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Old 11-30-2013, 02:00 PM   #21
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Bottom line is that he didn't donate a penny when he was living. That doesn't make you a philanthropist. That makes you a cheap kook.
Uh, no.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #22
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Bottom line is that he didn't donate a penny when he was living. That doesn't make you a philanthropist. That makes you a cheap kook.
The article says: "MacDonald's mother was a volunteer at Seattle Children's Hospital and after her death MacDonald became more involved with different hospital events over the years." How to know that didn't include financial involvement? It does not say anywhere that he didn't donate a penny when he was living.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:25 PM   #23
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The article says: "MacDonald's mother was a volunteer at Seattle Children's Hospital and after her death MacDonald became more involved with different hospital events over the years." How to know that didn't include financial involvement? It does not say anywhere that he didn't donate a penny when he was living.
He clearly donated his time, which, as a lawyer, was probably very valuable to them. He also probably gained a keen understanding of what would be of most value to the SCH and set up his bequest accordingly. In my opinion he was a very generous man.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:42 PM   #24
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My thoughts exactly. If I had that kind of wealth, I certainly wouldn't be clipping coupons or riding the bus. Hell, I don't do those things today anyway, and I'm not worth near that kind of money.

I guess I'm largely influenced by my Mom and Dad, who were older (Mom was 45, Dad was 51 when they had me in the late 60's) and grew up during the Great Depression.

We had a basic (lower) middle-class lifestyle, and they were very frugal. Although we had the basics, we never had new cars, or a fancy home, or took nice vacations.

Mom died last, and the estate was about $160k, split between four kids. All us siblings agreed we would MUCH rather have seen Mom and Dad spend some of that while they were alive to have some fun with and enjoy life.

I took the 180 degree opposite view. I don't blow every dollar I make, but I'm not afraid to spend money on nice things I want, or vacations, etc. Life is too short to deny yourself everything. I don't see the point in saving up so much money for when you're too old to enjoy it.

I'd rather spend $2000 at this point in my life on a ski trip to Vail, rather than saving it for the nursing home down the road.
Me too. My only or at least main reason for being frugal is just cautiousness about what the future may hold. Someone with only modest SS, and his portfolio, is in very different position from someone with a powerful COLA pension and perhaps SS. I won't go around looking ratty, or eat "frugal food", or drink cool-aid wine. Nor will I be cheap with my woman friend. We were getting on her elevator last night and discussing how much quality meat and fish, and organic greens and salad cost. We agreed there was no better way to spend money. Also, she is pretty free with clothes spending, and I appreciate that. Maybe an 18 year old can look great no matter what she is wearing, or her makeup, or her hair- but not a middle aged woman. One of my real pleasures in life is just looking at her.

If I were this guy, you can bet that I would have been driving a very nice car, wearing tailored clothes, giving nice gifts, and leaving plenty money to my kids and grandkids. Then maybe a hospital, which to me mostly look like very profit oriented institutions which could stand some honest billing and bookkeeping for starters. Almost forgot, a cook and a very posh apartment and a driver if I wanted one

Ha
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:51 PM   #25
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One of my real pleasures in life is just looking at her.

Ha
That is a very nice sentiment.
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #26
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The article says: "MacDonald's mother was a volunteer at Seattle Children's Hospital and after her death MacDonald became more involved with different hospital events over the years." How to know that didn't include financial involvement? It does not say anywhere that he didn't donate a penny when he was living.
According to a few sources, he did indeed donate while living, although not according to his ability. We all " donate " everything we have when we go and the more we leave behind, the happier are the benefactors. I just don't understand why someone wouldn't give along the way or at least toward the end. IMO, the wealth gave him more pleasure than charity. I have a neighbor who was applauded for donating 500 grand to the local library and was thought a very generous man. What people didn't know was that he sent his hourly employees home during slow days, leaving then in dire straits.
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Old 11-30-2013, 03:10 PM   #27
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Okay, here is another source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1532305

This one notes he gave more than $500k to the Children's Research Institute during his lifetime. There is also a photo of him with his late wife at the Cape of Good Hope, and the article notes they enjoyed traveling. Sounds like he had a wonderful life.

