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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:10 AM   #21
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Not particularly. Had I experienced any I think I'd have stopped associating with someone who was jealous of my planning, hard work and good fortune.

The thing I'm concerned about is the probable unspoken expectation that I could somehow bail them out financially if push came to shove. That might create a bit of tension.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:28 AM   #22
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorklady
well, i retired at 30 and it pisses people off so i don't tell them specifics. sad fact people get jealous. i lived and live below my means, invests, etc. people my age don't prepare for retirement, etc. they don't understand how i am the way i am. it is an instant gratification culture while i think long term. i understand, best not to tell anyone about investment property and congrats to you on your situation.
I hear ya NYL...it does suck when I see my friends driving around in $30k+ SUVs, going out to eat, going to Vegas with friends every so often, and I think "if only they took just one of those trips and invested it above and beyond what they're already investing (if anything at all), they'd be so much farther ahead!"

I think the problem with other people boils down to two problems, both intermingling:
1) Inability to plan ahead, largely due to ignorance of compound interest (the mindset of "oh, I'll enjoy life now and simply save later", while they don't realize they have to save 2x-3x-4x as much later on to arrive at the same portfolio-at-retirement)
2) Not only are they easily influenced by the consumerism culture (which could be an item in and of itself), but they fall prey to both the "big ticket items" as well as the nickel-and-dime stuff. In various financial porn publications, some months you'll see articles about "those $5 lattes and $1,000 trips really add up". Other months, you see articles proclaiming "Keep enjoying those $5 lattes - it's the big expenses (like buying a new car every few years, buying a bigger home than you need) that will wreck your portfolio". The true LBYMers on this board understand the impact of both the little expenses adding up as well as the big expenses adding up. Sure, some of us indulge in some of them - but we're all aware of the financial considerations of our actions.

Some people understand just one of them (they're aware of big-ticket items costing a lot, but the $5 lattes are invisible to them, and vice-versa). Many people in this country are ignorant to both of them, and just can't see the impact of $5 lattes ("I mean, it's JUST $5" or "It's JUST $2"). They assume that those little expenditures can't possibly add up to significant amounts, and the same for those trips and buying a bigger house/car/etc. They're likely the same ones that don't see how higher mutual fund fees add up to significant amounts in the long run.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 10:41 AM   #23
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Oh yeah. I can relate. Some "friends" have said things that indicate that they assume I am rolling in luxury because I don't have to work full time. This not the case. I live on a budget and invest carefully. I'm still saving! But I choose not to work full time so that I can focus on my art and am lucky I can do so. Still, I have to be careful about even mentioning anything to do with finances around some people. I have chosen not to be around them much. Luckily, I have friends and family who are in a similar financial position and who are supportive and not jealous.

Money is a tricky subject. It's one of the top three topics to avoid in social conversation, including religion and politics.

On a broader topic, I think some people just don't like to hear that anyone is doing better than they are (in their perception). What a short sighted view.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:05 AM   #24
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

I have seen some of this. It really annoys my family that we drive 10 and 14 year old Hondas and haven't bought the new Mercedes , which we "obviously can afford". They also can't believe that we live in the same house we bought when I was a first year associate. They apparently do not see the connection between those two facts and FI.

When I hear people complain that lawyers are overpaid, I usually tell them that it's a free country and they should get in on the boondoggle too. Heck, I was 30 when I went to law school. I had saved my money in my 20's, so that I didn't need a student loan. Of course, that left me with zero money at 33 when I started my legal career and it involved essentially living on Ramen noodles for three years. And then there are the long, long hours of stressful work required by a large law firm. But somehow, when I explain how easy it is to become a lawyer and grab all that cash, none of them want to do it.

The only people with whom I ever really discuss money are on the board. Otherwise, I try to avoid the topic.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:18 AM   #25
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

FatBoy, I feel your pain. I made the mistake of talking about money in my 20s. Back then, I was stupid enough to talk about paying off a car loan or paying off a student loan years ahead of the repayment schedule. It's not as if I had won the lottery because the sums were in the 10-20k range. Even that elicited envious responses, so from then on, I first try to make sure that people I discuss financial matters with, if I do discuss financial matters at all, are a) winners and b) are smart enough to distinguish money from all of its implicit meanings. Even then, I try to talk about wishes and targets rather than what I have.

