You’re setting in a coffee shop on a gloomy day. You watch the rain pouring down outside splashing on the sidewalk. It’s loud enough to dull the sounds of everyone around you, so that all of the other conversations going on are only light murmurs. The woman across from you begins talking again. Your mind had wondered for a moment, dreaming of brighter days. She’s a nice young lady. Conventionally attractive, with a smile that seems genuine. Her voice is calm and soothing. Unique enough to take notice, but not distracting. Her business attire reminds you of the reason for her meeting. She’s presented you with an offer. No gimmicks, or trickery to be had. It goes as follows:
You will be given one billion dollars ($1,000,000,000), immediately deposited into your bank account. There are only two things to know. One, all of the money can only be spent on yourself in your lifetime; you are not allowed to leave it to any heirs or donate it to a second party. The money is for you, and you alone. Any funds leftover will be depleted to zero. Two, if you accept the offer, one year will be taken off the end of your life.
What would you do?
Consider, if you will, all of the things you could do with one billion dollars. Let’s say you want a new car, but not just any car. You want a brand new, fully loaded, 2022 Suzuka Gray metallic Audi R8 spyder v10. That will cost you right around $230,000. To most people, that’s a lot of money for a car. But, not you. That’s not even close to 1% of your net worth. You could buy that and not even know the money was gone. (For reference, if all you had was $1000, relatively you could buy this car for 23¢.)
Maybe you would also like to have a nice house to live in. Usually a persons biggest investments is their house. And, you need somewhere nice to live after all. You don’t have to settle for any old house, though. No, not for you. You, my friend… you need something swanky. Something most people could only dream of. Why not this one pictured below? It’s on the market right now.
It sits in the heart of Las Angeles, is 34,000 sqft., has 9 bedrooms, and 20 bathrooms. Can you imagine that? Twenty bathrooms! You have a combined sauna, steam-room, and hot tub. Your own bar. A wine cellar, with lounge. And, of course, the standard swimming pool. If you bought this house with cash, current asking price is $99,000,000, you would only spend 10% of the money you have. (Again, for reference, if all you had was $1000, relatively you could buy this house for $100.)
Now that you are a billionaire, you need to start planning for the future. You don’t need to just go around spending all of your money, lest you have nothing left. We have to start thinking about investing. Right now, 10% is the average return on the stock market. Some people get more, some less. For right now ‘10%’ will be our number.
Let’s say you buy the car and house mentioned above. You have about $900,000,000 left over. So it’s time to build an investment portfolio. If you make the average return stated above, each year you will now make around ninety million dollars ($90,000,000.) Which means, assuming you avoid a large amount of tax debt as most wealthy people do, you can now spend ninety MILLION dollars every year, and not deplete any of your starting amount.
Do you know what that means? Well, my friend, it’s time to go to yacht world. Let’s look at the “Galactica Super Nova.” It currently has an asking price of $88,000,000. It is described as follows;
“Built in 2016, this multi award-winning 70.1m (229.9ft) yacht is the largest yet from Heesen Yachts. Van Oossanen was the naval architect with Espen Oeino International designing the exterior and the interior by Sinot Yacht Design. The result is exceptional in performance and aesthetic.
GALACTICA SUPER NOVA has a fast-displacement aluminium hull with Heesen’s Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) and achieves 30 knots with her Rolls Royce waterjets. Powered by her twin 5,766hp MTU diesel engines alone she can cruise comfortably for 4,000nm at 12 knots.
Created to entertain family and friends in the utmost elegance, GALACTICA SUPER NOVA has a 6m (19.7ft) glass bottomed pool is on the main aft deck, separated from lounge seating by a waterfall feature. Below, the beach club on lower deck is lit by rays dappling through the pool above and extends in a swim platform aft and a sea terrace to port.
Contemporary living areas are defined in several bars and lounges on three guest decks. The main deck has formal dining, saloon and bar areas, designed with modern lines with smooth wood veneers and cream fabrics. The sun deck has a free flowing indoor-outdoor seating area, bar and open air dining, lightly divided by a sliding glass wall. The upper deck aft has another open air dining option and a sun lounge with banquette seating aft. The foredeck is accessed via the Portuguese bridge – this triple-purpose bridge deck acts as a touch and go helipad, outdoor cinema with CAT Marine immersive-sound speakers and a sunbathing area.
