Rich and dead or poor and alive?

I’m offering guaranteed, no-questions-asked BILLION dollar life insurance policies. The catch is, the moment after you’ve signed the paperwork, you will die. Your beneficiary receives the money immediately. No, you cannot wait to sign until you’re about to die, this is all happening right now.

Alternatively, I’m also offering “long life and health” packages, which guarantee you a life of perfect health right up until the age of 125. The day you turn 125, you will die. You can still be murdered or die by mishap, but you will not die from disease or “old age,” until 125. The catch is, from the present moment forward, you will live a life of poverty. You will never earn more than the minimum wage, whatever that may be, and you no longer own anything besides the clothes on your back. You will earn enough to keep your family alive, but you will never get ahead, no matter what you do.

You MUST choose one or the other.


From what I’ve heard, people suddenly coming into lots of money doesn’t tend to improve their lives after some years except in a strict monetary sense. I’m not sure a billion dollars would be all that much of an improvement over a few millions anyway.

Along the same lines, money has increasingly diminishing returns beyond a rather modest lifestyle. Being in perfect mental/cognitive health up to 125 could really open up opportunities in terms of skill learning. The question doesn’t seem to consider the monetary contribution from a partner.

Poor and alive for me.

Poor and alive, of course.

Rich and dead. I trust my wife to invest the money wisely and she and the kids would never have to worry about a thing, probably ever. Who the heck wants to live to 125 anyway? I would almost certainly outlive my children and probably some or even most grands as well. So what then, my only family are great grand-kids that likely wouldn’t even think about me? I don’t think so. Also, there’s no way my wife would live that long and let’s say she taps out when I’m 80, then I have to live 45 years without her? No, thank you. I’ve always wanted to die first. Yeah, like I’m going to pick being a poor, lonely old man over my wife being one of the 100 or so richest people in the country.

Out of curiosity, do you think your wife would pick being one of the 100 or so richest people in the country, or having a husband that is alive?

That’s a good question. I think about my brother and my SiL, the two people I love the most in this world and pretty much my entire family, and I would be beside myself with grief and anger if I found out either one of them chose to die just so I could have a billion dollars.

Fuck the money, I want them here with me!

That’s a question that I’m too smart to ask. :slight_smile: Besides, it’s a question that only has one answer, but that’s because the money is conjectural. If I were gone, I’m sure she would grieve for awhile. The kids would certainly be upset, but life goes on. The world doesn’t really function like “This is Us” where one traumatic moment is all that consumes you for the next 30 years. My children WILL lose me some day, all I’m really doing is upping the time frame. Based on demographic realities, it’s highly likely that my wife will lose me some day too. I’m 40, so realistically, I’ve got 35 more years left or so. Yeah, there are a lot of memories that those 35 years will bring, but being a billionaire would give them a lot of memories too.

Truthfully, she’d be able to find someone in fairly short order if she so wished and having a billion bucks would make that process extremely simple for her. I would hope that she would remember me fondly, but I’m not so arrogant as to think that I am some special being who has ruined her for life should I die. I would wager that the first few months she would grieve. A few more months of a depressed mood and by the end of the first year, she’d largely be over me and extremely wealthy.

Were I your wife, I’d absolutely slap the crap out of you. :smack:

I voted rich and dead entirely on the basis that I’m accustomed to a life that doesn’t suck. Living a life of poverty and destitution and knowing that it’ll never get better? Knowing that I’ll get old and infirm and ill with no money to get treatment, and stay that way for decades? In America? With our health care?

No thanks. Snuff out my life please. All I ask is you don’t tell my parents/siblings and so forth I chose to turn my own lights out; they have religion and such that might make them think badly of me. Hopefully the money they get will help them, but honestly that’s not why I’m doing it.

(Note: I am single and have no children to abandon.)

The hypothetical says you will never get old and infirm or ill. Plus, why would you have to stay in America?

Okay, I missed the part about perfect health - I’ll be a healthy doddering old man.

And traveling costs money.

Hell, housing costs money. I’ll have to desperately run (on foot: my car’s vanished and I can’t afford to rent) for one of the areas of the country with a standard of living sufficiently low that I could rent (not buy) a house there and still be able to…buy…food? Wait, am I allowed to buy (and thus own) food?

Clearly this isn’t what the OP intended but if I’m not capable of owning food long enough to get it into my mouth and out the other side it’s going to be a very hungry seventy years.

Stay with your parents/siblings and so forth. I’m sure they will understand after you tell them about the incredible “Live until I’m 125” deal you took :slight_smile:

I’m sure if given this choice for real I would chicken out and pick life.

I voted for death. I’ve lived years where every waking moment was consumed with worry about money and taking care of my family. What kept me going was working towards a time when I wouldn’t have to worry so much. 75 years of that with no hope of it ever getting better sounds like torture to me.

I’ve lived alive and poor, and know how to do it. Rich and dead? I’ve never been either.

Poor & Alive

  • My wife would rather have me alive than dead
  • My children couldn’t replace me with money
  • I guess knowing I can never get ahead but will make enough to get by takes a lot of the pressure off

Besides, the OP doesn’t say your wife or kids can’t be rich. :slight_smile:

My wife and I have been poor it sucked. To never have a hope of digging out of poverty and never owning a car or a house again with me always being a drag on the family working shitty minimum wage jobs or just being a leech on those around me no thanks.

I did notice that, but it just now occurs to me that you’d have to be carefully clear about the fact everything your wife owns is owned by her alone, not with the usual joint ownership that marriage implies, lest the magic make it go poof.

I’ll take “dead”, you don’t even have to offer the “rich” part. I have no interest in living a life of abject poverty where I can never get ahead, and by proxy, my children never getting ahead either.

Kill me now, and give my kids a better chance at life.

Rich and dead. I’ve done the poor thing, dead is preferable without hope. Even with hope it’s a coin toss.

Besides, death is inevitable. Life isn’t a bowl of sunshine as it is.