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Old 09-06-2014, 09:45 PM   #81
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We try to avoid revealing our financial status, but it can be difficult for me to hide it because I work part-time, yet do not have children. That's pretty much a quick give away that we are "comfortable" financially...that and the numerous vacations we take. I try to downplay it by saying we live cheaply, do not have cable, drive old cars, etc. When it comes up I tell people we made a decision a long time ago that time is more important to us than money. I think that persona helps quite a bit. And it is true, too! That was initially why I went part-time...just so happens that in so doing, I applied myself to managing our finances closely...

I don't feel guilty for what we have worked and planned for. It didn't happen by accident, and we certainly didn't have huge incomes to end up where we are. But I also see no need to fuel any potential feelings of jealousy in others who are either less fortunate or who have not planned/lived as carefully as us over the years. They are still good people in our lives whom we love dearly, and I don't want money/potential feelings of jealously to damage our relationship with them.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:49 PM   #82
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Awkward Wealth

If they needed fifty thousand dollars, would you loan it to them?
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:58 PM   #83
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I have been enjoying this website for months now and it is really motivating me to try and super save for retirement.



No offense people but this thread sounds kind of arrogant and snobby?



Maybe I am missing something?

I have relatives far wealthier than me who are far unhappier in their lives. A cousin who died alone, for example, his body far decomposed, his brothers too embarrassed to hold a funeral.

There are a lot of people who screw up their lives. There are a lot of people who don't. Most of us here have sacrificed our choices to work for others, some have travelled for work, some who have worked far too many hours. We did not spend our money on the fanciest house or the fanciest clothes. Some of us spent more on travel than anything else, recognizing that experience trumps possessions.

On our honeymoon we found ourselves utterly broke, unable to pay our bills due to a checkbook error. Bailed out by a friend; we paid in full within 10 months, despite debt any minimum wage-like earnings.

Now, due our own choices as well as our forebearers, we have wealth enough to make sure DS doesn't start his adult life in debt.

Is it pride in the best sense of the word, or arrogance? I think the former. There are few places in our personal lives in which we are allowed to rejoice in our circumstances. We need a place to be proud of ourselves and our lives, without any shame for having actually achieved what we set out to do.



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Old 09-06-2014, 10:20 PM   #84
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I get the wealth building demographic thing. Thats why I am here.

It just seems arrogant to assume a financially struggling neighbor would even care what you buy at her place of work? She has bigger things to worry about?

I guess this is a "lets pat ourselves on the back thing" because we have money?

My ego isn't that big I guess to assume people care about my wealth.

I don't think it's a pat on the back thing. In my case, DW and I have struggled through life, but plans came together. But now we have friends that are still struggling. To me, this thread is how deal with that. People still want to hang around their old friends, but want to avoid awkwardness. If this was not the case, why even ask the question in the first place?

I have one friend who actually did much better at LBYM than me, and is now retired. Good for him.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:21 PM   #85
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I'm with you on giving things a shot. I had a cricket taco once - it wasn't bad. I was awfully glad it was those itty bitty, really tiny crickets, though!
I can't wait to get back to the market eateries in Mexico to have another cricket taco. I remember the first one being pretty good. I can't recall whether I had any tequila or mescal before consuming that taco though...
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:24 PM   #86
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Is it pride in the best sense of the word, or arrogance? I think the former. There are few places in our personal lives in which we are allowed to rejoice in our circumstances. We need a place to be proud of ourselves and our lives, without any shame for having actually achieved what we set out to do.
Well said. It's all about priorities - that's why budgets are such a big issue for couples as well as political parties - the discussions are not about money, they're about priorities.

I am proud that I am not "a slave to the credit industry" (I think it is Nords' phrase) and that we have been able to manage our affairs not to be and hopefully we will never be again.

A friend of mine, who could not understand why I chose divorce over going into debt 30 years ago later commented that I was "very goal-oriented". And thinking about that now, I remember that several people have commented about that throughout my life. Is setting and achieving goals really that unusual? It certainly seems a common trait on this board.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:36 PM   #87
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If they needed fifty thousand dollars, would you loan it to them?
Is that a question for me? I wouldn't lend $50k to hardly anyone. Maybe my own parents or DW's parents or other immediate family for a life saving operation. I don't even know A and her family well enough to lend any money really, but I'm fairly risk averse to making personal loans.

I see A a few times per week while out walking and at school events. This was the first time I've been to Trader Joe's in a year or so, which is about the time I got to know A (her kid just started school at that time).
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:51 PM   #88
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I have been enjoying this website for months now and it is really motivating me to try and super save for retirement.

No offense people but this thread sounds kind of arrogant and snobby?

