Search found 264 matches

by retired recently
Wed May 16, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)
Replies: 70
Views: 4470

Re: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)

I would also be careful sending my kid to the lowest rated high school just to increase chances for high school. It really boils down to the individual kid. My son is a freshman at a 7/10 rated school and just finished taking AP Calc BC, AP Physics 1 and AP Comp Sci A. He gets along well with everyo...
by retired recently
Wed May 16, 2018 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New motorcycle rider
Replies: 106
Views: 4300

Re: New motorcycle rider

I enjoy riding and did so for years but it became too dangerous as folks are seriously distracted these days so I sold mine last summer. I would recommend against riding a motorcycle.
by retired recently
Wed May 16, 2018 6:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)
Replies: 70
Views: 4470

Re: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)

The problem I have seen with rankings of K-12 schools is that it does not show how well the schools will challenge accelerated kids. As with the SAT math, the state tests have compressed top student scores and there is a ceiling. We have seen many kids that are ready for additional challenges that d...
by retired recently
Mon May 14, 2018 5:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman
Replies: 82
Views: 4490

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Son likes to program and has done so up til now using windows-based computers. We are buying him a MacBook Pro as it seems they are the computer of preference for many that program plus we thought he should know how to use both systems. Hopefully he likes it and it is a good machine as they are not ...
by retired recently
Mon May 14, 2018 5:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)
Replies: 70
Views: 4470

Re: How to think about schools/homes (Greatschools/Niche)

My wife and I attempted to do this when we relocated by looking at school performance on state tests and learned this was a poor measure as it did not adequately identify schools that would challenge kids who were advanced. Our son is pretty good at math so if we had it to do over again, I would go ...
by retired recently
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?
Replies: 129
Views: 9188

Re: How did you tell the boss you're leaving/retiring?

I gave a 3 year notice...very specific circumstances but it worked well for everyone.
by retired recently
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Costa Rica
Replies: 19
Views: 1878

Re: Travel to Costa Rica

My family and I spent 3 weeks travelling around Costa Rica after having spent about 5 weeks doing the same in Thailand the year before. While I recommend going to both and if you have not been to one it is definitely worth a trip, we cannot wait to go back to Thailand but would probably pass on anot...
by retired recently
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does one adjust salaries to account for housing costs when considering a move?
Replies: 24
Views: 1473

Re: How does one adjust salaries to account for housing costs when considering a move?

I worked overseas for a large consulting/audit firm and moved often. Early in my career I focused exclusively on the financial aspects but as I grew older I realized that while I always wanted more money it was not going to change anything really, other than more money in the savings account. At thi...
by retired recently
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?
Replies: 13
Views: 1871

Re: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?

Thanks very much for the very helpful replies!!! We are not yet certain if it will be a partial or full acquisition. The recent survey seems to indicate the DOT will take so much of the parcel (which is not too large, about 1.5 acres) they would have to take it all as there could be no real use afte...
by retired recently
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?
Replies: 13
Views: 1871

Re: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?

Thanks. We have talked about delaying everything. It is a proposal at this stage and must go through the process, so hopefully if it goes through it can be delayed. It does not seem that it should be a sale though, so just interesting how it works.
by retired recently
Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?
Replies: 13
Views: 1871

Does agent get paid if property taken by eminent domain?

My grandmother left property in NC to my father. He signed a contract with a real estate agent to sell the property and this contract expires in June 2018, yet the agent gets paid up to 180 days after the expiration of the contract if the property is sold to anyone who the agent brought before his c...
by retired recently
Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 5977

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Son went to a charter school for 3 years and we contributed about 1500 per year and felt it was a decent deal as the charter was much better than the local schools. Now he is in the local public high school which is not great and we have not made a general donation. We have made payments for the soc...
by retired recently
Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Splitting a cell phone bill
Replies: 35
Views: 2004

Re: Splitting a cell phone bill

I vote for giving them a grace period of a month, or two if you are very generous, to find their own plan or pay the $25. They cannot find a deal for $12 anywhere, of if they can they should take it. Why would you subsidize them unless there is some reason you have not indicated. If I were in the sh...
by retired recently
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Duke University TIP Program Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1337

Re: Duke University TIP Program Questions

DS qualified and we joined. At some stage he attended a one day course and it was fine but nothing special. DS likes math a lot and he has attended a local math circle for years which he really enjoys. I agree with others who indicated that it tends to be really great for kids that have had trouble ...
by retired recently
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long would a 09' Hyundai Sonata last?
Replies: 13
Views: 1200

Re: How long would a 09' Hyundai Sonata last?

