Author Topic: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"  (Read 15387 times)

CanadianMustache

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What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« on: December 26, 2017, 09:27:37 PM »
Curious to hear your thoughts..

soccerluvof4

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 04:03:25 AM »
Can you be a little more specific?

Syonyk

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 08:42:54 AM »
I've seen several definitions of "Stealth Wealth" around, and it would help you greatly to clarify.

There's the more common version on this forum, which is basically, "Being rich and not having other people know," and then there's another form I've seen around, which is "Wearing expensive but very subtle things," such as wearing a $3k watch that most people won't recognize as particularly expensive.

oldmannickels

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 08:53:48 AM »
One of the weird things I've noticed about stealth wealth is that for holidays people seem to always give me money. Not complaining, people are always like oh it's so you can save for X project you want to do, but really I just put all that money in index funds.

CanadianMustache

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 08:56:05 AM »
One of the weird things I've noticed about stealth wealth is that for holidays people seem to always give me money. Not complaining, people are always like oh it's so you can save for X project you want to do, but really I just put all that money in index funds.
Love this.

Gimesalot

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 09:01:20 AM »
I think my DH and I fall into the "stealth wealth" category.  From the outside, we look like we don't have much.  We live in an older apartment in a multi-family building (that we own). A lot of the renovations and improvements on the building were done by us.  We drive older vehicles that were purchase used.  When we travel, we stay at cheap accommodations and focus on free or cheap activities. We optimize every expense.  We routinely get comments about our ugly house, shabby furniture, or cheapness. 

Now that we have both announced that we are quitting our jobs, leaving the country, and don't intend to get new jobs, people are starting to catch on that we may not be as broke as we look.

Syonyk

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 09:11:16 AM »
Now that we have both announced that we are quitting our jobs, leaving the country, and don't intend to get new jobs, people are starting to catch on that we may not be as broke as we look.

How often is that followed with something like, "Must be nice to get that large an inheritance..." or some similar snide comment about how you saving money couldn't possibly have gotten you there?

ketchup

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 09:20:51 AM »
I have an interesting brand of "stealth wealth."  I feel like a lot of what we do looks a lot more expensive than it is (like GF traveling for work and staying at a $300/night Hyatt for 5,000 Chase points per night), yet other things might make us look "poor" (our kitchen hasn't been "updated" since the 80s minus the 2001-era fridge).

nexus

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 11:36:58 AM »
One of the weird things I've noticed about stealth wealth is that for holidays people seem to always give me money. Not complaining, people are always like oh it's so you can save for X project you want to do, but really I just put all that money in index funds.
Love this.

Did that this year, too. Every little bit helps!

Imma

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 12:30:04 PM »
I guess we are in the stealth wealth category, even though we're not actually wealthy yet. We have an average income, but we live below our means to be able to save/invest quite a lot of money for someone in our income category (I save more than half of my Ä20000/year income).

I've seen a lot of relatives over Christmas and they're all a bit concerned. Do you still not have a car? (We don't need one, we live in a bike-friendly place). Did my fiance get more hours at work already? (He chooses to work part time). Is the renovation of your house going anywhere already? (We always planned to finish it within 5 years, one project at a time and lots of DIY). These questions aren't intended to sound mean, they just can't imagine our life.

The plus side is that people ask me if I need anything before they throw it away because they know my house only has second-hand stuff in it, and I get to take all the leftovers because they know I hate waste.

CanadianMustache

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 01:09:22 PM »
A lot of people think I'm making a big sacrifice by living well below my means.  They can't understand, why?  To me the lack of stress I enjoy being debt free and being able to leave my job anytime if it suits me is worth far more than materialistic things and being forced to work.

clarkfan1979

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 01:59:56 PM »
In my opinion the most effective strategies for stealth wealth, in order of importance are...

1) small house
2) used car
3) non-designer clothes

Everyone in my circle knows that I own 2 rental houses. However, everyone treats me like I'm broke because I don't have a huge house or new fancy car.

alewpanda

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 02:57:36 PM »
We are still light years behind the veterans on this forum, but we do make significantly more than most people seem to think we do, and we are choosy about what we spend it on, causing a lot of strange conversations...

