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Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
8,327 posts, read 5,096,736 times
Reputation: 30493

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post
Everybody that's poor says that

He and his wife have paid off their kid's home's, retired, bought new cars, and bought a nice home in Santa Barbara.

I think he said after taxes they're were at $40 million. I'm guessing they're down to $35 million or so.

I'm happy for them, and would trade places in a heartbeat. To not do so is foolish.
What's foolish is to tell people you're wealthy as in $53 million. Even more foolish is to live as though you're wealthy. Good grief, Santa Barbara. Was the house next to Oprah's in Montecito taken already?

And no, I don't envy them. We have enough money to live well but not so much that it makes us a target. The more visible wealth you have, the more people you have to hire to take care of it and the more people they tell about that nice older couple with all the jewelry and artwork.
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Old Yesterday, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,842 posts, read 3,362,770 times
Reputation: 12580
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Someday someone's going to explain to me exactly how that is possible.

'Cause it always sounds like sour grapes when the not-so-well-off say it.



Please explain?

I do agree with the original statement regarding better to not compare. I remember being told years and years ago by someone that it is a mistake to compare my paycheck to someone else's. This is what makes sense to me. It can cause discontent in the person who is getting less and and an attitude of "better than you" attitude in someone getting more.

Money oftentimes defines a person's personal worth.
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Old Yesterday, 01:24 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
16,604 posts, read 5,454,573 times
Reputation: 52054
It hit home for me when I was in my late 50s. My job was about to be phased out due to technology. I had the choice of taking an early retirement with a tiny pension and no benefits or learning an entirely new skill set that was completely unsuited to my personality and talents.

Luckily my husband and I had been saving and investing conservatively for years. I had received a significant windfall in the mid-1990s, but never touched the money. Instead we hired a financial advisor, opened a Schwab account and let it grow. By the time my job went away I had a pretty comfortable cushion, no debts and a mortgage that was paid off.

So instead of killing myself trying to learn a new job that I would have hated and been terrible at, I was able to walk away at age 60. I had to pay for my own health insurance until Medicare kicked in and that was a big strain (it started at $600 something and went up to $1,000+ a month), but I had enough in reserve to make up the cost.

My husband and I live in a HCOL city but we have always lived modestly and continue to do so even though we could afford to spend more Our big splurge is going out for meals several times a week. Material things don't mean that much to us. At this stage in life relationships - friends and family - seem more important than keeping up with the Joneses.

Recently it hit home again when I drove past a neighborhood mom-and-pop grocery that sells Lotto tickets. I remember thinking that I didn't really care about winning. All those millions wouldn't make that much difference and would only complicate my life.
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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,842 posts, read 3,362,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I love this. So much truth.

Everyone's situation is different and so much depends upon the luck of the draw. If I had to compare people by their income and possessions, I know a few who have a lot but are boring braggarts, I know some who have a lot but got it by being mean and selfish, I know some who have a lot but got it simply by inheriting it.

I know some who have lost out--due to medical expenses, divorce late in life, losing their house in the last recession, theft.

Maybe that's why we're told to not discuss money except with very close family. It breeds hurt for those who suffered loss and it only adds fuel to the fire for those who love to show off or to cheat people. For everyone else, what's the point. There are other things in life; enjoy them!



Totally agree with this. Comparisons are made all the time (by kids, especially, I think)...... "My daddy's car is bigger than your daddy's", my mommy is prettier than your mommy". Whatever someone is comparing, whoever is on the negative receiving end usually walks away feeling pretty bad about themselves.
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Old Yesterday, 02:08 PM
 
6,488 posts, read 3,695,785 times
Reputation: 22789
Quote:
Originally Posted by ysr_racer View Post

Worse are the adults that cry about socialism. You're not getting anything of mine, ever.
LOL

You must not pay any taxes.
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Old Yesterday, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
2,446 posts, read 2,522,151 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
LOL

You must not pay any taxes.
Oh yeah, there's that
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Old Yesterday, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Florida Baby!
5,460 posts, read 703,883 times
Reputation: 3396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
[...] In sum, I'm doing better than the vast majority of my peers. Did you, and when did you realize you did better than those of a similar background?
My mother was always worried that I wouldn't "make it" in the world. After I graduated from college (mid 1970s) I moved to Rochester, NY--2 hours away from my home town. A few of my sorority sisters had done their Junior year of nursing there, and when I went for a visit I decided that this was where I wanted to live. I got my first job out of college through a temp agency. I worked as an administrative assistant for a small independent stock brokerage for 3 months until it got bought out by a larger company. After that I worked as a patient unit clerk at a local hospital. I worked there for about 4 years and then quit to find my "dream" job of working in a library. I spent the interim volunteering at the public library down the street. 6 months later--and through a series of serendipitous events--got my first library job. I had just enough money to live off my savings until I got the library job. Fast forward 40 years--I have a state pension and a small 401K.

