Author Topic: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)  (Read 17287 times)

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14480
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #50 on: November 02, 2020, 06:48:49 AM »
I cannot pass on the sign up bonuses, get approved to all of them and then sell as TLs. None of them knows how much I make by selling TLs (well, no one talks about TLs anyways).
What is TLs? I tried a Google search but that didn't help.

I am enjoying this thread. We are not at the "Wealth" stage yet, but we are doing okay on the Stealth part.
Trade Lines. It's where you let people be Authorized Users on your lines of credit to enable them to temporarily boost their credit scores. Details here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/selling-tradelines-piggybacking-part-ii-$1000hr-20-40kyr-side-gig/

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3351
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2020, 12:16:20 PM »
I cannot pass on the sign up bonuses, get approved to all of them and then sell as TLs. None of them knows how much I make by selling TLs (well, no one talks about TLs anyways).
What is TLs? I tried a Google search but that didn't help.

I am enjoying this thread. We are not at the "Wealth" stage yet, but we are doing okay on the Stealth part.

Tradelines.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/selling-tradelines-piggybacking-part-ii-$1000hr-20-40kyr-side-gig/

Segare

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Florida
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #52 on: November 05, 2020, 06:59:03 AM »
Trade Lines. It's where you let people be Authorized Users on your lines of credit to enable them to temporarily boost their credit scores. Details here:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/selling-tradelines-piggybacking-part-ii-$1000hr-20-40kyr-side-gig/

Tradelines.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/selling-tradelines-piggybacking-part-ii-$1000hr-20-40kyr-side-gig/

Thank you both for the reply.
I don't think I that is for me, at least not now while we are full time workers.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14480
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #53 on: November 05, 2020, 07:41:07 AM »
I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of the idea and would rather pursue travel hacking. However, it did prove useful in a different context. We have rental property in a Senior Community. We also use a Realtor for tenant placement, as said property is not close to our home. The Realtor brought us a potential tenant. I looked at his paperwork and noticed that he was an "authorized user" on his mother's account. I knew what that meant, so I dug deeper and he turned out to be a financial nightmare. Dodged a bullet on that one, thanks to the TL thread.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 02:16:17 PM by Dicey »

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7607
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #54 on: November 05, 2020, 09:04:43 AM »
I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of the idea and would rather pursue travel hacking. However, it did prove useful in a different context. We have rental property in a Senior Community. We also use a Realtor for tenant placement, said said property is not close to our home. The Realtor brought us a potential tenant. I looked at his paperwork and noticed that he was an "authorized user" on his mother's account. I knew what that meant, so I dug deeper and he turned out to be a financial nightmare. Dodged a bullet on that one, thanks to the TL thread.
Knowledge is power.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1639
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2020, 09:34:02 AM »
I'm on an extended road trip this fall.  I got a cracked windshield in AZ, and was told by shop it would take at least 3 hours to replace.  So, I'm walking around a small city (maybe 20K) but it's nearly 100 degrees, so I was sitting in a shade ramada in a park.  A guy stops his work truck and approaches me with $2 in his hand.  He thought I was homeless!  I was wearing a nice tank top and a skort, and sporty flip flops, all in clean and decent shape.

I thanked him but told him I wasn't homeless or in need and declined the money.

After I told a friend, she thought it may have been a test of solicitation... like if I took the money he might have offered more, but I'm just hopeful it was a legit wanting to help someone in need. 

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1949
  • FIREd a million years ago at age 36.
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #56 on: November 08, 2020, 11:59:54 PM »
I'm on an extended road trip this fall.  I got a cracked windshield in AZ, and was told by shop it would take at least 3 hours to replace.  So, I'm walking around a small city (maybe 20K) but it's nearly 100 degrees, so I was sitting in a shade ramada in a park.  A guy stops his work truck and approaches me with $2 in his hand.  He thought I was homeless!  I was wearing a nice tank top and a skort, and sporty flip flops, all in clean and decent shape.

I thanked him but told him I wasn't homeless or in need and declined the money.

After I told a friend, she thought it may have been a test of solicitation... like if I took the money he might have offered more, but I'm just hopeful it was a legit wanting to help someone in need.
LOL!  This happens to my sister (also FIREd) a lot. She had an 20 year old truck with a shell (I did too) and dressed...er ... VERY casually so people always thought she was homeless and living in her truck. Didn't help that it was loaded with very high end sports gear that was covered by ratty blankets so added to the homeless look. Helps that's she adorable and sweet looking so people were always trying to give her food and money.

My own stealth wealth (although not as wealthy as my sister) is my small old "beater" house (bought with cash in a HCOLA) instead of a mcmansion and being car less for almost a year.  I must be sooo poor! The fact that I've been living off investments mostly since 36 without working doesn't seem to matter.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 12:09:17 AM by spartana »

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4567
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2020, 07:38:23 AM »
That person did not think you were homeless.

