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Re: engineering certifications

If it’s just about making money, I’d say stick with the MBA and work in management. While some companies do have a “dual ladder” system allowing engineers to advance & make as much money as middle managers without being forced to take a management role, techies who thrive in that type of environ...
by SarahShaw
Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: engineering certifications
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: engineering certifications

If your undergrad degree is in math or science it might be feasible to go for a MS in an engineering discipline without first getting another undergrad degree. For instance, a good friend of mine majored in Physics for his BS and then switched to Electrical Engineering for his MS and PhD.
by SarahShaw
Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: engineering certifications
Replies: 15
Views: 1069

Re: My relatives insulted my family for 40 years and think t

Consult a lawyer because they will probably get one when they find out. But I must ask why did you post this personal family matter on the forum? I was told that if I gave each of them .01 in the will they would not be able to contest the will is there any truth to that? Sort of. Anything can be co...
by SarahShaw
Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My relatives insulted my family for 40 years and think they
Replies: 131
Views: 10430

Re: International REITs anyone?

For Americans living outside the US, and especially for ones living in countries where they are barriers against foreigners buying property and/or land directly, I think that they make a certain amount of sense.
by SarahShaw
Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International REITs anyone?
Replies: 55
Views: 8230

Re: Roth Recharatierization Deadline

Almost all your IRA questions are answered in pub 590. Income. You must include in your gross income distributions from a traditional IRA that you would have had to include in income if you had not converted them into a Roth IRA. These amounts are normally included in income on your return for the ...
by SarahShaw
Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth [Conversion] Deadline
Replies: 5
Views: 639

Roth [Conversion] Deadline

I'd like to characterize funds from my conventional IRA to a Roth IRA and have the conversion be a taxable event for my 2012 taxes. Is December 31, 2012 the deadline to do that, or can it wait up until the time that I file my taxes (probably April 15, 2013)?
by SarahShaw
Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth [Conversion] Deadline
Replies: 5
Views: 639

Re: Early retirement overseas?

I have no financial advice to offer. However, one of the most notable aspects of a multi-year professional stint in a european country years ago was how miserable several Americans I worked with were. Perhaps, assimilated Americans were not as visible, because they did not complain? That's a hard n...
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement overseas?
Replies: 116
Views: 9101

Re: Early retirement overseas?

I've noticed that there are a few members here who seem to be happily retired overseas, sometimes early. The idea certainly has appeal to me, both due to the promise of new cultural experiences and the potential for reduced cost of living. I am also pessimistic enough about the rising cost of healt...
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement overseas?
Replies: 116
Views: 9101

Re: Early retirement overseas?

If you have a good pension there are a number of countries in which you can get a "retirement" visa indefinitely. For example, Thailand will let you stay indefinitely if you either have a $27K per year pension or else park $27K in a Thai bank indefinitely. And then you'll find that if you...
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement overseas?
Replies: 116
Views: 9101

Re: Early retirement overseas?

For instance, I really enjoyed living in Colombia but I could not stay there full-time due to visa issues as I have no pension yet. Hi Kramer, Does this mean that someone with a U.S.-based pension can stay in Colombia for extended periods of time or even indefinitely? Is there a low limit on the pe...
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement overseas?
Replies: 116
Views: 9101

Re: Early retirement overseas?

Been there, done that, and many of my current friends have done the same. I retired early in Singapore, moved to Thailand, went back to work part time as a consultant, and now am retired again in Thailand. In considering retiring overseas one needs to recognize that finances are only one aspect of r...
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Early retirement overseas?
Replies: 116
Views: 9101

Re: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL

In my field (engineering) it seems like salaries in high cost areas tend to not be high enough to fully offset the higher costs. That's one of the reasons that I wound up spending most of my career working in Pennsylvania instead of California.
by SarahShaw
Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High Salary & High COL vs Low Salary & Low COL
Replies: 80
Views: 5672

Re: Roth Conversion for expats

Turbotax handles that scenario correctly. But what I think that you'll find is that even though you are below the Foreign Income Exclusion limit and your US tax liability is $0 now, the IRA conversion will be taxed at the same same marginal tax rate as if you were living in the US and receiving the ...
by SarahShaw
Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion for expats
Replies: 4
Views: 405

Re: Anyone using Quicken 2013?

cbeck wrote:Unfortunately, the new mobile app does not support multi-currency features. Makes it useless for me.


