A CEO moves next door to a 3rd year college student who babysits and tutors for a rich family to keep the rent paid in her expensive apartment. It seems strange for a CEO, who probably has a ton of money, to move next door, in somewhat of the same living conditions as her. How would I make this work? My idea of how I'd make this work:

The CEO has a nephew (which is an unchanging factor of the story, he's going to exist regardless), and nephew is a bit of a delinquent. Nephew hates CEO uncle's job and doesn't like living in his fancy penthouses, so CEO uncle decides to compromise for his nephew by moving into a lesser environment, which would also allow him to stay in the same school district. Now, it's not a poor apartment building with graffiti and broken down air conditioning, but it's actually quite expensive. CEO is also quite a humble and down-to-earth man and doesn't mind living comfortably and in something that isn't obnoxious in luxury.

The difference is that OC (college student) is struggling to pay her expensive rent, while it is like nothing to Mr. CEO. The two of them encounter at the beginning of the story, and OC meets Mr. Ceo as his normal. He doesn't automatically tell her that he's a CEO, so all she knows is that he's a handsome man with a rude nephew living next door.

The OC doesn't find out he's a CEO until she does an internship under his company and becomes his personal assistant. I'll be "showing, not telling" that he is a CEO and also trying my best not to make this seem like an overly fictional story. I want it to be realistic.

So officially, the question is: does this seem realistic enough, for a CEO to be living next door to a college student?

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    You seem to be using CEO as if it is synonymous with 'rich', but that's not at all the case. Any company can have a CEO, even startups with less than a dozen employees. – Arcanist Lupus Dec 16 '18 at 7:38
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    Many apartment buildings contain apartments of different sizes. In the house I live in, there are small, 20 square meter, one-room studio appartments, where the kitchen is in a courner of the the tiny bed-and-living-room and the windows go out onto the sidewalk so that people can look in, as well as large, 120 suare meter, lofts under the roof that have multiple balconies, a fantastic view over the city in all directions of the compass, a four meter high ceiling, and a place in the underground parking lot. There's a student in the studio apartment, and a rich single man in the penthouse. – user34178 Dec 16 '18 at 8:55
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    In the USA, the median CEO salary is $160,000, and their take-home salary is likely around $10,000 per month (after taxes and benefits). Median means 50% of American CEOs earn less, 50% earn more. I find the "sacrifice for the nephew" line very implausible, if the nephew is an adult, a rich uncle can put him up wherever without moving in next to him. If the nephew is a child (you mention a school district), tough. Teens don't get to choose where they live, rich or poor. Rich CEOs don't live in large houses for nothing, they have to entertain and keep up appearances. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Dec 16 '18 at 22:55
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    If the wealth of the CEO is important, a good excuse for them to take an upscale apartment is that they actually reside (and intend to continue residing) in another state; but are visiting the current state to set up a new factory, or build a mall or office building or to do some other project that requires their daily presence. Then your premise of "this apartment is good enough" for a six month project can be a little more plausible, on such a project he is unlikely to need a venue for entertaining (and could rent a space if he did). He can jet home when needed, too. – Amadeus-Reinstate-Monica Dec 16 '18 at 23:00
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    To chime in with some of the others. The most plausible reason I would buy for a CEO living below their means is them living in their ancestral home. Their parents may have been slightly less well off but why move when you have strong ties to the community (make sure you establish those ties) – AGirlHasNoName Dec 17 '18 at 0:10

There are plenty of rich people who live far more modest than their means would allow.

There are plenty of poor people who live far more well off than their means would allow.

That they would meet in the middle is not that absurd. My only caveats are to not make it too extreme (don't let him be a billionaire) and to consider the kind of personality and life choices that would lead people to live in these situations. Sure the nephew is partial motivation but what else would lead someone to live so modest? Why does the girl live so far beyond her means? Who is she trying to impress? What does she gain being broke all the time? safety? an illusion of safety?


You have the CEO of a successful company (the penthouse he gave up is not cheap) moving into a different building to satisfy the whims of a nephew. How did this nephew become his ward? Did his parents die?

A delinquent nephew might not be quite enough motivation for a down to earth but driven (successful CEOs tend to be) man to change his circumstances and enter the circle of your MC. Perhaps the building belonged to the dead parents and the move was in part to watch over it more personally and in part to honour the memory of his dead sibling.

The company he runs would have to be the sort that inculcates a culture of no barriers or a lowly intern would likely never even see the CEO. He might eventually notice her and know this is the girl from 24b (her address would be on the application and on file).

You might need to make it his choice to offer the position of personal assistant (quite a plum position) to this college student.

Is it realistic that a CEO would live in such a building. Yes, but his social circles and schedule would still be what they are. He would be very busy, always going somewhere.

Friends and advisors would probably have told him that changing his life for a school age nephew who will be most likely striking out on his own in a few years might be detrimental to the child and the company. ‘Moving to another building, Charles? Where does it end?’ He would be cautioned not to become an enabler for the nephew.

That he lives next door to the college kid is believable, just give him more than his nephew told him to. Make him a kind and caring person, but he must know that he does know better than his nephew since the boy is immature and a troubled work in progress while he has succeeded and is choosing to modify his life to straighten out his delinquent nephew.

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