-W

wildatheart

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2021, 02:01:10 PM »
We Love our stealth wealth.
As newly FIREd in 3/2020, we (mostly me) have taken a while to get off the "Jones-chasing" bus, honestly.
Our cars are both 2013, over 100K and paid off of course. We decided to wait 1 more year to update the house trim and I think the neighbors think we've landed in foreclosure - ha! Paid off. Happily growing our 2 comma stash, but quite comfortable to look at a few areas that need some paint.

In one of our AirBNB properties we bought everything except the new microwave at scratch and dent, FB marketplace or craigslist and my wife painted one of the shower stalls a rustic bronze rather than replace it with a new $1000 stall that's not any better. We charge $599 per night and so far it's been rented 100% in 2021.

We have friends all over the neighborhood who love hearing our stories of where we've been and we love listening to their "wishes" about retirement. You can't tell folks anything - they have to want it. So we always give a shout out to MMM and offer our support and help. Most just feel better about complaining.
We've labeled 2021 as "The Year of Making it Right" which follows "The Year of Exercising Our Power"  (2020).

MishMash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 722
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2021, 03:28:06 PM »
We go fishing on a head boat with a group of shall we say "trump conservatives". Normally we get on alright but some of their crazy came out during and after the election.  The other week we are out and I made a comment about going looking for some discount lighting for the outside (still can't find any if anyone has suggestions lol).  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".

I was completely taken aback.  DH still works, but that's only because he is one year out from life long health care and a life long military pension that will only add to our already impressive stash.

Part of me wanted to snark back and say, well, I've increased my net worth by over a quarter million dollars since the election, have you?  They have no idea we are multi millionaires prior to the age of 40, in large part due to the 12 years I spent working for a soul sucking software startup. 

I've been force FIREd for 3 years, I had quit my job, anticipating getting another one, when my first spinal surgery came down the pipeline, I'm now going on number 3 in a month, this time a multi level fusion.  But I don't "sit at home". 

I'm glad DH and I bought a boat that should be arriving soon, it's not mustachian AT ALL but to have discretion on who I have to deal with, it's well worth it. 

markbike528CBX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1499
  • Location: the Everbrown part of the Evergreen State (WA)
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #60 on: January 02, 2021, 04:12:48 PM »
Our normal street facing house looks pretty stealthy.  Not run-down, but not remarkable.
There were 250 houses with our floorplan, or mirror imaged floorplan, built in our town between 1943-1949 of 4872 houses built.
Pretty common, and not really distinctive if it was in some other town.  As built, pretty small 1070 sq ft, and with enhanced basement and additions about double that now.

We actually keep cars IN THE GARAGE (as opposed to letting them show status/rot in the sun). 
The garage is in back and not the major architectural feature of the house like so many others.  That crap "triggers" me into a rant....
Our major transportation mode that the neighbors see is a Chevy HHR and my crappy Walmart bicycle with a six-pack of beer in the basket. 
This hides the 2000 Porsche Boxster (bought used in 2011), the Honda CBX (see avatar image), another motorcycle 3 bicycles (one a higher-end street bicycle).

The front lawn looks a bit sketchy before I figure our the correct watering amount for the season.

We infrequently go out for a "big night on the town", even before covid.  We don't buy rounds of drinks, as our friends don't need additional enabling :-).
People know not to volunteer us to pay for drinks etc.   If we do, we do but usually say no to requests.

Ozlady

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1365
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2021, 07:01:30 PM »
My 40 year kitchen:)     (now try beating that!!!!!!!!!)

AO1FireTo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 95
  • Location: Toronto
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2021, 08:00:33 PM »
Love this thread.  When I met my now DW in 2013, she was driving a 2001 Mazda Protg, that's main colour was rust:).  She gave zero F##$s about keeping up with the Jones.  I knew right then, she was the one for me.  She wanted to get every last mile from that car, and seeing that it broke down on the guy that bought it on the way home I think she did:).  She's got a newer car now (nothing fancy) that we paid cash for, and I'm driving a 15 year old Jetta.  We could easily afford virtually any car we want, but it would not make us happy, it would probably add to our stress.  One nice thing about having an old car, is you don't really worry to much about the occasional door ding or dent.  I'd rather have my capital working when I sleep, then depreciating in the driveway.


American GenX

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2021, 11:58:22 PM »
People who know my job and how long I've done it must know I'm doing pretty well, but I'm driving a 14 year old car and live in a pretty average house, I don't wear expensive clothes, and I don't eat out much.  I doubt any of them would think I passed my first $1M years ago.  They probably think I'm just burning through most of my income one way or another like most people.

2sk22

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 579
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2021, 03:37:00 AM »
We actually keep cars IN THE GARAGE (as opposed to letting them show status/rot in the sun). 

This gave me a chuckle - like you ours is the only house on our block where the cars are actually parked in the garage! Two of our neighbors leave their Teslas out in the weather :-)

jeroly

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2021, 04:58:47 AM »
In some ways, I feel like I do reverse 'stealth wealth.'

I'm FIREd, and my friends and acquaintances mostly know it.  They see me (pre-Covid) traveling to 'exotic locales' perhaps six times a year, eating out a lot, living in a nice apartment, and driving a Lexus, and generally assume I have even more than I do and that I spend way more than I actually do. 

