When J.D. Roth, “accidental personal-finance expert” and editor of Get Rich Slowly, visited a fifth-grade classroom, a student asked the inappropriate question: How much money do you have? Roth politely declined to answer, but decided to get the fifth graders’ takes on why most adults would not answer such a question. Among the student responses: Just don’t like to share details about themselves and fear of being robbed. “I think people don’t like to talk about how much money they have because nobody wants to feel bad,” Roth said. Roth’s Spanish teacher, who is from Peru, thought Americans talk too freely about finances. And because of the social class in Spain, Roth found out that folks there avoid talking about their jobs as it has the potential to make others feel uncomfortable.

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