Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Top 10 Things You Would Do If You Won The Lottery
As always, go over to Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's for the week and if you want to join in, just let Kate know!
Kate put a cap on the amount (75 million pounds - about 110 million dollars) and I'm so glad she did! If I'm realistic about it (or as realistic as one can be about a lottery win), I'm going to assume that's the cash-out amount and, after taxes, both federal and state, I would be left with about 60 million, so that's what I'm going with. Thankfully, this is my go-to amount of win and the one that benefits me the most. Anything more and it's just way too much (and incredibly dangerous) and anything less means I'm not going to hit these targets and the plans are completely different.
Because of my Asper-ness, my brain constantly runs at full speed, especially at night. The only way I can get to sleep is to start a scenario in motion and play it through until I drift off. My standard scenario is a lottery win, so I'm pretty well-versed in all levels of a win and this might be the easiest Top 10 ever for me! I have various levels of spending thoughts, and even spend waking hours perusing websites looking for the perfect bed or stemware to assist in my scenario-building skills, but for the purposes of this Top 10, I'll try to stick to the basic generalities. I could literally write a novel-sized wishlist when it comes to a lottery win, and that's just for this amount. I have other lists for other amounts, all the way down to $100,000.
I'm very careful when, on the rare occasion, I do buy lottery tickets. I constantly read horror stories about lottery winners getting sued left and right, death threats, kidnappings, etc, so I'm more than paranoid about winning the lottery (even though I'm willing to risk it). I will typically drive the four hours to Kansas to buy tickets because it's one of the few states that you can claim your winnings anonymously and keep it that way. If, and or when, I win the lottery, no one, including most of family members, will probably ever know. It's safer for us all that way. I will find a way to help some of them financially so that they don't know it's me, but I will go through the whole process...name change, disappearance, relocation to protect myself and Bam.
Obviously, I will go through the standard steps such as getting a lawyer, financial advisor, etc. although I'm not too sure how stringent I'll let them be on me and their control will be extremely limited (to keep them from running off with my money). I am overly frivolous with money even now (and I'm as poor as a church mouse), so I'm sure I'll be worse with a lottery win. I just need the experts to reign me in on the crazy stuff. I still have very specific plans that will not be deterred (most of which are below)...so enough chit chat, let's get to the good stuff!
#1: GOLDEN OAK
Despite all recommendations as to how to start spending a lottery win (and I've read several books on the subject...I take my dreaming seriously), my very first order of business is buying my house in Golden Oak. For those that don't know, Golden Oak is a subdivision that is actually situated on Disney property, in Walt Disney World. This isn't Disney's first foray in real estate, they built the town of Celebration, just south of Disney World, only to lose it (depending on who you ask) due to numerous reasons that don't matter here.
My first notion is to build my perfect house from scratch, but that will take too long and I will need to move as soon as possible (for safety reasons). Right now, there is a resale that would be perfect to start with. If later I decide to build out there, I will have a roof over my head while I take my time and do it right. You get so many Disney benefits to living in Golden Oak (not including being within a stone's throw of the parks), it would be stupid for me, a crazy Disney fan, not to take advantage. If anything, living in Golden Oak could save me money in the long run, despite the crazy fees involved with living there.
When it comes to "staff", that's a harder question to answer. I won't want to take care of any yard work or pool maintenance, but I also can't see myself having a maid because I'm not a trusting person and I'm not sure I would like someone strange actually inside my house. At the same time, I won't want to do housework either. It's the one area I'm stuck on. I will probably outsource the outside stuff and try to see if I can handle the inside stuff. If not, I would probably hire a maid that only works say one day a month, and only on a day when I'm there so I can "monitor" things. No matter what I decide though, my duck room will have intense security and no one will be allowed in there without me.
For an extra couple hundred thousand, you can make your Golden Oak home "turn-key ready", which basically means they will furnish it and stock it for you. Part of me likes this idea because I don't relish buying new towels and dishes and such, but I'm also an extremely picky person and I'm not sure some fru-fru decorator will get me or my tastes. There are things I will need, such as a duck room for all my Disney stuff (and I have very specific ideas about that), a craft room, themed bedrooms (and the themes change as the dreams do), etc and I'm not sure I like the idea of someone else deciding that for me. I guess it will depend on how hands-on they are.
