A millionaire spends £60,000 a month on travel and bought a castle worth £5.5m
This week we speak to Dr Anne Kaplan Mulholland, 63, who lives in Lympne Castle, Kent, with her husband Stephen, 63, a plastic surgeon now involved in non-surgical cosmetic rejuvenation technology. Anne and Stephen bought Lympne Castle in February 2023 for £5.5 million and have enjoyed traveling around the world. Anne, who has an estimated net worth of £500 million, made her fortune in consumer finance and is a millionaire. She always travels first class and has a penchant for designer clothes. But when she’s enjoying downtime, she cycles through three outfits. For Anne, the more people have, the less they want.
My monthly salary from working as a manager at Lympne Castle is £6,250.
Globally, I have real estate holdings in nine commercial and residential properties, with annual rental income of $2 million (£1.6 million). I have an investment portfolio with an income of $4m (£3.2) per year. The annual net income from my insurance company is about $2 million.
The income from all of these properties is reinvested to grow the portfolio and is not liquid. I also own a clothing company. Income from sales through the clothing company is donated to schools focused on positive social impact in fashion and to help underprivileged fashion students.
There is no mortgage on Lympne Castle because we have bought it outright. We have no debt and prefer to buy properties directly. I don’t tend to see our utility bills, so I can’t tell you how much each one costs! We also have in-house staff for the properties we use, at a total cost of a few hundred thousand pounds per year. I don’t like driving, but we have cars, and someone takes them for a spin every now and then.
Stephen and I can spend £60,000 a month on travel. We fly first class and travel frequently, both for business and pleasure. Sometimes companies pay for our travel. Flights can cost £10,000 each way. In the months I attend fashion shows, photo shoots or other events, I can spend £60,000 a month on clothes, buying brands like Balmain or Schiaparelli. But the rest of the time, I’ll spend next to nothing on clothes.
We love some restaurants and can spend £300 at a time eating out; However, the cost of a meal per person is always disproportionate. I’m a gluten-free vegetarian – a side of broccoli and I’m satisfied.
We have six children, some of whom are currently in university. Higher education costs for children are around £150,000 per year per child. This includes things like housing and overseas education costs.
I would say I invest £3 million a year in various investments, excluding property. I don’t invest in the stock market because I don’t understand it. I invest in real estate, make loans, and invest in businesses that I control or manage. In this current unpredictable market, I invest in government bonds.
Excluding investments and property, I’d say my personal spending is around £1.5m a year.
I had an unusual upbringing growing up in Victoria, British Columbia. I was the daughter of a radiologist and a psychiatrist. My family traces back to the Christie Cookie Company and was very wealthy.
When I was 12 I found out I wasn’t adopted, as I’d been told. I grew up with my biological mother and a Scottish father who loved me like his own. I was the product of an affair between my English mother and a Hawaiian artist. Without any animosity, I left home when I was 14 and lived on my own. I have been driven to take control of my life from a young age. I knew I had to be the maker of my own destiny.
I rented a room in a house, and while I was still in school, I worked as a waitress at a pie house for a small wage plus tips. I also did a paper round and any other custom jobs that came up. I just need enough to pay my overhead.
After earning a degree in interior design, I earned a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in finance. I launched a consumer finance company called iFinance in 1996, which I sold in 2022. It was the largest non-asset-based consumer finance company in Canada, and I typically earned about $250,000 a year in salary. I have written algorithms to determine whether or not a consumer will default on their loan. The company made about $2 billion in consumer loans for private medical procedures.
By 2017, I was doing some TV work and a producer called me to go and audition. I wasn’t told what it was for, but it turned out to be for him The Real Housewives of Toronto. I got paid to appear on the show, but it wasn’t much.
Last year, our oldest child left for college, and Stephen and I had an empty nest. We considered buying an apartment in London, including one overlooking Hyde Park, but everything was insanely expensive, especially the service charges! The cheapest house in London we saw was listed for £8.5 million, and the most expensive house in London was £150 million. Service fees ranged from £48,000 to £320,000 per annum.
