Ask the child of money

Rand Rover’s getting shit upon entirely in this thread, with many curious as to why he’s able to post and such throughout the day. I’m pretty pissed so many people are threadshitting - perhaps it’s for his other behaviors in other forums, I’m not sure. So please don’t threadshit, ask genuine questions and you’ll get genuine responses. Perhaps Rand Rover didn’t have a rough upbringing, but some people did, and overcame.

I’m a first generation American. Both of my parents emigrated to the US. My father is Indian, and emigrated in his late 20’s. He was a gastroenterologist, and had to re-do his residency and fellowship here in the states. His family was upper middle class (physicians and small business owners) but lost it all- he lived in Kashmir. You know the story. He was very poor for a time. He emigrated to the Bronx with his best friend (they graduated first and second in their med school together). They both had sponsors in the US - Indians who had come before, made a life, and encouraged other young adults to come over.

When my mom met my dad, he was living in a shack two bedroom home close to the dodgy hospital - no other physician rented. My dad used to watch the Honeymooners to improve his English.

My mother is Cuban, and emigrated when Castro took over in 1960, on her 5th birthday. My grandfather was an OB-GYN physician, and my grandmother ran a preschool. They both came from upper-middle class families, physicians and furniture store owners. Obviously when they fled, they had nothing but the clothes on their backs. My mother gives to the Catholic church, despite being - at best- a theist in her beliefs, because for years they fed and clothed her. My mother wasn’t fluent in English until late middle school, but scored a perfect 800 on the math section of the SAT. She had a full ride to Ohio State. She also went to med school there.

They rarely ever speak of their circumstances, but I have no doubt it bonded them early on. My mother was engaged twice before my father, but swore she never wanted children until she met him. They married at age 30 and 40.

I was raised without ever wanting for anything - yet always having an aching feeling that it could be gone in an instant. My parents have a ton of battle scars from their upbringings, and it affects how I was raised. I used to drink milk four times a day growing up, because my mom never had fresh milk until late in middle school, and her teeth are somewhat damaged as a result. My house had an unusual amount of fresh vegetables and fruit as well, for the same reason. My father witnessed children being kidnapped from their homes, so before we took a vacation, he would encourage me to knit a new bracelet for myself so that he could loop his fingers through it in addition to holding onto my little hand. I wasn’t allowed to bike on the street until I was 8. To this day, if he calls me and I don’t call him back within two hours (the length of a movie), he assumes the absolute worst. When I chipped my tooth last year, I called to tell them I’d be getting the work done. Mom was in surgery, but dad (I called a handful of numbers) had just finished a procedure and gone to the board room for lunch. I called the board room, spoke to someone, who called for my dad, who literally tripped over two chairs to get to the phone, out of breath and panicked.

My parents both worked 80 hours a week when I was growing up (they’ve since cut back drastically), so I had a full time nanny - Anne, who I loved dearly. My parents lived nervously - they never carried a mortgage until they bought their second home (ten years ago), and they lived very modestly for both being specialists.

Now, onto the fun stuff. Yes, we belonged to a country club - mainly it was to become friends with other physicians, to seek out their referrals. I ate escargot at a young age. I had new toys, clothes, and shoes, whatever I wanted (which was mostly books and blocks). My parents liked to go into the city and watch a show while I stayed with a babysitter. I’ve stayed at plenty of 4 star hotels. I’ve always had my own bedroom and bathroom, and computer. When I got my license, I got a nice, used luxury car. I usually entertained my friends in high school, because we had a big rec room, TV, and my mom kept plenty of food around.

When I got my first apartment in college, there were just 2 units left in the building (it was very close to campus) and you needed a cashier’s check for the first and last month’s rent and deposit, for me plus my 3 roommates. The total was nearly 5 grand. I called my mom, emailed her pictures and explained the situation. My roommates cut my mom their share of the money within the next two weeks, but I had 5 grand in hand the next day, and the apartment. This was a situation I remain grateful for, that few other people could manage on such short notice. It was the pivotal moment when I realized I could never live on less than I’d grown up on.

