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Who would you let know about your financial situation?
Old 06-28-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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Who would you let know about your financial situation?

DW and I are fairly discreet about our financial situation, so outside this forum, we convey very little to anyone about how much assets we've accumulated over time. And from the outside, you would not know given the age of our cars or the moderate house we live in.

With that said, DW and I have very different views on whether or not we would tell other family members.

If asked, I would definitely tell my family (my parents and sister). I never found a reason to withhold this information, and in general, my parents would likely be happy with our success.

DW on the other hand said she'd never tell her family. She said it would cause unnecessary higher expectations of spending more money on gifts.

Are there others who know about your financial situation? Are there people who you would tell? Are there people who you would never tell?
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:39 AM   #2
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This is a frequently discussed topic. Other threads on the subject:

Does being good with money have to be a secret?
Do You Talk With Friends about FIRE?
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:43 AM   #3
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I try my best to keep my financial situation private.

Somethings, I can't prevent. Like others knowing that I FIRE'd, they can deduct that I'm not living on food stamps.

Not once have I told family members my salary I had while I was w*rking. When people got a bit curious and their line of questioning I could sense they were fishing, hoping I would tell, I'd say to them, they knew my profession, they could look up a ballpark salary if they wanted to.

IMO, some things are best kept private.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:44 AM   #4
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In my opinion you tell those with a need to know. Some might be jealous, some might think you're bragging while others will expect more. On the other hand, if any family member would play a role if you needed care or had some type of tragety, they should know what and where your assets are. I'd have a letter left with a trusted CPA or lawyer outlining what should be done if you need help. I've helped other family members when they were in need but I always did it discreetly so others wouldn't expect the same. This is a very touchy subject......my family knows I've done well......they just don't know how well I've really done.......and, some of them are still envious and jealous. Tough subject.....no single answer......you'll have to work this through.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:11 AM   #5
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Nothing good comes from disclosing your net worth or income.

I stick with generalities, like we are doing "OK".
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:12 AM   #6
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DW and I are fairly discreet about our financial situation, so outside this forum, we convey very little to anyone about how much assets we've accumulated over time. And from the outside, you would not know given the age of our cars or the moderate house we live in.

.... If asked, I would definitely tell my family (my parents and sister). I never found a reason to withhold this information, and in general, my parents would likely be happy with our success.....

Are there others who know about your financial situation? Are there people who you would tell? Are there people who you would never tell?
Similar situation here. While we don't have a high lifestyle, I suspect family and friends know we are well situated since I had some good high paying jobs during my career and invested regularly and we live well, retired early and are not wanting for anything.

If asked, I would probably not go into specifics but would give them hints that we are doing fine. But I've never been asked and don't expect it will happen.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:14 AM   #7
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I'd say, "It's a daily challenge. We have to watch every expense carefully."
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:30 AM   #8
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I don't think specific dollar amounts are necessary to share but I do believe someone should have a list of where your accounts are if you pass or are otherwise unable to tell someone like if you have a stroke.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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Similar situation here. While we don't have a high lifestyle, I suspect family and friends know we are well situation since i had some good high paying jobs during my career and invested regularly and we live well, retired early and are not wanting for anything.

If asked, I would probably not go into specifics but would give them hints that we are doing fine. But I've never been asked and don't expect it will happen.
I think one can make pretty good guess about someones NW. High earners driving inexpensive cars living in average house..etc..etc = High NW.

But if you are one of those High NW families nothing good will come disclosing your "success".......
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:20 AM   #10
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I had not even shared financial details with my wife until last year when I decided to go for EBC trekking. I down played when my asked about our situation during 2000 and 2008 crash. Had she known, she would've worried and actually made my journey much more difficult. My brother shared his situation with his wife and she bugged him everyday during 2008 crash and made him sell everything - what a disaster!
My daughter is going to college this year and I had to fill FAFSA. She came to know our NW and commented that daddy you put one extra zero at the end in assets. I said…ooops and told her that it's impossible to change that now because it has now gone into government's permanent record..blah blah. But told her not to worry and nothing is lost -- we would not have gotten any need based scholarship based on the income we have. I'm also applying for stafford loan to clear any doubts she may have and make her responsible for her share in college cost.
I would only share the info. with my in-laws as they'll be genuinely concern when I RE. I'll just tell them that I've retired and we've enough to get by so do not worry. For rest of the folks - I'm un-employed.
My parents are long. I would've definitely shared the info. with them. They would've been very proud of me!
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:29 AM   #11
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Nothing good comes from disclosing your net worth or income.
+1

Other than a couple of lifelong confidants and kindred spirits, nobody knows we're The Millionaires Next Door.

Years ago, when I let a few things slip to some folks, I grew to regret it later. I think some comments I made during the Great Recession about staggering losses, etc., turned that around.

