Whether you’re rich, poor, or somewhere in between, there will be a specific kind of problem that people from other walks of life will just never be able to grasp.
That said, most of us will never fall into the “rich” category, so it can be fun to hear about the types of things they consider “problems” – though I will say after reading through this thread and answers that some of these are a bit sad.
Consider yourself warned.
1. Easy access to money.
Best friend’s family growing up won $4.5mil on the lottery, while previously already owning 6 coffee franchises and doing decently.
I remember his father making me and his son constantly sift through the mail. His mailbox was crammed to capacity almost everyday with offers and donation requests. He actually did donate frequently but that only prompted more requests.
Unfortunately both of his sons became heroin addicts which was enabled by easy access to money.
2. More than they can spend.
The other day, a client of my dad’s wrote a 3k check for my medical bills. I’ve been sick for a while and it came up in some casual conversation, the client recommended a place for medical testing. We went, got a consultation, but the price was too high to justify without insurance coverage.
The client calls the place, sees we haven’t done the tests yet and he writes my dad a check for the full amount.
3k doesn’t sound like a lot compared to some of these stories, but this may change the course of my life. His justification – “I have more money than I can ever spend”.
3. It messes with your self image.
I have two friends who were born into the $100M+ club and the main things I’ve seen are:
guilt that they were born into a situation by random dumb luck that other people would dream of. And then the weight of obligation to use the gift they were given to do things that don’t satisfy them (prioritizing the happiness of others over themselves)
a paranoia around friendships/relationships, not knowing whether people even a little bit love them for their money.
a feeling of inadequacy that no matter how successful or brilliant you are, you’ll never be as successful as your parents
feeling that your problems are not as important as “real” problems, even though to you they are of maximum importance and emotional weight
Generally it messes with your self image; it’s hard to find out who you are without money being a part of it
4. What a pain.
My boss was complaining the other day about having to clear all the junk out of his hangar to make room for his new plane so… I guess that?
5. This definitely qualifies.
Pablo Escobar’s problem with rats eating his stacks of money faster than he could deposit them would be a good poster child for this.
6. Sooooo many houses.
I used to work in fine art shipping and rich people constantly call and ask if we could remind them which house we’d shipped their expensive artwork too..
they would have trouble remembering
7. His “real” mom.
This is from a conversation I had with a guy I met on vacation, he had grown up fabulously rich.
But he never really saw his parents that much, specially when he was a kid as they were both high achieving workoholics.
Instead he had a maid. That had been there for as long as he could remember, put him to bed at night, breakfast in the morning etc… So in his mind, he had two moms.
The one that he met for dinner a few days a week, that demanded he brushed his hair and put on presentable clothes.
And his real mom, the one that was always there, actually taking care of him.
When he was 5 years old the maid quit. She had gotten a better job somewhere else, and was looking forward to spending more time with her ACTUAL kids.
And everybody was happy for her.
Everybody smiled, and told him to be happy she was moving on to something better. As she hugged him goodbye and happily walked out forever.
He lost his real mom, and he wasn’t even allowed to feel bad about it.
I met this guy when he was 27, and he was still struggling with it.
8. The silver one.
The owner of the company I once worked for often had IT people from the company do any techy work he needed done to his house.
I was putting in some wifi access points for him when his secretary called and asked me if I would mind driving the Maybach to the office and then take the Porsche he had driven to work back to his house. He was having some back issues and didn’t want to get in the Porsche.
I say sure no problem, talk to the butler, get the keys, hop in the pristine white Maybach and drive the couple miles to the office. When I pulled up he was already outside and when I handed him the keys he said “Huh, thought I had the silver one at home…must have left it in (other city)”
9. Everyone wants something.
Not rich myself, but I have a family member who earns low seven figures annually. Biggest problem they’ve struggled with is that our whole family comes from being poor and they’re the one that “made it”. They’ve had to cut off entire parts of the family, including siblings and parents, because everyone just wants stuff from them.
One of their parents demanded they buy them a home because, “You owe me for raising you”. It’s even worse from their siblings.
They have keep their social media feed on a week long delay so if they travel anywhere that other family members are they won’t hit them up with a new scheme or asking for a loan. It’s terrible to watch.
10. Not enough airfields.
When I was in rehab, we were in an outside area doing a group session, when we were interrupted by a helicopter landing in the parking lot.
The guy ended up being in my primary group as well, and he told me that he had to take his helicopter from Philly, as it had been a last minute decision to check himself in, and the airports local to the rehab was too small for his private plane to land there.
So, I’d have to say: “Your town’s airport is too small for my plane,” is a problem I doubt I’ll ever have.
11. Luxury or friends?
One of the unexpected problems was vacationing with friends.
I work long, hard hours, so when I *can* take time off, I don’t care the resort costs $1k/night and I’m not flying 5 hours in coach.
But with that attitude, it’s going to price it way out of budget of most of my friends. So it becomes this odd decision between do I want a really nice vacation or to hang out with old friends.
