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No. of Recommendations: 10
Morgan Housel who was formerly a writer at TMF wrote a piece worth reading. His basic take away is that you don't have to be rich to be wealthy and just because you are rich doesn't mean you are wealthy. It is a good short read.

https://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/the-highest-forms-of-...
The highest forms of wealth are measured differently.

A few stick out:

1. Controlling your time and the ability to wake up and say, “I can do whatever I want today.”

/snip

2. When money becomes like oxygen: so abundant relative to your needs that you don’t have to think about it despite it being a critical part of your life.

/snip

3. A career that allows for intellectual honesty.
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Interesting article, but I don't see the issue as "rich vs wealthy". Those words are actually synonyms for each other. The article is about living to make and/or invest money vs using your money to live. If money is your primary goal, you will never have enough. If living is your goal, money is simply one of the ingredients you can use to achieve your goal. It's pretty simple, but people still struggle to find the best balance for themselves.

After years of tracking my money and investments in retirement, worrying about my best tax and investment moves, figuring out how to optimize government benefits, etc. I realized a few years ago that I would rather spend my time enjoying life by spending my money on things I enjoy. I might not always get the best deal. I might not always have my investments in the optimum balance among market segments. I might miss an opportunity to pay less taxes. . . But I will do enough research and investigation to get in the ballpark of optimum and spend the rest of my time having fun. I value fun highly.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
I’m in the process of reviewing a book on the wealth divide. “Born on Third Base: A One Percenter Makes the Case fo Tackling Inequality, Bringing Wealth Home, and Committing to the Common Good,” by Chuck Collins, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT, 2016.

Collins takes a somewhat different view of wealth.

In 2007 Robert Frank authored a book: Richistan: A Journey Through Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich. He defines three regions: Lower, Middle, and Upper Richistan. Collins adds Affluentville. Old wealth and new wealth can see things differently, and cultural differences age, region, race and religion matter. Affluentville includes the top 10% of the wealthy, about 11MM households with assets in the range $680K to $3MM. They emphasize opportunities for their children to prevent loss of economic status. They value using their wealth to open doors and tend to oppose efforts to reduce inequality. They cluster in about 100 zip codes mostly on the East and West coast. They fly commercial and own a luxury car.

Lower Richistan: $3MM to $10MM. 3MM households. Top 3% of households. Wealth from business, salaries, stock investments, and inheritance. They populate upscale restaurants, country clubs, and luxury vacation destinations. They are moving back into urban centers. They own second homes. They fly commercial, but often first class. They grew their wealth owning small businesses and with long term investments. These next-door millionaires are not flashy. Many still live in their first homes and lead relatively thrifty lives.

Middle Richistan: $10MM to $100MM. 1.6MM households. Top 1% of wealth holders. 0.1% of households. Recipients of over 90% of wealth gains since 2008. Business owners, investments, and some earned income. Upper end fly private jets or own fractional interests in jet services like Netjet. Tend to distance themselves from humanity but engage through their children to cities, colleges, institutions, nonprofits, and concerns about inequality.

Upper Richistan: Over $100MM. Top 0.01%. Ultra high net worth. Multigenerational wealth dynasties, first generation entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers, and CEOs. Own and fly private jets. Managing wealth and property is major activity. Properties and residences have caretakers, trained staff, and servants. Family offices or private law firms administer investments, trusts, and philanthropic foundations. You can’t spend all your wealth. So they think long term and buy timberland, oil rigs, and office towers. Disconnected from working people except for foundations. Some address wealth inequality and support fair taxation.
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I suspect that many here live in Affluentville, but none in Richistan.

CNC
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Well, maybe a few in lower Richistan.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Middle Richistan: $10MM to $100MM.

That seems to be an odd grouping. Lower range is about 3x the lower boundary. Middle is 10x the lower boundary - and I would think that there is a lot more difference between someone with 100M and 10M than someone with 10M and 3MM. I would surmise that anything greater than 50MM probably shares a lot in common with the Upper.

Hawkwin
Working on his visa application for Lower Richistan.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Some address wealth inequality and support fair taxation.

IMO those who support "fair taxation" - a single-rate tax system - are working against addressing wealth inequality.
So can't see how that sentence makes sense. Maybe it was supposed to be "Some address wealth inequality, others support fair taxation"


On a more general note - these descriptions often have multiple things that don't match up with people that I know who would fall into these categories. I can't speak for the >$100M - don't know anyone that I know has that much. But the others don't match the individuals I know.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
cIMO those who support "fair taxation" - a single-rate tax system

I think you make an error by conflating fair taxation as support for "Fair Tax."

