"Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

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Pajamas
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Pajamas » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:59 am

WageSlave wrote: Was that a Viking by chance?
It is a Fisher & Paykel, a New Zealand brand that I had never heard of that is apparently now popular in the U.S.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by feh » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:52 am

We are very much stealth wealth people, possibly with the exception of our house, which is larger than we need (but we own it outright).

I cut back to 2 days of work per week this year at age 50. Lots of shocked expressions as mentioned in the article.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Ethelred » Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:15 am

catchingup888 wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:An observation about cars. I'm pushing 57 so grew up with cars from the 60s (great cars but low tech) and 70's (awful cars). There's a much smaller gap between today's "average" cars and today's luxury cars than was the case back then. A Vega was really a piece of junk on wheels while an Impala was a relatively good car. Today's Corolla or Camry is much closer to Lexus...maybe not in finish materials and dealer experience, but certainly on quality, durability and overall ride experience. So you don't have to buy the luxury car today to get a "certainly good enough" car. Back then you really did.
That's exactly how I see things. My next car is probably going to be another Civic/Accord/Corolla/Camry/Sonata/(insert equivalent competitor asian model). I'm not much for leather either, as they tend to get uncomfortable in Texas summers. So I wouldn't even need to spring for the EX model.
I'd actually argue that the sweet spot for cars, at least for many of the people on this site, is at or towards the top end of the normal brands. These days, sharing of the underlying platform means that minus a few insignificant features and a slight change in body style, you are essentially buying the luxury equivalent, without paying the luxury car premium.

I'd also argue that, if you easily have the money to do so, you're missing out by not choosing leather. I agree that the heat from black leather left in the Texas sun is really unpleasant, but cream leather avoids that problem, and is comfortable, hard-wearing and easy to clean. We have walked away from dealership test drives after finding that light-colored leather isn't available for the car. All the cars I grew up with had cheap fabric seats, except the VW camper van that had vinyl, and I'll never go back.

That brings me back to stealth wealth, and a story about my parents. They were never very wealthy, but still lived within their means. That camper van was used for every one of my childhood vacations, even going to Norway (from the UK). We slept in the van and an attached tent, staying at small farm campsites, and mostly ate tinned (canned) food. We lived in a middle-class area, though, and one day they received some junk mail for timeshare sales - "Come and see our model apartment, get a free gift!" My Dad persuaded my Mum to go, saying, "It will be funny". Now, the first thing they do as part of the sales pitch is to persuade you that you can get the timeshare for less than what you would normally pay for a vacation. So, they asked "How much do you normally spend on vacation?" and my Dad replied, " Oh, about a hundred pounds [about $150]. For two weeks." The salesman's jaw dropped. Unsurprisingly, the "free gift" they received was a salt and pepper set.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Rodc » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:06 pm

Ethelred wrote: I'd also argue that, if you easily have the money to do so, you're missing out by not choosing leather. I agree that the heat from black leather left in the Texas sun is really unpleasant, but cream leather avoids that problem, and is comfortable, hard-wearing and easy to clean. We have walked away from dealership test drives after finding that light-colored leather isn't available for the car. All the cars I grew up with had cheap fabric seats, except the VW camper van that had vinyl, and I'll never go back.
I would suggest that if your mental model for cloth seats is based on your experience of decades ago, that is like having a mental model of safety features from decades ago and thinking that applies to modern cars.

I have nothing against leather seats, but modern cloth seats are comfortable and hold up extremely well in my experience, even with kids. My current car is a 2009 with 120K miles and the interior is holding up very well. Decades ago the seats would be torn and split at seams, and I would likely be using slip covers. Of course, the car might not even be running as decades ago 120K was a ton of miles and many cars did not get that far. But my car is in great shape mechanically as well as in the interior.

YMMV
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Kitty Telltales » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:13 am

Ethelred wrote:
That brings me back to stealth wealth, and a story about my parents. They were never very wealthy, but still lived within their means. That camper van was used for every one of my childhood vacations, even going to Norway (from the UK). We slept in the van and an attached tent, staying at small farm campsites, and mostly ate tinned (canned) food. We lived in a middle-class area, though, and one day they received some junk mail for timeshare sales - "Come and see our model apartment, get a free gift!" My Dad persuaded my Mum to go, saying, "It will be funny". Now, the first thing they do as part of the sales pitch is to persuade you that you can get the timeshare for less than what you would normally pay for a vacation. So, they asked "How much do you normally spend on vacation?" and my Dad replied, " Oh, about a hundred pounds [about $150]. For two weeks." The salesman's jaw dropped. Unsurprisingly, the "free gift" they received was a salt and pepper set.
Ethelred, this thread also made me think less about myself and more about others I've known, because I've been guilty of occasionally being too ostentatious, e.g., I've owned a Mcmansion, used to drive a Porsche and in the 80's I once threw a Trump like cocktail party that my friends didn't seem to enjoy so much. None of which bring me any sense of accomplishment now.

