Author Topic: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth  (Read 5964 times)

spartana

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2024, 01:17:45 AM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.
I did talk about it when I first FIREd but the reactions I got from others wasn't as positive as I had hoped. I lived in an expensive area of coastal Calif and most people my age were seriously chasing after all the shiny luxury status items and saw little value in a more modest lifestyle. So after one too many negative comments I just stopped talking about it.

Your experience may be different, especially if you are fat FIRE and already live a somewhat opulent lifestyle, then it's doubtful anyone will tell you how you're missing out on all the shiny luxury items by quitting your job when you could work years longer and buy ALL the things.  By being stealthy about my NW I can avoid those kind of discussions. Mostly.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2024, 01:21:57 AM by spartana »

tj

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2024, 07:44:24 AM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.
I did talk about it when I first FIREd but the reactions I got from others wasn't as positive as I had hoped. I lived in an expensive area of coastal Calif and most people my age were seriously chasing after all the shiny luxury status items and saw little value in a more modest lifestyle. So after one too many negative comments I just stopped talking about it.

Your experience may be different, especially if you are fat FIRE and already live a somewhat opulent lifestyle, then it's doubtful anyone will tell you how you're missing out on all the shiny luxury items by quitting your job when you could work years longer and buy ALL the things.  By being stealthy about my NW I can avoid those kind of discussions. Mostly.

When I started blogging about personal finance, I had some people unfriend me. Their loss I guess.

spartana

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2024, 07:56:10 AM »
^^^Yeah it can be complicated when dealing with friends - especially if you are fairly young and don't appear to have an income source other then investments. I know I've lost a few friends but I think that's was mostly because of lifestyle differences (them super spendy and me not) rather then because I was FIRE. But, as you know, living in a very HCOL and image/status driven place like Orange County isn't the easiest place to be a simple living FIREee.

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2024, 07:03:07 AM »
One advantage of stealth wealth is that some businesses will raise their prices for people they perceive as "wealthy."  My house isn't huge, but the lot is waterfront, so there's really no hiding its value. 

Some tradesmen give me ridiculously high bids for work at my home.  In a few cases they try to convince me I need unnecessary work because they assume I couldn't possibly know anything about home maintenance or repair. Contractor:  "Your whole house needs to be reroofed.  Look at the way those shingles are curling!"  Me: Those shingles aren't curling and don't need to be replaced.  They are slate..." 

On the other hand, beyond the house, people don't usually see typical signals of money.  I have had people come up when I am planting flowers and assume I'm the gardener.  They ask me if "the owners" are home.  I find this amusing. 

GilesMM

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2024, 07:39:17 AM »
One advantage of stealth wealth is that some businesses will raise their prices for people they perceive as "wealthy."  My house isn't huge, but the lot is waterfront, so there's really no hiding its value. 

Some tradesmen give me ridiculously high bids for work at my home.  In a few cases they try to convince me I need unnecessary work because they assume I couldn't possibly know anything about home maintenance or repair. Contractor:  "Your whole house needs to be reroofed.  Look at the way those shingles are curling!"  Me: Those shingles aren't curling and don't need to be replaced.  They are slate..." 

On the other hand, beyond the house, people don't usually see typical signals of money.  I have had people come up when I am planting flowers and assume I'm the gardener.  They ask me if "the owners" are home.  I find this amusing.


I am convinced certain tradespeople will put my address in Zillow or Redfin before quoting a service.  I am tempted to give them a different nearby address for the quote, then say I made a mistake if we go forward, assuming the service is not square-footage dependent.

Just Joe

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2024, 09:16:28 AM »
If anyone dies or marries I'll need to go shopping. I don't even own a suit.

I lost a close friend a year or so ago who was working hard to retire early (she was my age, 43).  I am sure she was smiling down on me in my thrift store suit.  :)
On a side note most people wear suits so infrequently that there are often fairly nice barely worn suits at our thrift store.  You'll have no issues should the need arise.

