Not all people who inherit wealth spend it lavishly. This is especially true if their parents were dyed-in-the wool millionaire next door types. I was reminded of this fact in an article that I read about Mrs. Rosemary Johnson. She bequeathed $2.23M to the Madison (WI) Community Foundation. This foundation supports the local children’s museum, the YWCA, the Urban League and community education center. According to the article, “She lived a very ordinary life. She was kind of the millionaire next door. Very few people knew that she was what we call wealthy.”
Later in the artcile her son indicated that his mother inherited money from her family and “thought it ought to go someplace where it would be helpful. And the Madison area meant so much to her.”
There was something else that caught my attention. The article mentioned that Mrs. Johnson was the daughter of a mining engineer. In Stop Acting Rich, I discuss why mining/geological engineers rank number one among the 200 high income occupational groups studied in their ability to transform income into wealth. This occupational group produces three times more millionaires than would be expected given its income characteristics.