What Happens When You Run Out of Money in Monopoly (Bankruptcy Rules)


Running Out of Money is the Number One Retirement Concern

Study after study reveals that running out of money is the number one thing that scares people about retirement.

Scarier than Dying: Research from Allianz Life suggests that more than 60% of baby boomers are more afraid of running out of money than dying.

And younger cohorts are even more fearful. Among people aged 44-49, it is 77%. (And a whopping 82% if they are married with dependents.)

A study released by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), reported that 57% of financial planners said that running out of money was the top retirement concern for their clients.

However, having enough savings for retirement is not the only fear. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that only 37% of their survey takers replied that running out of savings and investments is the biggest worry.  The Transamerica respondents most frequently cited declining health that requires long-term care (47 percent), a reduction in or elimination of Social Security (47 percent) and losing their independence (38 percent) as the primary fear.


Get Money Wired or Use Venmo

If you have friends or family who can help you out in a financial emergency, get yourself to a Western Union office or download their app. If you need actual cash in hand (not just money electronically debited to your account), you’ll have to go to the Western Union office in person with a photo ID, like a passport. Of course, the more money you send or receive, the more Western Union charges for their services. Another way? Venmo. The app is free to use for basic transfer service (immediate transfers do cost a small fee), and money can be transferred to your checking account with a few secure clicks. We recommend downloading Venmo before you travel, and note that it won’t help if your checking account is frozen from fraudulent activity.

Plan Ahead

Again, travelers simply spending all of their money while on vacation doesn’t happen often. What’s more likely to impact your bottom line are the following worst-case money-related travel scenarios: your debit card gets hacked and your checking account gets drained; you leave your wallet on the subway; or you’re the victim of a mugging. These tragedies can and do happen to even the most cautious and prepared travelers. The important thing is not to panic. Before you leave for vacation, take an iPhone photo (or write down the numbers) of your bank cards and passport. Store them somewhere or with someone secure, so you can properly alert the bank and fill out a police report if necessary. The faster you can handle the situation, the faster you’ll get your money back.

Always follow common sense money advice to keep your money secure. Don’t place all your cash in the same place — spread it out among a wallet, money belt, and the hotel safe. It’s also smart to make multiple ATM runs (always use secure ATMS inside an airport or bank) instead of withdrawing all your cash at once. And, before you travel, let your bank know where you’re headed so they don’t mistakenly flag your morning coffee run in Paris as fraud and close down your debit card.

So, What Happens If You Do Run Out of Money in Retirement?

First, the good news:

Running out of money in retirement — in these scenarios — does not mean that you are completely penniless.

Running out of money usually means that you have used up all of your retirement savings and your home equity and are left with whatever income streams you might have — Social Security or a pension if you are lucky.

Most people who run out of money in retirement continue to scrimp by —  living on Social Security income, pursuing a part time job and they have perhaps dramatically cut costs.

And, the bad news?

You are likely no longer in your own home and may be enrolled in low income programs and/or are relying on family for shelter or support. You are probably now part of Medicaid instead of Medicare. You are probably living in poverty or at a very low income level.

Can you borrow money in Monopoly?

In the game of Monopoly, a player cannot borrow money, either as an IOU from the bank or from another player. The game ends when all players except one have run out of money, so borrowing money would only cause the game to last longer than it should.

Borrowing money is one of the most common Monopoly rules that people get wrong.

If you need to borrow money in Monopoly, the only way to do it is by mortgaging properties.

Where to Find Financial Help

There are several financial aid options to investigate if you are faced with dropping classes or, worse, dropping out entirely. Here’s what our experts recommended:

Always fill out the FAFSA

Even if you think you won’t qualify or if you think you won’t need it, always fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from the US Department of Education. Forgoing those forms, he said, can send a message to your school’s financial aid office that you have the college savings you need, making any type of financial help next to impossible.

“There’s an inherent belief that if you don’t fill out the financial aid forms,” he said, “[you] don’t have financial need.” Gift aid with the FAFSA is free money for college expenses, students should max out their federal aid each year.

You will also need to fill out the FAFSA to apply for any federal student loans, work-study or Parent Plus loans. These loan options have a set interest rate that isn’t based on your credit score and can be a great option for students.

Talk to the financial aid office if you are struggling to pay college costs

You never know what scholarships might be available that you don’t know about or other aid packages that can help you save money.

“Colleges, when faced with losing the students, may help them,” Murray said. “They don’t want to lose a student in the middle of their college career, because it affects their graduation rates and because they genuinely care about their students.”

When Graves spoke up about her own financial struggles, she found out there was a fund to help students pay their education expenses.

“Think outside the box,” she said. “ I was lucky in having a wonderfully supportive team and an adviser who were willing to help me out. But a lot of that was because I was willing to talk about what was going on. I didn’t know there was a fund to help out with bills until I said something about my needs.”

Sign up for a work-study program

Work-study jobs can have benefits far beyond a paycheck. “Properly used, it can allow the student to create relationships that might lead to further opportunities,” Murray said. “It allows the student to demonstrate that they’re willing to work. Oftentimes, if the student is likable, the people in the department will go out of their way to help them.”

Becoming a resident assistant, or RA, he added is “the mother of all scholarships,” since it covers room and board which can easily run between $10,000 and $20,000, and it looks great on your first resume.

There are several other ways to earn money or be awarded extra funding

Ask your financial aid office and scour the internet for mid-degree scholarships. There are plenty to go around, Murray said. Consider an off-campus side hustle or a part-time job that won’t interfere with your studies. Sign up for the ROTC if you are interested in the military option.

Graves is hopeful that something will change so that all students can get a fair chance at graduating with a degree. “I truly believe that unless something changes in the near future, college will be less obtainable for many.”

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the interview subjects are not necessarily those of Earnest.