I created an Excel spreadsheet listing all possible service fees and performed a quantitative analysis of them. It didn’t make financial sense to buy an apartment like this. I believe that the prime real estate market will decline in the coming years due to rising inflation rates and interest costs. A lot of the apartments in London we looked at also had dull neutral color schemes, which I don’t like.
We certainly weren’t looking for a castle, but after browsing online I made an inquiry about one for sale in Kent. In February 2023, Stephen and I bought Lympne Castle for £5.5 million. The property has been listed for £11 million. It turns out I was buying a full-time job and not just a property! The castle is Grade I listed, so connecting a hairdryer can be complicated.
Living in a castle is expensive, but I think our costs are much lower than King Charles III’s at Buckingham Palace. I pity him in this regard! In winter, I think it would cost £15,000 a month to heat Lympne Castle.
We are renovating the castle and its gardens and creating outbuildings on site for weddings, accommodation and events. The castle is located on an area of 139 acres. We have spent £1 million repairing parts of the roof.
As an estimate, I think the total refurbishment costs could be, for the first phase alone, up to £21 million. But I am working hard to ensure that this amount is lower and closer to £10 million. I look at every pound spent and every quote received. I buy furniture from UK auction houses online, and some of the chairs I’ve bought cost £30.
With the Citadel, it’s like going to a facial and coming out after a colonoscopy. Things don’t always go as planned, and if you think the sink needs replacing, it may turn out that the entire castle’s pipework needs rebuilding.
While renovations to the castle are well underway, Stephen and I have a documentary reality TV show in development, which will be available in the UK, Canada and the US. It’s about Lympne Castle and our adventures to transform it. I also plan to make fashion a major part of the show.
We have some different characteristics that we leverage overseas. In addition to the castle, we have a house in Toronto, where Drake lives next door. It is likely worth around $40 million. We also use a 17,000-square-foot penthouse in Las Vegas, which we acquired for about $18 million. It’s worth more now. It has a 360 degree view of the Las Vegas Strip. We also have properties in Victoria, Vancouver and Waikiki that we rent out.
I’m not looking to buy any more properties at the moment. I think the worldwide real estate market will decline, but I think there will be better opportunities to buy in a couple of years. In the future, I may invest in properties at the Brando Hotel, or in Thailand, Hong Kong, or the British Virgin Islands.
Stephen and I can spend £60,000 a month on travel. We travel first class and enjoy staying at Dorchester Collection hotels or Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. We love staying at Necker Island, owned by Sir Richard Branson, which costs between £2,000 and £3,000 per night. Another favorite is The Brando in Tahiti, again at around £3,000 per night. We went to 20 counties this year, but some of the trips were for work. Stephen and I also like hiking and biking, which are not very expensive hobbies.
I’d say I personally spend around £1.5m a year, excluding investments and property. If I got a million pounds tomorrow, although I admit that wouldn’t really attract attention, I would put the money in government bonds for two years, and nothing more. There is no incentive to put money into cash savings.
Teaching children the value of money is very important to me. When one of our children was younger, I wouldn’t give her a doll she wanted right away. I made her do the housework. She will receive $1 per chore. She finally got the doll and now has a very good work ethic. Our children had to earn money for the things they wanted, even while enjoying a great lifestyle.
All our children went to private schools, at a cost of £25,000 a year per child. At one point, we had all the kids in private school at the same time. Some of them are still in higher education and we pay for their housing and tuition fees. These amounts can be up to £150,000 per year per child if they are abroad. We encouraged our children to pursue careers they enjoy, rather than just follow the money. If they do something they enjoy as a career, the money will come.
I’m not driven by money and never have been. I have no desire to be known as a person with potential. I want to be known as someone of value. Deep down, I see myself as an academic and don’t want money to change me. I’m certainly not keen on becoming a billionaire and I’m not attracted to rich people.
As long as my husband is by my side and we’re having a good time, that’s all I want. I don’t have any financial goals because we have everything we need. Our Buckingham Castle and Palace are not for sale! We have enough. The more you have, the less you want.
Not sure what else we can buy. I have a closet full of purses, but I never carry a wallet. How much more could someone want?
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