$50 Million or 50 Years?

Today, The Daily Post asked:

Would you rather have $50 million or live for an extra 50 years?

In the immortal words of the M.I.A. song Paper Planes, “All I wanna do is `boom boom boom boom´and take your money.” Gimme that cash, Jack. Fuck all this living business. 50 more years of this crap? Nooooo way, Jose. Pffft.

I could live out the rest of my natural life ridiculously comfortably on 50 million. Say the government takes half of it for taxes and I end up living for another 40 years, that’s 625,000 a year. Even if I live 50 years, that’s 500 large a year. Five hundred thousand dollars a year. I could live the high life on that seeing as that’s roughly ten times what I make now. Imagine if your yearly income was multiplied by ten. That’s me livin’ large. I’ll wave at you from my boat (not a yacht, but a boat) as I sip moderately priced alcoholic beverages.

One year, I could take my money and buy a house. In cash. “I’d like to buy this house. Here’s a briefcase full of cash. Keys, please?” I’d like a house with at least one tree in the front and back on a decent sized, fenced-in chunk of land. I would like this house to come with most, if not all, of the following: a garage, a fireplace, a bathtub, a swimming pool, a wet bar and a library. I’ve always wanted a proper library. It doesn’t have to be a big house, especially if I only have 500K to spend. Just something big enough for me, my dog and my cat. I’d also like a bedroom big enough for a king sized bed and some furniture. My current bedroom is too small.

The next year, I could buy a nice new car. Something new and dependable, but not flashy. I don’t need a Bugatti Veyron. I’d be more than happy with a nice Audi or a BMW or something.

I could finally donate money to all the charities I’d like to support, but can never seem to afford. I could go back to school and get a bachelor’s degree. With 500K a year, I could travel anywhere I wanted. I could even spend a whole year traveling around. I would have to be relatively frugal with my money. By frugal I mean, no executive suites at the Royal Hawaiian, but maybe the business traveler room on the next floor down.

I would probably spend a great deal of time staring at my bank account balance. Not out of greed or anything, but because I wouldn’t believe that there were that many numbers in there. I spend a great deal of time staring at my bank account balance now, only because there is no money in there. I end up taking the tiny number that’s left after bills are paid, subtracting the things I still need to buy in the time period between paychecks, like gas and food, and seeing if, by some miracle, it leaves a positive number at the end. If I had 500K a year, I’m not sure that I’d comprehend that I wouldn’t need to obsessively view my bank balance anymore. I’d probably still do it anyway. Eventually, I’d become comfortable with financial security and might forget the online password to my bank account because I haven’t looked at it in a while. I can only imagine how nice that must be.

Some people, when asked whether they’d like 50 more years or 50 million dollars, would probably choose 50 more years. I don’t know who those people are, but they must be financially secure. You’d have to be to choose extra life over money. To me, when I think of an extra 50 years of scraping by on top of the 50 or so years I will already end up living, it makes me very, very tired. I’d rather not have to live a life of financial insecurity for an extra 50 years. I’d prefer to life fast and die young. Or rather, live moderately comfortably and die a natural age.

Please make the check payable to G-O-L-D-F-I-S-H c/o Fish Of Gold. Thanks.