15 People Share What They’ve Learned From Hanging Around The Wealthy

Most of us are never going to know what it’s like to have the kind of money that changes not only our lives, but the lives of our families for generations, too. That’s probably one reason we’re so curious what their lives are like, both in general and on a day-to-day basis.

These 15 people have had the opportunity to spend time with wealthy friends, family, and acquaintances, and below we’ve got some details about what they’ve learned in the process.

15. A rule of thumb.

People who act wealthy generally aren’t and the few truly wealthy people I know dont act or look like it.

“It’s very likely that Bezos isn’t even the richest man on Earth. He’s most likely just the richest one we know exists. There are probably people who are even more unfathomably wealthy than he is. Having that many resources makes it far easier to hide your true wealth and the simple truth is that they probably don’t want us to know how much of this earth they really own, lest we come after them instead.”

And yknow… I wouldn’t be surprised if it was right.

14. Funny how that works,

That a lot of successful people have rich parents.

Honestly, even beyond that, I was shocked about how informed wealthy kids were about their options. I felt like from day one in college I just knew less about what career paths were out there. People were aiming to be product managers and I didn’t even know there were jobs outside of software development jobs in tech.

If someone’s parents is successful they’re more likely to be exposed to their parents friends. Who are typically also in high paying careers. Even being exposed to high income jobs helps a lot more than people are willing to admits typically.

13. A delicate balance.

A lot of people who appear wealthy are actually in massive debt. The people who are often super well off or can retire early are that wealthy because they are frugal. Where as a lot of the very overtly wealthy people you meet (unless we are talking clearly from old money or famous) are sustaining that lifestyle through not saving and using credit.

A lot of wealthy people are also just so uninterested in helping anyone. When I was down and out, the people who helped me were almost entirely working class or lower middle class. The people I knew who actually had the resources to help suddenly disappeared.

12. Or substance, for that matter.

Money doesn’t necessarily buy style.

11. A case study.

I’m the 6th of 7 kids. There’s almost a directly inverse correlation to the amount of money we make to the happiness levels we have. We all grew up poor.

Katie (40, oldest sibling) has tens of millions of dollars and still makes millions a year. She’s extremely stressed all the time. Has a terrible marriage. Physically and mentally unhealthy. And super concerned about democrats being out to get her & steal her money to give to “lazy people.”

Aaron (34) and his wife together make just under $150k/yearly in our small hometown where the median salary is under $30k/yr. They’re drowning in debt and terrible at finances, something that a constant stress for them.

Davey, Nathan, and Luke all make middle class wages and live good middle class lives.

Micah (31) and I (27) both quit our jobs to pursue the arts (he music and myself photography). We’re easily the two happiest, stress free brothers. And by far we make the least amount of money.

10. How big the gulf actually is.

Not how much THEY have, but just how LITTLE you have, they put no thought into buying a $1,500 espresso maker that they never use because Starbucks is easier…. But for me Starbucks is an expensive treat, or, hey come check out my new 150” tv in my theater room, and I go home to my studio apt and 19” tv with rabbit ears, because I can’t afford cable… they just don’t understand the disparity…

The owners kids came into the office one day and I over heard one of his girls tell a woman in the office, “you work for my daddy right?” Woman responded in the affirmative. Little girl says, “my daddy owns this company right? Woman responds in the affirmative. Little girl says, “well, since you work for my daddy, and he owns this business, he said we own this business, so that means I own you!”, that little girl didn’t know how close she was to meeting Jesus that day….. or another time….

Same little girl, “my daddy says we have $3 million dollars in the bank.” Walks away…..

9. A lack of consequences.

Mostly I’ve learned they can make moral or ethical stands because there is no consequences. Unhappy at a job and think they are wrong? Just quit. No true repercussions for doing so.

Knew a guy who argued that staying somewhere you felt they were ethically or morally corrupt was a choice and he had walked out of a job because of it. But he could move back home. Just a little ego bruise. He had his wealthy parents. He had access to borrowed money. Like there was no connection between his access to not fail vrs actually failing on his stance (or taking his immediate family down with him). He was never sacrificing his home, his auto, his family, nothing except he put his foot down and might have to hang out with his parents. But he was willing to risk it!. It was really eye opening to me. No fear of repercussions except mom and dad would have to help.

To have that kind of security…

There is a huge disconnect between them understanding they “worked for it” when they come from money. Like understanding the access they are privy too and being in the situational awareness of it is not a comprehension they have. Doesn’t everyone have a choice to just walk away from their income and not face eviction, medical access, vehicle, food access, childcare, etc??? How silly. You just have no conviction to stand by your morals.

It honestly made me a little sick.

And please understand – I don’t think these are bad people. I respect the people I do know who are wealthy quite deeply. But this a flaw in reasoning that was (and still is) a bit flabergasting to me personally.

8. It’s a boost to success.

Going to a top-tier design school made me fully realize how a lot of “hard work to success” is really about having money.

I needed to start from scratch at 18, with no parental support, and despite how obsessively I [over]worked, it took me 8 years to save a sufficient amount of money, so I could go to school without taking student loans. Even though, I still needed to work full time in order to support myself through it.

I quickly realized the school’s schedule made it impossible to work much. Classes start at 10:00, end at 17:00 [so you can’t work evening shifts in most places], 5 times a week, with lots of nonsense assignments given with the sole purpose of making you work nonstop [one professor openly admitted half their assignments served no purpose other than creating pressure]. I was determined and desperate, so I took jobs with flexible schedules, night shifts followed by full days in class, marathoning weekend shifts…

Because I was working, and my schedule had the error range of 5 minutes per day [Not a hyperbole – that was literally how I managed my time] I also needed to pick my projects very carefully. I couldn’t take anything risky, because I do not have time to do it over in case of failure. I couldn’t take anything with expensive materials or production, because that would require me to cram extra work to make up for it, and there are literally not enough hours in the day to do that. I couldn’t invest a whole lot of time into projects, because my schedule was extremely limited. I couldn’t take any projects that I couldn’t do during breaks, during dead hours at work, or in the limited hours I had at my place. Obviously, that stifled my ability to get a lot of interesting work done, and effected my grades. Most of the time, I had to settle for “Good enough”, because this is what I could afford.