Thanks for the suggestion!

tj

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2024, 09:22:30 AM »
Would it not be cheaper to just rent a suit if you seldom would wear one?

Just Joe

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2024, 09:23:06 AM »
I am convinced certain tradespeople will put my address in Zillow or Redfin before quoting a service.  I am tempted to give them a different nearby address for the quote, then say I made a mistake if we go forward, assuming the service is not square-footage dependent.

I have heard something similar.

Had a contractor stop by for a cold-call the other day. $36K to resurface our aging asphalt driveway he suggested.
Nah. Not right now.
$25K he quickly suggested then.
Not right now... (I'll be shopping around for better prices or return to a gravel/grass driveway - we're rural). 

Also: I like shiny things but am content to buy used shiny things that were lovingly cared for by all the people who previously owned them. At a big discount compared to new shiny things. ;)

Just Joe

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2024, 09:26:23 AM »
Would it not be cheaper to just rent a suit if you seldom would wear one?

Had not considered that. I will going forward though.

For most of the events over the past decade I've been able to get by with a coat, tie (or not thanks) and khakis or new jeans. Shiny shoes or boots.

Am working on a weight loss "project" (goal). Would not be good to spend $$$ on a suit only to lose significant weight in thenext 12-18 months...

ixtap

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2024, 01:45:05 PM »
Would it not be cheaper to just rent a suit if you seldom would wear one?

I doubt it. DH paid more to rent just the best for a weekend than I paid for my whe wedding outfit.

ixtap

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #60 on: July 03, 2024, 01:45:29 PM »
Would it not be cheaper to just rent a suit if you seldom would wear one?

I doubt it. DH paid more to rent just the vest for a weekend than I paid for my whe wedding outfit.

mistymoney

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #61 on: July 03, 2024, 03:44:01 PM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.

I have questions about this! are you just talking about working, or being working class?

work·ing class
/ˌwərkiNG ˈklas/
noun
the socioeconomic group consisting of people who are employed in manual or industrial work.
"he came from the working class"
adjective
relating to people belonging to the working class.



mistymoney

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #62 on: July 03, 2024, 03:48:26 PM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.

Yeah...I get that.

It can get a bit delicate with family.

Last time we talked about it, my mom thinks I should work as long as I'm able to. Dad thinks I should spend more money on myself and he's maybe not wrong about that, but alas....

When I told them if I work until age age 57 when I can start my government pension, the projections are that I will have so much more money than I'll ever need, of course brother in law piped up that I should give money to him then.  WTF?

Most people don't understand modeling, projections, and such.

It is unwise to give the probably rosy out look without the caveate that you could also go broke if the market tumbles.

tj

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #63 on: July 03, 2024, 04:03:42 PM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.

Yeah...I get that.

It can get a bit delicate with family.

Last time we talked about it, my mom thinks I should work as long as I'm able to. Dad thinks I should spend more money on myself and he's maybe not wrong about that, but alas....

When I told them if I work until age age 57 when I can start my government pension, the projections are that I will have so much more money than I'll ever need, of course brother in law piped up that I should give money to him then.  WTF?

Most people don't understand modeling, projections, and such.

It is unwise to give the probably rosy out look without the caveate that you could also go broke if the market tumbles.

It's the combination of working an extra 15+ years (which massively increases the pension and also increases social security) and continuing to max out accounts without depleting portfolio. The numbers get kind of silly.

If I continued to work a government job until 57, I see a 0% chance of going broke unless I adopt some extraordinarily spendy habits in between now and then. My current spending would basically be covered by the pension and social security.

twinstudy

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #64 on: July 03, 2024, 04:59:09 PM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.

I have questions about this! are you just talking about working, or being working class?

work·ing class
/ˌwərkiNG ˈklas/
noun
the socioeconomic group consisting of people who are employed in manual or industrial work.
"he came from the working class"
adjective
relating to people belonging to the working class.

