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Old 05-16-2017, 12:15 PM   #21
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When I was a kid, I heard the term "nouveau riche" for the first time when my father used it about someone, in a very disparaging sense. Knowing that my grandparents were poorer than dirt poor, and that my father had done well as a surgeon, I asked him if we too were nouveau riche.

His answer was that while we were definitely nouveau, we sure weren't riche.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:50 PM   #22
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OP here - Sorry left out the details, at 12 like most kids her age she means rich=money. I did ask what prompted that question and her response was 'I dunno just wondering if we are considered rich or not'. I told her health, family and happiness is more important than just money. The money is just the means to live a happy, fulfilling, relaxed and a stress free life but I think by that time she might be regretting asking that question because the answer was almost as long as the ride home lol.
Yes, I was thinking money with a 12YO.... but, I want to know how MUCH money they think is rich... just curiosity on my part...


When things like this come up, I say "no" as I do not think I am rich... AND I act like I am not (which, BTW, I am not)
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #23
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Yes, I was thinking money with a 12YO.... but, I want to know how MUCH money they think is rich... just curiosity on my part...
It's hard enough to get a straight answer or agreement on that question even with all the old geezer's (sorry, experienced economist) on this forum.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:19 PM   #24
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Yes, I was thinking money with a 12YO.... but, I want to know how MUCH money they think is rich... just curiosity on my part...
She doesn't quite know yet how much money is considered rich. I know this because she often asks me 'is that a lot of money?' whenever someone says something costs x amount

Edit: ^ she knows for example $1000 is more than $100 but she doesn't yet know that $50k for an avg car is a lot of money or when a house in Beverly Hills is $1.5M that's dirt cheap.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:50 PM   #25
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...

Anyways, I'm curious how much money you need these days for your neighbors to think you are rich and retired early, versus lazy and out of work...
All depends upon your neighbors. Our one-lane country street has 8 mailboxes. 5 of them belong to doublewide trailers (some nice, some not; all on an acre or more). 2 to unrelated families who own construction companies and 80-100 acres each on our road. The last to a doctor/lawyer couple with 25 acres (us). When they learn of our retirement, some of our neighbors will almost certainly see us as rich, if they don't already. The other two will just wonder why one would want to quit making money and running up the score.

Basically, we don't worry about it. (If we did, I suspect we'd be living in a different neighborhood?)
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:56 PM   #26
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I like the response of Cliff Huxtable to daughter, Vanessa, "Let me get something straight, okay? Your mother and I are rich. You have nothing."
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:09 PM   #27
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My kids were introduced to the idea of "family business" (as in "that's family business and we don't discuss it with anyone but family") before they were 10. They are now 16 and 13, and know how much has been put away for their college costs. The oldest has a good idea of how much I have in taxable accounts - that came up in a discussion about applying for financial aid.

Both know we are comfortable, and likely on better financial footing then many of their peers. They also understand the money has to last a long time, so it has to be invested and spent wisely.

They understand they are among the "rich kids" even if we don't spend like others do.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:23 PM   #28
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When I was 12, I knew we were poor and didn't have to ask any questions. I always thought that those living outside of the housing project we were living in were rich!
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:00 PM   #29
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I would respond - "why do you ask?"
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:24 PM   #30
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When I was 12, I knew we were poor and didn't have to ask any questions. I always thought that those living outside of the housing project we were living in were rich!
All things are relative, aren't they? We did live in a SF house with central heat and indoor plumbing, Dad was an electrician and worked for the power company so he had a regular paycheck but it wasn't a lot. I think I was in high school the first time I saw the inside of a restaurant and we bought our cars at the junkyard and did the necessary repairs in the driveway to keep them running.

I never had to dumpster dive for food like some who have posted here and I never went hungry but I don't remember ever eating steak growing up. Lots of fried chicken though. So it would be a stretch to call us poor but no one would mistake us for rich either.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:31 PM   #31
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I never went hungry but I don't remember ever eating steak growing up. Lots of fried chicken though.
We didn't eat steak when I was growing up either. I would have killed for fried chicken, though. Mostly I remember bean casserole or (canned) tuna casserole.

