By Caitlin Kelly
The word dates back to the 15th century — fruit blown from the trees, no need for the labor of picking it.
These days, it’s a bit of luck, often financial, that appears when we least expect it.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of these over the years, like a five-figure copyright settlement for misuse of my work (and many others!) by Canadian publishers.
A four figure sum, a dormant bank account, also in Canada, I had no idea existed.
The greatest was a surprise inheritance from my late mother, who died in 2020, after a decade of no communication with me, her only child. I would never have expected she would leave me a dime, but she left a decent sum, to my shock and gratitude, and five pieces of art I really love and wondered if I would ever own.
That money paid, in part, for my trip to California in June, one of the best vacations of my life, allowing me to explore a place I had long dreamed of, to connect with 11 friends out there and even with a cousin I hadn’t spoken to in years.
I bought myself a very good watch, an estate piece (i.e. previously owned by someone else) and love wearing it.
I still haven’t figured out what to do with the rest of this inheritance, which is a pleasant dilemma, for sure. The markets are a mess, so investing it feels like not a great choice. It’s not really enough to buy appealing North American real estate. I would never touch crypto or bitcoin, so for now I look at affordable properties in far-off places like Brittany.
If you’ve never had much money to manage beyond the basics of survival, it’s overwhelming to figure out what to do, who to trust, where to use it (or not) and how soon. Financial literacy is a learned skill — many people don’t know what a fiduciary is — someone managing your money who by law must act in your best interests, not their profit.
If you suddenly came into some serious coin — $10,000 or more (and even $100 can make a huge difference for many people, especially in an era of rampant inflation) — what would you do with it?
We often fantasize about winning the lottery, but it’s a hell of a responsibility!