Meeting the Automatic Millionaire
I'll never forget when I met my first Automatic Millionaire. I was in my mid-twenties and was teaching an investment class at a local adult-education program. Jim McIntyre, a middleaged middle manager for a local utility company, was one of my students. He and I hadn't spoken much until one day when he came up after class to ask if he could make an appointment with me to review his and his wife's financial situation. The request surprised me. Though I felt strongly (and still do) that just about everyone can benefit from the advice of a qualified financial planner, Jim didn't strike me as the type who would seek it out.
I told him I'd be happy to set up a meeting, but if he wanted my help, his wife would have to come too, as my group managed money only for couples who worked on their finances together. Jim smiled. "No problem," he said. "Sue's the reason I'm here. She took your Smart Women Finish Rich seminar and told me I should sign up for your course. I've liked what you've had to say, and we both figure it's time to do some financial planning. You see, I'm planning to retire next month." Now I was really surprised. I didn't say anything, but as I looked Jim up and down, I doubted he could be in a position to retire. From the few comments he had made in class, I knew he was in his early fifties and had worked for the same company for thirty years, never earning much more than $40,000 a year, and didn't believe in budgets. I also knew that he considered himself to be "ultraconservative," so I figured he couldn?t have made a fortune in the stock market. My Grandma Rose Bach had taught me never to judge a book by its cover. But something didn't add up. Maybe Jim had just inherited a lot of money. For his sake, I hoped so.
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