Last night, Mom told me a very rough approximation of what her net worth is, and it’s a figure that made my jaw drop a little.
I won’t go into more specifics here, but suffice it to say that if you saw my mother going to the grocery store or driving to work, you would never have guessed.
This knowledge made me feel proud, and humbled. My parents made a very good salary compared to the national median income, but they started in their late 30s, their first language isn’t English, they lived in a very high cost-of-living area, bought two houses and sent me to an expensive private school for college.
We rarely went on vacation or ate out, Mom frequently took extra shifts at her job, and Dad’s first new car in 11 years is another Honda, not a BMW or a Mercedes. We’ve had our sofa set since 1995. My parents weren’t the smartest investors. They didn’t advance the quickest in their careers. The real estate boom helped a lot, but that was more of a buying a place to live (or rent out) instead of flipping properties.
Really, everything my parents got, they saved. In a lot of ways you’d think they are an ordinary middle-class American couple, but what they’ve achieved is quite extraordinary.
And if they can do it, with circumstances that were far less fortunate than mine, then I have to be able to achieve financial security for myself and my future family.