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Saturday, January 9, 2016

MY LAST DAY AS A POOR MAN

I woke up this morning and realized that this will be the last day I wake up as a poor man....

It is Saturday and later tonight the Powerball people will FINALLY pull
the right numbers out of their hat (or whatever they use!) and they will match the ticket I have in my hand. As it settles in, many thoughts I'd like to share before I become an elitist bastard that forgets where I came from.

Seriously, you WILL be affected by the amount of wealth this event will hand out, even IF there are multiple winners. if you don't THINK you will be, wake up. There is more than 30 years of winners history to refer to and the horror stories are so common it's a wonder why ANY of us play. There are homicides involving winners, some as soon as the following day after they were aware of their good luck. There are folks who had hundreds of millions of dollars that didn't last but a few years. Many people wish they had not played at all.

Of course, this wouldn't happen to US!

Well, I am stupid enough to recognize "stupid" in the mirror. I also still have enough memory to recollect those times when money seemed like an endangered species in my household. When I was VERY young, Mom made less than $100 a week and we felt fortunate to have enough meals for the week. When there wasn't, Mom fed ME and went hungry. Wonder why it's easy to have her around NOW??? A few years later, we were a little better off. but I still couldn't get the trumpet needed for me to take lessons. My music career ended before it began. There were no exotic trips to the shore or to the far east. We just didn't have it like that.

Even as a young adult, I had instances that stand out. I stayed at home for a lot longer than I should because I didn't earn enough to be on  my own. I remember once that I really wanted to go to Florida and help recovery efforts after a major hurricane had come through, but I couldn't because I had bills and no savings to carry me.  For a few months I was on a "Maypo Diet", since Mom worked at the factory and could get it for me free.

Even later, when I wasn't working for a good while, I had my mind in a VERY dark place that I wrote about [here]. Money has a way of doing that to you, but it seems more common when you DON'T have it! Like the time I wanted to support one of my best friends with college money for her son, who I used to help with his homework. I was ashamed to say I couldn't and there is NO reason except for my being irresponsible with money most of my life. I had a similar feeling when my cousin asked for a loan and I couldn't do it. It's a sick feeling, wanting to lend a helping hand and the only option you have is to say no.

I'm sure most of us have endless stories of similar situations, and with the rewards of this drawing, would allow us to be in a giving mood quite often. Unfortunately, like the saying goes..."For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required". There WILL be a downside to this, no doubt. The key is to know it and control it. Things such as -

TAXES. We ALL have to pay, but when you have a stack of $500,000,000, I am sure there are ways to minimize the "donation" to Uncle Sam. Just sayin... He hasn't had a good track record of spending wisely. In fact, in MANY things es estupido. 


WHERE TO LIVE? I have debated this for years. It's going to be tough to figure it out. California, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii..... all look so appealing! yes, the common them is - NO SNOW! The sad part is, it would prolly be forced on anyone to move away from all the people that try and come at you with their hand out and telling you a sob story. I WILL finally get my favorite house in the world though... I've walked by it since I was a small child going to school. Picture is the actual house... sigh....

Anywhooooo.....

CARS. My name is Thomas and I am a car addict. If I have a garage with room for 100 cars, I will fill it and probably need more room. That will be my cross to bear. Right up there with "Which ONE do I take for a ride?". The only cure is to face facts and buy nice cars.

INVESTING. Can I get Warren Buffett's number???? No matter what anyone tells you, there is no SAFE way to invest and get a good return. If you see what the SAFE bets are, they are at 3% or less. How much you are willing to risk is key. There are so many dishonest folks dealing in this field that I wonder just how much help they would be. Surely this will be a source of a few sleepless nights. Maybe I will just buy Hershey stock and call it a day....

HEALTH. I have said many times I am NOT trying to live forever. With so much good to be gained from the position of this new-found wealth, I may have to re-examine this theory.....

TRAVEL. Where to go first? Jeeze... If you had the world to pick from, what place, country or town would be first???? I have many places i dreamed of going... Maybe I will have to flip a coin to choose... Australia, South America, Africa, Asia, and of course Oakland, since I never been to a Raiders home game...

The REAL problem will be, how much GOOD can be spread out using the winnings? I have talked about this before and my attitude hasn't changed. I WILL use more of them money to benefit others than I will use for myself. I am thinking everything should be transparent. The investing, the plans, the ongoing activities, and updates on who has benefited and how it's working out. I am sure many, many people can prosper with just a little help.

The cool stuff WILL be cool no doubt. Going to the Grammys, Oscars, private planes, meeting folks you read about like Oprah, Tyra, Taylor, and for me, the car guys like Jay Leno, Chip Foose, and others will be priceless and should fuel the fire for writing I'm sure. Just DON'T ask me to be on Good Morning America! Nope...

To wrap this up in a simple line, it will be like a dream to experience the luxury life can offer if you have the means, but the true joy will be in seeing someone's life improve because you gave them a chance to succeed. Karma will reward in my world.

Stay tuned... this is about to get very interesting!




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