Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an executive, the idea is that one day you’ll retire to an exotic island where you’ll do nothing but sip Moet and slurp freshly shucked oysters.
As it turns out, however, once you get rich, your ambitions may change. Although you can afford to take a break—you don’t. Although you imagined your social skills would skyrocket at the same pace as your bank statements—they don’t. Although you can now afford Louis Vuitton you still dress like a slob (yes, Mr Gates, we’re looking at you).
Now of course these are gross generalisations. But there’s a grain of truth to them. And no matter what imaginary figures are swirling around in your electronic treasure chest: you are who you are. And as the “Wealthy Men of Reddit” just revealed, this lack of transformation comes as a surprise.
That’s not to say nothing changes: some had some crazy insights to share. But on the whole, reading through the thread, you get the sense that “making bank” doesn’t necessarily change your lifestyle as much as you would expect (after all, if you started ordering caviar everywhere you went, and traded in your BMW for a Porsche the first chance you got, you wouldn’t stay rich long).
So, these are the unexpected ways getting rich could change your life.
It Becomes Awkward To Hang Out With People Who Don’t Have As Much
“I have friends who are working full time for $60k—which is less than I pay in tax each year,” one user not-so-humble bragged. “In a group setting,” he says, “People will talk about a financial problem they have, their student debt or similar and expect that I can relate.” Our knight in shining armour, however, doesn’t want to make them embarrassed or unhappy: “So I just continue the conversation without sharing my experience.” Fair enough…
You Still Go On Dates At Taco Bell
Although many non-rich peeps dream of what it might be like to flaunt their wealth on a date, the consensus from Reddit’s wealthiest was that it’s better to downplay your riches.
“When I was younger I thought if I was a rich old man, a trophy wife would be perfect. Now that I’m 30 I can’t think of anything worse.”
“I have encountered women,” one user says, “Who expected me to be a sugar daddy because I have the means to—and it turned me off immensely. It made me feel devalued as a person, as if I was an ATM but instead of putting her card in she spends some time with me.”
“Now I always hide my wealth from dates until we are a few months in.”
Your Relationship With Your Family Becomes Complicated
Although it sounds pessimistic, one user points out, “Given enough time: every person you know will need money.” From his experience, as the ‘rich person’ in their life, “About 9 out of 10 of those people will ask you for a ‘loan’… Most of (which) come via social media, text or email with a back story attached.” Another group of the people, he says, don’t ask but just tell you of their financial hardship, or ask on behalf of others: “They say things like an extra $10,000 would make all this issue go away.”
“Some portion of your daily life will be to sort through these requests, refer them to a third party for processing or flatly decline them all.”
You Become Hesitant To Give Your Friends Advice
“Sometimes people talk about leasing a new car that I don’t think they can afford or having just bought the latest iPhone, but I don’t feel I can say anything or it might sound condescending,” worries one user, finally understanding why the rich are friends with the rich (“There’s a freedom to talk about your problems without judgement”).
Your Fashion Sense Does Not Magically Increase
“I dress like a slob,” and, “Only work when I want to,” reveals one user, lamenting that in becoming rich, he has actually, “Gotten… complacent.” He also points out that, contrary to popular belief, “Women don’t throw themselves at me nor do I think they are after my money.”
But once you hear the rest of it, that’s hardly surprising: “I almost never cook for myself. I default to ordering in or picking up fast food… (And) I used to love working and now I’m struggling to be excited about anything.”
You Worry About Your Kids
Although money solves a lot of problems, it creates another: teaching your kids how to be self-sufficient. “I still want them to have pride in ownership and recognise that there isn’t a magical money tree,” said one man, revealing, “I had house cleaners and cancelled the service.”
“We do our own house chores. I do my own yard work.”
Another user, whose dad was a self made millionaire, said that he was grateful his dad took the same approach, teaching him the value of hard work and self sufficiency: “I’ll always be grateful my dad made me earn things.” According to him, all his friends were given brand new cars when they were 16, while he got an old bomb (“That’s all I could afford with what I had saved”).
These friends now, “Struggle with daily tasks and can’t survive without a paycheck from their parents.” Not only that but, “Most have depression and zero pride,” making him realise, “My dad did right by me and my sister.”
You Become More Willing To Splurge
“Before, I would balk at paying $50 for shoes,” says one user. “Now a $150 pair is basically nothing.” Another user concurred, saying, “If I need a phone charger… I buy one that is from a good brand. Old me would have bought a crappy one from eBay, wait three weeks for it to arrive and in the meanwhile charge my phone from my computer.”
“I still struggle to spend money on some things. And yet on other things, I’ll drop thousands of dollars without blinking.”
For others it was as simple as making shopping for food more enjoyable: “When I started getting big paychecks in my account I stopped looking for all of the best possible deals in grocery stores and paying attention to how much it was when I check out.”
Restaurant Menu Prices Become Insignificant
“I grew up ordering food at a restaurant by looking first at price. Now I order whatever I want.”
Life Becomes More Complicated
“Having money is great, but some things became significantly more complex. Juggling businesses, keeping track of investments, staying on top of things like estate planning, being diligent about privacy and security, and all of the people and businesses that want to sell you something.”
Time Is Money, But Money Ain’t Time
“Having money has allowed me to afford certain hobbies that were just too expensive when I was younger. But it’s frustrating that I will never have the time or lifespan to master much of any of them.”
People Think You’re Smarter Than You Really Are
One user found, “The assumption that many people have about (rich people’s) intelligence” quite disconcerting. According to him, “Others who know of my wealth tend to hang on my words and opinions as if they are more profound than theirs or others, even if the topic has nothing to do with areas I’m knowledgeable in.” Weird.
You Realise Not All Rich People Are Jerks
“As I started making more money,” one dude recalled, “I had prepared myself with the assumption that other wealthy people were standoffish, self-centered, and highly materialistic,” and was then, “Surprised to find that many are highly emotionally intelligent, empathetic to others (especially the less fortunate), very approachable, and really fun to be around.”
The Novelty Of Your Sports Car Fleet Soon Wears Off
Here’s a warning to all aspiring #ballers; “It’s exciting to make more money, but the excitement wears off quickly, especially with material possessions.” This led one user to say, “The things I thought would make me happier, didn’t exactly.” That said: I’d rather be a sad man with a Porsche 911 than a sad man with a Subaru. Just sayin’.
It Doesn’t Take Extensive Individual Intelligence To Become Wealthy.
One user said (and many others echoed the sentiment that), “While (intelligence) helps to understand certain things, I’ve gotten farther with persistence, resourcefulness, improvisation, and covering my weaknesses by aligning with others who are more intelligent than me.”