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Old 04-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #101
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............
Some people can't see snappy dress when it stares them in the face. My Sister now sends hoodies and sweats for Christmas.
unclemick's story reminded me of once leaving for an Arizona business trip on a Saturday. I always like to take along hiking clothes in case I get a chance to hike and often wear them to the airport on my (cold) end of the trip. I was wearing a hooded fleece under a gortex windbreaker and hiking boots. As we started to board the airport van, a well dressed woman handed me her luggage and a tip!
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:41 PM   #102
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I do not feel entirely comfy in expensive areas, high end hotels, etc. (restaurants an exception): its not my bag and I don't belong in these places.
thoughout my life i've had both rich and poor friends and i'm very comfortable in both worlds. it's the middle class that scares me (kidding). the only time i was uncomfortable with money wasn't due to the amount, though considerable--read: "as seen on tv" (well, until the feds shut him down, ooops)--but with the ostentatiousness with which this guy presented his wealth. as if the two story high glass door foyer wasn't enough, once you walked past the private elevator it was like walking into a retail store filled with shelves of steuben & lalique. i think mostly i was just nervous that i was going to break something.

i can't handle that stuff but put me on a 100 ft yacht and i kick off my shoes and grab a beer. that's one of the things i really love about boating, as opposed to the landlubber life. people with $50k boats are enjoying the very same sunsets as others in $1mm boats. and at the end of the day they all gather barefoot on the beach for a pot luck dinner.

money doesn't mean so much when all you need are flip flops, a t-shirt and shorts.
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:28 PM   #103
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I own a 2003 and a 2006..........I guess I have comsumption problems, even though I bought them used and one is paid for, anf one will be by year's end.........
I guess if I pulled up in front of your house with my '76 Mercury Comet coupe that I bought for $30 for my kids while they were in college, I might be out of place surrounded by all your oppulence. (Anyone want a cheap Merc coupe? )
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:08 PM   #104
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The "are you afraid to look poor" thread, reminded me of a few embarrassing moments...
But that's the problem. With so much of our money locked away out of sight, people are often under the impression that we are "poor".
So have you ever felt humiliated for living way below your means?
I've never felt humiliated (thanks to a cast-iron ego), but I've often felt surprised & amazed.

The military has its own social status system where you can quickly determine the relative "importance" of a person by the clothes & insignia they wear, as well as their warfare pins & ribbons. Everyone keeps their eyes out for each other. You can literally take one glance at someone, determine who's saluting first, and even recite a one-page description of who they "are", their job, where they're stationed, and where they've been.

So after you retire it's quite a change to go on the same base in slippers, shorts, t-shirt, ponytail, and five-day beard-- and learn that you're invisible. It's even more fun to recognize a shipmate first, say hello to them, and watch their reaction as they have to put you into context.

We drove our ensignmobiles for over a decade of promotions, and inevitably the comments started about "You're making the big officer bucks, you should be able to drive something close to your rank. Are you having money problems?" We finally came up with "Our values are reflected in our net worth, not our cars." At least when I rode my bike I was presumed to be an exercise zealot.

Even here in Hawaii, where everyone dresses like beach bums, we've been pitied. A couple years ago we picked up a Craigslist front-loading washer/dryer set in a nice neighborhood using two cars, driving our car and borrowing a friend's to be able to bring both appliances home together. We were dressed to haul heavy iron, not to impress, so I was wearing "grubbies". We wrestled both appliances into the cars, chatting about how we were going to set them up when we got home and then return the other car, and then I paid the man. He opened the $650 envelope that I'd handed him and gave me $50 back, saying "Merry Christmas!" I returned his good wishes with a big smile-- and beat feet.

I recently met with a venture-capital staff to learn more about their products. They had a tough time deciding whether to treat me like a rich idiot ("Did your accountant tell you to come talk with us?") or a poor one ("Uhm, you know our investments are only suitable for accredited investors, right?"). It was an extremely educational hour, and I even learned a little about investing.

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But come on people, Am I the only one living in a city full of jerks?
Yes-- sounds like you need new neighbors and maybe a new set of "friends", too!
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:40 AM   #105
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people with $50k boats are enjoying the very same sunsets as others in $1mm boats. and at the end of the day they all gather barefoot on the beach for a pot luck dinner.

