Money Management

[HYPOTHETICAL] How I Would Spend My 1 Million Ringgit Windfall

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What would you do if you get a 1 million ringgit windfall? Perhaps from lottery, perhaps from an insurance/takaful payout, perhaps from winning a court case, whatever. How would you manage the 1 million ringgit?

This is a fun thought experiment and frequently asked around in social media so I thought I’d take a stab at it. Here’s how I would spend 1 million ringgit:


I would perhaps tell my spouse, but other than that, no one else will know about this windfall.

The reason is easy – I want to avoid people requesting to borrow money from me!

(Although I’m sure even if they somehow found out, I can avoid being guilt-tripped into giving them money. I already know the strategies to decline financial requests 🙂

Second: Hire Financial Planner (and discover 1 million ringgit is not enough to retire on :’)

The most practical thing to do is to hire a financial planner. I want to optimise the 1 million ringgit as much as possible, and figure the RM1k-3k++ rate is a worthwhile cost to pay for their professional services.

A quick one: If I had ever thought that 1 million ringgit is enough to live on forever, then my financial planner will have the unpleasant task of giving me the reality check – 1 million ringgit is NOT enough to retire on. Not with my financial commitments, and especially not in the city.

So, I’ll have to follow a plan.

Third: Follow a personalised financial plan

For most people, you will reach a point where DIY financial management will only get you so far. Comprehensive financial planning is waaayyy beyond what investment you should do with the money.

IRL, I took and completed the Certificate in Financial Planning and act as my own financial planner. This is the type of advice I’d give myself (note: advice may vary; this is based on my personal goals not yours):

Suraya’s personalised financial plan:

In order, I should:

  1. Settle all high-interest debt, if any. That means pay off all credit card, personal loans first before anything else
  2. Fund my emergency savings. Set aside part of the 1 million ringgit to fund 6-12 months’ worth of savings that both generate dividends AND easy to access during emergencies. 24-36 months is better. NEVER touch this money
  3. Look at my cashflow using the 50/30/20 budget template – am I spending more or less than I earn? Do I have a spending problem or an income problem or both? How can I spend/earn more effectively? If I optimise this, I can make the 1 million ringgit last longer!
  4. Get the most comprehensive protection plan that I can afford, within ~5-10% of my income
  5. List all my assets and calculate my net worth – after the deductions so far (debt, savings, etc), do I have enough liquid assets to comfortably fund an expensive treat-yo-self purchase? Can I afford to use part of that windfall to travel? Or to buy my dream car?
  6. Sort out my estate-planning. All-in-all, the paperwork will cost a few thousand ringgit
  7. Optimise my taxes – what can I do to max out tax reliefs and rebates?
  8. Figure out and rank my financial priorities. Is it to quit my job/ switch career? Is it early retirement? Is it purchasing a house? Is it opening a business? Is it to financially support my family? It is common to ‘want it all’ so it is important to be realistic so I can achieve a few main goals that means the most to me
  9. Invest the remaining funds. Invest 90% of it in long-term investments (chuck in ASB or ETFs), and allow myself to play around with the remaining 10%, do whatever I want (invest in knowledge, attempt trading, whatever)

That’s the practical way to manage a 1 million ringgit windfall. Now all I have to do it follow the advice (which is a whole other story, but anyway).

If I didn’t have financial planning knowledge, I think I would simply chuck your own 1 million ringgit windfall into investments, hoping it’ll grow into a bigger amount. Then if I want to buy something, I’ll get it. Like that’s it, that’s the whole plan.

How would YOU spend your (hypothetical) 1 million ringgit windfall?

What would you do differently, if you were to receive some windfall cash money? What would you spend on, and what financial goals do you want to achieve first? This is just a fun thought exercise, no harm doing it 🙂 Let me know in the comments!

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