Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Lived way below his means
Old 11-29-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 572
Lived way below his means

Man Leaves Secret Fortune Worth $187.6 Million to Wash. Charities - Yahoo

He was very admirable and charitable, but slightly quirky.

"A Washington state man has left a fortune worth $187.6 million to charity, after spending his life keeping his wealth a secret by coupon clipping and riding the bus.....his shirt was maybe just a little tattered.... lived in a modest one bedroom apartment....would often visit multiple grocery stores to take advantage of deals and one time bought so many cans of frozen orange juice on sale, he needed to find an additional stand-alone freezer to fit them all."
__________________

__________________
bondi688 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-29-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,457
Too much? Why?

What else should he have done with it?

He was personally involved in those charities and stewarding money he had himself inherited from his family. I think he did what he thought was the best thing with it.
__________________

__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
I love those kinds of stories. Thanks for posting the link.
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
I admire him for living life the way he wanted to. He must have inherited a good chunk of money and invested it wisely, because AFAIK even lawyers don't usually make enough money to amass that kind of NW.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
I just hope it was the way he really wanted to live and that he wasn't being held hostage by some imagined need to be miserly. If being frugal is a choice that one freely embraces, so be it. But I have known people who did it to the point where it seemed like a mental illness and an unhealthy obsession.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
robnplunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,124
What would the hospital be doing with donated money?
__________________
robnplunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 09:13 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 572
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
What would the hospital be doing with donated money?
I hope it will be spent on improvement of the care of the children who go there, otherwise it will waste his goodwill. The fact that the chairman of the hospital foundation is a life long friend of his, I think his money will be put to good use.
__________________
bondi688 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,400
I could live very well on 0.1% WR if I had this man's wealth, and people would still call me frugal. And I would still leave a lot of money to charity.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
Birdie Num Nums's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 776
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondi688 View Post
Man Leaves Secret Fortune Worth $187.6 Million to Wash. Charities - Yahoo

He was very admirable and charitable, but slightly quirky.

"A Washington state man has left a fortune worth $187.6 million to charity, after spending his life keeping his wealth a secret by coupon clipping and riding the bus.....his shirt was maybe just a little tattered.... lived in a modest one bedroom apartment....would often visit multiple grocery stores to take advantage of deals and one time bought so many cans of frozen orange juice on sale, he needed to find an additional stand-alone freezer to fit them all."
Or he coulda spent less time coupon clipping, riding the bus, wearing tattered clothes, and buying frozen orange juice on sale, while still living a comfortable life (at least to my way of thinking)--still bequeathing ~$170M or more to charity.

Where's the line dividing living frugally and denying yourself a good life with the $ you've acquired?
__________________
Birdie Num Nums is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums View Post
Or he coulda spent less time coupon clipping, riding the bus, wearing tattered clothes, and buying frozen orange juice on sale, while still living a comfortable life (at least to my way of thinking)--still bequeathing ~$170M or more to charity.

Where's the line dividing living frugally and denying yourself a good life with the $ you've acquired?
I think for some people the frugalness is what brings them happiness. I get some good ideas on saving money on some of the retirement and frugal forums, but a lot of the ideas get kind of nutty. Biking to the grocery store in a snowstorm for groceries? Why risk your life on a bike on a slick road with cars sliding around all around to save a dollar in gas? I could make more than a dollar sitting at my nice warm desk inside with music playing on some site like mturk or fiverr in less time and not risk getting hit by a car.

Plus for some old habits die hard.

According to this article, Sergey Brin was a billionaire and still shopping at Costco -

The Story of Sergey Brin - Moment Magazine
__________________
daylatedollarshort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 12:28 AM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
What would the hospital be doing with donated money?
Most hospitals have needs that are not covered by their operating budgets and are financed by philanthropy. Some of the ways in which charitable donations can be used include research, innovative new treatments, and expensive pieces of equipment. One children's hospital that I have visited had new MRI, CT, PET and Ultrasound machines, all paid for by charitable donations. Other programs often funded through philanthropy include family centred care and play therapy.

Children's hospitals derive proportionately more funding than other hospitals because of the public's good feeling about donating to children's causes. Most of them have their own foundations overseen by a board and led by professional fund raisers, with expert review of grant submissions, building and equipping laboratories, etc.

Here is a link where you can read about some if the research activities going on at Seattle Children's Hospital.

About the Research Institute | Seattle Children's Research Institute

I think Mr. MacDonald's donation will certainly be put to good use.

Disclaimer: I used to be in this business.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 10:52 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
robnplunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
Most hospitals have needs that are not covered by their operating budgets and are financed by philanthropy. Some of the ways in which charitable donations can be used include research, innovative new treatments, and expensive pieces of equipment. One children's hospital that I have visited had new MRI, CT, PET and Ultrasound machines, all paid for by charitable donations. Other programs often funded through philanthropy include family centred care and play therapy.

Children's hospitals derive proportionately more funding than other hospitals because of the public's good feeling about donating to children's causes. Most of them have their own foundations overseen by a board and led by professional fund raisers, with expert review of grant submissions, building and equipping laboratories, etc.

Here is a link where you can read about some if the research activities going on at Seattle Children's Hospital.

About the Research Institute | Seattle Children's Research Institute

I think Mr. MacDonald's donation will certainly be put to good use.