Something my nanny never did for me that other kids I grew up with seem to struggle with is pick up after me. She did when I was very young, but I had to clean up after myself - I’m meticulous as an adult, a skill many friends (and dopers) don’t seem to have together. I distinctly remember being six years old, and told to make my bed and put all the stuffed animals on top. I must have had a dozen. I declared that I wanted to get rid of them all, and just keep my favorite, Wolfie. I began giving things I didn’t use to charity, urged on by my nanny and my parents. Since then I’ve shunned having many possessions - they’re burdensome to take care of. I have two siblings, and both have reacted differently to money than I have. The one brother is going to be a SEAL, because he hates studying in college (despite having a 3.5) and my other brother intends to be far wealthier than my parents and live on the beach.

So, ask away. Ask what I think about the tax system, ask if I can sleep at night, ask what I plan to do for a living, ask about charity, ask about luxury cars and vacation homes - the decisions I make or my parents make, ask about anything. But please, don’t threadshit.

For the record, I’m just 23, so I’ve yet to embark upon my career.

Hmmm, you’re parents seem upper middle class and not wealthy. You don’t seem independantly wealthy. For example, could your parents stop working and you never work and still have the clubs, houses, cars, vacations, etc?

Do you have an allowance and a budget? Do you have your own investment portfolio and what types of investments do you favor? Do you speak the language of either/both of your parents? What are you doing at 23 if you’re not starting on a career? grad school? Have you ever worked done any kind of manual labor or a joe job like fast food? What kind of car do you drive and how old is it?

Yes, what is your philosophy on taxes? Should taxes be progressive or regressive? Do you think there should be (more) universal healthcare (say the Canadia model) or do you prefer the US model?

Do you have a trust fund? Do your parents support you more than a typical job available to a 23-year old would pay?

I am intrigued why you think you are a child of money. Can you elaborate on this? It sounds like materially, your youth was remarkably similar to mine yet I have derived completely different conclusions about it. Can you describe how you came to the conclusion that you could never live with less than you grew up with?

I lived in a nice house in an affluent suburb of NYC, summered in Europe, had an expensive private university education, etc. I come from fairly typical suburban privilege. Only someone actually underprivileged would think I was “money”. I grew up like any other kid in my area whose parents were successful small business owners (like my dad), corporate middle management, or legal/medical professionals.

My parents are pretty successful, but my grandparents are money. Here is an example somewhat comparable to yours. I was in the process of buying an apartment and selling my former one at the same time 2 years ago. There was a delay in the sale that threatened my purchase of the new apartment. So I called my grandparents. Two hours later I was up at their house with a live check not for $5k but for $100k. They cut this check without even blinking. They told me they were only relieved that I only needed a hundred; it would have taken them 24 hours to come up with $500k and they didn’t want me to have to pay any penalties on my deal.

We went on great ski trips out west with my parents. With my grandparents, we went on a two week ultra-luxury Abercrombie & Kent safari in Kenya. There is a difference of several orders of magnitude between having a pleasant, affluent childhood and having money. I didn’t grow up with real cash, but on occasion, I knew what it was like. I struggle to see how one could confuse the two.

Would you consider adopting a forty year old girl?

What are you majoring in (or have you graduated)?

By no means are they (or I) independently wealthy. They are in the top 5%, possibly top 2% or earners (I’m not sure at the moment, my mom is semi-retired.) They give a good bit away, and obviously started with little (they’ve paid for several cousins college educations, for example). I do have a portfolio; I have a Roth IRA (that’s maxed every year for the past few years). When I was ten I played a stock market game that was national and I came in the top few contestants in the state. That’s when my parents started investing in a bunch of stocks for me; Yahoo, Apple, AOL and Time Warner off the top of my head (AOL was sold I think, in 2000ish). I also had Wal Mart, which I didn’t know about until 18 months ago, and when I learned of it I sold it immediately. I hate their philosophy and ethics on many levels. Total investments in my name, probably $15k. As they age, they’ll transfer more and more into my name. My brother - the aforementioned soon to be SEAL - would have my parents’ inheritance in a trust should they die early. I would have full control of my share and my youngest brother’s share (and I would raise him - he is 14).