People wonder all the time why I shop at goodwill....most of the time its people making somewhat less or much, much less.

They don't understand our downsized and minimalistic lifestyle, or why we currently choose to live in a cheap, 600 square foot apartment in the cheapest part of town.

They think our choice of older cars is a little odd (mind you...older as in, 2010...lol)


All of that leads to hilarious reactions when we CAN spend on unexpectedly pricey items or vacations. 


My personal favorite though is the giving aspect of it.  We have extra cash to give when needs come up... Sometimes people talk about being in tough spots, or about an accident, bill, or hospital visit that has put them in dire straits and expect us to commiserate like the average person.  But occasionally, when we know them well and know their circumstances and habits well, we use that information to gift or provide for others as anonymously as possible....and I love it.  They seldom seem to guess how the aid showed up.   Little do they know.....

Jsn

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 04:10:16 PM »
Pulling up alongside expensive cars.

They give me the side-eye, and I nod in acknowledgement. They probably think Iím admiring them, but in reality Iím thinking, ďYup. I could pay cash for that thing and drive it off the lot.Ē Knowing that they probably donít even own their statusmobileótheyíre ďleasingĒ it for god knows how much.

I think of the image they think theyíre projecting. And then I think of the reality Iím living. Then the light changes, and we both move on.

CanadianMustache

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2017, 04:14:12 PM »
Pulling up alongside expensive cars.

They give me the side-eye, and I nod in acknowledgement. They probably think Iím admiring them, but in reality Iím thinking, ďYup. I could pay cash for that thing and drive it off the lot.Ē Knowing that they probably donít even own their statusmobileótheyíre ďleasingĒ it for god knows how much.

I think of the image they think theyíre projecting. And then I think of the reality Iím living. Then the light changes, and we both move on.
I do enjoy seeing people with much fancier cars than mine, particularly when I know I earn much more than them.  Not sure why but it makes me smile, inside and out!

Daisy

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2017, 06:54:59 PM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 06:58:05 PM by Daisy »

Maya

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2017, 09:22:33 PM »
Reading along thinking hey that girl's story sounds like a woman I know from another forum. Oh hey look at that it is! Hi Malkynn

honeybbq

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2017, 01:01:27 PM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

I want to go on one of these some time just to see how it works and if I like it. I'd love to be one of those people hauling a trailer and camping all around Europe on a bike.

Zola.

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2017, 02:46:52 PM »
I am a long way off, but I try to keep quiet in things like mortgage overpaying and investing.

If people ask I don't lie though..

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2017, 02:56:29 PM »
I have a pretty bad manifestation of seasonal affective disorder that I'm working through this time around.

Today I decided to get some sunlight in the form of walking 4.2 miles round trip in 10 degree weather to a local bakery to pick up some blueberry and apple danishes for dessert after dinner.

The only people I passed on foot were very low income or homeless folks, I got a lot of stares from people driving by or sitting in traffic. The girl at the counter where I purchased said danishes gave me a look of pity for having to walk for my baked goods.

I laughed to myself, as DINKS we've grossed ~$170k this year and my Infiniti (2008) is sitting in front of my 1 bdrm apartment, while I chose to walk for fresh air and sunlight.

BussoV6

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2017, 05:50:58 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Yikes, that's expensive! Did you get a cost breakdown? I'm curious how it could be so pricey.

Lmoot

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2017, 06:58:00 AM »
I donít make a lot of money, but I have a full-time job and work part time for a nonprofit. At the nonprofit, a lot of people donít know that I have a full-time job and own a rental property, so I get lumped in with everyone else who is basically broke bc of a lacking non profit paycheck. I fit in well too, since I drive a 15-year-old beat up Honda accord.

Kind of the same deal at the full-time job, since most of them donít know I have a part-time job in rental income as well. I currently live with my grandmother in her three bedroom house, while I rent out my house to coworkers, in the nearby city. Voluntarily living with family even though you could afford not toÖthatís pretty stealthy.

