Let’s say you grew up modestly. Comfortably, but modestly.

You were in a safe neighborhood. You had friends. You enjoyed food, schooling, and health care. There was some extraordinary travel.

But your parents weren’t keen on shopping as a form of entertainment. From time to time they would say, "We really can’t afford that."

When your friends’ parents were Big Spenders, your parents said something humble like, "They must be richer than we are." Or, if your parents wanted to be snide, they’d say, "They must give more to charity than we do."

So time passes and suddenly you’re 30.
And you find out that – all along – your parents had lied about your family economic situation.

Which lie would you rather discover?

1. Your parents had no resources. They ran up big debts to pay for everything. They did this for you. You don’t have to pay off those loans, but you might pause to feel guilty, because you were an ungrateful, spoiled snot-nose when you were little.

2. Your parents were actually billionaires. They never spent much because they feared you might suffer a lifelong case of affluenza. They did this for you. They didn’t want a lot of stuff for themselves, either, so they just put the money aside and lived like normal, lucky (but not that lucky) people.

I asked my daughter this today and we had a good laugh. Then she asked, "So, are we billionaires?"

I’ll never tell.