kids to appreciate life and all there is to offer without the social pressures of an unstable nation lurking over their heads. Sure its a lot of work, but I am sure the good food and company will be enough to sustain a lifetime of happiness!

  • pskyyy says:

    Slow, calculated investment. One million would go far.

  • The No Money Hunny says:

    Pay off my student loans, pay someone to teach my young but disabled relative the trade of his choice and maybe buy a house with the “rest”

  • Rider says:

    Flip it and make 2 million…repeat.

  • Money My Slave says:

    I opened a small business when I was 28 with the goal of being a millionaire by 35. I reached the goal. When I was 36, a young, successful friend of mine and I started investing in commercial real estate – strip centers. Zero experience at all.

    In our first year, we bought 3 strips centers totaling $6,250,000 generating $583,000 in rents. We secured excellent bank financing with 15% down ($937,500 or $468,750 each), 4.5% interest on 25 year amortization. Our total annual note is $29,800 for all three. That puts our cash flow at $225,000. My half of that is $112,500.

    Then we bought a billboard company for $650,00 that was 63% vacant and within 4 months had it less than 20% vacant basically doubling its value. The cash flow is about $80,000 my half being $40,000 with total current gross sales of about $210,000. In 30 days, we are closing on our second billboard company, with zero cash out of pocket using our equity in the current company to fund it.

    You tell me $1,000,000 is not enough to retire yet I am primarily living off the $150,000 annual income said real estate and investments are generating and letting my other business slowly wind down. I still have plenty left and will likely do more of the same – putting my money to work for me so I eventually have the option of working less.

    For any of you think you cannot do it, you can. I knew nothing of business, investing, ROI, none of it. No special school or training, just hard work and tackling opportunity as it comes.

    So, what I would I do with a million dollars? I would make it my slave so at 37 I no longer have to be a slave! Wasted money will eventually translate in a wasted life.

  • donna samval says:

    I would invest shares in a big company hospital, and have health care in place. I would buy a nice home, not a luxurious one, but just somewhere stable with my grand kids. I will then donate some money, save some and start a business. I will still live a middle class lifestyle so I can save more if I have million dollars.

  • caeley says:

    I am 13 and with a million dollars I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart I would put it all into saving the poor inocent lives of animals from the brutal and wrong wrong wrong wrong world of animal testing. Or I would donate it all to helping endangered animals.

  • Robert says:

    Well, assuming that the million dollars are taxed down to about 600,000. I live in guatemala and that is Q4,800,000.00. My family and I can live in comfort in this country with Q16,000 a month. Inflation is assumed at about 2-5% Interest rates on savings are at 3-4%. I have 50-57 years left to live. I would live off the interest and very small chunks of capital for the rest of my life. With that monthly ration I would build a small farm, where I would raise my family and eventually employ my children and many others to turn that farm into a self-made coop partnership where my children and others would learn to work hard and be self-sufficient. I would dedicate all my free time to the work of my Saviour in spreading the gospel message and the news of the restoration of His gospel to all. I would probably serve several missions for the church with my wife once my children are old enough to run the farm.

  • Dagg says:

    If I had that money I would put some in my account and some to my parents and other family relatives and donate some to charity. The remaining ones I would use it to travel.

  • Johnny says:

    Considering I already have $500k, I would most certainly retire at age 38 with $1.5 million.

    $500k into an inflation protected annuity $15k/year
    $500k into rental property $30k/year after taxes

    $45k/year on top of my already $18k would be PLENTY

    I also own my home as well so I would simply keep living here and enjoy retirement πŸ˜‰

  • angle says:

    When I get a million, then I can decide. Who knows what will happen tomorrow, but in the mean time, I don’t want to speculate on what I plan to do with all that money!

  • angle says:

    the time i get million $ than only i can decide … who knows what will happen tomorrow ryt?……………….

  • Eddy G says:

    First, take care of the taxes. OUCH…that really hurts!

    Next, set $50,000 aside for play money/backup to hold me over until the ball gets really rolling.

    Third, quit my current job in an effort to lower my income ie tax bracket, or else the government will take all the interest I’m about to earn on it.

