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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 12:53 PM
Original message
Family’s Fall From Affluence Is Swift and Hard
Family’s Fall From Affluence Is Swift and Hard

It doesn't really matter how much money you have coming in if it's going out faster.

By GERALDINE FABRIKANT
Published: November 25, 2010

....
It is a far cry from the life that Mr. Martin and his family enjoyed until recently at their Adirondacks waterfront camp at Tupper Lake, N.Y. Their garage held three stylish cars, including a yellow Aston Martin; they owned three horses, one that cost $173,000; and Mr. Martin treated his wife, Kate, to a birthday weekend at the Waldorf-Astoria, with dinner at the “21” Club and a $7,000 mink coat.

That luxurious world was fueled by a check Mr. Martin received in 1998 for $14 million, his share of the $600 million sale of Martin Media, an outdoor advertising business begun by his father in California in the 1950s. After taxes, he kept about $10 million.

But as so often happens to those lucky enough to realize the American dream of sudden riches, the money slipped through the Martins’ fingers faster than they ever imagined.

They faced temptations to indulge, with the complexities and pressures of new wealth. And a pounding recession pummeled the value of their real estate and new financial investments, rendering their properties unaffordable.
....

“We spent too much,” he conceded.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do you watch that reality show 'downsized'? Dad admits family spent 18K a month!
Edited on Fri Nov-26-10 12:55 PM by Liberal_in_LA
now they are foreclosed, struggling to keep $1500 month rental for family of 7. Dad admits that they should have lived beneath their means when the money was coming in.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. My heart grieves for them. NOT. nt
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. Too fucking bad. Are we supposed to feel sympathy for these cretins? Maybe if they weren't
burdened by such oppressive taxes... Oh wait - they had their money during those great times of low taxes on the wealthy. And still it was not enough.

Fuck them and the greed that led to their well-deserved downfall.
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MadBadger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. Dont have sympathy, fine. I dont either. But cretins?
Thats a little much for me. I think they are irresponsible and deserve no sympathy. That said, they could be incredibly nice people...or not. Yet you label them as cretins anyway.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. For $10 million, you need a financial advisor
Instead of working for money, it's time your money worked for you. Buying "stuff" is the best way to run through it all, and buying at the top of the market for real estate ensures it'll drain faster. And it probably went into the overstuffed pockets of a handful of wealthy vultures who were more than happy to pick the Martins clean.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. not that I am advocating this as an
investment plan, but even putting a couple of million into savings bonds would have been a more prudent plan for their money then buying horses or insanely expensive cars.

I can even understand buying a single really expensive car. There is nothing wrong with picking one thing to splurge on.
Heck, I'd probably spend about 50K on the biggest, baddest setup for my computer system possible. But you have to budget it out.

X percent goes to savings, X percent goes to investments, X percent goes to family/friends/charity, X percent goes to spending, and X percent goes to maintenance of stuff I've bought (aka property taxes).
Oh, and might wanna keep your day job.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. The interst income on 10 Mil is a couple hundred thousand per year...
and would be fine for me.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
5. I've heard many similar stories about big lottery winners too.
Suddenly they have multimillions and somehow fall into the trap of thinking they can spend any amt. on anything and that $$ will always be there. Just as suddenly they find out they're poor again.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. if I ever won the lottery
and I'd have to actually play first to do so, I'd definitely take the annuity instead of a lump sum.

You have continual income coming in every year, and you don't have to worry about spending it all.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. "the complexities and pressures of new wealth". what a load of pigplop.
With the tens of millions of people that have been ruined by the last 3 decades of blatant criminality these ass-wipes expect sympathy for these arrogant parasites?


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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. The financial advisor I inherited with my dad's portfolio
complains bitterly that I need to learn how to start spending money.

I'm sorry. I forgot how. Besides, I never know when my health is going to go bad again and I still can't get health insurance.

Honestly, do these new money people think buying a bunch of glitz is going to get them into old money social circles?

Old money lives with threadbare antiques and drives Toyotas.
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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. "Old money lives with threadbare antiques and drives Toyotas."
Or elderly Oldsmobiles with fading and peeling paint. As well, it surely does without this month's "must-have" smartphone.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
20. Well, they have staff for that stuff
but yes, you do get the picture.

Most are incredibly low key.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. I love this story about how Stanford University started:
A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President’s outer office. The Secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard.

“We want to see the President,” the man said softly.

“He’ll be busy all day,” the Secretary snapped.

“We’ll wait,” the lady replied.

After many hours, Secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the President.

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she said to him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. The President, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple.

The lady told him, “We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The President wasn’t touched…. He was shocked. “Ma’am,” he said, gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery.”

“Oh, no,” the lady explained quickly. “We don’t want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”

The President rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, and then exclaimed, “A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard.”

For a moment, the lady was silent. She turned to her husband and said quietly, “Is that all it costs to start a University? Why don’t we just start our own?”
Her husband nodded. The President’s face wilted in confusion and bewilderment.

Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, travelling to Palo Alto, California, where they established the University that bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.


