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

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

Post by simmias » Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:05 am

pascalwager wrote: Investing isn't about becoming rich for most people. As W. Bernstein states, it's about avoiding poverty in retirement and covering basic living expenses. A $2 million portfolio doesn't make you remotely rich unless you also have a public employee type pension, or you know you're going to die soon.
A $2 million portfolio puts you in the richest 0.26% of adults in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth

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

Post by Leesbro63 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:25 am

simmias wrote:
pascalwager wrote: Investing isn't about becoming rich for most people. As W. Bernstein states, it's about avoiding poverty in retirement and covering basic living expenses. A $2 million portfolio doesn't make you remotely rich unless you also have a public employee type pension, or you know you're going to die soon.
A $2 million portfolio puts you in the richest 0.26% of adults in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth
What about in the USA?

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

Post by Dimitri » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:38 am

Leesbro63 wrote:
simmias wrote:
pascalwager wrote: Investing isn't about becoming rich for most people. As W. Bernstein states, it's about avoiding poverty in retirement and covering basic living expenses. A $2 million portfolio doesn't make you remotely rich unless you also have a public employee type pension, or you know you're going to die soon.
A $2 million portfolio puts you in the richest 0.26% of adults in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth
What about in the USA?
According to this calculator in the top 2% -- http://wealthometer.org/US/calculator2.html
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TheTimeLord
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:37 pm

Admiral wrote: $2 million isn't remotely rich? What color is the sky in your world? The average US household makes $50k. I suppose "rich" is subjective but with 2 mil you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people in all developed countries of the world. If you have "merely" $1 million in assets you are in the top 1-5% of earners in all counties of the United States.

Sheesh.
That isn't true. While I will easily concede your statement about is accurate $2 MM, it is a lot of money, $1 MM in assets puts you somewhere around the 91% of all U.S. households. Here are some results from SHNUGI that are based off 2013 data so you can assume those with assets have increased their portfolios over the past 3 years considering the performance of the U.S. stock market.

http://www.shnugi.com/networth-percentile-calculator/
Rank your net worth to specific age groups to see where you stand or where you project yourself to be in the future. Use the percentiles to compare your net-worth to US households using data from 2013. To use this calculator, enter the age ranges of the head of households you would like to restrict your comparison to and a net worth value to rank with in that age range.


Net Worth Summary Statistics for Households Aged 35 to 75

Net Worth Percentile Rank : A net worth of $1,000,000.00 for ages 35 to 75 ranks at the 88%
Median Net Worth : $119,500.00
Mean Net Worth : $659,387.00
Net Worth 25th - 75th Percentile Ranges : $16,200.00 to $420,050.00

http://www.shnugi.com/networth-percenti ... th=1000000
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Clever_Username » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:23 pm

Well, I'm a little behind and just saw this, so here goes.
  • Driving a luxury automobile -- no, got my old Mazda 3. Passed 110,000 miles last night. Aim to get to 150,000 or until maintenance becomes more of a burden than a new one would cost (relatively, I haven't figured out exactly what this means). Will probably upgrade to a 6 or their small SUV-type car at that point.
  • Wearing a ridiculously expensive watch or similar jewelry -- only jewelry is a nice watch I got as a Best Man's present almost four years ago. No idea the cost, probably not ridiculously expensive.
  • Anything called a Kardashian -- not sure if the spelling difference is intentional, but I enjoyed Deep Space Nine when it was on TV and am mostly through season two on watching it (for the first time since original airing) on Netflix. At $10/month or whatever, plus I watch other things on it, I don't view it as overly expensive.
  • McMansion with weekly visits from the gardener and “pool boy” -- I'm planning to buy a nice house in what I hope is a nice neighborhood later this year. I estimate it will cost me about 30% of my gross. I have minimal other debt (four figures of student loans at a good rate, no car payments, etc). Aiming for low maintenance (no lawn, no pool, etc).
  • Facebook check-ins at The French Laundry -- I use Google+ and don't check in places.
  • Trump. Clinton. It’s election day, after all. -- I am neither of these individuals.
  • Decadent Maui accomodations (unless reimbursed by employer) -- for my vacations I tend to stay in inexpensive accommodations (and/or friends' houses), especially as I'm rarely at the hotel except to sleep.