My parents paid all of my college expenses (my first two years I attended a different school on a 1/2 tuition scholarship), apartment, food, gym, all my car expenses, and a slight bit more for going out and such. I’ve held jobs off and on throughout school, because I enjoy going to the theater and out to eat weekly. I’ve worked at the computer help desk at school and “telefund”, which calls alumni for donations. I also once worked for a social networking startup site. I’ve always had an internship in the summers, except for last summer when I studied for the DAT (dental admissions test). During that time they financially supported me - paid for my Kaplan course and for my apartment/food/car.

I just graduated last year (I did a double major in 5 years), and had a great (fun, interesting, challenging, and well paid) internship lined up to go from June-June, with dental school starting in August. Because of budgetary cuts in the library system, I got the axe in October unfortunately. I’ve been living off my savings and have a bit of help from my parents. I’ll be going to dental school in the fall.

Cars are a funny story. My first car was a 15 year old Audi, whose muffler went bad (it was 300 horses, so I couldn’t go without a muffler without eventually suffering hearing damage). I adored that car. I only had a few more months before going to college, and my dad was one point from losing his license, so he gave me his car that he thought was “cursed” - a 3 series bmw - to use while he short-term leased another car (an Acura or Audi, I think). I drove that for the last few months of my senior year of high school. I wasn’t hated for it (like other “rich kids” were) because I was so uptight and driven in school. I had a small (new) Elantra when I went to college; when I transferred back East it was given to my brother when I returned home for his first car and I got my dad’s aforementioned 3 series BMW. The only upside for me is the smooth ride and the AWD. I can’t imagine a car without AWD - I can, actually, I’ve gotten stuck in the Elantra. I’m still driving it, and it’s 7 years old. I get compliments on it all the time, but it’s a real pain in the ass because luxury cars aren’t built to last. Driving home for Christmas the heat gave out and it was 15 degrees out. My next car (purchased by them when I get into and pick a dental school) will be used (1-2 years old) and probably a Toyota Venza or a Subaru Legacy. I want something to last a long time. Once I’m an established orthodontist, I’ll probably have another 3 series.

I have done manual labor; my parents have a large garden (not vegetables, but lots of plants and such) and they do most of the weeding themselves. So I’ve mulched and weeded and mowed (I hate mowing) and planted and trimmed and such quite a bit. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. My biggest accomplishment was gutting a bathroom at one of my mother’s rental units (she does real estate on the side). It would have cost her something like $600 to have it done professionally. I got $200 and she got to save $400. I can also fix basic plumbing and carpentry problems. I’m all thumbs when it comes to electric, because one of my father’s uncles ran an electric business, so he often pitches in.

I’m a libertarian, so I think taxes should only be for a basic military and a few other things. I do believe in safety nets at a very minimal level.

Bolding mine. Summering in Europe is not fairly suburban, it’s upper middle class at minimum. I’m not trying to impress ANYONE with this thread, and I’m certainly not not going to work for a living. My parents could come up with 100k in 24 hours too. But like I’ve said, we definitely lived within our means. Part of that was how hard they worked - 80 hours a week in the early years to establish themselves. We also lived in a small town, so a lot of my friends didn’t have wealthy upbringings. Had I grown up where the average home value was 400k, I’m sure I’d consider myself “middle class” - as you do. But your perceptions, IMO, are way off.

Knowing I couldn’t live with less was a lightbulb moment for me, when I had that 5 grand in cash instantly for my apartment. My mom is friends with the senior VO of their mid-level bank. He initiated the 5k transfer from their account to mine so I had it* immediately* for use. All the time I’d spent in lavish restaurants or in the Four Seasons or lounging poolside at the country club had all been fun and good times, but at that moment I knew I wasn’t going to be a professor of International Relations, or work for the UN (I majored in International Relations and Political Science). I knew I was going to go to med or dental school and pursue real estate as a hobby. All the connections they had with friends in business, law, banking, etc, I wanted those too. I wanted comfort, and ease.

I guess to give everyone a better idea of where on the spectrum I fit, when I was in high school, my parents bought a lakefront home, on a small private lake. Homes start at 250k, theirs is about three times that value. I have a boating license and love to drive it. Once they retire, they’ll split their time between there and Palm Beach - where they’re hoping to find a condo this weekend.

