Weekend Assignment #10: Congratulations! You've been given one million dollars. What would you do with it? But wait! There's more -- seems you've been given two million dollars. Would you do anything different with the second million than you would with the first?
For the purposes of this assignment, assume that you've got two million after taxes -- so you don't have to worry about Uncle Sam and your state and local governments dipping into your pot of cash. Also, you've got it all at once -- no installment plans.
(Extra Credit: If you had two million not to keep but to donate to a charity, which charity and why?)
I'm not much of a dreamer. As such, I don't have fantasies of winning millions. I don't spend my time considering the "What Ifs" should I win. After all, I don't play the lottery and I don't gamble. My practical mind tells me it is useless. In both instances, the odds are against you. Do you know that you have more of a chance of having a heart attack while waiting in line to buy a lottery ticket than you do in winning the lottery? In addition, gambling is set up so that the house wins. Sure there are those big winners but for one of my Statistics classes we did the calculations. Even with those big winners, the house makes something like twenty-five cents for every dollar spent in a casino, of course that depends upon the game played. It may be higher for others. I believe we were analyzing the game of Roulette, if memory serves me well. With that said, I still thought it would be fun to dream a little dream and consider what I would do with the money.
With the first million, I would buy a home. The going rate for a decent house in Los Angeles is approximately $500,000. That's for a decent house, nothing extraordinary. It would be nice if it had a pool and a couple of bedrooms because I would love to make one of the rooms into a library. And, I'd like to become a foster parent and/or adopt a child, or two, of my own. I would take another $350,000 dollars and disperse it to my family and friends. I even made a list of twenty names. The adults would receive 10K and the children would receive 25K in a trust to be used as they see fit, but hopefully for some kind of continuing education. I would take $70,000 and pay off my bills, buy a new car and furnishings for my house. That would leave me $80,000 which I would invest, being sure to diversify my investments.
If I were given an additional million, would I spend it differently? Not really, I would invest the additional monies too. I am behind the eight ball on saving for my retirement. I really don't intend on ever retiring. I enjoy working but sometimes life forces you to slow down. As such, it would be nice to have a nest egg to fall back on.
Now, for the two million that I would give to charity: Before I went to CSUN, I was volunteering as a tutor for the San Fernando Valley Literacy council. I think helping someone achieve a working literacy is probably one of the most rewarding volunteer efforts a person can partake. It goes along with the saying, "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime." Most of the people who are students in a literacy program are there because they want to be. They want to learn and better themselves. In California alone, 11% of the population over the age of 16 read below the 9th grade level. It might not sound like that much but it equates to over 2 million people. I find that atrocious when we have a public school system that is supposed to be free to attend.
In addition, I would like to set up a school for homeless children here in Los Angeles like the one Screminremo mentions in his Weekend Assignment entry. Once again, it's a "Teach to Fish" type of charity and would probably also help to decrease those who are falling through the cracks. They go to the children and bring them to school each day, whether they are at shelters or temporary housing. They feed them, they have a food pantry, clothing, and even a gift room for birthdays. They try to give these homeless children all that they are missing by living on the streets.
The pictures above are of a piggy bank that I have that my mom gave me. I figured I'd follow the theme that John did by taking a picture of my own piggy bank. That's the pig I mentioned in a previous entry that I call my "Greece Can." I was setting aside my change for a trip to Greece. I emptied it when 9/11 occurred and used the money for something else. I've decided to start saving again with the hope that by the time it's full, I'll feel comfortable again with traveling to that region of the world.