I am also amused by the Amazon suggestions on the article page. The referenced Joe Walsh album and single, Millionaire next door and two other books by the same authors, Rich Dad / Poor Dad, Richest Man in Babylon ... and the DVD of Donnie Darko, which I hope isn't a clue about my time horizon.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by MoonOrb » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 pm

I've been getting a chuckle this whole time about the Joe Walsh reference--Ordinary Average Guy, of course, is just a different version of a song he released in 1978--Life's Been Good to Me So Far, which is all about conspicuous consumption ("My Maserati does 185...").

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

Post by rene » Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:23 am

pascalwager wrote:
Unfortunately, it may mean wearing that expensive suit only inside your house.

Dude... you lost me right there... wearing a suit inside my own home? No way

:)

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

Post by CyclingDuo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:32 am

Excellent thread - especially for all of us who have read The Millionaire Next Door and employed various strategies over the years to shoot for LBYM. We still are tweaking things and looking for ways to improve. The idea of "stealth wealth" makes sense to both of us. When it comes to choice of house, and vehicles we drive - we have done well at keeping things low and under the radar.

Our greatest success to date has been sending our children to college, having them graduate debt free, and teaching them about LBYM. They now understand why we drive 11 year old cars (Hondas), always fly coach, bought one of the least expensive houses in our neighborhood, cook our own meals, sock away a portion of our income every month. Compared to a lot of others who graduated their children from college with a lot of debt to begin their careers - we feel the toil on our part, and investing the past 22 years for that was worth it.

We've moved into the next phase with the children, teaching them all about saving and investing, and taking the best advantage of their benefits package(s) at their places of employment. They have been surrounded by plenty of keeping up with the Joneses kids trappings their entire lives, and we have fought tooth and nail to teach them well to avoid that. Pretty sure our kids were the only kids driving the old family minivan to high school every day for 4 years at their particular school. It saved money, and did the job. Now they understand why we did that, but at the time the backlash from them was a daily struggle. :annoyed

It certainly kept us in LBYM mode, and now that the nest is empty - our lifestyle will remain the same as we shift the focus 100% to continue the path of socking money away for us. :D

Although this thread has pointed out stealth wealth and revolved around 7 figure wealth, we are surprised nobody has mentioned some of the more famous Billionaires and some of their frugality.

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-e ... aires.aspx

In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fi ... frugal.asp
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by segfault » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:46 am

Interesting article on Investopedia. I think Zuckerberg owns one or more houses now.

On a related note, I was watching Shark Tank the other day, and Mark Cuban shared an anecdote about how, after he sold Broadcast.com, he decided he needed some nice clothes. He went to a tailor and spent close to $100,000 buying over a dozen suits. He said he's only worn two or three of them. :P

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

Post by sschullo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:58 am

CyclingDuo wrote:Excellent thread - especially for all of us who have read The Millionaire Next Door and employed various strategies over the years to shoot for LBYM. We still are tweaking things and looking for ways to improve. The idea of "stealth wealth" makes sense to both of us. When it comes to choice of house, and vehicles we drive - we have done well at keeping things low and under the radar.

Our greatest success to date has been sending our children to college, having them graduate debt free, and teaching them about LBYM. They now understand why we drive 11 year old cars (Hondas), always fly coach, bought one of the least expensive houses in our neighborhood, cook our own meals, sock away a portion of our income every month. Compared to a lot of others who graduated their children from college with a lot of debt to begin their careers - we feel the toil on our part, and investing the past 22 years for that was worth it.