    Fourth, invest it all in REIT’s @ 8,10, or even 11 %. It make’s no difference to me if they are set up to generate monthly income or yearly income. You won’t be living large with a Ferrari in the drive, but you can have a nice home, food, sand reliable transportation for the rest of your days, and this will let you focus on other life interests, which can eventually make money as well.

    Bottom line – image is costly. Live for yourself, not everyone’s perception of you, and you’ll be fine with $1 million MINUS taxes.

  • schneyder says:

    1 million dollars? I would buy euros, as this is perfect moment. Keep in mind that everyone bought USD even though current rate is not real. If you want to invest in something, my opinion is that you should invest in euros. This is right moment, even with the US economy the way it is.

  • Neil Anderson says:

    I’d just keep farming till it was all gone.

    • Fred Seaborne says:

      LOL thanks for sharing this “grim grins” classic… yeah I heard this joke when I was about ten πŸ˜€

  • vince says:

    I would buy silver if I have a million dollars.

  • DT says:

    Invest and withdraw at 4% per year for an inflation-adjusted $40k per year for the rest of my life.

  • Patrick Thomas says:

    8%? Hahahahaha.

    Even at the best savings rate possible in the Midwest, investment earnings on a million would get you $9,776 after-tax this year. Think you can retire on $10K a year?

  • James (the) Bond (trader) says:

    Do a few bond arbitrage trades, make about 15 pence. Oh the life of a millionaire…

  • Cleo says:

    I agree that $1m free and clear isn’t much. I would fix the house prudently and take care of my brother’s medical and educational needs.

  • donald says:

    People are still forgetting the taxes on the 1million, plus insurance and upkeep costs on vehicles and houses…If they make it a year, they’ll have IRS and bill collectors calling them not long after.

  • joethe says:

    8%…good luck with that.

  • Reaper2325 says:

    If I had a million dollars …. makes me think of the Barenaked Ladies Song.

    All joking aside, I’d pay off my house, do some home repairs, pay off my wife’s and my debt, our student loans, replace my 13 year old car and my wife’s 12 year old car. Take a 2-3 week vacation, and invest part of the remainder, the other part used to help build a savings account.


    Ill invest 700 k in housing here at my home town. Then, 100k to finish my beach house, 5 % to charity, and the rest travelling with my family around the world.

  • voltara says:

    After tax in most Western countries you’d be lucky to keep half.

    I would move the remaining 500K to Hong Kong, convert it to Yuan and invest in Chinese blue chip equities.

  • Anon says:

    Considering my age….
    100 K to a Masters degree in Atmospheric Sciences, Penn State
    150 K in bank for child(ren) tuition
    300 K for a nice house
    50 K for a decent car, maybe an Audi
    250 K for a nice world voyage (eying a 105 day on the Queen Mary 2)
    50 K for instant spending, cash in pocket
    100 K in investments

  • Tashir Ntonoban says:

    First off, I would pay off my college debts, and my parents’ college debts. Then I would buy myself a new car like a Maserati(not a really expensive one, one that’s like $100,000), and then buy myself a moderately nice house for something like $300,000 in a nice place. Then I would start a political party. After that, I would save the rest.

  • Donald says:

    As I have no debts, I would buy a nice little house in the country with some land, then I’d marry my beautiful fiancee and give her a dream honeymoon. After that I’d start making music and movies to have a steady stream of income.

  • charlotte says:

    Buy new homes for children and grandchildren , provide college fund for 4, set up family business and put aside a few bucks for my final living home….and thank the Lord for the assistance to help my family

  • RobertE says:

    When my parents passed away a few years ago, I was surprised to find that my brother, sister and I each inherited more than $800,000. I was already pretty well set for retirement, cars paid off, son’s college loan paid off, etc. I found an excellent financial advisor, who set up a highly diversified portfolio for me. We used some of the money to pay off the home mortgage, and go on cruise, but we haven’t (yet) bought a new car. And I haven’t found anything more interesting or meaningful than my job, so I am still doing that.

  • Ruan says:

    To u a milion dollars is nothing, to me a million dollars is alot of money. its about 8 million in my countries money.

