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Jealous/envious of a friend's finances
Old 12-03-2007, 05:30 PM   #1
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Jealous/envious of a friend's finances

A good friend of mine recently inherited a good chunk of money from a grandmother who passed recently. He was the only grandchild and is obviously the only child to his parents who are also well off financially so he'll eventually inherit their money as well.

I find myself being a bit jealous of him and even a bit bitter sometimes as he'll basically inherit his retirement and I'm planning and saving and living well below my means while my friend and his wife are travelling and spending and not worried about saving at all.

Has anyone ever encountered a similar situation? He's a very good friend of mine and I'm trying not to let my jealousy get in the way of our friendship.
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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We had a family friend that inherited enough money for several people to live on for their entire lives. However, he was the sole heir. He would have been set for life with no need to ever work again, but he lived the high live, and blew it all by the time he was in his early 30's. He's now pushing 60, and has nothing to show for it. He says he'll have to work until he dies.

It's not how much you have or have not, or whether you worked for it or inherited it, but rather what you do with what you have. I worked for what I have, and I can enjoy retirement. He can't say that!
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyerishgold View Post
A good friend of mine recently inherited a good chunk of money from a grandmother who passed recently. He was the only grandchild and is obviously the only child to his parents who are also well off financially so he'll eventually inherit their money as well.

I find myself being a bit jealous of him and even a bit bitter sometimes as he'll basically inherit his retirement and I'm planning and saving and living well below my means while my friend and his wife are travelling and spending and not worried about saving at all.

Has anyone ever encountered a similar situation? He's a very good friend of mine and I'm trying not to let my jealousy get in the way of our friendship.
I've known a lot of inheritors. Big deal; I would no more likely be jealous of these people than I am of NBA stars or extremely handsome men. It would be nice, but didn't happen.

Aren't you displaying the opposite side of what people so frequently complain about on this board? Envy based on differing economic circumstances?
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Old 12-03-2007, 05:53 PM   #4
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I would offer to become his financial adviser at 3%/year. That's what friends are for.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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I am reminded of one of my mother's favorite sayings: "Don't be envious or jealous of anyone else. You might not have their resources, but you also don't have their bills or problems."

If he's a good friend, stay friendly and try not to let his wealth get in the way of a friendship.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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One of my few friends from my W*rking days used to say 'you only get two chances in life and you don't get to pick your parents'. Why isn't anyone commenting on marrying money?

Me, who cares what my friends finances are, they are either friends or the are not.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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I find myself being a bit jealous of him and even a bit bitter sometimes as he'll basically inherit his retirement and I'm planning and saving and living well below my means while my friend and his wife are travelling and spending and not worried about saving at all.
Should a good friend feel this way about someone's fortune, or should a good friend feel happy for them and their good fortune?

However that "good fortune" still involved the loss of a loved one.

As for parental money, you may be counting long-term care expenses chickens before they hatch.

It would be quite ironic, even tragic, if the two of you were each envying the other for successes that you feel are lacking in your own lives. His inheritance has supposedly changed his life for the better, so hopefully it doesn't cause you to change your friendship for worse.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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i remember answering another post earlier about friends becoming jealous and i said that would never happen to me because i thought so highly of my friends. well, it happened. i didn't even inherit all that much, but enough to retire. and it isn't as if my friend wasn't aware that this would eventually be my fortune, having been boating & on vacations with us numerous times over the years. this good friend of 20 years became so jealous that it ruined our friendship.

she was never much for keeping friends and there were extenuating circumstances. both her brother and my mother just died. my friend was always the type to push people away (i was her absolute only long-time friend). and, well, she just pushed & pushed too hard at a time when i ran out of strength to stop her.

she kept complaining about her career (she has the wonderful job she always wanted) and when i'd try to counsel her she'd counter that i don't know what it is like to work. she kept telling me how easy i have it. i suggested she take my money and while she's at it she might as well also take my dealing with alzheimer's for a dozen years, she might also take upon herself my burying my partner and she could also have the death of my best friend on her shoulders as well.

but my life is not her life, her life is not mine. your friend's life is not your life and your life is not your friend's. it is that simple. my friend always was a bit of a selfish person but i considered it a cute quirk. life is better shared.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:53 PM   #9
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I am wondering how many people are close friends, not just occasional friends or acquaintances, with someone of a dramatically different economic class?

I don't know anything about your friendship or how close you are, but I understand how there can be awkwardness and jealousies.

Total assets aside, I think it is easiest to be close friends with people who live similar lifestyles to your lifestyle. But as Lazy says, life is better shared.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
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How would you feel if your friend developed a serious and painful disease?

If you are a true friend, you won't let either fortune or misfortune come between you.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:15 PM   #11
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for my entire life i've befriended those with a lot of money and those with none. it never made a spit of difference to me. i only have one rule: the guy with the fastest car drives. hey, it might as well be fun.

my very good long-term friends (friendships lasting from 20 to 45 years) range from one (who played with me in the sandbox when we were kids) who now lives in what many here would consider squaller behind a shopping center parking lot just off a major highway to those who live on the water with their toy boats. i have made shorter-term friends (generally lasting 2 to 10 years) over the years ranging from one who had three yachts all over 80 ft to those who practically lived in the street.

but now i've lost a friend who thinks i have too much money and i've put a friendship on hold because though we were both raised "upper middle" so-called class, since he's now worth maybe 5 or 15 mil his values have changed too much for my tastes as he has lost his compassion for those of lesser means and i have lost my patience for that.

but it sure would be nice to find someone new who could just take off and sail around the world. that's a lifestyle i'd love to share.
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyerishgold View Post
A good friend of mine recently inherited a good chunk of money from a grandmother who passed recently. He was the only grandchild and is obviously the only child to his parents who are also well off financially so he'll eventually inherit their money as well.