I’m not sure who asked, but I was fluent in Spanish when I graduated high school - speaking, reading, and writing. For the 2 years I lived in LA while going to college, I was extremely fluent, strengthened by volunteering in the community. I had dreams in Spanish - which my high school teacher swore was “true” comprehension. Now I’m probably at 75% comprehension, 50% speaking ability. I learned to understand basic things at a young age because I was sick of getting talked about “behind my back” when I was in my mom or grandmother’s presence. I know very basic Hindi and Kashmiri words.

If I missed your question, please ask it again! I didn’t think this thread would get that much attention, frankly.

I am strongly against universal health care; the government has no business taking over yet another facet of the economy. I think you should be able to buy across state lines and such; I don’t think health care should be tied to your job, nor tax free and such. If you open up the availability, it’ll become affordable and more people will buy it. One of my dad’s good friends lives in Novia Scotia (and has for 30 years) and is a physician, as are his two daughters. They both were dying to come to the US to practice, but both of their husbands were dead set on staying. So they stayed. But even visiting Toronto in October I saw signs everywhere pleading for people to become doctors and such. This thread isn’t meant to debate health care either, and believe me, as a former Obama intern I’ve heard all of the arguments for it. What really irks me is that Americans don’t seem to care about their health like they do in other countries. I take excellent care of myself; other 23 year olds spend a lot of time in bars and smoking and doing stupid things. I don’t, and I shouldn’t have to pay for the morbidly obese, nor for illegal immigrants in ER’s. I do realize that I already do contribute, but I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should who takes care of themselves. Catastrophic insurance is a must for everyone.

Hmm, I think it’s hard in the US to adopt if you’re single. I live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment, probably less than 300 square feet. Are you still sure? I keep all my children on those leashes, too.

I hope this isn’t threadshitting, but the title is misleading. “Ask the child of Money”? I’m thinking you are gonna be a Hamptons dwelling trust fund kid. That would be a bit outside many people’s experience.

You grew up upper midle class. That’s not exactly a rare and mysterious breed.

I am strongly against universal health care; the government has no business taking over yet another facet of the economy. I think you should be able to buy across state lines and such; I don’t think health care should be tied to your job, nor tax free and such. If you open up the availability, it’ll become affordable and more people will buy it. Tort reform will help tremendously - I’ve seen the studies that say it doesn’t, but those haven’t actually imposed caps at every level. We’ll never see real tort reform though - Obama and Edwards both got huge contributions from trial attorneys, and Kathleen Sebelius - the very head of HHS is a former trial attorney.

One of my dad’s good friends lives in Novia Scotia (and has for 30 years) and is a physician, as are his two daughters. They both were dying to come to the US to practice, but both of their husbands were dead set on staying. So they stayed. But even visiting Toronto in October I saw signs everywhere pleading for people to become doctors and such. This thread isn’t meant to debate health care either, and believe me, as a former Obama intern I’ve heard all of the arguments for it. What really irks me is that Americans don’t seem to care about their health like they do in other countries. I take excellent care of myself; other 23 year olds spend a lot of time in bars and smoking and doing stupid things. I don’t, and I shouldn’t have to pay their care, nor for the morbidly obese, nor for illegal immigrants’ care. I do realize that I already do contribute indirectly, but I shouldn’t have to. Nobody should who takes care of themselves. I’m actually going to physical therapy for a month for tendinitis in my knee (from too much spinning at the gym) and at least half of the people I see at therapy are morbidly obese. Their problems are chronic and self-inflicted. This pisses me off. Catastrophic insurance is a must for everyone.

I keep all my children on those leashes you see at the mall, too.

Quintas no need to be rude. Actually I’m half Cuban and half Kashmiri, so I AM a rare and mysterious breed. I think top 3-5% is worthy of the thread title. I’ve certainly received a lot of scorn for driving a BMW at my age and for having a vacation home - worth what a Hamptons home is. I’m the one a lot of populist scorn is directed at, so I was hoping to alleviate some of that with the thread.

Sorry—If you are truthful, you are a middle class kid with a doctor for a father. Robin Leach is not exactly breaking down your door for an interview, eh?

