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Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

How are people coming up with these numbers? 90K? 120k? Even $180k??? What kinds of savings rate does one need to take $100k/year in retirement? It seems unattainable without a two income high earning (physician level +) people. $100k/year retirement household income doesn't seem that far-fetched. ...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 94
Views: 6318

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

I'm going to be on four international flights in the next 7 days. I'm mostly worry about some fat guy sitting next to me and spilling over in my seat.
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 6271

Re: Tell me about Berlin :-)

Things I liked about Berlin: - Hotels are pretty cheap compared to other major cities - Easy to get around by public transport - The "Museum island" is one of the great set of exhibitions in the world. There are cheap museum passes that allow one to visit these and a bunch of other museum....
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Berlin :-)
Replies: 36
Views: 2318

Re: Tell me about Paris

This summer we staid in an apartment (through AirBnB) for the first time, with a family of 4. The apartment was right in the heart of St. Germain de Pres, for the same price as the cheapest budget hotels (far away from the center). If you're just going for "a couple of days", I wouldn't wa...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tell me about Paris
Replies: 65
Views: 3580

Re: Obese airline passenger

I was young and dumb at the time, would not happen to me again. What would you do differently today? First, the armrest stays down. Second, talk to a flight attendant about a different/better seat. Third, not fly economy or if it cant be avoided, a't least sit in an exit row seat (fixed, high armre...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 4867

Re: Obese airline passenger

So when lunch comes and I am really hungry because I didn't eat breakfast, I can reach over and eat yours!!! Nice. I want you on the plane next to me! No complaints ... you got from A to B! Well, I once sat next to a guy about twice my size on a transatlantic flight. First thing he did after sittin...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Obese airline passenger
Replies: 62
Views: 4867

Re: Why I sold my gold, and would sell commodities too

"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" John Maynard Keynes . That's a nice quote, but I don't see which facts have changed in the last few years? Stocks have "zigged" (up), gold zagged, just as you wanted. That one can in hindsight find a portfolio that ...
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I sold my gold, and would sell commodities too
Replies: 71
Views: 5217

Re: When to invest in China?

nedsaid wrote:Another great point. If wealthy people are emigrating from China and taking their money with them, a very simple question comes up. Do these wealthy Chinese know something that we don't? Thanks 111.

They know how they made their money.
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to invest in China?
Replies: 51
Views: 2992

Re: When to invest in China?

Dutch wrote:Why China?

If I was interested in individual countries (which I'm not), then something like Russia would appeal to me much more right now.

RUSL http://etfs.morningstar.com/quote?t=rusl for the win. 3x leveraged Russia ETF. Lot's of upside potential :twisted:
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When to invest in China?
Replies: 51
Views: 2992

Re: How to safely sell a big ticket item online

I really have no idea how to make this transaction safely. Guess I should have thought of that before. :oops: We just sold our car ourselves. We went to our bank with the buyer, where he called "his guy" at his bank to wire the money to our account. The money arrived within a few minutes ...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to safely sell a big ticket item online
Replies: 42
Views: 2684

Re: Why do we tip restaurant servers?

If the server enhances my experience than I show my appreciation through a tip. Next I love that the employee actually 'works" for their tip. there is a direct correlation between how they do their job and the tip they get. What happens when the server doesn't enhance your experience? No tip? ...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do we tip restaurant servers?
Replies: 44
Views: 2316

Re: Why do we tip restaurant servers?

Abe wrote:
Having said all this, I am aware that I probably will never see this in my life time.


Well, you could see it in most parts of the world. I much prefer that way to the US tipping culture.
by Wolkenspiel
Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do we tip restaurant servers?
Replies: 44
Views: 2316

Re: Which countries really provide health care to all citize

There are various obfuscating terms like "universal health care" which make this hard to figure out. For example, Canada, I'm pretty sure, does give health coverage to all citizens, regardless of employment or income. However, Germany, which is often described as having "universal&qu...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which countries really provide health care to all citizens?
Replies: 12
Views: 1502

Re: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive f

Would this be enough? "If you invest in index funds with comparable risk level to that other actively-managed fund, I guarantee the index funds will do better. I am so confident that I will pay you the difference if the actively-managed fund does better after you have ignored it and used index...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive fund
Replies: 4
Views: 494

Re: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?