What I mean by winners isn't rock stars or sports superstars. It's a mental attitude. Winners want to see and hear success stories because they believe that learning about others' success will help them toward their own success. Losers, on the other hand, don't believe they can get anywhere on their own, so the only thing they are good at is blocking. I try to steer clear of these folks whenever I can.

The people on this board are are a rare lot in that we don't associate money with status, sexual appeal, or control over others. We see money as a tool for enabling independence, and we assume that others see money the same way.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:27 AM   #26
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Reading many of these posts I guess DW and I must have great family and friends back home in England. They don't ask me how much I earn (DW is RE'd 3 years now) or how much savings we have. They wouldn't understand net worth and the like as they are all still very much salt of the earth hourly paid workers for the most part.

They see us both almost every year, me several times a year, and although they envy our situation they are VERY pleased for us. We never flaunt our money and would never attempt to pay more than our fair share down the pub etc, but we take great pleasure in being able to fly them out to see us, particularly at times such as our daughter's wedding, or for my father to visit my brother in Australia.

We have also been in the position to give a helping hand up to each of my sisters and also twice to my brother when they have ended up, through no fault of their own, (lay-offs each time) short of money for a few months. In each of the 4 occaisions it was a few thousand dollars, interest free, and they always paid us back as soon as they were back on their feet.

Friends at work are envious that I can retire very soon and assume that it is because I have worked for the firm for almost 30 years and have a good pension. That is not true for various reasons, but I don't see any reason to discuss the details with them. Again, they are genuinely pleased for us. They see us living in a small place compared to them (1,400 sq feet) and we drive older, smaller cars so they have no reason to suspect how much money we really have. They see that we go on various "exotic" vacations every year so don't consider me to be a miser.

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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:35 AM   #27
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

I claim to be a pensioner, except with my family who are all pretty well off. Cash flow wise, better off than me because they have good pensions coming up.

In a culture that evaluates people by the money they are perceived to make, and the lifestyle they appear to lead, it's hard not to run into jealousy.

Yesterday I was at a funeral and at the reception I met my dead friend's cousin. This guy was really interesting, and he led a life that sure sounded good to me. He and a brother own in fee and free and clear 75,000 acres in Eastern OR. Of that, 3000 acres is flood irrigated crop land. They run an integrated 3000 head cow/calf operation, which over the years has thrown off enough cash that they own real estate and businesses all over the Northwest. The guy was also very knowledgeable about US Indian Reservations, and Indian history.

The guy is a couple years older than me. After telling me how he spends his time, I felt kind of bad saying, "Uh, I'm retired." I never would have had the drive to succeed on the level that he did- and of course it didn't hurt that their great-grandfather homesteaded OR a 100+ years ago. Still, his own accomplishments were very impressive.

So this guy's achievements blow me away, but I found talking to him to be a delight. Maybe if I get re-incarnated as a mogul I'll look into high desert ranching.

Ha
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:36 AM   #28
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Conversation from some of my associates. My friends know where I am coming from and most of them are frugal.

Them: Bruce Why don'y you buy an new car?
Me: Why It would be a waste and it woould be dead in six years anyway. (I drive a lot)
Them: But you can afford it
Me: so
Them: But wen you buy a used car you only buy someone eles problem.
Me: By choosing carefully I can spend X dollars and drive it for three years and then scrap it instead of spending 4X to 5X and scrapping it in six years
Them confused look

In general none of my relatives or friends has a clue how much I have invested. They know I will be retireing soon but beleive that the pension will be my only source of income. Indeed I do plan to live off it and the investments are a large emergency fund.

Wise words Oldbabe

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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:39 AM   #29
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby
I have seen some of this. It really annoys my family that we drive 10 and 14 year old Hondas and haven't bought the new Mercedes , which we "obviously can afford".
This mentality really blows my mind! It's like they think you're obligated to buy expensive things if you can pay for them (i.e. obligated to consume).

Fortunately no one I am related to thinks this way. It's really totally foreign to me.

