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2015 / Planning

Philanthropy 101: What to do with your Yankees tickets behind the dugout.


I was recently at lunch with a friend when he received a text from another one of his buddies. His friend was at a day game at Yankee Stadium and texted my friend a picture from the left field seats.


It was a beautiful day for a baseball game and my friend’s buddy appeared to have excellent seats. As you can see in the picture, it looks like they’re only about 10 or so rows from the field.


After glancing at the picture, though, something else caught my attention. Look closely at the picture. Look past the fans in the left field seats and past the players on the field. What catches your attention?


yankee


 


If you’re like me, you noticed the large swath of empty seats just down the first base line and wrapping all the way around home plate. If you know even a little bit about baseball and the Yankees, you know that those are some of the priciest seats in baseball. They’re sold out through the Yankees and a quick search on Stubhub, the secondary market website, shows them starting at about $880 each for afternoon games this season.


So why isn’t anyone in them? It’s not that they went unsold. It’s that they went unoccupied. Whoever was fortunate enough to afford those seats simply didn’t use them for this particular day game.


You might be wondering why someone who could afford that kind of luxury wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Maybe they were working. Maybe they just didn’t feel like going to the game. Who knows.


It’s a good reminder of money and exactly what kind of value it holds. Money doesn’t have value because of the numbers on the piece of paper. It has value because of its utility, because of what it can afford you in life if you have enough of it.


I talk to plenty of clients and prospects who discuss money as if there is only one goal: to accumulate as much as possible. Often, I find myself reminding them that the money is only as valuable as what you do with it.


I’ll give you the same advice I give to them. You should save money. You should accumulate assets. Those are good habits to carry through life. At some point, though, you need to go out and use it. Take that vacation your spouse wants to go on. By that classic car you always dreamed of. Take your grandchild to that day game at Yankee Stadium.


And what if you truly can’t do it? What if there’s just nothing out there you want to see or purchase? What if you sincerely can’t make it to the day game, just like those Yankees ticketholders?


Think about how many children in New York would have given anything to sit behind the Yankees dugout during an afternoon game at Yankee stadium. And instead, those seats went empty.


If you can’t find any utility for your money, then you are truly fortunate. Chances are good that there’s someone out there who could desperately use your assistance. If you can’t use your money on yourself, use it to benefit someone else. Buy some meals for a family. Help families at a needy school out with supplies. Or donate your tickets to any of the children’s charities in your area.


There’s nothing wrong with accumulating money. That’s what I help people do. However, there comes a point when it’s no longer useful to accumulate for accumulation’s sake. Enjoy life and use your fortune. If not on yourself, then lend a hand to help someone else.


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