While it is true that 1000 lb or 5000 lb is pretty much the same against a 100,000 lb truck, the only collision the same as a fixed barrier is head-on collision of cars of equal mass. Look at the collision in the frame of reference moving with the center of gravity of the two vehicles. The much lar...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?
Replies: 63
Views: 4028

Re: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?

While drivers of large vehicles may feel safer than drivers of ordinary mid-sized cars, there seems to be little evidence they actually are. Given that, I think the answer to the OP's question is that it doesn't make sense to buy two SUVs. Better to buy an ordinary midsize car that is safer and get...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?
Replies: 63
Views: 4028

Re: Smooth perpetual withdrawal from risky assets [endowment

I may be missing the point of this thread, but it seems like the OP is trying to solve a problem that is well-known, and for which a number of prototypical solutions exist (that are applied to many mult-billion-dollar portfolios in the real world). A popular example seems to be the (modified) Tobin(...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Smooth perpetual withdrawal from risky assets [endowment fd]
Replies: 93
Views: 8156

Re: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash

What about traveler's checks? .... Normally, I'm traveling in large cities, and just use my credit card. But this trip is in the countryside of Tuscany. When I hear that we might not have internet connectivity, I feel like we are going to be seriously in the boonies (like the dogsledding trip in th...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash
Replies: 33
Views: 2114

Re: Spouse not ready to cut ties with financial advisers

...and we add between 50-75k per year... If my wife and I were in your fortunate position, and she resisted change, I would point out to her that your yearly fees (1% to the advisors and 1-2% for the funds, ignoring the loads) about equal the money you add. I would be unhappy in a situation where m...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:46 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Spouse not ready to cut ties with financial advisers
Replies: 112
Views: 9334

Re: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash

Debit cards all the way. I have used my Fidelity Visa debit card 100's of times in at least a dozen countries. NO fees at all and excellent exchange rates. Sometimes one has to be aware of the local rules (e.g. low limits on cash withdrawals in South Africa, no foreign cards in most ATMs in Okinawa)...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash
Replies: 33
Views: 2114

Re: Help-Do I need a chip/pin card in europe?

I spent two months in Europe this summer (8 countries), armed with a collection of non-chip credit and debit cards. The only hardship i encountered was having to pay with cash on French toll-roads. It also took me a while to realize that when prompted for a PIN by hand-held card readers in restauran...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help-Do I need a chip/pin card in europe?
Replies: 22
Views: 1791

Re: Endowments: Paying for complexity or performance?

They can't fire a good fraction of their staff and send the endowment-supported students home every time the S&P500 has a bad year.... They can't? http://s13.postimg.org/l5717vd1j/Screen_Shot_2014_08_10_at_9_36_41_AM.png Well, I said "every time", and that's essentially what it came d...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Endowments: Paying for complexity or performance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: Endowments: Paying for complexity or performance?

. I did a quick check of performance against my simple (public) equity:bond portfolio. 10 yr annualized return (%)/Standard Deviation: end June 2003 to end June 2013 Harvard Endowment = 9.4/15.2 My own portfolio = 9.2/15.4 While the Harvard Endowment is obviously much larger, I question the value a...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Endowments: Paying for complexity or performance?
Replies: 14
Views: 1098

Re: Public Speaking-help

I always walk onto the stage or in front of the screen with the assumption that I know more than the audience, therefore they should be delighted to listen to me. In my mind I just live with the speaking assumption "someone put me up here for a reason, obviously I'm the expert in the room on t...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 79
Views: 5409

