Search found 483 matches

by retired recently
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?
Replies: 111
Views: 10644

Re: Curious about negative expat experiences -- why don't more people do it?

I work in HR and at one point in my career I worked with placing and supporting Expats. We usually had enough people interested in going on assignments, however we had quite a few employees who did not enjoy their experience. This was mainly because they go to a new country and think everything sho...
by retired recently
Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Urgent Care bill - does this seem high?
Replies: 44
Views: 2453

Re: Urgent Care bill - does this seem high?

Having been born in the US but spending much of my career abroad, I can say that the cost of medicine in the US is much higher and despite what many like to believe, not better. That being said, the amount is not too bad considering how much things often cost here.
by retired recently
Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Let's play chess
Replies: 151
Views: 11994

Re: Let's play chess

Bughouse was mentioned upthread. My son is a decent chess player but he and his friend play bughouse quite often now. It is possible to play online which works well given Covid shutdowns. He plays most evenings and comments on how he plays Russians, Israelis, Chinese, etc.
by retired recently
Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nursing School: Pay out of pocket or take out loans??
Replies: 19
Views: 1647

Re: Nursing School: Pay out of pocket or take out loans??

I think it is worth taking the loans and seeing how things go...not to speculate too much but it could be worthwhile as loan forgiveness is often discussed...
by retired recently
Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way for child to learn Spanish
Replies: 40
Views: 2386

Re: Best way for child to learn Spanish

I worked in the Former Soviet Union for 14 years. In the early days, I would be in remote areas and oftentimes be the only non-Russian speaker. I was not shy to speak even though I knew I was slaughtering the language. While my language skills were fine to get around and make myself understood and t...
by retired recently
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer 2021 travel?
Replies: 81
Views: 5383

Re: Summer 2021 travel?

We are planning to go to either Spain/Portugal or Chile or Argentina. I am betting on things being open again...I hope I am right.
by retired recently
Sun Jan 03, 2021 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way for child to learn Spanish
Replies: 40
Views: 2386

Re: Best way for child to learn Spanish

Our son spoke Russian before English as we were living overseas and his mother, who is tri-lingual, spoke to him in Russian. We moved back when he was 5 and at this stage his English was pretty decent too. Fast forward to tenth grade and while he could speak, read and write and while it was not at t...
by retired recently
Fri Dec 25, 2020 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in reentry of Oil Well
Replies: 50
Views: 3236

Re: Investing in reentry of Oil Well

looks like you decided not to go forward so perhaps no need to discuss further. I worked as an auditor overseas for O&G companies for a while. One of my concerns would be to ensure my liability was limited and there was zero chance of being responsible for any future costs associated with damage...
by retired recently
Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone retire pre 55 without any pensions?
Replies: 101
Views: 14016

Re: Anyone retire pre 55 without any pensions?

I retired in 2009 at 40 with $4.2m in assets. We live in NC where the COL is relatively low. Definitely some unexpected surprises along the way but assets are $6.5ish today. Probably will spend $.5m on college, etc over the next 5 years but we plan to downsize the house so might free up some cash. I...
by retired recently
Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Waste collection (trash) prices
Replies: 56
Views: 2414

Re: Waste collection (trash) prices

Most of the neighbors have a service and it is shocking how much trash folks generate. We are a family of 3 and compost and really do not generate a lot of trash. We recycle and go to the county trash boxes once every few weeks to drop off trash and recycling. What is irritating is that the county c...
by retired recently
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for college
Replies: 164
Views: 12810

Re: Shopping for college

Good news! College applications and future enrollment are down for the 2021-2022 school year. Competition should be less fierce. This is true at lower ranked schools and community colleges but definitely not true at the tippy tops. MIT apps are up 60% over last year and I think this is true at all ...
by retired recently
Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost of education
Replies: 59
Views: 3710

Re: cost of education

Well, not to get all geographical on you, .... When I lived in the NY City area I became acutely aware that NYC was the center of media, business, and news in the USA. The rest of the world mostly gets their USA news from NYC. More particular, any newspaper, magazine, or television piece on educati...
by retired recently
Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: cost of education
Replies: 59
Views: 3710

Re: cost of education

For top students, which colleges they went to does not matter. For those at the bottom, still does not matter. Choice of colleges may matter for those in between. You have to examine the statistics, not just anecdotes. Kickoff or punt returns are the riskiest plays in football. Since the team has t...
by retired recently
Tue Dec 08, 2020 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing Hunting Land
Replies: 102
Views: 8292

Re: Purchasing Hunting Land

I bought almost 200 acres a bit over a year ago for hunting, etc and have been very happy with it. The only issues I have had were ATVs (I dropped trees over the trail and that seems to have stopped it) and distance to the land (just over an hour). In any case I killed a nice doe and buck there this...
by retired recently
Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unsolicited Text Messages to Buy Condo (I plan to sell) - Even Worth Bothering?
Replies: 16
Views: 8639

Re: Unsolicited Text Messages to Buy Condo (I plan to sell) - Even Worth Bothering?

