The Mega Millions jackpot has reached a record high and millions are playing with the hopes of winning the lottery of a lifetime. But, what would you do if you beat the odds (they are something near 1 out of 175 million to win) and won that jackpot? How drastically would your life change?
Well here are some tips from professionals who know a lot about money – MSN Money:
Protect Yourself. Hire an experienced team of financial managers. This includes investment advisors, accountants who specialize in tax savings, bankers and wealth planning lawyers.
Be Generous, but Don’t Be Stupid. This is certainly your chance to give back to society, but you’ll need to be careful. People are going to be lining up at your door looking for handouts (this includes family and friends who are going to feel entitled to some of your winnings). Don’t let them control you.
Set up a charity budget and only give to legitimate charities that you, or your team of advisors, have fully vetted.
Keep Your Day Job. Well, if you really hate your job and you only stayed there to be able to pay the bills, then maybe it’s time to get a new career. But, don’t just quit and do nothing. It’s great to be on vacation for a week or two, but that can get old very, very fast. People need a purpose in their lives so that they can feel they contribute to something. Don’t just give up working – have a purpose.
Do Some Estate Planning. This is a lot of money and if you’re careful with it, then chances are it’s going to last well beyond your lifetime. Set up a trust for yourself and your family. Create a trust for your kids and grandkids. Work to reduce the inheritance tax bite from your winnings so that your financial legacy can last for years. Again, this is why you need a great team of financial advisers on your side.
You Still Need to Raise Responsible Kids. Don’t forget that you still have to be a responsible parent and raise kids who appreciate the value of money. Plenty of lottery winners have spent it all, don’t make the same mistake. Your kids still need to be productive members of society (think about some of these rich-kid celebrities we see on t.v. – we won’t name names here, but you know who we’re talking about – would you really want your kids living that kind of lifestyle?)
Avoid Excess. It’s okay to buy a new house (that is still within your means even with your lottery winnings), but you don’t really need 5 houses. Rent vacation houses, unless you plan on staying in one place for 3-6 months out of the year. And, don’t be tacky. Remember your surroundings. If you live in the country, you may look a little out of place driving around in a Lamborghini.
Enjoy. Ultimately if you are the lucky winner, enjoy yourself and congratulations!