I thought more about friends who I've suspected of having stealth wealth and one in particular who I really admire. My friend, in her late 60's now, comes from a line Russian aristocrats and her grandfather was an architect in Augsburg, Germany. I have no idea what her bank balance may or may not be, but she's filled her life with amazing, quite valuable experiences, with her monetary wealth. In her 20's, she lived in the States, got her PhD in biology and travelled more of the USA than most Americans ever seem to do. Later she built a little cottage herself, literally with her own hands, on a piece of land she inherited by a lake near Munich. Today it is surrounded by expensive homes, yet the feeling in her home is so wonderfully simple. It's only heated by a wood burning stove and she still does all repairs herself. She also lives in England, with her husband in South West England, in a quite working class town, and she's started her own publishing company which she works diligently at to this day, publishing books about science and nature. When opportunities come up to travel, they go, yet they live simply in every other respect. They've been driving the same little car for over a decade. We've never spoken about money, but I have always admired that she has made the most of hers.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by jsh84 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:23 pm

Thanks Taylor for linking to this and to PhysicanonFire for writing it. The concept of Stealth Wealth appeals to me on many levels and I hope to one day say that the term applies to me and my spouse. I think currently we are probably a bit stealthier than the typical couple our age and in our situations, though we don't have outrageously wealthy friends.

One thing I'll add in to the discussion that I haven't yet seen is regarding travel. My spouse and I enjoy traveling and have traveled all around the world many times. We have often had friends and family make comments like "must be nice" and "wish I could travel that much". I always shake my head and tell them they can! We aren't wealthy and we aren't insane to spend 10k per international first class ticket. We use airline miles and credit card points. In 2016 alone we signed up for maybe 3-4 credit cards between the 2 of us. We earned over 300k points easily that we'll redeem in the next year or two to fly somewhere fun in business or first class. It is so easy to get a credit card these days, meet the minimum spend just with daily expenses, get the bonus points and miles, and then cancel the card later that year. We have been doing this for many years successfully and easily. We aren't "churners". I'm not manufacturing spend or going on mileage runs or anything too crazy. I just funnel all our expenses through a credit card and use the points for fun things. Yet I have friends who don't own credit cards and probably spend $4k cash on a Disney cruise or trip to Disney for a week, while I"ll take a basically free trip to Asia in first class using points - and I'm the extravagant one.

My point is, there are a lot of fun and nice things in life that can be had without spending crazy amounts of money. In fact if you turn it into a hobby, you can essentially have your cake and eat it too, all while still remaining true to your saving goals, etc.

Maybe that doesn't quite fit into the concept of stealth wealth (reverse effect in our earlier years probably :happy), but I probably will never quit doing that as it is a total no brainer for us.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MoonOrb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:19 pm

Neat article and thread. I missed it when it first was posted.

We check off pretty much every box on that list. The best thing about it is that it never occurred to me to feel like I can't buy what I want. I think of my tastes as ordinary and average to be sure, but not intensely frugal or cheap. We do spend the money on stuff we value, but so little of what we value is the type of thing that makes us look "wealthy."

(And, honestly, I don't even consider us to be wealthy, which gives me mixed feelings since by pretty much any available metric we are doing so, so, so much better than other people our age; I would rather more people be on the same path of financial security that we're on rather than us being "wealthy", I guess).

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by nova1968 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:02 am

I believe its all a matter of priorities. Some mid income people will spend an extra thousand dollars for first class to get off a plane 15 minutes early, others like nice cars. Regardless of how you spend money I believe key is being able to be debt free and to maintain retirement accounts to the level where you feel comfortable.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by atfelt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:32 am

I enjoyed the author's article on stealth wealth. Truly not wealthy, but certainly could "afford" to buy nicer cars on a $120k+ salary. It is quite interesting how often vehicles are used to show off, even in the Midwest. I currently drive an '04 Kia Rio, and my co-workers continually poke fun at my little stick shift car.

I have finally found the ideal retort. My wife and I have 3 kids (and she stays home). As a result, the work conversations often go like this:

Coworker - "atfelt, why do you drive such a s****y car? You can buy something way nicer, try splurging once and a while!"

Me - "Well...I suppose it would be nice to have a better car, but I already have 3 finely tuned sports cars at home."

Coworker - "Ha, ha...I suppose I get it...but don't quit your day job with jokes like that."

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Flynlow » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:22 pm

randomguy wrote:
Sure but it depends on your crowd. There are plenty of places where showing up with a 50k f150 lets you fit in but show up with a 25k 3 year old BMW and you considered putting on airs. Plenty of ones where showing up in a 60k BMW doesn't cause anyone to blink an eye. Others where showing up with a 24k toyota will mark you as an outsider.
I'm a bit of a car enthusiast, and I've been in a number of these types of situations. My friends and I have laughed about it and drawn conclusions similar to yours.

Oddly, the one vehicle I own that is universally loved and accepted everywhere I take it is my '65 Mustang Fastback. I drive it almost daily in the summer months, its in very good but not perfect shape, just a good "driver" quality car with a few safety improvements (4 wheel disc brakes, seatbelts, headrests, overdrive). People at work love it, regular folks at the brewpub/pool hall/gym love it, and it was welcome and commented on by a number of couples at a pretty fancy country club in northern virginia last year.

