The stunning Banks, who once dominated magazine covers as a leading supermodel, is also a model for those seeking a truly comfortable retirement. Yes, she’s a multi-millionaire. But the size of your bank account or paycheck isn’t everything when it comes to building for the future. Banks’ mindset is the reason I think she will be a very happy retiree.
Here are five lessons to learn from the creator of America’s Next Top Model:
Family connections matters. Banks is extremely close to her mother, Carolyn London, who raised Banks and Banks’ brother as a struggling single mom. The future supermodel and TV star learned valuable lessons watching her mother work with determination to steadily improve the family’s living conditions.
Live below your means. Tyra Banks, who is worth an estimated $90 million, has always been a saver, not a spender. As a successful young model, she rarely bought expensive designer clothes and often stayed at The DoubleTree or Embassy Suites hotel when traveling on her own dime.
Banks told Money magazine that she is so frugal that several years ago her own accountants told her to “spend some damn money.” Banks says she values experiences over things, a preference that partially explains her comparatively modest spending.
Live by a budget: In response to her CPA’s pleas, Banks set up what she called an “F Account” for use on what she deemed “frivolous” purchases. However, she put a cap on that account every year and would never spend more than budgeted. In retrospect, Banks regrets a lot of that spending, saying she wasted too much money on “stupid stuff,” including private planes.
Start early on investing – and make it a priority. Tyra Banks bought her first house at age 20, an age when most of her peers were spending their money on wild parties and other in-the-moment indulgences. Banks wishes she had invested more of her F Account money in art and other collectible assets that can appreciate in value.
Get Professional Advice. Many years ago, a skilled and smart financial advisor agreed to invest $10,000 for an unknown young model. He still manages Tyra Banks’ money – all $90 million.
That’s some fierce advice from a woman who walks the walk both on the runway and when it comes to managing her money.