Much like paying 'one's fair share' in tax is not code words for support for the "Fair Tax" - just the opposite.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"Lower Richistan: $3MM to $10MM. 3MM households. Top 3% of households. Wealth from business, salaries, stock investments, and inheritance. They populate upscale restaurants, country clubs, and luxury vacation destinations. They are moving back into urban centers. They own second homes. They fly commercial, but often first class. They grew their wealth owning small businesses and with long term investments. These next-door millionaires are not flashy. Many still live in their first homes and lead relatively thrifty lives."

According to this definition, we moved to Lower Richistan early in retirement. But we do not often go to upscale restaurants, are not members of any country club, have not been to a luxury destination in years, live in Staunton, VA (pop. 25K) and do not have a second home (did have a beach house for a while but sold it). We have never flown first class though I may talk Ispouse into it once if we ever go back to Europe.

Maybe we are in the 'cat food millionaire' category.

Trying to spend more, but old habits die hard.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Some address wealth inequality and support fair taxation.

You will understand better when I finish the review. Collins is the great-grandson of Oscar Mayer. He approaches the wealth divide from the idea that the wealthy should pay more taxes. He thinks they tend to isolate themselves from society. He recommends empathy and socializing with others. Even sharing.

He began by giving away his $500K trust fund. He co-authored a book with Bill Gates, Sr opposing elimination of estate taxes. He says most benefited from government programs like the GI Bill, or FHA/VA mortgage, or small business loans. He thinks they should give something back.

People like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Ted Turner have pledged to give away most of their wealth. That's for the upper Richistans. It's tougher with the less wealthy.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
According to this you can be 1% in the US with as little as $4.4M not $10M

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2021/03/03/get-to...

So middle…upper…we’re within spitting distance especially with the insane stock and real estate returns last year. Our investments made more than we did by a good chunk.

Personally I think country clubs are stupid and a relic of baby boomer times. I’ve been to one for charity events and it smells like mildew. I like a really good meal out a few times a year. Luxury cars are a big nope, pay hundreds for every oil change and not as reliable as Toyota or Mazda? Why? I have nobody I need to impress. Millionaire next door all the way. Good food, warm bed, occasional travel and I’m happy. Got our kids through college with no debt. Life is good.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Personally I think country clubs are stupid and a relic of baby boomer times.

That is an interesting comment and observation.

There is probably a lot of validity to it as well. I don't think I personally know of anyone my age (Gen X) that is a member of a country club - even those that might play golf regularly. I am sure that there are some out there but I would think that 3 decades ago, it was more common for those age 40-60 to be members of a club.

So, I did a little research:

https://www.chestnuthilllocal.com/stories/country-clubs-like....

Nationally, country clubs are floundering. In 2014, the National Club Association conducted a study that found club memberships had dropped 20% since 1990. This can be attributed to a dwindling interest in golf, as well as heightened racial and social sensitivities.

Another factor contributing to the decline of country clubs is the decline of golf.

----------

But more recently it seems Covid has changed things for a bit at least.

https://www.golfpass.com/travel-advisor/articles/private-clu...

Junior executive memberships and young families are driving this new growth, a statistic that bodes well for the industry’s future. The average age of new members declined from 58.6 in 2017 to 54.9 in 2020, according to a recent market report from Golf Life Navigators, a service that matches golfers with club memberships that best suit their lifestyles.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Nationally, country clubs are floundering.

Almost all membership organizations are. At least one book that documents this trend (Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community) believes that this decline is driven primarily by the fact that younger Americans prefer virtual reality to actually attending meetings or events. If you live in the virtual world, your social life also tends to be virtual. Time to travel to meetings or events and to seek out people to interact with seems like a waste of time to younger Americans when they can simply tap a message onto their screen and immediately interact with large numbers of people.
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No. of Recommendations: 7
My own theory has to do with generational divides. In my experience, baby boomers like to congregate with each other. Some specifically denigrated older generations, and some express fear and distance from younger generations.

I grew up in the 1970s during the baby bust, and I remember my parents telling stories from their childhood of kids gathering after school for pick-up football and baseball games and weekends where once chores where done they ran wild and free outside until dusk.

My childhood in the fifth largest city in the state during the 70s and 80s was parents seemed scared to let their kids out of the house. Between latch-key kids, kids bumping between two houses due to divorce, and fear of drugs, racism, and greater awareness of sexual predators, I personally didn't get too many chances to mix with friends outside of school.