    I want to save up between 10-15million South African Rand when i am 60. I am 32 now. I am saving via my pension and a unit trust investement i started a few months ago. i am pushing to safe 20% a month of my salary..but at the moment only 18%. My saving is completely eating into my funds. At the moment i have about save R100 000…long way from 15 million:)..Are there no faster ways? Or should i also go and beg for a million dollars?

  • brittny wyant says:

    If I had a million dollars I would use it to take care of my family and beautiful daughter I love to help people n would help the people that helped me I would pay my moms details and tame care of her it would do so much n Chang my life forever I would invest it n donate to people that need it the most nothing means more then helping others n also be able to take care of ur family n people that really need it

  • queen says:

    i will surely help poor people and also those who need help cause i understand and i can feel the pain and the struggling ………. and i will use a little for me and my family…

  • sreng rachit says:

    I would spent that money with my family and my closer relationship. And a small amount for charity or my country. And the rest I would invest it in business . I just keep my investment to make money and don’t worry about anythings else so I could enjoy my self and my family or friends.

  • Jake says:

    I know what I would do with it. I would invest. Being only eighteen and an independent film maker still on his way of course some would go to splurging. However I know what I’d invest in. A large plot of land as a graveyard! Death will never cease to go out of business because people are always dying! The only time it would stop is when room runs out!

  • Darrel says:

    If i had a 1000000.00 dollers i would get back my house that was sold on trustee sale last week pay my only car off and donate to charety. Hope eveybody fells the same way i do. Senseley yours Darrel.

  • Dwayne says:

    Just to be practical, I would keep 40% to myself and the rest I would physically go to a third world country and help as many families in need as i possibly can.

  • francis says:

    I live in a third world country we had a recession in 2008 where i lost my JOB. We had a storm in 2009 where we lost our home. I got employed again in 2009 but the company went back to US so I lost my job again. What to do w/ 1million dollars? Best question is, who can give me 1 million dollars and I will tell you how I will spend it!

  • Jake says:

    Well I’m still young, but i make like $21 thousand dollars a year and I get by perfectly happy with that. So geez, if I put a million away and generated $80 thousand a year off of it, I’d retire in a heartbeat. $80 thousand is PLENTY of money as far as I’m concerned for one person and I don’t plan on having children anytime soon.

  • chinnanagaseshi reddy says:

    if i will get the one million $ I would make that 3 billion $. then I will begin charity work for poor people. I will produce another 3 milliners. it’s easy…..

  • Jessi says:

    Since we currently have no debt and don’t like where we’re living, we’d probably start looking for a better place to live and buy a house there. Then we’d contact a financial adviser on how to manage the rest of it. I’d probably have to fight my husband to do that, though, since I’m sure he’d want to spend a bunch of it outfitting us with the newest computer gear. We only make about $40000/year so if we could invest it and get more than that a year, neither of us would have to work to maintain our current standard of living. We might want to get an RV so we could take our kids on better field trips as part of their homeschooling.

  • Ken Luh says:

    Since I dont’t have any debts and I don’t need to use the $1 million for living expenses, I will use the money to buy a rentable (income) property with good income (say 5% to 6% cap rate). Especially at this time the price of the real property is low and the rental income together with the vale of the property will increase gradually. One day when I retire “early” (say after 15 to 20 years), I will have very good income from the property so I can enjoy my life happily.

    • Jason says:

      I would buy a 400K home, pay off my two bedroom condo to rent out and pay 75% of the property taxes on my new home with the rental money and then I would reinvest the rest (after furnishing my new home and pool of course). Oh and I would have a windmill built so I would pay $0 electrical bill and actually get paid from the electric company.

  • Zajnil says:

    The smartest idea is to move out of USA and the million dollars will last double.

    • Donald says:

      Take it from someone that’s lived in and been to more than 10 countries, it won’t last any longer. Even if it’s 100 of whatever currency per $1 US, all that means is something that’d cost $1 in the us will cost 100 of the other currency.

      • V.D. says:

        Guess you have no idea how costly US is for some items, Specially Labor. May be you have been taken advantage of in the countries you visited.. Wonder why every other company has manufacturing in China? because, an hour of labor (sometime more skilled) will cost USD2-3 as compared to USD20-30.

        For 1200 a month you will just get daycare for a month in USA.. In developing countries you could employ 5-6.