My Lexus is fifteen years old and I bought it used.
My travels are generally low-budget. I always fly economy with long stopovers to get the cheapest tickets available to where I want to go, and I tend to go to destinations with low costs like southeast Asia.
I prefer going to cheap restaurants with great food instead of fancy ones with great presentation.
I'd overall prefer living in a LCOL area instead of where I do (Washington, DC) but am limited due to my SO's employment and shared custody situations, so the 'fancy apartment' is partly unavoidable.  Moreover, while my apartment is nice, it's still costing me less than I'd pay if I had a modest house in this VHCOL area, and the rent has only risen 11% in 8 years.

Moreover, many people don't understand the 4% 'rule' and think that in order to 'retire' you need $5-10 million.  Others do understand the 4% 'rule' and just think I spend $400k/year, because they can't fathom 'living well' without spending money like crazy.

wildatheart

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2021, 07:23:05 AM »
...  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".

... MM - I feel for you. That comment is consistent with the 12-year old mentality that is so much more visible these days. I have found that being "choosy" about spending includes being choosy about what kind of people I spend time with. Like you, I have friends who don't vote like me, and most of us get along fine. But, it's the ones who can't contain their anger and bitterness that I leave to themselves. Even Divas should be held to standards of simple good manners.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7607
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2021, 09:05:04 AM »
We go fishing on a head boat with a group of shall we say "trump conservatives". Normally we get on alright but some of their crazy came out during and after the election.  The other week we are out and I made a comment about going looking for some discount lighting for the outside (still can't find any if anyone has suggestions lol).  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".
...

Part of me wanted to snark back and say, well, I've increased my net worth by over a quarter million dollars since the election, have you?  They have no idea we are multi millionaires prior to the age of 40, in large part due to the 12 years I spent working for a soul sucking software startup. 

I just don't like to let people make snarky putdowns designed to make people feel bad.  I'll occasionally let it go if it's directed at me but I simply won't if it's directed at someone else.

"I don't work and my partner will retire in a year because we're rich.    We're rich because we're frugal with our money.   Anytime you want to learn how to build wealth after you learn manners, I'll be glad to share how."

Ladychips

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 667
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2021, 10:40:44 AM »
...  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".


I probably wouldn't say it, or more likely wouldn't think fast enough but I'd LIKE to say " If you bought discount outdoor lights, maybe you could afford to sit around all day."

fishnfool

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 365
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #69 on: January 04, 2021, 11:39:53 AM »
My 40 year kitchen:)     (now try beating that!!!!!!!!!)
< feeling guilt now, been looking at replacing 30 year old kitchen. But maybe I can justify that its been a rental of ours for past 17 years prior to us just moving into it.   

I'm sure enjoying all of these responses to "stealth wealth"  ;)

American GenX

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #70 on: January 04, 2021, 12:05:24 PM »
My 40 year kitchen:)     (now try beating that!!!!!!!!!)
< feeling guilt now, been looking at replacing 30 year old kitchen. But maybe I can justify that its been a rental of ours for past 17 years prior to us just moving into it.   

I'm sure enjoying all of these responses to "stealth wealth"  ;)
Add me to the list of old kitchens, and some very old appliances in my case.  Cabinets, countertop, harvest gold stove all over 40 years old.  Microwave is even about 29 years old.  I'm a single guy, so it's not been a priority for me, but I'm looking to finally completely renovate after I FIRE, which is getting closer.

MishMash

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 722
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #71 on: January 04, 2021, 12:11:26 PM »
...  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".


I probably wouldn't say it, or more likely wouldn't think fast enough but I'd LIKE to say " If you bought discount outdoor lights, maybe you could afford to sit around all day."

lol yea I'm not that quick, and honestly I did NOT expect a 50 year old woman, that I've spent a significant amount of time with, to say something like that so I was literally dumbstruck. I thought of all the snarky responses later in the day lol.

I find solace in knowing she will be pissed when the boat gets here next month (it's seriously been almost a year since we ordered it) and we head up to Venice LA, to do a Yellowfin Tuna trip out to the rigs, a lifelong dream trip of hers.  One that typically costs about 4-6k for an overnight trip, that we will do for the cost of gas in the truck and boat, which will be paid for by the folks coming with us (already set up and agreed upon). And her household is no longer invited.  When you love offshore fishing, and can't afford an offshore boat, or extended charters, don't piss off the only people in your 'friends' group that have one. 

 

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1949
  • FIREd a million years ago at age 36.
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #72 on: January 04, 2021, 01:59:44 PM »
My 40 year kitchen:)     (now try beating that!!!!!!!!!)
My original kitchen from the mid-1950s ;-). Mint green tile ftw! Sold "as is" for ...a lot. Both bathrooms were original 1950s too. One baby blue tile and fixtures and the other Barbie Pink ;-).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 02:02:53 PM by spartana »

Segare

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Florida
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #73 on: January 05, 2021, 11:00:23 AM »
Kitchen remodeling is a thing I mentioned often, in the three places I have owned we have not done any kitchen work. My wife and I never find a reason. What ever it is we use it, appliances are kept or repaired, rarely replaced.  This whole "updated kitchen" thing gets me.