Well said. As I get older, I've come to realize that most things that are important cannot be measured in numbers: health, relationships, happiness, meaning in life, etc. You're not racing against anyone.

To add to my glee in LBYM lifestyle, I've recently developed 2 thrift store buddies. We plan to explore various thrift stores in different parts of town together, like a weekend urban adventure. Maybe topping it off with a $2 movie in a run-down strip mall with popcorn smell and sticky floors.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:43 AM   #106
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To add to my glee in LBYM lifestyle, I've recently developed 2 thrift store buddies. We plan to explore various thrift stores in different parts of town together, like a weekend urban adventure. Maybe topping it off with a $2 movie in a run-down strip mall with popcorn smell and sticky floors.
Man alive, you guys know how to live!
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:54 AM   #107
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Curious. In the techncial programming world, there's a kind of inverse dress for succcess. The marketing guys are getting more casual, but they still favor suits. The programmers favor casual and some go way below casual. To a technical hot shot working in a button down suit company, a mark of distiction is being able to dress below the (written or unwritten) dress code and get away with it. The better the programmer, the more latitude they are given. The guy who single handedly invented the software product that drives most of the company revenue can come to work in faded shorts and a ripped T shirt (and sometimes does) just to see that absolutely nobody asks him to change, while the new hire programmer might get sent home if his dress shirt and nice slacks look too rumpled. I soemtimes wonder if I absorbed too much of this standard and it colors my world view. If I'm in an investment office and see a customer comfortable and at ease wearing comfortable shorts and a Tshirt while talking to the full on suit, I usually assume that's a customer who can afford to do what he wants.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:51 PM   #108
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I grew up poor so I always feared someone would pick on me for that but no one ever did. As an adult, no saleperson has ever dismissed me (I have had more problems with tripping over them). I look decisive so they know if they can help me find what I am looking for, they will get a sale. People have always been a lot nicer to me than I ever expected them to be so I imagine I have a very low expectation for them, lol.

To be fair though, I work in the estate planning section of a small law firm and we have lots of extremely wealthy clients who don't bother to dress up. So most people are not going to be judgmental here because they have adapted to the idea. It does color our world view but my husband has to deal with a far more judgmental environment, a mortgage company. *Shudders*
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:24 PM   #109
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If I'm in an investment office and see a customer comfortable and at ease wearing comfortable shorts and a Tshirt while talking to the full on suit, I usually assume that's a customer who can afford to do what he wants.
i never related to the term "power tie". to me they are nothing but choker chains or collar & leash sets. the same guy who wears his power tie during the day to show his dominance likely wears his studded set at night when he becomes submissive.

be not fooled by what is easily stripped and changed.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #110
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more than several years ago i was introduced to the father-in-law of a friend. i had been aware that he was quite wealthy, but was rather surpised that his cothing, while neat, clean & well pressed, was not only obviously dated (though "classic"), but showed significant signs of wear (collar and cuffs); and he drove what must have been then a 25 yo car (but it was a Rover; which he eventually was forced to abandon for a used Volvo). he made a lasting and important impression. it's pretty clear that it's easier to maintain one's wealth if you don't spend it.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:04 PM   #111
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Humiliated for looking poor? Afraid not but it sure has come in handy at times. One particular instance - My lead footed wife cruising along at max in our 1990 Astro van (which we use to haul straw, hay etc for our little fun Goat Farm). Gets pulled over by a cop, he takes one look inside our decrepit vehicle and says "Lady I ought to give you a ticket but I see you couldn't afford it so SLOW DOWN - and let her go with a warning Been ER'd for 6 years now and that one still warms me all over...
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:18 PM   #112
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Not necessarily humiliated, but often annoyed when I can't get service because salespeople on commission won't give me the time of day. Plus several times, in my younger years, my buddies and I would get pulled over (or even searched) after leaving sporting events or concerts because security thought we looked shady.

However, I use the opposite to my advantage: when I need to return to a store to deal with a problem (defect, wrong size, etc.) I dress up a bit more for work that day. I get less hassle from clerks when I wear a suit, particularly if it's a retail store where the employees are college kids and younger.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:13 PM   #113
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I generally don't care what others, besides family and good friends, think of me.

Tho, I was once shopping for a BMW and was in boat shoes, shorts and a tee shirt and couldn't get the salesmen to pay attention to me. I just bought from another place.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:32 AM   #114
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I often wear my t-shirt and flip-flops when browsing at Best Buy so I don't get bugged by their sales force. Same way I bought my BMW convertible. I want sincere sales people.

