Financial Overheards Round III

Lots of juicy convos going on at Starbucks lately :) Thought we’d do another round of financial overheards today since y’all liked the last one we did! So interesting to hear random people talking about money!

We’ll start with these two kids:

Teen #1: “I want to be a millionaire”
Teen #2: “How?”
Teen #1: “I’m going to be a business man”
Teen #2: “What are you going to do?”
Teen #1:  “I don’t know yet”

Haha… Sounds about right :) I remember having these same conversations myself growing up with my best friends. We were really great dreamers, but not so much do’ers! After a while some older guy (one of their dads?) came up and interjected into these guys’ conversation, “Start with the things that you like – it’ll push you to get closer to it.” Now we’re talking!

Then this sad one from someone who looked to be in their 70s, maybe early 80s:

“I would love to go back to work! But no one hires old people anymore.”

It sounded like he was forced into retirement a while ago and was never able to pick up something new… Said it was crazy because he has all this knowledge in his head and no one seems to want it :(

Another convo I overheard from some sort of financial advisor/salesmen talking to a new hire:

“I tell people all the time that I want to retire…

They ask me how much you need to be able to do that, and  I tell them $3,000,000. And then I walk them through how to get it backwards – investments, insurance, etc.

Works every time.”

It took everything in me not to turn around and punch this dude in the face. First, for spreading the ridiculous notion that everyone needs the same large-ass number when we all know it’s based on your *expenses* which differs for everyone!, and secondly for then using this number to upsell his clients on Lord knows what type of investments and insurances. The guy he was talking to was totally soaking it in too and making mental notes so he can copy it once he’s out in the field too, ugh…

Thankfully most of the other eavesdropping I did was more on the entertainment side of things ;) I blurted out an unexpected laugh upon hearing this one!

“Have you ever eaten an egg, that came out of a chicken you ate?”

Which he then followed with,

“Did you know you could fit the entire population of the world in Rhode Island?”

I thought I was listening to that kid from Jerry Maguire ;)

Then there was this gem:

“Found out my parents have a copy of “the love of joy and sex” on their night stand drawer:

(How else do you think you were born?? ;))

And then this one:

Guy #1: “Man, Obamacare sucks!”
Guy’s friend: “Wait, but aren’t you on Obamacare?”
Guy: “Nah man – I have the Affordable Care Act”

Haha… Told my wife about this one and she told me to go look up Jimmy Kimmel’s street interviews around this – pretty hilarious!

Getting back to money though, here was another good one:

“Want to know how to beat out the market every time? Just watch what I do and do the opposite.”

That could have easily been me years ago :) For some reason there’s never a shortage of the hottest trends or stock opinions out there, yet no one can ever tell you exactly when to scoop them up and when to cash them out. The latter being the most important. I’m SOOO glad I’ve totally gotten out of that game and now just stick to my boring, yet very trusty, index funds :)

Here’s another line I overheard about a woman dishing dirt on her sister:

“The woman can spend some money. She’ll easily drop $1,000 on theater tickets but not on her child?”

Ouch! Apparently her child is sick and the sister refuses to give her any medication… Anytime when asked why, she would start quoting Johnny Depp? No idea what that was about, but had to pop in my earbuds at that point as they were heading into deep personal matters… And that’s where my eavesdropping line gets crossed ;) Money chats? Fair game! Personal secrets? I’m outta there…

Another medical one :(

“How dare do you judge somebody for their credit card debt when it’s all medical bills!”

Always sad to hear how badly getting sick can crush our finances on top of our lives. Have to be better about remembering this whenever blogging about financial freedom and getting out of debt here as it’s so easy to forget that for some it had nothing to do with poor choices at all :( We’re blessed if we’ve never had tragedy strike!

And not this type of tragedy either:

“There’s nothing worse than having to listen to people bitch about the world ending because their yacht is in the maintenance yard.”

Lastly, probably the most important thought of the day:

“I said, “No way babe, we are not going to get married to a song that was on Twilight.””

