Weekend Plans Post: The Windfall (Theoretical)
Back in December, the Megamillions and Powerball were both up to some absurd amount again and I idly thought “I should buy a ticket” before entering a quick daydream where I:
- Bought a new house.
- Sterilized the new house.
- Hired someone to buy bare bones furniture for the house (bed for bedroom, couch for TV room, dining table for dining room, computer desk)
- Sterilized the new house again.
- Waiting a couple of weeks before moving into the house with 7-10 outfits and the cats.
- Buying another new house.
- Hiring someone to move the stuff in the old house into house #3.
- Sterilizing house #3.
- Waiting a couple of weeks.
- Debating over whether I’d rather live in house #2 or house #3.
And that’s depressing as heck. The corona has even ruined daydreaming about winning the lottery!
But that got me thinking about the amounts that it’d take for me to have a good lottery daydream given the corona.
I remembered what “the lottery” was like when I was a kid. There wasn’t powerball or megamillions or anything. There was just the Michigan Lottery. The big jackpots tended to be around 7 or 8 million (granted, those were Reagan dollars). The other jackpots were closer to 2 or 3 million. Those were back when you’d hear stories about people who won the lottery and then they were bankrupt a few years later. It might be difficult to imagine running out of money if you win one of the billion dollar jackpots and even if you take the lump sum, you’ve still got $700 million. You’d have to make a company and make a product to spend that much money. Spending 2 or 3 million? Anybody could do that!
So when my mind wandered toward an actually pleasant lottery daydream, I went small.
What was the smallest lottery amount I could win that would let me quit my job and retire? I mean, not buy a house in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Tampa, Brooklyn, and Cheyenne. I mean “pay off the house and then retire and live off the interest and still maybe go travel every once in a while but nothing crazy”.
So we have to pay off the house or buy another house (sterilize it, etc) and that will be the retirement house. Ideally, walking distance from a handful of amenities: grocery store, diner, maybe a dispensary. That would make a car unnecessary. So the only money we’d need is for food, electricity, heat, and entertainment. So that’s… $60k/year? $5k/month?
And to do that, you’d only need 1.5million in the bank, according to the investment calculator I just checked. So the Colorado Lottery is at 4.6 million dollars. Cash value is 2.2 million dollars. According to the lottery tax calculator, that would leave the winner with a cool 1.5 million.
Just pay off the house and… oh, dang it. Now it’s less than 1.5 million.
But it’s close enough for jazz. That’s the jackpot I’d need to retire. Maybe not have wild daydreams about… but the pandemic has pretty much ruined the wild daydreams of winning the powerball. A nice, socially distanced daydream? Now we’re talking.
That’s what I’m daydreaming about this weekend.
So… what’s on your docket? (And what’s the minimum you’d need to retire right now?)
(Featured image is Sleepy Alice. Photo taken by Maribou.)