Live your life as you wish. Others should assume what they want about your finances based on their observation of your lifestyle. Be careful not to let any info slip out because it's hard to reel back in.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:18 AM   #12
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Are there others who know about your financial situation? Are there people who you would tell? Are there people who you would never tell?
I mentioned to my parents that I was looking to retire early. My mom wasn't really too reactive, while my dad did the typical "Why would you do that? Don't you want to earn more money and be more financially successful?"

My dad just doesn't get it. He's in his 70s, still part owner of the family business, and still does some part-time work for it. Not only is he cursed with the "I need someone to give me something to do" gene and can't ever relax and find something to do on his own accord, but he also thinks that everyone's goal in life should be to amass as much wealth as possible. He has enough to retire with my mom and life an enjoyable life, but he's also not the type that would enjoy simply relaxing or trying new activities or traveling.

So while my parents (moreso my dad) are impressed with my financial success, they just don't get it why their son would want to possibly end up retiring before his father.

My siblings are a mixed bag. Brother is somewhat spendthrifty, but does save a little. His wife is the spender, so I don't bother saying anything to them, lest they get the expectations of gifts, etc. Oldest sister is a spendthrift disaster, and I don't bother saying anything to her. Other sister is fiscally sensible, and her husband is somewhat too. I'll save dropping the bombshell when I actually do retire in a few years in my early-mid 40s, and just let the cards fall where they may, rather than drop hints ahead of time.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:45 AM   #13
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Depends on the reason.

If my mom had expressed concerns about "I don't want to be a burden" or "I wish I could do more for you", I would have said "Look, mom, I'm earning $X per year, you don't need to worry about me".

I'm sure she would have been relieved in that case. But, I don't think she worried about such things.

Similarly, if she had needed financial support, I would have shared enough with my sisters to convince them that I could pick up my share of mom's needs. Fortunately, that never came up.

I've got one kid who I think believes we've got a lot more money than we do. Someday, I may need to bring him down to earth.

My dad might have felt good that I did well financially (by his standards). But I didn't need to share numbers. He could make a good-enough guess just from my job title.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:08 AM   #14
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My father told many people and relatives he was rich in the 70's. At the time he only made about 11k Even to this day people still think of him as rich. You will find that people ask for money but relatives are the worst they think they are entitled to it. They can be a real pain in the you know where. Another thing I learned is you can tell people and many people will just take your word. Few people investigate they just want money. Some things that can happen for example would be a relative says out loud we know your father has a lot of money in front of a dozen people with a few non relatives in the crowd. Another relative comes up to you and says I just want my cut but they are not even friendly. Another relative told her son he would receive money from me just because she thought my father had money. I never said any thing like that in fact quiet the opposite. I could go on and on. The strange thing is that you would think it would lead to good treatment by your relatives instead they look at you as a barrier between them and the money. At least a con man will treat you good to get money I can't even say that about my relatives.
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Who would you let know about your financial situation?
Old 06-28-2014, 12:27 PM   #15
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Who would you let know about your financial situation?

I think the taboo of talking about money is the principal reason so many people have so little.

I can think of almost nothing that neighbors, friends, and family wont discuss or help each other with. Even bettering one's sex life or proctologist referrals are game. But money, no, that's taboo.

No wonder so many are so stupid with it.

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Old 06-28-2014, 12:39 PM   #16
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My father told many people and relatives he was rich in the 70's. ....Another relative comes up to you and says I just want my cut but they are not even friendly. ..
I'd tell them "What makes you think you are entitled to a cut? Go out and work hard and earn it on your own like dad did, you bum." I have no patience for stupid people and don't mind being rude to them.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:43 PM   #17
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I'd tell them "What makes you think you are entitled to a cut? Go out and work hard and earn it on your own like dad did, you bum." I have no patience for stupid people and don't mind being rude to them.

Never, that would just cause endless resentment. "I haven't decided who to bequeth my estate" will get you years of polite cooperation from most everyone and people to help you move heavy things.


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Old 06-28-2014, 12:45 PM   #18
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Never, that would just cause endless resentment. "I haven't decided who to bequeth my estate" will get you years of polite cooperation from most everyone and people to help you move heavy things.


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As long as it was endless resentment with no contact, that would be fine.

I can find other people to move heavy things or hire it out.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:48 PM   #19
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I'd rather watch them squirm. Guess Im evil.


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Old 06-28-2014, 01:05 PM   #20
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Only my spouse. Our relatives and our children have no idea. They would very surprised...I guess at some point in the future the two children will be surprised. The past 10 years have been extremely good to us from a financial, health, and lifestyle perspective.

My wife's relatives are very curious. We retired early, sold our house, and are travelling extensively. We are renting for now. Some think that we sold our house and are spending the money. This could not be further from the truth. Others are curious about my pension income.

It is not their business. If they knew, it could change our relationship. Besides, I am a big believer in MYOB!
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