Though i can't in good conscience recommend we all start driving them. Cars have come a LONG way in 50 years. :D

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by wrongfunds » Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:34 pm

What is the point of flaunting your $500K income and $10M assets on an anonymous web site? I lost count of replies which were humble bragging their "stealth wealth"! Yah, "I bench press 1000 lbs and have miss universe as wife and $123M in assets"; yah, that is the ticket!

Oh and that $35 microwave vs $300 microwave? The only difference is that you get the $300 microwave fixed when it breaks vs the $35 one which you just throw it away. There is no hard evidence that $300 microwave will last X times more than the $35 one.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by abuss368 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:43 pm

Thanks Taylor. A very good article that shows "looks can be deceiving" or "don't judge a book by its cover"!

Best.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by sambb » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:13 pm

Wagnerjb wrote:
Taylor Larimore wrote: Following this Philosophy, many Bogleheads now enjoy a substantial net-worth. Nevertheless, the way we spend our money can make a huge difference in our happiness and future wealth. This article from Physician On Fire offers food-for-thought:

Stealth Wealth

I look forward to reading about your personal life-style.
Taylor: I disagree with the philosophy of stealth wealth. If you can afford the better things in life, then why deny yourself? If you can afford a Lexus (and want one), then why not? If you can afford to buy your wife that $10,000 diamond watch for your 30th wedding anniversary, then why not? If you can afford to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Maui to celebrate your retirement, then why not? If you can afford to relax and play golf or tennis on Saturday - while the yard service is mowing your lawn and the pool service is cleaning your pool - then why not?

You work hard all your life to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Once you have "won the game", by all means enjoy it. Don't flaunt it in front of others who are not at your level, but by all means treat yourself. I just don't understand this self denial stuff.

If driving an old beat up Ford pickup truck is what makes you happy, by all means go for it. But don't belittle those enjoying the Mercedes they have always dreamed of being able to afford.

Best wishes.
Agree to some degree. Don't understand why people can't spend what they've earned if they want to. If your retirement is under control then who cares?

I would encourage people to have a plan and save, then if you want to spend on Maui, go ahead. I'm happy for you.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by pascalwager » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:14 pm

I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by oragne lovre » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:16 am

I wonder what those Bogleheads who have achieved or surpassed their Stealth Wealth goals would rather do? Stealth Shellout? :)
The finest, albeit the most difficult, of all human achievements is being reasonable.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MrsRoos » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:43 am

Here is another article on how to practice stealth wealth and the benefits it brings. http://www.financialsamurai.com/the-ris ... iety-rage/
Last edited by MrsRoos on Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MoonOrb » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:42 am

MrsRoos wrote:Here is another good read on how to practice stealth wealth and the benefits it brings. http://www.financialsamurai.com/the-ris ... iety-rage/
What a weird article.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by snackdog » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:05 am

We are closing in on eight figures but live pretty frugally. Save most of salary. Fly coach. Don't own a car. Max 3 star hotels for travel, typically with a kitchen so we can cook. No jewelry. Clothes up to 10 years old. We are minimalist but still have way too much crap. About half a 40' container last time we moved. Would like to ditch a lot of it.

Our only luxuries are housing, transportation, dining, travel, and gifts paid for by my bloated employer who likes to spoil employees.

Once I retire we look forward to putting our savings to work helping others in ways that really matter to them, not blowing it on stays at the Ritz Carleton or a freaking Bugatti. We don't care much what other people think because the great majority seem like shallow cretins, haha.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:13 am

soboggled wrote:So the joker who wrote this article pretends that people don't know he has money?
Pardon me, if you have enough to get through medical school and have been practicing as a private practice physician in this country any length of time, I know darn well you have money, no matter what kind of car you drive and no, you are not just an "ordinary guy".
It is about blending in and not being ostentatious.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by blinx77 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:50 am

sambb wrote:
Wagnerjb wrote:
Taylor Larimore wrote: Following this Philosophy, many Bogleheads now enjoy a substantial net-worth. Nevertheless, the way we spend our money can make a huge difference in our happiness and future wealth. This article from Physician On Fire offers food-for-thought:

Stealth Wealth

I look forward to reading about your personal life-style.
Taylor: I disagree with the philosophy of stealth wealth. If you can afford the better things in life, then why deny yourself? If you can afford a Lexus (and want one), then why not? If you can afford to buy your wife that $10,000 diamond watch for your 30th wedding anniversary, then why not? If you can afford to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Maui to celebrate your retirement, then why not? If you can afford to relax and play golf or tennis on Saturday - while the yard service is mowing your lawn and the pool service is cleaning your pool - then why not?

You work hard all your life to be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Once you have "won the game", by all means enjoy it. Don't flaunt it in front of others who are not at your level, but by all means treat yourself. I just don't understand this self denial stuff.

If driving an old beat up Ford pickup truck is what makes you happy, by all means go for it. But don't belittle those enjoying the Mercedes they have always dreamed of being able to afford.

Best wishes.
Agree to some degree. Don't understand why people can't spend what they've earned if they want to. If your retirement is under control then who cares?