Disappointing. And my Samsung Galaxy S3 isn't yet on their list of supported devices either. So I guess that there's no need to rush out and upgrade.
by SarahShaw
Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone using Quicken 2013?
Replies: 77
Views: 15589

Re: Anyone using Quicken 2013?

For me the useful thing in Q2012 vs Q2011 is that Q2012 will automatically update currency exchange rates. Now that is good news. I am British and have UK bank accounts and investments, so it would be great to get the rates updated automatically. The nice thing about it is that it not only supports...
by SarahShaw
Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone using Quicken 2013?
Replies: 77
Views: 15589

Re: Anyone using Quicken 2013?

For me the useful thing in Q2012 vs Q2011 is that Q2012 will automatically update currency exchange rates. As for Q2013, if I buy it it will probably because they now have an app for Android devices. But unfortunately that app doesn't appear to be compatible with my recently purchased Samsung Galaxy...
by SarahShaw
Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone using Quicken 2013?
Replies: 77
Views: 15589

Re: LinkedIn and jobs

Only people that have contacted me about jobs via Linked-In are headhunters who seemed to know nothing at all about my industry.
by SarahShaw
Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LinkedIn and jobs
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Golden Handcuffs

That was me until I lost my job of 24 years in 2008. In retrospect it was a good thing that I was layed-off. I think that it's 'job security' that's the real trap. I've been working as an independent contractor since that fateful day in 2008 when I lost my job and found that I could make about twice...
by SarahShaw
Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Golden Handcuffs
Replies: 12
Views: 2057

Re: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.
by SarahShaw
Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most underrated band of all time [that you listen to]?
Replies: 342
Views: 13182

Re: Overseas Savings Account; anyone can advise ?

I have accounts in Singapore and Thailand, but some people report having trouble opening accounts in those countries if they are not considered to be residents there. It does not complicate filing a 1040, though I if all you are looking for is exposure to foreign currencies then they may be easier w...
by SarahShaw
Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overseas Savings Account; anyone can advise ?
Replies: 7
Views: 664

Re: Non-Citizen Spouse

Many non US banks won't deal with me for investments overseas because I am American. Why is this relevant as long as there are enough banks that work with Americans? Look for banks that don't do business in the US. They couldn't care less about US laws. It's not much of an issue if all you want to ...
by SarahShaw
Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Non-Citizen Spouse
Replies: 8
Views: 808

Re: Good music CD to mp3 ripper software?

ThatGuy wrote:Not that it matters with MP3s, but if you want an accurate rip you should use EAC. EAC Guide.


I wondered how long it would take before someone suggested EAC or dBPoweramp. Don't really see the reason to waste time making rips to mp3 when you could just as easily make lossless rips.
by SarahShaw
Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good music CD to mp3 ripper software?
Replies: 31
Views: 1226

Some expats and accidental Americans are now seriously questioning this policy, with Canada leading the charge. I imagine the number of people renouncing US citizenship in 2011 will reach another record high. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/flaherty-slams-irs-over-cross-border-tax...
by SarahShaw
Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FBAR goes from 'cannot efile' to 'must efile' in record time
Replies: 8
Views: 1431

...Why the US government thinks it's their right to tax passive income earned outside of the US by people who live outside of the US is beyond me, but the average Joe living abroad is not as likely to play games about reporting his passive income if he knows that the IRS already knows about his for...
by SarahShaw
Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FBAR goes from 'cannot efile' to 'must efile' in record time
Replies: 8
Views: 1431

Re: How do I transfer these assets back to the U.S. without

Hello and thanks for reading. This may seem like a troll post at first but I assure you it's not. A Hong Kong LLC (with my father as the sole shareholder) owns some Hong Kong stocks (held in Hong Kong Dollar) in a Chinese brokerage account (an account on Mainland China). This sentence has spells a ...
by SarahShaw
Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I transfer these assets back to the U.S. without tax?
Replies: 7
Views: 967

The best solution to reducing the workload would be to raise the total value of foreign accounts that triggers the filing requirement at all. But yes, electronic filing will be welcome if they can guarantee privacy. I've never really understood the purpose of these forms, though. At $10,000 it just...
by SarahShaw
Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: FBAR goes from 'cannot efile' to 'must efile' in record time
Replies: 8
Views: 1431