Maybe I am missing something?
In real life I try to shut my mouth and act normal about money issues. Close friends and my side of the family know I'm early retired. The topic of ER and money rarely comes up with friends (as in never for some of them). I guess to them I'm just not working at the moment and that's cool. I don't see a need to show them a copy of my balance sheet or discuss how I can take 3% of my portfolio value each year forever and most likely still be richer when I die than I am today.

I don't ask them how big their paycheck is or how much is in their 401k or if they will be able to retire etc unless they move the conversation that way.

And almost all aspects of our routine lifestyle are pretty low budget. Cooking at home, living in an older house that needs a bit of work, 14 year old faded paint sedans that have 3 kids crammed into the back seat, etc. We occasionally buy fancy food and drink because that's a lot cheaper than dining out. We travel a bit more than average, but are pretty good at doing it on the cheap.

I do maintain a blog where I share monthly cash flow and net worth updates, and friends could sleuth out what the blog is from my facebook page. I never share my net worth updates on my own facebook page though. Only 10% of my friends are "followers" (or whatever facebook calls it) of my blog, and many of those are wealthier than me, or close friends/family that know my ER status anyway.

I don't feel awkward about talking ER with friends that make $200k/yr and have way more stuff than I do. But where I live, there are some people that are just barely getting by financially. I do what I can to not make ER finances and my net worth a subject of conversation with them (and I've been pretty successful). Maybe this is a non-issue for some. It just bugs me a little bit. Sort of why more often than not I fib about my ER status to acquaintances and say "just taking some time off work" or "yep, I take care of the kids".
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:53 PM   #89
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Is that a question for me? I wouldn't lend $50k to hardly anyone. Maybe my own parents or DW's parents or other immediate family for a life saving operation. I don't even know A and her family well enough to lend any money really, but I'm fairly risk averse to making personal loans.



I see A a few times per week while out walking and at school events. This was the first time I've been to Trader Joe's in a year or so, which is about the time I got to know A (her kid just started school at that time).

No, it wasn't to you at all.

I just think there are a lot of (other) smug people who won't step up when the chips are really down.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:08 PM   #90
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I don't think it's a pat on the back thing. In my case, DW and I have struggled through life, but plans came together. But now we have friends that are still struggling. To me, this thread is how deal with that. People still want to hang around their old friends, but want to avoid awkwardness. If this was not the case, why even ask the question in the first place?

I have one friend who actually did much better at LBYM than me, and is now retired. Good for him.
That makes sense. A place to celebrate the sacrifice of LBYM?

I didn't mean to offend anybody on here. Hope I didn't.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:24 PM   #91
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In real life I try to shut my mouth and act normal about money issues. Close friends and my side of the family know I'm early retired. The topic of ER and money rarely comes up with friends (as in never for some of them). I guess to them I'm just not working at the moment and that's cool. I don't see a need to show them a copy of my balance sheet or discuss how I can take 3% of my portfolio value each year forever and most likely still be richer when I die than I am today.

I don't ask them how big their paycheck is or how much is in their 401k or if they will be able to retire etc unless they move the conversation that way.

And almost all aspects of our routine lifestyle are pretty low budget. Cooking at home, living in an older house that needs a bit of work, 14 year old faded paint sedans that have 3 kids crammed into the back seat, etc. We occasionally buy fancy food and drink because that's a lot cheaper than dining out. We travel a bit more than average, but are pretty good at doing it on the cheap.

I do maintain a blog where I share monthly cash flow and net worth updates, and friends could sleuth out what the blog is from my facebook page. I never share my net worth updates on my own facebook page though. Only 10% of my friends are "followers" (or whatever facebook calls it) of my blog, and many of those are wealthier than me, or close friends/family that know my ER status anyway.

I don't feel awkward about talking ER with friends that make $200k/yr and have way more stuff than I do. But where I live, there are some people that are just barely getting by financially. I do what I can to not make ER finances and my net worth a subject of conversation with them (and I've been pretty successful). Maybe this is a non-issue for some. It just bugs me a little bit. Sort of why more often than not I fib about my ER status to acquaintances and say "just taking some time off work" or "yep, I take care of the kids".
That makes total sense. I also live in a very mixed economic area and I myself make pretty good income that allows me to super save for retirement.

Its funny for me because I get excited for people who win with money and they just motivate me(Why I love this website!).
So I love to hear from family and friends and coworkers about their success and failure with money so I can learn from them.

In my neighborhood most people keep to themselves.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:24 PM   #92
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I didn't mean to offend anybody on here. Hope I didn't.
No, you are OK....... most folks here have worked hard all their lives, saved smartly, and have thick skin.

Why not go to this spot on the forums and introduce yourself to us. We would like to know more about you and your interests:

Hi, I am... - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:30 PM   #93
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I have relatives far wealthier than me who are far unhappier in their lives. A cousin who died alone, for example, his body far decomposed, his brothers too embarrassed to hold a funeral.