I have to say my favorite thing is being accustomed to a more frugal day-to-day lifestyle. It will make my stash go even that much further. I have some expensive goals in the future, but my day-to-day low-cost lifestyle is what will allow me to accomplish those goals. Even now, with having such little overhead, I am able to do one-off expensive things, or buy one-off expensive things. And it feels good that I can do that without it making an impact on my savings or lifestyle. I also like owning things of high-quality, which are not associated with a life of luxury, but which contributes to the feeling  of luxury. No one needs to know how much my mattress cost, or my hiking pants, or my slippers. I bought those things because they were of a certain quality and provide a level of use that cheaper options may not.

This ability to enjoy the fruits of my labor, without being suspect is a great feeling. Plus I have always enjoyed being underestimated. Most people take pleasure in proving someone wrong, but I take pleasure in letting them think theyíre right, and keeping the truth to myself.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2017, 09:35:25 AM »
Confusing co-workers when I talk about maybe quitting before I'm eligible to retire.

Daisy

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2017, 09:45:58 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Yikes, that's expensive! Did you get a cost breakdown? I'm curious how it could be so pricey.

It looks like I was wrong. The cost is actually $2895. I think she was getting a group discount.

I can't explain the cost either. It's not even like they are sagging your stuff around as you bike ride from city to city. You are staying in the same hotel the whole time.

https://gosojourn.com/bicycle-tours/maine-bicycle-tour/?gclid=CjwKCAiA7JfSBRBrEiwA1DWSG4viQIa6T-129cNcaZXXzpe17Pyz-AEjFp9Ob5P0xUj1Sv9EzH7lchoCJGIQAvD_BwE

Imma

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2017, 10:39:12 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Yikes, that's expensive! Did you get a cost breakdown? I'm curious how it could be so pricey.

It looks like I was wrong. The cost is actually $2895. I think she was getting a group discount.

I can't explain the cost either. It's not even like they are sagging your stuff around as you bike ride from city to city. You are staying in the same hotel the whole time.

https://gosojourn.com/bicycle-tours/maine-bicycle-tour/?gclid=CjwKCAiA7JfSBRBrEiwA1DWSG4viQIa6T-129cNcaZXXzpe17Pyz-AEjFp9Ob5P0xUj1Sv9EzH7lchoCJGIQAvD_BwE

This is just ridiculous ... I mean, it sounds like a great trip, but I'm sure you'd be able to do exactly that for half the money.

Daisy

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2017, 10:43:12 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Yikes, that's expensive! Did you get a cost breakdown? I'm curious how it could be so pricey.

It looks like I was wrong. The cost is actually $2895. I think she was getting a group discount.

I can't explain the cost either. It's not even like they are sagging your stuff around as you bike ride from city to city. You are staying in the same hotel the whole time.

https://gosojourn.com/bicycle-tours/maine-bicycle-tour/?gclid=CjwKCAiA7JfSBRBrEiwA1DWSG4viQIa6T-129cNcaZXXzpe17Pyz-AEjFp9Ob5P0xUj1Sv9EzH7lchoCJGIQAvD_BwE

This is just ridiculous ... I mean, it sounds like a great trip, but I'm sure you'd be able to do exactly that for half the money.

If you are travelling solo, maybe you would want to join a group like this to cycle around.

But she was inviting a whole group of people. At that point, it's better to rent a big luxurious house, go to a local bike rental shop, and ride around for 5 days. I guarantee it wouldn't even be a third of the cost. We are all cyclists so it's not like we need a lot of hand holding.

I don't think she has found a lot of takers. Someone else mentioned the trip to me because they were invited too and called it a "fully catered event". They were also surprised about the cost and are not going.

jengod

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2018, 07:57:59 PM »
We have enough money that we can afford to support every scout fundraiser for miles around but not SO much money that people expect us to buy the Cabo getaway weekend at the silent auction etc.