I think cell phones have made it more difficult to communicate. There are a few adjoining properties that I would like to purchase and I have sent letters and tried to call but typically people do not respond. I am willing to pay a very fair price and hope to avoid a real estate agent. I want to go ...
by retired recently
Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long time retirees: any regrets?
Replies: 213
Views: 26335

Re: Long time retirees: any regrets?

I am quite happily retired and stay very active. I had a great group I played racquetball with but my elbow/shoulder gave me a lot of problems so I had to take some time off. Hopefully by the time things re-open, I can play again. I hope I did not overstate loneliness as I am not. It would just have...
by retired recently
Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long time retirees: any regrets?
Replies: 213
Views: 26335

Re: Long time retirees: any regrets?

I retired 11 years ago after working overseas for 14 years. The company I worked with offered me a job back in the US but I was burned-out and did not want to continue and was financially secure (I think...). Retirement has been great as we have travelled, spent time with my son I would not have bee...
by retired recently
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Freshwater fishing: your favorite how-to resource?
Replies: 15
Views: 904

Re: Freshwater fishing: your favorite how-to resource?

Given limitations on travelling I have a lot more time on my hands so I decided to learn to fly fish. I recently went to a stocked trout pond and had a wonderful time, catching six nice rainbow/brown trout in about an hour. This is a smallish pond with hundreds of trout so you are guaranteed to catc...
by retired recently
Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need SAT prep suggestion
Replies: 36
Views: 1919

Re: Need SAT prep suggestion

Neither is a fair measure because rich/middle class kids get prepared with books, tutors, and even high school classes. Given KhanAcademy, I do not think this is true any longer or at least becomes less true each year. Sure, there are some that still use expensive test prep companies but it is a lu...
by retired recently
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need SAT prep suggestion
Replies: 36
Views: 1919

Re: Need SAT prep suggestion

DS is a HS senior and only used KhanAcademy and did pretty well on the SAT. I really do not think anything else is necessary. An important part is to do timed tests but only after just going through all solutions as sometimes there is an easier/faster way to solve than what you used. Based on your d...
by retired recently
Mon Nov 02, 2020 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many items can you take back to Lowes without a receipt before they say no more?
Replies: 11
Views: 1145

Re: How many items can you take back to Lowes without a receipt before they say no more?

In our area, there has been a wave of folks taking advantage of Lowe's policy of not confronting shoplifters. I imagine that will also make them unwilling to accept returns without receipts. Makes sense.
by retired recently
Mon Nov 02, 2020 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My dog barks when I'm not home- solutions?
Replies: 79
Views: 5181

Re: My dog barks when I'm not home- solutions?

000 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 11:56 am I don't see the problem. Dogs are supposed to bark. Don't punish them for barking, that's their job.

Unless it rises to the level of a noise ordinance, I would just ignore the neighbor.
Wow...what a nice considerate neighbor you must be...
by retired recently
Mon Nov 02, 2020 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifted Education (Primary, Secondary etc) in the US - moving out from Redmond/Seattle-EastSide
Replies: 18
Views: 1238

Re: Gifted Education (Primary, Secondary etc) in the US - moving out from Redmond/Seattle-EastSide

There are only a handful of schools where the "gifted" program will make much of a difference. I think the previous poster is right that you can succeed from any school but it really comes down to the kid. Some kids prefer/need to be around other kids at the same level in order to feel eng...
by retired recently
Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifted Education (Primary, Secondary etc) in the US - moving out from Redmond/Seattle-EastSide
Replies: 18
Views: 1238

Re: Gifted Education (Primary, Secondary etc) in the US - moving out from Redmond/Seattle-EastSide

Are your kids STEM oriented or "mathy"? If so, then figure out which areas you are interested in living and then get on the maa.org website and see which middle schools and high schools are most represented among the high-scorers on the AMC 8/10/12 tests. Your kids will be surrounded by hi...
by retired recently
Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Merit Aid Question...
Replies: 51
Views: 3537

Re: College Merit Aid Question...