“Child of wealth” is just silly, as truly wealthy people dont ever NEED to work 80 hour weeks or have their children drive a used Subaru Legacy…

I don’t. sorry.

I think you receive scorn for being overly impressed with it. Thats very middle class. Also, do you own a vacation home or do you parents.


And people are jealous because she drives a BMW at 23? I’ve known 23 year olds driving a BMW. They could be rich as hell, deeply in debt, or have just landed a great job. I have no idea. But it’s not very unusual and certainly nothing anyone in my experience would feel envy over.

this has GOT to be a joke thread. What’s next? The poster owns multiple televisions? With remote control?

I will take you at your word that you aren’t trying to impress anyone. But what I am going to say is that I do not think my perceptions are off. Your bolded comment is pretty revealing. It sounds like you were affluent in your small town, but that doesn’t exactly mean you are a “child of money”. I think if perhaps your horizons were broader and you spent more time with people who actually are wealthy (or are descendants thereof), this distinction might be clearer. $400k doesn’t buy a starter house where I grew up, and I didn’t even live in one of the really affluent suburbs of my county.

Perhaps I was also not clear enough about the $100k check. Wealth isn’t the ability to liquidate enough assets to write a $100k check. I could light my 401(k) on fire, too. When you can write a check for $100k with the same ease that I, easily in the top decile of wage earners in the US, can write a check for $1k, you have money. I am trying to stress the fact that there is such a vast difference here that I don’t think you can even credibly pass yourself off as nouveau riche. This isn’t about whose relatives make more; the issue here is what it really means to be wealthy in the grand scheme of things. My grandfather hasn’t had to work in decades. He still does because he is still as sharp as a goddamn razor and he loves to make deals. I used to work with a really nice guy who just told people he lived in the West Village. What he did not tell people was that his townhouse on Barrow St. was the size of a city block and that he owned three Bentleys. That was just fun and games; he didn’t need to touch principal to buy that stuff. He worked the job because he thought it was fun. His interest and investment income per month approached his yearly salary at his paying job. He knew he didn’t need any more money.

This is the part that I find incredibly interesting because I came to precisely the opposite conclusion. I achieved some measure of comfort in the private sector and promptly chucked it all to do what I always wanted, return for my PhD and teach. Curiously enough, among other things, my field is also political science. As an aside, my libertarian sympathies did not survive college. I mention all of this about myself because I think we just might be flip sides of a similar coin.

This does put it into perspective. Wealthy people have landscaping bills more than the value of your lakefront house. Your experiences of being of Kashmiri and Cuban extraction sound a lot more interesting and unique than your experiences of low-grade upper middle class privilege, to be honest.

there was a post a long time back by someone on this board. their family timeshared a private jet for xxx weeks per year. Because it was more convenient to take their dog to Mexico on v acation that way.

I’ve known a few truly wealthy people from birth. The absolutely key diferentiator is that money was never a factor in anything. If they wanted to be a dentist, it would be for some reason not connected with making a good living and developing their investment portfolio on the side.

I worked investment banking and know dozens trhat have cashed out with $10-20M. Many had a background like yours.

and I don’t mean to be snarky but your post and replies reveal volumes about you.

ask the cuban Kashmiri would be a lot more interesting thread than ask the middle class doctor’s daughter. :wink:

A 4 star hotel huh? Your own bedroom? A rec room? Your own computer???

Perhaps I too am a child of money.

Private bedroom? check
with TV? Check
bathroom? check
used luxury car? check
rec room? check (WITH pool table)
parents could come up with 100k in 24hrs if life depended on it? check

As usual, it didn’t take long for the claws to come out. Admittedly I didn’t put a lot of thought into the thread title; perhaps it should have been the upper class child.

People seem to be pissed off that I’m not Paris Hilton (before being disowned) wealthy. Should I be sorry?

I actually drove the BMW new in high school. My parents have offered (even encouraged) me to get a new A4 or a new 3-series, but I don’t want it, because I want a car right now in my life to last. I don’t want to have a series of problems with it, like I’ve experienced with my current BMW. This amuses me - I also chose the Elantra because I thought I’d be putting a ton of miles onto it; I was also offered the choice of a new 3-series of A4 - paid for in cash. Again, I’ve mentioned several times that my parents don’t have debt, never have - except for a few years on the lake house. They bought their 500k (now million) dollar home in cash without flinching. Perhaps it’s not rational, because they could have gotten a 5% mortgage, but it is reflective.

