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Old 07-14-2011, 03:30 PM   #101
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Hello Gary - how can I "open it up" to others ? In this economy, I do not expect much help. So I am the one who provides the funding. What worries me is that thousands of patients in Central America will have no treatment for their infections or vitamins for their children when I cannot go there any longer.
I am no expert in this field but I know you don't have to go it alone. I'd go so far as to say you SHOULDN'T do it by yourself -- if it's as important to you as you say, then you should set it up so the work doesn't rely 100% on you.

* Create a charitable foundation. Tax benefits mean your dollars go farther, and more people / corporations are willing to donate.

* Ask around for others who share your desire to help. Some may contribute $$, some may help on your trips. Some may volunteer to help run the organization.

* An organization like this could/should expand your reach. Not only does it mean you can connect with other contributors, it gets others involved so that hopefully others will carry on with the work when you can't.

Are you determined to keep it small and local? If so then you're kind of forced to help create and grow this organization. If you're willing to work with others, there are plenty of other organizations you could tap into. Let them do the organizational work and you can do what you're best at. There's plenty of info on the web -- try central america medical charity - Google Search for a starting point.

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Old 07-15-2011, 01:04 PM   #102
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We have stepped up our charitable contributions, travel business class when going overseas, and dine at nicer restaurants. No new cars, no new houses. Maybe a bit more travel. We also pay to have some stuff done that we used to have to do. This gives us more time to play, but we still do much of the things ourselves.

This was an inheritance. And the brother was deemed unfit to receive any of it.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:10 PM   #103
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If I got a million extra, I'd donate $100K to an effort like obgyn's for sure. Think about it ob. Not so hard to set up an organization just to gather funds and donations. Nothing much to run if you don't have staff and such - just a way people can donate stuff and money to help those precious souls.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:58 AM   #104
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We have stepped up our charitable contributions, travel business class when going overseas, and dine at nicer restaurants. No new cars, no new houses. Maybe a bit more travel. We also pay to have some stuff done that we used to have to do. This gives us more time to play, but we still do much of the things ourselves.
This was an inheritance.
Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:35 AM   #105
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This week a Scottish couple just won a little more than a million in the Euro Lottery.

Scots couple claims Europe's biggest lotto jackpot - seattlepi.com

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A Scottish couple say they plan to travel the world and buy homes for their two children after winning a 161 million pound ($260 million) jackpot, Europe's largest ever lottery prize.
Colin and Chris Weir said they hope to visit Australia, the Great Wall of China and the art galleries of Paris after winning the EuroMillions draw.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:33 AM   #106
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It is such an interesting contrast to hear what I do with a million (or the fairly common additional) on this forum and hearing the discussion at the poker game, of what they'd do with a million. Some persons distant relative/friend won a million dollar jackpot (it is a bunch of gambler after all). I did hear a few people say paying down debt, and college tuition, but most everybody talked about buying things. I kept my mouth shut.

Frankly it wouldn't make much of lifestyle difference for me, I can think of investments I'd make, and I'd probably spring for a first class on a few flights.
But being a sensible shopper is pretty much deeply ingrained in my DNA, and I'm not going to shake that.

I also agree with W2R and other, I really don't want to have like $10 millions cause it would much more of a burden than a blessing.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:48 AM   #107
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Our lifelong friends contributed to their local college:
Intl-Women's-Day
with their inheritance. I think it is a charitable remainder gift.

They also take 3 cruises a year and get frequent shopper privileges from Princess. They also go to the final four whenever Duke gets in.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #108
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It is such an interesting contrast to hear what I do with a million (or the fairly common additional) on this forum and hearing the discussion at the poker game, of what they'd do with a million. Some persons distant relative/friend won a million dollar jackpot (it is a bunch of gambler after all). I did hear a few people say paying down debt, and college tuition, but most everybody talked about buying things. I kept my mouth shut.
And not that you implied anything about the posts here, one reason for different answers here is that many of those who are pre-ER would use the million to put them in or closer to ER, while those of us in ER can splurge with it since we are probably debt free (except for those heathens that won't pay off their mortgage ) and otherwise are set.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:50 PM   #109
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I suspect that many on the board have the equivalent of a "million extra dollars". Anyone with expenses of > $40K and a 2% SWR qualifies.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:48 PM   #110
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(except for those heathens that won't pay off their mortgage )
Gotta admit, I fall into that category. I know, there's the old saying that it's kinda dumb to spend $1, just to get 33 cents back on your income taxes, but in my case, since I can also write off property taxes, state and local taxes, charitable contributions, and so on, it does make it worthwhile. At least, in my mind, it does. :P

