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If I had a million dollars . . .
Old 07-09-2007, 04:56 PM   #1
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If I had a million dollars . . .

I have enough money and enough sense now that I realize that if I had a million dollars I wouldn't do or buy anything that I wouldn't right now. Despite this, I still find myself thinking / saying, "if I had a million dollars I'd. . ." The most recent one was "If I had a million dollars I'd buy one of those high-def TiVos." Does everyone else do this too? Has anyone come up with a better phrase than "if I had a million dollars" to express this sort of thinking?
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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A million dollars is not fabulous wealth by any means. A Million dollars will buy you a simple lifestyle retirement without a lot of extravagance.

I don't know how much a high-def TiVos goes for however I would guess that you could get one for much less than a million.

If you meant that if you had a million dollars then you could stop worrying about saving money, then I would say that your worries would be less but perhaps you should keep saving but buy yourself a few luxuries along the way. Perhaps a high def Tivo fits that category.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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If I had a million dollars I'd feel almost ready to retire ($1.4m was my FI goal)
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:31 PM   #4
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If I had a million dollars I would either be really excited or really sad depending on my age.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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I would think that it would be hard to change just because you reach a certain networth. I remember wanting to buy a flat panel monitor but not wanting to part with the money. My wife reminded me that we made pretty good money and could afford to buy it. I still rather save than spend and I don't think a few zeros added to the NW would change that.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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I would think that it would be hard to change just because you reach a certain networth. I remember wanting to buy a flat panel monitor but not wanting to part with the money. My wife reminded me that we made pretty good money and could afford to buy it. I still rather save than spend and I don't think a few zeros added to the NW would change that.
Agreed. I am now 10 months retired, with about 70% more than I planned to retire
with, due to 2+ years of job bliss after reaching FI and good investment results. I spent
a week convincing myself to try out Netflix ($18/month) because it seemed like too much
$$. It is hard to break 48 years of LBYM habits. I still cannot convinced myself to get
a flat panel monitor.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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If I had a million dollars, like others here I don't think I would live any differently than I do now. I might use a few hundred a month to spend on frivolous purchases, which would just mean that I would have to clean out my closets and throw stuff away more often. Oh, I know! I would subscribe to the newspaper.

I couldn't retire any earlier, because I have to work two more years to get lifetime medical. and for my ER financial planning to fall together in general.

You know what a million dollars would buy me after I retire, though? Peace of mind. It would be enough of a backup that even if I made some bad miscalculations in my planning, or forgot to take something into account, I could recover.

I would invest it and not touch it, and then my daughter would be a heiress some day.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:32 PM   #8
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There is what I call the ER curse - ie given that I got the first mil by being er 'frugal' - part of me really wants to revert to 'cheap bastardhood' and see how far I can run up the score.

Having varied rather widely spend wise the first 13 years - Salvation Army chic/old pickup with rusty fender still has a tendency to gave me the most jollies.

I guess spending is an acquired taste.

heh heh heh - .
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:36 PM   #9
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If I had a million dollars, I'd set up a donor-advised fund at Vanguard (Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program) to ensure that I can continue and even accelerate my giving to UNICEF.

After that, I'd take some more chances with investing and see if I could run up the score enough to make a naming gift to my alma mater.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
There is what I call the ER curse - ie given that I got the first mil by being er 'frugal' - part of me really wants to revert to 'cheap bastardhood' and see how far I can run up the score.

Having varied rather widely spend wise the first 13 years - Salvation Army chic/old pickup with rusty fender still has a tendency to gave me the most jollies.

I guess spending is an acquired taste.

heh heh heh - .
As I mentioned elsewhere, I've been forcing myself to buy stuff that makes my life better. That poverty mindset has to be smacked back a little.

I'm going to have to start replacing shoes/clothes/sheets/towels fairly soon; they are simply wearing out. You know that moment when you pull on a sheet to fold it and it rips?
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #11
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Forget the fancy cars or big house, I'd give corporate america the double middle finger as I'm running out the door! I would partake in a job that satisfies MY dreams and not be stuck in a job that pays so well, that I'm handcuffed to my darn paycheck.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:13 PM   #12
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If I had two million dollars, I'd consider ER.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:15 PM   #13
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There's a song "If I had a million dollars " and it rattles off a bunch of crap they would buy (fur coat, lama, .....) at the end the singer says "If I had a million dollars, I'ld be RICH." Everytime I hear the song I insert BROKE for RICH - yelling into the radio (infront of the wife/kids). Obviously anybody buying all that crap would be broke.

You got it by not spending.

If you have a million dollars ... stay the course.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:32 PM   #14
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Evidently people must think about this issue quite a bit. I did a Google search for "If I had a million dollars to spend" and received over 2 million entries.

It is amazing in the diversity of forums and blogs that opine on this issue.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:50 PM   #15
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My wife and I used to play the game, What would we do if we won the lottery?, in the car on long trips.

First priority: pay off all debts.

Invest, pay for the kids' college with the dividends and principle as required.

After that, fund our retirement and then help some of the people we know of who need it.

If we only got $1MM, pay off debts (already deep into college now) and then see where we are.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:59 PM   #16
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I do have a million dollars, and it just made me more frugal as I could see the FIRE light at the end of the tunnel.

For a million dollars to warrant a spending spree, it would have to be valued at much more than it is in current real terms.

Now, if I had TEN million dollars, I might go shopping!
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:23 PM   #17
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I'm reminded by this thread that many of us grew up in an era when $1mm was really, really big bucks. Mansions, Beverly Hillbilly stuff. Now, it's not trivial, but it's also not like your ship has come in, assuming you are near FIRE and have taken it seriously.

Another million would have fairly modest impact for me other than cushion, a few more indulgences, and peace of mind. I'd probably FIRE now instead of a year or two from now.

I'm thankful that I've saved enough that an additional million wouldn't rock my world. Now, a million when I was age 35 would have been a real big deal -- if I wouldn't have blown it back then.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:34 PM   #18
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Forget the fancy cars or big house, I'd give corporate america the double middle finger as I'm running out the door! I would partake in a job that satisfies MY dreams and not be stuck in a job that pays so well, that I'm handcuffed to my darn paycheck.
Then why not do it today? I don't want to get too philosophical, but we all hold the keys to our own prison cells.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:42 PM   #19
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Then why not do it today? I don't want to get too philosophical, but we all hold the keys to our own prison cells.
There's a lot of truth to that. Too many people feel like their current job at their current company is their only option. They have a hard time getting "unstuck."
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bongo2 View Post
I have enough money and enough sense now that I realize that if I had a million dollars I wouldn't do or buy anything that I wouldn't right now. Despite this, I still find myself thinking / saying, "if I had a million dollars I'd. . ." The most recent one was "If I had a million dollars I'd buy one of those high-def TiVos." Does everyone else do this too? Has anyone come up with a better phrase than "if I had a million dollars" to express this sort of thinking?
We're not spending a 4% SWR right now, so I'm not sure that the solution would be any easier if the resources were piled higher & deeper. Our kid would probably try to tell us that she was ready to join us in ER.

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If I had a million dollars, I'd set up a donor-advised fund at Vanguard (Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program) to ensure that I can continue and even accelerate my giving to UNICEF.
After that, I'd take some more chances with investing and see if I could run up the score enough to make a naming gift to my alma mater.
That's called the "Warren Buffett solution"... of course he probably gets better service from the Gates Foundation than we'd ever get from Vanguard.
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