How to Ask Sensitive Financial Questions

Polite society frowns upon asking questions of people regarding their personal finances, but today I made up a nice way out. I was talking to my friend Bob about how much his rent is every month:

Would you mind giving me a frame of reference by revealing how much your rent is? If you’ve got a secret deal with the NSA or Witness Protection, I understand completely, “Bob.”

Feel free to try this at home.