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Charlie Munger Lived In The Same House For 70 Years — He Watched Rich Friends Buy Fancy Homes And Become 'Less Happy, Not Happier'

The late Charlie Munger, the esteemed investor and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., chose a path less traveled by those of immense wealth.

Known for his sharp wit and wise investment strategies, Munger amassed a fortune but remained dedicated to a remarkably modest lifestyle. For over 70 years, he lived in the same understated home, avoiding the lavish living standards that often accompany financial success.

In an interview with CNBC, before he died at age 99, Munger discussed his choice to maintain a simple life despite his wealth. He and Warren Buffett observed many wealthy friends who opted for luxurious, expansive homes only to find their happiness didn’t increase.

“And I would say in practically every case, they make the person less happy, not happier,” Munger said. This observation reinforced his commitment to simplicity, believing that grandeur could adversely affect one's happiness and family life.

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Munger’s lifestyle was grounded in a philosophy that valued utility over extravagance. He noted that while a larger home might increase one’s ability to host gatherings, it brings little else of value and is costly.

He also expressed concern about the impact of visible wealth on his children, suggesting that an extravagant lifestyle might encourage them to “live grandly” in ways that were not wholesome or beneficial. Munger, a father to nine children from two marriages, believed a humble living environment is crucial to fostering the right values.

Despite his considerable wealth, Munger’s professional background as a real estate attorney gave him a unique perspective on property ownership. He owned other real estate investments, yet he chose to make his permanent residence in a modest home. This decision was not for lack of opportunity to live more grandly but was a deliberate choice to model values of contentment and restraint.

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Buffett, Munger's longtime business partner, shares a similar view on living modestly. Buffett has resided in the same Omaha, Nebraska, home he purchased for $31,500 in 1958. At Berkshire Hathaway's 2014 shareholder meeting, he said that owning multiple homes would likely decrease, not increase, his quality of life.

Despite his billionaire status, Munger's views resonate with recent findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study suggests that while money can enhance happiness, this tends to plateau at an income of around $500,000 annually.

Munger was committed to living a simple, disciplined life, which serves as a powerful example in today's material-driven society. His philosophy reiterates the idea that true happiness and fulfillment derive not from accumulating possessions but from focusing on family, meaningful work and maintaining personal integrity.

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This article Charlie Munger Lived In The Same House For 70 Years — He Watched Rich Friends Buy Fancy Homes And Become 'Less Happy, Not Happier' originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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