Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited July 9, 2020, 10:02 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

'You assume all the money noise stops when you finally have it'

Oct 14, 2019, 9:19 am

Share this news story on Facebook
Tweet this news story on Twitter
Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: 'You assume all the money noise stops when you finally have it'Rating:

What would you do if you suddenly came into a large amount of money? Would you upgrade your home and invest the rest, putting just a little aside to build a shelter for orphaned orang-utans, just as you once said you would? Actually, you're far more likely to drive a succession of sports cars into swimming pools — a visual representation of the proverbial car crash your life is likely to become as you fritter away your cash bonanza.

A study at Vanderbilt University in the US found that lottery winners who won substantial sums were 50 per cent more likely than winners of small amounts to be bankrupt within five years.

"Winning the lottery seemed to do little to help lottery winners ease their debt," said Paige Marta Skiba, one of the researchers behind the study.

"Our results are consistent with some winners using their prize to take additional risks or buy expensive luxury goods. Others seemed to simply lack the knowledge to handle large amounts of money wisely."

This isn't true of everyone, of course, and just as there are different ways of coming into money, there are myriad ways of handling instant wealth. Here are just three stories.

"Having money makes parenting teenagers more complicated"

Peta*, 42, became a multimillionaire six years ago following the sale of her thriving small business.

"It's how funny how we tend to sugar-coat everything the further we move away from our true memories of them. If you'd asked me how things were going back when the kids [Peta has three teenagers with her husband] were little and I was struggling with maternity leave, I probably would have just cried and showed you my bills. But now I remember it as one of the best times in my life, even though we had nothing. Believe me, the irony isn't lost on me.

A lot of unwanted publicity came with the sale of the company and nothing could have prepared me for the associated fallout. I think we're all guilty of thinking about the positives of coming into money — buying a nice house or being able to travel, for example — but no one really talks about the negatives. Overnight, I had more money than I ever could have dreamed of having and we were able to buy the kind of house we'd always hoped for, but I suddenly had this huge feeling of responsibility too, a constant internal voice asking me questions like: How much should I give to charity and which ones? Should I give money to friends and family, and how much?

You assume all the money noise stops when you finally have it, but it doesn't: it's just a different soundtrack.

The requests for handouts have settled down in recent years but it was tough in the beginning. What surprised me was just how many acquaintances and people I hadn't heard from for years came out of the woodwork.

The hardest one was a call from the father who walked out on me when I was very little. He'd heard about the money and wanted to know what I'd be doing to look after him in his old age. I wish it could say it made me happy when I told him he'll never get a cent out of me, but it just made me sad.

We couldn't make head nor tail out of anything for the first few years after the money came in, but life has fallen into its own rhythm since. Obviously we don't suffer any common stresses, such as meeting mortgage payments or paying school fees, but if we have a problem it's trying to work out how best to raise our kids into adulthood without them becoming spoilt brats who think they're entitled to whatever they want.

I once read that [chef] Gordon Ramsay isn't going to leave a cent of his money to his kids out of fear it will ruin them. Maybe that's the answer. Maybe I'll have to leave it to my cat. I certainly threaten them with it enough!"

"My parents worked hard to ensure my inheritance wouldn't destroy me"

Already with a high-paying career, Harvey*, 28, increased his personal wealth by millions when he inherited family money last year.

"When you're born into a wealthy family, money is not something that's ever really talked about. You know you have a large house, but it doesn't seem all that strange because so many of your friends too do too. And aside from catching sight of the odd piece of paperwork with a staggering number of zeros printed on it, life rolls on like it does for anyone else.

Most of my childhood memories are much like anyone else's: babycinos with Mum at the cafe; playing in the park with Dad; fighting with my brothers and sisters. It's only now that I realise that not having to talk about money might have been the biggest giveaway [that we were wealthy], but kids don't really think about that stuff.

I always knew I was going to come into an inheritance from my grandfather one day, but my parents, determined that we wouldn't be the kind of kids who just coasts through life, worked hard to instil us with the right values. Pocket money and even money for the school canteen had to be earned through jobs around the house and at the age of 14, I got my first job waiting tables in a cafe before taking up bartending work to pay my way through university.

The idea was that we should be motivated by personal success rather than by money. I ended up becoming a lawyer and although I earn six figures now, I can honestly say I do what I do because I love my job.

When the money hit my account, it made little difference to my life. I'd already purchased my own home through the money I'd worked hard for and saved, and aside from paying off a small credit card debt, I haven't touched any of it.

Sure, I could become the person who drops big everywhere I go, but what kind of person would I eventually become? Although most of us don't realise it at the time, there's something about the smaller things we all have to do — having crappy supermarket meals because rego is due, or sharing
a space with a roommate — that builds character. You miss all that and you miss a large part of regular human development — and who wants to be that guy at 50?

Some of my friendships have fallen apart since I received my inheritance and that's been difficult to process. Some quickly fell into a pattern of insisting I pay for everything 'because you're rich', and others began seeing me as a meal ticket and I've had to change my approach to the way I conduct my relationships.

