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  • #16
    'What do you do for a living?' isn't that common a question in these parts.  I guess we all just keep our cards a little closer to our chest. (Although we do leave our houses unlocked so go figure).  I would agree with the car statement.  I am a blue jeans and fleece kind of a guy as are most doctors I know. Not too many suits or even ties anymore. I'm always quite happy when someone who has asked me what I do is surprised.  Success!

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    • #17
      Here's a fun idea to hide money.

       

      and ...continued

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      • #18
        I'm a veterinarian. You NEVER tell anyone that, as it opens up a giant can of worms "Oh let me show 232 pictures of my dog!"  "Oh, my cat had diarrhea yesterday, why did that happen?"

        I've started telling people I'm a librarian when I meet them. I am greeted with instant silence. Librarians are boring. No one cares where you work, and they definitely don't care about what you do day-to-day. Eventually, if they become a good enough friend, I amend what I do for a living and tell them why I misled them the first time. I've yet to have someone be upset with me. Most get a good laugh out of it.

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        • #19
          I love my library...so if you told me you were a librarian I'd ask you a helluva lot of questions.

          Ever since I told my vet: "I considered going to vet school but was glad I didn't because then I couldn't afford to take my dog to the vet" ... he didn't take that very well, so I figure that going forward I just keep my mouth shut when I meet DVMs.

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          • #20
            I'm female so have never had this problem when I was Active Duty it was assumed I was a nurse (and guys get weird when they show up for their vasectomy pre-op and realized their assumption that MAJ S was male was incorrect!).  Now I live rural and everyone knows who I am -- I actually cringe going to the elementary school because everyone looks familiar and sometimes I can't remember if I saw them, their kid or their elderly parent and whether it was a good encounter or bad so everything is awkward for me (I'm sure I'll outgrow it).  W e built our house and EVERYONE in town knew it was me building the house and everyone commented about watching it go up --- granted it is a big house, but not fancy and certainly not requiring a "jumbo" loan.  But, I am seen at those awkward for me social affairs with my 4 kids 7y/o and younger driving my minivan so no one thinks I am rolling in anything but play dough.

            I don't think anyone else cares as much as you seem to.

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            • #21




              I’m female so have never had this problem when I was Active Duty it was assumed I was a nurse (and guys get weird when they show up for their vasectomy pre-op and realized their assumption that MAJ S was male was incorrect!).  Now I live rural and everyone knows who I am — I actually cringe going to the elementary school because everyone looks familiar and sometimes I can’t remember if I saw them, their kid or their elderly parent and whether it was a good encounter or bad so everything is awkward for me (I’m sure I’ll outgrow it).  W e built our house and EVERYONE in town knew it was me building the house and everyone commented about watching it go up — granted it is a big house, but not fancy and certainly not requiring a “jumbo” loan.  But, I am seen at those awkward for me social affairs with my 4 kids 7y/o and younger driving my minivan so no one thinks I am rolling in anything but play dough.

              I don’t think anyone else cares as much as you seem to.
              Click to expand...


              Ha. Im definitely not rural but even in a town of 4-500k you tend to see a ton of people over just a few years. I also cringe when I half recognize someone and hope they never do more than wave or say hi. I would be mortified if someone came up to chat and it got so far as to where it became obvious I couldnt remember them exactly (for patients out more than recently).

              Was at disneyland this spring/summer and ran into two patients, was really strange since its about 150 miles away and was a tuesday morning (usual day off).

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              • #22
                Reviving this thread to share my thoughts on Stealth Wealth. I devoted a post to the topic (linked).  Thank you for the inspiration!

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                • #23
                  I don't think this is a big deal (and mostly only in the OP's head). Luckily, I live in a very HCOL, so I am def not considered rich for this city.

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                  • #24
                    Just go with the typical French method of very few outward displays of wealth.  No big fancy house in an expensive neighborhood, no Mercedes in the driveway, no fancy clothes, no club memberships.

                    Granted, you can spend as much as you want on blue collar stuff as you want.  Yeti coolers, fishing gear, booze, sports tickets, all of that, no big deal.  Around here, the cajun farmers and oil guys might have a really nice fishing camp, a $70,000 pickup truck, and a nice boat or two, but none of those are really taken as displays of wealth, because everybody has a camp, a pickup truck, and a boat.  One of my friends in such a family bought an old Porsche and was literally guilted into selling it because it was too flashy, even though it was a lot cheaper than a king ranch platinum big horn pickup that most any blue collar guy can afford.

                    Many of my firm's very wealthy clients (people with estate tax problems) don't come across as much different than any other Joe Blo you might come across who works at a plant or offshore, or is a air conditioning salesman or whatnot.

                    People might find out you're an MD and they can go ahead and look up the salaries, but if you don't look like a rich guy then people will assume you don't make a lot, or even if you do, that you're a real miser and a pretty dry source of cash.  To you or me, it might be easy to realize that a neurosurgeon or dermatologist is probably doing pretty well, but most people don't have a clue.  My favorite one in recent history was "Oh he's just an anesthesiologist, not even a real doctor."   :lol:  Clueless.  Now if you're a plastic surgeon, it's going to be hard to shed that image, though it's probably not a bad image to have for your business model.

                    And as others said above, it doesn't matter what kind of doc a woman is, a wife doesn't make much.  That's the perception literally across the board, doesn't matter young or old, black or white, rich or poor.  And that's assuming they get beyond the fact that she's not a nurse.  So yeah, be a woman, nobody will ever know.   

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                    • #25
                      I used to say I was a physical therapist now I just say where I work but not what I do.  I will be honest if they press it though.  Mostly it isn't the income stereotypes I'm trying to avoid it is hearing for the next hour about their Aunt Betsy's Sciatica in excruciating detail.

                       

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                      • #26
                        Ha, this is a great thread. I used to just tell people what I did when they asked (anesthesiologist), but I usually got the same reaction from non-medical folks, "hey, I heard they make a lot of money." How are you supposed to respond to that?   :|

                        So now if they're complete strangers, especially Uber & Lyft drivers who know where I live (because they just picked me up or dropped me off), I just use the line, "I'm in real estate." It's not a lie, and it usually doesn't get too many followup questions about me personally, more just about the housing market in general.

                        Great article PoF.

                         

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                        • #27
                          Wow. I didn't know this was a thing! I wouldn't lie about what I do - that's just kind of weird. It's going to come out eventually. Maybe it's different because I live in hcol area. Other high income professionals don't care and others mostly think it's fun to meet a doc. I think it's more about how you live than creating a facade. Drive the old beater, don't wear crazy expensive clothes, or buy a McMansion, and people probably won't assume you make as much as you do. But I do these things because it's what I want to do not because I care what people think. I have no trouble having frank financial conversations with others.

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                          • #28


                            I’ve started telling people I’m a librarian when I meet them. I am greeted with instant silence. Librarians are boring. No one cares where you work, and they definitely don’t care about what you do day-to-day.
                            Click to expand...


                            As a university librarian for 18 years I'd should be p*ssed off, but hey it is true.  Especially if you're a single male.  Usual response "Oh that's nice" followed by silence.

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                            • #29
                              This is now being discussed on Bogleheads if you are interested to hear their take. Taylor Larimore presented the concept in this thread.

                              Even when they disagree with you, the Bogleheads are quite civil.  

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                              • #30
                                I tell people I'm an latex salesman for Vandelay Industries.
                                An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                                www.RogueDadMD.com

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