Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

With this weekend marking the hundredth anniversary of the Titanic sinking it got me to thinking about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, as some of the biggest celebrities in the world were on board the “unsinkable” ship for its maiden voyage, including John Jacob Astor, who died in the wreckage as the wealthiest person aboard.

When it comes to wealth, I recall a mentor of mine suggesting that the word rich simply connotes “a full supply” and a famous actor saying that money grants options more than it guarantees happiness. While I may not be rich or famous by standard definitions I consider myself blessed with a full supply as well as options, not the least of which has included the opportunity to live in special locales over the years.

As a case in point, after selling our beloved cottage that we owned for better than a dozen years about this time last year, my wife and I have enjoyed living in a couple of the most desirable places anywhere. Celebration, Florida, is an award-winning planned community outside Orlando, and Nantucket, Massachusetts, is a renowned island getaway thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod.

What makes our experience all the more remarkable is the fact that we wound up leasing properties in both places that were wonderfully situated yet well within budget. Indeed, we literally couldn’t have picked two more perfectly positioned homes than the ones located on Lake Evalyn in Celebration and on Main Street in Nantucket, named one of the ten best streets in all of America.

My point in sharing these details is simply to highlight how much it is possible “to live large on less.” While my wife and I have yet to earn six-figure incomes we have enjoyed a semblance of the good life without being either rich or famous by living simply within our means, paying off debt and giving to others. It may not be a recipe for celebrity but we wouldn’t trade our lifestyle with anyone.