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Abe

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 08:55:38 PM »
Laughing at people driving $120,000 cars (apparently that's a thing here in LA) and then complaining how they can't retire and how much maintenance costs. I drive the cheapest car of any doctor at my hospital. I also live only 1 mile  away so usually just bike in like a jerk to rub it in.

brooklynmoney

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 09:35:08 PM »
I feel pride that I take the bus. Many of my friends think only poor people ride the bus. Also I go to the not fancy gym. I refuse to live a segregated life where you only come into contact with other rich people.

bacchi

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2018, 09:57:24 PM »
Laughing at people driving $120,000 cars (apparently that's a thing here in LA) and then complaining how they can't retire and how much maintenance costs. I drive the cheapest car of any doctor at my hospital. I also live only 1 mile  away so usually just bike in like a jerk to rub it in.

My friend's partners in a specialist group would actually berate him for driving an econobox.

Dicey

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2018, 12:25:45 AM »
Haha, we look completely different on the outside than a lot of people who have posted in response to this interesting question.

We live in a fancy-ass custom clown house in a HCOLA. We bought it on a short sale because it's 3.5 blocks from DH's work. We paid cash.

There are three cars in the 2500 sf driveway (that we installed ourselves). DH's 2002 truck (he's a painting contractor by trade), his son's vehicle, a 2004 SUV that he inherited when his mom died. Both were bought new and are well cared for, with lots of miles left on them. And my stupid 2014 sedan that DH insisted we buy (used) to replace my ten year old minivan that had 138k hard sales rep driving miles on it. (Mine. Ahem.) I liked my van and didn't care, but DH is the one who services the car and he said it was time to go. All three of them are paid for and in pristine condition.

DH's job is considered blue collar. Everyone who works at his facility drives by our house to and from work. I'm sure they wonder how the hell he can afford it. They probably think he's in debt up to his ass (or higher). Nope.

I grocery shop at the 99 Cents Only Store, Grocery Outlet and Costco. We eat most of our meals at home. I thrift shop and estate sale. The majority of our furnishings were acquired second hand.

We're FI and I am RE. Here's the biggest kick we get out of having accumulated a shitload o' dough. We get to donate money to charity. We even opened a DAF in December. We loaded it with more cash than I made in my first career job. We also volunteer in our community. We totally dig being able to help others and enrich our community with our money.

I guess my point is we look wealthy, but we were never high earners. It's not exactly stealthy, except that we are not in debt. We still can't believe we're in this position. Crazy how it grows!


Dirigo

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2018, 01:59:06 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Yikes, that's expensive! Did you get a cost breakdown? I'm curious how it could be so pricey.

It looks like I was wrong. The cost is actually $2895. I think she was getting a group discount.

I can't explain the cost either. It's not even like they are sagging your stuff around as you bike ride from city to city. You are staying in the same hotel the whole time.

https://gosojourn.com/bicycle-tours/maine-bicycle-tour/?gclid=CjwKCAiA7JfSBRBrEiwA1DWSG4viQIa6T-129cNcaZXXzpe17Pyz-AEjFp9Ob5P0xUj1Sv9EzH7lchoCJGIQAvD_BwE

This is just ridiculous ... I mean, it sounds like a great trip, but I'm sure you'd be able to do exactly that for half the money.

If you are travelling solo, maybe you would want to join a group like this to cycle around.

But she was inviting a whole group of people. At that point, it's better to rent a big luxurious house, go to a local bike rental shop, and ride around for 5 days. I guarantee it wouldn't even be a third of the cost. We are all cyclists so it's not like we need a lot of hand holding.

I don't think she has found a lot of takers. Someone else mentioned the trip to me because they were invited too and called it a "fully catered event". They were also surprised about the cost and are not going.


Logged in just to say that I'm from Bar Harbor, and this trip is a total fleecing! Bikes rent for like $25/day (I don't live there now but that's what it was a few years ago) and just about everything on the itinerary is free with a pass to Acadia National Park. The Bar Harbor Inn is nice, sure, but there are tons of other good lodging options. In fact, there are lots of other (local) tour companies who could provide similar services for what I can only imagine to be a fraction of the price.