Re: IPS for french national living in Taiwan

Retirement Fund: None. Employer does not have 401k. I do not have access to IRA/RothIRA. ... Tax Advantaged: None. Except ETF are more tax efficient than Index fund (for my situation) ... -b) Is there a better investment product for my situation ? Maybe someone knows a way to get an IRA/RothIRA/401...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IPS for french national living in Taiwan
Replies: 14
Views: 1018

Re: IPS for french national living in Taiwan

And if you retire in a cheap country in Asia as you want to, it would well be less due to substandard healthcare, depending on where you end up. Life expectancy at birth in Taiwan is (just) ahead of the US. All my healthcare experiences in Taiwan were quite positive. Whenever possible, I have my de...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IPS for french national living in Taiwan
Replies: 14
Views: 1018

Re: Public Speaking-help

One last thought from me, and maybe it's been mentioned, but IMO, you should not tell them that you're not good at speaking, that you hate doing it, that you're nervous, etc. You may know these things, but nothing good comes from sharing that information. Absolutely! No excuses, no apologies (not a...
by Wolkenspiel
Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 79
Views: 5409

Re: Public Speaking-help

I often teach a class that requires students (undergrads) to give a number of technical presentations (~15min) over the course of the semester. Some are very good at this from the beginning, some not so much, and some are just terrified. I have worked with > 100 students closely, so have a bit of ex...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Public Speaking-help
Replies: 79
Views: 5409

Re: How do you afford to travel?

To answer the question in the thread title directly: - We typically have two international trips (Europe/Asia) with a family of four per year - Out of 8 international tickets per year, we try to get half from frequent flyer miles, and to combine one of the trips with one of my business trips. So onl...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 68
Views: 6579

Re: Value of VIN Etch Coding for New Car

PowDay wrote:Car theft isn't what it used to be, I wouldn't bother with VIN etching.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/nyreg ... .html?_r=0


Yeah, the days where you pull two random wires from the dash, start the car and drive off are long gone.
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Value of VIN Etch Coding for New Car
Replies: 8
Views: 777

Re: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...

Harvard's endowment returns over the last 10 years are 9.4% per year and 12% over the last 20 years, so I don't think you can say they aren't successful investors. I don't think a Vanguard three-fund portfolio would have done any better over that period. (as of June 30th, 2013) http://www.hmc.harva...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:49 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...
Replies: 50
Views: 5267

Re: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...

By my calculations, I show that if Harvard had invested in two Vanguard ETFs, say 60% U.S. Stock (VTI) / 40% Bond (BND) portfolio (no adjustment for fees) returning around 10% over the last 5 years ending in 2013. Maybe not apples to apples since Harvard's Fiscal Year ends June 30, but the conclusi...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If Harvard invested in Vanguard...
Replies: 50
Views: 5267

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

Even in Germany the water is better quality than Mexico, but not drinkable. Nonsense. Maybe overstated, but can you get a glass of tap water in a restaurant very easily? First, Germans have a strange obsession with "Mineralwasser", and (almost) wherever you are in Germany people buy cases...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1920

Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

I'll keep a link to this thread handy for next time the "doctor's hourly pay is less than school teachers" meme comes around.
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I cannot make the jump and retire
Replies: 73
Views: 8325

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

3504PIR wrote:Even in Germany the water is better quality than Mexico, but not drinkable.

Nonsense.
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1920

Re: Should international travel impact your investments?

At at a meeting in Germany one of my East Asian colleagues decided to order "Sauerkraut" and "Bier" for dinner. Consequently, his dinner consisted of a plate of fermented cabbage and a quart (1L, a "Mass") of beer. I'm not sure if I should therefore stop investing in Ge...
by Wolkenspiel
Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should international travel impact your investments?
Replies: 30
Views: 1920

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

[The glut in the market is, IMHO, from the lower-ranked schools sending out an army of graduates with poor prospects. Agreed, the world may have enough PhD's, but not too many STEM PhDs from Caltech - which is the OPs son's situation. Admission to Stanford and Caltech means that some experienced pe...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

At our local university, profs making six figures are small minority (though it depends on subject). The data are easily available: http://chronicle.com/article/2013-14-AAUP-Faculty-Salary/145679?cid=megamenu#id=table Average total compensation for Full Professors even at the lowest paying US PhD-g...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

sscritic wrote:P.S. I bought my BMW with my graduate school stipend. What else was I supposed to do with it?