We've moved into the next phase with the children, teaching them all about saving and investing, and taking the best advantage of their benefits package(s) at their places of employment. They have been surrounded by plenty of keeping up with the Joneses kids trappings their entire lives, and we have fought tooth and nail to teach them well to avoid that. Pretty sure our kids were the only kids driving the old family minivan to high school every day for 4 years at their particular school. It saved money, and did the job. Now they understand why we did that, but at the time the backlash from them was a daily struggle. :annoyed

It certainly kept us in LBYM mode, and now that the nest is empty - our lifestyle will remain the same as we shift the focus 100% to continue the path of socking money away for us. :D

Although this thread has pointed out stealth wealth and revolved around 7 figure wealth, we are surprised nobody has mentioned some of the more famous Billionaires and some of their frugality.

http://www.investopedia.com/financial-e ... aires.aspx

In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/fi ... frugal.asp
Speaking of Warren Buffett and frugality, remember the hefty Paul Kangas, who hosted PBS business news for years? I loved when he said in a interview when he retired: "My car doubles in value when I fill it up with gas!" Exactly my feelings. I never bought a new car in my working career, to do so would mean not to invest every month in my 403(b). We have choices, and I am extremely lucky that I never had the new car addiction that plagues and chokes so many household budgets who making <$75,000.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:41 pm

CyclingDuo wrote: In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.
The point about Warren B's frugality is correct, but that he has lived on $100,000K for years and years isn't exactly right. C'mon...he lives off the BerkHath perks. Not that he shouldn't or doesn't deserve it; I'm just saying that it's mythology that one of the very richest people in the world lives on $100,000/year.

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

Post by CyclingDuo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:28 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
CyclingDuo wrote: In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.
The point about Warren B's frugality is correct, but that he has lived on $100,000K for years and years isn't exactly right. C'mon...he lives off the BerkHath perks. Not that he shouldn't or doesn't deserve it; I'm just saying that it's mythology that one of the very richest people in the world lives on $100,000/year.
I guess the point being - he kept is original house (I'm sure lots of upgrades along the way), and is in a luxury vehicle from Cadillac, but not quite the $$$ trap of a German/Italian road machine. Sure - the private BH Jet, expenses covered through the company for travel, etc..., dividends and on and on.

But - in spite of all of that and his wealth, he did not build some huge Omaha Ranch Mansion when we all know he could have many times over. His philanthropy is historic.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Pajamas » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:45 pm

Warren Buffett's house is no megamansion like many other billionaires live in, but the photo most often used of it shows only the front and makes it look like a slightly oversized bungalow. If you see the side or overhead view, it is a very large two story house and there is the equivalent of another complete house stuck on the back of it.

He also has his suits made-to-measure.

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

Post by munemaker » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:03 pm

simmias wrote:
pascalwager wrote: Investing isn't about becoming rich for most people. As W. Bernstein states, it's about avoiding poverty in retirement and covering basic living expenses. A $2 million portfolio doesn't make you remotely rich unless you also have a public employee type pension, or you know you're going to die soon.
A $2 million portfolio puts you in the richest 0.26% of adults in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth
Why would you make a comparison that includes 3rd world countries? There poorest in the USA are far better off relative to many in the world, but I am not going to use that as my yardstick.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:09 pm

Does lingerie count as stealth wealth? Or it's just a secret.

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

Post by CyclingDuo » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:14 pm

Pajamas wrote: He also has his suits made-to-measure.
$185-250 gets you well fit with a custom suit. At 6 foot 4, with a 30 inch waist - I can relate. Can't buy anything off the rack (except socks and underwear).

http://www.harrysuits.com/suits?gclid=C ... AneV8P8HAQ
Last edited by CyclingDuo on Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:43 am

munemaker wrote: Why would you make a comparison that includes 3rd world countries? There poorest in the USA are far better off relative to many in the world, but I am not going to use that as my yardstick.
I think it is very important to put wealth in a global perspective. Traveling to less-developed nations gives a good perspective to what it means to be wealthy. Access to clean water, adequate and nutritious food, shelter, new clothing, and universal education should not be taken for granted. This is also true not for just where we live, but the time in which we live.