I would encourage people to have a plan and save, then if you want to spend on Maui, go ahead. I'm happy for you.
I remember reading the millionaire next door and they had some segment about school teacher that pinched pennies for years and ended up with like $4 million in her eighties (and the anecdote was from a long time ago, so would be more in today's dollars). Personally, I thought she overdid it and it was bad advice. She should have started loosening the purse strings in middle age.

Saving is great, but I also think it is helpful to be cognisant of WHY you are saving. How much money do you need and what will you use it for? The answer is different for different folks, hence why there is more than one path to Dublin.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by beyou » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:14 am

For years, as a senior manager at a former employer, I drove my modest cars (Nissan Maxima and Subaru Outback) to the office each day. In the parking lot was a new high end Mercedes, driven by a person with a low paid clerical job (gift from their kid). Family of owner mostly drove nice cars too. My direct boss had a fancy motorcycle and a very expensive sports car as toys. I spent my hard earned money in shares of Vanguard IRAs, put into 529 for kids, paid down my mortgage.

Today I still drive similar cars (replaced as needed, not as desired), kids in college with tuition paid by the 529, no mortage, and enough retirement savings I could retire when I decide to do so.

I am surrounded at home and work by people who spend more on vacations, kitchen rennovations, and cars, and then they all talk about college finaid apps, inability to retire, or retirees who constantly worry about money.

I think this is more about priorities than anything else.
But if one simply looks at the visible vs invisible (private vs public displays) then I suppose yes I am one of those.
Really depends on the topic, when discussing college, if I told the truth would not be stealth. Paying over 100k/yr now. But if anyone asks about the burden, "my kids got partial scholarships", but in reality I am paying for most of the cost. I have moved from stealth wealth to stealth spending :-)

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by 10YearPlan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:41 am

Such an interesting post. I grew up in what was and still largely is a "blue collar" neighborhood. We had single moms on a tight budget living next to stealthy retired millionaires, most families of 4++ had one car. If you had two cars, you were either rich, or the other car was a beater, or both. None of the kids had their own car to drive at 16. The only way you could tell whether someone had a little bit more money than you is whether they had cable AND a VCR.

Today, compared to my upbringing and certainly to many on this board, I would say I live ostentatiously. I am okay with that. While I appreciate how I was brought up, I knew I didn't want to live like that as an adult if I could help it. I have always had "champagne" tastes. Today we have accomplished a reasonable amount of wealth through diligence and some smart (and lucky) choices, but we spend. A lot. And yet, because we moved to an affluent neighborhood, my champagne tastes feels like box wine taste compared to my neighbors. We don't drive luxury cars (we do the highest end of the regular cars, as we agree with another poster who said that is the sweet spot), but we don't drive them into the ground, either. Most of our neighbor have at least one high end car, and most kids around here get some sort of car at 16 (not always luxury, but never a beater). Everyone goes somewhere fabulous at least once a year with the entire family, just like us. Many go several times a year. Many own a beach house, we don't. The majority of moms stay home (I work), so they're doing this on one, presumably large, income. So, here, in this neighborhood, we probably look average to below average or at least very thrifty.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:53 am

pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Awesome. You have given me something to aspire to.

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PhysicianOnFIRE
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:52 am

snackdog wrote:We are closing in on eight figures but live pretty frugally. Save most of salary. Fly coach. Don't own a car. Max 3 star hotels for travel, typically with a kitchen so we can cook. No jewelry. Clothes up to 10 years old. We are minimalist but still have way too much crap. About half a 40' container last time we moved. Would like to ditch a lot of it.

Our only luxuries are housing, transportation, dining, travel, and gifts paid for by my bloated employer who likes to spoil employees.

Once I retire we look forward to putting our savings to work helping others in ways that really matter to them, not blowing it on stays at the Ritz Carleton or a freaking Bugatti. We don't care much what other people think because the great majority seem like shallow cretins, haha.
Very nice, snackdog. Like you, the times I enjoy the finer things, it's usually something gifted to me or paid for by an employer (CME travel). I feel pretty comfortable with the three-star experience (maybe 3.5) but see diminishing returns when spending double or triple for the 4 or 5 star hotel / meal / vehicle, etc...

I added the bold for emphasis above; I share that mentality. We've saved enough to support our retirement, but I continue to work to build a bit of a cushion and to have money to give away. Last year, we spent $62,000 as a family of four. That doesn't include health insurance (provided by employer) or taxes, of course. It also doesn't include charitable giving. We donated $100,000 to our Donor Advised Fund and I plan on making another large contribution this year. Meanwhile, my wife and I drive boring American cars with > 120,000 miles each. I have no qualms with people spending more. Someone's got to support our economy! We just do what works for us.

:beer
-PoF

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Johnnie » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:48 pm

My expenses for a very comfortable lifestyle in a cheap but beautiful part of the country will be more than covered by social security and a wee little pension with partial health insurance. Beyond that here's what I've been thinking I want to be able to afford in retirement:

- Sitting on a beach three dark cold months of the year, probably in Florida but TBD. I don't want to own anything but do want a view and/or steps to beach.
- Taking a fabulous vacation every 18 months or so. First class plane tickets and - oh, I'm also a three star guy myself I guess. Maybe interesting lodging though. Price will be an object because you can get nuts, but hopefully it will be demoted. With enough for some occasional shorter, cheaper junkets too.
Taking all the dinner checks and giving nice Christmas presents to all the family (green ones).
Leaving enough cash to those I care about that it makes them sit down, hard, but not enough that it changes who they are.

