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Old 01-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #81
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?
No, you are not alone, I also am finding after finally having the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want them. I can now afford my dream car, a Lamborghini Gallardo but could live off the money for four years. Being FI should mean you can afford time to do what you want. Buying stuff just keeps you on the merry-go-round a little longer.

The song that really moves me is "watching the wheels" by John Lennon.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #82
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We've lived below our means and will continue to do so for the independence it provides. We'd rather have options than things, 'the most important things in life aren't things' and I think Tha was largely Thoreau's POV. Owing to "the masses" has nothing whatsoever to do with it, I would guess that reason would be low on most people's lists, but maybe I'm mistaken.
Hyper-consumerist cravings can badly damage or destroy the peace, freedom, and satisfaction in life for some people. It can also take up one's free time, in caring for all those possessions.

A simple life that doesn't have to involve any feelings of deprivation or lack. Sometimes a simple/minimalist life can be much more full and satisfying than otherwise. Sometimes people leading such a life take advantage of the lack of complexity obscuring one's thinking, in order to be able to see what is truly important to them in life or to come to other philosophically meaningful realizations.

But then, RescueMe is also right that he has every right to get as much enjoyment out of his money as he wishes. Honestly there is no particular virtue in either spending money or in minimalism. These are just different ways of living, and luckily nobody is telling us that we must spend more, or less, than we feel is right for us.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:18 PM   #83
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No, you are not alone. I have been guilty of this too.
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:34 PM   #84
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?
Not alone at all! I have changed my mind about many of the things I thought I wanted. Now I look critically at the opportunity cost of luxuries and status symbols. For example, I would happily trade a luxury car for the time it would take to earn what it costs.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:35 PM   #85
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Hyper-consumerist cravings can badly damage or destroy the peace, freedom, and satisfaction in life for some people. It can also take up one's free time, in caring for all those possessions.

A simple life that doesn't have to involve any feelings of deprivation or lack. Sometimes a simple/minimalist life can be much more full and satisfying than otherwise. Sometimes people leading such a life take advantage of the lack of complexity obscuring one's thinking, in order to be able to see what is truly important to them in life or to come to other philosophically meaningful realizations.

But then, RescueMe is also right that he has every right to get as much enjoyment out of his money as he wishes. Honestly there is no particular virtue in either spending money or in minimalism. These are just different ways of living, and luckily nobody is telling us that we must spend more, or less, than we feel is right for us.
Agreed, well said...
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:36 PM   #86
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?
You're not alone. I have found in my old age that having the means to have whatever I want (within reason) is more satisfying than having most "things." I am more willing to spend some on life experiences, but less and less on things.

Our culture has gotten really carried away with things, but not everyone by any means. And this recession seems to have many people reconsidering what's important, IMO that's a good thing no matter what each person ultimately concludes. I am guessing that materialism will suffer a little, but there probably won't be a landslide in that direction (yet).
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #87
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We grew up poor white trash.. Now we are rich white trash... Living in playa del carmen!
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #88
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Your point is well stated and taken. What I was saying is that (with the possible exception of the under-bridge dwellers AND the uber-wealthy) all these are degrees of "more" or "better" - not "none" or "exclusive" in the USA. Lots of places in the world, only the wealthy (where everyone else is "poor") have any right to all these things. That's why it's difficult to define wealthy in the USA. Few of us are excluded from any of these things based on our wealth. However, your list could probably be used as a definition of "rich" in the USA.
I agree and also point that there is rapidly diminishing benefit to higher priced "better" products. A $400-500 37" TV is not that much worse a viewing experience than $2K 60" TV, same thing with $400 computer vs $2K, a 20K Hyundai vs a $100K Mercedes, or flying coach vs 1st class, $10 vs $50 wine. The quality of most low end goods is pretty remarkable now days.

I'd argue that most of the status symbols, Rolls Royce, Rolex, $5000 50 year old wines, are actually worse than the top end of the luxury brands. For example I bet Lexus and Mercedes are actually better cars than a Rolls.

