Being flush financially can come with various risks and benefits, especially when interacting with friends and family. Sometimes people can’t get over their envy and will forever hold your wealth against you. Other times you can be pleasantly surprised by someone’s reaction, mainly if it differs from what you expect.
One person wanted to know if their circumstances were to be expected and how others handled being wealthy and interacting with people once they found out.
1. Split Reactions
Even among immediate family, reactions to someone’s wealth can vastly differ. One well-off writer said that while their father was quite proud, their mother was critical and always found ways to “put them down.” Thankfully he knows it is more about his mother’s issues than anything wrong with him being rich.
2. Early Retirement
A couple of individuals discussed retiring significantly early, in their 40’s. One shared how, at 50, some of his friends still wonder when he will get a job.
While retiring so early in life is undoubtedly rare, it’s not entirely unheard of, and still, it can shock people to find out that as a wealthy person, you don’t have to work for your income.
3. Don’t Tell
A few alert people wondered why anyone would tell anyone else about their financial situation. This point came on the tail of a conversation about another affluent person who doesn’t flaunt their wealth and still lives as if they’re a paycheck away from homelessness.
Just because you have plenty of financial assets to work with doesn’t mean you need to let anyone know. Your money is your business; you’re not obligated to explain your wealth to anyone else.
4. Sorry, Not Sorry
An early retiree sounded off about the perception of well-off people who don’t need to work or those who retire before the average age of 61.
Words like lazy and dull came to mind, and someone who lacks ambition and isn’t appropriately contributing to society.
An excellent point another retiree made is that you don’t have to be sorry for intentionally building a stress-free life while those criticizing you are pushing 50-hour work weeks to get by.
5. The Value of Time
One who works on commission tends to discuss finances with friends and says that comparing their pay to their friends’ can make them sad.
However, they also pointed out that they have considerably more time and flexibility in their schedule than their friend, who is more financially sound.
Finding the value of your time is crucial to understanding whether or not what you earn as income is worth it. Knowing your worth is essential to finding contentment no matter what you make or have saved for a rainy day.
6. Friendly Faces
Finally, an affluent person shared how their circle of friends changed once they realized how rich he was. He said that after getting married, he and his wife worked ruthlessly to pay off her student loans while saving 50% or more of their mutual net income.
One area that will show you who your true friends are is money. If they are truly happy for you, they’ll stick around no matter your net worth. Choose wisely, however, because those who only claim to be your friend may think of you as an extended ATM.
This thread inspired this post.
This article first appeared on The Cents of Money.