Once when I was home and when my mother was still alive, she told me about the woes of her sister's grandson. I asked her what he did for a living. Turns out that he was jobless and living on welfare. And SHE was worried about ME???

In my parents eyes you had to be a doctor or a lawyer to be successful.
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Old Yesterday, 02:50 PM
 
Location: equator
3,804 posts, read 1,667,161 times
Reputation: 9545
It hasn't hit home yet!

"Did better" for us is just the choices we made. No kids, no debt, no taxes or high HC costs.

So our pittance is all discretionary, except for $400 a month fixed expenses.

So I'm guessing we "appear" to be "better off" by some metrics. The "optics" are good, LOL.
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Old Yesterday, 02:54 PM
 
Location: left of center
122 posts, read 52,631 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
I'm due to close on a condo this week. I'm buying at around 40% of what I was preapproved for. I'm not home much during the warmer months, have a lot of other hobbies, and finally found a remodeled townhome with garage for below $100k. I don't need a huge or expensive home. It has a lot of stairs, but that's fine by me, and I have a large garage for storage, 2BR/2BA, with a "loft" with a skylight on the top level. It's a good layout for what I want and do.

A high school buddy of mine posted a pic on Facebook of his kid and others bicycling behind my unit tonight. I sent him a message that we're going to be neighbors. He replied and we started talking.

He splits the mortgage on the ~$90k-$100k condo with his mom and girlfriend, and he says they barely make the bills. He runs a couple of pawn shops locally. He has a son that's 11-12, and a girlfriend as well. All together, they're struggling to keep the place paid for and all the other bills paid. The girlfriend has some fairly significant medical issues. He admitted he makes around $25k.

I couldn't believe that. $25k is a $12/hr job. He runs and manages multiple pawn shops. I told the guy he could make better at the local Citi debt collection call center, and at any number of jobs. He says he likes the pawn shop because it's flexible around what his kid does.

This dude is really barely scraping by. He has no slack in his life, and likely no luxuries. Compared to him, I'm doing incredibly well. Compared to most of the people on this board, I'm dirt poor.

In sum, I'm doing better than the vast majority of my peers. Did you, and when did you realize you did better than those of a similar background?
Everyone has different priorities. Your friend's priorities are: be his own boss, flexible hours, time to spend with son, girlfriend, and mom. He's willing to give up monetary security for those things.

Your priorities are: adequate, easy-care housing and a good-paying job. It's not better or worse, just a different choice.
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Old Yesterday, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,145 posts, read 3,355,183 times
Reputation: 7493
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
Please explain?

I do agree with the original statement regarding better to not compare. I remember being told years and years ago by someone that it is a mistake to compare my paycheck to someone else's. This is what makes sense to me. It can cause discontent in the person who is getting less and and an attitude of "better than you" attitude in someone getting more.

Money oftentimes defines a person's personal worth.
Seems to be true, the first and last paragraph. The "personal worth" is a Western thing; some cultures like FSU who aren't use to money tend to wear a lot of it at any given time, w/mink coats and jewelry and spendy cars. I thought that was rather gangster, personally. That's been my observation, in those who were young adults or teens when Communism collapsed with the Soviet Union. Over time that will change barring a return to that sort of sick authoritarianism that left them destitute after 70 years of complete BS.

I try not to compare paychecks, though I'm more inspired than envious when one or two pals do better than me. In my inner circle, guess I'm median income: two better, two others worse than me, and I "know it' but don't dwell on it one way or another. I do what I can with what I have upstairs in the old noggin.

When did I start to realize I was doing better than most? Ten minutes after completing the "total wealth calculator" and/or "income by percentages" on the Internet and discovering I'm 3% That's just how it is, not really boasting as I've made a some sacrifices to get here (moving to the work, top-end grad school, ensuring the skills are always honed to what's current and trending). Figure I'll retire okay, barring some sort of disaster, in about ten years (maybe 15, hard to say: if I still enjoy work and want the extra SS).

I know how to live frugal and happy, did that in my 20s. I also had a BMW coupe which was my only splurge at that time, though expensive all -considered. Probably shouldn't have done that, but I did need a classy car to fit in with the social circle. Worth it in the end. If I have to live frugal again, can-do.
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