Making the right decisions.
If you have won the lottery and feel overwhelmed with the financial, legal, and tax issues and are unsure what to do, we have created a unique process we have developed over the last 17 years to provide you with immediate clarity into what you have and the steps you need to take to protect your winnings.
The thrill of winning and the rush of emotions that follow can make it hard to make the best decisions. Some of our clients have told us that their worlds felt like they were turned upside down – that they felt stuck and unsure what to do. That’s where we come in. We will research your options and help you make the best decisions. We will get your legal, tax, and financial team in place so and help you understand all of your options.
What You Should Know If You Win Big
Here are just a few questions we will help you answer
- What are the benefits of setting up a blind trust?
- Should I have a plan before I claim the prize?
- Should I take the lump-sum amount or the annuity?
- Is it better to get the lump-sum and then use part of the money to buy an individual annuity?
- How can I make sure that I will always have enough money?
- How can I protect my money from others?
- What are some good ways to share my money with friends and family?
- How can I tell friends and family no?
- Can I afford to quit my job?
- How should I deal with the media and the publicity?
- How can I use the money to improve my life?
- What can I do to make sure my children do not become spoiled and unmotivated by the money?
- How can I pay as little tax as legally possible?
- How should I invest my lottery win?
Pacifica Wealth Advisors is nationally known for providing investment, legal, and tax advice to lottery winners. Robert Pagliarini has become the go-to expert for serving sudden wealth recipients and is called upon by the media for his insight into the financial and psychological issues related to navigating a lottery win.
Katie: Welcome back. So we’ve been talking today with everyday people who struck it rich playing the lottery. Robert Pagliarini is a financial planner and president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors and specializes in helping people who’ve come into sudden wealth. Welcome, nice to see you.
Robert Pagliarini: Thank you so much for having me.
Katie: Thank you. So I think today we’ve seen lottery winners, Robert, who have made good decisions and some who have made bad decisions. In general when it comes to people all over the country who are lucky enough to win the lottery, what do you see? Do you see most falling into the former or the latter category?
Robert Pagliarini: Well, what typically happens is you go through this honeymoon phase where there is a lot of excitement. You’re buying things but then after a few months, that’s when reality sets in and that’s when people either start making some good decisions or bad decisions.
Robert Pagliarini: When it comes to sudden wealth, certainly there is the financial piece of it but an even bigger part is the psychological and emotional factors because if you don’t get those right in the beginning, then you’re going to be your own worst enemy.
Katie: Well, you have some advice for people when it comes to actually hoping to win the lottery and one is you say people should ask themselves this question, what is my Lotto Limit?
Robert Pagliarini: What is my Lotto Limit?
Katie: Because honestly, it is heart-breaking to see people who don’t have the means spend so much money hoping their going to hit it big and win the lottery.
Robert Pagliarini: That’s right and the research shows that the lottery is usually played by people who are less affluent because it’s their chance to sort of strike it rich and so the Lotto Limit is to sort of look at the lottery as not an investment but a form of entertainment. So any money that you’re going to use, make sure it comes out of your entertainment budget and not out of your savings and the maximum that you should spend is maybe $10 or $20 a month because even that small amount overtime if you invested it, could be $20,000 or $30,000 over a period of 10 or 20 years.
Katie: The second piece of advice Robert is there should be rules for pools. We’ve heard more and more about people in an office setting or in a neighborhood or a book club all getting together so how can you establish those rules so feelings don’t get hurt or even worse.
Robert Pagliarini: Right, the even worse is important because usually these office pools end up in a lawsuit. Have an agreement, a simple one-page agreement that really details who’s participating, how often you’re going to play, whether you’re going to take the lump-sum or annuity, if you’re going to pick the numbers or if you’re going to let the computer do it. So that will eliminate a lot of the litigation but the other piece, and more times than not when someone wins the lottery in an office pool, they winner will say, well, I bought this ticket with my own money. So the way to minimize that is to make photocopies of all of the tickets and give them out beforehand.
Katie: Even though you have a better chance of being killed by a vending machine than winning the Powerball, and I learned that two people every year are killed by vending machines because I asked about that but you do need to ask yourself, what if I win? And when you ask yourself that question, what specifically do you mean by that?
Robert Pagliarini: Well, what I mean by that is if you win, first you have to get your team together and your guests have really been great examples of that. Get a lawyer, get a financial person who is experienced in this area, and really try to first figure out, how much do I actually have, because the headline is $100 million. But you don’t actually get $100 million because the lump sum payment is usually much less and then there is uncle Sam. You’re going to pay at least 40-50% of your winnings to taxes overnight so find out how much you have.
Robert Pagliarini: And once you do decide to start spending, a good rule of thumb, don’t spend more than 10% of your win. Take that other 90%, save it, invest it because that’s what you’re going to live on.
Katie: And finally what would you tell people who are thinking about buying their first lottery ticket who are maybe watching today?
Robert Pagliarini: Have fun, day dream what it would be like if you won, and then do everything you can to create that life even if you don’t win.
Katie: Alright, good advice. Robert, nice to meet you. Thank you so much and when we come back, it is KatiKatie:e’s Lucky Lottery. I’m very excited. Everyone loves to win stuff so stay tuned to see who wins big and find out how you at home can win as well. That’s right after this.