  • jade says:

    i would buy me a iphone

  • Alexis Williams says:

    If I had a million dollars I’ll pay the taxes on that money. Second I’ll try to Flip it four million an so on. I know it can be done because I’m a young 19 year old penny pincher lol!!!

  • Ricky says:

    I would save it for my fiance.

  • Jeff Morley says:

    Actually I did get $500k as a cash bonus last year when our company was sold. What I did with it was pretty mellow- booked a discounted trip to the Maldives that we took 7 months later for $6k, the rest remains in savings & low volatility investments.

    Still working and living life like any other day. I suspect I would do that even if I won $20 million but then I’d start thinking about some other strategies for living life.

  • Jeebus says:

    I would buy a klondike bar.

  • Jerry Levasseur says:

    I would get out of debt, get my 3 children out of debt and try very hard to retire on the balance, although if Obama finds out that i have it, im sure he will find a way to take it from me.

    • terry says:

      Maybe I’m paranoid, but I find it so hard to trust these days. Like you said about Obama trying to take it from you–I BELIEVE that to a certain extent. I mean WHO DO YOU TRUST? The IRS has been accused of TARGETING organizations like the tea party, and churches. Who can you ask for advice, who can you trust to invest and not rip you off? Are the banks even trustworthy these days?

      And I also have a question. If one were to have a “non-profit corp set up, at the time he/she received the windfall/donation/inheritance/etc, wouldn’t the taxes be significantly lower? Who do I ask about these things?

  • Melanie says:

    My family has been through so much in the past year that left us with debt that we had no control over. To win a million dollars would mean we could finally breath again and wouldn’t have to worry about our to be born child and how to afford diapers and all that. Pay off the debt, get an affordable house that we can maintain on our current budget and put the rest away, but before everything gets put away into savings I would make sure to help another helpless couple to get out of debt.

  • sara savings plus moresa says:

    well if i had a million dollars i would finally get a vacume i needed lol… and take a trip to disney land.. buy a house and ust relax.. i woulod donate to autism research cause that is a sad situation and way to common. i may hit the spa i have never really thought about it. i am happy healthy and wise thats a thanks all in itself

  • Marta Vidal says:

    “IF” I had a million dollars I would
    1. Pay off ALL the bills of mine, hubby, kids, mom and dad.
    2. Would fix my parents home: Foundation work, New Roof, and total remodel for they are both elderly.
    3. I would buy the kids a house in Austin, Texas
    4. Get all reliable cars, they don’t have to be new.
    5. Donate money to the Church~ for sure.
    6. Put some away for emergencies.
    7. All of us get Dental work.(cleanings, fillings, root jobs, removal, and dentures for my parents.
    8. I would keep living on a limited income and take care of my parents like I do right now.

    Let me say one thing~~~~ Money will NEVER, make me or break me.~~~

  • Tom says:

    If I have a million dollars, I would,

    1) Pay to church
    2) Pay off mortgage and take care of it in better home.
    3) Get a SUV/Van and a truck
    4) Pay off debts.
    5) Go into retirement investment.

  • Jim says:

    If I had a Million dollars, I would Invest some of it. And for the rest of it I would buy my mom,dad,sisters and my self new cars, I would give some to like the redcross and finally maybe go out of town to some place nice.

  • silky says:

    I would pursue my dream as a ghetto slum lord.

  • John says:

    Aeriol, I certainly take no offense to anyone’s opinion, but I am a bit confused by your response to my comment, since I didn’t mention a word about investing in real estate. I was mostly commenting on the fact that the percentage rate you might get on your investments were much lower than many people seem to think, and the the price of college is much greater than some seem to think. I fear that way too many people in America are relying too much on their Social Security, which may not even be there when they retire. Many of the younger generation don’t seem to be thinking about their future much at all, and certainly are not financially prepared for the ever growing cost of living and medical care as they grow older. I will repeat… you would be hard pressed to retire on a million dollars unless everything in your life was paid for and you didn’t want to leave your cave very much. Evidence of this fact is how fast lottery winners and handicapped football players file for bankruptsy.