Audrey
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:47 AM   #30
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Reply to OP: New York is a very competitive place. You are saving better than they are so that bruises their egos. They are better than you at flaunting and wasting their incomes. That was a choice on their part.
Can you dodge the financial questions by saying something like "I'm still driving that old XXXX car, what are you driving now?" "I'm still living in that little apartment that I could barely afford to buy back in 19XX, how is that new kitchen remodel going?" That pumps their egos and shifts the topic away from your successes. They will think that you are charming because you listen to their stories.
That is the attraction of these forums, you can anonymously visit with like-minded people who have lived the same way that you do. As time goes on, in the real world, you may develop friendships with people with your values or people who really don't care how much you have, just where have you traveled to lately and what did you see there.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:54 AM   #31
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

I can relate. Sometimes the comments are hurtful because rather than recognize the discipline and hard work, some friends/family just assume we were somehow lucky. DH and I are a team and have worked like a team towards our goals....sometimes I think that is what they may envy most. However.... I sometimes envy their lifestyle of live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself. So it is probably a bit of the old "grass looks greener on the other side".

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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 11:56 AM   #32
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
People are not jealous of my money, but the freedom to do what I want with my time.
as most of my family & friends have always made more money than i, and often by a long shot, certainly no one is jealous of my cash. if there has been any jealousy, then kate's experience in this reflects my own. and there really hasn't even been a whole lot of that. for one thing, i don't allow it. i get it only sometimes from my brother in a kidding sort of way and from a friend in a frustrated sort of way. and it always has less to do with my life and more to do with their own.

my brother's got not only inheritance but also the ol'man's engineering biz so he makes lots of money. but also he has a wife & three little kids and they live pretty well. so sil and i always drive to where he is for lunch since we have the time and he has to work. oh, the sacrifices you have to make when you retire! it helps when you have a giving nature. it also helps that my brother always picks up for lunch.

i have a friend who has become a little annoying but tolerable. she knows i can't buy the world, that i not only budget but that i have to make (what someone else might see as) sacrifice--eventual downsizing, oh how horrible--to remain unemployed.

sometimes she says stuff like "you don't know what it's like to have to work every day for a living." so i assure her that after 30 years of working and less than 2 years of not working, i can still actually bring to mind what it was like. basically, i make fun of her being ridiculous. i simply don't allow an awful lot of crap in my life and whenever i can i help my friends shed themselves of the crap in their lives. this is what friends do.

i'm very open about most of my life with my family & friends. we discuss everything from money to sex to spirituality. this is called life. deal with it.

i don't buy that it is human nature for people to be jealous of each other. i think more often than not what you perceive as jealousy is nothing more than a person's frustration they have with their own life, not that they are unhappy for you that you have your life. that you perceive it as jealousy, even if it is jealousy, might speak less to where they are coming from and more as tribute to your own insecure ego.

i don't buy that you will help them by hiding the difference. pushing problems under the table rarely solves them. better to flush it out. to be constructively confrontational if need be. but of course, before you can help well others to be comfortable in their lives, you first need be comfortable with your own.

so how about trying this: talk to your friends. tell them how their comments make you feel. when someone makes a face ask "why the face?". or better yet, when they make a face. you make one too. ::::very upset that i don't see a raspberries smiley face to add here::::
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 12:22 PM   #33
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatBoy71
Has anyone here had similar experiences?
Your life story is positive and inspiring. You have worked hard to get where you are today and you have wisely utilized your financial resources. Your parents were good role models.

It sounds like the "hurt" comes from the fact that your friends do not appreciate the source of your success. If you had won the lottery, inherited a large sum of money, or were otherwise lucky, the jealousy might be understandable. But in your case, your friends do not understand that your success is due to your dedication, hard work, and related qualities that define you as a person. In essence, your friends are criticizing you, not your success. When I'm proud of something and want to share this pride with others, I want to hear "That's great." The last thing I want to hear is criticism or some other statement that discounts my own feelings and excitement.

It is easy for people here to say, "Don't worry about it" or "They shouldn't be your friends." Obviously, you do worry about it (or at least this is an issue that is causing you some grief). As for friendship, even friends are not always supportive and receptive.

Our backgrounds our similar. Everything I have was obtained through my own efforts of long hours, hard work, and LBYM. I do get a lot of "you don't have a life" comments and "you would be much happier if you did this." Well, I do have a life and in general, I'm a happy person. While I do not like my current job situation, this has nothing to do with the long hours that I dedicate to my work. In my life, I get to do what I want, go where I want, buy what I want. This is often at odds with the expectations of other people. I don't receive a sense of jealousy from others, perhaps because very few people are aware of the resources I have. They see my old car and often tattered (but comfortable) clothes and make their own conclusions. If anything, they may feel pity.

People's comments ("it would have been much cheaper if you purchased your home a few years ago") are sometimes caused by their own desires and perceptions of self-worth. When they feel the need to keep up with the Jones, but cannot, they make excuses or other statements in an attempt to justify what they perceive as their own lack of success. Unfortunately, this is painful when it comes from your friends or others who are close to you.

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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 01:07 PM   #34
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn
It sounds like the "hurt" comes from the fact that your friends do not appreciate the source of your success. If you had won the lottery, inherited a large sum of money, or were otherwise lucky, the jealousy might be understandable.
wait just a minute; i'm confused. how does jealousy play one way and not the other? so if somone accumulated a net worth of 1/2 mil while making less than $40k and then inherited a bunch of money, people should only be jealous of the inherited part? does the part you work for make you more of a man only because the inherited part makes you less of a person? does inherited money have less value than the money you worked for or is it simply open to more ridicule.

because i would hate to be responsible for creating such conflicted emotions within my group of friends. this group doesn't like me because i didn't make enough money, that group doesn't like me because i saved money and that other group over there doesn't like me because i came from too much money. boy do i have problems.

if you base your perception of a justified jealousy with respect to the construct of a work ethic are you not simply setting yourself up to be a victim vulnerable to the what you see as jealous barbs heading your way. i assume then that you will not be leaving any money to your children because i would hate to see you introduce jealousy into their lives. not a problem, so they won't have the luck of the womb. maybe they will get lucky in their careers.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 01:41 PM   #35
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

I read a letter from Dear Abby about a grown, married daughter who wanted her mother (who has multiple sclerosis and was living on inherited money from HER parents), to cough up large sums for the daughter. Said daughter had done outrageous things to strong-arm Mom.

Abby's reply: "Has she always behaved like this? If so, remember that this is the core of her personality. Giving her money won't change it."

In the course of taking care of my shiftless sister (and her young daughter, my niece), I have finally learned that manipulating others to take care of her "is the core of her personality." It's been a painful but necessary lesson.

On the other hand, I have a friend who has worked to the point where he can retire comfortably -- he is a TRUE friend to me and I am therefore DELIGHTED for him -- and he for me. If your so-called friends are not delighted for you, then that is the core of their personality.

Many here suggest that you refrain from talking about money with others. It's one reasonable way to go.

An alternative would be for you not to try to alter yourself, but to continue as-is. Continue to be justifiably proud of your hard work and the benefits it has brought you.

True friends will celebrate your success -- as you DESERVE them to be. The others will identify "the core of their personalities" with jealousy and sniping, and you will have seperated the wheat from the chaff. It can be painful and disheartening to know the truth, but isn't misplaced trust even worse?
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 02:17 PM   #36
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
This mentality really blows my mind! It's like they think you're obligated to buy expensive things if you can pay for them (i.e. obligated to consume).

Fortunately no one I am related to thinks this way. It's really totally foreign to me.

Audrey
I used to get this when I was working. "Why don't you go to restaurants, buy a new car, go to Las Vegas...

Some of them were living with their parents without paying rent (in their 20s 30s 40s) and were making as much or more than I was, and would mention how they just couldn't seem to save any money.

When I explained LBYM could mean paying off the house early, and retiring early, the response was:
"I'll never be able to do that so why should I try?"

As others have said, maybe the folks here are here because we look at things from a different angle.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 02:35 PM   #37
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

I believe when you are financially successful you have to choose carefully those real life friends and family you share the details with. I have one close friend who I discuss investments with, and that is because they are probably on par for net worth with ourselves. I find it easier to share detail anonymously with people on the net because no-one here is going to hit us up for money.

Family have no real idea of what we have, but they have assumed because we are never whining about being broke that we have more than they do. I would never tell a family member how much we have in the bank.

DH had a friend who kept asking how much he made, he never told him until one day after a lot of questioning DH told him. Their relationship has never been the same, DH has definitely felt a freeze from his "friend".

