Would You Rather… Life vs. $100,000

Would you rather...Woohoo!  My first “Would You Rather” of the year! Remember when I used to do these like every other month?

I guess there’s only so many you can do until you run out of ideas though, at least if we’re sticking to the financial mold.  It’s probably good that I can’t throw out any of my REAL feisty ones anyways ;) If you ever make it out to any of our blogger happy hours though, be sure to remind me to share! And speaking of which, it was great meeting you in real life Mr. Len Penzo!  And all the others who came out last night :)

But yes, back to today’s conundrum!  Okay, here we go….brace yourself… are you ready?  are you set?  Gooooooooooooo!

Would you rather…Keep the next year of your life, as-is? Orrrrrr skip out on it entirely but be $100,000 richer in return? And when I say “skip it,” I mean you’re like on some deserted island somewhere w/ no direct contact to the world.

Easy? Hard? At first I was like – Hell yeah, take the money and run! Just 1 year of my life?  Out of the 146 I’ll have? Sure! ;) But then it occurred to me (very quickly, mind you) that a) I have a wife that wouldn’t be too keen on this, and b) I’d miss out on all the fun stuff!  And of course, I’d miss all my friends and family too. Not to mention that baby we may or may not have produced by then.

So in reality it would make no sense, especially coming from someone who LOVES to be around people and can’t be away from the computer for more than 24 hours ;) No outside connection means no blogging! Or finding out if BP ever stopped that oil from spewing.

But then again, we’re talking $100,000 in cold hard cash! In a sexy Men in Black briefcase! Do you know how much debt you could pay off with that? Or college tuitions you could fund?  Shoot, some of you could even pick up an entire house where you live!  No monthly mortgages at all, just for giving up 1 measly year of you life ;)

Do you think YOU could do it? Do you want to give it a try?

PS: If this question looks familiar, it’s because I kinda sorta stole it.
PPS: But not really. More like I switched it up.
PPPS: It’s Fridayyyyy!!!!!!!!

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  1. Brandi June 25, 2010 at 8:02 AM

    As I mentioned yesterday, I am a SINK. As in SINGLE. Nothing tying me down. (except debt). No kids. No relationships. Just me.

    So I say WHY NOT!?!?!?! Hell, I can’t even tell you the last time I had 5 minutes to myself. A whole year to just be, and kinda find myself, and make $100,000 on top of it!??! Yes please :)

  2. tom June 25, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    Couple clarifiers are necessary…

    1) Is the $100K taxable?
    2) Do I still get my normal salary?

    If yes to 1) and no to 2), then… I’ll stick around.
    If no to 1) and yes to 2), then… see ya next year!
    If no to 1) and no to 2), then… I’ll stick around
    If yes to 1) and yes to 2), then… see ya next year!

    Then I think about it more and I think about the movie Cast Away and I decide… nope, not worth it… I’ll stick around, $100K isn’t that much.

  3. Everyday Tips June 25, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    $100,000 is not nearly enough for me to give up a year of my life. Well, I guess it depends on which year of my life we are talking about.

    If I had to leave my kids for a year, there is not an amount of money that I would trade.

    If I am 80 and pretty crabby, people might take up a collection for me to go away for a year. I would take the money then, but I would still want more than $100,000.

  4. philip June 25, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    100k really aint that big of a number for that. I might would do it anyway assuming everything stays the same outside of being gone. I would want to come back and have my job, my house and my truck etc. Some of the worry that my parents/family would feel if they don’t know what’s going on would be a problem so you would have to be able to let them know what is going on.

    But I think I would be willing to do it. I have considered taking a job out of country for a year. Not quite isolation but away from everything that I know here. Pretty much would put on hold any family or anything like that.

    Guess the final answer is assuming I can come back to where I am now then I would do it even for just 100k

  5. Young Mogul June 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Ummm…I’m not sure. The money would definitely have to be tax free and I would have to be able to come back to the same life–if I choose. Because what’s the point of having the $100,000 if you’re just gonna have to use it to rebuild your life for another year after your return?

  6. tom June 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Do I get a Wilson to keep me company?

  7. Carrie June 25, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    i totally could. i already feel like my life has been on pause since my cancer diagnosis in december and no one gave me $100k for it.

