Orange County is either dripping in gold or there’s just a high concentration of wannabes. Everywhere you look are BMWs, Mercedes, and Porches with a sprinkle of Ferraris, Bentleys, and Maseratis. Coming from Tucson, the land of Fords and Toyotas, the omnipresence of luxury cars is a reality to get use to. We currently rent an apartment in an area where homes are in the 300-400K range, but you see people driving out in their Mercedes and BMWs (as I’m sitting here typing at the dining table and looking out, I’ve counted 6 Mercedes, 3 BMWs, and 1 Jag drive by). Somehow, I’m inclined to think that there are a few truly wealthy people in Orange County, and the rest are just aspirationals. Take J’s previous landlord for example, the guy lives in a 3-million dollar home in a gated community, and drives a Mercedes with a Bentley parked in his garage. However, a neighbor told J that the landlord’s home is actually bank owned. So all that glitters is not gold, it’s more like plated gold.
I’ve just finished reading Thomas Stanley’s ‘Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire’, and the statistics are quite fascinating.
- 86% of luxury car ‘drivers’ (owners and leasers) are not wealthy
- Most popular brands of cars for millionaires are Toyotas and Fords
- Only 27% of people living in million-dollar homes are millionaires
- Most millionaires live in homes worth 400K or less
- Worst accumulators of wealth are professionals such as doctors and lawyers
- Best accumulators of wealth are farmers and engineers
- Favorite retailers of millionaires are Costco and Target
- Favorite brands of watches of millionaires are Timex and Seiko
The book gets a little repetitive but it drives the message home, and that is, in order to accumulate wealth, stop comparing yourself to others and start living within your means. It certainly gives you pause when you see a guy sitting in that Mercedes in the next lane, because chances are he probably doesn’t have that extra $20 for gas; whereas, that toothless guy with the flyaway hair you saw the other day at Costco grabbing free food could very well be that millionaire next door.