I also vote for petroleum. I've posted this in another threads, but check out payscale.com. Engineers with a 4 year degree are at/near the top of the list of high earning grads and petroleum engineers earn the highest salaries and chemical engineering is #2. Petroleum Engineers are often required t...
by SarahShaw
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chemical or Mechanical Engineering for Future Job Prospects
Replies: 53
Views: 8415

That seems to have improved recently. They must have received a lot of complaints about it. Not sure that it was really a week that it was taking before, but even 3 days seems excessive. I haven't seen any improvement here. My partner makes a recurring deposit from Bank of the West into our joint c...
by SarahShaw
Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with EverBank checking
Replies: 27
Views: 3548

Incoming ACH transfers scheduled through Everbank (ie. pull from another account) takes 1 week to be available. If you can, better to schedule them from the other institution. That's insane. I didn't think it was legal for a bank to take more than 3 days on an ACH. That seems to have improved recen...
by SarahShaw
Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with EverBank checking
Replies: 27
Views: 3548

predict the date of the bottom for the US dollar and you will have our peak for gold, perhaps. USD not looking so good right now - shoulda-coulda-woulda been in AUD these last coupla years. AUD has been getting killed in recent days, maybe not as badly as common stocks denominated in USD but not fa...
by SarahShaw
Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: anybody calling Peak in Gold?
Replies: 74
Views: 7011

Hi Grok, Thanks for checking on type of bonds - to clarify, the ones I am looking at are definitely issued by the Australian government. Here is a link with some details. if of interest. http://www.rba.gov.au/fin-services/bond-facility/xls/otc-prices.xls Take care Energy Does one need to be an Aust...
by SarahShaw
Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question on Australian Bonds
Replies: 10
Views: 1759

Whatever you do, don't try to sell it to passersby. It doesn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCjzpdivl0I :wink: Funny video but it's really no wonder that people wouldn't pay $50 for a 1 ounce gold coin to an overbearing guy who approaches them on the street. His approach was really not that...
by SarahShaw
Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to sell a one ounce gold Krugerand coin
Replies: 30
Views: 6290

Whatever you do, don't try to sell it to passersby. It doesn't work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCjzpdivl0I :wink: Funny video but it's really no wonder that people wouldn't pay $50 for a 1 ounce gold coin to an overbearing guy who approaches them on the street. His approach was really not that...
by SarahShaw
Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to sell a one ounce gold Krugerand coin
Replies: 30
Views: 6290

Two economists are walking down the street and seeing a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk. The first economist says, “Look at that $20 bill.” The second says, “That can’t really be a $20 bill lying there, because if it were, someone would have picked it up already.” So they walk on, leaving the $20 bi...
by SarahShaw
Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to sell a one ounce gold Krugerand coin
Replies: 30
Views: 6290

Re: Trying to sell a one ounce gold Krugerand coin

Where would be the best place to sell above coin? Purchased it in the 80s but cannot remember what I paid for it. It is actually a set with graduated smaller gold coins included. I am not going to get $1,200 for the one ounce one but how much could I expect to sell it for and where? Checkout Kitco....
by SarahShaw
Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to sell a one ounce gold Krugerand coin
Replies: 30
Views: 6290

Re: International Mail Forwarding

Question - What mail forwarding services have people used, and what level of satisfaction do you have with the service? Question 2 - If one uses a service like USA2Me, which provides a Texas mailing address and mail forwarding abroad, is one considered a Texas resident subject to Texas income taxes...
by SarahShaw
Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: International Mail Forwarding
Replies: 9
Views: 1689

Re: Ever use your USA medical insurance overseas?

Nothing is "always true" in every single case....except perhaps the speed of light. I don't think that changes depending on location and time. Moreover, it's not surprising that the more "impressively modern" a place is, the more expensive it is. One thing that I found out that ...
by SarahShaw
Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever use your USA medical insurance overseas?
Replies: 14
Views: 2895

When I noticed that the dollar was dropping back around 2003 or 2004 I toyed with the possibility of buying some Canadian Real Return Bonds (RRBs--I'd call them Canadian TIPS but it's the other way around, TIPS were modeled on RRBs). That is, I spent an hour online trying to figure out whether it w...
by SarahShaw
Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How many US Retirees hedge thier cash with foriegn currency?
Replies: 9
Views: 1543

Re: Ever use your USA medical insurance overseas?

