Saturday, January 9, 2016

900 million

"Large" amounts of money don't confuse me. Ever since the lotteries began I've carefully considered what I would do if I ever won. I have a plan which involves setting up a fund for grants and endowments. With relatives in the banking, financial planning and development businesses, that would not be that large a problem. Any multiple of a million would be easy to take care of. Well, maybe. The concept of winning 900 million is mind-boggling to say the least.

Just think. You could build a new house for each of your relatives and pay for college for all your kids and grandkids and not make a dent in the total. Even if all your relatives got million dollar houses.

So what would be fun to do?

Buy local property and set up houses for all homeless willing to move in. Provide adequate endowment to pay for all the services needed to get them back into the economy for the next ten years.

Provide several million or endowments to each of your favorite charities as needed. Food pantries, churches, animal rescues, schools, choruses, bands, orchestras, operas, children's organizations, etc.

Donate millions to your favorite medical researchers.

Travel the world.

And you would probably have millions left.

Could I spend all 900 million productively? No. But I would love to be able do a few things close to my heart.

I would pay off several mortgages friends owe. I would provide an adequate income for several friends and for me.

My favorite vacation is singing with Berkshire Choral International. Unfortunately it is getting beyond my budget without serious control of expenses. I would endow them with enough income to insure tuition, room and board never exceeded 1000, if possible.

A local college took a chance and hired a vision impaired friend to work with their radio station. There is a new building that was not designed by people who know anything about radio. I doubt any money was given for maintenance either. Too many people want a building with their name but don't want to support it year to year. The station borrows their broadcasting equipment. I'd buy them the equipment they really need and provide maintenance for all of it for years to come.

Another alma mater would receive scholarship and maintenance money. And a chorus I sing with would have new folders plus money to hire instruments when wanted.

Medical research relies on grants which can be fickle. One certain genetics lab would get what is needed via endowment.

The Erie Chamber Orchestra would be another recipient. Their concerts are free.

I spent the Fourth of July 2015 with friends on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. I would endow another clergy person to share the work. I'm sure my friends' work, especially the need for youth activities, could absorb all the rest of the winnings but finding people to spend it wisely could be a problem.

You may be wondering why all the endowments. Well, greed seems to be a human condition. By endowing a person or organization, conditions and limitations can be imposed. The idea is to provide ongoing income rather than a large one time gift. Wealthy people seem eager to give millions to put their name on something but that's all. They can leave the organization with a heavy burden in the future.

The lottery has ruined lots of people. "Friends" no longer care if they don't get what they want. The phone rings constantly with requests for money. Stupid decisions about money that affect not only relationships but taxes can cause permanent grief. I'm perfectly happy to buy a losing ticket when the winnings get astronomical for the fun of thinking about it. Not sure I would want to win 900 million but I'm somewhat prepared to deal with it if it were to happen. Hahahahahaha!

No comments: