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Old 07-18-2010, 10:48 AM   #41
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To be fair, I don't think the apt comparison is "rich versus poor." I think the comparison is more like "rich and obsessed with acquiring more wealth" versus "not wealthy but I have enough to be comfortable."

Stated that way, I can believe that the latter group can be happier.
Yes it was that book. Being rich vs poor, I'll pick rich. But the notion was more "How much is enough?" and the idea is that you get pleasure out of anticipation of acquiring the next essential. Working, saving et al are good things and the reward is buying something you really feel you need. You get a sense of satisfaction that Lindsay Lohan will never know.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:08 AM   #42
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More money I can deal with. But after this thread I want to set up a beehive in the backyard.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #43
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.... the idea is that you get pleasure out of anticipation of acquiring the next essential.....
Sometimes a cool item can serve as an essential at the same price as a dull one. My 44 cent comic book stamps should be in the mail tomorrow. Wheee! (copywrite W2R). SO has already claimed half of them. Two of us anticipating the same joy.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:13 AM   #44
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The question in life is 'at what point does more of something stop being a help and instead becomes a hinderance'. And that's a personal decision.
We have done home swaps and the people are burdened by their stuff. They all admire our "light" lifestyle (even though we could afford to acquire more stuff) and say that their heirs will have to deal with all their stuff.
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More stuff can quickly become a problem. But more money?
How?

Ha
Well it will change your asset allocation or one thing. And there will be many more decisions to be made if you keep it in a bank (splitting among institutions, for example). If you are comfortable investing $10k in a stock, how about investing $200k in a single stock (same allocation of a bigger portfolio). It gets more complicated.
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I guess I read it a little differently. I read it more as proclaiming that it's okay to be content with not having "expensive things." I think that points to a non-consumerist mindset that can be beneficial from a mental health and stress standpoint. It's easier to roll with the punches of life that way, I think.

Having said that, if you have the means to enjoy "expensive things," there's nothing wrong with that either. It's just that too many people in this position wind up becoming obsessed with the ongoing acquisition of wealth and "stuff," and these are the people who are more likely to see their wealth become a form of self-destruction. Not only do they need to keep w*rking to make it happen in many cases (whereas a more LBYM person with "simple" tastes may have been long since able to retire), but they may keep one eye on the road and one eye on the Joneses along the way...
Friends of ours lived a blue collar life until his business was bought out. Now he has condos in Vancouver and Mexico, a Class A motor home, a 58 foot yacht, and a Harley. These are just the big things. Managing all this stuff is a big job. Enjoying it also is a major undertaking.

This guy is very smart and very capable but he is also struggling with his choices. You can argue that you would like to have the chance to experience that problem and I would not blame you. But I would not change places with him. I know how much is enough for us.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:31 AM   #45
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And as for houses - - it all depends on housing prices where you live, but I'd jump off a cliff if I had to own one of the $400K+ homes in my area. That is just too much home for me to have to deal with, and I only really use about half the square footage that I already have for less than half that price.
This reminds me of a quote from the Dr. Phil show: "Never buy a house with more bathrooms than you want to clean."

As I said to DW some years ago when she expressed contentment with our life: "We have everything we need and most of what we want."

And to be honest about it, all of those "wants" are just that. Sure, a 6,000 sf house, 60-inch plasma TV, super sound system, Lamborghini, yacht, etc. would be nice baubles, but would we be substantially happier with them? I seriously doubt it. Even if we won the lottery I doubt that we'd end up with any of that stuff. Well, maybe I'd spring for the TV.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:38 AM   #46
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My son offered to trade me a mint condition Audi S-4 for my Subaru Impreza wagon. I was very tempted, but it has cost him muh more to keep that car up than mine has cost, and I can carry at least some bulky items in mine, so I passed with some regret but I think I would be even more concerned if I had done the trade. However, if I had a $100,000 annual budget I would have taken the S-4.

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Old 07-18-2010, 11:40 AM   #47
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This reminds me of a quote from the Dr. Phil show: "Never buy a house with more bathrooms than you want to clean."

As I said to DW some years ago when she expressed contentment with our life: "We have everything we need and most of what we want."

And to be honest about it, all of those "wants" are just that. Sure, a 6,000 sf house, 60-inch plasma TV, super sound system, Lamborghini, yacht, etc. would be nice baubles, but would we be substantially happier with them? I seriously doubt it. Even if we won the lottery I doubt that we'd end up with any of that stuff. Well, maybe I'd spring for the TV.
As I get older I want less.

My spending is less than my small pension.

I started 'harvesting' my CD ladder and have been giving away most of it.

For my 60th birthday present I'm going to start taking money from my retirement accounts.

I'll probably give away most of that.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:56 PM   #48
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As I get older I want less.

My spending is less than my small pension.

I started 'harvesting' my CD ladder and have been giving away most of it.

For my 60th birthday present I'm going to start taking money from my retirement accounts.

I'll probably give away most of that.
What does it take to get on your give away list?
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:59 PM   #49
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What does it take to get on your give away list?
Sorry Dawg, only teetotalers need apply...
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #50
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Sorry Dawg, only teetotalers need apply...
Is that negotiable? I might have off-setting attributes... like only before 5:00.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #51
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What does it take to get on your give away list?
Not asking.

I find the 'broken birds' on my own.

Though you might have a step up if you can figure out the above reference.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #52
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Sorry Dawg, only teetotalers need apply...
Med's! And it keeps this broken bird flying high.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #53
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he could never be sure that he would make the right choice to buy the optimal product.
Why would this be a source of stress to the unfortunate hypothetical rich person? Sure, nobody likes to feel like they have been taken advantage of and foolishly paid much more than they should have for something, but only to some degree. If I find I have been overcharged $100 for a Ferrari would I care? I doubt it. Likewise, I cannot see being overwhelmed with strees to learn that all the in-people at the club prefer Bentleys, so my faux pas will be mortally embarrassing. I don't believe that the rich have extra stress because they have extra choices. I don't see the conclusion that making optimum buying decisions is a necessary element to happiness.

I do believe that people can to some extent (not completely) control the stress in their life, or at least their own response to situations that make things stressful. I know people who moan about the pressures of being seen in the right circles at their country club and fret about their fashion choices. I believe this stress is almost entirely self inflicted and were they less wealthy (or more wealthy) they would have something else on a different economic level to stress about. I know a woman with a serious case of cancer who will likely be bankrupt if she isn't already and may die before her children reach high school. She obviously has stress in her life, but she deals with it as best she can - and on the whole seems less concerned about it than my country club friends who worry about whether they are on the A-list or B-list for parties. I don't think they are more stressed because they have money and are plagued with optimal buying decisions. I think they are inclined to relate to the world in ways that create stress of their own choosing.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:27 PM   #54
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Sorry Dawg, only teetotalers need apply...
Hey, I'm a teetotaler...

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Old 07-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #55
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Some people will get stressed over something whatever their financial position - it's just their nature to be stressed.

Personally, I find a large clean out of "stuff" to be one of the best ways to destress. Two years ago we gave away a lot of "stuff" to the Salvation Army (old clothes, books, toys my children had grown out of etc). It was a great feeling just to have a bit less clutter in the apartment. I'm trying to talk my wife and children into repeating the exercise.....it could take a while.

I also enjoy the annual task of weeding out and shredding old financial records. It's a great feeling stuffing a couple of folders of paper through the shredding machine.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:02 AM   #56
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Why would this be a source of stress to the unfortunate hypothetical rich person? ... I don't believe that the rich have extra stress because they have extra choices. I don't see the conclusion that making optimum buying decisions is a necessary element to happiness.

I do believe that people can to some extent (not completely) control the stress in their life, or at least their own response to situations that make things stressful...

I don't think they are more stressed because they have money and are plagued with optimal buying decisions. I think they are inclined to relate to the world in ways that create stress of their own choosing.
A clarification is needed first. The book I referred to did not talk about the problems faced by the rich, but the dilemma faced by the average consumer in modern life. Wanting to buy a stereo, he goes to the store and stares at wall-to-wall of displays. What brand, what style, what size should he bring home? Likewise, going into a grocery store for some pasta sauce, our shopper ponders before shelves of all different cans of tomato sauce. I recall a scene in the movie "Moscow on the Hudson" with the character played by Robin Williams.

Of course all this stress is self-inflicted. If I remember correctly, the author of the book says that the solution is simple; it does not matter that much. And I found this to be true with me, most of the time. Whenever I spend less time in choosing a product, I tend to be more happy and concentrate more on getting the use out of it afterwards. If I devote a lot of time in the selection, afterwards I tend to second-guess myself and wonder if I made the right choice.

Anyway, it really does not have to do with being rich. It's my leap of logic to think that since the rich has more things or at least more expensive things to purchase, his dilemma gets multiplied from that of the common man. But then, like you said, it is all self-inflicted, and the stress is not at all unavoidable.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #57
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I recall the scene in the movie "Moscow on the Hudson" with the character played by Robin Williams.
I enjoyed that movie...so true about too many choices...life gets much more complicated.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #58
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A clarification is needed first. The book I referred to did not talk about the problems faced by the rich, but the dilemma faced by the average consumer in modern life. Wanting to buy a stereo, he goes to the store and stares at wall-to-wall of displays. What brand, what style, what size should he bring home? Likewise, going into a grocery store for some pasta sauce, our shopper ponders before shelves of all different cans of tomato sauce. I recall a scene in the movie "Moscow on the Hudson" with the character played by Robin Williams.

Of course all this stress is self-inflicted. If I remember correctly, the author of the book says that the solution is simple; it does not matter that much. And I found this to be true with me, most of the time. Whenever I spend less time in choosing a product, I tend to be more happy and concentrate more on getting the use out of it afterwards. If I devote a lot of time in the selection, afterwards I tend to second-guess myself and wonder if I made the right choice.

Anyway, it really does not have to do with being rich. It's my leap of logic to think that since the rich has more things or at least more expensive things to purchase, his dilemma gets multiplied from that of the common man. But then, like you said, it is all self-inflicted, and the stress is not at all unavoidable.
The other day I was at the local grocery store and marveled at all the types of potato chips.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #59
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....
I also enjoy the annual task of weeding out and shredding old financial records. It's a great feeling stuffing a couple of folders of paper through the shredding machine.
That's next on my to-do list, just need a way to make it seem like fun.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:13 AM   #60
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That's next on my to-do list, just need a way to make it seem like fun.
My way is to put it into a couple shopping bags, load it into my pack and take it to Annabella the cute woman at the commercial shred-shop. I practicaly lust for some more crap to fill up my bags sooner.

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