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Money Consciousness

Former Millionaires Share Sad Stories Of How They Lost It All

TristaApril 26, 2021

4. Lost Everything To Alimony

Reddit user _effed_up stated, “I built a business worth ~3 million, had a house worth 1.4 million, Investments worth more than 2 million, 4 nice cars. Divorce laid me low. An ex-wife, a lawyer, and a judge stripped me of at least 3/4 of that. Left me with a Miata race car, a bit of money, and 51% of my company. Still had to pay alimony. I gave up. I negotiated my way out of alimony by giving up more of the company, liquidated everything else, bought a boat, and fu**** off. 26 months later, I sailed back into my life and started over.

“I’ve earned enough to live a modest retirement, and that’s where I am today. Don’t get married boys, it ain’t worth it. I’ve done it twice, the first time was a disaster, the second time was an annoyance. Just my opinion and experience. I’m way too drunk and shouldn’t have posted. Anyway. There it is.” It sounds like this business owner had a difficult time with his divorce. Hopefully, everything worked out in the end for him after buying his boat. and a fresh perspective made him feel better.


3. A Traumatic Lie

PianoToonr shared the story of how their father lost millions. “My dad had over 20 million dollars in a business with 12 locations and 3 more openings on the way. An employee who was caught selling drugs fabricated an elaborate story that he got the drugs from my dad’s company, and that the whole company was a front for the Mexican cartels. My dad spent a lot of time in Mexico back in the day and had a criminal record, so that was enough for the DEA to raid him on this story. They stole all the computers, terrorized the employees, and raided every one of the locations on the same day with over 300 SWAT, including a raid on his own home (he wasn’t there, just his young children–they’re traumatized by it). They found nothing. Nothing. All papers in order. No indictments came, no case.

“Regardless, most of the employees and management quit due to the investigation. He had to close most locations and sell after less than a year at a huge loss just to pay for the lawyers to defend his case. The worst part is that they won’t admit they’ve found anything. The DA spent millions on this raid. So–they’ve left the case open indefinitely, making it impossible for him to work in his field. His lawyers said the prosecution has privately asked him (seriously), to find something wrong that he can plea to so they can save face. He won’t lie, so they won’t close the case. The government took my dad’s life’s work, his savings, and ruined hundreds of other’s lives–and we have zero recourse.”


2. Managing Finances

Reddit user mistmanners and her husband lost their wealth due to a common situation these adays. “Well, I see a lot of stories here, but here’s one that’s a bit different. We moved from the USA to Lebanon after college to be with my husband’s family, they were close. Surprise, his parents died before we could get there, his dad a few months before we left and his mom, unfortunately, passed away during our flight and was buried a few hours before we arrived. This was not a good omen. However, we had moved every last possession with us, and we’re determined to stay nevertheless.

“After 30 years and close to retirement, we had several houses, apartments, good jobs with benefits, and ample pensions. It had been a tough road and we had starved at first. Now, we were looking forward to living where we wanted, whether in the USA or Lebanon and living off of a modest retirement income. All that was wiped away due to the current economic disaster in the country, worsened by covid but mainly due to financial mismanagement of the country and corruption on a grand scale pretty much unparalleled in modern history. Everyone in Lebanon wants to emigrate now. There are no renters with money to inhabit our apartments. The lira is worthless, and our pensions are worth almost nothing. We could have spent those years in the US building up 401ks and buying a home.”


1. A Dangerous Situation For Millionaires

A Reddit user with the username PabloChickaso shared the story of their family wealth and downfall. “My mother’s family. It was the separation of India and Pakistan. My mother’s family was crazy rich in (now) Pakistan. I’m talking mansions, maids, businesses, and repute. But because of the socio-political unrest between Hindus and Muslims, they had to pack up everything and move in with their relatives in India. Her grandfather sent the family here (India) overnight and stayed back in Pak disguised as a Muslim. He had to stay undercover for 3 months so he could wrap up some financial affairs. His family could have no contact with him because being identified as a Hindu could’ve gotten him killed in that situation. They could only hope he was alive.

“He had to let go of much of their wealth but brought a bunch of big solid gold bricks with him so his family could start a new life here. He first went to Bombay and gave the bricks to a goldsmith telling him to coat them with silver. Traveling to a smaller town with so much gold was risky and silver didn’t cost as much then. When he reached his destination, he gave the bricks to another goldsmith to have the silver coating removed and evaluated for their worth in cash. Turns out his gold bricks were swapped for solid silver bricks.”