  8. Mrs. Modern Tightwad June 25, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    If I was with my husband, which in all honesty, since we travel everywhere together we’d be stranded together, then hell yeah! I could totally hermit for a year. I’d probably even emerge a better person for it, not having all of those outside influences for a year.

  9. Peter June 25, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Quite honestly – 100k wouldn’t be enough for me to be away from my family, my newborn son and friends for a year. 100k just isn’t enough especially if you can make close to that at a normal day job anyway.. ?

  10. Early Retirement Extreme June 25, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    It’s actually not that unrealistic. Be falsely imprisoned, then collect the compensation. That X number of years gone in return for money.

  11. Money Beagle June 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    There’s no way i could do that. My little boy just turned a year and having watched everything change, I couldn’t bear to miss all the changes that he would go through during that year.

    On a lighter note, this reminded me of a joke I once heard. Since I’m Polish, I’m of course allowed to tell Polish jokes:

    An Englishman, a Frenchman and a Pole were captured by the
    and thrown into prison. However, the guard was rather kind
    towards them, and said, “I am going to lock you away for five years,
    _but_ I’ll let you have anything you want now before I lock you away.”
    The Englishman says, “I’ll have five years’ supply of beer!”
    His wish is granted, and they lock him away with his beer.
    The Frenchman says, “I’ll have five years’ supply of brandy!”
    His wish is granted, and they lock him away with his brandy.
    The Pole says, “I’ll have five years’ supply of cigarettes!”
    His wish is granted, and they lock him away with his cigarettes.
    Five years later, they came back to release the prisoners. First, they release the Englishman, who staggers out totally drunk. Then, they release the Frenchman, who also rolls out rather inebriated. Then, they release the Pole, who comes out and
    says, “Has anyone got a light?”

    Happy weekend!

  12. Yana June 25, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    I choose life. This choice is not hard. When it becomes hard is when the medical profession asks you, your money or your life? It would probably be less hard if they had to deliver the goods.

  13. J. Money June 25, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Looks like the consensus is to keep our lives for a year :) With a sprinklin’ of balsy people out there…was fun reading all your answers! Some responses:

    @Brandi – Hah! But then how will you know who wins the next American Idol? :)
    @tom – Love the analysis. I say NO tax, and YES to salary :) But doesn’t really matter now that Tom Hanks has scared you away…haha…
    @Everyday Tips – Sneaky sneaky! I consulted with the judges though and they decided it had to be done starting tomorrow. So say hello to your kids for me!
    @philip – Well you just want everything don’t you ;) That’s what makes this decision hard – you never know what’s gonna happen when you’re gone! people can die, be born, win the lottery, move half-way across the globe, who knows. The only thing stable would be that $100k in cash coming your way :)
    @Young Mogul – Yup! That’s the problem – ya never know what’ll happen when you’re gone.
    @tom – Sure, you can have 5 Wilsons :) Or that other “tom” above. (unless you’re the same tom? that would be kinda silly)
    @Carrie – Awwwww, that makes me sad :( If you make your way toward DC I could offer you free lunch and coffee and beer – that might make you happier? :)
    @Mrs. Modern Tightwad – Interesting take. I think I’d be more prone to take the money too in that case – your husband is hot! Errr…what?
    @Peter – Okay, then for you $300k :) I don’t think there’s any amount of $ that would keep you away from your new baby!
    @Early Retirement Extreme – haha…have you thought about this before?
    @Money Beagle – Hahahhahhahh….omg that was funny. And I had no idea where you were going with that either! which is suprising… good one :)
    @Yana – I hear that one!

  14. eemusings June 25, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    OOOh, great question! What a toughie. 100k is more than I can imagine, and I could do so much with it! And yet…I’m not sure I could amuse myself on a deserted island for a year. Not to mention missing out on the start of my career, the BF, nieces and nephews….I think I’d have to pass on this one – barely.

  15. Donna Freedman June 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I sure could use $100,000. But it would be too painful for me to be separated from loved ones.
    Thus: No.
    Of course, if I had $100k I could buy them some really nice presents…I mean, No! No. I couldn’t do it.
    And I could have a down payment on a house…No, really. I mean it.
    Seriously: My life is too precious to me to skip out on a year’s worth of living it.

  16. Joe June 25, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    We have thousands of military members doing away from home for a year at a time, for a lot less than $100K.