I absolutely don’t mind having scorn heaped on me. As I’ve mentioned several times before, my parents live far, far below their means. It would be easy for them to write a check of 100k; they have liquid assets far above that. But so much scorn is heaped upon Rand Rover and the like that I wanted people to realize that there are tons of hardworking people, who fall in the top 5% of wealth who don’t deserve to have their money taken by the government, nor populist scorn heaped upon them.

I also find it amusing that people find 80 hours a week to be slave labor. My parents adore their work - and being self employed, there’s not much to hate. The first 5-10 years they started their private practices they did work that long, but it’s long since tapered off.

Someone also asked if the cars, money, clubs, etc would stop if they were to stop working. No, if anything they’ll finally start taking more vacations and my dad, once they move to Palm Beach, will get a Bentley or a Porsche. He’s avoided doing so because both dealerships are over 90 minutes away from their current home.

However, the thread, while hoping it would illuminate that people do work hard for their money, that wealth isn’t just purely ease, has also illuminated for me how competitive and asinine those with money really are.

One of my parents’ closest friends is worth somewhere between 100 and 150 million. He wears a Patek watch…and rags. Literally clothes that would be falling off the wagon at Goodwill. The people of money I know refer to the Millionaire Next Door as their bible. Certain things they drop money on - perhaps it’s a car or a watch - but by and large they live within their means.

I’m sorry that people aren’t hearing stories of private jets and the like. Perhaps that had to do with the expectation of the thread title. But those stories are blown out of proportion by the media, and a populist fervor has taken hold of the country, IMO. You never hear the stories of couples who give away college education money to their family members or who give away their services for free (at one point, my mother was giving 1/3 of her services as a surgeon away for free. That stopped quickly when her malpractice insurer found out.)

People with money aren’t big bogeyman - although some people in this thread lend themselves to the arrogant stereotypes. A lot of them are decent people.

China Guy, you’re not being snarky. My parents’ portfolio is fairly north of your top end reference. I’m trying hard not to one up people in the thread, but some have made references to one parent being a small town doctor, clearly not reading the thread at all. Two specialists who invested well, live below their means, and also had a few million from their parents perhaps aren’t interesting to read about. Neither is a used Legacy. And that’s okay. Perhaps people will rethink their hatred of the wealthy, and maybe their definition will encompass more.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but you sound like the one child who didn’t “make money” in the family. The one who takes their education and their lifestyle for granted, and isn’t able to replicate it. Perhaps you don’t need to work for a living, but you haven’t said as much.

I’ve always found that people with libertarian sympathies are never doubtful that they would be able to recreate their level of wealth. That they have the confidence in their intelligence, abilities, and general hardiness. My libertarian sympathies were strengthened in college. People who don’t trust their abilities more strongly believe in a safety net.

Obviously everyone’s definition of wealthy is different. Again, I had no idea so much scorn would be revealed. The top few percentage points IS upper class, but obviously my parents’ lifestyle doesn’t reveal it as such at all. I’m thrilled that nobody is impressed! This thread wasn’t meant to stroke my ego, it was meant to shed light upon the people who still get taxed in the upper bracket(s).

Hmm, second request for a thread on being a Cubindian. Perhaps I’ll do it after this one dies down - my computer’s on the fritz, so I’m replying through the SO’s.

If you ever actually get to know someone who is wealthy, then you might have something to talk about.

Until then, your parents paying cash for a $500,000 home or “encouraging” you to get an Audi (a German car?!? WOW!!! Look at that Child of Wealth, her parents want her to get a car that was made all the way ACROSS the OCEAN in Germany!!! By Germans!!!) is not really convincing anyone that you have any clue what truly weatlhy people are like.

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to buy some beer that was brewed all the way over in the Netherlands (which is next door to Germany but has more letters in its name)

Are you a real person? Or are you related to Curtis LeMay?