I'm biased because I know the area well, but a similar itinerary is incredibly simple to plan yourself - I highly suggest you visit the area, but don't waste your money on this!

/rant

gerardc

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2018, 12:40:14 PM »
Close friends and family (who know my job) think I'm cheap, other people think I'm poor. Both cases pretty much suck. I'm becoming jaded of other people lately, it's hard to fit in and date. Guess I'll go the stealth wealth route but I wish the world wasn't filled with so many consumer suckers and gold diggers.

Sometimes I don't worry about money and indulge and I do enjoy it socially, but most of the time I feel bad paying $30 for a fancy dinner I could have done myself for $3.

ETA: I noticed jn LCOL countries people seemed more down to earth and less focused on money/status, i.e. they'll enjoy low cost options. But then again, they're probably even more focused on it but their bar for frugality is just lower. Can't win
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 12:46:42 PM by gerardc »

gerardc

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2018, 01:19:41 PM »
Close friends and family (who know my job) think I'm cheap, other people think I'm poor. Both cases pretty much suck. I'm becoming jaded of other people lately, it's hard to fit in and date. Guess I'll go the stealth wealth route but I wish the world wasn't filled with so many consumer suckers and gold diggers.

Sometimes I don't worry about money and indulge and I do enjoy it socially, but most of the time I feel bad paying $30 for a fancy dinner I could have done myself for $3.

ETA: I noticed jn LCOL countries people seemed more down to earth and less focused on money/status, i.e. they'll enjoy low cost options. But then again, they're probably even more focused on it but their bar for frugality is just lower. Can't win

I often wonder about this lifestyle for single people.
Itís easy to let go of a lot of the attachment to what others think when you are happily married with someone on the same page, but I feel for people who are dating in a world where there is so much judgement based on superficial first impressions.

Yeah, it's hard. Can't imagine what it's going to be when I'll be unemployed on top of that. It's ok if you only have a few friends that share your values, the odd sweet girl or hippie, but you need to go through a lot to find them. It's like for men opening the spending gates is a proof of vulnerability since they can't do that with every woman so that supposedly weeds out the players, except it doesn't.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2018, 03:47:39 PM »
gerardc, we're also in one of the worst areas of the country to be frugal in, from a social aspect.  Dating here is definitely difficult, but there are like-minded people out there, they're just hard to find.  No real advice, just commiserating :-)

I always wonder what people think of my spending, since most people know I work in IT in the bay area, so I'm by default making good money.  For the most part I don't think people here can really comprehend not spending a lot of money in SF, so I think they just figure I'm spending it in ways they don't see.

Imma

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2018, 03:56:54 PM »
Close friends and family (who know my job) think I'm cheap, other people think I'm poor. Both cases pretty much suck. I'm becoming jaded of other people lately, it's hard to fit in and date. Guess I'll go the stealth wealth route but I wish the world wasn't filled with so many consumer suckers and gold diggers.

Sometimes I don't worry about money and indulge and I do enjoy it socially, but most of the time I feel bad paying $30 for a fancy dinner I could have done myself for $3.

ETA: I noticed jn LCOL countries people seemed more down to earth and less focused on money/status, i.e. they'll enjoy low cost options. But then again, they're probably even more focused on it but their bar for frugality is just lower. Can't win

I often wonder about this lifestyle for single people.
Itís easy to let go of a lot of the attachment to what others think when you are happily married with someone on the same page, but I feel for people who are dating in a world where there is so much judgement based on superficial first impressions.

I met my s/o at a punk show. We were both low income and frugal, he slowly found out I had (some) money, he wanted to know the tricks. Here we are, 5 years later, everyone still thinks we're broke low-lives and we look like that on the outside. Except we work very few hours, have a low mortgage on our cheap home and a 50% savings rate.

gerardc

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2018, 04:09:59 PM »
It's definitely possible to find your own odd duck who's frugal like you, just like you. Most people crave for more social contact than that, they want to fit in but it's hard to do when 80% are in fancy bars and restaurants thinking everything is fine.

