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Old 05-10-2016, 04:04 PM   #61
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The last thing I need is friends and family thinking I'm a potential piggybank for them.


This, big time.........it's easy and fun (in a cynical sort of way if that is where your sense of humor tends to reside as mine does)...when socializing with a group of family or friends or former colleagues that struggles to pay bills on time (some for understandable reasons, others because they are idiots in regards money), I just agree with their grousing about it (who cares if my reason to pay at/near the due date is all about maximizing interest income)........does make some former colleagues look confused (those few generally younger ones who have not guessed my reason anyway).....but that makes it all the more amusing
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:18 PM   #62
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I'm slowly realizing that many people just don't care enough or pay enough attention to you to know what you are worth even if you publish your net worth stats on your blog for everyone (with internet access) to see. And as others have mentioned, having $1.x million doesn't make you "rich" in the eyes of some folks (it affords a comfortable but not luxurious middle class lifestyle around here), so there's not much to keep stealthy really.

Maybe the whole stealth wealth thing isn't a big deal?
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:55 PM   #63
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I know I'm dressed appropriately when people see me toiling in the yard and say " Look - they have a gardener"
That reminds of the story Lee Trevino told once.
He was washing the front windows of his house when a car pulled up and asked how much he charged. He says he does it for free, but he sleeps with the lady of the house
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:00 PM   #64
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It might be safer to say, "I'm unemployed" than "I'm retired."
Absolutely!

Laid off at 58, I started to simultaneously job hunt and work the numbers to see if I could just throw in the towel and FIRE. FIRE won and I haven't worked a day in the last decade by my own choice.

But...... I've steadfastly maintained my unemployed status and talk about myself as being among the long term unemployed if the "what do you do for a living" question comes up.

In the first few years, the sympathy, offers of employment referrals, etc. were at hoot! Now, at 68, that has mostly stopped. Still, it's rewarding to not have folks assuming we must be well healed to not have worked since 58 (55 for DW).
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:11 PM   #65
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Very interesting comments. My Dad grew up very poor and he really rode us kids to try to dress a little better than he had to when he was growing up. He hated jeans, tennis shoes and tee shirts because they just screamed "POOR" to him. This became somewhat ingrained in me - I just can't go out in public in a tee shirt - I just have to wear a polo shirt or something with a collar even when I'm in jeans. I certainly am not trying to look rich, but I guess I wouldn't want my Dad (may he rest in peace) to think that I was "poor".

IT's amazing the emotional hold some things have over us, isn't it.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:16 PM   #66
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I am sloppy. Even when I was an Sr Exec at well known Mega Corp, I spent less than $200 a year on clothing. Most of it was too tight because I gained weight. I skipped shaving as often as not. And I am brown eyed & "swarthy". I had mastered the "stealth" part long before I had wealth & I never saw a reason to change.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:22 PM   #67
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I'm somewhere in the middle. There is such a thing as liking nice stuff for its own sake. Why does everyone always point the finger at people who have nice things, accusing them of being "insecure" and "trying to impress people" and the like?

