As we discussed last week, one of the most important things a Surprise Millionaire can do is to make sure their wishes are known prior to their passing. Unfortunately, I have stumbled upon another story with a Surprise Millionaire’s will, this time from the United Kingdom. Retired mid-wife and nurse, Joan Edwards thought she had done it completely right. She contacted her local solicitors and had a last will and testament drawn up making (she thought) her last wishes known. It appears that even with all of this preparation, the specifics of the will’s bequest were still open to interpretation. It was unfortunately left to the government (and its political parties) to sort it all out. I guess I need to amend my cautions on this subject to include, “make your wishes known, make them legal and make them very clear.
This week we have yet another Surprise Millionaire who didn’t draft a formal last will and testament to make her wishes known. However, this particular person did at least scribble a few things on the back of a postcard! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will once again implore all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there to make a will, make it legal and let a responsible person know what your wishes are. When so much time and effort is spent accumulating wealth over a lifetime, it seems a shame not to ensure that the funds are distributed in a way that best honors the giver.
I just stumbled across a video concerning one of the original Surprise Millionaire’s I profiled in my book, Mr. Ronald Read. It appears some financial professionals were discussing just how Mr. Read, a one-time janitor, amassed his multi-million dollar portfolio. If you would like to verify that the Surprise Millionaire lifestyle of living below your means and investing wisely is the key to success, just listen to what these experts are saying:
I always love it when Surprise Millionaires get their time in the spotlight and business blogger Joshua Kennon has done just that. Joshua has caught on to the Surprise Millionaire phenomenon of people with average incomes amassing large amounts of wealth. He has also caught on to the not so secret fact that steady investing over a long period of time is the key to success. Joshua’s article even mentions a few of the Surprise Millionaires featured in my book. Most surprisingly, his article was written in 2014! Where have I been? I always make it a point to be on the lookout for Surprise Millionaire “moments”. Oh well, better late than never, enjoy!
No one would call her an influential person … until now. Lucille Taylor lived her entire life in and around the small town of Middleton Wisconsin. During her formative years, she worked on her family’s fruit and dairy farm. Having left school after the eighth grade to care for her ailing mother and younger siblings, she didn’t have the opportunity for an advanced education that might help her land a job paying more than minimum wage .
She soon married a young man of similar background and they proceeded to make their way in the world with her cleaning houses and he driving trucks. Besides their meager circumstances, this young couple also endured the additional heartache of never being able to have the children they so wanted.
The Taylors persevered through these circumstances living the classic hard-working life typical of many americans. However, never let it be said that the Taylors didn’t know how to enjoy life! Throughout their lives they managed to travel to nearly all 50 states and even did some international travel as well.
However, even with their frequent travels the Taylors never failed to save and invest a portion of their limited income with the hopes of having a nest egg for their retirement years.
This brings us to 2013 when the now widowed Lucille wanted to use a portion of that “nest egg” to enhance the lives of the children of Middleton. After considering several options, she settled on a $100,000 donation to begin work on a city park with more to follow over the coming years! The people of Middleton were shocked by this wonderful gesture.
But wait, there’s more. The local business community was so impressed by Lucille’s vision and spirit of giving that they stepped up as well to raise additional funding to get the park properly launched. As a result, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Harvey John & Lucille Taylor Memorial Park was held on May 11, 2015 with Lucille as the guest of honor!
And the accolades just kept on coming! Lucille was subsequently honored with the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association’s 2015 Fellowship Award once again as the guest of honor.
We could all learn a lot from the life of Lucille Taylor. She is the perfect example that living below your means while saving and investing could make any of us wealthy some day. More importantly though, following these concepts could give all of us that same opportunity to become an influential person in our own communities just like Lucille.
I happened across the most inspiring story from a few years back about a Surprise Millionaire from an impoverished background who spends his life helping others. It is the perfect example of someone who finds their true treasure in others rather than the balance in their bank account. If anyone has an update on this gentleman and what he is doing these days feel free to share below. Thanks!