We have this car and ours has 155k miles and seems to be running well. I have not had to have any work yet done other than routine maintenance. No idea how long it will last without major repair but to date it has been a good car.
by retired recently
Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any idea re W8 withholding for former USSR citizens
Replies: 2
Views: 426

Any idea re W8 withholding for former USSR citizens

I worked in the CIS/FSU for a number of years and one of my friends (citizen of Azerbaijan only) wants to invest in equities. He was asking me about some options he has in Switzerland at Julius Baer plus another option in the Isle of Man, both are very expensive. I looked at the wiki and then told h...
by retired recently
Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sams Club vs Costco
Replies: 78
Views: 6499

Re: Sams Club vs Costco

We have had memberships to both and I have no preference for one over the other and do not understand why some think Costco is better. Some of the Kirkland items at Costco are nice but you can get deals at both places and/or can pay too much at both places. As always, you have to know your prices if...
by retired recently
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?
Replies: 29
Views: 2536

Re: Travel to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania: is it worth it?

I was in Warsaw for a business trip for a week about 15 years ago and I thought it was a decent city and my wife and I hope to visit Poland again at some stage. I definitely would love to travel to the Baltics as I have heard great things about each country. I lived in the Former Soviet Union for 14...
by retired recently
Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home
Replies: 55
Views: 5630

Re: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home

Sorry it happened but it does seem like he made a careless mistake and tried to remedy it. I would not do anything about it.
by retired recently
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn service etiquette
Replies: 36
Views: 3886

Re: Lawn service etiquette

I have an acre and I put down the pine needles myself. Each bale costs $4 and I can easily use 100 bales and I do not cover a lot of the back (nor all of the sides in the back) so $700 to purchase and also put down does not seem like a lot for my yard. It is not hard work but it does take a bit of t...
by retired recently
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Quandary regarding granddaughter
Replies: 5
Views: 1381

Re: Quandary regarding granddaughter

Certainly you need to speak to the parents before you do anything. Seems a bit of a bad idea to do anything that would give her control over a large sum of money at a young age, like 18, a good idea. Sure it might turn out fine but she is 2 and you have no idea at this stage. I have a bit more than ...
by retired recently
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costa Rica
Replies: 17
Views: 2189

Re: Costa Rica

We went a few years ago and I would highly recommend visiting and some great advice has been given upthread. We had spent six weeks in Thailand the year before and in comparison Costa Rica is way overpriced but the flora/fauna are amazing. While it is very unlikely we would ever return as it is pric...
by retired recently
Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Goodbye Capital One 360!!
Replies: 56
Views: 9045

Re: Goodbye Capital One 360!!

Strange. I have both Cap One and Ally and never really experience problems with either. We log in to both websites regularly.
by retired recently
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Specific Travel Question - USA to Belgium to Italy
Replies: 33
Views: 2011

Re: Specific Travel Question - USA to Belgium to Italy

We just returned from Europe and visited Florence, Rome/Vatican, Naples (Pompeii/Herculaneum), Oslo (family), Barcelona, Madrid. Overall, Florence and Barcelona were the family favorites, but every destination was definitely worth visiting, touring the Vatican was incredible. As far as mode of trans...
by retired recently
Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 81
Views: 5058

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: 7343

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: 238
Views: 30289

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: 5058

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: 5058

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: 64
Views: 6662

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: 47
Views: 7552

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: 5058

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: 5058

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: 5058

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: 4624

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: 5102

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: 9286

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: 9286

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: 9286

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: 1819

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: 30285

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: 6360

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: 6360

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: 31847

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: 986

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: 3036

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: 4466

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: 4466

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: 13016

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: 1076

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 ...