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Old 05-11-2016, 01:38 PM   #101
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What about the people who just love to impress others?

If they have the money to spend on this, I say why not!
I find it boring and an irritant. One SIL likes to stay in pricey hotels at the beach (MUST have ocean view!) gets a suite, and then brags about what they saved by cooking a few meals themselves.

To add to the annoyance, I know they don't have the money for that and borrowed it. She thinks she's a financial genius. I think she's an idiot.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #102
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Most of the talk about an indication of wealth revolves around cars (note that I do not use the word "status symbol", because there's nothing wrong with having a nice car if you enjoy it and can afford it). How that is so? I guess that's because cars are the most obvious possession that people have, and something most common in modern society.

Being oblivious to cars, fancy and expensive cars do not attract my attention at all, unless it is something as unique as a Rolls Royce, or a Ferrari. Even then, it does not attract more from me than a 5-second look. I guess I am different than 99% of the population.
"Some cars are designed to impress the people on the inside rather than those on the outside".
That was actually a Mercedes ad many, many years ago.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:10 PM   #103
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By the way, cars are not really an indication of wealth. It's homes.

In Vail, I saw that 2BR/2BA condos in the downtown went for $1.5M. If you do not have that kind of money for a 2nd home (nobody lives there full-time), then $500K will get you a fractional ownership where you share 1/7 of a condo. They have a way to make sure that every owner gets some weeks in the skiing winter, and in the summer season.

And to get a single-family home, just a mile or two outside of downtown Vail, you will need a few millions. I saw some quite nice homes, not mansions, that could be $5M to $10M. And they sat vacant as they were all 2nd homes. Now, that's real money.

I do not envy people who have so much more than I do. There are so many of them, it's simply bewildering. I am just curious how they get their wealth. As to envy, life's too short for that.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:14 PM   #104
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Spent $500 / night for 2 nights at the Monterey Bay Inn a couple of weeks ago. Not only does the bay come right up to your private balcony (you can spit in the water) but the waves break on the rocks right below and make this never ending soothing "sloshing" sound that's just wonderful.

We just spend hours on the balcony watching the otters, gulls and ducks go about their business and just soak it all in. This wasn't the first time I've stayed there and it won't be the last. Worth every penny -
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:17 PM   #105
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Being oblivious to cars, fancy and expensive cars do not attract my attention at all, unless it is something as unique as a Rolls Royce, or a Ferrari. Even then, it does not attract more from me than a 5-second look. I guess I am different than 99% of the population.
I was bicycling through the parking lot of an upscale shopping plaza and passed a 30-something guy standing beside his Maserati (I think) convertible parked at the curb near Nordstrom's. I wondered if this was a way to pick up women. We ignored each other. I've got great legs but also have grey hair, so prob not his type. My side- we don't share the same priorities. Unless he had multimillions, meaning that the car was only a tiny % of his net worth, he wasn't my type, either!
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:19 PM   #106
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Spent $500 / night for 2 nights at the Monterey Bay Inn a couple of weeks ago. Not only does the bay come right up to your private balcony (you can spit in the water) but the waves break on the rocks right below and make this never ending soothing "sloshing" sound that's just wonderful.

We just spend hours on the balcony watching the otters, gulls and ducks go about their business and just soak it all in. This wasn't the first time I've stayed there and it won't be the last. Worth every penny -
I camped out with my motorhome on a bluff in Kalaloch beach in Olympic National Park with a spectacular view, and watched the fog rolling in in the matter of minutes at sunset, walked the beach littered with drift logs ... The MH was parked such that the door and windows opened out to the ocean below.

The cost, I do not remember if it was $15 or $25/night. The problem is it is difficult to get a slot, particularly that very best spot we had. I was lucky, because we traveled early in the season and stumbled across that slot when it was first-come/first-served season. Just a few more minutes, and another camper would have grabbed that space.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:20 PM   #107
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...
I do not envy people who have so much more than I do. ... life's too short for that.
Yep. Some of our friends are well set by our standards (lifetime COLA'd pension of 250K beginning in mid-50s in one case), but when we had kids, we deliberately cut back on our intense accumulation focus for many years. We won't have a second home in Vail or Newport Beach, but life usually has tradeoffs.

Rather than envy, I just recognize our blessings--even with hard work and diligence, it didn't have to turn out the nice way it apparently will for us.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:44 PM   #108
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And yet, for some reason, it is considered completely acceptable to brag about one's highly successful kids. Even in front of those whose kids are not doing that well, or who have no children at all and might wish they had. If someone criticized the proud parents, that critic would be told to 'get a life.' I feel much the same about those who criticize people who openly spend their own money (always assuming it is their money, LOL...people who spend somebody else's without permission are another matter).