12. A different perception of reality.
Not being able to understand what money means to people below their financial status. I’m well off compared to other people in my country but go to a school where most people are actually wealthy. Between both levels I see that people cannot relate to the people below them in that regard and it causes friction.
Like when my friend and I organize a holiday together she doesn’t understand why I get annoyed when she wants to wait until the last minute to book tickets because she genuinely doesn’t care whether they’re 50 or 500 euros. Or when my partner’s family’s car got stolen they didn’t bother getting a reimbursement from the insurance because it was too annoying to set up.
This means people also sometimes don’t reimburse you when you pay for lunch because they already forgot about this, and for them 30 bucks is nothing so why would it be for you. And they don’t notice when you get them a really nice gift because all the gifts they get are really nice.
This isn’t malicious at all just a genuinely different perception of reality
13. That can’t be healthy.
When my great grandmother died, they found out she owned 2 vacant lots in the Bay Area that were now worth over $2 mil. It’s been 7 years and all these distant relatives are still suing each other over every penny of that money.
My great grandmother was a manipulative psychopath and intentionally made her will as vague as possible, and also changed it about once every three months for the last two decades of her life.
14. Remembering the poor exist.
I ran into an old friend who was doing extremely well a few years back and who grew up wealthy as well. He mentioned to me how he and his fiancé wanted to buy their own apartment in New York because he was sick of both of the, “throwing out 3 k each for rent each month” and how it was draining their ability to travel. Did not occur to him that as a teacher I made significantly less than 3k a month and when I told him he thought I was lying because he genuinely could not fathom living on less than 10k a month. It was eye opening for both of us for different reasons.
(Before anyone asks yes he knew and knows that the poor exist but he didn’t understand that his own friends were poor (by his standard or otherwise) and just how many of us were and are struggling to make ends meet. He thought most of us were living below our means on purpose and it took this conversation for it to click for him why he didn’t see any of his old friends traveling the world or getting professional portraits done or buying fancy cars. He thought were were just living lives and not doing those things just because and not because we couldn’t.)
15. Everything was free.
I’m working middle class and for awhile dated this girl from a rich family. She had been bought a clothing boutique store to run, she basically used it as her personal wardrobe.
What I found weird was we never paid for anything, when we went out, entry was free, drinks were free, food was free. However we never had any alone time, everything for free meant the owner and colleagues sat with us. Go for a quiet drink, nope, owner was with us and every other extremely wealthy person joined in.
Though it sounds all good, i think never getting your own time wore her down, she was always exhausted as she felt she had to represent her family at all times. She also could not comprehend why I would not go out some nights because I had work.
Everything was free for her so money was not an issue.
16. Unmoored from reality.
I’m late, but have a specific one. I know a few people from extremely rich families. I see a terrible outcomes with third generation wealth.
When dad is super successful, the kid doesn’t have to do much but at least sees someone working.
When that kid, who doesn’t do s*%t, then has kids, his kids are completely unmoored from reality.
It’s a lonely dark existence when you are completely incompatible with society.
17. It’s hard to trust.
Is anyone doing things because they actually care for you or because of your money?
It is a real problem for rich guys I know looking for marriage. S*x is one thing, actually have someone love you is another.
18. Why not just leave it to charity?
My rich friend has no kids so he’s trying to figure out how to spend all his money before he dies so it doesn’t go to some cousins he doesn’t like.
If I just mention something I like, he’ll buy it for me immediately. It’s ridiculous.
19. That people actually need the money.
I had a friend who was rich, and she hated venmo-ing each other when we paid for meals and things. For her, it was inconvenient and pointless – we could just take turns or something.
For me, I needed the reimbursement right away because I was strapped for cash. It never even occurred to her.
20. Chump change.
My husband has a rich acquaintance who was just agonizing about buying a $5-million yacht (which will probably be used a handful of times a year), so he decided to buy only a $3-million yacht instead. I can’t wrap my mind around it.
21. Is she supposed to wash her own dishes?
I gave swim lessons to a woman who complained that the dishwasher on her yacht was broken.
22. An abundance of fake people.
My boss is a pretty significantly wealthy guy, and his family in general is very wealthy and looking in from the outside when he’s in his venue drinking with people, there’s definitely a problem of people taking advantage of being your friend for freebies and privelage over your staff.
Cannot imagine going through life with that many fake people trying to get something.
23. Maybe she just doesn’t enjoy swimming.
I was fixing some IT stuff at a billionaire’s home and was having a coffee in the kitchen with his wife and having a chat. Their house is waterfront position, Lake Geneva (lac Leman), Switzerland. It was a beautiful afternoon and I said “It’s a perfect day for a swim in the lake.”
She replies ” You swim in the lake?!” “Yes, it’s lovely” “Isn’t it dirty?” I reply “it’s probably on of the cleanest lakes in Europe”
Brief pause….she replies ” I’ve lived in this house for 14 years and I haven’t swum in my own swimming pool.”