Malcat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4397
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2021, 11:16:58 AM »
My 40 year kitchen:)     (now try beating that!!!!!!!!!)

My apartment is 50 years old and almost entirely original except for the fridge and stove, and I replaced the old almond coloured toilet and sink, and painted over the wood paneling in the bathroom. Otherwise, it's straight out of the early 70s.


talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4055
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #75 on: January 05, 2021, 12:19:01 PM »
We go fishing on a head boat with a group of shall we say "trump conservatives". Normally we get on alright but some of their crazy came out during and after the election.  The other week we are out and I made a comment about going looking for some discount lighting for the outside (still can't find any if anyone has suggestions lol).  Well the diva of the group snarked "well you can do that because you sit around all day doing nothing, maybe if you contributed you wouldn't have to buy discount outdoor lights".

I was completely taken aback.  DH still works, but that's only because he is one year out from life long health care and a life long military pension that will only add to our already impressive stash.

Part of me wanted to snark back and say, well, I've increased my net worth by over a quarter million dollars since the election, have you?  They have no idea we are multi millionaires prior to the age of 40, in large part due to the 12 years I spent working for a soul sucking software startup. 

I've been force FIREd for 3 years, I had quit my job, anticipating getting another one, when my first spinal surgery came down the pipeline, I'm now going on number 3 in a month, this time a multi level fusion.  But I don't "sit at home". 

I'm glad DH and I bought a boat that should be arriving soon, it's not mustachian AT ALL but to have discretion on who I have to deal with, it's well worth it.

My wife and I have a family financial advisor who oversees a taxable investment account for us. He spent a few minutes in April of 2020 reminding us how much better those investments would do if Trump won re-election.

I was sorting the papers for my annual filing, and showed the October and November statements to my wife. Pretty amazing gains during that month even though Trump lost!

Imma

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2672
  • Location: Europe
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #76 on: January 05, 2021, 12:46:36 PM »
Kitchen remodeling is a thing I mentioned often, in the three places I have owned we have not done any kitchen work. My wife and I never find a reason. What ever it is we use it, appliances are kept or repaired, rarely replaced.  This whole "updated kitchen" thing gets me.

I usually get free old freezers/fridges so we go through those quite often (usually 1 a year). We bought this stove when we moved in and there's not much that can break in a stove so we'll probably have it for years and years. Energywise it would be more efficient to buy a new freezer and fridge but we are saving for a kitchen update so until then we'll stick with the free ones.

I admire that everyone's kitchens are so old and functional but I don't know how you guys do it. Our kitchen is about 40 years old and it's a disaster - it was like that when we moved in 6 years ago and we've been holding off the replacement because it's just so expensive. The other day a shelf came down, the cupboards that the counter rests on are barely holding on, doors are crooked and can't be fixed, the metal counter is dented in many places, the chrome is wearing off the tap in several places so the plastic beneath it is visible, there's almost no grout left in the floor tiles (we covered that with vinyl), we've had damage to pipes in several places because our kitchen was built in the days that these didn't go into the walls. The only people I know who have beautiful old kitchens live in mansions with custom made kitchens by a carpenter. It seems that kitchens in the "normal" price range aren't designed to last for decades.

The replacement will be extremely expensive, which is why we're holding it off. The cupboards can be bought cheaply at Ikea, but cutting open the floors and walls to replace all the pipes (75 years old) and the wiring (at least 40 years old, probably more) then closing up the cuts, plastering the walls again, new floor/wall tiles, that part is easily over 10k and then you just have an empty room. And if you're doing all this work you want to do it "properly" which makes it even more expensive - i.e. creating hookups for a dishwasher, extending the water pipe so you can have an outdoor water tap, etc.

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1949
  • FIREd a million years ago at age 36.
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #77 on: January 05, 2021, 02:47:33 PM »
^^^ I found that my old original  kitchen and both original bathrooms (65 y.o. I think) would probably withstand a nuclear blast. The tile looked new (regrout occasionally) as did the fixtures like sinks, toilet and bathtub. If something needed replaced or repaired it was hard to find original parts so would have had to get something new then. Other then plumbing and faucets and one toilet tank (which I broke the lid when I dropped it so had to replace the tank) and painting the 65 y.o. pine kitchen cabinets white I never had to do anything.

 ETA: Although I did strip and re-paint Both bathtubs, sinks and toilets (special kind of paint for that - yes in 1950s pink and blue ;-)) because of some scratches. Very inexpensive, somewhat easy but highly toxic stuff. Looked great too. And did the kitchen sink too but it was white so easier to find the special glaze at Home Depo. Bathtubs and sinks are cast iron so rust can be a problem. Again easy to fix and loomed brand new.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 03:25:01 PM by spartana »

Imma

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2672
  • Location: Europe
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #78 on: January 05, 2021, 03:19:11 PM »
^^^ I found that my old kitchen (65 y.o. I think) would probably withstand a nuclear blast. The tile looked new (regroup occasionally) as did the fixtures like sinks, toilet and bathtub. If something needed replaced or repaired it was hard to find original parts so would have had to get something new then. Other then plumbing and faucets and one toilet tank (which I broke the lid when I dropped it so had to replace the tank) and painting the 65 y.o. pine kitchen cabinets white I never had to do anything.