Both. I see no reason to tell others that I am working when I have in fact FIREd and I also see no reason to say that I am a working class person when I am not (I would consider myself upper-middle). Not that it particularly matters in most contexts, but there is no reason to not be who are you are.

mistymoney

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #65 on: July 03, 2024, 07:52:06 PM »
Of course not having a job voluntarily at less-than-normal retirement age, without any outward signs of an income from somewhere or some person (spouse still working, inheritance, lotto winner) can be a visible sign of wealth without being overly flashy. So even if you keep your lifestyle modest you'll likely get questions and comments about your money if you choose to RE.

That's true - I got outed to my friends when I retired in my 50s. Not a very early retirement by MMM standards but much earlier than my friends could retire.
Or if your friends were like mine, they just assumed you were poor and lost your job  couldn't find another. When I first quit my job people just assumed I'd be looking for one once my "sabbatical" ended. When it never ended it was more like "Poor Spartana. She doesn't have a job and can't find one so can't  afford nicer things." I tryed to explain FIRE to them years ago, and how, no, I wasn't poor and didn't want or need a job, ,  but most couldn't fathom giving up their luxury "needs" - even though they complained how deep in debt they were and would never be able to retire.  Eventually I gave up talking about it and realised stealth wealth was the way to go.

Yeah..if I bail on my job again, there will be no Facebook announcement or public blog.

Once I finish up in my mid-40s I plan to announce my retirement on LinkedIn.

But I guess I'm lucky that my friends/family are either supportive or neutral about the concept of FIRE. Maybe it's because here in Australia everyone who is able-bodied has such a ridiculously high standard of living that there are fewer negative assumptions about people who are unorthodox in their financial paths.

I'm not going to shout about fatFIRE on the footpath because I don't want to get robbed etc (although the likelihood of that here in a suburb of Australia where the average house price is $2.7m is low), but I also don't see the need to feign being a working class person or lie about retiring early. Everyone in my family already knows about my Fire plans and most of my friends do too and a few of them have the same mindset.

Yeah...I get that.

It can get a bit delicate with family.

Last time we talked about it, my mom thinks I should work as long as I'm able to. Dad thinks I should spend more money on myself and he's maybe not wrong about that, but alas....

When I told them if I work until age age 57 when I can start my government pension, the projections are that I will have so much more money than I'll ever need, of course brother in law piped up that I should give money to him then.  WTF?

Most people don't understand modeling, projections, and such.

It is unwise to give the probably rosy out look without the caveate that you could also go broke if the market tumbles.

It's the combination of working an extra 15+ years (which massively increases the pension and also increases social security) and continuing to max out accounts without depleting portfolio. The numbers get kind of silly.

If I continued to work a government job until 57, I see a 0% chance of going broke unless I adopt some extraordinarily spendy habits in between now and then. My current spending would basically be covered by the pension and social security.

I'm just saying maybe don't act too rich and secure around BIL!

GilesMM

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2024, 06:32:27 AM »
I am convinced certain tradespeople will put my address in Zillow or Redfin before quoting a service.  I am tempted to give them a different nearby address for the quote, then say I made a mistake if we go forward, assuming the service is not square-footage dependent.

I have heard something similar.

Had a contractor stop by for a cold-call the other day. $36K to resurface our aging asphalt driveway he suggested.
Nah. Not right now.
$25K he quickly suggested then.
Not right now... (I'll be shopping around for better prices or return to a gravel/grass driveway - we're rural). 

Also: I like shiny things but am content to buy used shiny things that were lovingly cared for by all the people who previously owned them. At a big discount compared to new shiny things. ;)


If by resurfacing you mean resealing, that runs a bit over $1/sq foot.  At $25k, you must have a very impressive driveway (10 feet wide and 2500 feet long?).

wageslave23

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2024, 06:14:38 AM »
I am convinced certain tradespeople will put my address in Zillow or Redfin before quoting a service.  I am tempted to give them a different nearby address for the quote, then say I made a mistake if we go forward, assuming the service is not square-footage dependent.

I have heard something similar.