    • marci357 says:

      The interest mentioned of $18,000 per year is more than enough to live on…. as I have been doing it for years. When I retire, I will actually be in luxury as the $1000 from SS, a $500 pension, and some rental income will put me in a much higher income spot in retirement than I have now.
      But – like ya said, one must have things paid off πŸ™‚ and I do.
      A grow a nice garden and enjoying fishing also helps. πŸ™‚

      The rich folks filing for bankruptcy do so not because it is not enough to live on, but because they are greedy, want every thing, and NOW, and do not invest and make the money work for them. Greed.

      It’s MORE than enough for a simple enjoyable life πŸ™‚

    • Bob says:

      Public University’s cost much less than those private for profit schools and you can still get very good educations. I don’t understand why everyone thinks a private college is better, most of the time it is just more expensive.

  • ievgenyy says:

    very good idea πŸ™‚

  • ievgenyy says:

    ???????? ??????? ?? ?????

  • Aeriol @ Rise and Shine says:

    John please don’t be offended but this is a poverty mindset. First off yes you should pay the 40% taxes. So that leaves you with $600,000 to invest or thereabouts. I can assure you that with this type of money and wise and reasoned investment strategies you could buy enough income producing real estate to give you conservatively about $6000-8000. per month of net cash flow to live in. I could probably easily up that to about $10,000 per month here in my local market. Yes you would have to be willing to learn something new, get some good legal advice and learn to either be a landlord or hire an excellent property managment company. Personally I live now on my real estate investments and yet my net cash flow is not $10,000 per month to date. I could take a few more trips with the extra and so could you. It is all about deciding to thing bigger and not get stuck in the negative and griping about the world at large. But you have to be motivated

    • supercatman says:

      Aeriol, that sounds good, but being a landlord comes with it’s own set of problems. My parents did some of that & my Dad called it “being a slumlord”
      How would you like to unplug somebody’s toilet or fix every minor problem that they have? Of course on the opposite side, there are landlords that don’t do diddly squat & their renters are living in squalor while they keep jacking up the rent. But my Dad is old school & wouldn’t want to hire somebody to fix something.

  • liju philip says:

    A million dollars is about 45 million Indian rupees. Enough for me to retire now at 35 πŸ˜€

    • Donald says:

      After buying a small house for 15 million Indian rupees, then buying monthly bare minimum living necessities 50 thousand IR per month (600 thousand per year living cheaply) If you don’t get electricity, water, internet or phone you’d be retired less than 10 years before you’d have to start working again.

      • bharati says:

        Just saw yr reply. Even today for 1000USD a month, you can live really nicely after you have a house and a car. Yes, and while paying for electricity, internet, a maid, etc.

      • akash says:

        50M indian rupees or even 40 is enough to qualify as very rich in india and even by luxurious cost of living standards, will enable you to live life large.

        Suppose you get 50% after US taxes. Ok, 25M rupees. Now, buy a house, a good one will set you back by around 1oM. You have 15 M left. Put that in the bank, get 9% interest, easy. Thats around 13,500000 in rupees. Even after paying the taxes per year, thats a pretty respectable amount and you can easily retire on it.

      • justin says:

        Actually today 1 rupee is worth about 2 US cents, so 1 million would equal 50 million rupees, that being so if you think of it like this it works out better

        -15,000,000- house
        / 50,000- divide for monthly expenses
        = 700- meaning he can live on 35,000,000 rupees for 700 months
        / 12- divide for 12 months in a year
        = 58.2- he can live for more then 58 years on 35 million rupees

        P.S all amounts are based on a tax free 1 million US dollars

  • John says:

