Search found 240 matches

by retired recently
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

Probably almost all Russians learned another language in school and most that I met do know some words/phrases in English or another language but I do not think "almost all" could carry on any sort of a conversation in another language. My experience travelling in countries (35 so far) where English...
by retired recently
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?
Replies: 62
Views: 6632

Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

While I did not go into accounting as I thought it would make me rich, I went into the Big 4, made partner after 10 years and retired after 18 years at 40. I could not have done this in the US but I was quite willing to move where I was needed. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right ...
by retired recently
Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 138
Views: 15579

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

Wife and I got our cards just over a month ago and think we will be using it 3-4 times per month. We are retired and typically there is no one else watching the movie when we go. There has been no attempt to get us to rate any of the movies we have seen. We are quite happy with it.
by retired recently
Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

The city is definitely not ugly these days and even in the oil boom they did not have oil derricks downtown.
by retired recently
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

+1 on travelling by metro. Traffic is terrible and the metro is wonderful, especially in Moscow.
by retired recently
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?
Replies: 52
Views: 4527

Re: Any of you trade just a little as a hobby?

I have play/gambling money that I invest with but if I lost it all it would not change our lives. So far this year I have bought and sold TSLA puts 3 times and made a 50% return each time totalling $40K. I bought 200 shs of Edison Intl last week after the large drop as I was hoping for a quick rebou...
by retired recently
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 43
Views: 5878

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

I retired in 08/09 and after an initial panic associated with the financial problems at that time all is going well. I was 40 when I retired and almost 50 now. Retirement assets have almost doubled but I have a kid in college and one in high school so we live comfortably but reasonably. Markets seem...
by retired recently
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

There was a Bond movie a while back that showed him driving through an area full of oil derricks. This area is just outside of town and there are others nearby if that is what you want to see. If you go, check out the cave drawings in Gobustan. They also have a huge percentage of the world's mud vol...
by retired recently
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

I agree that not helpful unless he wants to make pit stops but for anyone living in the US and making such a trek it is worth it if time/money allow since you are so close. Even if for just a few days. I do not recall the street signs either but I do know you will have absolutely no problem getting ...
by retired recently
Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 4300

Re: A Trip to Russia

I lived/worked in Moscow for 4 years in the late 90s and then travelled back and forth very frequently with my job until I returned to the US in 2009. We took my son there (and to St Petersburg) in 2015 for a short visit and hope to return again soon. My wife is Azerbaijani but was born in Moscow. R...
by retired recently
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Septic tank - deal killer?
Replies: 47
Views: 4154

Re: Septic tank - deal killer?

I think the only real issue is if the buyer of the house has never had a septic tank and is used to putting things down the drain that should not be down any drain...old habits can be hard to break. I have always lived with a septic tank and never had any problems. Our current house was 5 years old ...
by retired recently
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?
Replies: 62
Views: 4413

Re: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?

Be careful what you spray. Apparently there was a study recently (in Germany I believe) and they determined that insect population has decreased by 75% over the last three decades. A decline like that will have a knock-on effect to the entire ecosystem.
by retired recently
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 8763

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel

Thanks so much aerofreaky11 for your posts!! We went to Costa Rica a few years back and saw some of the crocs there and there is no way I would jump into any water if those things were in the vicinity...frightening!!! My wife is currently planning our trip for this Christmas. We gave our son options...
by retired recently
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 8763

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel

I would love to have more info on travel in S America @aerofreaky11
by retired recently
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogota and the Coast of Colombia travel
Replies: 57
Views: 8763

Re: Bogota and the Coast of Columbia travel

Anyone been to Columbia recently? Safer than before given the agreements with FARC? My wife, son and I are looking to go somewhere in December for about two weeks and Columbia seems interesting. Son has taken a few years of Spanish so it could be a nice chance for him to practice his speaking. We li...
by retired recently
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: School District Quality
Replies: 15
Views: 1587

Re: School District Quality

If you are looking to find the most challenging school district for your child then I would try to find the district with the highest number of Asians. Almost every academic competition is dominated by Chinese and/or Indian students.
by retired recently
Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 276
Views: 26445

Re: How much money do you need to retire?

I retired in 2008 at 40 with a bit more than $4 million plus my home which I paid for in cash. So far all has worked out just fine. We live in a low COL area. Our annual spending is between $120K-$150K. Assets have grown to $6.6 million plus still have the same house but we hope to downsize in a few...
by retired recently
Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My first poor Ally Bank experience
Replies: 25
Views: 5313

Re: My first poor Ally Bank experience

UncleLeo - look at the features for the Ally money market account. It states "up to 6 additional transactions"...

https://www.ally.com/bank/money-market-account/
by retired recently
Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My first poor Ally Bank experience
Replies: 25
Views: 5313

Re: My first poor Ally Bank experience

I have used Ally for many years and recently had my first poor experience although admittedly I could have known better as the information is listed. I wanted to take advantage of the No Penalty CD so I had a cashier's check made out to me from my local Credit Union. After trying to deposit online I...
by retired recently
Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 228
Views: 28886

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

I did not read all of the posts in this thread but to answer the initial question, I retired early in 2009 (at 40) after having worked overseas for many years. Initially our high deductible plan for my family of 3 was about 300/month and now it is almost 700/month. We have been fortunate and have ne...
by retired recently
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Illinois 529 plan - any risk
Replies: 3
Views: 698

Illinois 529 plan - any risk

I have my son's 529 plan in the Illinois Brightstart Savings 529 plan. If Illinois were to ever file bankruptcy would there be any risk to the funds I have in this plan? Thanks
by retired recently
Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?
Replies: 32
Views: 2707

Re: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?