If I suddenly found myself $1M richer, I still don't think I'd pay off the mortgage. It's adjustable, and right now the rate is so low it's ridiculous. However, one thing I might do is, if the rate goes up, pay it down just enough so that the monthly interest is the same. For instance, right now, I owe about $149K and the APR is 3.5%. If it went to 4.5%, I'd have to pay it down immediately to around $116K, to keep the interest amount the same.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:16 PM   #111
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* Create a charitable foundation. Tax benefits mean your dollars go farther, and more people / corporations are willing to donate.
Here's an interesting place that does worthwhile work: Cultural Survival | Partnering with Indigenous Peoples to Defend their Lands, Languages and Cultures. The only connection I have with it is that it was founded by a former teacher, David Maybury-Lewis, and his wife Pia. The organization's slant on helping impoverished peoples (if I understand it) is sort of political: show them how to represent their interests effectively with government bureaucracies, negotiate, lobby, rather than try to fund medical aid directly.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:45 PM   #112
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When I blew past $1M (stock options were doing really well in the late 90s), I decided that if/when I hit $2M I would buy the Honda S2000 roadster I'd been drooling over. When I hit $2M, I decided I really didn't like that car so much and didn't want to pay $35-40K for such a toy, and instead paid $14K for a used Miata. I still have and enjoy the Miata. A splurge, but not an extravagant one.
I'm in a similar situation.

When I was shopping for a car years ago, I would read Edmunds and some other forums every day and looking at German cars.

In the end I realized I wouldn't put even 2000 miles of commuting on it so I went with a Honda which costs less than half of what I would have had to spend.

A new guy in the office, less than a year out of school (may have been grad school), just bought a sleek Porsche (or maybe is leasing it).

I haven't kept up with cars but there are guys in the office drooling over exotics.

Well it's just as well that traffic around here is horrible. Otherwise, I'd be tempted to buy an expensive car which would just be depreciating out in the sun most of the time.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:53 AM   #113
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(except for those heathens that won't pay off their mortgage )
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If I suddenly found myself $1M richer, I still don't think I'd pay off the mortgage.
Spouse and I discussed this question, and we still wouldn't pay off the mortgages. At 3.625% and 4.625% 30-year fixed, I doubt we'll ever see these rates again.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:09 PM   #114
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Thank you Purron for your kind words. I agree it is not so hard to set up an organization, but to give you an idea I have worked 7 days a week since June 1st. Today is June 17th. I just took a couple of days off late June after my return from Guatemala. I simply have no spare time to relax except coming to visit this website. If anyone on this website would like to help me, please note I do not accept money. However, if you wish to help, please feel free to send me an email and I will be happy to give you a couple of friends' addresses in Central America where you can send children's vitamins, clothes, or OTC meds. Thank you kindly.

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If I got a million extra, I'd donate $100K to an effort like obgyn's for sure. Think about it ob. Not so hard to set up an organization just to gather funds and donations. Nothing much to run if you don't have staff and such - just a way people can donate stuff and money to help those precious souls.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:16 PM   #115
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If I got a million extra, I'd set up a mini version of the MacArthur Fellowships.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #116
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A million? Not very much, these days. I wouldn't do anything different. It's not near enough to be "rich" anymore, or even ready to retire; and when the hyperinflation gets here, it won't even buy you a loaf of bread.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:55 AM   #117
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If I had a million dollars, I would retire.. That's what I said when 7 percent cd's were the norm. Hit the million mark, then two, then three. With the low returns, no pension and expensive health insurance, not ready yet. With two decades of saving, cannot change habits, still ask myself "should I buy one mcchicken or two"?. DW has the same attitude. Did buy a flat screen tv thou.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:30 PM   #118
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If suddenly somebody gave a million dollars cash, in addition to what I have and make a year, it will prob. be down to $600,000 after taxes. Good surplus, but would not change my life that much.

That extra cash can be used to buy a house when I move, a few hobby expenses and the rest just to savings.

It's nice to know you can buy a few things without worrying about affecting your retirement funds.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:56 AM   #119
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If I had a million dollars....I would pay off my parent's mortgage and invest the rest of it.
I would still work at mega-corp for another three years so I can collect my $275K at 55 years.
I would still do everything that I do today.

I take this back!!! I was so naive!
Today, if I had a million dollars I would still pay off my parents mortgage and mine.
Then I would invest the rest and travel with my bf
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:20 AM   #120
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I would not be comfortable pulling the trigger on RE. But it would be enough for me to walk away from megacorp and pursue something else.

From an RE perspective $1m with a SWR looks like $40k a year for a really, really, really long time.

But Ö.

For someone earning Fed min wage, $1m looks like over 6 decades of earnings
With a median US household income of roughly $50k (2009??), $1m looks like 2 decades of earnings
Heck even for those touching 6 figures it's a decade of earnings

I realize itís not apples to apples, inflation, salary increases, etc. But for many, $1m could mean years if not decades of freedom to do whatever they wanted to.

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