Wealth & Homelessness

by James & Miel on August 28, 2009 · 0 comments

I love listening to NPR; I never listened to public radio before I moved out here, but now I listen to it all the time. And one of my favorite shows is All Things Considered, a fantastic show that takes an interesting perspective to a wide variety of topics. The other day they had an incredible story about a homeless man in Phoenix named Richard Walters.

Mr. Walters was a former engineer who, once he retired, left the world of material possessions; no car, no home, just a few sets of clothes. But apparently he remained active in the stock market, and when he died, he had amassed a fortune – $4 million. When he died, he donated several hundred thousand dollars to NPR and a few other non-profits, while also giving a sum of money to a nurse who he had developed a friendship with over the years. He was able to be the philanthropist he was because of the extreme frugality he practiced (to the point of homelessness!). I think it’s an interesting story; quite a life change to go from a successful engineer to homeless retiree voluntarily.

– Michael

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