Don’t Turn Your Dream into a Nightmare
After sitting anxiously by the television to see the winning numbers, I bet you want to call your job, tell your boss what you think and quit. You may even want to tell your family members and celebrate. I know it’s probably going to be hard to keep the great news to yourself, but you really should. There are some things that you need to consider before you start going crazy with your winnings—especially if you want your cash to last! With some smart thinking and planning, your winnings could set you and your family up for a very comfortable future.
If your state allows you to stay anonymous, DO IT. When people learn that you’ve won the lottery and you’ve got a huge sum of money coming to you, you never know what kind of people will be banging on your door for handouts.
Build a Team
I’m not talking about a sports team either. You’ll want to create a legal team and financial advisors. These people will help you ensure that your winnings are being handled properly. You’ll want to make sure that the people you hire are reputable and they don’t have their agendas. You will want to do your homework for this one! One good place to start is the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Pay Off Your Debt
This sounds like common sense, but too many times people go out and spend their money on nonsense stuff and ignore their debt. Pay off any loans (mortgage, car, and student loans), credit cards, and medical bills. Yeah, a huge chunk of your money will be gone, but think of how liberating it’ll feel knowing you don’t owe anyone anything.
Invest Your Lottery Winnings Wisely
This is one area that your financial advisers will undoubtedly come in handy, especially if you aren’t familiar with making investments. You don’t want to throw all your money into some hair-brained scheme and then lose all your money! That would suck.
Keep the Same Habits
You may have come into a large sum of money, that doesn’t mean that you have to live like your money won’t run out. Make smart purchases and (please don’t leave mean comments) keep your job. The key is to make your money last. I’m not saying act like you don’t have money—go out and get that new car if you want. Just be smart about it. Go for the Nissan instead of the Lamborghini.
There’s going to people out there who want to cash in on your good fortune. This could be from “long lost family members” to disgruntled neighbors who will look for a reason to sue. Now, I’m not saying you’ve got a massive target on your head, but you are vulnerable to some shady people. Safeguard yourself and your money by being wary of any new people that may come into your life.