I agree. I just like the beauty and permanence of real jewelry and the feel of cashmere sweaters. If someone sitting next to me in a public place thinks it all came from Wal-Mart, I don't really care.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:32 PM   #68
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I agree. I just like the beauty and permanence of real jewelry and the feel of cashmere sweaters. If someone sitting next to me in a public place thinks it all came from Wal-Mart, I don't really care.
I also agree. Who cares what others think. I like quality things, especially stuff I wear or touch. Neither a flaunter nor a hider be.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:42 PM   #69
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I'm somewhere in the middle. There is such a thing as liking nice stuff for its own sake. Why does everyone always point the finger at people who have nice things, accusing them of being "insecure" and "trying to impress people" and the like? That is making it all about the observer, not the consumer. Perhaps those people are not trying to impress you. How do the people in question behave toward others? That is what determines their "class," not what they choose to spend on things they appreciate and enjoy. At least, that is how I see it.
That's three in a row. Totally agree.Too showy, not good. Neither is begrudging those that have stuff.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:45 PM   #70
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That's three in a row. Totally agree.Too showy, not good. Neither is begrudging those that have stuff.
Can't say I begrudge. Mostly I just don't see the point. If you have stuff like that and like it, mazel tov. But conspicuous consumption is a huge thing in our society.
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:52 PM   #71
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Can't say I begrudge. Mostly I just don't see the point. If you have stuff like that and like it, mazel tov. But conspicuous consumption is a huge thing in our society.
Conspicuous Consumption and its friend Pecuniary Emulation, with acknowledgement to Thorstein Veblen, my favorite economist, make the world go round.
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:47 PM   #72
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....I'll make small talk with other HS senior parents about what a pain the FAFSA form is (and not sure I'll ever do it again, I was hoping my son would qualify for at least a subsidized loan) but the result was an expected family contribution with six digits.
I took a lot of heat from DD and DW when I was working in a high paying job and DD was a HS senior and I refused to fill out the FASFA.... there was no way in hades that I was going to open our financial komono to some government bureaucrats when I knew that we would not get anything in return.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:07 PM   #73
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The important thing is to buy what you want because you like it. Not to impress others. Be true to yourself.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #74
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I read the suggestions in the posted links, and I must say that many of them are merely what my mother would call "good manners". You don't flaunt your wealth because it is rude to do so. That goes for material displays of course, but more importantly, it means that you treat everyone you meet with respect -- rich or poor or in the middle.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:29 AM   #75
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Yep, my Depression-era parents thought any display of wealth was bad manners. I shop at Walmart and Sears, never go to restaurants, and travel on the cheap. Cars are a bit of an exception because of how unpleasant driving is around here and how much of it I do. My father would be horrified if he saw the Lexus. It fits like a glove and I'm not sorry from the comfort perspective, but I don't like the attention it draws. Will be stepping down in car with the next purchase in 5-8 years.

People that know me know I own rentals, but I don't think that translates into accurate estimates of my net worth. They know I retired early, and figure I'm getting a pension.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:15 AM   #76
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My "wealth" is not in my possessions, but in my ability to live without working. That's what I spend my money on.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:19 AM   #77
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And yes, I drove home in my car while the hipster with the comment pedaled his bike in the rain; I didn't beep as I passed him
I do not think I could have resisted like you did!!
I would have beeped repeatedly and been laughing my *ss off while waving at him as I passed with the window rolled down saying "Do you want a ride WANKER? Do Ya Want A Ride?"!
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:31 AM   #78
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. but I don't like the attention it draws. Will be stepping down in car with the next purchase in 5-8 years
Not sure where you live, but I am surprised a Lexus would draw any attention. Maybe you are imagining this a bit? My experience is that most people don't care what you drive unless it's an exotic like a Ferrari.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:50 AM   #79
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Not sure where you live, but I am surprised a Lexus would draw any attention. Maybe you are imagining this a bit? My experience is that most people don't care what you drive unless it's an exotic like a Ferrari.
Living in a neighborhood where Teslas outnumber GM vehicles, you would think not. Leaving the Bay Area or even going into the lower income areas, the car gets a lot of looks. Generally, the facial expressions are not positive. I believe I was targeted at a gas station just off I-5 last year. Fortunately, a couple of the disreputable looking folks casing the car and me decided to go inside the C-store and I made my getaway.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:31 AM   #80
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Not sure where you live, but I am surprised a Lexus would draw any attention. Maybe you are imagining this a bit? My experience is that most people don't care what you drive unless it's an exotic like a Ferrari.
I would say that article (from the OP) had it right; one's car is one of the most common ways people tend to draw conclusions about you (the other being your hourse/where you live). Just because you don't see people vocalizing what they're thinking about the car you drive, doesn't mean they're not drawing conclusions about you.

None of us are immune to this. I'm probably going to inevitably have a different perception of someone driving a 12 year old corolla, vs. a new Lexus, even if its one of those entry level ES ones. Lexus ES means to me, upper middle class minimum, maybe even higher than that.
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