This has gotten worse by the time I am raising my own kids. We lived in a neighborhood that felt safe, was mixed racially and different ages, and lots of kids. But they rarely played outside. Two generations later in the 2000's, I would send my kids outside to play on a Saturday morning, and by lunch they would have canvassed the neighborhood, even knocking on doors to see if "Susie" would come out to play. Sometimes they would be invited in to play video games, but rarely would any kids come out to play outside. Parents feel they have to always guard their kids, can't leave them out of their sight.

So now they are teens, and are very used to being by themselves. At least they like to be with each other.

Personally I feel this is a great loss. I sense a lot of fear- and control- based corporate and political marketing behind this. If we can't just make friends of strangers and feel good, maybe we will buy some product that the TV (now YouTube)shows "makes" people feel good. Friendship is no longer free; it costs money or loss of privacy on Facebook. How intimate can an online friendship monitored by Google be?

Meta: I am posting this online for strangers to read, not talking this over in a pub with some guy or girl I just met.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
My dad used to take us to the Brookridge Country Club. We lived nearby in an apartment. We didn't golf. I'm not sure if you had to be a member to eat at the restaurant. But it was someplace that he considered "special". He and my stepmother would partake of the dance floor as well.

It was a big deal to him. I was never that impressed, and couldn't even tell you where a country club in my area would be. Are they all associated with golf courses? Do all golf courses have country clubs? We have a lot of courses in Phoenix.
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Are they all associated with golf courses?

No, but most will have a sport or other recreational activity as their main focus. You can find handball clubs in dense urban areas as well as shooting clubs in more rural areas. They will require membership like any other "country" club.

Do all golf courses have country clubs?

No, but many/most likely have some form of membership to reduce green fees and to generate consistent income for the property. Couple that with a restaurant and pro shop and you effectively have a country club - just without the usual gatekeeping.
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"Another factor contributing to the decline of country clubs is the decline of golf."
---------------------------------

I like golf, think it is fascinating but bewildering game when trying to play to the
best of your ability, not just going out on the course in a power cart and drinking beer while playing. I like playing it like the Scottish shepherds who invented the game played it,
hitting your shot and walking after it. The vast majority of golfers are always in a power
cart, and while the swing itself is an athletic motion using speed and strength, it sure
doesn't give much exercise benefits.

I have never been a member of a country club, no plans to change that during retirement.
( have only golfed 3 times this year, played probably 20 times last year ).
Don't know if this is true or not, but country clubs have always had a stuffy, exclusionary
feel to them to me. I could be all wet on that thought, but that's always been their image
to me.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
"I grew up in the 1970s during the baby bust, and I remember my parents telling stories from their childhood of kids gathering after school for pick-up football and baseball games and weekends where once chores where done they ran wild and free outside until dusk."
----------------------------------------

That's exactly how myself and everybody I knew as a kid grew up. In the Summer months, clearly
remember being told by my parents to get outside and play, and they did not want to hear
about how there was nothing to do, as they would put me to work around the house if I couldn't
find anything to do. So pickup baseball, football, basketball, bike riding, fort building,
tree house building, and basically exploring every inch of the neighborhood were the activities
most all of the kids I grew up with did. Back home for lunch and dinner, back outside
till the streetlights came on.

I guess that all might be considered parental neglect nowadays, but it taught a lot of kids
how to get along with each other, develop street smarts, and be pretty happy entertaining
themselves.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
That's exactly how myself and everybody I knew as a kid grew up. In the Summer months, clearly
remember being told by my parents to get outside and play, and they did not want to hear
about how there was nothing to do, as they would put me to work around the house if I couldn't
find anything to do. So pickup baseball, football, basketball, bike riding, fort building,
tree house building, and basically exploring every inch of the neighborhood were the activities
most all of the kids I grew up with did. Back home for lunch and dinner, back outside
till the streetlights came on.


That's my childhood to the letter as well. Born in Houston, 1961.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I grew up in the 1970s during the baby bust, and I remember my parents telling stories from their childhood of kids gathering after school for pick-up football and baseball games and weekends where once chores where done they ran wild and free outside until dusk.

My childhood in the fifth largest city in the state during the 70s and 80s was parents seemed scared to let their kids out of the house. Between latch-key kids, kids bumping between two houses due to divorce, and fear of drugs, racism, and greater awareness of sexual predators, I personally didn't get too many chances to mix with friends outside of school.