Finally, I'd argue that increasing importance of virtual goods is a great leveler. A poor kid with a used laptop and free wifi connection has the same access to all of the free information on internet, that I or Bill Gates has. Since young people by and large are pretty cavalier about paying for digital goods, this kid has the same access to books, games, movies, as a rich person. Gates and my money only buy the minor feeling of moral superiority of purchasing a digital object instead of stealing it.
i think the simplest explanation is that almost everyone in the USA is rich and thus has access to those things that only the rich in other countries have access to. world wide wealth and income stats support this explanation and therefore i think it is also the most correct explanation.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #89
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?
The real price of additional toys is measured in years spent in the workforce, not dollars.

A couple of years of my life for [toy of choice] is too expensive for me.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:06 AM   #90
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The real price of additional toys is measured in years spent in the workforce, not dollars.

A couple of years of my life for [toy of choice] is too expensive for me.
Yep, straight out of Joe D'S mouth.
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Old 01-11-2012, 07:17 PM   #91
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Rich is when you can hire servants for cooking, cleaning, organizing, watching kids, etc. and it's not a stretch (e.g. upper middle class people have nannies, and it's often a significant expense for them).

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Interesting viewpoint. A lot of people in many third world countries would qualify as "rich" by this definition. It is quite common for folks that would be no more than middle class (at best) here in the US to have maids, drivers, gardeners etc
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:53 AM   #92
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Here's one way to look at it :
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:11 AM   #93
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it all depends. There's a lot written about what people think is rich.
Few folks who drives mercedes are actually millionaires. (According to an article I read).
I just needed to jump in cause this hit a nerve, sort of. DW and I just recently sold our first (and probably last) Mercedes. It was an amazing experience driving the car not due to the car's fine workmanship and quality, which was great, but due to the insane stereotype that (unbeknown to us) comes with the car. Our C-280 was a 2006, used, low mileage car that cost much, much less than even an entry level compact car would if bought new. Yet, every person we know had a flip comment about being rich etc.. It became very uncomfortable, so much so that we eventually sold it. Nobody notices when their neighbor buys a new Ford Focus but if he comes home with a used European car, he's rich. Sometimes older, high quality items that last a long time are actually the more frugal way to spend money. I remember a quote that a poor nun, who was running a non-profit, once made to Dr. W. Edwards Deming: "Our school is so poor we can only afford the very best". Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #94
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BTW, if we establish a way to delineate who's rich and who's not, what exactly does that do for us?
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #95
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Interesting viewpoint. A lot of people in many third world countries would qualify as "rich" by this definition. It is quite common for folks that would be no more than middle class (at best) here in the US to have maids, drivers, gardeners etc
People with maids, drivers, gardeners, etc., are the rich people in third world countries.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #96
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Not a whole lot.

I think one important thing to understand is that there are really more classes of "rich" developing now that we have such vast wealth accumulating at the top end.

There's rich like me , rich like my boss, rich like my boss's boss, rich like a CEO, rich like a hedge fund manager (who flipped the coin correctly), and rich like Buffett and Gates.

The poor have pretty much stayed the same, and the way things are going most of the current middle class will be joining them.

The middle class is in the process of going away.

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BTW, if we establish a way to delineate who's rich and who's not, what exactly does that do for us?
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #97
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Am I alone in finding that once I acquired the means to purchase some of the things I have desired I no longer want to do so?

I am with you there. We, and millions of others have "arrived". Many "wants" become unnecessary when you can afford them.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:28 PM   #98
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BTW, if we establish a way to delineate who's rich and who's not, what exactly does that do for us?
It will help us in tax planning. It's pretty clear that the "rich" (whoever they turn out to be) will have a big bulls eye painted on their foreheads (or, maybe it will be their backsides) come future April 15th's. If we wake up some fine morning and see said bulls eye in the shaving/makeup mirror (or DW or DH suggests we look at our butts in the full length mirror as we're stepping out of the shower) we'll know it's time to hire Bombastic Bushkin as our tax guy.

Any more silly questions?
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