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They also commented that they couldn't believe we were pre-paying our son's college on the 5-year plan, because they couldn't afford that! Go figure, looks can (and often are) deceiving...

Looks are usually deceiving--few people can have both the showey life and accumulate wealth. The high-maintenance lifestyle is usually at the expense of having resources for other purposes, such as being able to afford to send kids to college or to have retirement assets. A common theme in The Millionaire Next Door is that the majority of millionaires live middle-class lifestyles, drive normal cars (usually purchased used), typically have a couple general-purpose credit cards and a store card but don't carry a balance, and the majority of them budget and those who don't budget usually practice a form of "artificial scarcity". They are usually reasonably thrifty, often with certain limited "luxuries" that they keep well within control. Usually just seeing them, one wouldn't have a clue that their net worth was over $1,000,000. Contrast that to someone who looks like a million bucks, and used all one's financial resurces just for that: looks.
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