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Who knows your $hit?
Old 11-07-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
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Who knows your $hit?

So, I wrestle with this... like most on this site, I have been a planner starting with meager means and just applying certain principles/planning. While I have been fortunate to make a good living, I have applied the same principles of saving/investing and managing the the creep (relatively speaking). Now, at 55, as I plan the next chapter, I find an itch to try and help/advise friends/family who are struggling with these simple principles that have produced way above my expectations. While not always the case with everyone, I struggle with letting people "behind the curtain" to see my numbers despite the fact it might have a real positive impact on them in terms of saying "hey, you can do this too", effectively providing credibility to any guidance. Having lived significantly a life of LBYMs, I have always stayed quiet as I believe people (many friends/family) would all of a sudden become judgmental if they knew my number (despite the fact that I could help illustrate they too could do it too)... "let him pick up the check, no big deal for him, he must have inherited $$'. I have defaulted to staying silent and letting them think what they want. Other than DW, I have defaulted to avoiding discussing specific with my adult kids. They will most likely have a very significant check coming their way later in life when the dirt nap hits. None the less, in one respect, I think IF we did let more behind the curtain we could effectively inspire others with our story. We share much on this site, but there is a whole 80% of the world out there that just does not get these principles that come easy to us that we can help. Just curious what your experience has been and how deliberate you are in sharing specifics with your friends/kids?
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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I tell nobody nothing. Total stealth. Keep 'em guessing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm wich ya...
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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I agree! Only DW knows how much we have. I have been gifting between $5K and $10K per year to each of our children for a number of years.. When I sold my condo, I split the $80 K 4 ways. with our sons.
They have got to figure we have a few bucks, but have no idea how much.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:32 PM   #5
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:35 PM   #6
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You can let someone know that you’re doing well without being specific. If you’re trying to help someone, they need to let you in, not the other way around. Personally, I think the principles are so universal, that you’d be wasting your time. If they want help, they need to make an effort to seek it out. Very much like diet and working out. People can see from physical appearance that one is doing well. You don’t need to get into every detail of what you do in order to give them good advice. Eat less, eat better, exercise. Same with finances. Spend less, save more, make more if you can. Showing them your cards is not going to motivate many (if any) and it has the high potential to go negative.
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TMI
Old 11-07-2019, 06:36 PM   #7
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TMI

Do not do reveals to anybody who lacks a need to know your specifics. For every person who might be inspired to action there will be some one else who will be intimidated into giving up. And some others who will decide to exploit you.

If you scratch your itch to share the wisdom you've learned, limit your discussions to some palpable, normalized value, e.g., ten thousand dollars. Ordinary folks can relate to a sum that size, and you can show that it's achievable in a surprisingly reasonable length of time via saving and compounding. From there, it's easy to multiply by ten or twenty or a hundred to get to an amount which would support them.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I agree! Only DW knows how much we have. I have been gifting between $5K and $10K per year to each of our children for a number of years.. When I sold my condo, I split the $80 K 4 ways. with our sons.
They have got to figure we have a few bucks, but have no idea how much.
So, here is another area I struggle. I could start gifting my kids (4) every year X$, but then I feel like they will start expecting Papa Bear donations every year effectively stifling their drive which makes them stronger (what it did for me). I have chosen to be very selective in how I "fix" kid financial issues (i.e. in their eyes loans, special 1 time gifts). IMO, human nature takes over and entitlement gland starts pumping. I would rather them get a big lump when they are 50+ something assuming they have adopted the same principles.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:38 PM   #9
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Details have only been shared with my beautiful bride and you guys, whoever you are.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
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Details have only been shared with my beautiful bride and you guys, whoever you are.
I'm just glad we are that close!!
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:42 PM   #11
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I don't tell, but some folks do notice our months of vacations, and the fact we are below retirement age, yet not working.

For the first year or two, I was able to let my neighbor continue to think I just had trouble finding a job, I haven't corrected him, but I think after 5 years he is getting the drift.

So I don't tell even relatives.
However, I help/manage the investments of a couple of older relatives and show them how they can get more $$$$ . Then I do it.