I'm trying to break some of the cheapskate (not frugal) habits of a lifetime. We had a saying, "I broke down and bought..." and I remember my sister saying one time when we all had jobs and were doing OK, "Wait a minute - why do we have to break down for these things?" :oops:

The real-real bottom line is, you can't take it with you.
Last edited by Johnnie on Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by sambb » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:01 pm

pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Glad youre happy, this isnt the direction a lot of people want to go, after they have saved. But happy that you are happy with this. I wont sleep in motel parking lots for example.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:20 pm

ruralavalon wrote:This is an interesting discussion.
After living frugally for so long when (if ever) do we switch to more comfort or more luxury? Do we want to switch? Why or why not?
Interesting point. That sense of "frugality" vs luxury for its own sake?
Perhaps.
Last edited by Sandtrap on Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by pascalwager » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:36 pm

sambb wrote:
pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Glad youre happy, this isnt the direction a lot of people want to go, after they have saved. But happy that you are happy with this. I wont sleep in motel parking lots for example.
But I've heard that every saver has a vice. Mine might be buying berries out of season.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:50 pm

snackdog wrote:We are closing in on eight figures but live pretty frugally. Save most of salary. Fly coach. Don't own a car. Max 3 star hotels for travel, typically with a kitchen so we can cook. No jewelry. Clothes up to 10 years old. We are minimalist but still have way too much crap. About half a 40' container last time we moved. Would like to ditch a lot of it.

Our only luxuries are housing, transportation, dining, travel, and gifts paid for by my bloated employer who likes to spoil employees.

Once I retire we look forward to putting our savings to work helping others in ways that really matter to them, not blowing it on stays at the Ritz Carleton or a freaking Bugatti. We don't care much what other people think because the great majority seem like shallow cretins, haha.
With an 8 digit portfolio and being frugal why do you need to wait for retirement to put your resources to work helping others?
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:54 pm

pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Why?
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:56 pm

munemaker wrote:
pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Awesome. You have given me something to aspire to.
Exactly what are you aspiring to? What is the lifestyle you are trying to achieve?
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Portfolio7 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:39 pm

10YearPlan wrote:Such an interesting post. I grew up in what was and still largely is a "blue collar" neighborhood. We had single moms on a tight budget living next to stealthy retired millionaires, most families of 4++ had one car. If you had two cars, you were either rich, or the other car was a beater, or both. None of the kids had their own car to drive at 16. The only way you could tell whether someone had a little bit more money than you is whether they had cable AND a VCR.

Today, compared to my upbringing and certainly to many on this board, I would say I live ostentatiously. I am okay with that. While I appreciate how I was brought up, I knew I didn't want to live like that as an adult if I could help it. I have always had "champagne" tastes. Today we have accomplished a reasonable amount of wealth through diligence and some smart (and lucky) choices, but we spend. A lot. And yet, because we moved to an affluent neighborhood, my champagne tastes feels like box wine taste compared to my neighbors. We don't drive luxury cars (we do the highest end of the regular cars, as we agree with another poster who said that is the sweet spot), but we don't drive them into the ground, either. Most of our neighbor have at least one high end car, and most kids around here get some sort of car at 16 (not always luxury, but never a beater). Everyone goes somewhere fabulous at least once a year with the entire family, just like us. Many go several times a year. Many own a beach house, we don't. The majority of moms stay home (I work), so they're doing this on one, presumably large, income. So, here, in this neighborhood, we probably look average to below average or at least very thrifty.
I fit in this category a bit better. We had great luck on our house in Calif, sold in 2004 at very high price, 20% IRR over 8 years, talk about luck! Have always saved and invested, so we weren't lagging there either. Have never felt 'flush', but when we moved to Colorado, we wanted a school district that was great for kids with special needs. We ended up buying an expensive house in a nice area (more than 2.5x the cost of our first house) and that's a bit of a drag on our net worth also, but it's worked out as intended. Our son had ADVOCATES in the local school district, vs Calif. where we had to fight for every scrap of appropriate (and mandatory) support. The house valuation though was pretty much flat until this past year or so... no biggie. We also ended up buying into a business, another drain on cash flow. However, our 17 and 19 YO cars finally were not worth maintaining anymore, so my wife drives a Limited 4runner (which I'm good with, want her safe, and she's in an 'image' business) and I have a KIA Sportage (yes, got the Turbo :wink: , but a big part of that was the safety features that come with the top line model). They are both nice cars, but I wouldn't call them Status Cars... maybe some would disagree. Compared to our neighbors, we kind of fit in, on the low-end of the scale... and that's fine with me. Our cash flow is just starting to really bounce back, and just in time, because we have college to pay for, and house repairs we've skimped on. Now we are in late 40's and just trying to pay down debt as fast as possible. If we can clear out everything but the mortgage in 6 or 7 years, we'll be ready to retire. My wife likes her job, and will likely continue for a while past FI, and I'd like to take on some new challenges... low stress challenges... and we'll start to Travel more. In the meantime, we enjoy our somewhat upscale (to us) cars, take a vacation most years, and focus on helping our boys with the skills they'll need in College and beyond. For where we live, we're definitely moderate to low-end when it comes to the cars and vacations and clothes and such. I've no issue with that.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by subrosa » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:47 pm

Hello Timelord
Why?
I believe Pascal, to the extend the post is to be taken at face value, wrote that portfolio growth was an end to itself.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by pascalwager » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:24 am

TheTimeLord wrote:
munemaker wrote:
pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Awesome. You have given me something to aspire to.
Exactly what are you aspiring to? What is the lifestyle you are trying to achieve?
I don't think about any particular lifestyle. Just want the security of a large portfolio. It's my backup if my pension defaults.