Haha… That’s it for this round of financial overheards. Check out our last one here, or the one before that here, and I’ll continue to keep my ears open for more juicy gossip…

In the meantime, you’ll have to let me know where YOU’RE drinking coffee these days? ;)

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  1. Liz March 15, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    Love the one about Obamacare! It’s funny to me that people don’t realize it’s the same thing as the Affordable Care Act. There are also other names for it, like PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) or HIX (Health Insurance Exchange). I’m sure there are people who thing they’re on neither Obamacare nor the Affordable Care Act – they just bought their health insurance online through some website called the “exchange.”

    1. J. Money March 15, 2017 at 6:49 AM

      Never heard of PPACA or HIX! Interesting.

  2. CentsOfKnowledge March 15, 2017 at 7:15 AM

    One day, maybe someone will be on the other side of the coffee shop listening to you give financial advice to your kids. “Financial Overheards XVI”!

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:16 PM

      I’d be happy to contribute accidentally to society!

  3. Band of Savers March 15, 2017 at 7:16 AM

    Here one I overheard lately.

    “I sold my rental house yesterday. It feels so good to finally be debt free. Well, except for my $50,000 student loan but I don’t count that because I could pay it off but have decided to keep just paying the minimums on it for the next twenty years since the interest rates are low and if I paid it off we wouldn’t have anything left in savings.”

    As the conversation continued I honestly got the impression that he didn’t see the $50k as a debt but more like a way to invest in savings/stocks. And the person he was telling about it seemed to agree 100% with him. I wanted to interject with, “Really? You can’t be debt free if you have $50k worth of debt. Just because it’s payments are easy to make each month or you don’t mind keeping it around doesn’t change the fact that YOU’RE STILL IN DEBT!”

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:17 PM

      Yes, debt = debt no matter how good or bad it is (although debt + investing is better than debt + nonsense :))

    1. Mrs. BITA March 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM

      Hahahahahhaahah. Thank you for that. I hadn’t seen it before.

      1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:18 PM

        that’s great :)

  4. Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 15, 2017 at 7:28 AM

    “I would love to go back to work! But no one hires old people anymore.”

    I fear that this is going to become even more common as technology grows at an ever-increasing rate. This is one of my main drivers for financial independence. And one of the reasons I find it important to have non-work hobbies that you can dive into.

    Thanks for the recon, J!

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:19 PM

      Agreed 100%. Now hopefully as technology grows so does our brains and levels of involvement with them so that by the time WE are all older we’ll still be able to participate if we want, but regardless having the freedom to work or not work is where it’s at hands down :)

  5. The Green Swan March 15, 2017 at 7:38 AM

    “Did you know the human head weighs 8 lbs…?” That kid from Jerry McGuire is hilarious.

    Just being the devils advocate, but when was hiring old people ever common? That old guy / gal (whoever said it) can take matters into their own hands and start up a consulting practice with all that knowledge they have, or go be a teacher to pass on that knowledge to the next generation…or come up with another excuse…

    Good post, J$!

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:20 PM

      I guess you’re right? Never really thought about past generations and hiring of older people, but yeah – certainly these days it’s much easier to go out on your own than before, great point.

  6. FullTimeFinance March 15, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    As always it’s interesting to listen to the general public rave about finances. Recently I’ve been hearing a lot about our presidents impact on the economy. The Trump rally and “no matter your politics he’s been good for the market.” I don’t fancy myself political, and would never outwardly take a position on a political figure for my blog. But for someone to think a politician whose been in office for two months is causing the stock market run up…. what do people think, he has two knobs in the White House that control the stock market and he turned the up one?

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:24 PM

      Haha… as long as people have emotions, the markets will always be irrational :)

  7. Brian March 15, 2017 at 7:50 AM

    “Found out my parents have a copy of “the love of joy and sex” on their night stand drawer:”

    I was adopted… my sister was adopted and neither of us ever walked in on them having sex… so clearly my parents are both celibate.

    1. geckovision March 15, 2017 at 8:09 AM

      that just made my day! thank you!

    2. Mrs. BITA March 15, 2017 at 11:12 AM

      My aunt (who is one of 5 siblings) tells this story:

      Aunt (at age 11, having just discovered what sex is, delights in telling her friends all about it, and listens gleefully to their eeews and ughs).
      Aunt’s friend, who is one of two kids, “Well my parents only did it twice, yours did it _five_times”.
      Aunt is terribly embarrassed by the raging libido of her parents (and so-called-friend becomes former friend).