As others have said, sometimes it is better to make out you have nothing. We have decided that when we do retire we are going to be telling people that DH got laid off and we are taking time out to decide what to do next. We figure after a few years they will stop asking.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 03:13 PM   #38
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
wait just a minute; i'm confused. how does jealousy play one way and not the other? so if somone accumulated a net worth of 1/2 mil while making less than $40k and then inherited a bunch of money, people should only be jealous of the inherited part? does the part you work for make you more of a man only because the inherited part makes you less of a person? does inherited money have less value than the money you worked for or is it simply open to more ridicule.
The issue isn't that one type of jealousy is better than another. The issue is how a person on the receiving end feels and reacts.

If I win the lottery and buy a nice house, it wouldn't bother me very much if some people are a little envious. My new house was a matter of luck. Easy come, easy go. In fact, I might be a little embarrased. I didn't earn it. I got lucky. My purchase has little to do with my self worth, character, or identity.

On the other hand, if I buy a nice house using the financial resources obtained from a lifetime (or half lifetime) of dedication and hard work, I'm going to feel a lot worse if my friends express animosity and hostility towards my purchase. The house is more than a house. It is something I earned. I worked for it and saved for it using my value system that honors hard work and LBYM. Instead of telling me "good job, you deserve it," my friends are suggesting to me that my value system and character are flawed.

Another example would be a young adult who applies to and is accepted into a top college or university. If their acceptance is because "daddy knows the admissions director," well gee, I'm likely to be jealeous of them myself. Based on my own value system, this is not a reason to be accepted into any school. They don't deserve it. On the other hand, if the acceptance is due to their academic achievements in high school - the fact that they were home studying when their friends were out partying - then yes, the jealeousy takes on a different perspective. So instead of saying, "you worked for it, you deserve it, we are all proud of you," the friends are saying, "well, it's not really that good of a school." This would hurt, because the friends are not placing value on the hard work and dedication that led to the success. They are attacking the value system of the person whom they envey.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 03:43 PM   #39
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

what sheer luxury to be able to think that someone did not deserve the lotto but that you deserved the breaks you had in life. as if anyone who worked as hard as you, who saved as hard as you, who studied as hard as you will succeed as you have because no winds of chance have blown your way.

as i relayed under the topic "major vulture attack in progress," when we lived in the islands and went from the condo on the beach to the boat in the marina, my ol'man drove through the poorest section of town and he'd hit a couple of streets twice. when we drove from the florida house on the water out west to visit my grandparents in their retirement area, we never took the main roads. instead the ol'man drove us through the poorest areas, torn apart houses, litter, bums on the street.

one day i asked him why he took those routes. seems he did it for himself (and maybe even for me). this self-made man answered me: "there but for the grace of god go i."


who is to say what entitlement comes with life: a lottery, an inheritance, a job promotion. so whether i draw from what i worked for, or what i inherited, i am equally thankful for what i have. i don't take any of this for granted, not even for the split second in which it can all be taken way.

as to the person on the receiving end of perceived jealousy, you can see it as an attack on your person or you can step back and maybe even see an opportunity to explore your own insecurities and to help your friends understand theirs.

the other option of course is dumping all your friends and seeing how happy that makes ya. because you know your success was all on your own. you without the world.
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?
Old 02-11-2007, 03:45 PM   #40
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Re: Does anyone feel jealousy from friends/family/others?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse
DH had a friend who kept asking how much he made, he never told him until one day after a lot of questioning DH told him. Their relationship has never been the same, DH has definitely felt a freeze from his "friend".

As others have said, sometimes it is better to make out you have nothing. We have decided that when we do retire we are going to be telling people that DH got laid off and we are taking time out to decide what to do next. We figure after a few years they will stop asking.
What's nice about this board is that even when we are helping the OP, we are helping ourselves. I had a similar thing happen to me when a friend of 20 years asked a personal financial question, I answered honestly, and now the friend is gone. My wife said I should have ducked the question or lied. This was my first experience with this, and last, since in the future I will be more evasive.

I also said when I do ER, I will act similar to what DangerMouse suggests. In the mean time, no one really suspects us of any wealth, since you could never tell by how we look/act/drive. I especially do not discuss finances with family because I cannot even imagine the complications.

Like most of us, we have had to do this on our own, the earning/saving/planning. Luckily our children should be able to confide and seek advice from us when they are older since we know the "right" way to lead life and would never question their successes. But having said that, we try to shelter our situation from the kids since we do not want them to feel they can coast through life or not strive as hard to make something of themselves.
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