I'm on the verge (maybe) of buying some new clothes: trousers, socks, undershorts, colored T-shirts, ball caps, and sneakers. In the spring, I'll need some street shorts. I still have my coats from high school (late 1950's). Never wore them much until now--colder location.

My grandfather drove a 1938 Reo, or maybe it was a De Soto, with a special sleeping trunk for traveling/camping. He cautioned me about the engineers he worked around who typically bought a bigger house when they received promotions; and he used a washboard to do his laundry and bought his food wholesale. He always had a closet full of breakfast cereal. So I was influenced by him.

The most important factor behind my modest saving/investing success was controlling housing costs, and I lived in a very inflated housing market.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by convert949 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:56 am

I suppose you can call me somewhere between the extremes (semi-stealthy?). I do enjoy a car that is fun to drive (basic BMW). I do enjoy occasional special trips (Germany and Italy to pick up the BMW). I have a modest sized but nice house in a nice neighborhood. And yes, I have a boat. What DW and I do not have is a lot of expensive jewelry, expensive clothes, expensive watches, expensive advisors.

To me, money is not the object, it is merely how we keep score. I worked for a "stealth wealth" sales manager years ago who traveled regularly with his company car but would not buy a second car for his wife to use when he was away. When he worked locally, she had to wait for him to get home to do the grocery shopping. A customer of ours once speculated to him that he wondered when "saving" money ended and "collecting" money began... I will always remember that.

At the other extreme is an industry contact of ours who travelled extensively. When asked what he hoped to leave his only daughter, his response was "my last Visa bill" :shock:

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by eucalyptus » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:39 am

Congrats to the OP, you caught me! I have infinite needs and insecurities. All the curated lifestyle advice and ads you see everywhere - they're all for me. I've got the basics covered:

I drive an expensive car just to impress people.

I fly business or first class everywhere just to impress people.

I live in a nice house just to impress people.

I have a rare, purebred dog, acquired just to impress people. I named him Thorstein! He has many handsome collars and goes to the best doggie daycare around.

It goes well beyond all that freshman level stuff, of course. Before I buy anything, I ask myself, what would impress people? I carefully research the options, then I overpay.

Sure, I feel a nagging emptiness from to time; I've hired the most expensive psychiatrist I can find to help me with that. I might add an expensive lifestyle coach, if I determine it would impress people.

This thread has been a revelation. You've made me think. I've started to wonder whether I could spare myself a lot of research time by seeking to impress people with a little psychology and some humblebragging.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:59 am

pascalwager wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote:
munemaker wrote:
pascalwager wrote:I come out only at night, but still remain in the shadows.
My last car was almost 24 years old.
I'm in my 70's, but still wear some clothes from high school.
When my sneakers are ready for the trash, I just use them for yard work.
I dislike redeeming any portfolio assets and consider portfolio growth an end in itself.
I discard trousers when someone tells me there's a rip in the seat. If they don't tell me, well, that's not my fault.
I get a haircut about every four months--the $7.99 variety.
I never discard clothes because they're out of style. In fact, I'm not even aware of style.
When I travel, I sleep in motel parking lots and leave at first light.
On vacations, I intermingle with foreign travelers in our public lands. This is my version of a foreign vacation.
My basic warm weather dress is shorts and a T-shirt.
Awesome. You have given me something to aspire to.
Exactly what are you aspiring to? What is the lifestyle you are trying to achieve?
I don't think about any particular lifestyle. Just want the security of a large portfolio. It's my backup if my pension defaults.

I'm on the verge (maybe) of buying some new clothes: trousers, socks, undershorts, colored T-shirts, ball caps, and sneakers. In the spring, I'll need some street shorts. I still have my coats from high school (late 1950's). Never wore them much until now--colder location.

My grandfather drove a 1938 Reo, or maybe it was a De Soto, with a special sleeping trunk for traveling/camping. He cautioned me about the engineers he worked around who typically bought a bigger house when they received promotions; and he used a washboard to do his laundry and bought his food wholesale. He always had a closet full of breakfast cereal. So I was influenced by him.

The most important factor behind my modest saving/investing success was controlling housing costs, and I lived in a very inflated housing market.
Thanks for the explanation. I hope your choice brings you what you desire.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by SGM » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:24 am

Interesting thread. I like the couple who walked around the edge of their farm every evening with rifles on their shoulders to advertise that this might be a dangerous place to visit uninvited. I guess flying under the radar was not possible for them.

