Zong Qinghou may be China's richest man and rank No. 23 globally, but he could easily earn the distinction for being most frugal.
According to Bloomberg News, Zong, the 66-year-old founder of Wahaha soft drinks, only spends $20 a day, though he's worth a cool $21.6 billion. As the BBC's Nick Rosen discovered last Summer, Zong's "monk-like devotion to duty is legendary," with one Wahaha employee recalling he "reviewed every office expense, including the purchase of a broom."
Zong's trajectory from school shopkeep to beverage mogul spans more than two decades, so it's commendable that he hasn't let his wealth go to his head. In this way, he's a lot like wealthy peers who earn $100,000 or more and told PNC Financial Services that the recession has had little to no effect on their retirement planning goals. In fact, they're looking forward to punching out.
Beyond being disciplined savers like Zong, a lot of the PNC survey respondents (46%) said they've worked hard to reduce their debt, turn around their spending habits (33%) and pay off their mortgage (23%). What's more, these respondents planned to work well into their golden years, with three-quarters saying they'll "work in some fashion after retirement."
While you don't have to count every penny like Zong, it's important to take note of the habits that got the baby boomer ahead. He worked hard, followed his passion, and lived incredibly below his means. He still does. Put simply, he thinks like rich people, which in turn has brought him great wealth.
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