    Does what you are doing for the year matter? Instead of “losing it” in the sense of being alone on a deserted island, what if you were were without friends/family in a big city, working in a soup kitchen? Or in a monastery in India? Or working with the Peace Corps?

  17. StackingCash June 26, 2010 at 4:13 AM

    Since it takes me about 3 years to earn 100k, I would definitely take the cash. I’m a big fan of earning money doing nothing :)

  18. Financial Samurai June 26, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    Life FOR SURE!

    I cannot emphasize enough how easy it is to make money if you want it. Most people just don’t want to make money, so they don’t! It’s all good!

  19. Sallie's Niece June 27, 2010 at 1:05 AM

    Is there plenty of food on this island? Is it dangerous? I’d like to say “heck no” but really I’d have to think about it. My brother is deployed right now so it’s sort of similar. I don’t think I would do that considering I have a good job and will soon be married but if I were single I probably would consider it.

  20. carosgram June 27, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    Not nearly enough money to make me even think about it

  21. canadianrose June 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    I would take the money. My friends would understand, my family is on the other side of the country from me, I’m not very fond of my boyfriend’s family anyway.

    It would be hard leaving my boyfriend for a year, but since we only made about $34,000 last year, before taxes, between us, and our debt is $51,000, this could turn it all around. With the rest of the money, I would like to visit my family and set both of us up in a province that has better opportunities.

  22. J. Money June 27, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    @eemusings – I think that’s a good answer :)
    @Donna Freedman – You know, where your girl Karen D. lives she can probably buy an entire house for $100k ;)
    @Joe – Great questions to ask my man! I think as far as “real life” goes those would fly, but not in this make-beleive one ;) The point of this Q is to give up a year of your life in exchange of money – which means no helping or doing anything. I think a lot of people would take $100k for a year of contributing to society w/out hesitation. Even if they hated charity! That’s a great salary ;)
    @StackingCash – Hahaha…love the honesty.
    @Financial Samurai – Well, yes people CAN make a lot of money “easily” once they figure it all out, but we all know it’s not going to happen. $100k for doing nothing over working hard usually tempts people.
    @Sallie’s Niece – Yup, you would be totally safe and remain the exact same healthiness as you are now – whatever that may be. Or a better way to think of it (now that I think of it) might be to say you go to sleep tonight, and wake up tomorrow but you just lost an entire year. It’s magic ;)
    @carosgram – What amount would it take?
    @canadianrose – It would surely help you guys lead a more stress-less life! Once you get past that initial hardship ;)

  23. Sallie's Niece June 27, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    In that case I’d definitely take it. When I got back we could pay off my student loans and be really comfortable. I’m young and it’s just the two of us now. I’d miss my fiance but he would definitely support my decision.

  24. J. Money June 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    Wow, you’ve got a VERY patient fiance! :) 1 year with out you know what? veryyyyy hard, haha..

  25. Mrs. Modern Tightwad June 27, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    I just realized this isn’t one of those urban legend things, is it? Where since I said “Yes” some schmo’s going to club me over the head so I’m in a coma for a year, right? Right?

  26. J. Money June 27, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    Haha…I tend to think like that too sometimes actually, I hate it ;) But I surely hope not! Don’t think any crazies would leave you a suitcase full of cash, that’s for sure.

  27. Sallie's Niece June 27, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    LOL, I’m worth waiting for. :-)

  28. Mneiae June 27, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    I would go on that deserted island and take the $100,000. Have you read Anton Chekhov’s short story “The Bet”? It’s about a businessman who makes a $2 million bet with a young guy that he won’t be able to hold out in solitary isolation for 15 years. The guy holds out. The message is very powerful.

    I wouldn’t do it for 15 years, but I could handle one. I like to read and if I had unlimited access to every book I wanted for a year, plus all the food and drink I wanted as in the story, then I’d be a pretty happy camper.

  29. Sandi June 27, 2010 at 11:46 PM

    There’s no way $100,000 would be worth the things I’d miss in my life. My one year old is so fun right now, and learning and growing like crazy. I couldn’t leave him, or my husband for that matter, for a year.