I always felt that a good translation of the word "casserole" might be "cheap foods you really don't want to eat all mixed together into an unrecognizable mess and then overcooked".


Oh, and once a week we had to eat liver.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:37 PM   #32
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I always felt that a good translation of the word "casserole" might be "cheap foods you really don't want to eat all mixed together into an unrecognizable mess and then overcooked".
Yep, Mom made a lot of casseroles too. Depending on what it was I usually liked it. She was proud of her "chicken cacciatore" but I didn't like that much. Never told her though. She used an electric frying skillet for the chicken and that came out very good.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:01 PM   #33
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Rich is very hard to define...

- When my sister adopted 4 siblings, they came to her house and thought they were rich because each person got their own bedroom.
- When my friend came here to the US, they thought they were rich because they had a refrigerator full of food.
- When I was young, I thought my grandparents were rich because they bought a new car that didn't have a hole in the floorboard.

I actually catch myself saying I can't afford it, I realize that is a lie, but it is ingrained, first because we were poor, and then later because I couldn't afford it based on what was left in my checking after I paid myself. I realized that created a strange situation leading my nieces to ask if I was rich or poor.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:16 PM   #34
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We're comfortable was the answer I got from my mom as a little boy when I asked her if we were poor!
I never asked such a direct question. We were comfortable (and I suspect that's what they would have said if I'd asked), but both our parents were frugal/LBYM, so we didn't live rich. Our parents gave us allowances and made sure we relied on them for some things, and they certainly didn't give us anything we wanted. In retrospect our parents were well off, but we didn't know it until decades later.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:33 PM   #35
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I think it was a perfect answer. Kid got his answer, he is 12, he didn't want numbers. You answered his question and now you can move on.

I also think REWahoo's answer is perfect.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:02 PM   #36
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My then 11 year old son (who has supersonic hearing) overheard our net worth from another room. He came back in bug-eyed and asked if we were really millionaires. We couldn't think of a single thing to say except to tell him the truth. What followed was an amazing conversation. We explained everything- how we accumulated it, why we couldn't just spend it on a car, the fact that the money gave us choices- or retire early, travel, etc. He asked astonishingly good questions. At the end of the conversation we explained that is was OUR money, and that my dad just received his inheritance from his parents at age 70, and that if he ever wanted to enjoy money when he was young he would have to learn to earn and save it himself.

He has not once brought it up when I refused to buy him something, and he frequently asks me questions about money, saving and investing now. Letting him overhear that was the best mistake we ever made.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:06 PM   #37
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It reminds me of a bit on one of Tim Allens's shows. His daughter has made some outlandishly expensive request which has been denied by Tim. She gets panicky and asks "Oh my god!! Are we poor??"

To which he responds, "Well, you are poor. Your mom and I are doing fine."
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:30 PM   #38
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We didn't eat steak when I was growing up either. I would have killed for fried chicken, though. Mostly I remember bean casserole or (canned) tuna casserole.

I always felt that a good translation of the word "casserole" might be "cheap foods you really don't want to eat all mixed together into an unrecognizable mess and then overcooked".


Oh, and once a week we had to eat liver.
+1

Fond memories. Tuna casserole which was canned tuna and Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, 'meat' loaf, lots of spaghetti and meatballs which was my favourite and one called 'Chinese laundry' which i also loved. Those were the days! Hamburgers and hot dogs in the summer and once in awhile a bite of steak. Mom never managed to get us to eat liver - even when calling it 'Velvet steak'. lol.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:57 PM   #39
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I generally say we have more than most but there is always someone who has more... and this is especially true at their schools which is in a very high income area. We live on the other side of the tracks so can play "poor."
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #40
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[QUOTE=W2R;Oh, and once a week we had to eat liver. [/QUOTE]

Once a month, I savor the liver from our annual Black Angus beef. Marinated in milk for 24 hour minimum, then flash cooked on the grill with a large sweet onion. I'll stretch a pound out a week for my lunch. Not poor here.
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