I am also the kind of person that likes to have items that remind me of people or places, so a lot of the decor will be my own doing. I'd like to take my time and do it right...get the absolute perfect matchy-matchy items in certain areas and the perfect kitsch items elsewhere. About the only thing I know for sure (and that stays constant) is that the overall theme will be purple.
I'm not one of those people who need 15 cars. I may buy a new one every year or so, given the funds, but one is plenty and I'm not too overly picky. Obviously, something mildly luxurious, in the SUV range, possibly a hybrid and that's about it. I don't want some outrageous sports car that costs more than the house. Maybe a Mercedes or Lexus, just something to get me from point A to point B. Living in Disney World, I don't plan to be out much anyway. It just needs to be nice enough to be acceptable in the neighborhood, but not crazy enough to get me car-jacked.
#4: SMALL, CLASS E MOTOR HOME
OK, I know I just said I don't plan to be out much, but...I do want to travel, at least upon occasion. There are places I've never been and always wanted to go to even if I'm not good with going places and "doing things". I like to go places, see it through the car window, and move on. Stopping for the night at a hotel isn't something I'm particularly comfortable with, but I will need to sleep somewhere. A small, van-sized motor home would be perfect for me and Bam to use to see the country. It's not too big to handle on my own, it's not considered motor home-sized so you can take it anywhere a car or SUV can go, and we'll be safe in the confines of our own space. Despite their small stature (or because of it), they are quite a bit more expensive than you would think, so it's something that can only be reserved for a large lottery win.
When it comes to stopping at RV parks or campgrounds though, I may have a lot of trouble handling that. I will need to plug things up and empty other things upon occasion, but I may wait until the very last minute to do so. I'm sure that will affect the wear-and-tear of said vehicle and may make maintenance costs high. I might not keep it forever, especially once I've seen most of the places I want to.
#5: DISNEY STUFF
Living in Disney World, I'll be able to buy new merchandise almost daily. There are a few items I always swear up and down will be my first lottery purchases (but obviously, I will need a house to put them in first because I don't want to move them around much and, considering their delicacy, I'm not sure how I would even get them from the store to my house):
Those are a lot bigger than you would think.
Between both castles and the coach, there is about $100,000 worth of merchandise there. Most of the items on my Disney wishlist aren't really expensive in the first place, so it's not like I'll be spending millions on collectibles (honestly, those in the pictures above are the most expensive things I would ever consider buying) but, throughout the years, there have been things or items I've really wanted and couldn't afford and are now retired or discontinued. I will be spending a considerable amount of time on Ebay to get these items. Like now, I will have some collector pieces intermingled in with stuff from Dollar Tree. If it's a duck, I'm not too picky where it comes from or its value!
I'm not including other, non-Disney stuff because honestly, there really isn't too much other stuff I'd want. I live a pretty single-minded life. I sometimes think about having real estate in other locations, like having a flat in London, a beach house in Santa Monica and maybe one in Nantucket but, in the long run, those are just a waste of money to me...why maintain a house that you stay in one week a year? Besides, it could become a tax nightmare owning real estate in various states or countries. Best stick to hotels.
#6: DISNEY PARK TRIPS
I figure I should be able to visit every other Disney park in the world at least one week a year a piece. If there is one I don't like much, maybe I will only hit that one every couple of years, but I do want to vary my Disney experience (and merchandise) a bit.
#7: BAM PAMPERING
The ideal plan is to build Bam his very own room with all kinds of decorator dog stuff. I even consider getting him a brother or two upon occasion. Since Disney World has a pretty nice boarding facility on property (and within a stone's throw of Golden Oak), I have great aspirations of sending him to doggy daycare while I'm in the parks. I may not be the kind of person to waste money on myself in the way of appearance, but Bam will have the best of everything, including spa treatments!