Disclaimer: I used to be in this business.
Thanks for the info. I was curious b/c of my brother (RIP)'s experience with UCLA hospital. I am sure the hospital get ton of donations as well. But based on what my brother went through, it's hard to believe they put their donation to good use.
__________________
robnplunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,322
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
What would the hospital be doing with donated money?
Children's hospitals provide a lot of low-cost and free services that parents often can't afford to pay for. This is not to defend the outrageous cost of medical care in the USA, but let's not blame the children for that one.

Often parents need not just the cost of the medical care paid for, but housing for the parents as they must stay with their children, far from home, for weeks at a time. I once drove by the Ronald McDonald 'house' which provides low-cost housing for these parents. It's actually a block or more of apartments.
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,565
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post

Children's hospitals provide a lot of low-cost and free services that parents often can't afford to pay for. This is not to defend the outrageous cost of medical care in the USA, but let's not blame the children for that one.

Often parents need not just the cost of the medical care paid for, but housing for the parents as they must stay with their children, far from home, for weeks at a time. I once drove by the Ronald McDonald 'house' which provides low-cost housing for these parents. It's actually a block or more of apartments.
That need for housing is not exclusive to children. The first time I went to Rochester MN. I was stuck by the number of private homes that took in boarders. Then the Mayo effect hit me. A sick family member, needing serious (perhaps lengthy stay) health care, where does the family stay at?

MRG
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 12:10 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
That need for housing is not exclusive to children. The first time I went to Rochester MN. I was stuck by the number of private homes that took in boarders. Then the Mayo effect hit me. A sick family member, needing serious (perhaps lengthy stay) health care, where does the family stay at?

MRG
Yes, but if an adult is hospitalized locally his/her spouse could stay at home, and if in another city, well, that's what we have emergency funds for. Many large hospitals have hostels or arrangements with local hotels.

When a child is hospitalized it is actually therapeutic for their parents to be physically present and advocating for them. Babies should continue to breastfeed whenever possible, etc. So in children's hospitals it is normal nowadays to find a pull out bed for the parent in the child's room, a kitchen on the ward for families, etc. The cost of that, and of food for parents, and for travel supplements, means either a larger budget per patient or is not built into the budget.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 12:45 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: San Jose
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums View Post
Or he coulda spent less time coupon clipping, riding the bus, wearing tattered clothes, and buying frozen orange juice on sale, while still living a comfortable life (at least to my way of thinking)--still bequeathing ~$170M or more to charity.

Where's the line dividing living frugally and denying yourself a good life with the $ you've acquired?
My thoughts exactly. If I had that kind of wealth, I certainly wouldn't be clipping coupons or riding the bus. Hell, I don't do those things today anyway, and I'm not worth near that kind of money.

I guess I'm largely influenced by my Mom and Dad, who were older (Mom was 45, Dad was 51 when they had me in the late 60's) and grew up during the Great Depression.

We had a basic (lower) middle-class lifestyle, and they were very frugal. Although we had the basics, we never had new cars, or a fancy home, or took nice vacations.

Mom died last, and the estate was about $160k, split between four kids. All us siblings agreed we would MUCH rather have seen Mom and Dad spend some of that while they were alive to have some fun with and enjoy life.

I took the 180 degree opposite view. I don't blow every dollar I make, but I'm not afraid to spend money on nice things I want, or vacations, etc. Life is too short to deny yourself everything. I don't see the point in saving up so much money for when you're too old to enjoy it.

I'd rather spend $2000 at this point in my life on a ski trip to Vail, rather than saving it for the nursing home down the road.
__________________
LoneAspen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 01:14 PM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
I think Mr. MacDonald might have come from a wealthy family given that he grew an inheritance into this fortune. Maybe his family were the frugal old money type and he learned those habits. He does not seem to have been unhappy; no one quoted in the article suggests that, anyway.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 01:16 PM   #18
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birdie Num Nums View Post
Or he coulda spent less time coupon clipping, riding the bus, wearing tattered clothes, and buying frozen orange juice on sale, while still living a comfortable life (at least to my way of thinking)--still bequeathing ~$170M or more to charity.

Where's the line dividing living frugally and denying yourself a good life with the $ you've acquired?
The thing is, we don't know so we really can't judge. We have no idea whether this is what truly made him happy or if this was due to some mental illness or unhealthy obsession that consumed him.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Marco island
Posts: 813
Bottom line is that he didn't donate a penny when he was living. That doesn't make you a philanthropist. That makes you a cheap kook.
__________________
Gatordoc50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2013, 01:59 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
Calico's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
Bottom line is that he didn't donate a penny when he was living. That doesn't make you a philanthropist. That makes you a cheap kook.
There is no way of knowing that. For all we know, he made large anonymous donations throughout his life.

His generosity will benefit untold numbers of people. May he rest in peace.
__________________

__________________
Calico is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Means testing SS wolfbay FIRE Related Public Policy 80 01-27-2012 09:11 AM
Tools/Devices/Items/Equipment that helps you to Live Below Your Means nico08 FIRE and Money 86 01-14-2012 02:24 PM
Frugal Beyond Your Means pimpmyretirement FIRE and Money 0 10-09-2011 07:37 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:46 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.