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

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:16 am

VictoriaF wrote:Does lingerie count as stealth wealth? Or it's just a secret.

Victoria
Depends on if it highlights or conceals valuable assets.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:24 am

Pajamas wrote:
munemaker wrote: Why would you make a comparison that includes 3rd world countries? There poorest in the USA are far better off relative to many in the world, but I am not going to use that as my yardstick.
I think it is very important to put wealth in a global perspective. Traveling to less-developed nations gives a good perspective to what it means to be wealthy. Access to clean water, adequate and nutritious food, shelter, new clothing, and universal education should not be taken for granted. This is also true not for just where we live, but the time in which we live.
It does give you a good perspective on how fortunate you are but would you ever plan for a retirement without these things? You live in the society you live I just don't see why I would alter my retirement planning besides perhaps charitable giving because there are people living in an overpopulated third world environment. Conversely, I have been told by maids on cruise ships if they work 10 years they can move back to the Philippines so in some ways they have a leg up on first worlders. Although I guess to some extent that is what people who go expat are doing.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by goodenyou » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:03 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Does lingerie count as stealth wealth? Or it's just a secret.

Victoria
Depends on if it highlights or conceals valuable assets.

If it's made-to-measure like Buffet's suits, then I am going into a new line of business :wink:
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:03 pm

MoonOrb wrote:I've been getting a chuckle this whole time about the Joe Walsh reference--Ordinary Average Guy, of course, is just a different version of a song he released in 1978--Life's Been Good to Me So Far, which is all about conspicuous consumption ("My Maserati does 185...").
Yes, but Joe seems to lament the Maserati purchase and the way his life has changed in general.

"My Maserati does 185 /
I lost my license. Now I don't drive."

"It's tough to handle this fortune and fame /
Everybody's so different; I haven't changed."

Not exactly an endorsement of conspicuous consumption, is it?

:beer
-PoF

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

Post by TimeRunner » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:51 pm

I was fortunate (well, it was interesting anyways) to attend the Feast of the Holy Cross on Santa Cruz Island one year many years ago, led by the later disgraced Cardinal Mahoney. We plebs boarded a boat for a rough crossing of the Channel between the mainland and the Island. Joe flew on a small private jet to land on the Nature Conservancy's airstrip. Great musician, but don't kid yourself about lifestyle there.

Walsh talks about the annual event here: https://www.facebook.com/JoeWalshOffici ... 9222332835
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by TheTimeLord » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:19 pm

I totally want to max out my lifestyle but that is about figuring out and doing what I want. The 7 digit question is how much money will it take to afford that lifestyle. I am just a big fan of not having restrictions.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by opus360 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:59 am

Is there such thing as "Stealth Poor"? :oops:

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

Post by grettman » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:04 am

opus360 wrote:Is there such thing as "Stealth Poor"? :oops:
Yeah, those are your neighbors/friends/family/co-works who are living above their means and drive better cars than you.

Okay maybe they aren't "poor" but they sure are broke.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:33 pm

opus360 wrote:Is there such thing as "Stealth Poor"? :oops:
I can think of two categories:
1. Those hiding assets in trusts. I've recently heard about someone who did that prior to a divorce in order to request financial support from the ex-spouse.
2. Gold diggers.

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

Post by PhysicianOnFIRE » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:44 pm

opus360 wrote:Is there such thing as "Stealth Poor"? :oops:
Behaving in a way that suggests you're not poor, despite having very little net worth?

Drs. Stanley and Danko call that "all hat, no cattle." You could call it "Stealth Poor" or simply "The American Way."

:beer
-PoF

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

Post by pascalwager » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:59 pm

Here's another stealth idea.

I remember reading about a homeless man in San Francisco who used a sidewalk phone booth for his daily call to his broker to arrange trades. As it turned out, he was worth millions.

