The Freedom to Solve Problems

We took a friend to the airport who, as a family member of an airline employee, was flying standby. We learned that this was also termed a “non-revenue” ticket, as the airline charges them next to nothing – they make no revenue from this type of ticket. The cost, of course, is that you’re flying standby.

Even though earlier checks had indicated at least 10 unfilled seats on the flight, when she checked in she was 21st in line for those 10 seats. Apparently it was a busy evening and many people (also apparently airline employees) were also attempting to take the same flight – and as it turned out any reasonable substitute flight as well.

She wasn’t going home that night, and the next day wasn’t looking all that great either.


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When the Economy Gets Bad … Continue Spending?

When your local or national economy takes a turn for the worse, the natural reaction is to pull back. Clearly, it’s the thing to do: everyone is doing it!

The problem is, you’re not everyone. In fact, depending on how you view your newfound wealth, you might be in a position to help everyone instead, and in a very simple, yet perhaps slightly uncomfortable way.

That way? Keep spending.

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A Word About Philanthropy and Giving Back

No discussion about accidental wealth would be complete without a direct discussion of philanthropy. Not because I’m going to tell you that that you “should” be philanthropic, but because I want you to make a conscious choice one way or the other. It’s too easy to conveniently forget as you come to terms with your new found situation and miss opportunities you hadn’t thought of.

Yes, I want you to at least think about and make a decision about how you might give some of your wealth away.

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Nor a lender be…

This is something we struggle with periodically.

The conclusion we’ve arrived at is this: except under exceptionally rare circumstances we no longer make loans to friends, family or business acquaintances.

This has been a hard, and yes sometimes expensive, lesson learned.

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Neither a borrower …

One of the things that has always amazed me is our societies reliance on credit: loans, credit cards, mortgages and the like. On would think that upon reaching a position of affluence the thing to do would be to avoid borrowing anything from anyone.

I mean, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to say that they were truly “debt free”?

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Quitting the Day Job

I’m sure you’ve seen the classic scenario where a lottery winner quits his or her job the day after winning the big prize – before even cashing the check.

My opinion? A huge mistake.

No, not the quitting, necessarily, but the lack of thought put into the decision.

Having money doesn’t mean that quitting your day job is the right thing to do. There more to work than just a pay check. Much more.

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Lessons from The Two Million Dollar Car

One of the first things we did after “winning the stock option lottery” was to exercise some of those options, sell some of the resulting stock, and then invest some of the proceeds and spend the rest.

I think we invested more than we spent. (I know we lost more than we spent, since this was also just before the stock market crash of 1987, but that’s a story for another day.)

One of the things we spent money on was a new car for my wife. It was sorely needed, her previous car having been nearly totaled the year before.

Naturally we were in a position to get a “nice” car, and we did. This was 1987, and the car, a new Pontiac Bonneville, cost something like $20,000. To the car’s credit, and to my wife’s, it lasted nearly 10 years, so we feel like we truly got our moneys worth out of it.

Or did we?

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