Maybe he ran into Ha, as it also notes he took walks and rode the public busses in Seattle when he had to go somewhere.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:46 PM   #28
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Okay, here is another source: Seattle man who wore clothes with holes, clipped coupons leaves $188M to institutions - NY Daily News

This one notes he gave more than $500k to the Children's Research Institute during his lifetime. There is also a photo of him with his late wife at the Cape of Good Hope, and the article notes they enjoyed traveling. Sounds like he had a wonderful life.
I'm not trying to say that this man wasn't a generous man, and perhaps he made other contributions during his lifetime....but the $500k referenced is a little over 0.25% of his estate value at death.

To put things in perspective, I give more as a % of my net worth each year (0.5%) to charities, than he gave over his lifetime before death.

Yes, he also donated time which has an imputed value - but unless he was a surgeon operating 24/7 for free on children for 100 years, your time will never approach anywhere near the value of a $187 million bequest.

Am I going to leave it all to charity? Well, if I die a single man without children, then yes, most of it will go to charities...but it could puzzle someone why you would intentionally have everything earmarked to charity as your ultimate goal and still hold it all until after you die.

Someone that buys so much frozen orange juice to need a new freezer to hold it perhaps isn't really looking at reality in a full picture. Unless he's drinking 3 gallons a day, I'm willing to bet the cost of the freezer and electricity outweighed the savings of buying the OJ on sale.

Granted, there can be terms of the trust we're not privy to, and there can be many reasons for decision like this, but I always find it odd when people go out of their way to help complete strangers by giving them millions (even billions) - yet to their own kin (stepdaughter in this case), they apparently give nearly (or precisely) nothing.

The various articles quote his step-daughter fairly extensively, and it sounds as though she was familiar with many details of his life, so it's reasonable to assume that she wasn't estranged from him.

Given decisions like that, one wonders how they view and value familial relationships while they were alive. Did they appreciate their family being around? Did they enjoy their presence? Did family members treat this guy nicely? Kind of blows your mind when it seems someone turns their back on family that - from what the article implies - were somewhat regular parts of his life. If he died first and left his wife a widow, would he have left her nothing? Just seems 'odd' that you would somewhat take care of your wife, but to your wife's daughter, she gets the cold shoulder and apparently absolutely nothing.

Oh, and on those charitable donations before he died?
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He also donated $150,000 to the village of Elora, Canada, where his grandfather lived after emigrating from Scotland.
The village was able to purchase an ice rink and build a town hall thanks to his generous funds.
I sure hope I have the wrong Elora, Ontario, Canada, but according to Wikipedia, it's a town of about 4,500 people.

Within a 1 hour drive of Elora, Canada (according to Google maps) there are ten (10) ice rinks. Including another one in Elora at a school, and one just 3 miles away in neighboring Fergus, Canada.

Thank God they were able to finally acquire that with his donation!
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:51 PM   #29
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Okay, here is another source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1532305

This one notes he gave more than $500k to the Children's Research Institute during his lifetime. There is also a photo of him with his late wife at the Cape of Good Hope, and the article notes they enjoyed traveling. Sounds like he had a wonderful life.

Maybe he ran into Ha, as it also notes he took walks and rode the public busses in Seattle when he had to go somewhere.
Thanks. That article tells a lot more about the man. He did sound like he enjoyed his life and family, and his givings were not only after his passing.

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Old 11-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #30
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Understand, but he was 98, perhaps he had Dementia.

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Old 11-30-2013, 07:19 PM   #31
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This man did not marry until he was 56. He may not have felt particularly close to the step daughter who presumably was grown at the time of his marriage.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:24 PM   #32
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. Almost forgot, a cook and a very posh apartment and a driver if I wanted one Ha
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:29 PM   #33
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The only quarrel I have is the 30% to Law School to train more lawyers.
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Understand, but he was 98, perhaps he had Dementia.

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Old 12-05-2013, 01:43 PM   #34
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As a Libertarian, I applaud his doing what he wanted to do. I hope he was happy.

I know people who have tens of millions in savings and still are cheap. What ever makes them happy.

Mike D.
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