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

Post by bantam222 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:27 am

PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
opus360 wrote:Is there such thing as "Stealth Poor"? :oops:
Behaving in a way that suggests you're not poor, despite having very little net worth?

Drs. Stanley and Danko call that "all hat, no cattle." You could call it "Stealth Poor" or simply "The American Way."

:beer
-PoF
This sounds like a lot of Americans.

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

Post by Portfolio7 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:02 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
simmias wrote:
pascalwager wrote: Investing isn't about becoming rich for most people. As W. Bernstein states, it's about avoiding poverty in retirement and covering basic living expenses. A $2 million portfolio doesn't make you remotely rich unless you also have a public employee type pension, or you know you're going to die soon.
A $2 million portfolio puts you in the richest 0.26% of adults in the world.

http://www.globalrichlist.com/wealth
What about in the USA?
I was curious about this a couple years ago, especially since there is a lot of public discussion of Americans being unprepared for retirement.
Most stats that are quoted are across most earning age groups. We all know that wealth at age 30 is nothing like wealth at age 60.
So I started with data across all age groups, and it appears that about 1 in 15 US households have more than $1M in assets. So then I tried to suss out what that looks like by retirement age... roughly age 60+. Near as I could figure, that takes the numbers to about 1 in 8 (millionaire households vs total households.) Sorry, it's been a while since I looked at this, so I don't have links, but the 'millionaire household' stats are pretty commonly available on the web, though they all seem to work with slightly different data and therefore yield slightly different results. Roughly, once you hit $1M, it looks like you are in the top 10-15% of net worth in the country for retirement age households, to give us all a sense of how our peers are doing at the high end. As you might guess, this is heavily skewed by race and sex. This does suggest that 80-85% of households out there are heading into retirement with either 1) less than optimal savings or 2) very low expenses or 3) other sources of income such as pensions, etc (or some combo of these). My in-laws retired with perhaps $150K and a paid off house, two small pensions, and FIL's social security (my MIL never had SS deductions, so no SS, not even eligible for a % of FIL's SS.) They don't live it up, but they have a comfortable life, i.e. they satisfied conditions 2 and 3. However, she now needs regular medical care and they really just aren't prepared for that. I suspect this will be rather common - it may be that a lot of folks will have the resources to live in retirement, but once they experience non-fatal health declines, it may get dicey, and they will lean on the gov't, or family/friends, and/or have to accept substandard medical care. I would note, however, that at the low end of the pay scale, it appears social capital (friends/family) may be more important than financial capital, and people in lower income ranges do (perhaps rationally) maximize the former rather than the latter.
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:33 pm

Ultimate stealth wealth: being pregnant with a future billionaire.

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

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:41 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:
CyclingDuo wrote: In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.
The point about Warren B's frugality is correct, but that he has lived on $100,000K for years and years isn't exactly right. C'mon...he lives off the BerkHath perks. Not that he shouldn't or doesn't deserve it; I'm just saying that it's mythology that one of the very richest people in the world lives on $100,000/year.
I guess the point being - he kept is original house (I'm sure lots of upgrades along the way), and is in a luxury vehicle from Cadillac, but not quite the $$$ trap of a German/Italian road machine. Sure - the private BH Jet, expenses covered through the company for travel, etc..., dividends and on and on.

But - in spite of all of that and his wealth, he did not build some huge Omaha Ranch Mansion when we all know he could have many times over. His philanthropy is historic.
How many homes built in 1958 contain a racquetball court in the basement? Warren Buffet's does. Don't kid yourself - the persona on the outside is not what he practices on a daily basis. He's not at Dairy Queen having a milk shake, he's working, working, working and he's not living on $100K gross, though even that salary will let you live a nice lifestyle in Omaha.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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

Post by sambb » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:56 am

NYCguy wrote:
Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:13 pm
Reminds me of a bemusing story.

