I hardly keep in touch with friends from my school days. Actually, I hardly keep in touch with anyone apart from family and a handful of closer friends.
I grow more reclusive as I age and, honestly, I rather like it this way.
So, when I received a call from a friend whom I have not heard from for more than 10 years, it was more than a surprise. I was momentarily stunned.
What do you say to someone whom you have not kept in touch with for so long other than the usual "How are you?"
The last time we met, we chatted over a meal and he was doing pretty well. I remember joking that he would be able to retire very soon. To that, he said:
"I can't retire soon. Rich people need to make more money because they have more things to spend on."
I was somewhat taken aback and asked him why he said that? What did he spend his money on?
He started counting the items using his fingers and I cannot remember all the items but I remember "a big house and two cars" being on the list.
Then, I also noticed then that he was wearing a luxury watch. His clothing and shoes were also probably from some luxury brands but I wouldn't know, would I?
I also remember that I felt somewhat self conscious then with my outfit (not Boss but Bossini).
Poor AK was psychologically scarred.
I wasn't financially as comfortable back then and was trying hard to build my wealth like I was doing most of my life.
What this friend said back then reminded me of what another friend said to me before:
"It is not enough to be rich. You must appear rich."
Now, at the ripe old age of 45 and with what I have achieved, I can confidently tell these friends that they are wrong. They are so wrong.
Oh, you want to know why did my friend call me?
Oops. I am growing forgetful in my old age?
Well, after some small talk,
"Er... Could you loan me $50K?"
I was so stunned like vegetable. I kept quiet and he went on to explain.
Apparently, his business is not doing well and he exhausted what savings he had. There is no way for me to know if he was telling the truth or not and this is someone whom I have not been in contact with for more than 10 years.
So, what was my answer?
I offered him $2K, saying that I was not comfortable to lend him any amount larger than that.
He hung up.
Rich people don't have to make more money because they have more things to spend on.
Rich people have more money because they spend on less things and spend less on things.
I shan't say anything else but you might want to read the related posts below for my thoughts on "being rich" and "lending money".
1. If we are not rich, don't act rich.
2. Lending money? Ask questions.