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Friends are all broke!
Old 01-07-2018, 11:37 AM   #1
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Friends are all broke!

This isn't a humble brag but a real question. Does anyone else have this issue with friends or family?

Most of my long term friends have been in the same employment field as me so we all basically made close to the same amount of money give or take a few thousand plus most of our spouses also worked giving us great household incomes in the $200,00 a year range.

I've always been very financially conservative and a big saver while at the same time living a very fulfilling life without doing without. Over the years I've seen these friends make poor financial decision's time after time but of course always kept my comments to myself. They of course also never really saved for a rainy day or retirement other then the retirement system we all belong to.

Fast forward to now and all of us are retired but I'm the only one that seem's to have any money to do anything or buy what they want in retirement. Basically I have all these friends but nobody can come out and play! It also makes for uncomfortable situations when we buy a new car or go on a nice vacation. I'm guessing more then a few of us on this forum have this situation.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:56 AM   #2
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All my party hearty dope smokin', beer drinking, frat brother school buddies are millionaires.

Most of my girlfriend's friends are too.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:25 PM   #3
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You really never know.
Nearly all my old friends are happily retired and seem quite comfortable both physically and mentally.

What's interesting is the two who seemingly always made the biggest bucks all during their careers are both still w*rking today. Is it because they have to or because they want to? I have no idea which, but they both still seem to enjoy what they do.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Drake3287 View Post
This isn't a humble brag but a real question. Does anyone else have this issue with friends or family?
.
Mostly with family. I drifted away from friends years ago partly over this issue, partly others. And that was even before retirement.

Some friends are indeed doing well and live high on the hog but none from saving, investing etc. All the successful ones either kept working into their 60's, which would have killed me or, more often, their wives worked and made good money. Apples / Oranges lifestyles.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:32 PM   #5
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I live in a +55 community, and I am sure a lot are just scraping by. When we bought our new cars in August, I expected to hear some comments, but never did.
Unfortunately, my copilot was slammed by his late wife's medical bills, so he does not have much saved. I am happy to have him with me (he is like the brother I never had).
So, I pay for the planes for our flights, and he is grateful. Fortunately, money never comes up between us.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:36 PM   #6
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Depends on what you want out of life. Some people would rather spend money and enjoy life from age 20 to 55 buying toys and going on multiple vacations per year. Others would rather do that when they are 55-90. I am a little of both so i am going to have to tighten the reins a little bit to retire before 55.
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Friends are all broke!
Old 01-07-2018, 12:50 PM   #7
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Friends are all broke!

You will find that there may be issues when you are aligned with others who made different decisions. Think of it like Taylor Swift's song "Shake it Off". Meet them where they are. I asked my Dad (RIP 2016) if retirement was something that just happens or if he had to work at it. He said "Oh no, you've got to work at it". In my case siblings didn't ask that question or got a different answer. Co-workers all made choices. Outside friends generally shared my LBYM, as they also believe itís a long game of Candyland. You're a cut above your old w*rk friends. It's not bragging that you Smoked'em financially. IMHO you can enjoy from relationships with people on both ends of the money scale.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:11 PM   #8
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It's awkward sometimes. Around w*rking stiffs, I have to keep reminding myself not to come across the wrong way if I mention being retired, or not having to get up and go to w*rk the next day.

Around family or friends with less, I've occasionally let it be known that I'm "on a fixed income now." It does seem to put things in a different perspective. I don't mention that my income is only fixed until I decide to give myself a raise (2nd pension, 401k, and eventually, SS.)
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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I am fortunate to have separate, nearly life-long friends in two big cities. The friends in our current home city, Iím pretty sure, are not millionaires next door like us. Two of my closest friends in City 2 are likely decamillionaires. I find that when Iím in our home city, Iím happy with our 12 year old cars and modest house, going for walks, enjoying our friends kids and making meals with our friends. I find that with the wealthier friends, I want to splurge on cool cars like theirs, have a bigger house, go for walks, enjoy hanging with their kids and making meals together. So, Iíve concluded that I love all our friends equally and they us but our own net worth is better off living amongst our modest wealth friends and visiting the wealthier ones as often as possible.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:14 PM   #10
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Many of my relatives are like that. Even when they made money, they gambled and/or drank their money away and have no saving to speak of. OTHO, of those few who have money can't seem to spend any of it.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Drake3287 View Post
This isn't a humble brag but a real question. Does anyone else have this issue with friends or family?
We've had the issue with family, not friends. Many have made poor decisions and the readily foreseeable consequences are now upon them. Only one asked for money (we said no) and I later found out she had contacted several family members for that reason.

It was easy to say "No" because she has a long history of poor financial choices and borrowing money and never paying it back. I was warned of that by my mother and a half-sister 30+ years ago.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:26 PM   #12
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Some are broke...some have money. The broke ones are divorced and/or have several kids.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:44 PM   #13
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All my party hearty dope smokin', beer drinking, frat brother school buddies are millionaires.

Most of my girlfriend's friends are too.
My closest college friends too, including a guy who drunked out his sophomore year.

Looking for a girlfriend with a social circle like that.........
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:47 PM   #14
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Paraphrasing OP's question to "do you have any friends or relatives who aren't exact clones of youself?" I'd answer YES.

While we've grown closest to folks whose values and actions trend with our own, DW and I find that as we've learned to accept the differences between people, and not be so amazed that people are different, we have more opportunities to enjoy companionship and relationships.