Ten years ago my wife and two small kids and I were renting a spectacular two bedroom apartment for about 50 K a year in New York City. My five-year-old daughter heard the mother of her friend say that renting was for poor people and owning was for rich people. That mother, her husband and two small children had recently purchased a cramped two bedroom apartment for $2 million across the street. They were proud owners but were complaining about expensive renovations, high maintenance costs and mortgage expenses.

We were in similar professions so I found it amusing that they thought we couldn't afford to purchase a place. Notwithstanding their presumption, they were really nice people.

A few years later after the real estate market turned, we paid cash for a $5 million house down the street.

I guess they mis- judged the situation.

I have always saved 30% to 50% of my after-tax income. As I have become older and wealthier I have taught myself to let go and enjoy the finer material things in life. It has been a transformative experience.
at high income levels, saving 30% of net, allows a great lifestyle and considerable savings. Great work.

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

Post by GCD » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:04 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:41 pm
CyclingDuo wrote:
Leesbro63 wrote:
CyclingDuo wrote: In particular, Warren Buffett wins the frugality award for a man who has accumulated serious wealth. He bought his home in 1958 for $31,5000 which he still lives in 59 years later. He only earns $100K salary and lives within his salary to this day - even though he has Billions. Good article here on his take on the trappings of keeping up with the Joneses, and his focus on his own ongoing expenses.
The point about Warren B's frugality is correct, but that he has lived on $100,000K for years and years isn't exactly right. C'mon...he lives off the BerkHath perks. Not that he shouldn't or doesn't deserve it; I'm just saying that it's mythology that one of the very richest people in the world lives on $100,000/year.
I guess the point being - he kept is original house (I'm sure lots of upgrades along the way), and is in a luxury vehicle from Cadillac, but not quite the $$$ trap of a German/Italian road machine. Sure - the private BH Jet, expenses covered through the company for travel, etc..., dividends and on and on.

But - in spite of all of that and his wealth, he did not build some huge Omaha Ranch Mansion when we all know he could have many times over. His philanthropy is historic.
How many homes built in 1958 contain a racquetball court in the basement? Warren Buffet's does. Don't kid yourself - the persona on the outside is not what he practices on a daily basis. He's not at Dairy Queen having a milk shake, he's working, working, working and he's not living on $100K gross, though even that salary will let you live a nice lifestyle in Omaha.
I have no idea why Buffet tries to maintain this frugal old man persona. He doesn't need to be publicly popular to do what he does. In any event, it's not like he really spends all his time in a tiny shack. His California home (not as well publicized as his Omaha home) listed for sale at 11M.
http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-o ... nia-2017-2

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

Post by sambb » Wed Dec 25, 2019 5:03 pm

often a house or car is not the only way to show wealth. most people dont see others houses or cars, except neighbors.

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

Post by btenny » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:45 pm

Here is a ultimate stealth wealth guy. He passed away with $200 in his bank account. But he had $7M in gold stashed at home.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/nevada-man-d ... nside-home

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

Post by btenny » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:13 pm

I am not sure my wife and I qualify as stealth wealthy but we have enough. We both worked our whole lives and lived on one salary etc. So we invested from an early age. That let us retire early. Then Bogleheads helped us learn how to invest to maintain our savings and have a nice retirement lifestyle. We have always lived BOM and still do. We bought our real first luxury car this year, a Lincoln MKX. It is 3 years old and used but still a great car. I wear wranglers jeans and polo shirts and two off the rack suits. No expensive watches or fancy jewelry for me at all. And my wife is frugal as well. I tried to buy her diamond stud ear rings 7-8 years ago. She said 1/2 carrot max as more was bragging and put her at risk of robbers. She still loves her small wedding ring we bought back when.

Now we are enjoying our 7th decade ( 5 decades married) and wondering if we should spend more or live a little higher. My most recent splurge is donating more money to charity via QCDs from my IRA.

Good Luck to all of you.