    I’m certainly no expert, and at this point in time I don’t make enough money to invest at all, but as a Barber I listen to a wide variety of people all day long, every day of the week, and I feel compelled to contradict a few things said here. First, you would be hard pressed to earn 3% on your investment right now and it’s going to get worse. CD’s are bringing .03% at most banks in Florida. Donna is right about the fact that you will be giving the IRS 40% right off the top, leaving you $600K. At 3% that will earn you $18K a year, and remember taxes will come out of that as well. And that’s if you don’t spend a penny. For the person with a pension or other income that’s fine, but for someone like me with no retirement, it’s not good at all.
    Most people with no company medical insurance pay $1500 a month for the both of them, which is $18,000 a year, so now you have nothing left. KM said that $120K for tuition is insane, even for the rich. I’m not sure where you live KM or if you’ve looked at tuition rates lately, but I paid $1200 per semester per child just for books, and that was at the cheapest college in Florida. Stetson College in the little town of Deland Florida charges $50,000 a year just for tuition. Rollins College in Winter Park Florida charges $100,000. One of my customers from Delaware has paid $2,500,000 for his two children’s education so far, and they havn’t graduated yet. Even I was shocked over that, but he not only showed me proof, but explained that his children have already got guaranteed job offers making in excess of $300K a year just because they attended those colleges. Bottom line is… a million dollars sounds like a lot of money to those of us that never had any, but the reality is that you could not retire on it if you had to pay income taxes, real estate taxes, medical insurance, needed to pay off any debt, or wanted a new car and fresh food to eat.
    With the way the government is borrowing and spending as fast as they can and investment you have will be worth less and less every year. I keep hoping my ship will come in any day now, but with wha I now know about inflation and the REAL cost of retired living… it better be a HUGE ship…

    • Brian P says:

      So your customer paid $2.5M for his kids education just so they can make $300k+/yr? Are they paying the parent back for school, or are they going to be debt free when they start their high paying jobs? Meanwhile the parent is making monthly payments on this huge school loan. If they just paid cash for the school, then this is just another Romney story.

    • Sam says:

      “First, you would be hard pressed to earn 3% on your investment right now and it’s going to get worse”

      I’ve made about 10% on my investments since the beginning of June…

  • Determined says:

    I like your suggestions. Pay off all my debt, buy a house, help out my parents, splurge a tiny bit and then invest/save the rest. (Part of my splurge would be a new clothes and a trip to Paris).

  • Kenneth says:

    I would invest in my self, investing all the cash in ladies and fun.

    La dolce vita, the sweet life.

  • Aeriol@torontoloftliving.com says:

    Well paying the taxes first is pretty sensible. Then I would pay off any small bits of debt lying around…. small mortgage left. I would take half of the balance and spend the winter in the south…. that would be Florida or Arizona & find several good properties to invest in. Although a large percentage of the population may be turning to rental units due to losses there are areas such as Florida where the vacancy rate is very high. As high as 70% in some areas. So buying for investment still warrants careful consideration. One of those little investments would be a small home in a warmy sunny spot with a palm tree & pool just for me. The rest… I would invest for future use.

  • krantcents says:

    I would invest it for growth, because 2 or 3 or 4 million is better than one. Would I use any of it, probably less than $50K. It certainly would relieve any anxiety about he future.

  • Randy Addison says:

    Actually, a million dollars is really not that much. But it would be cool have a million. If I would have such money, I would donate it….donate it to my personal bank account and think for 3 days on where and what I will spend it for. LOL

  • NCN says:

    I’ll assume that this is after-tax.

    1. Pay off my house.

    2. Donate to my church.

    3. Put majority in savings / retirement / eduction savings.

    4. Buy newer van / newer truck.

    5. Continue with life.

  • Donna says:

    Actually I would probably do like you. Pay off all depts (I only owe on my house), then my son’s schools loans and my one son’s house. Establish a family and charity trusts and invest the rest in annunites, CDs, stock & bond funds. I already have 2 IRAs & some other investments. Also I only owe $27,000 on my house. Keep in mind the one million probably has almost 40% in income tax off the top so you might see $600,000. After the depts, charity accounts, etc I might have $300,000-$400,000 left to grow into income. Not much left (LOL)

  • indio says:

    A colleague, that is higher up than I am in the company, won $990k in the lottery last year. His wife bought the ticket, she says “on a whim.” He didn’t tell anybody about it, though we all saw the clip on the local news and then someone emailed it around. He definitely dressed down, when he was standing in the supermarket talking about what they would do with it, so he didn’t look as affluent as he really is. A year he is still working and driving the same Jaguar he drove before he won.

    • MoneyNing says:

      Good for him. If he keeps his course, he can probably grow that windfall into a solid income stream that he can live off of for the rest of his life.

