I have always known it to be true but now there appears to be some proof. The more thrifty a person is has a direct correlation to their happiness and life satisfaction. At least according to this article and the poll they reference. Now we know why our Surprise Millionaires always seem like such happy and content people!
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.
We are all aging. It is just a fact of life. However, many people react to this fact by withdrawing from daily life thinking that they have nothing to contribute to the world. This would never be said of today’s Surprise Millionaire Helen Yecny. This northern California lady recently passed away at the ripe old age of 99 and with the accolades and praise heaped upon her, you would think she was a young vibrant person half her age!
Frugal to a fault and always saving for that “rainy day”, Helen was quite the character. Content to live in the home and walnut orchard that she was born in, Helen could be seen most days tending to her yard and her orchard working to maintain the business that had supplemented she and her husband Lou’s income for decades.
However, don’t let it be said that Helen didn’t know how to enjoy life! After Lou’s passing, Helen became quiet the traveler accompanying friends to such places as Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe. She was also known for her quick wit and sense of humor which would liven up any conversation she was involved in.
Having not been blessed with children, Helen and Lou wanted to find a way to assist the children of the Central Valley region of California with obtaining a much-needed education.
This is why California State University, Stanislaus is the grateful recipient of $2.3 million from Helen’s estate. The funds will be used to sponsor scholarships through the university’s undergraduate honors program. But that’s not all, rumor has it that Helen left funds to some of the local high school districts as well.
I believe Helen’s obituary says it best, “Helen’s afterglow will be felt for generations to come.” What a wonderful statement and what a wonderful life!
I recently came across an article involving a Surprise Millionaire I profiled a while back. What struck me about the article was the profound statement made by the community director of the foundation that received the bulk of the estate:
“The largest gifts (to the foundation) usually come from good people who lived quietly in service to family, church, and community,” Holmes said. “More and more the foundation is receiving large gifts from individuals who put a few words in their wills and change the world.”
This is true of every Surprise Millionaire that we profile on this blog. A few simple lines in a will causes a chain reaction that reverberates through peoples’ lives sometimes for generations. Whether it is fighting poverty, preserving history or protecting the disadvantaged, our Surprise Millionaires make a real impact on their communities and by extension, the world. What a wonderful way to live your life!
A word to all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there. Remember, the key to wealth accumulation is long-term, consistent investing. Markets may rise and fall, but the long-term, consistent investor will achieve the goal of wealth accumulation by practicing these simple habits. Remember the mantra of the Surprise Millionaires, “anyone can accumulate wealth”!
The long time Newcomb New York business owner loved his community. In fact, his family had been an integral part of the community since its early beginnings. So it was no surprise that this generous man left a legacy that would be used to preserve Newcomb’s history and legacy for generations to come.
For all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there who are dedicated to building wealth but want to look good while doing it, why not think about going vintage? That’s right, vintage clothing could give you the look and style you want without breaking the all important budget. Remember, good quality classically tailored apparel is always in style. Over at cheatsheet.com they have published a great article about the dos and don’ts of shopping for vintage clothing. Even for those of us who are not that fashion conscious, jazzing up an outfit with a vintage watch or pair of cuff links could give you that little something extra that will make you stand out from the crowd during a job interview or formal event. This might be something to think about the next time you are tempted by that 75% sale at the local discount department store!