It helped sort the grain from the chaff but for anyone in my life, the rules are the same: everyone pays their own way. Will I tell new friends or people I'm dating about my real financial position? Ha! There's not a chance in hell."

"Money is nice, but it doesn't have to change your life"

It was third time lucky for health worker Lily*, 46, when she won just over a million dollars in Tatts Lotto earlier this year.

"What I remember most vividly about that day is the pacing. When you read the email alerting you of your win, you first assume 'scam'. But then, as you check and recheck your numbers, you go into autopilot and let yourself slide into an alternate universe where everything looks the same, but a weight you hadn't really noticed until now has been lifted.

I paced the floors until my partner came home and I pulled myself together enough to casually asked him if he could check our numbers. When he started screaming, I knew life had changed for us, but probably not in the way that you'd think.

I've always had a strong work ethic and I think that's largely due to my background. Growing up in a housing commission home, I watched my immigrant parents slog it out to give me and my siblings a good life. But it meant I also learnt the value of a dollar and the importance of putting most of it aside for a rainy day.

I'd won smaller amounts before — $12,000 here and $3000 there. By the time I won big we had a small mortgage but were financially comfortable because we'd never been frivolous with our cash.

Often when people think about winning Lotto, they think about what they're going to buy. But we
were lusting after a better work-life balance, so we simply quit our full-time jobs and moved into casual and part-time roles. We're not interested in stuff — we still drive our old cars around and, aside from one super-sturdy Ikea dinnerware set, I haven't cared to purchase anything else — but the idea of having more freedom to spend time together and enjoy life is intoxicating.

I know that doesn't sound particularly exciting, but what can I tell you? I've always been happy with what I've got.

When you come into money, some people around you can change. But in my experience, those people are a minority. We've given money to some friends and family, and each week I give set amounts to charities which have captured my heart. But the best way to describe life with my friends and family today? With 90 per cent of them, I'd say it's business as usual.

We haven't changed the way we live our lives so I think most would feel foolish asking us for handouts if we haven't offered. Besides, I'm playing Tatts Lotto again in the hope that if I win again, I'll be able to give everything to those closest to me. And believe me, you never quite forget how the people around you behaved the first time around."

* Names have been changed.

Thanks to dannyct for the tip.

Sydney Morning Herald

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

30 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by brees2012.
Page 1 of 3
Avatar

United States
Member #35334
March 16, 2006
168 Posts
Offline
Posted: October 14, 2019, 9:34 am - IP Logged

My 2 cents:

You go from not having enough money problems to having too much money problems.

Lawyer up. Protect your money from leeches. Protect your money from yourself.

    Avatar
    Simpsonville
    United States
    Member #163184
    January 22, 2015
    2206 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: October 14, 2019, 10:27 am - IP Logged

    Very well written article, Todd.

    I remember when Shaquille O'Neal's Dad, who hadn't been in the picture his whole life suddenly appeared when he became an NBA Superstar.   Obviously Dad wanted his piece of the pie and commend him for not giving in to him.  Hats of to you Peta* for following your instincts and not bowing to your absent Dad.

    Of course every situation is different and since I and millions of others have never been in this situation who's to say what another person would do...not that I wouldn't like to find out...LOL.

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #180549
      March 12, 2017
      187 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: October 14, 2019, 10:30 am - IP Logged

      A large hitter will fix all my problems!

      I am the Prince of Thieves!!!

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2206 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: October 14, 2019, 11:26 am - IP Logged

        A large hitter will fix all my problems!

        I Agree!

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #176496
          August 8, 2016
          150 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: October 14, 2019, 11:50 am - IP Logged

          Great article. I would want to be that guy that's well off but everyone around him has no idea he is.

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #176496
            August 8, 2016
            150 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: October 14, 2019, 11:52 am - IP Logged

            Great article. I would want to be that guy that's well off but everyone around him has no idea he is.

            can't do that by winning the big jackpot or selling a big business and making millions off the sale of it though

              hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

              United States
              Member #52343
              May 21, 2007
              3262 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: October 14, 2019, 12:13 pm - IP Logged

              Skeptical  curious article, but so long as your mind your Ps & Qs and the quarterly bottom line 

              one shouldn't have to worry

                Avatar
                Arizona
                United States
                Member #165067
                March 24, 2015
                279 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: October 14, 2019, 3:02 pm - IP Logged

                A few more anecdotes, same old 2009 study. This is the one that looked at "mid-level" winners of between $50,000 and $150,000, not at the big winners.

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157851
                  August 2, 2014
                  3866 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: October 14, 2019, 3:13 pm - IP Logged

                  CDARS for $50,000,000.00  CDARS.com stands for Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service.

                   The first $50 million will be covered by the FDIC.

                  There is also ICS, Insured Cash Sweep to cover another $50,000,000.00  At the same banks that offer CDARS. Also covers the next $50 million.

                   This is for protection and you can say to beggars, "My money is tied up".