Had a contractor stop by for a cold-call the other day. $36K to resurface our aging asphalt driveway he suggested.
Nah. Not right now.
$25K he quickly suggested then.
Not right now... (I'll be shopping around for better prices or return to a gravel/grass driveway - we're rural). 

Also: I like shiny things but am content to buy used shiny things that were lovingly cared for by all the people who previously owned them. At a big discount compared to new shiny things. ;)


If by resurfacing you mean resealing, that runs a bit over $1/sq foot.  At $25k, you must have a very impressive driveway (10 feet wide and 2500 feet long?).

You are referring to sealcoating, previous poster is referring to basically a new driveway, two very different things.

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #68 on: July 08, 2024, 02:41:32 AM »
In the village we live in we are clearly not as wealthy as the other inhabitants, but they all came from where we were and worked themselves into wealth. Quite a few built their own homes, some even built small apartment blocks that they are renting out. Most grow their own veg in their backyard, and quite a few have chickens. Within the village many people walk or cycle, and their is an active community life. Most inhabitants have a good decent house and a good decent car and go on vacation to France or Spain once a year. The wider family may have an apartment on the coast or a cabin in the mountains where they take turns staying. So here, we are not standing out.

However, I'm European and my husband is from really poor Africa. When we first bought this house I saw husband filming everything and speaking in his African language. I asked him what he planned on doing with that film, and he said he wanted to inform his (really poor) African relatives. We had a very long discussion on what the consequences of this information could be, and he has since not shared any information on our house (or car) with his relatives. Any pictures we send are in neutral environments. His relatives are still constantly asking for money, just because husband lives in Europe and married a European woman. We have set amounts on what money we sent for certain occasions, and we have made clear what help we offer their children for their education.

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2024, 09:23:42 AM »
I think practicing stealth wealth to avoid getting targeted by strangers is pretty easy. However, there are exceptions. Michael Jordan's dad was car jacked and killed while driving a very expensive car in a very poor neighborhood.

Practicing stealth wealth among friends might not be necessary because it's likely you have similar incomes and quality of life. My peers have modest homes, but we tend to spend more on vacation and experiences. I was at a 4th of July party and we talked about my 6-week stay in Hawaii. They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.

Practicing stealth wealth with family can be tricky. My wife and I were "rich" with time for two summers before we had our first kid. I teach college and don't work during the summer. My wife was working part-time. Because we had so much "extra time on our hands" our family invited us to do their chores and errands for them. It was super weird because they didn't really need our help. They just didn't want to do it and would ask us to do it for them. Thankfully the requests stopped during the 3rd summer when we had our first child.

I did help one family member move because they did need the help. It was 12 hours of lifting heavy boxes. Because we finished at 9:00 p.m. it was too late for the promised dinner. That dinner never actually happened. The spouse of my relative invited me to check out their house a few times. I then quickly reminded her that I have been to her house. With a confused look, really? Yeah, I moved all of your stuff into your new house with your spouse. It was a very long 12 hour day. I remember it vividly.

When I taught community college in Hawaii they had an annual conference for all the faculty to meet in one place, typically at Leeward Community College. They would pay professional speakers to give presentations on their area of expertise. There was maybe 6 sessions, 50 minutes each. You had a choice of 4-5 different speakers for each session. I went to a presentation on "dressing for success". This was probably 2016, so the tiny details are vague. However, the thesis of the presentation was that you needed to buy expensive clothes to get promoted and advance your career. However, the audience consisted of community college professors with very little opportunity for promotion. This was going to be our job for the next 30 years. Our raises are dictated by the state budget. The speaker also told a "sad story" of when she was a bank teller there was a customer with an excess amount of money, but dressed poorly. I think she used the word "homeless", but not meant to be literal. She talked at length of how unfortunate it was that this person had lots of money, but would not use it to buy nice clothes. Who know if the story is even true. However, I think it's a poor assumption to base someone's wealth on their checking account. Wealthy people drain their checking account down to the bare minimum every month and put it into the stock market and other investments.