      1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:25 PM


      2. Donna Freedman March 30, 2017 at 11:56 PM

        When my best friend was around the same age she realized that because she was adopted, HER parents never had to do that disgusting deed. Whew!

        And: One of my siblings got told about sex during recess, by a savvy fifth-grader, but refused to believe it. In telling our mom what she’d learned, my sister laughed: “Can you believe that? Isn’t that the dumbest thing you ever heard?”

        Our mom, super-embarrassed, mumbled that yes, it was true.

        My sister blurted out the first thing that came into her 10-year-old head: “But…That would mean you’d have to be naked with a BOY!”

        1. J. Money April 1, 2017 at 6:13 AM

          Hahahhaha… classic stuff right there.

  8. Miss Mazuma March 15, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    So much going on at your Starbucks! How long were you there?! First thoughts, poor old guy. There is nothing worse than feeling useless. He needs to watch The Intern and get out there again. I think you should have black blank business cards with only the RSF forum website printed on it. You can hand them out to these people and just walk away. Curiosity will reel them in and we can help or they can spread their knowledge. Hmmm…maybe I’ll get some printed too…I hear a lot of crazy stuff on the plane. I’ll have to start taking notes! ;)

    1. Apathy Ends March 15, 2017 at 8:28 AM

      I like this idea, let’s get that old guy in dropping knowledge!

      People go really personal in the coffee shops, Maybe I need to spend a few hours down there and see if you are in a hotspot.

      1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:29 PM

        That’s actually not a bad idea at all! I did just get quotes on Rockstar t-shirts so that’ll have to be next ;)

        As for how long I spend in coffee shops – I’m there at least 3 hours almost every work day. It’s my 2nd home office, haha… though unfortunately most convos I overhear are quite boring. This post was 2 months in the making :)

  9. Go Finance Yourself! March 15, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    These are great! Some hilarious, some just sad. Then there’s the one about the financial advisor. I know there are good ones out there, but advisors like this one give the entire industry a bad name. I had an advisor try to sign me up a few years ago and pushed permanent life insurance on me pretty hard, despite it not meeting any of my needs. It only met his needs, which included a big fat commission check.

  10. Primal Prosperity March 15, 2017 at 8:58 AM

    Hilarious! I have this amazing ability to drone out background noise, so I’m going to have to start listening harder. :)

  11. ESI Money March 15, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    1. You must either have huge ears or superman hearing!

    2. I need to start hanging out at Starbucks to see what’s being said.

    3. Have you ever thought about putting up a sign that says “Free Money Advice”? It would be interesting to see who came up and what they asked.

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM

      It would!!! But then I’d probably never get any work done :)

  12. Brian March 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM

    Damn, didn’t know this much was going down at Starbucks. :) We usually make coffee/tea at home so we never really hang out at coffee shops to hear any of these gems.

    Maybe the old guys want to write for some blogs? I’m sure he’s got some stories, life experience to share.

  13. Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto March 15, 2017 at 9:24 AM

    I love the fact that you eavesdrop of folks. Give us the voyeristic thrill, without worrying about someone punching us in the face.

    Speaking of which, you should have punched that insurance sales guy in the face.

    LOVE these posts! Keep listening with those big ears….

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM

      For real.

  14. Bill @ wealth well done March 15, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    Funny stuff… my college friends and I were a lot like those kids in a coffee shop. We were all dreamers and risk takers who really didn’t know how to do anything important… but we were all fearless to try new things. When we get together now, we’re all entreprenuers with a fair amount of cash. This has strengthened my idea that it’s not what you know that makes you abe to live your dream life, but it’s the attitude you have toward life that makes you a success.

  15. Ty March 15, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    Noise canceling headphones actually make it easier to hear conversations around you. So watch out if you see someone that *looks* like they’re listening to music with their Bose headphones on – they just might be eavesdropping!

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:32 PM

      Haha… I do something similar sometimes actually. Whenever a REALLY juicy convo is happening I’ll make it a point to very purposely show I’m putting in head phones, only to not put any music at all on so barriers go down around me…. works like a charm every time :)

  16. Joe March 15, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Oh man, did you get any work done? Joking! This post is a lot of fun so that’s great.
    I’d never get anything done if I eavesdropped. That’s why I always have my headphones on.