That sounds amazing! I love vintage styles, it was probably gorgeous as well as durable. Maybe your kitchen was from that sweet spot in time after fitted kitchens became a thing but before low-quality materials?

Our house is 75 years old and all the doors and closets are as old as the house and still look great, but in those days fitted kitchens weren't a thing where I live, people simply didn't have so much stuff. This one is probably from the early 80s judging by the style.

Malcat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4397
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #79 on: January 05, 2021, 03:53:32 PM »
Kitchen remodeling is a thing I mentioned often, in the three places I have owned we have not done any kitchen work. My wife and I never find a reason. What ever it is we use it, appliances are kept or repaired, rarely replaced.  This whole "updated kitchen" thing gets me.

I usually get free old freezers/fridges so we go through those quite often (usually 1 a year). We bought this stove when we moved in and there's not much that can break in a stove so we'll probably have it for years and years. Energywise it would be more efficient to buy a new freezer and fridge but we are saving for a kitchen update so until then we'll stick with the free ones.

I admire that everyone's kitchens are so old and functional but I don't know how you guys do it. Our kitchen is about 40 years old and it's a disaster - it was like that when we moved in 6 years ago and we've been holding off the replacement because it's just so expensive. The other day a shelf came down, the cupboards that the counter rests on are barely holding on, doors are crooked and can't be fixed, the metal counter is dented in many places, the chrome is wearing off the tap in several places so the plastic beneath it is visible, there's almost no grout left in the floor tiles (we covered that with vinyl), we've had damage to pipes in several places because our kitchen was built in the days that these didn't go into the walls. The only people I know who have beautiful old kitchens live in mansions with custom made kitchens by a carpenter. It seems that kitchens in the "normal" price range aren't designed to last for decades.

The replacement will be extremely expensive, which is why we're holding it off. The cupboards can be bought cheaply at Ikea, but cutting open the floors and walls to replace all the pipes (75 years old) and the wiring (at least 40 years old, probably more) then closing up the cuts, plastering the walls again, new floor/wall tiles, that part is easily over 10k and then you just have an empty room. And if you're doing all this work you want to do it "properly" which makes it even more expensive - i.e. creating hookups for a dishwasher, extending the water pipe so you can have an outdoor water tap, etc.

Well, I live in a one bedroom apartment in a modest building, so definitely not a hand crafted mansion kitchen by any standard.

I've lived in a lot of old houses with original cabinetry that has held up really well. I have no idea why our experiences would be so different.

My current cabinets look practically brand new. Sure, they were caked with 50 years of buildup when we got here last year and took a solid two days of scrubbing to get to their proper colour, but they have virtually no wear and tear and the hinges are all in perfect condition. I only changed the handles because they were ugly.

The laminate countertop is quite faded and damaged in the corner under the microwave and I would like to replace it eventually.

The sink and faucet aren't plastic, so there's nothing to peel on them. I was contemplating replacing them, but my plumber told me not to because they're in such good condition and so many of the new ones peel over time.

The floor tiles, backsplash tiles, and shower tiles are in perfect condition after I cleaned the grout with an industrial steamer and resealed them. 

The bathroom sink and fixtures were really cheap and ugly though, so that's why I replaced them.

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1949
  • FIREd a million years ago at age 36.
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #80 on: January 05, 2021, 04:06:06 PM »
^^^ I found that my old kitchen (65 y.o. I think) would probably withstand a nuclear blast. The tile looked new (regroup occasionally) as did the fixtures like sinks, toilet and bathtub. If something needed replaced or repaired it was hard to find original parts so would have had to get something new then. Other then plumbing and faucets and one toilet tank (which I broke the lid when I dropped it so had to replace the tank) and painting the 65 y.o. pine kitchen cabinets white I never had to do anything.

That sounds amazing! I love vintage styles, it was probably gorgeous as well as durable. Maybe your kitchen was from that sweet spot in time after fitted kitchens became a thing but before low-quality materials?

Our house is 75 years old and all the doors and closets are as old as the house and still look great, but in those days fitted kitchens weren't a thing where I live, people simply didn't have so much stuff. This one is probably from the early 80s judging by the style.
Well I'm not sure about "amazing" as it is definitely an...um...aquired taste :). Lots of people hate the whole retro thing but I'm good as long as it works and isnt too bad looking Im good with just about anything. The rest of the house was equally original other then flooring and replaced windows. Small place (1000sf) with tiny closets and bedrooms but functioned well. The funny thing is that the few times I looked for some kind of retro thing like an appliance (stove or fridge or such ) to go with the place they were extremely expensive. Thousands of dollars vs. a few hundred for a modern white one. Who knew!

