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February 11, 2009


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Chad @ Sentient Money

I think many people don't plan their escape because they have been conditioned to think they have to have a job to have worth or value. Or, in the $500k couples case they like nice things more than they care for freedom, so they will take enslavement.

It's the first question (what do you do?) you get asked at a party. I can assure my identity is not tied to being a consultant.

Retired Syd

It's very true that we place a lot of weight on what a person's job is here in the US. I remember several years ago, we were meeting a French friend of my parents and my husband asked what he did. The French friend said "why do you want to know that?" And then explained that no one ever asks that in France because no one cares how it is you make a living, it's just a job.

I'd love to hear some of the Canadian readers chime in here--is this more of a U.S. phenomenon or is it the Canadian ice-breaker at parties too?


alas, it is the Canadian ice-breaker too! I am 38 and have been 'retired' (in quotes because I am still not fully committed to it as a long term play) for almost 2 years and I get asked that question constantly!!

Retired Syd

Aaah, I expected more from you guys. Oh well, at least you still have that everyone gets to go to the doctor thing going for you.


This article reminded me of the book, "The Millionaire Next Door" only because the bankers are doing the exact opposite of what the book recommends—mainly living frugally and saving. The author's make the point that living in an expensive zip code (a la Manhattan) puts you at more risk of having to keep up with the Joneses and their lifestyles.

Retired Syd

I read that book many years ago, and it struck me the same here too. In the book, the research found that most millionaires (that had amassed wealth) were not the people you might think. Those that were living it up didn't really have wealth, just high incomes. And those that had wealth were more often the guy you would least expect. The guy next door, living just like you.


Sorry, this should be on your Twitter Acct. - don't quite have the patience today to sign up. HSA acccount: Patelco Credit Unio- many branches in Northern California - I switched a few accounts from "normal" banks - fed up with the bail-out fiasco.


I thought that having retired on a government pension that I wouldn't feel the impact of the financial crisis so much. What a mistake that was! With an elderly mother living on her investment income suddenly we're all realizing that we're all in this problem. All around me there's panic and I will admit that it's really quite contagious. How to keep our chin up (and no, even given my age I refuse to say "chins up").


I used to lament to my husband about our friends that lived a few blocks away. They had a larger, more luxurious house, both drove luxury vehicles, wore designer garb, and went on several expensive luxury vacations a year. It used to puzzle me because I was pretty sure that we had a higher net income than them, yet we lived in a small home, had one small car between us, and we go on one splurge vacation a year. but my husband said looks are deceiving and I think they are. Some measure financial success on the toys they can buy, and others on the dollar value in their investment account. Though with the market the way it is these days, I'm wondering if my money would have been better invested in that Prada handbag :(

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