Why would I want to impress anyone? Why not be stealthy since where I grew up everyone was either a d-bag or s-bag anyway. :wink:

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by SQRT » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:41 pm

eucalyptus wrote:Congrats to the OP, you caught me! I have infinite needs and insecurities. All the curated lifestyle advice and ads you see everywhere - they're all for me. I've got the basics covered:

I drive an expensive car just to impress people.

I fly business or first class everywhere just to impress people.

I live in a nice house just to impress people.

I have a rare, purebred dog, acquired just to impress people. I named him Thorstein! He has many handsome collars and goes to the best doggie daycare around.

It goes well beyond all that freshman level stuff, of course. Before I buy anything, I ask myself, what would impress people? I carefully research the options, then I overpay.

Sure, I feel a nagging emptiness from to time; I've hired the most expensive psychiatrist I can find to help me with that. I might add an expensive lifestyle coach, if I determine it would impress people.

This thread has been a revelation. You've made me think. I've started to wonder whether I could spare myself a lot of research time by seeking to impress people with a little psychology and some humblebragging.
I liked your post. Use of sarcasm although generally not effective, actually worked quite well here.
Spending or not spending money to impress people seems less than optimal to me. Do what makes you happy, ignore what others might think. As long as it is legal of course. If you do have "nice things" don't flaunt them.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Gleops2 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:39 pm

Regarding the 35 year old microwave......

The TeeVee in my bedroom I bought new in 1990... 27 years old this year.....it refuses to die, and the sound is better that ANY new flatscreen I've seen that does not have a soundbar on it....

It's OK though......I only watch old teevee shows on it, and I use my old bifocal glasses to do so....they are perfect for the distance and view.

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An easy choice

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:55 pm

Taylor: I disagree with the philosophy of stealth wealth. If you can afford the better things in life, then why deny yourself? If you can afford a Lexus (and want one), then why not? If you can afford to buy your wife that $10,000 diamond watch for your 30th wedding anniversary, then why not? If you can afford to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Maui to celebrate your retirement, then why not? If you can afford to relax and play golf or tennis on Saturday - while the yard service is mowing your lawn and the pool service is cleaning your pool - then why not?
Sambb:

I live a comfortable lifestyle so I can do what I want with my savings: I can spend it on unneeded and expensive luxuries for myself -- or give the money (now) to my heirs and charity.

It's an easy choice.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: An easy choice

Post by SQRT » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:14 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
I live a comfortable lifestyle so I can do what I want with my savings: I can spend it on unneeded and expensive luxuries for myself -- or give the money (now) to my heirs and charity.

It's an easy choice.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Taylor. With all due respect I think it would be an easy choice for me as well if I was your age.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Toons » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:16 pm

praxis wrote:Lists have helped me all my life.
To reach financial independence, I saved as much as I could and lived below my means.
Eventually, I adopted the strategies from Taylor's list:
Develop a workable plan
Invest early and often
Never bear too much or too little risk
Never try to time the market
Use index funds when possible
Keep costs low
Diversify
Minimize taxes
Keep it simple
Stay the course
Thanks to this list I am retired. And this is my list for a happy retirement:

Fill my days with lots of things that I enjoy
Meet my needs: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual
Strive to be a whole person who lives consciously
Avoid giving in to the toxic parts of my own personality
View my journey as an opportunity for spiritual awakening
Stay physically fit so my body empowers my experiences
Look for ways to help others
Treasure love, especially imperfect love
Associate with interesting people
Use my experience to make better choices
Try to be informed rather than opinionated
Understand that I am imperfect,
and that the imperfect life, lived well, can still be quite good

+3 :wink:
Very well said
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:39 pm

Personally I am not in the extremely frugality is a virtue camp nor do I think parents who spent their whole lives raising a child should be fretting over providing them a legacy too. People work hard for their money and have the right to decide how they spend it. Stealth Wealth is an interesting concept but seems like every time I buy a new house my neighbors seem to be more like me financially instead of people I can brag about an early retirement too. To me accumulating money is isolating if you have to hide that part of you fr ... ng jealous. Frankly I am more comfortable around financially successful people because I don't have to worry about being judged for buying a nice car or worry about where I can and cannot invite them to dinner. Isn't it kind of insulting to people who are struggling when financially independent people dress up and play poor? What exactly is an unneeded or expensive luxury anyway? Isn't that really in the eye of the beholder? The one thing I agree with in the Stealth Wealth concept is I have no desire for whatever small amount I accumulate to set me apart or make me different because I haven't changed I can just afford to do some of the things I always wanted to and have saved up years for.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MoonOrb » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:00 pm

TheTimeLord wrote: Isn't it kind of insulting to people who are struggling when financially independent people dress up and play poor?
Isn't there some middle ground between "dress up and play poor" and "engage in conspicuous consumption?" It's as if you've created some kind of false dichotomy where there are only two options--pretend to be poor or show off your wealth.

Personally I feel that people should live their values and they should spend money on the things that they value--for people who value nice cars, jewelry, larger houses, expensive restaurant meals, well-made clothes, new electronics--they should go right ahead and spend money on those, assuming they are otherwise leaving within their means and meeting their financial goals. That's totally okay! But these expenditures do tend to make more noticeable that one is wealthy.