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4567
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #81 on: January 05, 2021, 08:34:05 PM »
Having good quality vintage cabinets is not stealth wealth.

You gotta die with 58 cats and $2.4 million in small bills insulating your house.

This place has gone soft.

-W

NumberJohnny5

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #82 on: January 06, 2021, 12:43:47 PM »
Having good quality vintage cabinets is not stealth wealth.

You gotta die with 58 cats and $2.4 million in small bills insulating your house.

This place has gone soft.

-W

Only 58 cats to insulate a house? I know older homes were small, but it took over twenty times that many cats to insulate our last home, and it certainly wasn't a mansion.

Malcat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4397
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #83 on: January 06, 2021, 12:59:27 PM »
Having good quality vintage cabinets is not stealth wealth.

You gotta die with 58 cats and $2.4 million in small bills insulating your house.

This place has gone soft.

-W

Only 58 cats to insulate a house? I know older homes were small, but it took over twenty times that many cats to insulate our last home, and it certainly wasn't a mansion.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Jack0Life

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #84 on: January 06, 2021, 02:38:38 PM »
We Love our stealth wealth.
As newly FIREd in 3/2020, we (mostly me) have taken a while to get off the "Jones-chasing" bus, honestly.
Our cars are both 2013, over 100K and paid off of course. We decided to wait 1 more year to update the house trim and I think the neighbors think we've landed in foreclosure - ha! Paid off. Happily growing our 2 comma stash, but quite comfortable to look at a few areas that need some paint.

In one of our AirBNB properties we bought everything except the new microwave at scratch and dent, FB marketplace or craigslist and my wife painted one of the shower stalls a rustic bronze rather than replace it with a new $1000 stall that's not any better. We charge $599 per night and so far it's been rented 100% in 2021.

We have friends all over the neighborhood who love hearing our stories of where we've been and we love listening to their "wishes" about retirement. You can't tell folks anything - they have to want it. So we always give a shout out to MMM and offer our support and help. Most just feel better about complaining.
We've labeled 2021 as "The Year of Making it Right" which follows "The Year of Exercising Our Power"  (2020).

Good Lord, where is your BnB that's $599/night.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4567
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2021, 07:29:20 PM »
Having good quality vintage cabinets is not stealth wealth.

You gotta die with 58 cats and $2.4 million in small bills insulating your house.

This place has gone soft.

-W

Only 58 cats to insulate a house? I know older homes were small, but it took over twenty times that many cats to insulate our last home, and it certainly wasn't a mansion.

Our cat generates enough spare fur to harvest and insulate many houses, I estimate.

Cat fur + Benjamins is like R80 at least.

There's always money in the banana stand.

-W

Jack0Life

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #86 on: January 06, 2021, 10:15:34 PM »
I'm not there yet but my parents have great stealth wealth.
They were immigrants back in the 80's working odd jobs to raise 6 children.
It wasn't until I was in college that my Dad found his calling.
He got a job at Metlife selling life insurance and he was damn good at it.
He wasn't working that job for very long(maybe5-7yrs) but he was making >$100k. He ended up having a stroke and wheelchaired since. Dressed like he's homeless most of the time in hi whellchair.
They still live in this tiny old home in a crappy neighborhood. Still refused to move and somehow thinks that one of us will move closer to them. Not going to happen.
Mom still thinks she's poor and Dad is only about 50% of the stroke. Still only live on SS so they NW continue to grow.

One time the air wasn't working at their house so I called my usual air guy to check on it.
After the inspection, I did not hear back from that guy for a few days.
Called him up and asked what's up. He's telling me he's looking for a reconditioned air unit so he can save them some money.
I laughed inside so hard when I heard this because if I was in his shoes, I would think they are just barely getting by too. I promptly told him to go ahead and do what he needs to so cause they can surely afford it.
Their NW is close to $1.3 million now. I thought maybe I would pass them this year but they never spend any of the  money LOL.

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2122
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #87 on: January 06, 2021, 10:30:00 PM »
I'm not there yet but my parents have great stealth wealth....

He ended up having a stroke and wheelchaired since. Dressed like he's homeless most of the time in hi whellchair.
They still live in this tiny old home in a crappy neighborhood. Still refused to move and somehow thinks that one of us will move closer to them. Not going to happen.
Mom still thinks she's poor and Dad is only about 50% of the stroke. Still only live on SS so they NW continue to grow...

Their NW is close to $1.3 million now. I thought maybe I would pass them this year but they never spend any of the  money LOL.

This sounds decidedly unfunny. Why does your mom think she's poor and living on SS when she's worth 1.3 million and taking care of your father?

spartana

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1949
  • FIREd a million years ago at age 36.
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #88 on: January 06, 2021, 10:50:01 PM »
Having good quality vintage cabinets is not stealth wealth.

You gotta die with 58 cats and $2.4 million in small bills insulating your house.

This place has gone soft.

-W
Well damn all this time I've been stuffing my walls with dollar bills and my mattress with cats.

