(MONEY Magazine) – IF YOUR NAME IS EARL
How to do good deeds without doing yourself in
AFTER A $100,000 LOTTERY WIN, former lowlife Earl Hickey decides to burnish his karma by righting past wrongs. But while paying his debt to society, he wants to lead a paycheck-less life. We asked Scott Kahan of Financial Asset Management in New York City (and a new fan of the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl) about Earl's strategy for achieving his financial goals.
• A LESSON IN CHARITY. Helping others is noble, but Earl's one-at-a-time approach is inefficient. A better option is to use half his winnings to set up a charitable trust from which he can draw to do his good deeds. Assuming a 4% return, Earl could take out around $2,000 a year (untaxed), doing good while leaving the principal untouched.
• A LESSON IN LIQUIDITY. "A lot of people come into money, and it's gone within five years," says Kahan. Earl was headed in that direction when he stashed his winnings in a lockbox under the front seat of his '73 Chevy El Camino. While that wins tepid kudos from Kahan for avoiding bank fees, the mini-mogul really should invest the other half of his loot. Kahan suggests socking some away in a long-term growth fund and the rest in a short-term CD. "Still, his winnings aren't enough to support him for life, no matter how well he invests or how cheaply he lives," says Kahan. "He might actually have to get a job."
...Kids, learn how to rack up overdraft fees! In a new U.K. version of Monopoly, players use mock debit cards instead of cash to buy property...