Sometimes we're with friends/relatives who have more (in one case, much more) than we do and that requires an acceptance, without jealousy, that they're going to be enjoying activities we can only dream about. We also have friends/relatives with less than us. We try to graciously remember that repeated invitations to join us (dutch treat) for fine dining or travel wouldn't show good manners on our part. We emphasize what we have in common, try to be flexible and not spend much time awkwardly living up or living down to suite others.

Quote:
Basically I have all these friends but nobody can come out and play!
With some thought and observation, this is a weakness you can likely overcome if you wish to continue relationships with these "friends." Do you have anyone in your life who is significantly better off financially than you that you enjoy a positive relationship with? If so, think about how they're handling the situation where you're friends yet you can't afford what they can. Or, think about what you do have in common with friends of less financial means and how you can emphasize those things in your relationship.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:52 PM   #15
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The people I worked with are all doing very, very well. Most had families that helped get them started in life, and many have inherited parents' appreciated homes and investments. Plus, they were always frugal - it goes with the territory.

Family are all over the map, from quite well-fixed to "have to watch the budget," but nobody is starving. My cousin, who drives a 30-year-old car, is the world's biggest frugalista, recycles banana peels and tea bags into compost, and has managed to put one child through college and create a substantial college fund for the other one. I admire the heck out of him. He knows what to do without, in order to get what he really wants.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:55 PM   #16
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I have more kids / 7 grandkids whereas siblings dont. Worked in civil service most of career life earning significantly less. Littlest sister was probation. That said, only the 2 of us ever took a significant portion off all raises and socked it away while traveling all over (domestic & international). We ate also the only ones able to FIRE bc we diverted income
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:07 PM   #17
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We have many friends who do not have all we have. They too have spent much along the way and didn't save anything. We try not to talk about money around people we are with.

My family is always saying they wished they were more like me (I am the money person in our house) and could save etc. I have made the offer several times to do a budget for all of them, but I guess they don't want me to know how far in debt they all are.

Alas, we all get along and they know not to ask to borrow money from us as we are on a "fixed income".
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:35 PM   #18
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I cannot compare myself to friends or family. Some have more money, others have less. We've each led our lives as we thought best. Sometimes God smiled on us, sometimes not. I don't know anyone who "blew it all away frivolously". Those who have less are in that situation because of lifes twist and turns.

ETA: I am definitely "the millionaire next door" type. I don't do fancy vacations, I wear only solid black pants or solid black shorts (it looks like I have one of each - I actually have 3 of year) and one of 20 identical tops ($3 each, each a different color). Maybe that has something to do with the fact that money rarely comes up in any conversation I have with folks.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:36 PM   #19
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Not retired yet but I see it being quite mixed now and into retirement.

I have a few friends that started their own businesses and are doing quite well for themselves. There are some other friends that have great jobs likely paying a very nice salary. I travel with these friends quite a bit.

Then there are a couple of friends that have divorced which initially put them in a bit of a hole. They have finally got back on solid footing but it definitely put a crimp in their savings and will likely impact their retirement plans.

There's another group that has had problems with their careers, either never got a high paying job or got pushed out because of disruptions in their industries. Some are doing ok because they're savers. Others will likely be ok because their parents did very well and an inheritance will cover them in retirement.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:33 PM   #20
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Paraphrasing OP's question to "do you have any friends or relatives who aren't exact clones of youself?" I'd answer YES.

While we've grown closest to folks whose values and actions trend with our own, DW and I find that as we've learned to accept the differences between people, and not be so amazed that people are different, we have more opportunities to enjoy companionship and relationships.

Sometimes we're with friends/relatives who have more (in one case, much more) than we do and that requires an acceptance, without jealousy, that they're going to be enjoying activities we can only dream about. We also have friends/relatives with less than us. We try to graciously remember that repeated invitations to join us (dutch treat) for fine dining or travel wouldn't show good manners on our part. We emphasize what we have in common, try to be flexible and not spend much time awkwardly living up or living down to suite others.



With some thought and observation, this is a weakness you can likely overcome if you wish to continue relationships with these "friends." Do you have anyone in your life who is significantly better off financially than you that you enjoy a positive relationship with? If so, think about how they're handling the situation where you're friends yet you can't afford what they can. Or, think about what you do have in common with friends of less financial means and how you can emphasize those things in your relationship.


Good post. We have friends all along the economic spectrum. A previous boss and his wife have multiples of what we have. They generously invited us on a trip on their yacht. We had planned to fill up their fuel tank until we realized one full-up would cost over $10K! Instead we paid for several dinners. While weíd love to have their money, we arenít jealous and truly enjoy their company. They treat us as equals.

We also have very close friends who live in a small apartment and canít afford to do many of the things we do. We cook dinners for each other, play games at home, or go out to good moderately priced restaurants together.

Many of our friends have similar wealth to ours (not that we discuss numbers but just based on jobs, homes, lifestyle we are similar). Even with those people however, we each have our own priorities. One couple loves very high-end fine dining ($400+ per couple), one couple prefers to entertain at home, one likes to travel with us, etc. The point is that even people with similar ability to spend money often donít choose to spend on the same things. YMMV

I think the key is being sensitive to othersí preferences and adapting accordingly. As long as you enjoy a variety of activities, you can spend time with people with very different economic situations.

Weíve never had friends or family ask us for money. That would put a damper on the relationship as weíd say no but might then feel guilty about it.
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