He Engineered His Success

“In an age of pretension that’s often self-aggrandizing, he was the opposite..”

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Pennsylvania mechanical engineer, Raymond Suckling, lived a modest life.  Fond of White Castle hamburgers and the chipped beef served at his local diner, Mr. Suckling would not be described as a connoisseur of the finer things in life.  That is unless you count the fine quality of his friendships and his sterling character.

Mr. Suckling’s life did start out with what one might think of as somewhat privileged.  The son of a business executive, Raymond was afforded a good education even after his father’s death when Raymond was only a boy.  But it appears that the “silver spoon” stopped there.  Mr. Suckling’s adult life was characterized by hard work, sound investing and a frugal, unassuming character.

As you can imagine, it was quite a shock to his friends and associates when they learned that Mr. Suckling had left an estate totaling $37.1 million to a Pittsburgh area charity.

Who would have thought that the man who was fond of Velcro sneakers, drove a Subaru and loved White Castle hamburgers was the same man who accumulated $37.1 million? No one, apparently!  While some reports state that the majority of Raymond’s wealth was inherited, those who knew him best indicate that it was a combination of inherited and accumulated wealth due to Ray’s unassuming frugal ways.

Regardless of the origin of his wealth, it was Mr. Suckling’s unassuming thrifty lifestyle which allowed him to make such a dynamic impact on his community and change lives for the better.

Buying a New Used Car

Here is a post from The Small Investor regarding the purchase of automobiles.  Like our Surprise Millionaires, The Small Investor would never buy new when used will do!  Just think of all the depreciation you will avoid and the interest you will save when you make the decision to purchase that gently used automobile!

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Mrs. SmallIvy is truly wonderful and supportive when it comes to handling money.  One area where that really shows is in car purchases.  Early on in our marriage we made the stupid decision to buy …

Continue Reading: Buying a New Used Car

The Quiet Man

BROWN-061615-01.jpgA quiet man in Chicago whose death didn’t really make the news certainly made the news recently.  James A. Flavin, a man who wore old clothes, drove a beat-up car and lived in a small home in a poor neighborhood was thought to have an estate worth about $53,000.  But then they opened that safe deposit box…

 

 

 

Hey Dad, treat yourself to a free Kindle ebook!

SupMilBookCoverIn honor of everyone who has supported the Surprise Millionaires over the past three years and to all of you Dads out there, I have made my Kindle ebook free for download for the next 72 hours.  Happy Father’s Day everyone and thank you for your support!

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Free Kindle eBook!

I am pleased to announce that I have updated some of my earlier content and published it in a Kindle eBook format.  It is currently a free download for those with a Kindle Unlimited subscription and also available at a nominal price for those who don’t.   I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has followed my blog and provided such great feedback.  You have my sincerest thanks!

Get the book

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A Cautionary Tale

This story  of a Surprise Millionaire in Omaha is a cautionary tale about keeping your perspective.   Being frugal and building wealth to provide for a comfortable retirement or to help others is a wonderful thing.  However, when that wealth isolates you from the rest of the world it is time to reevaluate your priorities…

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The Surprise Millionaire Who Encouraged His Family To Say “Yes”

In my book, I wrote about Albert Ravenholt, a poor Wisconsin farm boy who started out life with nothing until he said “yes” to opportunity.  As we learned, Albert and his wife Marjorie lived what only can be described as an interesting and fulfilling life just by embracing the opportunities that came their way.

As Albert was aging and found himself a widower, he began to reflect on his large extended Wisconsin farm family and how distant they had all become.  He and Marjorie had no children of their own and Albert cared deeply for his 25 nieces and nephews scattered about the country. However, Albert realized that his large family rarely got together anymore and many of them were virtual strangers to one another.  This is when Albert decided that it was time for his family to say “yes” to opportunity in the same way that he had so many years ago.

Upon Albert’s death in 2010, his family learned that his trust contained a very unusual codicil.  He had indeed left money for all of his nieces and nephews provided they meet for a family reunion once every two years.  That’s right, Albert gave his family a two-fold opportunity.  The opportunity to inherit a part of his estate (remember, Albert was a Surprise Millionaire) and the opportunity to get to know or become re-acquainted with extended family.

Since Albert’s passing, the extended Ravenholt clan has gotten together back in little Luck Wisconsin, the site of the family’s most unluckiest event to celebrate the life and times of Uncle Albert Ravenholt; the loving and generous man who cared enough to give them the chance to say “yes” to a great opportunity.

The family and their story