How to make your lottery winnings last longer

Woman happy, with money raining on grey background

Woman happy, with money raining on grey background

Most of us have probably taken a moment to daydream about what we’d do with a spare £100 million. Given the thrill that such a big bank balance brings, it’s not surprising that many bewildered lottery winners have idly blown their entire fortune in a short time, ending up exactly where they started, or even worse off.

You don’t need to be a genius to know that winning the lottery mightn’t mean you’ll be a millionaire for the rest of your life. However, you do need to be clever if you want your riches to last longer than just a few years. These tips may give you some ideas on how to best invest your lottery winnings and build long-term wealth, if you did get very, very lucky.

Assemble a team of advisors you can trust

When coming into money it’s very hard to know who’s trying to help you and who’s trying to extort you. You’ll probably find that suddenly, everyone you know is a so-called financial expert, trying to give their two cents on how and where you should invest your money.

Rather than signing on to a pre-assembled group of advisors through someone you know, rather handpick your own lawyer, accountant and investment advisor and let them work together in putting together a long-term financial plan.

How to assemble a team of advisors:

  • Vet each advisor before revealing your financial situation.
  • Check broker records at the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority before appointing someone.
  • Check whether there have been any complaints filed with the Solicitors Regulation Authority when appointing an attorney or insurance agent.

Tip: Appoint one of your advisors to handle donation requests from people or organisations that you don’t want to make.

Pay off your debt

Businessman with a bomb of business debt on his head sleeping on desk with laptop and paperwork

Businessman with a bomb of business debt on his head sleeping on desk with laptop and paperwork

 

Before you even start thinking about investing your lottery winnings, the first thing you should probably consider is paying off all your debt – whether it’s a credit card or a home mortgage. When you’ve paid down a pound of debt, that’s a pound you no longer owe at a premium rate. Killing your debt means that your rate of return equals the interest rate on the loan, which is much higher than what even the best long-term investments yield.

Save the big purchases for later

There are many ways to spend and invest your lottery winnings. Although splurging your millions on everything you’ve ever wanted may seem like a good idea at the time, it may be wiser to hang onto your fortune until you have thought about how to invest your money.

Of course you should celebrate your win, so set aside a reasonable amount to treat yourself, but save the big purchases for later. You don’t want to buy an expensive mansion on the spur of the moment, only to realise that it’s actually very impractical.

Tip: Rent a house in the neighbourhood you have in mind to get a feel for the place, before you make a commitment that you may end up regretting.

Plan for your retirement

One of the best things about winning the lottery is having the ability to secure your financial future and set yourself up for a grand retirement. This is especially important if you win the lottery at a relatively young age, as you will need your money to last a long time.

Even if you already have a pension plan, it’s a good idea to get an additional private retirement annuity – this is where a financial adviser will be very helpful. A comprehensive retirement plan will allow you to maintain your luxurious lifestyle in your old age, even after you have bought that mansion on the hill or invested your lottery winnings.

Invest your money in property

Young couple buying property and receiving keys from businessman

Young couple buying property and receiving keys from businessman

 

There is something quite comforting about having an asset that you can touch and feel over something intangible, like stocks and shares. But aside from knowing your property isn’t going anywhere, it’s a great vehicle for making your money grow. According to a UK online estate agent, house prices in the UK are set to increase by 56% over the next decade – not exactly a poor return for UK home buyers.

Property is one of the few things that significantly increases in value over time, especially if you buy it cash and don’t pay interest. Add to that rental income, and you have a winning investment.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

When it comes to investing your money, the golden rule is to never invest everything in one place, because if that investment crashes, you risk losing everything. One way of managing risk is to diversify your exposure by buying stocks of different companies in different industries, and even in different countries. This way, if a company’s stocks that you have invested in drop in value, your overall portfolio will not be affected on a devastating scale. Another way to diversify your portfolio is splitting your financial investment between equities, such as stocks; and fixed income, like bonds.

Live within a budget 

When hitting a lottery jackpot, most winners simply can’t resist the temptation to go on a wild spending spree, especially if they’re not accustomed to having a lot of money. This is where a budget will work wonders for your long-term wealth. If you want to make the most of your lottery windfall, it’s important to stick to a sensible lifestyle, one that your pocket will be able to sustain for decades to come. Although living on a budget means that you’ll have to apply some discipline, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy your riches. You will simply have to plan when, and how much you are willing to spend on luxuries each month.

Tip: If you only use the money earned as interest on your lump sum for luxuries, your capital won’t shrink and you won’t be running out of money in the short run.

Educate yourself

A final note, when it comes to investing your money, you want to know exactly what you are doing. Never invest in anything you don’t understand or have not read up on. Even if you have a team of investors looking out for you, it’s good to do some research on your own. The Internet is a great place to find advice on how to best invest your lottery winnings.