In the 1970s, my childhood was similar to your parent's childhood and not yours. As kids, we left the house right after breakfast and didn't come home until dinner. We played various pickup sports. We rode our bikes everywhere, sometimes miles from home. We built tree house and looked for crayfish in the creeks. Sometimes we stuck out our thumbs and hitched a ride somewhere. The only time I was stuck at home was when my father was working on the car and wanted someone to hand him his tools.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 2
A very different time. I was a cyclist (my Schwinn Stingray!!). I'd go everywhere without fear. Major road with lots of traffic? Didn't worry me at all. I knew the rules. Of course, this was before the advent of helmets. I roamed far and wide.

Yes, a lot of playing outside. But some inside (board games with my friend...yes, I actually had a friend).

I remember one time a big pile of sticks showed up in a vacant lot nearby. Play time!! It was big. Probably at least 8' high, and maybe 30' long. No idea why, or what it was for. Today there would be signs, maybe fencing around it. But it was just a pile of sticks, and we kids played on it. If one of us had fallen off, our mom's would have been mad at us for falling off of it. Today they would look for someone to sue, while cooing "poor baby!" over the kid with the scrape or cut.
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I remember a game of pickup football on a neighbor's yard. We always played on that yard because the adjacent house had their driveway on the left side of the lot, and this house had it on the right side, so there was effectively a double front yard lot to play on. Anyway, there was a tackle, a pileup, and a sharp CRACK! Kid on the bottom had a broken arm. My mom was a nurse, so she splinted it, kid went home, and game went on. No one got sued.

We rode bikes everywhere. We liked to lock up the coaster brakes just when the rear wheel crossed over an old license plate in the street, creating a nice controlled slide and a tremendous screeching sound. Very satisfying.

The good old days, as they say.

Tim
who also notes that we moved when I was 13 because the neighborhood had changed and it was becoming a regular thing to get beat up, bike stolen, etc.
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We rode bikes everywhere. We liked to lock up the coaster brakes just when the rear wheel crossed over an old license plate in the street, creating a nice controlled slide and a tremendous screeching sound. Very satisfying.

The reason they made baseball cards is to you could stick them in your spokes. Probably ruined a few Hank Aarons.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 1
"I remember a game of pickup football on a neighbor's yard. We always played on that yard because the adjacent house had their driveway on the left side of the lot, and this house had it on the right side, so there was effectively a double front yard lot to play on. Anyway, there was a tackle, a pileup, and a sharp CRACK! Kid on the bottom had a broken arm. My mom was a nurse, so she splinted it, kid went home, and game went on. No one got sued."
-----------------------------

from your previous post, I'm 2 years older than you, grew up and a lifelong resident of Michigan,
although I live a few hours away from my childhood home.

As 11 year olds, me and a couple of my best buddies would climb an observation tower that was
always up during high school football season, it was used by the local HS coaches to film and
get a birdseye view of the game. During one non-game-day escapade up it, my friend was about 15-20 feet up it when he slipped and fell off of it, luckily just breaking his arm. Lol, he was
dazed and confused, and I remember being pretty scared, but we just walked about 4 blocks to his parents house, no ambulance, no police report, and they took him to the hospital from there. Other than getting bawled out by his parents, and then my parents for reckless behavior, there were absolutely no repurcussions, nobody got sued, cops weren't called, HS wasn't forced to dismantle the tower.

Different times, for sure, lol. Beat the heck out of growing up in a virtual or augmented
reality world.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
"Nationally, country clubs are floundering."

In the 70's country clubs flourished because they provided a venue for white people to gather together and resegregate because private clubs could not be forced to admit people to integrate. Here in Virginia that held true well into the 80's.

The Country club of VA (the number one elite country club for wealthy hob nobbers in Richmond, VA) finally admitted a prominent black doctor broke the color barrier in 1992:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1992/04/27/new-...

The color barrier at CCV was broke not by open mindedness, but by a strategy of bar associations refusing to recommend prominent lawyers for judgeships if they were members of all white country clubs which caused the boards of the clubs to admit at least one black person. CCV was full of rich CEO's, attorneys, surgeons and judges.

That story has played out all across the south.
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They're still full of CEOs, attorney, surgeons and judges. My FIL, a judge, is a member of two country clubs.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Hmmm...

So Caddyshack may have been commenting on that also, especially in the form of Judge Smails. I remember the racist joke in the locker room (and the black employee ruining his shoes).

Plus Dr Beeper, and some of the others. Very rich white folks.

I was told when I got my job almost 30 years ago, that engineers play poker, but if you want to advance to the executive tier, you need to play golf. You get access in a way that non-golf players don't.
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