Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 18, 2012

Lyin’ eyes and newfound wealth

By Don McNay

CNHI News Service

“City girls just seem to find out early

How to open doors with just a smile

A rich old man

And she won’t have to worry…”

-The Eagles (Don Henley and Glenn Frey)

A friend recently lost her husband at a young age. She told me that men started coming on to her at the funeral.

I see it all the time.

Someone new to the romantic scene, be it by death or divorce, seems to be open prey. Especially if they appear to have available wealth.

Answering the question of why people run through large sums of money is my passion and profession. It is also one with complicated answers.

The first thing I tell lottery winners, widows, widowers or others who come into large sums of money is to watch out for their family and especially for newfound “friends.”

The line in The Godfather II about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer works the opposite for people with sudden money. People are usually smart enough to keep their enemies at bay, but it’s often the friends who are grabbing for their wallet.

It happens to every age, demographic and income level. Dr. Thomas Stanley, who wrote The Millionaire Next Door and several other books about wealth, noted that well-educated professionals, like doctors and lawyers, spend much of their income on lifestyle. They often don’t have the net worth of plumbers who are less interested in impressing the neighbors and more interested in saving.

Things get really complicated when someone is going through a life change. I hit the trifecta several years ago when, within six months, my mother and sister died suddenly and my first marriage ended.

Life was out of balance and I made a lot of silly mistakes, especially when I went back into the dating pool.

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