People Think We’re Poor. And I’m Cool With That.

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10 Responses

  1. That’s insane – from $150 for a visit WITH insurance to $30 WITHOUT??

    I’ve clearly got to start asking more questions…the only downside would be not having those payments count towards the deductible and out-of-pocket limits, right? Fairly unlikely at any rate. 🙂

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Correct on all counts. This is the only doc that I’ve had to ask for a cash-pay rate, so I don’t know how likely it would be to get the Medicare-type rate from another provider. Maybe they like me. 🙂 And yes, the amounts are outside of deductible and out-of-pocket limit totals, but for us that is immaterial because our deductible/out-of-pocket limits will never be reached … or so I hope (even though this is a non-HSA-compliant plan).

      Thanks for the comment Felicity! –Joe

  2. Live Free MD says:

    This reminds me of lessons learned from “The Millionaire Next Door”. People become millionaires by living simply, not by living an “millionaire” lifestyle. Once you become a millionaire, you can’t just stop living simply. Otherwise you will likely deplete that wealth (freedom) you worked so hard to attain!

    • Joe Freedom says:

      I agree, Live Free. And ideally over the years of accumulating that wealth (freedom), you will have fully internalized a mindset of optimizing consumption and avoiding waste, which will make it second nature to live simply. I suspect that many people that try to live simply–against their nature or without fully buying in to the virtues of doing so for its own sake–during the accumulation years with the idea that they can return to hyper-consumption after “making it” will never get there. You really do have to buy in.

  3. Arrgo says:

    Some good stuff you bring up here. I imagine living in a more affluent area would add some pressure to live more like the neighbors just to “fit in”. I suppose if you have more than enough dough and want to pay extra for all these things then good for you. Also I’d think anyone you pay to do work for you in an area like that will charge you a premium for it. I do the same things you mention also. I’ll stack a coupon on top of a sale item for some decent savings. I kind of make a game out of it. Sometimes you can get some grocery items for almost free. I do as much as I can for myself as possible. Especially if you arent working, you should have the extra time to do it. YouTube can show you how to do or fix almost anything. I have a bit of the rebel/ non-conformist attitude. I dont like the idea of all these companies controlling or influencing how you live, what you pay, or making you believe what you are supposed to need to be “happy”. All that marketing is to try and get your money from you. Cars, restaurants, cable TV, the latest iphone etc. You probably dont need it as much or as often as you have been led to believe. I think most people are their own worst enemy when it comes to money. Especially the well do to professional types that still claim how broke they are. Its all self inflicted and I have no sympathy for them. Like you, I’d rather keep my lifestyle in check than have to work another 10 years running around for some company just to pay for a vacation house, upscale car, and other excessive nonsense. Having your freedom is whats really important.

    • Joe Freedom says:

      I couldn’t agree more Arrgo. Thanks for the excellent thoughts. One point you mention that I find particularly interesting is the idea of a non-conformist attitude. I think this is a psychological trait that REALLY helps folks to achieve FI–even to the point where I wonder whether it is possible to achieve (at least at an early stage of life) if you don’t have it. For as long as I can remember I have recoiled at most things that were adopted by the masses. Herd mentality shapes many of the behaviors that are critical to FI and certainly to stock market movement. Right now I’m spending some time thinking about/researching what impact the herd movement toward index investing will have long-term on the markets. That’s for a future post!

      • Arrgo says:

        Probably around the recession I started questioning more the things I was spending my money on all the time. Things like cable TV that I was paying for but realized I wasnt hardly watching ( I was at work all day, doing things after work, then on the internet, plus I had other things I should be doing then watching TV for hours a day) I wasnt getting much value out of it. One thing I was proud of was I started cutting out a lot of the things that most of us have just been doing for years as the status quo. This was even before I came across MMM and other blogs. I’ll tell you it felt kinda weird at first. But its a good thing to get away from the herd/ sheep mentality. You realize how much money is being spent every month for things that dont even really matter to you. I still will spend money, but im much more selective now. I already have too much stuff as it is. One of my sayings is “things are good, and we need to keep them this way” No sense in spending irresponsibly even if you can afford it. I was thinking the same thing about the index movement and how that might effect the markets over the next 10 or 20 years. Will everyone piling in somehow hurt performance eventually or help it by boosting the demand for those stocks? I think we have a long way to go before indexing gets so saturated that it starts to stagnate performance. Probably not a big concern in our lifetime at least.

        • Joe Freedom says:

          I hope you are right on the final thought related to index investing–I don’t want to have to re-invent my investing approach. But I’m going to have to do some thinking to get over my default bias that presumes everything that attracts the herd will ultimately be perverted or ruined (or at least significantly altered from it’s original and pure state).

  4. I so get what you mean! My peers probably perceive me to be poorer than I actually am. Except that I have a lot of hardworking assets that make me money as I sleep

    • Joe Freedom says:

      Thanks George. And for us lawyers this can be a particularly difficult thing to pull off over a long period of time. I’m guessing from your domain name that you are in fact a “twenty-something lawyer;” as you get more senior and develop relationships with clients there will be more pressure to present a certain image. This can vary depending upon the type of firm or practice that you are operating in, but I was a partner in a white-shoe, AmLaw 100 firm, and eventually I reached a point where picking up the client for dinner in the 8-year-old Toyota just wasn’t going to cut it. I had situations where senior firm leadership said things like “I know we pay you enough to buy x or y ….” But keep up the good work. Buying assets that earn money while you sleep–instead of leaking value day by day–is a great feeling.

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