Most of my classmates were wealthy white kids. Some were upper-middle class [“Oh, I took a year off after high school to volunteer teaching western art in Africa!”], some were downright celebrities’ kids. Many of them didn’t work at all throughout the 4-years program. Those who did, could afford working 1-2 shifts a week, or occasional freelance, because they did not depend on having a steady income. They could afford doing insane, elaborate projects that cost 1000$ to produce on a semi-weekly basis, or experimental works that take months and may or may not work, taking risks and then doing it over, or failing classes and taking them again.

It’s not like these kids didn’t work hard – they definitely did. But they only could work hard because they had money to afford putting in the work in the first place.

7. They know a guy.

even the moderately wealthy, like barely upper middle class, have “a guy” for everything. somehow. and not just a sketchy guy, but a tailored professional. maybe they bump into each other at country clubs and form reciprocal agreements, IDK. but it results in suitably wealthy people getting the highest quality service on everything for a family and friends discount. you have money = you save money = you get more money. this isn’t a positive or a negative

a related note, is that nothing seems too small to get the expensive treatment. this can foster both awful people who insist on others making massive adjustments to make that happen, and lovely people who will put in their money/time/effort to do a good job for poorer friends just because they value something done to good standards and like to see it.

what the people are like is very individual.

6. Rich is better.

I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich. Rich is better. On the whole, wealthy people are not any different; they just have less money related stress and can pay for services to free up their time.

This frees up energy to focus on other things. Like learning or paying people to turn their money into more money.

As you rub shoulders and make personal connections, opportunities will sometimes present themselves for investments, like real estate before it’s listed or investing in new ventures/businesses.

The key is to maximize earnings, create multiple revenue streams, and live way below your means. You need the money to take advantage of investments.

5. Arrogance abounds.

I grew up in a wealthy area (my parents were definitely very well off, but we were never anything close to being part of the 1%) and in my experience, the wealthy are very polarized. There are those who genuinely want to do good things and use their money and influence to help people. On the flip side, there are those who’re incredibly selfish and self-serving.

Both sides can be very arrogant, however. This arrogance is usually for different reasons, but it still comes through nonetheless.

The worst, however, aren’t the wealthy adults, but the kids of said wealthy adults. These asshats are unbelievably egotistical and think they can do anything and say anything they want because their parents are “rich.”

Like said, I grew up in a wealthy area and because of that, I went to a wealthy high school, so I was forced to endure these shitheads for years.

Maybe you think I’m exaggerating a bit? Okay, here’s an example: their parents bought these kids luxury or sports cars for their first car. Seriously, I saw 16 year-olds driving Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, etc.

I also said my parents were well off, and because it was my first car, they felt I didn’t need something overly powerful or flashy. They got me a Honda Civic. I was ridiculed constantly for driving a “poor loser’s car.”

The fact that my parents bought me a car at all was pretty damn good, but I guess these kids felt they deserved whatever their parents got them.

The funny thing is I mentioned this to my dad years later and he was actually apologetic. I told him he didn’t need to be. I was a brand new driver and the last thing I needed was a high-end, powerful vehicle that I could get myself into real trouble with.

Another story (also relating to cars) was a kid who wrote an editorial in the school newspaper, where he did nothing but bitch and moan about how “put out” he was because had to be seen in a rented Chevy Geo because his real car was in the shop. What made this particular article even more tone deaf was that the teachers in the school all had less expensive cars than the students, including the vehicle this student was complaining about.

4. Their kids have issues.

Money does not equal happiness.

I went to a private high-school with insanely rich students & they were mostly miserable.

A huge percentage of kids had eating disorders, drug issues, alcohol issues and no concept of the real world.

3. Out of touch.

I cater in Orange County Southern California .the ones who made their own money are usually very very generous. the ones who inherited it or married into it are greedy needy and whiney.

And are out of touch With the real world.

2. Two types.

There are two types of rich people. Extremely generous who are happy to pay for things that afford them time to do what they enjoy, and the really stingy who take advantage of others for their personal gain.

I worked in a lowly job and offered to get my boss a soda. There a was rich dude in his office who said he’d take one too. I assumed he’d pay me when I got back, but he didn’t. Guy is, was and forever will be a jerk in my book.

1. They get stuff done.

They ain’t that smart but they get stuff done regardless of how stupid and unprofessional they look.

Being in a wealthy environment and making acquaintances will expand your horizons. There are people out there that are making bank, just as there are PHD students, neurosurgeons, junkies, etc.

I interned at a luxury car dealership in 2015/2016 and me, a non native speaker, was proof reading their emails (god were they bad), doing basic Excel for invoicing, no SEO, they even had the wrong name on their Google Business page.

I went in there thinking I was interviewing at Wiessman, I was not. In the 90s they were making close to 100 Mil in revenue per annum, in 2009 they went bankrupt and a couple of years later they reincorporated. The managing director at one point held the record for most Bugattis sold, 7 BTW, and they held some record for most Rolls-Royces sold as well.

Word to the ones that want to get rich: Get started now! Exude confidence. Learn on the job and don’t be afraid of making mistakes or of how stupid you may look.

I don’t think I’m really that surprised, are you?

If you’ve got something to add, drop it in the comments!