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

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:16 pm

Not lot of intentional stealth here. My tastes are just kind of boring. Drive a 2019 Camry which seems to offend some of the car people here. Clothes are mostly from Lands End. Home is a small condo. Nice furnishings. Renovated Kitchen. Apple computer, tablet and phone. A few vacations ( New Mexico, Washington D.C., Washington state, Maine, Boston).

I expect people think I am average in retirement accounts.

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

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:09 pm
Does lingerie count as stealth wealth? Or it's just a secret.

Victoria
Victoria Secret models are some of the highest paid models in the world.
:moneybag
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:21 pm

A lot of this discussion sounds very sad to me.

Imagine the heads exploding when after all these sacrifices, you end up no better off than if you had occasionaly stopped to smell the roses.

So many threads here about the super savers who cannot bear to spend money in retirement.

Not what I ever wanted for my family.

If this is what you want for your family, good for you.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:41 pm

pascalwager wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:59 pm
Here's another stealth idea.

I remember reading about a homeless man in San Francisco who used a sidewalk phone booth for his daily call to his broker to arrange trades. As it turned out, he was worth millions.
We San Franciscans like to play a game: “Tech Billionaire or Homeless?”

...they’re usually homeless.

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

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:14 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:21 pm
A lot of this discussion sounds very sad to me.

Imagine the heads exploding when after all these sacrifices, you end up no better off than if you had occasionaly stopped to smell the roses.
Some people like to smell greenback roses.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:16 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:41 pm
pascalwager wrote:
Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:59 pm
Here's another stealth idea.

I remember reading about a homeless man in San Francisco who used a sidewalk phone booth for his daily call to his broker to arrange trades. As it turned out, he was worth millions.
We San Franciscans like to play a game: “Tech Billionaire or Homeless?”

...they’re usually homeless.
You know you've made it when you go enjoy a $150 steak in sweat pants.

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

Post by Caduceus » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:41 pm

I feel like threads like these are the Bogleheads' equivalent of keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, except that we are competing to be the most frugal or stealthy wealthy. What I want you all to know is I got you all beat. When I walk into diners, people feel like giving me free food. That's how poor I look. :P :beer

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

Post by JohnFiscal » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:08 pm

Portfolio7 wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:02 pm

...not even eligible for a % of FIL's SS.)
How can this be, not eligible for spousal benefits?

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

Post by Old Guy » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:13 pm

Sometimes this site makes me sad. What’s the purpose of money? Use it. We are and are thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

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

Post by RJC » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:21 am

I can't wait to start spending more as we get closer to our number.

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1210sda
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Re: "Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy"

Post by 1210sda » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:42 pm

What an interesting thread.

The variety of viewpoints is awesome.

I guess it comes down to following the approach that makes you happy and hope that it turns out to be the right choice for you in the long run.

1210

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

Post by geerhardusvos » Fri Dec 27, 2019 12:52 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:55 am
I look forward to reading about your personal life-style.
besides the principles you mentioned for investing, we drive two twenty year old cars, rent a nice house near work, one nice vacation per year, lots of car camping, never in debt, have nice shoes for work and working out, generous with church and family, live on half or less of our income, stay positive, always be learning, tell others about how to reduce stress and get control of their life/finances
VTSAX and chill

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

Post by Caduceus » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:15 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:21 pm
A lot of this discussion sounds very sad to me.

Imagine the heads exploding when after all these sacrifices, you end up no better off than if you had occasionaly stopped to smell the roses.

So many threads here about the super savers who cannot bear to spend money in retirement.

Not what I ever wanted for my family.

If this is what you want for your family, good for you.

Broken Man 1999
I think it's more than that. I think for super savers it is painful to spend money, so consumption has negative utility for them. I know that sometimes when I've bought something I thought might bring joy to me, the subsequent obsessing over whether the money could have been better invested/spent just takes away the joy.

I'm genuinely happier to own shares in something that throws money off in predictable ways. Spending $60 to buy a share of Royal Dutch Shell gives me more joy than $60 on an expensive dinner.

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