I find myself being a bit jealous of him and even a bit bitter sometimes as he'll basically inherit his retirement and I'm planning and saving and living well below my means while my friend and his wife are travelling and spending and not worried about saving at all.

Has anyone ever encountered a similar situation? He's a very good friend of mine and I'm trying not to let my jealousy get in the way of our friendship.
You will have a *satisfaction* he will never have. Getting to FIRE by your own smarts and sweat. You will have earned a certain element of *self-respect* he won't be able to know. Now that seems not exactly a situation for you to be bitter of him about.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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You will have a *satisfaction* he will never have. Getting to FIRE by your own smarts and sweat. You will have earned a certain element of *self-respect* he won't be able to know. Now that seems not exactly a situation for you to be bitter of him about.
Besides, it can't be a good feeling to have whatever friends you have turning away from you due to your good fortune. I don't know if that is happening with his other friends, but if so he probably feels lonely and disappointed on some level. And he probably would rather have his grandmother than the money.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:20 PM   #14
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You will have a *satisfaction* he will never have. Getting to FIRE by your own smarts and sweat. You will have earned a certain element of *self-respect* he won't be able to know. Now that seems not exactly a situation for you to be bitter of him about.
Maybe he won't obtain that satisfaction of doing it himself, maybe he will. Circumstances in life don't necessarily "even out." Some folks just get dealt better cards from cradle to grave in all regards. Either life's circumstances give folks enough in common to be friends or not. If not, that's just the way it is......

Eyerishgold, jealously isn't a good thing, and to whatever extent you can put it aside, you'll be better off for it. And remember that your friend's inheritance may change your relationship regardless of whether you're jealous or not. There isn't a whole lot you can do about that.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:10 AM   #15
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My sister's plan is also to inherit her retirement. But since she'll get half and I'll get the other half, I can't be too jealous of her! Though for me, any inheritance will be gravy as I intend to reach FIRE on my own. For her, that's the only way she'll be able to retire, or at least that's what she says.

My friends tend to be in the same socio-economic class as I am. Professionals with advanced degrees, good income, most without kids. I find it difficult to be good friend with really wealthy people. I just don't seem to have much in common with most of them. But if one of my friends inherited a lot of money, I would remain friend with him unless the sudden influx of money changes him.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:22 AM   #16
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Lazy..

Sorry to hear about all your losses... it amazes me how many people think money is the 'thing' that makes us rich.... good friendships are worth so much more...

I have a couple of good friends that if I won the 'big' lottery would never have to work again... but if I won a small one would get some 'help'.. and if I did not, I would think that they would not be like your long term friend.. right now I have a lot more than they do and there is no problems... I just hope it stays that way...

to the OP... it is natural for most people. It is called Envy... we all have it at some point, but we need to just let it go. There are times I see someone who makes a LOT more money than I do and don't even come close to brain power... but, I am not willing to do what it takes and they have no problem with either working very long hours, being aholes, or lying to get what they want... but after a few minutes I am back to where I should be... happy for what I have.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:12 AM   #17
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My kids always use the refrain - "but that's not fair!". I remind them that life is not fair and they had better get used to it. It is a lesson that will repeat again and again over one's lifetime.

One good thing about kids - you remind yourself of these important lessons. Looking at the live's of others, it is easy for me to slip into the same frame of mind. "Why do they have......" "How can they......" "It's not fair, I want that too!." But I know that if I look closely, I don't really want to trade my life for theirs. I know that despite occaisional whining, I am very fortunate. And, I remind myself to heed the lesson I am trying to teach my kids.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:05 AM   #18
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It helps to look at where we are compared to the world (vs compared to a friend or a neighbor)

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Old 12-04-2007, 08:24 AM   #19
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Through the years I've had friends and neighbors who seemed to have houses, cars and vacations far in excess of anything I would spend money on had. I knew what they did for a living and about what they earned, so it puzzled me that they lived so extravagantly. And frankly, it worried me that they might not be saving enough. I certainly was not jealous about it.

Then one evening my wife explained it. Women tend to talk to other women about personal things more than men, a fact that astounds me even after all these years. But it turns out that most of the spenders were getting parental welfare. Again, I was not jealous, just mostly amused. To me, doing it myself meant far more than having the money to spend. DF offered to invest in any business enterprise I wanteds to start, but I always turned him down. Well I did let him loan me the money for my first new car. But we set an interest rate that was fair, and I paid it back on time. He earned a better rate than the bank gave, and I paid a little less than a car loan. Worked out better for both of us.

Each person sets his or her own standards when it comes to money, and these standards are pretty much programmed in at an early age. I've never known anyone that had what I'd call a lot of money, say roughly over $5MM. I have known people who inherented a lot or received it in divorce decrees. It almost always was used up in a matter of a few years on "stuff". Go figure.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:12 AM   #20
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Quote:
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...

to the OP... it is natural for most people. It is called Envy... we all have it at some point, but we need to just let it go. There are times I see someone who makes a LOT more money than I do and don't even come close to brain power... but, I am not willing to do what it takes and they have no problem with either working very long hours, being aholes, or lying to get what they want... but after a few minutes I am back to where I should be... happy for what I have.
We're all going to feel jealousy or self pity or smug superiority at various times.
Do these feelings improve you? No.
Is there something you can do to improve the situation? If so, do it; if not, why are you fretting?

I suggest you wallow in the jealousy for a day or two, then just let it go.

You won't miss it.
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