It's also possible to be with someone different than you. I've had my share of GFs who were not frugal that I could make fun of for having expensive tastes. Some are intrigued, some tolerate it, some don't agree, and some want absolutely nothing to do with that life 😄

Laura33

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2018, 07:35:35 AM »
Best thing about stealth wealth is that people largely leave us alone.  Since our material desires are significantly less than our income would support, we look like we fit into the neighborhood* -- not the richest, not the poorest -- so its a very comfortable situation. 

And yet when we need/want to, we can throw money at a problem to fix it.  E.g.:  Our DD just made nationals in a school thing.**  There was no plan for this -- the advisor didn't even know there was a nationals! -- so they are scrambling around now looking for funding and sponsors and trying to figure out how to get 10 girls and all their stuff halfway across the country.  But if that doesn't raise enough money in the time provided, we are just going to walk in and hand them a check for the difference, because no way are these girls going to miss this opportunity.  And that, as the commercial says, is priceless.

*Although my StupidCar purchase last year has likely let the cat out of the bag.

** Don't be too impressed -- there wasn't a lot of competition, and she is going to get her ass handed to her at the next level.  But she worked harder than I've ever seen her work at anything, and we're ridiculously proud regardless.

Counting_Down

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2018, 09:29:10 AM »

I met my s/o at a punk show. We were both low income and frugal, he slowly found out I had (some) money, he wanted to know the tricks. Here we are, 5 years later, everyone still thinks we're broke low-lives and we look like that on the outside. Except we work very few hours, have a low mortgage on our cheap home and a 50% savings rate.

YES! This! Ha, this story made me smile.  We consider our lifestyle a big FU to the establishment, in a much more effective way that most people of the punk background, especially as they age and just look out of touch with how the world works.  We both work in white collar professions, but find little ways to be subversive to everyone else's expectations along the way - it helps us feel sane in an insane world.  An old pair of plaid pants of mine have become a favorite work rotation.  I have gotten compliments, and I chuckle each time thinking "you have no idea where these have been".  My beater old car with flaking paint gets pity and I see it as giant middle fingers to the materialism of my industry and coworkers.  Outside of work, we also look like broke kids - people would never guess our LNW has two commas.  I am amused when I have somewhat dismissive customer service at stores. But good, it keeps the fire. 

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2018, 10:10:50 AM »
Most people on the outside don't know our financial situation. We seem just like regular people. Our close friends suspect that we have a lot based on our professions and our frugal decision making. They see us declining going out for food/drinks or offering to host at our house, not buying super fancy shit and things like that. They will see why we are doing what we are doing in a few years!

bluebelle

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2018, 10:17:05 AM »
Best thing about stealth wealth is that people largely leave us alone.  Since our material desires are significantly less than our income would support, we look like we fit into the neighborhood* -- not the richest, not the poorest -- so its a very comfortable situation. 

And yet when we need/want to, we can throw money at a problem to fix it.  E.g.:  Our DD just made nationals in a school thing.**  There was no plan for this -- the advisor didn't even know there was a nationals! -- so they are scrambling around now looking for funding and sponsors and trying to figure out how to get 10 girls and all their stuff halfway across the country.  But if that doesn't raise enough money in the time provided, we are just going to walk in and hand them a check for the difference, because no way are these girls going to miss this opportunity.  And that, as the commercial says, is priceless.

*Although my StupidCar purchase last year has likely let the cat out of the bag.

** Don't be too impressed -- there wasn't a lot of competition, and she is going to get her ass handed to her at the next level.  But she worked harder than I've ever seen her work at anything, and we're ridiculously proud regardless.