So did I - a 325i that was about 2x my annual stipend :shock:. I take it you also became a Boglehead after getting your PhD :P
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 11:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

A mediocre to good corporate lawyer makes $200k pa. A top chemistry Phd might make $50k in academia. Ah, come on. $50k is the typical salary for a beginning postdoc (I pay my postdocs about $55k). An average full professor at a research university will be easily above $100k, and for a "top PhD...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

Yes but we also have to accept that the modern academic system has turned Phds into a trap: - in science and engineering you are the cheap labour force for tenured professors who spend much of their time on admin, politics and getting grants. Collegiality is often a bust in that environment - more ...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: College & PhD vs $250k working

Money is not the goal of education. A good life (rich with knowledge, skills, and friendship, all put into practice) is the goal. +1. My years as a grad student were some of the best of my life, even working nights, weekends, holidays for $15k/year. Getting a PhD may or may not have been the best f...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College & PhD vs $250k working
Replies: 104
Views: 7675

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

To the OP: So, what are you actually doing with your money? With the same salary as your neighbor, you have no mortgage, no car payment, less house maintenance expenses. I don't think your neighbor can be running a deficit perpetually, so you must have a good-size surplus every month. Is all of that...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 10583

Re: should I buy real estate in Boston area? How much to spe

Somerville/Cambridge look pretty crazy right now, but a little further out things don't seem completely out of whack. E.g. some areas of Lexington, adjusted for inflation, are not more than 6-8 years ago. Being in a more more urban place may be nicer - until you need to send your kids to school.
by Wolkenspiel
Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: should I buy real estate in Boston area? How much to spend?
Replies: 31
Views: 2572

Re: Taking a leave of absence for one year

The only people i have known who have done this are college professors and teachers. For most faculty I know, "sabbaticals" are used to focus one's particular field of research or prepare a transition in one's research, rather than to travel, kick back and relax. It's nice to see how much...
by Wolkenspiel
Sat May 17, 2014 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a leave of absence for one year
Replies: 37
Views: 2896

Re: How to Pay for College?

Community College for two years then transfer to state college or state university. This is a good idea for anyone. Except for those students for which it makes no sense whatsoever. There is more to consider than just how to squeeze the last few bucks out of everything. [Edit: I'm completely stumpe...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 16, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay for College?
Replies: 24
Views: 1523

Re: How to Pay for College?

Community College for two years then transfer to state college or state university. This is a good idea for anyone. Except for those students for which it makes no sense whatsoever. There is more to consider than just how to squeeze the last few bucks out of everything. [Edit: I'm completely stumpe...
by Wolkenspiel
Fri May 16, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Pay for College?
Replies: 24
Views: 1523

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

"The second trend is that whether a student graduates or not seems to depend today almost entirely on just one factor — how much money his or her parents make. To put it in blunt terms: Rich kids graduate; poor and working-class kids don’t. Or to put it more statistically: About a quarter of c...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu May 15, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1946

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

I can't tell you HOW many folks I know who are taking on debt in addition to their kids just to get into the "best" :oops: school they can or the "one" their kid or they themselves think will give their offspring some extra advantage over someone else. I don't care how prestigio...
by Wolkenspiel
Thu May 15, 2014 7:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1946

Re: Net worth cost of getting an education

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-young-people-with-student-debt-have-median-net-worth-of-only-8700-20140514-story.html The highlights 1) Median net worth of college grads under 40 with student loan debt is only $8,700, report says 2) Young people with student loans have a median total indebted...
by Wolkenspiel
Wed May 14, 2014 5:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Net worth cost of getting an education [locked]
Replies: 24
Views: 1946
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