People Who Grew Up Rich But Turned Out Poor Share Their Stories
Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. But the fact of the matter is, nothing is guaranteed for life. Things can be taken away in an instant, including wealth. Here are some stories of people who grew up rich, but ended up poor once they got older.

u/decrypted_ asked: People who grew up rich but turned out poor what is your story?

They had to learn work ethic.

My stepdad managed a casino and my mom was a really well known real estate agent. Before they separated, their combined salaries was in the millions. My stepdad was very good with saving money and my mom was not.

They split up. My mom proceeded to pay cash for a house in an upscale neighborhood. Bought a Porsche, a large truck, dirt bikes, computers, and everything else she wanted that my stepdad told her no for. She started dating young guys, and would pay for them to go to Aruba, the Bahamas, Dubai, etc. She was living a very carefree life.

Originally I didn't take work or school seriously as a teenager because I was essentially spoiled. I had a terrible work ethic and I knew my college was going to be paid for regardless.

Then the housing market collapsed in 2007. My mom lost her clients, her couple dozen investment houses she purchased, and had no income. She had to sell all of her material possessions, her young boyfriend left her, etc. She took her last $300,000 and opened a very niche store which failed after a year. She filed bankruptcy.

I joined the military and left with $37 to my name. I had to learn work ethic. I had to learn how to learn. But overall I've had a very successful career so far. My mom married a doctor to stay afloat and still always talks about how she's "going to make lots of money again to buy us all houses."


It will run out if you're not careful.


My cousin's wife grew up in a wealthy family, her father officiated their wedding.

They were old money inherited from a few generations of grandparents ago. After years of travelling the world and just mismanaging their money its all gone. Just decades of spending millions adds up.


F*ck those scammers.

We were really well off in Korea until we moved to America. It seemed like a piece of cake for a family like mine to start life anew with enough financial backings. My father had worked hard for his family.

In the first 2 years of our life in America, my parents were scammed by shady Korean immigration lawyers. Twice.

Blew all of their savings and emergency funds.

We started from rock bottom again. I remember skipping two meals a day so we could have food to go around everyone. I also remember pulling the plug on the refrigerator because what's the f*cking point if there's nothing in it. We don't look back or talk about those times anymore.


Glad they weren't a brat.

My father was in the NFL in the 1980s and early 1990s. We lived quite well during my childhood (large house on a golf course, 4 cars, private school, etc.) but once he retired it was over almost immediately. Not because he was financially imprudent, but because it was clear he might not ever earn another paycheck in his life at age 33.

So we moved away back to Michigan in a nice, if not flashy house, and lived a very average suburban existence within his means. My parents are still together and have no regrets about slowing the spending down post-career. If I had been older and used to that lifestyle as a teenager as opposed to a child, I can imagine I'd have been a f*cking brat about the whole ordeal.


That's insane.


Dad went to jail for housing fraud in 2010. I was in my teens and 10 million dollars were seized. Went from a $800,000 house to homeless in 4 days because our family didn't even know he'd been in court for 2 years.



Parents quit a good job cause my dad got tired of the daily repeating pattern, it bored him too much to spend his life on it.


That's how we went from lower middle class to homeless. My dad decided he needed "a break" for a while. He quit his job, disappeared for a year or so, and left us three kids (all minors) to fend for ourselves. (Our mother had died years before, so we didn't have another parent to rely on.)

No drugs or alcohol was involved in his decision, either. He just stopped being a parent one day.


Good for this person.

It's a pretty short and simple one.

My parents are absolutely loaded. My dad was a VP at a major engineering firm, and while they're retired now, they're sitting on about four million in the bank and maybe twelve million in investments and stocks and the like.

They're also scumbags. My mother is an abusive monster who beat me growing up, and my father is an alcoholic who couldn't stop her.

So after college, I made it clear I don't want their money, or anything to do with them. They use money as control— if they're helping pay for something then they think that gives them broad control over me.

So they can go to hell. I've worked for a clean power company my whole adult life, and I've gotten myself to about $60k a year. Of course, the pandemic has temporarily turned my job off, but I'm proud of where I've gotten even if it's much lower than how I began.


Financial imbeciles.


Well, not exactly rich but my family was making a fair sum when I was a kid, then there were mass layoffs and now we live paycheck to paycheck,

It's not that we don't make enough money it's just that my parents, with all the respect, are financial imbeciles.

On the bright side seeing them as an example of what not to do I learned everything there is to learn about personal finance and a fair bit about business,

On the stupid side I've, repeatedly, explained to my parents all the necessary steps for them to get out if their financial problems but as my mom put it "If I can't spend my money then what's the point in even working" like seriously woman, you can spend your money but not f*cking all of it!

P.S. sorry for the rant had to get that off my chest


This one has a happy ending.

From birth to about 8 years of age I lived in Mexico with my parents. My dad was a truck driver in the United States. With the income he was getting, living in Mexico was awesome. We weren't rich. We lived in decent homes and had a decent life. Most of the money went to helping other family, food and going out. But to me we lived very good. I don't remember my parents ever stressing about anything financial.

Last thing I remember before migrating to the US was the twin towers. When we came over living expenses increased. We lived in my uncles house in the living room for about a year. After that we rented a room from a family in a bad area. I remember I couldn't go out the front entrance of the apartments one morning for school, because someone got stabbed.

2 years later we got our first apartment, we had no furniture whatsoever, no appliances. We each had a box of clothes. That night we had our first dinner, it was Chinese takeout and we were using an ice chest as a table. Buckets for chairs. We felt happiness and a relief to finally have a place to call our own. It's a beautiful memory for me.

Thanks for reading.


Lesson learned.

My grandparents were very wealthy so they bought my parents a house and basically supported my family, even paying for my school tuition (I wasn't aware of this). Because of this my parents were lazy and never really had jobs. They were always at home and I didn't find any of this unusual. We had extravagant vacations and I remember being given everything I'd ever asked for.

But my grandpa died when I was about 10, grandma following suit soon after and all his kids started fighting over the money. I'm pretty sure they're still fighting. Anyway, soon half the lights in our house didn't work, our tv's were all broken and our cars broken down and barely usable. I was wearing the same uniform all throughout high school, and as a teenager I wore nothing but hand-me-downs. My allowance decreased instead of increased year by year. There were no more vacations. But my parents wasted the rest of their savings on "appearing" rich, buying fancy jewelry and clothes for themselves and shit, racking up credit card debt. Then they'd host parties for friends in expensive restaurants and I'd feel so angry because back home we'd be eating nothing but canned food.

It honestly scarred me so much that my only goal is to become financially stable, and I plan to stay employed without ever retiring because I don't want to be like them, jobless and stupid.