Dicey

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14480
  • Age: 62
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #89 on: January 06, 2021, 11:06:00 PM »
These posts about old kitchens make me chuckle. Our fourteen year old house was custom built and boasts tons of "high-end finishes", including a useless (to us) wine refrigerator and heated bathroom floors, which we never turn on. Thing is, it wasn't custom built for us. We bought it on a short sale because it suited our family's needs and DH can walk to work. He also receives an extra $140/month for doing so. So yeah, we're living in a fancypants house, but at least we paid cash for it. The stealth part is that people assume we have a mortgage, but only you guys know that's not true.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7607
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #90 on: January 06, 2021, 11:23:41 PM »
speaking of fancy-pants kitchens.

The hot water heater had a leak and I suck at plumbing, so we called the plumber.   I had bought a replacement faucet for our kitchen sink last week before New Years, but I was waiting until this week to install it.   Since the plumber was coming over anyway, I had him install it as the marginal cost to add it was fairly low.

That's when I learned from the plumber that the upscale house we moved into had a hot water heater under the sink with a special, separate faucet for it.  It's for making coffee or tea with.

I had no idea.   I suppose I must have seen it and just ignored it as some kind of soap dispenser which we would never remember to refill.   I showed it to my wife, who drinks tea every day, after she woke up from her nap and she had no idea either!

Some times I feel like one of the Clampetts in the Beverly Hillbillies sitting in their mansion, without a clue about lots of its features.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 208
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #91 on: January 12, 2021, 03:59:13 PM »
speaking of fancy-pants kitchens.

The hot water heater had a leak and I suck at plumbing, so we called the plumber.   I had bought a replacement faucet for our kitchen sink last week before New Years, but I was waiting until this week to install it.   Since the plumber was coming over anyway, I had him install it as the marginal cost to add it was fairly low.

That's when I learned from the plumber that the upscale house we moved into had a hot water heater under the sink with a special, separate faucet for it.  It's for making coffee or tea with.

I had no idea.   I suppose I must have seen it and just ignored it as some kind of soap dispenser which we would never remember to refill.   I showed it to my wife, who drinks tea every day, after she woke up from her nap and she had no idea either!

Some times I feel like one of the Clampetts in the Beverly Hillbillies sitting in their mansion, without a clue about lots of its features.

That's pretty funny, SwordGuy!

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #92 on: January 13, 2021, 04:24:28 PM »
A couple months ago I started paying more attention to our NW, after ignoring it for a few years.  We're a lot closer to FIRE than I thought.

Our neighborhood is probably the second-fanciest in our town, and I'm pretty sure we have the highest-mileage cars in the neighborhood, with well over 400,000 miles between the two.  I probably have the oldest lawnmower as well--a Honda from the late 80's that I picked up off the curb just outside our neighborhood.  A little valve adjustment, carb clean, and an oil change, and it runs like a champ!  I also do almost all my own car and home repairs, while many (many!) of our neighbors hire those out at obscene rates.  Honestly, I don't know how people get by when they have to pay professionals.

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4567
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #93 on: January 13, 2021, 05:24:06 PM »
To be fair, unless your hourly pay rate is less than it would cost to have landscapers do your lawn, there's a strong argument to be made that you're sacrificing irreplaceable life to "save" money.

I'm not cheap to hire (also don't have a lawn) so you won't catch me painting my house or anything like that. Could I? Sure. But why when I can spend 1/10 of the time doing something I'm good at and then pay for the job and go have fun?

Being frugal when it comes to possessions? Smart.

Valuing your own time at zero and spending all your time doing tedious stuff you could hire out? Not so much.

-W

« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 05:26:55 PM by waltworks »

JAYSLOL

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1406
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #94 on: January 13, 2021, 05:31:43 PM »
A couple months ago I started paying more attention to our NW, after ignoring it for a few years.  We're a lot closer to FIRE than I thought.

Our neighborhood is probably the second-fanciest in our town, and I'm pretty sure we have the highest-mileage cars in the neighborhood, with well over 400,000 miles between the two.  I probably have the oldest lawnmower as well--a Honda from the late 80's that I picked up off the curb just outside our neighborhood.  A little valve adjustment, carb clean, and an oil change, and it runs like a champ!  I also do almost all my own car and home repairs, while many (many!) of our neighbors hire those out at obscene rates.  Honestly, I don't know how people get by when they have to pay professionals.

Same here, its crazy how much people are willing to pay to NOT learn something, although I get that a lot of people suffer from busying up their schedules way too much to tackle projects on their own, I have busy periods where I put projects off but if I think I can do it Id rather try it myself than pay my hard earned after tax dollars to get someone else to do it. 

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3838
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #95 on: January 13, 2021, 06:12:53 PM »
A couple months ago I started paying more attention to our NW, after ignoring it for a few years.  We're a lot closer to FIRE than I thought.

Our neighborhood is probably the second-fanciest in our town, and I'm pretty sure we have the highest-mileage cars in the neighborhood, with well over 400,000 miles between the two.  I probably have the oldest lawnmower as well--a Honda from the late 80's that I picked up off the curb just outside our neighborhood.  A little valve adjustment, carb clean, and an oil change, and it runs like a champ!  I also do almost all my own car and home repairs, while many (many!) of our neighbors hire those out at obscene rates.  Honestly, I don't know how people get by when they have to pay professionals.