Wow - that is an amazing thing you can do for your DD and 9 other girls.....  and yes, as the commercial says 'priceless'.... 

bluebelle

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #41 on: February 01, 2018, 11:21:33 AM »
Most people on the outside don't know our financial situation. We seem just like regular people. Our close friends suspect that we have a lot based on our professions and our frugal decision making. They see us declining going out for food/drinks or offering to host at our house, not buying super fancy shit and things like that. They will see why we are doing what we are doing in a few years!
This is us as well....I drive a 15 yo car, hubby's is 12.  MCs are both 16 this year.  We live in a 1960s house, bought before Toronto real estate prices went apeshit.....we're home alot, rarely eat out, when we do travel, we like to say places with efficiency kitchens and we eat in our room.
If you don't know us well, we look like we're barely keeping up....if you do know us well, or have been paying attention, we've bought a lakefront property and are building our retirement dream house....doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out we're doing okay
I know my mother worried alot about it a few years back, that I couldn't afford a new car, and the cooking while on vacation....now she knows it's because I want to....that and she's 96 and my 'old' car is the easiest one for her to get in to, and she thinks it runs so quietly (and it does to a 96 yo's ear)
so alot of our stealth wealth is just not spending, but the other part is the understated but expensive gear we have.  If you don't know helmets, you don't know what an Arai costs, if you don't know gortex gear, you don't know what the jacket cost.....

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2018, 11:57:25 AM »
What I love about stealth wealth: It is so relaxing. We donít have to worry about maintaining a standard of living we canít afford. We just donít have to worry about financing our future. I can sleep in in the morning. To me, this is the ultimate luxury ó always being able to get enough sleep. Also, not worrying (too much) about being robbed.

Iím not sure we could be described as stealthily wealthy. Most of our friends have a pretty good sense that we are well off, if only because we have tended to take a lot of exotic vacations (one year we took 4 different overseas vacations) and I donít work. My husbandís salary (about $220,000) is also public information as he works for the state.

That said, although our net worth is now around $2,200,000 (what with the crazy stock market this year), we live in a totally middle-class neighborhood (our house is worth about $340,000) and we drive two used cars (2007 and 2011 Toyota Prii that we bought used). So, I donít think anyone in our neighborhood would guess as to how well we are doing.

Imma

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2018, 02:21:24 PM »

I met my s/o at a punk show. We were both low income and frugal, he slowly found out I had (some) money, he wanted to know the tricks. Here we are, 5 years later, everyone still thinks we're broke low-lives and we look like that on the outside. Except we work very few hours, have a low mortgage on our cheap home and a 50% savings rate.

YES! This! Ha, this story made me smile.  We consider our lifestyle a big FU to the establishment, in a much more effective way that most people of the punk background, especially as they age and just look out of touch with how the world works.  We both work in white collar professions, but find little ways to be subversive to everyone else's expectations along the way - it helps us feel sane in an insane world.  An old pair of plaid pants of mine have become a favorite work rotation.  I have gotten compliments, and I chuckle each time thinking "you have no idea where these have been".  My beater old car with flaking paint gets pity and I see it as giant middle fingers to the materialism of my industry and coworkers.  Outside of work, we also look like broke kids - people would never guess our LNW has two commas.  I am amused when I have somewhat dismissive customer service at stores. But good, it keeps the fire.

Yay for undercover punks! I'm always get really happy when I meet undercover punks in my very white collar job, just last week I met a manager wearing a Crass t-shirt! Band shirts are fashionable these days, so you can wear a Crass shirt and spread the word on casual Friday!

We don't drive at all, neither of us have a license - we live in a place where that's easier than in the US. I ride my bike everywhere and I get funny looks when I turn up on my bike at the courthouse, but I love it. I know some people don't consider our lifestyle in line with our values, but I don't think that's the case at all. Having money in itself is not a bad thing, it's what you use it for that matters. We don't have to work for companies that we don't believe in, just to make money. We can't be taken advantage of because we have the power to say no and quit. We try to spread the anti-consumerist message wherever we go instead of preaching to the converted in squats. Our house might be small, but we have a second bedroom that many people have stayed in, from travelling bands, friends needing a place to stay for a few nights to a friend who was about to get homeless who lived there for a year. I think I can be more useful where I'm now, rather than on the absolute fringes of society.

mbl

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2018, 08:19:24 AM »


However, that doesnít stop everyone from making off base and sometimes idiotic assumptions, lol.