  30. momcents June 28, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    I think I’m in the rare, lucky boat over here. My husband makes over $100k per year and actually likes his job. I stay at home with our son which is the best job I could have asked for. So, if I had to leave my happy life and go by myself to a deserted island (with heat and bugs, ick) then, I’d say no. But if I could take my hubby and baby with me, and know he’d have his job when we came back it’d be different. I’d be happy to take the pay cut if it meant spending all day, every day with my husband for a whole year. Heck, his paternity leave was one of the happiest months of my life!

  31. Kimberly Cole June 29, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    I definitely would go with life for a year, and then spend that year trying to figure out how to make 100k. How boring would it be to be an a deserted island for a whole year? I mean maybe a week would be nice, but 100K is just not worth it for a year of no friends, no family, and no internet!

  32. finallygettingtoeven.com June 29, 2010 at 6:59 PM

    Well first a question…Can we pick the year we want to disappear? Or does it have to be right now? The reason I ask is that I am currently saving to do just that. But I am not quite ready yet. In most regards I could do it right away but I would not want to leave my 2 kitties behind. My family? Yea, a break would do us all some good…lol So Maybe…

    And besides you said just leave my life behind..can I just take my kitties, you know, as part of my luggage? All the rest, it can stay…

  33. J. Money July 1, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    @Mneiae – That book sounds great! Never read it but I’ve heard of it before… reminds me of that one dude (a professional poker player?) that took that dare to get breast implants. I think he had to keep them for a year and would get get X millions of dollars :) And he did it!!! I think he may even have them still in too, I’m not sure.
    @Sandi – I know, tough one ;)
    @momcents – Awwwww, I totally get. If only we had more time to spend w/ eachother and not have to worry about work *that* much, ya know? It’s great your husband loves his job though.
    @Kimberly Cole – Haha, good call. But only if you actually DO try to make that $100k ;) If you were on an island for an entire year I gaurantee you’d conjure up even MORE ways you could hit it big when you’re back! $hit, you could write a book about being on an island and all! haha…
    @finallygettingtoeven.com – haha… nope – no other humans/breathing things. and you’d have to go right now or else it expires ;) that’s what makes it hard!

  34. Aury (Thunderdrake) July 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Given my current financial predicament right now, I’d probably let a year skip by as I get 100K in return. Though I try not to think in paper dollars, so the equivalent of silver ounces would guarantee a dragon like me to get into that sorta thing. :P

  35. J. Money July 2, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Haha…do you want some amour and protection from the white knights too?

  36. Len Penzo July 2, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Finally back from the vacation, J. It was great meeting you and some of the other DC bloggers too!

    Re: Your question… Hmmm. I’d definitely pass! Pricing a year of living at $100k is undervaluing life just a wee bit, methinks. (Not sure why I’m speaking with a British accent right now. Cheerio!)


    Len Penzo dot Com

  37. J. Money July 2, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    Cheerio, good sir! (tips hat)

  38. Miss Lissy July 4, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    I could not do it. Here are two major reasons why. I would miss:
    -My trip to South Korea
    -My wedding.

    I think I would like to be there for those things.

  39. J. Money July 5, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    hah! you’re gonna LOVE S. Korea – used to live there back in the day. and marriage too ;)

  40. teabrp July 5, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    I would totally slum it like Tom Hanks in Cast Away for $100,000 in exchage for the next year of my life at this present moment. Honestly, I rather be on a deserted island right about now.

  41. Mneiae July 13, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    A pattern I’m noticing in the comments is that those who are going through a significant period of their life, eg they have a baby young enough to have life measured in months, they’re getting married, etc., wouldn’t take trade money for that. For those who could walk back into their jobs and make sure that their families and friends know where they are? They would do it in a heartbeat. I guess it all comes down to priorities, which always change.

  42. Yana July 13, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    What strikes me is the tremendous amount of faith that people have for the future. The way I look at things is that there are no guarantees. I try to strike a balance between the reality, which is that I don’t know whether I will be here at all next week, and sensibility – which requires that I prepare for a theoretical future that I would wish for. I don’t play the lottery, but if I did, I would not take the payments over 20 years. I would want all the money today, because today is all I know that I have. And I say that even though I would be very sensible and frugal with the money – as though I had 50 years ahead of me.

  43. J. Money July 13, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Ooooooh love the way you think Yana! I never knew how I would answer that Lottery question (‘cuz I DO play the lotto and it’ just a matter of time until I win! haha…) but I think you’ve now convinced me to take it all in 1 swoop too ;)