She welcomes 12 guests in six double cabins, including a full beam master on the main deck and a VIP apartment with its private study and lounge that doubles as a private staff stateroom. The full beam owner’s suite has a modern and sleek interior, with contemporary ambient lighting to supplement the natural light. A forward facing berth dominates the room, plus there are large his and her bathrooms, and a walk in closet big enough to take an extensive wardrobe of cruising outfits. There is accommodation for 16 in the crews’ quarters. The bridge and galley are equipped with the latest technology.
The stairwell is an architectural feature worthy of note. Designed as a spiral around a glass and steel elevator serving lower to upper decks, the stairs extends the full height of the yacht. Each tread is precisely designed with a curved edge motif that continues in the wall panels – this level of detailing is found throughout the yacht.”
You could buy this yacht, and still have $12,000,000 left over without ever having touched your principal.
Imagine the life you would have. The people you could surround yourself with. Who else is in the circle you just entered?
Selena Gomez: $75,000,000
Justin Bieber: $285,000,000
Conor McGregor: $200,000,000
Floyd Mayweather: $450,000,000
Dolly Parton: $650,000,000
Taylor Swift: $400,000,000
Queen Elizabeth: $600,000,000
Take a moment to consider what you would do. The decision is yours.
‘Relatively‘ is an interesting word. All things are relative. This week I was at Wal-Mart. I noticed that the pencils were on sale, and stopped a minute to think. You could buy a box of pencils today for less than half of what they cost only a month ago. Why? By September, everyone already has their schools supplies. There isn’t a large demand for pencils in the fall. Their value is relative to when they are sold.
It’s intriguing to think about how the things in life are relative to each other. Every aspect of our lives intricately woven together by the threads of divine intervention. Looking back at our scenario above, let’s say you accepted the offer.
“Excellent.” She proclaims, standing up from her chair, reaching her hand out towards you.
You stand up, and gently grasp her hand to shake it. As you do, your phone rings. She doesn’t release your hand. Her steel blue eyes pierce into you.
“Don’t bother.” She tells you, with a wry smile.
You look at her confused. You try to pull your hand away, but she holds onto it.
“It’s your doctor. He was going to tell you that he found a tumor in your brain. You would have gone in to meet him, then be sent to a radiologist. You would have undergone chemotherapy, which would have helped for awhile. But, ultimately, you wouldn’t have survived. You would have made arrangements with your family. Made amends with everyone in your life. You would have died at home surrounded by the people you love the most, and who truly, truly loved you… One year from this very moment would have been the end. But, now… A blood vessel is swelling in your brain as we speak… You’ll be dead before the door closes behind me. As promised, the money is yours.”
She releases your hand and walks away. A sharp pain enters your head, and you fall to the ground. As your vision blurs you try to call out, but your speech is incoherent. That life you wanted? It’s relatively meaningless now.
Lying on the floor, how much is that car worth? Now it isn’t even worth 23¢. That house? You’ll never live in it. You’ll never see that boat touch the water. The friends you would have made are nowhere to be found.
We have no guarantee of the future. Any moment could be the end for us. You never know when your last day has come. It could be a tumor, cancer, stroke, car wreck. You could slip in the shower and hit your head on the tile any morning. You never know.
How many people live their lives as if they have endless amounts of time? The truth is, you don’t. We’re all one heartbeat away from dying. Time is one thing money can’t buy. No matter how healthy your try to be, or how young you try to look. We’re all running out of time.
Have you made amends with people in your life? Have you spent enough time with your family? Are you neglecting things that are truly important in your life chasing dollars? To what end? Lying on your death bed, all the money in the world won’t save you. It won’t repair your relationships. It won’t make people love you.
For people of faith, we know well that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. We are called not to store up riches for ourselves that moths and rust destroy. What have you profited if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul in the process? At the end, all the wealth in the world will be relatively worthless. What will matter is the lives we touched. The people we’ve helped. The good we’ve done. Your life on earth, however long or short it may be, isn’t even a snap of the fingers to the hand of eternity.
How will you spend the time you have left? You won’t be around much longer, relatively speaking.