MMMarbleheader

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2024, 07:33:37 PM »
Lots of good points in this thread.

I will add that flashy displays of wealth are not as big in New England. I don't live in my namesake (Marblehead, MA) anymore but the new vs. old money divide was funny to watch. New money tended to be from "away" They each had their own yacht clubs. The new money one could be bought into with the right fee and had all amenities. The old money one was a more subtle look to it but I am pretty sure you had to have deep connections to get in. Old money usually won the races though.

I always enjoyed the old money crowd much more. It takes a certain level of crazy to choose to live in a 1700s house that gets destroyed year after year by the ocean. Subdued clothes, cars, etc. but they spent on boarding schools, colleges, and food/drink for parties. We had a thrift store in town that all proceeds went to the school and they just past the $1M mark a few years ago. We had a "buy nothing" group where I met so many interesting folks.

For a even more extreme version of stealth old money wealth, visit an island off the coast of Maine (Vinalhaven, Isle au Haut) in the summer. People paying big money to live without modern conveniences.

So year, traveling around MA, NH, VT, and ME you never know who is really rich or not because the rich ones don't show it, aside from maybe the boarding school or college bumper sticker.

2sk22

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #71 on: July 09, 2024, 06:38:25 AM »
Practicing stealth wealth among friends might not be necessary because it's likely you have similar incomes and quality of life. My peers have modest homes, but we tend to spend more on vacation and experiences. I was at a 4th of July party and we talked about my 6-week stay in Hawaii. They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.

Travel and experiences can be stealthy - as long as you don't talk about them and post on social media :-) 

After not being able to travel for many years (looking after ailing parents), my wife and I were finally able to resume traveling in 2022. We have gone on a few really enjoyable trips but haven't told a soul except my kids.

Just Joe

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2024, 05:05:13 PM »
I am convinced certain tradespeople will put my address in Zillow or Redfin before quoting a service.  I am tempted to give them a different nearby address for the quote, then say I made a mistake if we go forward, assuming the service is not square-footage dependent.

I have heard something similar.

Had a contractor stop by for a cold-call the other day. $36K to resurface our aging asphalt driveway he suggested.
Nah. Not right now.
$25K he quickly suggested then.
Not right now... (I'll be shopping around for better prices or return to a gravel/grass driveway - we're rural). 

Also: I like shiny things but am content to buy used shiny things that were lovingly cared for by all the people who previously owned them. At a big discount compared to new shiny things. ;)


If by resurfacing you mean resealing, that runs a bit over $1/sq foot.  At $25k, you must have a very impressive driveway (10 feet wide and 2500 feet long?).

The quote was for new asphalt. I'm fairly confident that the driveway has many years left in it.

It does need to be resealed. That's on my list to get a few quotes on before summer is over.

Too long to do with 5-gal buckets and a broom. Would not be economical. I have done it myself on shorter driveways.

chasingthegoodlife

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #73 on: July 10, 2024, 04:56:58 AM »
Practicing stealth wealth among friends might not be necessary because it's likely you have similar incomes and quality of life. My peers have modest homes, but we tend to spend more on vacation and experiences. I was at a 4th of July party and we talked about my 6-week stay in Hawaii. They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.

Travel and experiences can be stealthy - as long as you don't talk about them and post on social media :-) 

After not being able to travel for many years (looking after ailing parents), my wife and I were finally able to resume traveling in 2022. We have gone on a few really enjoyable trips but haven't told a soul except my kids.
Does that ever feel inauthentic or ‘weird’ when talking with friends and family?

Genuinely curious - not criticising your approach.

I share so many inane details of my life with my inner circle that it would feel a bit strange talking around some of the most interesting experiences of my year.

Social media is a bit different though, all my Facebook ‘friends’ don’t need to see my holiday snaps.

2sk22

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #74 on: July 10, 2024, 06:45:00 AM »
Practicing stealth wealth among friends might not be necessary because it's likely you have similar incomes and quality of life. My peers have modest homes, but we tend to spend more on vacation and experiences. I was at a 4th of July party and we talked about my 6-week stay in Hawaii. They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.