  17. Ms. Montana March 15, 2017 at 1:14 PM

    I love spying on people SO much! But sometimes I am really tempted to jump into their conversation and blow my cover. I’m been forced into wearing headphones to get any writing done. =) Sometimes I’ll tweet the things as they are being said. It’s just so good I have to share. =)

  18. Paul March 15, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Last time I was in Starbucks some lady that looked in rough shape almost sat on me…. I’m not a hard dude to miss either, I’m like 6’5 and 235 lbs.

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:33 PM

      What?? Haha….

      1. Paul March 20, 2017 at 9:04 AM

        Yeah we had a gift card left over from Christmas so we went in for coffee, I was sitting in one of those conversation areas and the lady backed in so close and began her decent to sit on the top of the chair when she realized there was some guy already sitting in it. Guess if she was that out of it she was in the right place…

  19. Smart Provisions March 15, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Nice, I really like the Obama one! The Jimmy Kimmel street interview was a really funny one. You should check out his other street interviews as well, they’re all pretty funny.

    I haven’t overheard any conversations recently, but hopefully I’ll hear enough to share on Twitter in the future.

  20. Dividend Diplomats March 15, 2017 at 3:24 PM

    J –

    Hilarious and I think I would have speared the guy talking about the big $3M and the 45 different investments, specifically with him of course, that you need to do. Frustrating as all hell.


  21. Mrs. Picky Pincher March 15, 2017 at 4:30 PM

    The old people one broke my heart. :(( And the Obamacare comment made go, “Nononononononoooooonononoooooo!”

    You’re making me want to hang out in Starbucks and eavesdrop on people. I imagine you have a sticky note on your laptop recording these little nuggets of wisdom. Ahhh. I do think this is why I can’t go out much anymore. You hear all kinds of weird or incorrect assumptions about money that get frustrating after a while.

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:34 PM

      I keep a gmail draft open and ready to jot down anytime my ears perk up ;)

  22. LadyFIRE March 15, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    I’m drinking coffee at home where it’s super cheap!

    Overheard at work the other day though: “I don’t have time to read the contract, I want to money now!” “That’s why you’re in so much debt” “Yeah, but if I get this loan I’ll have money while I’m on leave!”

    I love eavesdropping on this lady.

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:34 PM


  23. Felicity (@FelicityFFF) March 15, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    So many juicy overheard stories! What’s the time span of these?

    My most interesting overheard stories from work revolve around the insane housing prices around here. $720k for this two bedroom condo — over our budget, but we put an offer in anyway…and we were outbid anyway :(“

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:35 PM

      Scary!!!! Thank goodness they got overbid!

      These convos above were 2 months in the making :) Most times it’s just drivel.

  24. Margann34 March 15, 2017 at 11:52 PM

    I was at the library the other day waiting in line to check out books. Librarian #1 gets a personal call on her cell phone, asks a couple of questions and says “Sure, I’ll take it.” She hangs up and says to no one in particular “I got more money!” So I think “Wow, it’s nice when you get unexpected money.” She continues on “I about have the other loan paid off so they offered me more money. I figured what the heck, it is time for spring break.” Librarian #2 joins in “I just but stuff on my credit card and don’t tell my husband. Mostly shoes. He never looks in my shoe box.” The both laughed and I Just shook my head sadly!

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:36 PM


  25. gfaseed March 16, 2017 at 9:53 AM

    The one about twilight is very funny :)))

    1. J. Money March 18, 2017 at 3:37 PM

      I almost lost some coffee out my mouth on that one ;)

  26. Manuel Schulze March 23, 2017 at 3:58 PM

    Haha I love the last one! I’m glad that my girlfriend doesn’t like Twilight.

  27. ZJ Thorne May 14, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Oh man, theatre tickets but mo medicine for you children??? That’s terrible.

    Enjoyed the rest. Folks will say such personal stuff loudly in public. Girl, I don’t need to know what is happening with your business in that way. Literally, a woman on her phone loudly complaining about an STI she had.