I think it really depends on your kids. If they are very advanced then a better high school could mean a stronger cohort for them to interact with and be challenged. Oftentimes top schools do a great job of getting lots of kids to a good level but not such a great job of challenging their better stu...
by retired recently
Fri May 26, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on kid's precalc learning
Replies: 47
Views: 3863

Re: Advice on kid's precalc learning

Exodus has it right. My son reads the chapter and at a minimum tries a few questions (and if he is still confused searches for some youtube explanations) before he meets with his tutor. He comes away from the session very energized each time. I think if he went in cold it would not be nearly as effe...
by retired recently
Wed May 24, 2017 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on kid's precalc learning
Replies: 47
Views: 3863

Re: Advice on kid's precalc learning

DS learned PreCalc (and now Calc) by first reading the chapter and working as many problems as he could and then having a lesson with a tutor. The tutor is a math professor at a nearby college and charges $80/hour so your prices are not that bad. Private lessons are often expensive but in our experi...
by retired recently
Thu May 18, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for you high net worth individuals... [real estate investments]
Replies: 82
Views: 12300

Re: Question for you high net worth individuals...

Zero. High-paying job and frugal living. I do not include my home in my NW calculations. We bought in 2010 and will sell in two years I guess. I would be very happy if we breakeven.
by retired recently
Mon May 08, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: US expat wife and NRA husband
Replies: 5
Views: 976

Re: US expat wife and NRA husband

Hi As I understand you have US citizenship but reside overseas? My understanding is that if this is the case you still owe US tax on any income, it is just offset by any taxes you pay to a foreign government and there is also an exclusion amount. It has been a while since I lived overseas but those ...
by retired recently
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?
Replies: 170
Views: 22712

Re: Any regrets living a frugal life for high income/high networth individuals?

I retired at 40 and we have always lived below our means. If my wife and I were to die in the next 15 years or so then I would probably wish we spent a bit more but I have no idea what we might spend it on as we live very comfortably. On second thoughts lawn maintenance and a maid would be nice....t...
by retired recently
Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?
Replies: 44
Views: 4526

Re: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?

NC
4400 sq ft home (3 people)
no gas
no trash
well and septic
HVAC

avg $140 per month for electricity
by retired recently
Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumbing issue - advice sought
Replies: 47
Views: 4316

Re: Plumbing issue - advice sought

I have experienced the same issue and still have 3 holes in my ceiling...depending on a few things which have not happened just yet, we plan to sell our home in 3 months to 2 years. Our plumbing has been plagued with leaks just as you describe so wife and I agreed to leave the holes in the ceiling u...
by retired recently
Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 5063

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

The first class that I taught was in one of the "worst" public schools in the city. And I put that in quotation marks because we're not talking about an area with high crime or danger - just poorer, with lower grade scores, and a higher proportion of immigrants. Were the immigrants from S...
by retired recently
Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 vs 3+ kids
Replies: 18
Views: 2354

Re: 2 vs 3+ kids

Clearly a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves. I am surprised though that no one has brought up the issue of human population putting a strain on the planet. Looking at some of the projections of population growth are scary to me. Good luck no matter what you decide.
by retired recently
Sat Dec 24, 2016 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners insurance rebuild cost
Replies: 9
Views: 1755

Re: Homeowners insurance rebuild cost

I also have Amica and they do raise the rates each year to the point that I called this year and got it reduced. My argument was that my home is 10 years old and very similar new homes in the neighborhood are being sold with values lower than they were valuing my home and I cannot understand that gi...
by retired recently
Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Analyzing schools for an advanced child
Replies: 65
Views: 5063

Re: Analyzing schools for an advanced child

I think looking at the standardized test scores reveals little as the standardized tests are too easy and by doing this you have no idea to what extent the school will challenge the advanced kids. We made this mistake and since our son was advanced he really did very little in school. I also think t...
by retired recently
Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: housing options-- stretch for schools?
Replies: 37
Views: 2653

Re: housing options-- stretch for schools?

Actually, if you want to find the best school then look for the one with the highest percentage of Asians attending. My son recently went to a math event and in the district there are approx 6% Asian population yet they easily accounted for 90%+ of the top kids of the district. Typically the same in...
by retired recently
Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: housing options-- stretch for schools?
Replies: 37
Views: 2653

Re: housing options-- stretch for schools?