Travel and experiences can be stealthy - as long as you don't talk about them and post on social media :-) 

After not being able to travel for many years (looking after ailing parents), my wife and I were finally able to resume traveling in 2022. We have gone on a few really enjoyable trips but haven't told a soul except my kids.
Does that ever feel inauthentic or ‘weird’ when talking with friends and family?

Genuinely curious - not criticising your approach.

I share so many inane details of my life with my inner circle that it would feel a bit strange talking around some of the most interesting experiences of my year.

Social media is a bit different though, all my Facebook ‘friends’ don’t need to see my holiday snaps.

I also do have an inner circle of friends and family with whom I talk about my travels. But even with them, I am careful about what I say. For example, when talking to my friends about our trip to Europe earlier this year, I didn't mention that we flew in business class and stayed in upscale hotels. When they talk about how horrible plane travel is, I just nod and agree :-)

lhamo

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #75 on: July 10, 2024, 08:59:38 AM »
They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.



This is actually a frugal choice if you want to see the Eras Tour.  Due to different demand/regulatory structures, it has been possible to get good resale seats at many of the European shows for around what the original ticket prices were in North America (I paid $250/ticket for me and my daughter to go to the Seattle show -- her friend's dad was lucky enough to snag seats through a special Amex offer).  I was toying with the idea of surprising DD with tickets to the Vancouver shows in December (last stop on the tour, going to be epic, and within easy driving distance).  Currently the horrible seats are in the 2-3k/ticket range, and good seats pretty much start at 4k and up.  Almost made me look at whether I could get cheap flights to Warsaw last weekend instead....

Dave1442397

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #76 on: July 10, 2024, 12:38:39 PM »
They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.



This is actually a frugal choice if you want to see the Eras Tour.  Due to different demand/regulatory structures, it has been possible to get good resale seats at many of the European shows for around what the original ticket prices were in North America (I paid $250/ticket for me and my daughter to go to the Seattle show -- her friend's dad was lucky enough to snag seats through a special Amex offer).  I was toying with the idea of surprising DD with tickets to the Vancouver shows in December (last stop on the tour, going to be epic, and within easy driving distance).  Currently the horrible seats are in the 2-3k/ticket range, and good seats pretty much start at 4k and up.  Almost made me look at whether I could get cheap flights to Warsaw last weekend instead....

My nieces flew from Edmonton, AB to Dublin, Ireland to see Taylor Swift a couple of weeks ago. They stayed at my parents' house, so they only had to pay for flights and concert tickets, which ended up being way less than concert tickets alone in Edmonton. They also went to another concert while they were there (I forget who).

RetiredAt63

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Re: Thoughts on how to maintain the “stealth” part of stealth wealth
« Reply #77 on: July 10, 2024, 03:51:59 PM »
They then felt comfortable enough to tell me that they are flying to Germany for a Taylor Swift concert.



This is actually a frugal choice if you want to see the Eras Tour.  Due to different demand/regulatory structures, it has been possible to get good resale seats at many of the European shows for around what the original ticket prices were in North America (I paid $250/ticket for me and my daughter to go to the Seattle show -- her friend's dad was lucky enough to snag seats through a special Amex offer).  I was toying with the idea of surprising DD with tickets to the Vancouver shows in December (last stop on the tour, going to be epic, and within easy driving distance).  Currently the horrible seats are in the 2-3k/ticket range, and good seats pretty much start at 4k and up.  Almost made me look at whether I could get cheap flights to Warsaw last weekend instead....

My nieces flew from Edmonton, AB to Dublin, Ireland to see Taylor Swift a couple of weeks ago. They stayed at my parents' house, so they only had to pay for flights and concert tickets, which ended up being way less than concert tickets alone in Edmonton. They also went to another concert while they were there (I forget who).

I also know of someone who did this.  It was cheaper and they got to go to Ireland!