Same here, its crazy how much people are willing to pay to NOT learn something, although I get that a lot of people suffer from busying up their schedules way too much to tackle projects on their own, I have busy periods where I put projects off but if I think I can do it Id rather try it myself than pay my hard earned after tax dollars to get someone else to do it.
In fairness, I'm sure there are some DIYers in the neighborhood, but since they don't post on the neighborhood Facebook group looking for recommendations for a plumber, their presence is hidden.

charis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2122
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #96 on: January 13, 2021, 10:36:55 PM »
To be fair, unless your hourly pay rate is less than it would cost to have landscapers do your lawn, there's a strong argument to be made that you're sacrificing irreplaceable life to "save" money.

I'm not cheap to hire (also don't have a lawn) so you won't catch me painting my house or anything like that. Could I? Sure. But why when I can spend 1/10 of the time doing something I'm good at and then pay for the job and go have fun?

Being frugal when it comes to possessions? Smart.

Valuing your own time at zero and spending all your time doing tedious stuff you could hire out? Not so much.

-W

There are a lot of reasons to do your own work, and it doesn't per se = spending all your time doing tedious stuff that you could hire out or valuing yourself at zero. If that's how you feel personally, fine, but no need to overreach.

It can be balanced.  Increasing your skills (which could even lead to $ for a pleasant FIRE side gig) is not really a waste if you enjoy it, and for parents, it can be a great example for kids. Car maintenance/repair is a great skill that can really add up over the years. But I'd rather pay someone to clean my house bc it's tedious, difficult to accomplish with young kids, and I already know how to do it.

SwordGuy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7607
  • Location: Fayetteville, NC
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #97 on: January 13, 2021, 11:02:32 PM »
This goes back many decades when my wife and I were poor.   I don't mean a lower middle class income, I mean a 1/3rd median family income and paying child support poor.

We lived in a slumlord doctor's apartment.   

The business we worked at had gone under, a victim of the owner snorting too much coke and drinking too much alcohol.   My wife and I (with his blessing) took over the accounting software he had been writing and finished it up and integrated it with the school software I had designed and written much of.

We had a commission-based partnership arrangement with a local businessman and had a room in his office building.

What we had been waiting for had finally arrived, our state figured out each technical school should have the same software instead of each school making their own.   We had already ported ours to the DEC VAX at the time for one of our customers.   

So we were putting in a bid for a statewide contract to put our software in another 30 or so schools.    We would end up millionaires if it worked out.   We arranged for the DEC salesrep to visit our office so we could figure out the hardware pricing.

Only the river thru town flooded before he got there and the office flooded out.   So we had to meet him in our slumlord doctor's apartment.

So there he is in is 3 piece suit and wingtip shoes, uncomfortably trying to figure out how to leave without being rude.

His 2nd try at this was that to make the deal work we would need a line of credit in the $2 to $3 million dollar range.   

Here we are in this cheap apartment with our cheap hand-me-down furniture and our cheap clothes.   We look like we're poor because, well, we are.

I pick up the phone and call our business partner.   "Hey, Tom, the Digital rep says we need a two to three million dollar line of credit."

I hang up the phone, look him in the eye, and say, "Ok."    He knows I'm not joking and he can tell I'm telling him the truth.

"Ummm...   Can I have that number?" he asked.




SEAK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #98 on: January 14, 2021, 10:55:25 AM »
What about the 40 year old bathroom with green shag carpet, shower door literally rusting off the hinges, etc.?! This winter we are going to start the DIY remodel...

waltworks

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4567
Re: Stealth wealth -- If they only knew (stories)
« Reply #99 on: January 14, 2021, 01:08:31 PM »
There are a lot of reasons to do your own work, and it doesn't per se = spending all your time doing tedious stuff that you could hire out or valuing yourself at zero. If that's how you feel personally, fine, but no need to overreach.

It can be balanced.  Increasing your skills (which could even lead to $ for a pleasant FIRE side gig) is not really a waste if you enjoy it, and for parents, it can be a great example for kids. Car maintenance/repair is a great skill that can really add up over the years. But I'd rather pay someone to clean my house bc it's tedious, difficult to accomplish with young kids, and I already know how to do it.

The original example involved mowing your own lawn. I don't think anyone thinks that's fun or develops any useful skill. When we had a lawn I paid a neighborhood kid to do it. It took him about 45 minutes and I paid him $25 each time. No way in hell am I breathing a bunch of unfiltered exhaust mixed with dust and grass clippings and walking in circles behind a mower for $20/hour. Or $50 an hour, for that matter. Not to mention having to own/store/repair the stupid mower itself.

I agree that it can be fun to learn a new skill but realistically you're not going to be painting houses or mowing lawns or maintaining/repairing cars as a "side gig" in FIRE unless you are really, really bored and/or ran out of money.

-W