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Millionaire Public Servants Next Door

By Thomas J. Stanley on Jan 1st, 1970 in Millionaire Next Door Stories

Dear Dr. Stanley: Count me among your many fans who has read
both The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind many
times. These books were foundational to developing productive
budgeting, saving and investing habits. As I grow older (I am
50 and my wife is 42) my fondness for your books becomes deeper
and stronger. Both books are recommended reading when I mentor
young professionals. Based on your books I understand the
prototypical millionaire is a self-employed business owner.
However, my wife and I took far different paths to achieve this
benchmark. In my case I’m a top manager for
a large city. In my career I’ve had many
opportunities to implement creative and innovative solutions to
current and emerging public policy challenges. It has always
been my desire to pursue a career in public service and to make
a community greater, better and more beautiful. My parents were
factory workers who moved to the USA as young children.
I’m the first person in my family to
graduate from college. My wife was also raised in modest
circumstances. She graduated from a top law school and,
although intellectually and interpersonally capable of working
successfully at a large law firm, she chose to pursue a career
in public interest law. We meticulously plan our finances and
carefully budget our expenses. We live below our means,
annually saving and investing one-third of our combined gross
salary. Neither of us have financially lucrative careers, but
we both love our vocations. We “do today
what others don’t, so we can have tomorrow
what others won’t.†Slow and
steady, we’ve accumulated a net worth of
$2.6 million, excluding equity in our home. Our goal is to
retire in 18 years with a net worth of $7.5 million (in 2015
dollars) at which time we will travel and live without
financial worry. Neither of us would have thought this goal to
be possible when we were growing up. Thank you for helping us
to set and achieve our goals utilizing the knowledge
we’ve gained from your books.

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