I simply do not understand society. So many of its customs and mores seem, to me, to revolve around keeping everyone in "their place," whereas I refuse to acknowledge that I even have a "place." Therefore I do my own thing, within the law and with as much kindness toward others as I can summon, and hope for the best.
Well said. I thought of the kid bragging thing as well. There are other examples, fitness levels, marathon times, etc. Doesn't make much sense. Best approach is to not care what other people think and live your life for yourself.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:49 PM   #109
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By the way, cars are not really an indication of wealth. It's homes.



I do not envy people who have so much more than I do. There are so many of them, it's simply bewildering. I am just curious how they get their wealth. As to envy, life's too short for that.
Right. Agree. There is always somebody who has more than you. There is remarkable wealth in the US. You have to get used to it and simply live your life. Resentment or jealousy or derision are wastes of time.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:54 PM   #110
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For example, if you're a "car guy," you would likely adore the butter-smooth inline 6 of a modern BMW, and I guess I don't see anything wrong with saying on FB "I sure love the butter-smooth inline 6 of my BMW" - just as people here brag about wearing free t-shirts - there is no morally-superior view vis these two positions.

I don't think the great American pasttime is baseball; I think it's gathering in small groups and judging people who aren't like "us."
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Excellent post. Anybody who you think is bragging about his wealth, is losing a friend or acquaintance (you). "Old money" is much better at this. Maybe "smart money" too.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:56 PM   #111
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By the way, cars are not really an indication of wealth. It's homes.
Naw, it's boats. Ships really. And the toys that go with them.

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Old 05-11-2016, 02:57 PM   #112
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Try driving that Lexus in Kokomo Indiana, or near any other GM plant!
Sure, but not because it is such an expensive, luxury car. They might feel the same way if you drove a Ford of a Dodge.
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:59 PM   #113
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I have enough to worry about myself than about what other people may or may not be doing or thinking of me and why. Not to mention that we are all invisible after a certain point--ain't nobody looking at us no more anyway. And I'm not looking at them.

Did we all dress differently when we were less well off or better off? I'm still in the same kind of clothes and brands I always wore. Do I not wear a ring someone who loves me very much gave me because it might look like I'm showing off or worse, pretend that it's fake so I can win some inaginary humblebrag contest with myself? Should I really not pick whatever car I want because some anonymous sample might read something into it?

I think I'll just enjoy life as it comes down the pike however I want to.
Friggen brilliant. First time I heard "humblebrag". Great post.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:08 PM   #114
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Oh, and anytime you're "feeling poor" this is a good site to give you a reality check: Global Rich List

No question that by worldwide standards I'm am filthy rich.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:16 PM   #115
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With some folks it is not about bragging about their wealth, kids, frugality or what have you, it is
about looking down on others who are not as smart, thin, wealthy, educated or virtuous as they feel they are. The "smug" gene comes in more than one flavor.


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Old 05-11-2016, 03:16 PM   #116
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We can't hide our wealth. By cashflow measure we aren't wealthy. We're slightly above average. Since we are good at saving, that means we have more assets than 85% of US citizens. Plan to retire around 55. If we allow our lifestyle costs to creep up we'll lose that advantage.

As such, I wear jeans and a t-shirt. Wife shops at thrift stores. Cars are bought used, and kept a long time. (Still have my first) House is competent but unassuming.
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:25 PM   #117
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Naw, it's boats. Ships really. And the toys that go with them...
Now, you are talking about the 0.01-0.001%, not just the 0.1% that I described.

I recall that some years ago, while waiting in a dentist's office I picked up a yacht magazine. The cover article described a boat being built in Italy for some guy whose name rang no bell with me. The boat was several hundred feet long (I can't remember, being a non-boater). What impressed me further was that while the boat was being built, the owner flew there to inspect it every month or so, with his personal 727. And this was just some unknown centimillionaire. There are apparently a lot of them. And I am sure that this guy does not have just this boat and this jet. Who knows how many homes he had all around the world?
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:04 PM   #118
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This morning I had to tackle some DIY roof repairs. I made sure to wear my most paint and tar stained shirt and shorts to Lowe's. I parked my 16 year old beat up Honda Accord by the migrant workers near the contractor's entrance. I was still sweaty from climbing up on the roof and doing some mild demolition work before making a materials list and heading out to Lowe's. None of the other contractors in line knew I wasn't a contractor.

Total stealth wealth folks. Total stealth wealth. Or maybe everyone else in line with me was a secret millionaire too? Maybe they were buying plywood and PEX for their dozens of rentals? Maybe I'm the sucker here? Didn't see any cars by the contractor entrance (other than a sweet conversion van missing just one of the rear windows, hence basically mint condition). Clear sign of stealth wealth.
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:14 PM   #119
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I've got great legs...

Useless without pics...
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Old 05-11-2016, 04:30 PM   #120
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We hired an engineer who sold his business and wanted to do some part time work. Very frugal - dressed nice, but not flashy, lived in a 40 year old house, drove an inexpensive car. He asked me what I used to track my investments. I told him Excel and showed him how to use it. He came back to me a few days later with a printing problem. He couldn't get the 10 pages or so of his investments to print properly.
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