I can't verify the factual accuracy of this story, but it's always stayed with me that you can't judge a person's wealth by their clothing.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. My dad used to love to get dressed in the awful stuff he wore
for jobs like changing the oil in the car or cleaning out the gutters and go into an auto showroom. If he was treated well, he'd pull a wad of bills out of his pocket and buy the new car with cash.

Oddly, he always ended up with Fords. I guess they treated him better than the other guys did.
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. N/T
Edited on Fri Nov-26-10 03:18 PM by bahrbearian
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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. According to the Stanford website, the story isn't true, though there are
some true aspects:

http://www.stanford.edu/about/history /

Leland Stanford was a California governor and former US senator. He had purchased 650 acres in what became Palo Alto ("tall tree," for a giant redwood that still stands & is the "centerpiece of its official seal.") After the initial acreage he purchased 8000 more.

The Stanfords did, indeed, create the university as a memorial to their son, who died at age 15. There was no mention of Harvard in the official history. The couple decided that "the children of California shall be our children" and reportedly set out to memorialize him from the start by doing something in California. They settled on the university and a museum. It sounds very cool from the start:

From the outset they made some untraditional choices: the university would be coeducational, in a time when most were all-male; non-denominational, when most were associated with a religious organization; and avowedly practical, producing "cultured and useful citizens."


Sorry your version isn't accurate -- I like that version. This one is also pretty great though.

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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. The link you provided does indeed say they visited Harvard.
Edited on Fri Nov-26-10 06:00 PM by intheflow
Third paragraph down. It says they visited Harvard to get ideas about how to start a college in California. Doesn't necessarily negate my anecdotal version of how that meeting went down.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
33. EVERYTHING that my father left me is going to my children. I will not touch it for myself, either
now or later in whatever life I have left.

I was advised to buy "retirement insurance" that would cover retirement home expenses. Sorry, but that costs too damn much. If I cannot live in my house, I choose not to live and not to spend my children's small nest egg.

And certainly not on crap that I have lived without up to now.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. I have a friend that received several million dollars in a
settlement. She still drives the same twelve year old car, lives in the same humble home, shops sales
and grows much of her own food. She feels someday she'll use the money for a cause she thinks will
benefit from the money but refused to let it change her life. I just love her attitude.

BTW...She's a Democrat. No surprise there.
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qazplm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. I just don't have much sympathy
I mean I understand human foibles and certainly I'd probably spend more than I'd initially intend.

But I am fairly positive that I would put aside a certain amount, that I would most certainly still work, and I definitely would balk at things like buying a horse (unless it was going to make me money) or a mink coat, or insanely expensive cars...

Then again, I'm a pretty easily entertained person, I feel rich making 100K a year, and don't feel like I want for anything.
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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. I feel rich making less than $10,000 a year
because the outgo is consistently smaller than the income. New shoes from e-bay at $7.50 a pair, replacement coffeemaker from Goodwill for $3.00, clothes my niece brings in garbage bags whenever she cleans out her closet, no TV, no cable, credit card paid off monthly. Do have monthly bills from Netflix, public radio and DU.

btw you ARE rich making $100,000 per year, in my opinion!

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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Actually, that's just affluent. The really rich run our society n/t
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Well, not rich, but you can afford to save for retirement
if you live frugally and don't have to have all the latest things.

Unfortunately, you're going to have a lot more competition at those thrift shops as the last of the feeding frenzy runs its course and the engorged ticks who own the country are recognized as the enemies they were all along.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. They blew it with $10 million dollars? Geez, how stupid can you be?
Stick that ten million in muni-bonds, and they would be getting a half million a year for the rest of their life. What, these people couldn't live within that kind of budget? Fools and their money. . .
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I'd maybe
move to a location I like with good public transport,buy a place with a small yard and 2 bedrooms.. finish up my gender transition,and get a new washer/dryer,and maybe get solar panels hooked up and a household water filter,and a air filter to get rid of allergens and a new couch. give my family some,freinds some,and give to On our own& Spin,and donate some to no-kill cat shelters,for little & big cats.I would purchase things the shelters could use and donate it,that way nobody skims anything from the donation..

Than put the rest away and not use it for at least 2 or 3 years.
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. Give me $10M and I would never have to work for the rest of my life...
... more than likely my kids wouldn't have to either. Chances are their kids would have a pretty easy life as well.

Some people are just fucking idiots.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
25. B.F.D.
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onethatcares Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
26. ":we spent too much"
no shit sherlock. I think he left out the part "trying to impress everyone".

I wonder how many friends he has hanging out anymore or how many of his friends let him hang at their house.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
27. Anyone who spends thousands dressing themselves in animal hair
is on my permanent shit list anyway. Karma got the selfish SOBs.
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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
28. I love the part where it says others from the sold company got $100 mil
and he "only" got $10 mil, making it sound like he thinks had he gotten as much as them, he wouldn't be having his current money woes.
Please. All he would have done was spent even more and blown thru the 100 mil!

I would have been a couple mil in a trust for each of my kids to get at a certain age and found a financial lawyer or advisor to keep the rest tucked away for me and have them give me a monthly allowance.
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
29. The more you make, the more your spend. The rich are no
exception.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-26-10 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
30. Idiot.
I really have no respect or sympathy for this guy.
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