But there is also a large set of people who value other things, and living their values means they might be spending money primarily on things like education, gardening, travel experiences, fitness...who knows. But those expenditures don't tend to mark one as obviously wealthy.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by btenny » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:06 pm

My parents and aunts and uncles all lived through the depression as young adults. They were all broke and poor during those early days but most ended up wealthy in old age. None had college educations. They were all just frugal and hard working for their whole lives. Each had different experiences from that time period that effected how they lived for the rest of their lives. All taught their kids to be frugal and work hard as well. So many of my cousins are stealth wealthy and one or two are super rich. Most do not show any signs of outward wealth. It seems to me the depression frugalness and work ethic was passed to our generation.

My parents were the unlucky pair. They lost their farm and had two kids in the 1930s. Then other things happened so they had to be frugal and live small their whole lives. They passed those traits on to me. The older sister married well and bought real estate during the depression. So she was well off her whole life. But she was still very frugal. She had a small house and stayed home mostly and dressed plain. But she drove a Caddy and had amazing jewelry that she hid when out to the store. Likewise the young sister married well and did OK as her husband kept his business. She also lived in a small house but worked very hard and lived frugal as well. But again she drove Lincolns and was stealth wealthy.

Similar things happened to my other aunts and uncles. They all learned how to work hard and save and multiply there money. So as they got old most of them were stealth wealthy. They passed on some of this wealth and work ethics to their kids.

So I guess nice cars were our families only outward sign of wealth. But now days even that is limited as my richest cousins drive Chevrolet's and old pickups even at 8 figure wealth. Mostly we just live frugal and try to pass those life lessons on to our kids.

Good Luck.

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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:29 pm

MoonOrb wrote:
TheTimeLord wrote: Isn't it kind of insulting to people who are struggling when financially independent people dress up and play poor?
Isn't there some middle ground between "dress up and play poor" and "engage in conspicuous consumption?" It's as if you've created some kind of false dichotomy where there are only two options--pretend to be poor or show off your wealth.

Personally I feel that people should live their values and they should spend money on the things that they value--for people who value nice cars, jewelry, larger houses, expensive restaurant meals, well-made clothes, new electronics--they should go right ahead and spend money on those, assuming they are otherwise leaving within their means and meeting their financial goals. That's totally okay! But these expenditures do tend to make more noticeable that one is wealthy.

But there is also a large set of people who value other things, and living their values means they might be spending money primarily on things like education, gardening, travel experiences, fitness...who knows. But those expenditures don't tend to mark one as obviously wealthy.
I wasn't trying to create a false dichotomy but trying to reflect what I had been reading from a the article and many of the posts. Totally agree with you on spending money, it is the individual's right and decision. I will disagree with you on one point travel will mark you as wealthy quicker than a newer flatscreen because everyone wants a new flatscreen but not everyone is willing to cough up money to travel so they view it as highly discretionary. I just think it isn't fair to label other peoples purchased as unneeded luxuries. If someone wants something and does the work required to acquire it then only they should judge whether it was a good purchase or not.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MoonOrb » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:40 pm

Fair enough. I was reacting primarily to the quoted portion regarding your question of whether it was insulting to dress up and play poor. That question suggested you were viewing the issue in some way as binary. I can agree that travel can mark you as wealthy to your peers, but it also depends on what kind of travel you do and how you talk about it. I also put it in the latter category because it's nothing anyone can see by looking at you--unlike a luxury car, big house, Rolex, etc. But to the extent people like to describe their travel to others and make a point of saying where they stayed, the types of meals they had, and so on, it is more like the former category than the latter.

I also don't think there's a thing wrong with spending money if you have it. The principles I follow are along the lines of live within your means, live your values, and show kindness and compassion for others. It's totally okay to spend money. Like you, I don't view frugality as an end in and of itself. But I also recognize that the world is a very big place with room for lots of views, and while I might not choose to amass huge amounts of money and deny myself things that I might want to have, I can also appreciate that there exist people who are perfectly happy living frugally and simply and not spending what they've accumulated. It doesn't strike me as weird in any way that there are people like that. I might also choose to live my life differently.

aj44
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by aj44 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:03 pm

I was in extreme saver mode until last year when I turned 35. It actually was a bit difficult to loosen up the purse strings after being in saver mode for years. We settled on spending one of our incomes (after 401k max) which enabled me to:

Buy top end "normal" brand vehicles (Fully Loaded Honda Accord).

Replace IPhone/Apple watche yearly (love the latest tech)

Go on extravagant vacations.

Give money to family.

I would say I still balance living below our means and have stealth wealth with enjoying the things I want in life.
Last edited by aj44 on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PhysicianOnFIRE
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:37 pm

Another article from Sam (Financial Samurai) on the topic was published yesterday, discussing some reasons he feels make it OK to loosen the purse strings. If you hit 3 of his 13 criteria, you're good to go.

When Is It OK To Forsake Stealth Wealth And Spend Up?

I meet 5 of the criteria, so I'm allowed to take my family to Paris in March. Can't wait!

:beer
-PoF

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