We moved to an area with great schools. Our definition of great was that these schools performed much better than others on the end of grade tests as well as had great scores by any measure really. Our definition changed over time. If I were you I would be sure the local publics are not bad but your...
by retired recently
Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: travel to Istanbul
Replies: 42
Views: 3569

Re: travel to Istanbul

I spent 13 years overseas and was fortunate to visit Turkey many times. While I am not a huge fan of Erdogan, I would still not hesitate to take another trip there. Wonderful country, great place to visit! As another poster mentioned, Baku is also great and if you are there one should definitely tak...
by retired recently
Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?
Replies: 26
Views: 4432

Re: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?

From what you have posted I would think California will be able to demand tax payment. You probably should consult with a tax professional if the taxes are significant to see if they can help you structure it.
by retired recently
Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: if permanently move abroad
Replies: 13
Views: 2526

Re: if permanently move abroad

Best case would be to establish residency in a no tax state, get drivers license from that state, and then leave the US. Note that I lived overseas for 13 years and still kept my drivers license and state CPA license and was assessed tax about 5 years into living abroad but was able to prove that my...
by retired recently
Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?
Replies: 26
Views: 4432

Re: How to become a "U.S. citizen residing overseas"?

Even moving to a foreign country does not necessarily mean you have no liability for state income taxes (establishing residency in a no tax state before leaving would probably be better). I lived overseas for more than 5 years and my state sent me a bill for taxes due. I was ultimately successful in...
by retired recently
Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?
Replies: 110
Views: 10408

Re: Do you track your net worth? How long have you done so?

Wife and I do not have a budget but I track our monthly net worth and compare it to a balance we should have (net worth at retirement age adjusted by inflation +1%) and if our actual net worth exceeds the projected balance then we do not worry about spending. Also, about 2x per year we pick a month ...
by retired recently
Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cannot get myself to spend my savings
Replies: 75
Views: 9593

Re: Cannot get myself to spend my savings

In a similar situation but am 48 and wife is 41 and we still have kids to get through high school/college. I keep telling myself that once kids are through college, wife and I will spend a bit more than we do now but ultimately we have always been frugal and I do not think we will change. I do not t...
by retired recently
Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaving Phone Chargers Plugged In
Replies: 24
Views: 5083

Re: Leaving Phone Chargers Plugged In

I have a meter and tested mine a year ago and the amount of power used is very small but I do make it a habit to unplug everything that is not in use. Most things are on a power strip so it is quite simple but I thankfully my health is good enough to bend over or walk the extra few feet and memory i...
by retired recently
Thu Oct 27, 2016 6:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Public school or private school (with school data)
Replies: 102
Views: 9566

Re: Public school or private school (with school data)

Perhaps instead of focusing on SAT scores, AP classes, etc try to look at the course offerings and the cohort at each school. A self-motivated kid can probably do well in every academic setting but is your kid going to seek out those challenges? My son does extremely well when challenged and is part...
by retired recently
Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?
Replies: 78
Views: 8227

Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

Sounds like you have a gifted kid. If you are in the Bay Area there is the proof school in SF. Otherwise there is art of problem solving online. Research had indicated that the mentorship model works with gifted kids - I.e quality instructors / mentors spending relatively less time on guidance is s...
by retired recently
Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?
Replies: 78
Views: 8227

Re: Is Private high school in the good school district worth investing?

My wife and I are going through a similar decision and I never imagined we would consider anything other than public (including charter...). Our local high school is pretty decent but eighth grader son has done independent study during math period since mid year of third grade, except for Algebra II...
by retired recently
Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Study Abroad program question
Replies: 34
Views: 2453

Re: Study Abroad program question

I think it would be great if she is able to spend a semester or year abroad. Unfortunately, many of us in the US are very insular and I really wish more folks went overseas when they were young. I would be surprised if it helps her in her future career though? I went to work in the Former Soviet Uni...
by retired recently
Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 2054

Re: Using toll roads without transponder?

I should have started the thread earlier and gotten a transponder I guess but we leave early tomorrow morning and I still need to pack and mow the grass Although it seems if I had a transponder that would only work with certain states, not all, so not sure how much convenience it would add. I went t...
by retired recently
Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 2054

Re: Using toll roads without transponder?

I just looked at the first leg of the trip from NC to WI and it only takes an addl 50 mins to avoid the tolls...seems much easier to do it this way which is a shame as I would happily pay the tolls plus a reasonable surcharge...we will struggle to sort it all during our trip and will be gone for ove...
by retired recently
Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 2054

Re: Using toll roads without transponder?

Where we live in NC there are no toll roads (yet) so we do not have a transponder. Last summer, my wife accidentally took a toll in DC and I think ended up paying $15 for a pretty short trip. The toll itself was not bad but they tacked on penalties. Thanks for the list of toll roads, I will try to s...
by retired recently
Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using toll roads without transponder?
Replies: 19
Views: 2054

Using toll roads without transponder?

Hi, Beginning this weekend, my wife and I will be driving from NC up to MN, then down through SD/CO into AZ then back up through NV/CA/OR/WA into Canada back to MN and then back to NC via KY/TN. We will encounter many toll roads along the way. I believe some of the toll roads require transponders or...