An entry-level admin at DHís work (basically a receptionist), recently made a comment about how DH always had a hard boiled egg at work and doesnít drive in, so she assumed he was broke. His general income is public record, she knows full well that he makes more than triple what she does, but she felt really bad for him that he couldnít afford to buy lunch and that he had to eat so many hard boiled eggs and couldnít afford to drive in.
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To me, this doesn't seem mean spirited.  She just perceived that he did it due to fiscal concerns.  Even knowing his salary, she was experiencing empathy for him.  Even a lowly "receptionist" as you so aptly pointed out, can feel bad for someone who makes more than them.   It happens.

 
I see my life as filled with luxury, and I donít hesitate for even a second to spend money on things I consider worthwhile. I paid $1000 for a kitten for fuckís sake.

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Again, it's all perception.   Anyone can spend their money as they see fit.  It's personal.  But each of us has opinions.   You spent on $1000 on a kitten.....holy shit...not because it's $1000, but I think of all the kittens around(obviously not pure bred) and find it astounding that someone would do that.   But why should you GAS what I think?  It's your money....knock yourself out.  But I might think that you're as equally foolish as you think the receptionist is.


mbl

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2018, 08:24:05 AM »
A friend sent me an invite to a very expensive bicycle trip. Yes, bicycle trip. Bicycling is supposed to be a frugal activity. This trip is a 6 day trip to Maine for $2600, not including airfare. I politely declined and said "the trip is too expensive for me".

Now, she knows I just quit my job for a "sabbatical" - doesn't really know it's FIRE - so I guess she assumes I rejected the trip because I am not working. She replied with "I'm sorry", but really I rejected the trip because that's about $500 per person per night, sharing a room and all! Yes, I could probably afford it, but if I travelled that way I would barely be able to travel.

So she thinks I'm poor, but meanwhile I am taking a 3 week ski trip that will cost less than this, including airfare and ski lift tickets. I guess travel hacking helps.

Quote
If your answer had been something like...."I'd prefer not"....your friend might not have made assumptions that would lead her to feel pity for you.  Not sure if this is someone your are close to or have any respect for, but explaining truthfully as you did above might educate your friend to what is really your value system.

Dicey

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2018, 09:05:06 AM »
I think I can be more useful where I'm now, rather than on the absolute fringes of society.
Love this!

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2018, 03:09:58 PM »
What I love about stealth wealth: It is so relaxing. We donít have to worry about maintaining a standard of living we canít afford. We just donít have to worry about financing our future. I can sleep in in the morning. To me, this is the ultimate luxury ó always being able to get enough sleep. Also, not worrying (too much) about being robbed.

Iím not sure we could be described as stealthily wealthy. Most of our friends have a pretty good sense that we are well off, if only because we have tended to take a lot of exotic vacations (one year we took 4 different overseas vacations) and I donít work. My husbandís salary (about $220,000) is also public information as he works for the state.

That said, although our net worth is now around $2,200,000 (what with the crazy stock market this year), we live in a totally middle-class neighborhood (our house is worth about $340,000) and we drive two used cars (2007 and 2011 Toyota Prii that we bought used). So, I donít think anyone in our neighborhood would guess as to how well we are doing.

Wow, why hasn't he pulled the plug?

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2018, 07:38:23 PM »
I think my DH and I fall into the "stealth wealth" category.  From the outside, we look like we don't have much.  We live in an older apartment in a multi-family building (that we own). A lot of the renovations and improvements on the building were done by us.  We drive older vehicles that were purchase used.  When we travel, we stay at cheap accommodations and focus on free or cheap activities. We optimize every expense.  We routinely get comments about our ugly house, shabby furniture, or cheapness. 

This is us!  Now we are building a house by the sea instead of living in what other people consider a "poor neighbourhood" our cover is blown.

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Re: What's your favorite thing about practicing "stealth wealth?"
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2018, 07:43:09 PM »
It blew my co-workers minds when I needed to pay $2000 out-of-pocket for dental surgery and I didn't panic about it. I explained to them that I am able to take care of it without difficulty because I bring my lunch to work every day. They really were shocked.