Why You DON'T Want To Be A Millionaire By Katie Adams
Regis Philbin hit the TV jackpot when he debuted as host of the award-winning game show, "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" in 1999.
The show, an overnight sensation for ABC, tapped into a common American dream – becoming wildly rich. According to the IRS' Personal Wealth Statistics study (last undertaken in 2004), an estimated 2.7 million Americans hold gross assets of $1.5 million or more.
If you have ever bought a lottery ticket or made an investment based on a "hot tip" just hoping you could be counted in that IRS number, consider that there may be some downfalls to becoming a millionaire.
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Taking On A Second Job
Possessions take time to maintain. Whether you're talking about clothes, cars or chateaus - the more you have of anything, the more time it will take.
Money is no different. Once you have millions, you won't be able to just pay a few bills and balance your checkbook at the end of the month. It will take a significant amount of your time to budget, pay taxes, invest, give, plan spending, meet with professionals, etc.
Meet The Joneses
Vaulting into another economic stratum comes at a literal price. Once you have the means to buy a bigger house, purchase a nicer car and join that nearby golf club, you're most likely going to meet a whole new group of people – wealthier people.
And becoming their friends can open up a whole new world. That world, while enjoyable, often raises your expectations about your standard of living overnight. All of a sudden, a night out means a waterfront table for tapas, not McDonald's and a movie.
Whether you intend to begin the "keeping up with the Joneses" game or not, once you make those more expensive choices and move in those more expensive circles, you're more likely to find yourself paying a lot more attention to what others are doing and join right in.
"But You Shouldn't Have!"
No more bargain-shopping for birthday presents. Friends, family members, co-workers and employees begin to expect bigger, nicer and, well, more expensive gifts. You'd better budget for that. See #2.
They Come Out Of The Woodwork
Just ask lottery winners like Twila Shultz, who won the Super 76 Jackpot in 2001. After winning $8.4 million, her family had to deal with all kinds of people approaching them for money.
She told the Pittsburgh Tribune that "one even showed up at the door wanting to borrow $100,000... she even (brought) pictures of her husband's feet. She wanted the money for (surgery on) his feet."
Having money will attract people who need or want money. You'll have to have a plan for how to deal with them – decide who you want to give money to and who you want to turn away.
Riding The Roller Coaster
As your portfolio value increases so, most likely, will your anxiety over market fluctuations that could quickly erode your net worth.
Never before did you lose sleep over a sagging dollar or what the Shanghai stock exchange did overnight. Welcome to a millionaire's world – where stocks and sleep don't necessarily mix well.
Who Can You Trust?
It's not just long-lost friends and family members who are bound to come knocking – it's professionals, as well.
You will likely receive a steady flow of email, snail mail and voicemail offers from lawyers, investment advisers and tax attorneys all eager for your money – ahem, I mean "business."
If you don't have a strong background in personal finances, investing or taxes you could probably benefit from assembling a team of credible, experienced professionals who can give you some much-needed advice. The question, again, becomes who should you trust?
As a millionaire, you are now a target for an unwelcome group of people: criminals. A bigger house in a nicer community could attract burglars.
A more expensive car could attract the attention of car thieves. A fatter investment portfolio invites potential perpetrators of fraud and other crimes against people with a high net worth.
Suddenly, Saturdays are spent checking out home and car alarm systems and your investment advisor's professional background to make sure your wealth and possessions are safe.
The Bottom Line
If you've been squirreling away savings in the hopes that one day you can move out of your middle-class enclave and into that gated community one zip code over, remember that the grass isn't always greener - it may just be more expensive. And it will probably take more time to mow.
Enthusiast 1. Being a millionaire doesn't mean earning a million per year. A smart lifestyle and investments could make you a millionaire without making much more than the average family.
2. If you have money, you can pay someone else to manage it.
3. Becoming rich through normal (legitimate) means means not caring about the Joneses. The Joneses are broke. Why would you want to keep up with broke?
4. And along with #3 comes learning restraint in all things, including buying gifts. Budget X amount per year and stick to it.
5. You shouldn't be a cheapskate when it comes to helping your family, but handing out cash isn't the same as helping someone. If they can't handle their money, how are they going to handle the money you give them?
6. The roller coaster ride is a sign of a bad attitude towards investment, or a bad investment strategy. Keep enough money aside that you're OK if everything in the stock market goes away overnight, then invest in low risk funds.
You already have a million dollars, why risk it to possibly get another million before you die?
7. No getting around the trust issue rich or poor. Get references, do research, same as you would if you were middle class.