There are a lot of people who screw up their lives. There are a lot of people who don't. Most of us here have sacrificed our choices to work for others, some have travelled for work, some who have worked far too many hours. We did not spend our money on the fanciest house or the fanciest clothes. Some of us spent more on travel than anything else, recognizing that experience trumps possessions.

On our honeymoon we found ourselves utterly broke, unable to pay our bills due to a checkbook error. Bailed out by a friend; we paid in full within 10 months, despite debt any minimum wage-like earnings.

Now, due our own choices as well as our forebearers, we have wealth enough to make sure DS doesn't start his adult life in debt.

Is it pride in the best sense of the word, or arrogance? I think the former. There are few places in our personal lives in which we are allowed to rejoice in our circumstances. We need a place to be proud of ourselves and our lives, without any shame for having actually achieved what we set out to do.



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Very well said.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:31 PM   #94
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No, you are OK....... most folks here have worked hard all their lives, saved smartly, and have thick skin.

Why not go to this spot on the forums and introduce yourself to us. We would like to know more about you and your interests:

Hi, I am... - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Ok thanks.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:55 PM   #95
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My awkward moments have been when I blurt out in casual converstation that I plan to retire. People are sometimes taken aback as if to say 1) aren't you too young, and 2) you must be rich enough to retire and I am not. I try not to blurt out but these days, I am so occupied with thoughts of RE that I can't help it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:58 PM   #96
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Yes discussing it here.
Well, I find it very welcome that we can discuss money and ER here. With real life friends and acquaintances there is far too much chance of being taken as snobby and arrogant, and far too little chance of making any real connection or change anyway. Yes, it can be tough sometimes to read posts like "I have $6 million, can I retire?" and not be at least a little jealous, but I don't think those posts are intended to brag.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:31 AM   #97
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With Real-Life friends... well I don't really have any in the local area. Life, since as long as I've been in it, seems to revolved around bad family life, and debt, jobs, and the need for money. I have dispensed with all of the above making life one big awkward moment that required apologizing just for living. People like being with "their own kind" so they all drifted away where they could bitch and struggle happily amongst each other.

Now there were some friends who had money. Lots, but could only brag about how much they were spending on all the latest toys and lifestyle upgrades and telling me I don't have any fun. "You know what you oughta get...?" was a topic that came up often.

With acquaintances they know I'm retired military so all I need to say is "I'm not doing anything right now" and they conclude I'm not starving.
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Old 09-07-2014, 12:36 AM   #98
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Well, I find it very welcome that we can discuss money and ER here. With real life friends and acquaintances there is far too much chance of being taken as snobby and arrogant, and far too little chance of making any real connection or change anyway. Yes, it can be tough sometimes to read posts like "I have $6 million, can I retire?" and not be at least a little jealous, but I don't think those posts are intended to brag.
I love the money discussions on here also. It is inspiring and encouraging.
I have never thought people are bragging to each other on here.


I know broke hardworking people like the Trader Joe's lady and I guess in my mind she just really wouldn't care if her neighbor purchased caviar?

Somebody else said in a post that the thread had a ELITIST PERSPECTIVE in its social circle and I was kind of getting that vibe also?

So many Americans these days work so hard for low wages and just to get by It doesn't seem like they have time to be jealous?

I get what you guys are saying about this place being a spot to discuss having money and dealing with people who don't?

I shouldn't have said anything.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:15 AM   #99
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Awkward Wealth

I was on the receiving end recently.

My wife and I were invited to an event organized by her company's CEO. I got to talk to him for a while. He asked me if we had purchased a home in San Francisco yet. I replied that we were still renting. He said we should purchase one in the very exclusive Bay Area community where he lives. He is in his 60s and he makes a few millions every year. We are in our 40s and make considerably less. He knows about my wife's compensation level, but it didn't even occur to him that we could not afford such a home. In his world, everybody can.

Then he started talking about the new vacation house he just bought in an exotic location. He went on and on about it, the views, the beach, the location, etc... We should buy one of those too, he concluded.

He probably did not feel awkward about the conversation, because I don't think he realized how ludicrous it all sounded to me.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:20 AM   #100
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My awkward moments have been when I blurt out in casual converstation that I plan to retire. People are sometimes taken aback as if to say 1) aren't you too young, and 2) you must be rich enough to retire and I am not. I try not to blurt out but these days, I am so occupied with thoughts of RE that I can't help it.
Thanks to this website I have become obsessed with retiring sooner than later.

It seems like most people these days don't even have a real plan to exit the workforce?

My megacorp offers a pretty good defined pension and still a lot of people with 30+ years of service are just hanging around.
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