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You inherit a large amount of money when a loved one passes away.

You get a good price for your business.

You might even win the lotto.

What a great news!

It can certainly be. It can be difficult to deal with sudden money.

We’ve heard of stories about lottery winners going bankrupt, or of families that inherit money and then find themselves in debt after a few short years. What makes people waste a windfall of money?

Daniel Crosby, AoM guest and behavioral finance specialist, recommends Susan Bradley’s book Sudden Money to help you deal with this situation. Bradley says that people are likely to make a mistake when they receive a windfall of money for two main reasons.

First, emotions can cloud the mind and lead to poor decisions.

You may feel guilty and upset if you inherit money. This could lead you to give it away unwisely.

You might be depressed if your windfall comes from the sale of a business you built over many years. You may also feel tempted to buy your way out of a funk.

The other pitfall that comes with sudden wealth, besides the emotional turmoil that can come along with it, is that you may not know how to handle that amount of money.

You might be unsure what to do if you have been earning $75,000 per year during your entire career, but suddenly you inherit $300,000.

What do you do with it? What do you do with it? What taxes are you concerned about?

We offer expert advice below on how to make a windfall a blessing, rather than a curse.

Create a zone of no-decision

You’ll want to spend your money as soon as possible. You’ll also get ideas from others on what to do with the money you have just received.

These decisions can be influenced by fleeting emotions.

Sudden Wealth – Blessing or burden? David Rust, Shane Moore and others describe a family who won the lottery. They quit their jobs, and bought 72 cruise tickets. They immediately bought cruise tickets for 72 (72!) of their friends, family, and acquaintances. They didn’t realize until after their cruise that the money won would not last as long as expected and that soon they would run out of financial runway.

Susan Bradley’s book highlights people who took similar impulsive actions after receiving a windfall. When a man received some unexpected money, he decided to move immediately. The move to a beautiful location was a good thing, but it also cut him off from his friends and family. He became a bitter recluse, like Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood.

Bradley suggests creating a zone where you don’t make any financial decisions based on emotions.

You can park your money into a money-market account for several months, or even a full year.

The No-Decision Zone is used for several purposes.

It allows you to calm down any emotions that you may have experienced after receiving a windfall. This will allow you to make better decisions.

It gives you an opportunity to discourage nefarious relatives or friends who may come knocking at your door asking for “loans” or to discuss “business prospects”. You can simply say, “Sorry I can’t help you.” I am not going to make any decisions regarding this money at the moment.

Thirdly, you have time to set goals and consult a financial advisor on how to manage your windfall.

You can extend your No-Decision Zone as long as necessary. Do not rush into using your money or let others rush you. This is how mistakes are made.

Find a Financial Advisor

You should seek out a financial adviser after you have deposited your windfall in a money-market account. This advisor should be a specialist who helps people who are financially fortunate.

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Sunday Firesides: You Don’t Have the Time, Not to Take the Time


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We talk about time a lot in terms of economics. We talk about our attention and how we spend time.

We think that we are being frugal and prudent when we decide there is not enough time to complete a certain task.

In many cases we can be terrible spendthrifts.

We don’t realize that everything we own is a loan. The interest that accrues on these loans can be a hundred times worse if we do not pay them back.

You may not have the time to thoroughly check your new product. . . How will you deal with angry customers, returns and damage to your PR that follow its recall?

You may be too busy to socialize in a way that will keep your depression at bay. . . How much can you accomplish if you are unable to get up in the morning?

You may not be able to get out and exercise every day because you are too busy at work. . . How will you get yourself out of a hole you create when you are in the hospital after a heartattack?

You may not be able to fit in date nights or trips for just mom and dad. . . How will you manage to attend sessions of marriage counselling? . . Separation can be emotionally draining and bandwidth-sucking. . . Meetings with a divorce attorney?

It may seem that you do not have the time to devote to important relationships and activities in your life. Flip a few more pages in your ledger to check the numbers. There isn’t time enough in the world for you to regret it when the debt collectors call.

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Odds & Ends: May 17, 2024

Odds and Ends header v3.1


A vintage metal box labeled

Nuobell Adjustable Dumbbells by SMRTFT. I tried out several sets of dumbbells last spring to find the one that worked best. Nuobell was the winner. One year later, they’re still my favorite dumbbells. The dumbbells are expensive, but they’re worth it for the convenience factor. To adjust the weight you simply twist the handle. Kate and I have used them several times a day and we’ve never had any problems with the quality. Buy a set and begin a full body workout at your home.

Northwoods Baseball Sleep Radio This is one of the most bizarre things I have seen online in a very long time. Northwoods Baseball Sleep Radio features radio broadcasts that are full-length of fake baseball matches. All the games that Wally McCarthy calls (look at his profile picture; he’s serious) are entirely made up. The episodes sound just like a baseball broadcast on AM/FM radio. The combination of Wally’s play-by-play comments and the low din created by the crowd, combined with slight radio static, can be a very relaxing experience.

The majority of people’s musical taste is fixed. Adam Singer highlights Spotify’s research that found our musical tastes tend to solidify between the age of 13 and 16 years old. We stop looking for new artists after that. Adam argues that getting stuck in your musical routine can lead to you missing out on some great artists. To find new artists, you need to be open-minded and have patience. Spotify’s algorithm is a good start, but only shows you music that’s similar to your favorites. You can ask your friends to recommend bands that you may not have heard of otherwise. Kate’s ability to find new music and have opinions on how to create the soundtrack to your life, even as we age, is something I admire.

The Transparency Society Byung-Hul C., a German-South Korean philosopher. He is a very interesting cat. He writes about life in our fast-paced, technologically-driven society. It’s hard to understand his prose at times, but I find it fascinating. He doesn’t give interviews and protects his privacy. The Transparency Society is a book I’ve thought a lot of. Chan criticizes the modern obsession and drive for transparency. We tend to think that more transparency can be good for reducing corruption and other issues. Transparency can also be used as a tool to control and monitor people. He also claims that transparency removes the need to trust in a relation since you can simply follow your child with an AirTag, and not have any faith that they will do and go where that they promised. Secrets have power.

Quote of the week

Tell me about your relationship to pain and I’ll tell you who you really are!

–Ernst Junger

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The James Bond Workout


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You need to be in top shape if you want to have a “license to kill”.

What did James Bond do to work out?

In the James Bond novels we learn that 007 enjoyed all kinds of physical activities, including boxing, swimming and skiing. He also played golf, which was another way he exercised.

Bond, as a former Commander of the Royal Navy Reserve incorporated into his routine some calisthenics that he had learned in the military. He may have even been inspired by the Cold War HIIT exercise 5BX.

From Russia with Love shows these influences. Fleming described a calisthenics workout that his agent did, which was topped off by a “James Bond Shower” in that book (one of the five best Bond books).

The only way to get rid of boredom was to kick yourself out of it. Bond sat on his hands, did 20 slow press-ups and lingered over each one to ensure that his muscles were not resting. As his arms began to hurt, Bond rolled onto his back, placed his hands by his sides and performed the straight leg lift until his stomach muscles screamed. After touching his toes 20 times, he got up and did arm and chest exercises, alternating with deep breathing, until he became dizzy. He was panting from the effort, so he went to the large white-tiled shower and stood under the glass cabinet for five minutes.

We’ve shown you a quick and simple bodyweight exercise. Chair dips work the chest and arms. If you like, you can create your own arm and chest exercises. If you are a spy training for the challenges of international espionage, it is highly recommended that you perform this portion and the others in a tux, with a martini and pistol at hand.

Ted Slampyak is the illustrator.

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