  • Thomas says:

    Retired. No debt.
    After reading horror stories about folks winning millions in lotteries and becoming destitute a very short time after, I hesitate to even think about giving up my living on small social security and tiny pension checks to become aggravated with sudden wealth. It would be like chasing a dream, the impossible dream.

  • marci says:

    Older, no debt, and retired…. so would set up my kids with an interest income stream, my grandkids with college accounts, and then give to local charities for the benefit of my small community, or set up my own foundation for giving. Probably save out a little for yearly travel to see the far away grandkids and family.

  • Lonnie @ My Income Lab says:

    After all taxes are paid I would:

    Pay off all remaining cc debt
    Fund an Emergency Savings account to the tune of $30,000
    Create a Vacation Savings account with $4000
    Living in Brooklyn, NY I would buy a 2 bedroom co-op apartment in cash which go for around $380k. My only monthly obligation would be a maintenance fee which can range from $500/month – about $1k/month depending on square footage.
    Buy a slightly used hybrid car.
    The balance would be used for investments

  • Ben Smith at My Lazy Money says:

    Investment is clearly the right move. So I’d:
    1) pay the tax due on it,
    2) invest 75% of the remaining sum in a sensible way, and
    3) hold the other 25% to purchase my first home.

    As I rent at the moment, I’d want to take the time to find the right place for me before I bought anything. So while I was looking around, I guess I’d place that 25% in a bunch of laddered CDs and take my time to find a nice property.

    A combination of interest from the invested sum plus not having to pay rent for the rest of my life would give me a real opportunity to relax, be lazy, and chase whatever career path/opportunities seem most interesting – without the shadow of financial insecurity to stand in my way.

  • Patrick says:

    As someone who has a few rental homes, I’d use it to buy 10 million worth of real estate, both commercial and residential. Obviously, housing prices are still going down, but you should see the numbers on how many previous owners are turning to renting. It’s a huge market. A million in real estate would have a 19% return in the first year if contracts are 15 year notes.

    • Cindy says:

      Patrick, I’ve always wanted to be able to have some rental properties..It just wasn’t meant for me. You my fine sir are very lucky indeed.

  • KM says:

    Invest it. I don’t have a need for it right now, but who knows what will happen down the road.

  • Ginger says:

    Invest it and put a little away for fun.

  • ChrisCD says:

    Most people would have to pay the taxes first. I would actually tithe on it first. So suddenly your windfall is much smaller. :O)

    I would pay off debt, put $ away for college for the kids, some tiny splurging, and bank the rest which probably end up being about $250K.

    Naturally, I would keep working. Now if the amount was $10MM, hmmm….

  • Lorraine says:

    First I would put aside 120 thousand to pay for my daughter to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. I would take another 150G and pay cash for my simple little dream house, also in Florida (the one with the tile floors and palm tree in the yard). I would probably bank the rest and take some time to enjoy my new, warm and sunny surroundings. Ahhh.

    • KM says:

      $120k for tuition? That’s insane, even for the rich.

    • yuse says:

      If your daughter wants to do Graphic Design, don’t. That college isn’t worth all that money in that major, not even with a million, lol. AND FINE ARTS, NO~

      If she goes into Computer Animation on the other hand, then yeah, it’s worth the money.

      spoken from someone that attends that college and wishes she didn’t. LOL

  • Lawrence says:

    Two chicks at the same time . . .

    • supercatman says:

      If I had a million, I would take 50% of it & spend it on wine, women & song. The rest I would just spend foolishly.

    • Peter says:

      With a million dollars you could probably arrange that, since chicks dig a guy with money. ( Well, at least the kind of chicks that’d double up on a dude like me do.)

      • AK 47 Hot says:

        I would be totally debt free, purchase residual income property from over due trust company bill and maintain it. I would go back to school to study my passion of the numbers game with a minor in project management. Also because a million dollars is not a lot of money in 2013 I would keep my mouth shut and allow one news announcement if required.

    • MoneyPenny says:

      10% tithe
      50% to spouse
      10% fix up the house and get a different car
      10% to food banks
      20% save for rest home expenses

    • Peter says:

      I’d sit on my ass, I’d do nothing.

    • cato says:

      Love that flick!!

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