Does money define who you are? Do you treat people differently because they more money or less money than you?

Isn’t it sad that we seem to treat rich people differently than poor people? Do you say hi to homeless people when you walk by them on the street? Or do you ignore them and try not to make any eye contact?

I’m certainly guilty of ignoring homeless people from time to time when I walk past them. Interestingly enough, Mrs. T was telling me last night that she walked by a few homeless people the other day and said hi to them. It made their day because she treated them like everyone else. I think I need to change my perception and start doing that too.

Mr. 1500 on 1500 Days to Freedom wrote an interesting article the other day on how money is nothing more than a tool for him to rule his life. As he wrote in the article:

No matter how much money I have, my life wouldn’t change. If I came into $10,000,000 tomorrow, I wouldn’t move. I wouldn’t trade in my car. I wouldn’t get a new phone. I’ve reached my level of Enough and I’m perfectly content.

Mr. 1500 then proposed a few very interesting questions:

Does money define you?

  • How would you deal with a $10,000,000 inheritance?
  • Is money a means to buy stuff like cars or clothes?
  • Or, is money a tool that you prefer to put to work to make more money?

For me, money will always be a tool. I prefer putting money to work to make more money so I don’t have to. Doing absolutely nothing and still get paid, who doesn’t like that right? I’ve always liked the concept that we should treat each dollar like a seed. We can either eat the seed (i.e. spending it) or we can plant it, nurture it, and wait for it to grow and to produce more seeds. This is exactly why we’re building a dividend portfolio so our dividend income can one day cover our expenses.

The most important and fun question that Mr. 1500 asked is the inheritance question. If I were to inherit $10,000,000 what would I do?

Initially I replied the following on his website:

1. Donate $1,000,000 to a charity of my choice.
2. Break the remainder into two piles.
3. Invest the first pile ($4.5 million) for living expenses
4. Invest the second pile ($4.5 million) for yearly donations.
5. Stay the same lifestyle. Maybe re-consider about this whole “job” thing.

After reconsideration, I think this is what I would do if I were to inherit $10,000,000…

First of all, I would allocate $2 million to paying off mortgage, travel fund, and money for investing in small businesses. I probably will give a small amount of this money to some family members.

Next I would donate $1 million to a charity of my choice. Able to write a $1 million cheque and donate to a charity is a big dream of mine.

With the “left over” $7 million dollar I would split the amount in half and invest them.

The first pile of $3.5 million would be invested to replace our active income.  I would stick to the dividend growth investing strategy and pick 30 dividend stocks and invest $100,000 each. Then I would invest in 2 ETF’s at $250,000 each to further diversify. Which stocks would I pick?


The stocks I picked are either dividend aristocrats/all stars, or with very high dividend growth rate. All of these companies should continue paying dividends for years to come.

For ETF’s I would pick
VDU – Vanguard Developed ex North America Index ETF. Dividend yield 2.21%.
VXC – Vanguard Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF. Dividend yield 1.8%.

This income portfolio would yield $99,845. The annual dividend income will continue to grow thanks to dividend payout growth. This amount of passive income will certainly be more than sufficient to cover our annual expenses.

Note 1: For simplicity sake, I assumed that the US to CAN currency rate is 1 to 1.
Note 2: Assuming all the money is invested in taxable accounts, so will need to take income tax and 15% withholding tax into consideration.

The second pile of $3.5 million would be invested for donation purposes. I would stick to ETF’s to make life simpler. I would pick 4 index ETF’s at $875,000 each.

VCE – Vanguard Canadian Indexed ETF. Dividend yield 2.81%.
VXC – Vanguard Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF. Dividend yield 1.8%.
VDY – Vanguard Canadian High Dividend Yield Index ETF. Dividend yield 3.77%.
VGG – Vanguard U.S. Dividend Appreciation Index ETF. Dividend yield 1.77%

This portfolio would yield $88,812.50 each year. The amount should increase since the distributions typically increase each year but perhaps at a slower rate than the income portfolio. The entire amount will be donated to charities each year.

Thanks to dividend tax efficiency from our dividend income portfolio and charity donation deductible tax credit, our income tax should be very minimal. There are probably ways to optimize the income tax further, for that we’ll need to consult with a tax specialist.

When it comes to lifestyle after receiving this huge amount of money, we will definitely continue having the same lifestyle and continue to be frugal. We’ll still continue budgeting and calculating our net worth. Would I quit my current day job and pursuit in other interests like photography, cooking,  traveling, and personal finance? I probably would but I’m not sure yet. I could decide to continue working at my current job for a few years and see what happens; I could decide to hand in the two week notice. What I end up doing is not important, what’s more important is that we would have lots of options in deciding what we want to do. One thing for sure, we will definitely go and explore the world.

Now who wants to give me or Mrs. T $10,000,000? 😀

Readers, what would you do if you were to receive $10,000,000 inheritance? Would you change your lifestyle?


Written by Tawcan
Hi I’m Bob from Vancouver Canada, I am working toward joyful life and financial independence through frugal living, dividend investing, passive income generation, life balance, and self-improvement. This blog is my way to chronicle my journey and share my stories and thoughts along the way. Stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Or sign up via Newsletter