                   There is also the Stock Market and Mutual Funds and real estate.

                  When will COVID-19 be finished?  A vaccine may protect all of us.

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    Marietta
                    United States
                    Member #167121
                    June 27, 2015
                    6 Posts
                    Online
                    Posted: October 14, 2019, 6:04 pm - IP Logged

                    Self is your own worst enemy you can lose $20 dollars with bad chooses just has easy with $20 million!

                      Avatar
                      Simpsonville
                      United States
                      Member #163184
                      January 22, 2015
                      2206 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: October 14, 2019, 6:29 pm - IP Logged

                      Self is your own worst enemy you can lose $20 dollars with bad chooses just has easy with $20 million!

                      Did you mean bad choices just as easy....?

                        mikeintexas's avatar - h87TsB4
                        Texas Panhandle
                        United States
                        Member #136839
                        December 20, 2012
                        1660 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: October 14, 2019, 8:43 pm - IP Logged

                        A few more anecdotes, same old 2009 study. This is the one that looked at "mid-level" winners of between $50,000 and $150,000, not at the big winners.

                        I can understand going through that amt. of money fairly quickly, esp. if the person(s) had never had a significant amount of cash before.

                        It's just my opinion, no data to back it up, but I've always reckoned those who win "smaller" jackpots of a million or two often get themselves into trouble by not realizing how much tax is still owed to the IRS.  They win a million and get a check for $760,000 (24% taken off the top by Uncle Sam) and then buy a house, maybe a car, take a vacation and live the high life ... then get stuck with a bill for $130,000 come April 15th. (and not counting any state income tax also owed) I would also wager those people are the ones who thought "I can handle this money, no need for a financial adviser.".  Too bad they didn't talk to someone or at least do some research and find out the govt. still had dibs on a huge chunk of their win.

                        You can't get blood out of a turnip, but the govt. darn sure can seize the turnip.

                        We're always hearing about the worst of the worst examples, winners who blew through most if not all their money, people such as David Lee Edwards ($27 million), Billy Bob Harrell, Jr. ($31 million), Janite Lee ($18 million), William Post ($16 million) and Jack Whittaker ($315 million).  I know DLE died drug addicted and penniless and Billy Bob gave away the bulk of his win before killing himself.  Post was broke and in debt just three months after winning (passing away in '06, survived by his wife, nine children and six ex-wives), while Lee enjoyed playing the big shot philanthropist until the money was gone.  I know Whittaker had multiple tragedies after winning, and has been sued for bouncing checks to casinos and claimed to be broke when sued by a woman and has said he wishes he had never won.

                        Epstein didn't kill himself.

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
                          United States
                          Member #32651
                          February 14, 2006
                          8923 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: October 14, 2019, 11:41 pm - IP Logged

                          Great article. I would want to be that guy that's well off but everyone around him has no idea he is.

                          The only way large jackpot winners could be interview years after they won is if their identities were know.  Anonymity is the big topic among U.S. Lottery players but apparently the Sidney Morning Herald was unaware of that. And even more strange is the fact all Australian winners can claim anonymously.

                            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                            Fresno, California
                            United States
                            Member #157851
                            August 2, 2014
                            3866 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: October 14, 2019, 11:54 pm - IP Logged

                            I can understand going through that amt. of money fairly quickly, esp. if the person(s) had never had a significant amount of cash before.

                            It's just my opinion, no data to back it up, but I've always reckoned those who win "smaller" jackpots of a million or two often get themselves into trouble by not realizing how much tax is still owed to the IRS.  They win a million and get a check for $760,000 (24% taken off the top by Uncle Sam) and then buy a house, maybe a car, take a vacation and live the high life ... then get stuck with a bill for $130,000 come April 15th. (and not counting any state income tax also owed) I would also wager those people are the ones who thought "I can handle this money, no need for a financial adviser.".  Too bad they didn't talk to someone or at least do some research and find out the govt. still had dibs on a huge chunk of their win.

                            You can't get blood out of a turnip, but the govt. darn sure can seize the turnip.

                            We're always hearing about the worst of the worst examples, winners who blew through most if not all their money, people such as David Lee Edwards ($27 million), Billy Bob Harrell, Jr. ($31 million), Janite Lee ($18 million), William Post ($16 million) and Jack Whittaker ($315 million).  I know DLE died drug addicted and penniless and Billy Bob gave away the bulk of his win before killing himself.  Post was broke and in debt just three months after winning (passing away in '06, survived by his wife, nine children and six ex-wives), while Lee enjoyed playing the big shot philanthropist until the money was gone.  I know Whittaker had multiple tragedies after winning, and has been sued for bouncing checks to casinos and claimed to be broke when sued by a woman and has said he wishes he had never won.

                              mikeintexas,  Lottery Post had the following article. "6 Lotto winners who lost it all" 

                              June 9, 2010   

                             Ridge runner posted on this one. 

                            When will COVID-19 be finished?  A vaccine may protect all of us.