Former president Jimmy Carter's humble post-office lifestyle is almost shocking compared to the current president, who until recently, lived in a golden penthouse. Carter, who famously gave a speech during his presidency denouncing the lure of modern materialism, was profiled in a Washington Post article last week that focused on the modest life he now lives with his wife Rosalynn in an unassuming house in Georgia.

The couple eats off paper plates, goes to church, and takes walks, just like average Americans, but not like the average former president. Unlike other modern past presidents, Carter has not cashed in on the celebrity gained by being in the White House with lavish appearances and speaking engagements.

Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn joined Boston Public Radio to talk about Carter's life and his refusal to be swept up in the decadence of wealth.

"He did not want to be seen as capitalizing financially on the prestige and the dignity, those words are his, on the U.S. presidency," Koehn said.

"His means of living and his way of living, which he has clearly put a lot of thought into, is distinctively un-celebratory and very much against the grain of cashing in," she continued.