24. Everyone wants a piece.
All your poor relatives move close to you and start asking you for things and money.
I thought the moochers would be subtle or ask for small things or maybe just hang around in hopes of getting some scraps, jackal style. Uh, no.
Everyone from siblings down to the ex boyfriend of a 2nd cousin will just straight up demand that he buy them a vacation home or pay for their $80,000 around the world cruise (both real examples), and when he inevitably says no, they go scorched Earth policy on social media and talk about how selfish he is and how he disowns his own family for money, and then a month later they are back begging on the door step. It’s exhausting, and I’m just watching from the outside.
25. It can be hard to find friends.
Feeling like you can’t talk about certain things with people who don’t make as much. I’m not “rich” but I make more than some friends.
There have been times when I’ll tell them about something and I get a sarcastic “must be nice” reception.
26. Lifestyle creep.
“Lifestyle creep” — the more money they earn, the more they spend, and it never feels like they’re truly “rich.”
27. A feeling of isolation.
There’s a lot of isolation that comes with wealth, particularly if your wealth goes up more than your friends. It’s minor at first and not such a big deal but over time the gap becomes bigger and bigger and it can start to become difficult to bridge that gulf. When you’re younger, you might have been able to afford a small house when your friends, who are also doing well but not quite as well are looking to buy an apartment. A few years later and you live in a bigger house, in a much nicer neighbourhood than them. It’s not that different but your friends tend to come to yours more and often comment about how nice where you live is. You’ve known these guys for years, after all.
Some areas of conversation have gradually moved off the table. Your stresses and successes at work are going to be different to theirs. It’s lonely at the top in companies as most people don’t understand it. Why would they? It’s stuff you only really ‘get’ with experience. You do your best to talk about their work worries but while you used to get it, it’s starting to become hard to stay interested. Interpersonal work dramas aren’t the same anymore. They seem so minor compared to the weight of leadership and livelihoods that you feel. So you don’t really talk about that stuff anymore. Which is fine, there’s lots of other stuff you have in common.
Except, the overlap in interests starts to lessen. Some of your interests have crept into higher income things. You used to go on similar holidays but now you’re going further afield and having more luxurious holidays because you work hard and only get so much time off so why shouldn’t you spend your hard earned money on yourself? Maybe you used to like to talk about cars but now it’s a bit awkward talking about the car you’re looking at getting because it’s more than the house deposit your friends just spent ages saving up for. Ok, maybe gaming but you’ve got the latest console or computer because you got it on launch without batting an eyelid at the price and you can’t play the new games you’d like with them. Little areas of your commonality is gradually getting chipped away.
Then the big gulf is when you have kids. Maybe your friends have had kids too. After a while, it sinks in that your kids are going have a completely different experience growing up to your friends’ kids. Just because they’ll be growing up in a much wealthier neighbourhood. It doesn’t matter how much you’re going to try to keep them ‘grounded’, they’re just going to have way more opportunities. They’re going to go to a better school, interact with much more affluent families and generally grow up in a completely different lifestyle. They’re probably even going to talk differently. You might still feel like you’re not that different from your friends but your kids are probably going to be very different to those of your old friends.
Eventually, you grow further and further apart from your old friends. You make new friends in your neighbourhood or other parents from their school. It all feels a little bit forced and not as natural as you used to be with old friends. You still meet up with them maybe once or twice a year. Most of your time together is spent reminiscing. On the whole, you’re happy and comfortable with your life but you still really miss your old friends and the good old days.
28. You have to pay attention.
THIS. I am NOT rich but As I make more money, grow my business I have to actively pay attention to spending. You have more you end up spending more.
I see it a lot when working for oil and gas customers. Dudes making 6 figures for the first time in their life but are cash poor because all their money goes to financed vehicles and toys lol.
They need 6 figures just to live paycheck to paycheck. When the bust comes and they don’t have the overtime and the bonuses they’re hurting.
29. A fine line.
Figuring out how to give your kids everything they want without turning them into spoiled brats who are messed up for life.
Warren Buffett said it best: “Leave the children enough so that they can do anything, but not enough that they can do nothing.”
30. Suspicion of outsiders.
My mother married a wealthy man with some VERY wealthy friends. One friend in particular comes from a large old money family that over the years had become very suspicious of outsiders trying to marry in for $$.
Their solution was to marry within the family (lots of cousins marrying each other) and so they began having issues with inbreeding and children being born mentally disabled because of it.
This friend told me the family even founded a hospital center to treat and house these family members who were in his words what the family called “affected”
31. Different priorities.
Proper allocation of investments assets and tax planning are actually things you need to think about a lot or hire someone else to think about (which in itself is something to think about)
See, just because you’re rich doesn’t mean your life is a picnic, y’all. But it’s still easier than mine!
Do you have access to rich people, or are you one yourself? If you’ve noticed a rampant problem that’s not mentioned here, drop it in the comments!