According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Sudden Wealth Disruptive, Catastrophic? Bring It On!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sudden Wealth Disruptive, Catastrophic? Bring It On!

Every year when I ask the kids and grandkids what they want for Christmas they say “money!” so, that’s what they usually get - you know, $50 or $100 depending how flush I feel. I daydream sometimes that I could give them more, like $1,000 or $10,000, but that won’t happen unless I win the lottery or my books suddenly start selling like hotcakes.

Besides, Sam and I read an article by Robert Powell in USA Today titled "Don’t Bequeath Surprises", where Powell advised against surprising your loved ones with an unexpected inheritance after you die. That probably would hold true for surprising them with large money gifts for Christmas time too.

Powell said, “Anything financial that we send to another will always be a meteor from outer space crashing into the atmosphere of the recipient to which he or she must then adapt.”

Of course, Powell was talking about a LARGE amount of money. And he’s right, my kids definitely would consider a large gift from me an event of almost cataclysmic proportions, but hopefully, such a gift wouldn’t ruin their lives.

As far as Sam and I receiving a sudden large bequest of money for ourselves , we say, “Oh go ahead and crash into our atmosphere. Unexpected or not, a sudden burden or not, hit us with some massive green stuff and we’ll muddle our way through the challenges of this so-called “sudden money.”

According to a 2010 study called, "Inheritance and Wealth Transfer to Baby Boomers", commissioned by MetLife from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, and quoted by Powell, two of three baby Boomers who were 46 to 64 years old in 2010 were projected to inherit an average of $64,000. Wealthy boomer households were projected to receive up to a million and a half.. Alas, poor Boomers might only receive a paltry $27,000.

But Sam and I would take $27,000. We’d rather receive the million five and cope with the shortcomings of suddenly being rich, but something’s better than nothing. Sure, we’re going to hate going from dirt poor to filthy rich. Unfortunately, Sam and I don’t have a rich or even moderately wealthy relative, acquaintance or enemy anywhere within the known universe.

Powell is right though that suddenly coming into big chunks of money can disrupt your life. So-called “experts” say you should plan your transfer of wealth so you don’t upset your beneficiary’s apple cart. Between 2008 and 2009 bankruptcy filings for those with more than $1 million in assets increased by 73%, and Sports Illustrated says that 78% of former NFL players go bankrupt within two years of retirement. Even some lottery winners go bankrupt after winning hundreds of millions of dollars.

Donald Trump, Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson are among the rich and famous who went down the bankruptcy tubes after making millions. Strangely though, Sam and I don’t feel a bit sorry for those guys. We do kind of feel sorry for rapper M.C. Hammer, Best known for his 1990 hit “U Can’t Touch This.” Hammer filed for bankruptcy in 1996 with $13 million in debt after earning more than $30 million. Purchasing a $12 million mansion with a paid staff of 200 and hanging out with a 40-plus person entourage, led to his undoing.

Reportedly, even Abraham Lincoln filed for bankruptcy twice.

You might think someone lucky enough to win the lottery twice would manage not to go bust, but. Evelyn Basehore who a $3.9 million Pick Six jackpot in 1985 and then won $1.4 million in the same game just five months later, beating odds set at 1 in 15 trillion, gave too much of her money to friends and gambled away most of the rest of it. She reportedly now lives in a trailer park in Brick, N.J.

If you’d like to read more about unlucky lottery winners, check out the following website:

The Unlucky Winners | The Tragic Stories of the Lottery’s Unluckiest Winners |

Three bags of poop on our lives becoming unraveled after winning or being bequeathed a large sum of money, but Sam and I are willing to take our chances. As Dubya once said to the terrorists, “Bring it on!”

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