This is nothing extreme, I'm not putting them into commodity futures or risky stuff, but you might be amazed at how trusted institutions steal from old people.

Here is one example:
FIL had bought a bunch of CD's years ago, and let them roll over when due to the same term and conditions. This is a very common option and easy.
When doing his tax return, I noticed the low interest so had him fetch the yearly paperwork that is mailed to him.
The bank (a big bank) was giving him about 0.1% on his CD's. (now I forget the exact interest but I felt like phoning the Police to report theft!)

I went with him to the bank and cashed them all happy to pay the 6 month penalty of about $23.
Then I invested the money in Ally bank CD's paying 2.85% and he is happy to be earning a couple of $1,000 per year on the same money.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:45 PM   #12
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We don't discuss with anyone. I have tried to share input with family/friends and I do help with things where I can. I get the feeling that most do not want to do the hard boring work of saving and living below what you bring in.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
I don't tell, but some folks do notice our months of vacations, and the fact we are below retirement age, yet not working.

For the first year or two, I was able to let my neighbor continue to think I just had trouble finding a job, I haven't corrected him, but I think after 5 years he is getting the drift.

So I don't tell even relatives.
However, I help/manage the investments of a couple of older relatives and show them how they can get more $$$$ . Then I do it.

This is nothing extreme, I'm not putting them into commodity futures or risky stuff, but you might be amazed at how trusted institutions steal from old people.

Here is one example:
FIL had bought a bunch of CD's years ago, and let them roll over when due to the same term and conditions. This is a very common option and easy.
When doing his tax return, I noticed the low interest so had him fetch the yearly paperwork that is mailed to him.
The bank (a big bank) was giving him about 0.1% on his CD's. (now I forget the exact interest but I felt like phoning the Police to report theft!)

I went with him to the bank and cashed them all happy to pay the 6 month penalty of about $23.
Then I invested the money in Ally bank CD's paying 2.85% and he is happy to be earning a couple of $1,000 per year on the same money.
Don't disagree. I think it's easy for all of us to take for granted our "simple" financial/life strategies and just assume everyone does it or could do it, but I have found there is a whole other world out there that is dumb as a fence post screaming for help (OK, only some are asking for help). I think we have allot to give back that perhaps we take for granted sometimes since it comes so easy to us. Or perhaps its the last glass of wine talking...
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:49 PM   #14
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Given what little I know of the OP's lifestyle... I don't think it is necessary to share numbers for friends and family to understand success... and that is enough to lend credibility.

Given our lifestyle (lakefront home, winter condo, early retirement, relatively new cars, etc) I think our friends and family know we are doing better than ok... but as far as sharing numbers, I think the downside exceeds the upside... so I don't (other than DW).

Since if something happened to me I would hope that CPA DD would help DW, at some point I might open the kumono to DD, but not for now.

That said, if a friend or family member were to ask for my advice I would gladly help them.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:56 PM   #15
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Ive never had that itch.

When a friend asks (not often) how I invest I point them to my asset allocation and income charts, all in Google Sheets and expressed in percentages.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:57 PM   #16
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Since if something happened to me I would hope that CPA DD would help DW, at some point I might open the kumono to DD, but not for now.
Yep, this has been my plan. My oldest is 29, but I have a 3rd party to run point if I tank to guide the boat. In my case, Mama Bear is completely/purposely uninterested in how the machine runs (perhaps the subject of another thread), so I have planned on backup until I think JR is ready.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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I only tell those that show some interest, I don't want to divulge state secrets to those that will share them as gossip to others.

If they truly want to know how to help themselves ( I am helping 2 friends now), I will share my thoughts, plans, and investments, but not amounts.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:35 PM   #18
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My one brother (65 and still working) asked how we could retire at 57. I was honest with him and said we had X. Shut him up immediately.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:41 PM   #19
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^^^^ And what did that accomplish? other than make you look like a pompous jerk?

You could have said that you save regularly and invested in low-cost index funds that did well... or something along those lines.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:49 PM   #20
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DW, and if I needed some advice Id share some info with my former boss.
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