Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Making Plans

I am one of those people who buy lottery tickets several times a year when the publicity and the jackpot are high.  In between buying the tickets and the drawing—which I have not yet won—I make plans for my winnings.  These do not involve new cars, big parties, jewels or second homes.

Playing the Lottery

I thought about this when I heard a recent edition of NPR’s Radio Times, which focused on several books about lottery winners.  Many of those who suddenly come into money through lotteries, inheritance or legal actions do no handle it well. They run through the money quickly or use it to ruin their lives through drugs, alcohol, or general higher living.  Or, they get scammed.

Planning for Success

But, not everyone loses.  The people who are most successful with their wealth fall into two, sometimes overlapping, categories.  The first group takes the annual payment over time rather than the lump sum amount.  They recognize that it is necessary to learn how to handle their new wealth.  So, even if you blow through the first or second year’s income, it is unlikely that you will make twenty years of mistakes.

The really successful group makes plans for the money.  They spend time thinking about what kind of person they want to be and what result they want to see from the money.  They make their own lives easier and then help those close to them.  They use the money to change the world in causes important to them.  These are all deliberate decisions.

Plans are never cast in stone.  Priorities change and needs change.  But, before making a big change or taking that big move, it is best to be deliberate.  Weigh the pros and cons and think about expected results.

I have made my plans and am all set if I ever win.

Christine Jacobs is an experienced corporate executive and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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