It was a session of the Kentucky Bar Association, but it felt like a wake. A reasonably large crowd came to hear about the downbeat topic of attorney suicides. Two years ago, a number of Kentucky attorneys took their own lives.
Few 18-year-olds are prepared to handle a large lump sum of money. Laws prevent people from buying alcohol until age 21. It is assumed that people who can't legally buy a beer can somehow be responsible for handling thousands and sometimes millions of dollars.
Trial lawyers have a unique caveat to their job. They are always making someone mad. Often times, like Atticus Finch's character in Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird, they can find that their entire community has turned against them.
After nearly 30 years of helping people with their money, I figured out long ago that financial issues were rarely about rates of return or asset allocation. Money is usually about emotions. Most of the time, people are using money to buy something that is missing in their lives.
After having overcome trillion-to-one odds, the idea of running through the money would seem silly to most winners. However, studies shows that 90% of people blow all their money within five years of winning the jackpot.