8. Two words. Insurance and guns. The insurance protects your assets, guns protect your family.
9. Stop trying to convince people that being rich is just a pain. You can be broke and alive, but you can't be broke and live. If you're broke and your family is in real hurt through no fault of their own, you can't help them.
You can't leave a $100 tip for a $5 meal with exceptional service if you're broke.
You can't say "You know, I'm tired of this job. I think I'll quit and never work again" if you're broke.
You can't say "Let's go to Tahiti this weekend" if you're broke. Being broke is a pain. Being not broke rocks.
clit_niblr036 Enthusiast @ Enthusiast - Agree 100% with your list. It's about the choices people make whether they have money or not.
A person who is miserable with $100 dollars is going to be miserable with $ 1 million.
john binder What an insanely irrational article this is. I'm worth just about $1.5M and have experienced NONE of these. This is like saying why you DON'T want to be healthy since you won't get to meet new doctors or won't be able to visit as many hospitals as such people do.
clit_niblr036 john binder @ john - Exactly, thank you. A person who is miserable with $100 dollars is going to be miserable with $1 million.
The only real diffence between the two is the amount of trouble that person can get into.
nancy4366 clit_niblr036 Amen to that! Money will make you more of what you already are - so what you are better be something good.
BrigadeCommander The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.
Dalancroft I'm in this category and have none, as in zero, of these problems. Then again, my wife and I live a fairly modest lifestyle so as not to draw attention to ourselves.
Buso Dumb Article
StonedAngel Buso Not really. The change in lifestyle is quite accurate I would think. And the consequences of having that much money.
Of course.... one can make the decision to stick to a simple life regardless of how much money one has. That would.. of course.. be the ultimate.
ICookinAK Did a thousandaire write the article?
EdensCancer For those of us NOT swimming around in money like Scrooge McDuck, this list is vile and offensive. You would gain around 14k-19k a year in interest on a million dollars (lowest estimate) which is more than some of us make in an entire year at a low income job.
So that means My ass could double my income or start a business with 100k and have around a 40 year safety net built on the interest of 900k sitting in a bank or in safe investments.
john binder Worst article ever
Cyberqat Being a millionaire today just makes you upper middle class.
If your going to dream, go for at least the bottom of the top 1%, which is about $9 million in net worth.
Or better yet, the average of the top 1% which is around 20 billion.
Oh and if even the bottom of the top 1% is tired of all the "disadvantages" of wealth Im sure I can find people lined up to trade their life for the "sorry life of a millionaire."
Not only are the rich getting richer and the poor poorer, but now we are supposed to feel sorry for the rich too?
Derail Doax This article is stupid and sounds like a broke person rationalizing their lousy position.
Penumbra Yeah, um... Another article written by a college kid with, at best, a cursory understanding of the topic. First and foremost, a million dollars hasn't been "wildly wealthy" for decades. ]
Seriously if you're 40 and you've got a household income of $50,000, which is a touch shy of median, you're going to need to have $1m+ in retirement savings if you want to retire at 65 and live until 80 without a drop in income.
You won't be "wildly wealthy". You'll be squeaking by on a $50k a year income that didn't go NEARLY as far as it did when you were 40... But you'll be one of those mystical beasts known as "millionaire"... Weeeeee....
That's the first of dozens of huge problems with this article. I had to check twice to make sure this wasn't on The Onion.
John Weissman Silliness. This is "problem" virtually ALL the world wants. If your response to money is to buy all that luxury garbage, the bizzare cars, sick-big houses, icky (think of diamond mining) jewelry, all that excess, all that waste, all that greed built somewhere into your "embarrassment of riches", which all has nothing to do with Truth and Beauty --what can I say: get a life.
BB Who ever wrote this should be ashamed of themselves. There is a real deep problem in our country if this type of thought process starts to spread.
There are so many things wrong with this article that I dont have the time to address them. But.... hey.. here is good advice..":you dont want to make more money.... cause the more money you make the more taxes you pay"
A real article would of contrasted the problems of the rich and the poor. Like
1) con of being rich...If you make more money you have to pay more taxes
con of being poor... if your broke you have to accept hand outs from family or worse government.. and what kind of man can a true confidence in self if he can not even provide the basics for his family.... self-worth is an important part of success
2)....... nevermind......... i said i didnt have the time... this article really is the straw the broke the camels back for me..... i have never blogged before or whatever its called when you write your opinions on the internet... but this is really sick.... the mindset that one has to have to write this article really is a disease and I do not want to catch it