Addressing the Naysayers

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I thought it might be a good time to take a pause in our Surprise Millionaire journey to100114-BG-online-ad-01 address some of the skepticism voiced by some readers regarding their ability to become Surprise Millionaires in their own right. These folks tend to point out the same recurring themes regarding the average Surprise Millionaires profiled in my blog. These objections can be lumped in to the following three statements which I will address below:

These Surprise Millionaire types find it easy to accumulate wealth because they are not currently married or never married.

False:     If you check out this blog or my book you will find that many of our Surprise Millionaires are married and have been married throughout their adult lives.  However, I believe there could be an argument made that the Surprise Millionaire’s spouse needs to be on board with the wealth accumulation journey and be of a “like mind” when it comes to spending and saving.

These Surprise Millionaire types find it easy to accumulate wealth because they do not have children.

False:      Many of the Surprise Millionaires profiled do have children.  Rather than seeing their children as an impediment to reaching their financial goals, the Surprise Millionaire takes it upon his/herself to teach their children the art of saving, living frugally and investing.  Thus they perpetuate the Surprise Millionaire mindset for another generation.

These Surprise Millionaire types find it easy to accumulate wealth because they live in rural/less expensive parts of the country.

False:    I have profiled Surprise Millionaires from all walks of life.  From the largest city to the smallest town.  From the North, South, East and the West.   Regardless of where they are planted, the Surprise Millionaire never fails to bloom.  The concepts of saving, living frugally and investing are just as valid from one coast to the next.

So, what is the take away from this little question and answer session?  I believe it is that our Surprise Millionaires are just as diverse as the general population.  What draws them together is the simple concepts of living below your means, frugality and most importantly saving and investing.   Like I have been saying from the start “anyone can accumulate wealth “!

The Frugal And Judicious Court Reporter

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Ruth Greiner was a hard working Virginia court stenographer who spent a lifetime working in and around the legal system.  Though she was the widow and also the daughter of local attorneys, Ruth was no lady of leisure.  In fact, she was so hard working and frugal that she didn’t even own an electric clothes dryer!   Surely, someone who did without many of the basic necessities of life would not have the financial backing to make a difference in others lives … or could she?

Frugal family leaves nearly …

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I happened across this article and thought you might enjoy!  

 

Frugal family leaves nearly $1 million to Hampton groups
JESSICA MILLER, Courier Staff Writer Mar 11, 2003
HAMPTON – Two private women in life have become public benefactors in death.

Beulah and Lulah Alert left $885,000 to local organizations, $285,000 each to the Hampton Public Library Foundation, the Franklin County Historical Society and the Franklin General Hospital Foundation.

“What a wonderful gift they have given the community,” library director Judy Harper said.

Residents knew little about the Alert family. The women and their parents lived frugally choosing to go without running water or electricity.

Sometimes their isolation brought on personal attacks. And few outside the family apparently knew of the sister’s considerable investments until after Beulah’s death in November 2001. Lulah died in 1994.

“I think everyone was surprised at the amount,” Harper said.

The surprise just reinforces the adage not to judge a book by its cover, said Jim Jorgensen Jr., executor of the estate.

“Just because they lived that way, doesn’t mean that they didn’t appreciate their community,” he said.

Jorgensen befriended the family when Beulah’s older sister Lulah asked him to run their farm in the 1960s. Though the family lived without modern conveniences, Jorgensen said they were well-read and that they did listen to a battery-powered radio.

Lulah Alert attended Iowa State University, earning a degree in chemistry. She returned to care for her family. Neither sibling married or had children.

Jorgensen suspects Lulah made most of the investments because she managed the farm. She probably gleaned investment information from publications such as the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report.

Jorgensen learned of the wise investments only after Beulah asked him to become a conservator of the trust when Lulah died. He said he did not influence Alert’s decision on how to distribute the funds.

The Hampton organizations received the fruit of the investments near the end of February, but no one knows why the women picked the organizations they did.

Jorgensen, a member of the Franklin County Historical Society, assumes the money received by the organization will go into a fund, though foundation members have not decided what to do.

The library could use the money for part of a renewal project for the 100-year-old building. However, foundation members have not made a decision.

The hospital foundation will use some of the money for a project and invest remaining funds. The foundation learned it was included in Alert’s will last year, but only learned the amount in February.

“I want to express our gratitude,” said Le Ann Strother, director of the hospital’s foundation. “These people lived very quiet lives in this community and quietly left such a wonderful gift that will be appreciated for years to come.”

For The Love Of Reading

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SidnSidney Thomasey Thomas of Athens Georgia loved reading; so much so that his home could easily be mistaken for the local library.  And why not, he was a retired librarian.  In fact, the University of Georgia libraries were the recipients of many second hand books donated by Sidney Thomas over the years.  But it was his last donation that left everyone speechless…