#8: OTHER TRIPS
I guess my notion of not leaving the house much is kind of silly considering I will apparently be spending all that time in Disney parks around the world, travelling in my motor home, and visiting life-long dream destinations (such as England, Scotland, etc). I may limit these major trips to one a year just to control how much I'm out. Plus, any major travel means I can't take Bam (or wouldn't want to drag him through the hassle of it), and I wouldn't want to be away from him for too long. I have debated getting him "support animal" certified, but I would think on a plane that Bam would need more support than I do! Best leave him at home.
I'm not an overly self-absorbed person, but given the funds, there are certain things I'd like to fix and/or change about myself. I would lose weight naturally, get a trainer and exercise, etc, but I'm at the age where no matter what way I lose weight, there will always be excess skin. I would need this surgically removed. I also have hooded eyelids, something that insurance won't pay for until I'm older, but I'd like to get that fixed as well. I don't see myself having major plastic surgery or botox or whatever. I don't have many wrinkles and am pretty settled with my features (including my large Scottish nose).
I do have an eye disease call keratoconus which will eventually require corneal transplants. The US is the only country in the world that still uses donor corneas...everyone else has gone to synthetic. Donor corneas mean a donor list and a wait. If I had the money, I'd just go to Canada and get the problem fixed now instead of waiting until my corneas rupture and having to spend months or years on a donor list while I'm blind. That could cut into my cross stitching plans.
Same goes with the stupid lump in my head. They don't want to remove it now because it's not causing any problems and it's in a dangerous location. My view is, why wait until I'm having seizures or god knows what else or it becomes so big that they can't remove it at all? Best get it out while it's small and manageable (and I'm still relatively young enough to make it through the surgery).
When it comes to clothing and such, I am a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers kind of girl and I'm not sure money would change that. Obviously, I would need nice clothes sometimes, but I doubt my overall style would change much. I do have an obsession with jewelry and accessories (especially purses and sunglasses), so I might have more than my fair share of that kind of thing, but the thought of wasting money on clothing has never, and will never, appeal to me. Give me something electronic over a new top any day!
This is kind of low on the list of things, I know, but I'm very untrustworthy of other people and especially organizations, so choosing who to donate money to will take great time and research...something I figure I won't want to do at first. Like I mentioned at the start, there are people I would like to help, specifically the only people I call "family", like my Sister, mother, and aunt (it's a short list) and even then there will be confidentially agreements and safe harbor agreements to protect me against future lawsuits.
Charitable organizations will be harder. Obviously, it will all be done anonymously, but I would give to the two local hospitals as well as the hospital in Paragould where I worked part-time for 11 years. I will also probably give to both St. Jude's and Arkansas Children's Hospital and maybe the children's hospital in Orlando. I would give money to Debbie at Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue, who so graciously allowed me to adopt Bam, but other places will need extensive research and I haven't given it a great deal of thought other than those locations.
Friends and acquaintances will be harder because, again, I've read numerous horror stories about lottery winners and their charitable donations. You buy a friend or family member a nice car, they run over somebody, and you get sued, or you buy them a house, they have a pool party, and someone drowns and, guess what? You get sued. Or, my personal favorite, give a family member money, they get addicted to drugs, die, and then their spouse/kids/etc sue you because they wouldn't have lost said person had you not given them money in the first place.
There are about a million stories about things like that that actual lottery winners have dealt with. There are people I'd like to help, but I'm always going to protect me and Bam first and if I can think of a loophole that could get me in trouble, then forget it. Numerous times, various lottery winners have had the closest of family members try to kill them and, if there is one thing I've learned, nobody can be trusted when it comes to money.
Granted, my Asper-dom means that my empathy level is next to nil anyway, but a random person, who I don't know, is never going to get a dime from me unless I can do it anonymously and safely. Anyone that out-right asks for money is guaranteed not to get it on principle alone, I don't care who they are. I'm not talking about a random street beggar, I'm referring to the people who make it their life's mission to write letters to every single lottery winner asking them to pay for their child's surgery (with cash, deposited in their account). Not going to happen.
But even having said all that, I'm still the kind of person who is a notoriously large tipper (even now in my poor state), and I can't imagine things like that would change. If someone I know needs something, I will try my best to help them out, as long as it can be by my rules and all the legal protections I can muster!
And on that positive note (HA), I guess I'd better stop there!