The Simple Life

This post is not about Paris Hilton’s “The Simple Life” show but rather on MM Lee and his simple lifestyle. I was intrigued when I saw a picture of MM Lee’s house posted on Facebook by a friend of mine. This same picture was published in the Straits Times a few days ago. What intrigued me what that his house was so spartan. There weren’t any lavish furnishings that are usually synonymous with the rich and the famous.

(Source: ST Online)

In his recently published book, “Hard Truths”, MM Lee said that he sees no reason why he should impress people by having a big car or changing his suits every now and again to keep up with the latest styles. He also considers it lavishness for the Prime Minister to wear a new shirt every year for the National Day Rally. Surprisingly, the jacket he was wearing for the interview was bought nearly two decades or 15 years ago. While reading about MM Lee’s simple lifestyle, I got reminded about how simple Warren Buffett’s life is as well. I chanced upon Warren Buffett’s austere lifestyle some years back through a chain email. In that email, it said that:

  1. Warren Buffett still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.
  2. He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.
  3. He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world’s largest private jet company.
  4. He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.
  5. Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

It makes me wonder if we really need all these extravagance and material comfort that we all long for? The world still goes on without the having the latest iphone, ipad and what-not, right?

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4 thoughts on “The Simple Life

  1. I share your reflections.

    I think when it’s my time to go, I don’t think I will miss the “things” I’ve accumulated.

    I’ll be reminiscing more about the relationships and activities that I’ve done and maintained.

    Come to think of it, maybe also about the dreams I’ve not got round to fulfilling…..

  2. Hi, the comments on Buffet are not all correct:
    2. He has security people (though mostly invisible), hired by Berkshire he said in an interview (makes sense)
    3. He nearly always travels by his private jet. He loves flying. He says this also saves him a lot of time and his shareholders thus a lot of money.

  3. Just to do some sharing although I am not very rich.

    1) I signed on the Airforce and haven’t bought a new pair of leather shoes, towels or socks since 1994
    2) I got a job that gives Taxi allowance whenever I travel to and fro work. Beats a car allowance vcos it doesn’t add into my taxable income.
    3) I play free online games for leisure and never devoted a cent to them. However 40% of my computer room furniture comes from them.
    4) I try to go to the washroom before I go home from work. Saves the paper, saves the water lolz…(A bit extreme I know)

    I only starting to learn about value investing. I am glad to know my lifestyle have been on the right path.

    Thanks for the informative site ^_^

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