I spent 25 years wearing a blue suit and tie. I associate such attire with enslavement.
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Old 04-12-2008, 11:03 PM   #115
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In Silicon Valley, members of the technical staff often consider being "dressed up" to mean they wear blue jeans and a T-shirt that has the company logo on it (even Apple CEO and billionaire Steve Jobs usually wears blue jeans and a turtleneck at important public functions). These technical people are being judged and paid by what they have in their minds, rather than by the clothes they wear. Some of these technical people are also quite wealthy in that they often make six-figure incomes and tend not to spend any of it because they spend so much time in the office (or lab) at work.

But these technical people also often look homeless to others who are outside the technical community. My stock broker knows how much I am worth and I thought nothing of visiting him for an appointment once on the way to work. While everyone there was polite to me, I was surprised to notice out of the corner of my eye how uncomfortable many in the office were when I was in their presence.

My taste in clothes stems from my early upbringing. I was raised on a family dairy farm in the snow belt. I learned at a very young age that your mission in life was to survive and to do that, you had to get dirty (i.e., dairy cows have to be fed, milked, and cleaned up after twice a day). Wearing fancy clothes was out of the question in such an environment. My parents were also raised during the Great Depression, so I learned that it was only natural to wear things until they wear out. I can't understand to this day the idea of buying a new set of clothers or a new car on a regular basis when the existing items are working just fine. As a result of these ingrained values, I've never been accused of having a sense of fashion.

When I became addicted to wealth building as my passion later in life, I realized my good fortune of knowing how to live well below my means. I've since learned that people with expensive-looking flashy items are often deep in debt, which means they should be pitied rather than envied. I like being able to have achieved financial freedom, where one's investment income at a 4% safe withdrawal rate exceeds one's living expenses. One strategy to achieve financial freedom is to boost one's investment income; a related parallel strategy is to reduce one's living expenses.
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:16 AM   #116
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Everyone seems to automatically assume that we're poor and desperate. We never own a car worth more than 6k and live a a very humble life, although DW sometimes feels like blurp things out so we don't get treated so bad.

enuff
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:01 AM   #117
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although DW sometimes feels like blurp things out so we don't get treated so bad.
What is it that she blurps out?
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Old 04-13-2008, 12:03 PM   #118
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I often use the term financially independent to get the shallow ones off my back.

I don't often "blurp it" but often need to express it when friends are talking about their next car/toy purchase. Sometimes I say that our portfolio increased by 2 Porsches last year but I am damned sure not going to share it with the dealer. (The nice thing about Porsche is it leaves a lot of latitude for interpretation.)
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:52 PM   #119
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Curious. In the techncial programming world, there's a kind of inverse dress for succcess. The marketing guys are getting more casual, but they still favor suits. The programmers favor casual and some go way below casual. To a technical hot shot working in a button down suit company, a mark of distiction is being able to dress below the (written or unwritten) dress code and get away with it. The better the programmer, the more latitude they are given. .
Quote:
In Silicon Valley, members of the technical staff often consider being "dressed up" to mean they wear blue jeans and a T-shirt that has the company logo on it (even Apple CEO and billionaire Steve Jobs usually wears blue jeans and a turtleneck at important public functions). These technical people are being judged and paid by what they have in their minds, rather than by the clothes they wear. Some of these technical people are also quite wealthy in that they often make six-figure incomes and tend not to spend any of it because they spend so much time in the office (or lab) at work.
Yes, there are definitely culturally differences between the west coast tech community and most of the rest of the country.

Shortly after starting at a new start-up in the early 90s I noticed a guy walking around the building in coveralls. He looked like the janitor or something. Upon being introduced to him, I realized that he was the guy that had bank rolled the company and was on the Forbes 400 list.

He didn't need to impress anyone with how he dressed.

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Old 04-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #120
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He didn't need to impress anyone with how he dressed.
Actually I've found folks like this have huge, huge egos and need to stand out and be different as part of satisfying that ego. Hence, they choose "different" dress than everyone else. Look at how you view him....... he was indeed successful at impressing you and that was indeed his intention. Simply showing up in some typical, vanilla everyday clothes would be the sign of someone who truly didn't care about impressing anyone with his/her wardrobe!
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