I'm wondering how fees get paid. Let's say the insurance will pay 80% of the bill. How would it work if you had something done overseas, for example in Thailand, where prices are much cheaper than in the US? My insurance will pay for any medical treatment world-wide, so long as the treatment is leg...
by SarahShaw
Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ever use your USA medical insurance overseas?
Replies: 14
Views: 2895

Re: Engineering Degree - MIT vs UW Madison

Send her to someplace like MIT or Cal Tech if it's in any way feasible. This isn't the place to pinch pennies. Of course Sand Box University will be cheaper, and you'll be able to find people who will rationalize that their education from there was "just as good" as one from MIT. If you se...
by SarahShaw
Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering Degree - MIT vs UW Madison
Replies: 280
Views: 33900

i use a strong encrypted MS Word File. free, simple, easy, effective, universal, ubiquitous, open/non-proprietary, non-black-box, free-flow format. When did MS Word become "open/non-proprietary"? it's "open/non-proprietary" in the sense that its standards are open to and used by...
by SarahShaw
Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a password vault?
Replies: 75
Views: 9726

Unless you are managing huge numbers of passwords, I think these password tools aren't that useful. It's sort of a manufactured need for most people. Passwords are like keys, and you hang your keys on a hook next to the front door. I try to use the same passwords for as many things as possible, and...
by SarahShaw
Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a password vault?
Replies: 75
Views: 9726

I'm know that I'm minimally computer literate, especially with security issues, but I just keep a list of my user names and passwords on a flash drive; What is the risk with this method (other than the obvious of my losing the flash drive)? Thanks, Wayne Aside from the possibility of losing the fla...
by SarahShaw
Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a password vault?
Replies: 75
Views: 9726

no. not paranoid enough. I didn't think to include this in the original post or poll: What strategy do you use regarding passwords. Do you repeat the same logins & passwords? Do you write them down? I repeat as much as I can, although each is slightly different due to various sites' protocols a...
by SarahShaw
Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you use a password vault?
Replies: 75
Views: 9726

However, they are technically capable of playing 720p HD video Actually most netbooks fall short of being able to support full 720p resolution. The 720p standard is 1280x720 pixels; many popular 10" netbooks have monitor panels with only 600 pixels in the vertical direction. They can play them...
by SarahShaw
Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netbook at a discount opportunity - advice appreciated
Replies: 29
Views: 4228

They can all play standard DVDs from an external drive that attaches through a USB port. They will not be able to play Blu-Ray DVDs from an external drive (if you could find one). However, they are technically capable of playing 720p HD video (you might have to make sure nothing else is running on ...
by SarahShaw
Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netbook at a discount opportunity - advice appreciated
Replies: 29
Views: 4228

Re: Netbook at a discount opportunity - advice appreciated

Blueray on a netbook might sound good in theory but netbook screen sizes generally limit you to less than HDTV resolution anyway and the processors on most are only marginally powerful enough to play back HDTV source without stuttering and/or pausing. I travel with a Asus 1000HE netbook and find tha...
by SarahShaw
Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netbook at a discount opportunity - advice appreciated
Replies: 29
Views: 4228

Must have either been a nice buffet or an extravagantly expensive hotel. $40 is closer to what western kids backpacking though Vietnam spend in a week on food than to what a single meal costs there in restaurants good enough for businessmen to take clients; Saigon is not Tokyo in terms of restaurant...
by SarahShaw
Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $40 buffet dinner in Saigon - how much in US?
Replies: 34
Views: 6147

I am an early retiree living off of my assets and applied for the card earlier this year. I have lots of assets and decent credit and have had no debts for many years. And a 6 figure Schwab account, which isn't even my main brokerage account, that I have had for something like 10 years. I own no re...
by SarahShaw
Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for Charles Schwab 2% card, they interviewed me!
Replies: 35
Views: 6629

Re: No Fees

According to their product description, there are no fees. It's not that there are no fees it's that they are hidden. As described above, they make money off you on the currency change rates that they apply at each end of the translation and by paying out less interest than what a similar mix of cu...
by SarahShaw
Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New BRIC vs USDollar 3yr CD
Replies: 22
Views: 5277
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