Is the limit to only State-U's due to pricing concerns? If so - this limit is not necessary - my daughter applied to both State-U's and Private-U's - the Private-U's were more generous with Merit Aid with some of the offers bringing prices down to or below State-U costs. If cultural then this doesn...
by retired recently
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?
Replies: 63
Views: 4133

Re: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?

Why would you think those that FIRE are not paying their taxes and are somehow shortchanging society by not funding police, fire, etc? I pay a lot of taxes and certainly feel like I am doing my part, actually much more than my part....
by retired recently
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?
Replies: 63
Views: 4133

Re: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?

For our family, both parents were involved in most things. We would actively talk about his homework, what he was learning, how can it be used, etc. We identified things for him to see/do. We had the time to drive him back/forth (one hour each way) to a very good charter school for middle school yea...
by retired recently
Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?
Replies: 63
Views: 4133

Re: Early FIRE when kids are young - How do kids with non-working parents develop?

I am sure it depends on each child and situation but I retired 11 years ago when son was 5. I think it has worked out very well for him (and definitely for me). If there is a downside, we were maybe too involved but had the time to keep him involved in many activities and spent lots of time on priva...
by retired recently
Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: College Merit Aid Question...
Replies: 51
Views: 3537

Re: College Merit Aid Question...

DS has applied to 14 colleges/universities and so far has 3 acceptances to UAH, UTD and Alabama. We were fortunate that he should be able to attend any of these for almost nothing as he scored very well on the PSAT and these programs have great NMF scholarships. These are the best/easiest to attain ...
by retired recently
Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any way to store CAD in US bank?
Replies: 2
Views: 436

Re: Any way to store CAD in US bank?

TIAA will also let you have a CAD account.

I have foreign accounts in foreign currencies and it is not really that difficult or time-consuming to do all of the proper reporting...
by retired recently
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?
Replies: 67
Views: 6186

Re: Rent a goat to clear/maintain a field?

I bought about 200 acres of land last year that is mainly wooded but contains about 5 to 7 acres of pasture. Last year I planted about 125 trees and this year I plan to plant about 250 trees. Hopefully over the next few years I can completely plant the fields with trees that I want. In the meantime,...
by retired recently
Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?
Replies: 68
Views: 6318

Re: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?

Unless the school is the type that requires metal detectors to keep out weapons, I would imagine any school would be adequate for a high majority of kids. It seems there are always good kids and bad kids at every school. If your kid is very accelerated you might run the risk of them not developing a...
by retired recently
Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on college and aid for National Merit Semi Finalist
Replies: 52
Views: 3842

Re: Thoughts on college and aid for National Merit Semi Finalist

Please update the post later as it will be very interesting to see your decision. Best of luck!
by retired recently
Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on college and aid for National Merit Semi Finalist
Replies: 52
Views: 3842

Re: Thoughts on college and aid for National Merit Semi Finalist

Our son has similar stats to your child and we believe will make NMF. The application to University of ALabama is very quick and easy and as mentioned they will provide great merit to your child. Given the interest in medicine, I think the typical advice is to try to get the undergrad degree as chea...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The College Admissions Game
Replies: 48
Views: 4407

Re: The College Admissions Game

Check out the recent book by Jeff Selingo on college admissions. He was allowed to sit in on some of the admissions reviews at Davidson, University of Washington and Emory. I am certain there are exceptions but during his reviews it seemed that there was little time spent on individual files. I list...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?
Replies: 68
Views: 6318

Re: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?

I think the problem with admissions is that fewer and fewer HS's do class rank each year. Apparently grade inflation gets a bit worse each year and now many schools are moving away from SAT/ ACT...quite difficult to determine how AOs make their decision...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The College Admissions Game
Replies: 48
Views: 4407

Re: The College Admissions Game

My understanding is admissions officers at top colleges spend about 5-10 minutes on an entire application. I do not think they are able to do enough in those few minutes for essays and LORs to play to pivotal a role. Instead I think they are looking for additional info and for corroborating words on...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The College Admissions Game
Replies: 48
Views: 4407

Re: The College Admissions Game

I do not work for a university but feel like I have logged enough hours on College Confidential to have some knowledge. A kid with the stats you indicate should do well in college admissions. It seems most kids of that level will make it through the eliminations and be left in the pile for "sha...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?
Replies: 68
Views: 6318

Re: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?

I agree those ratings mean nothing but for our situation the cohort mattered a lot. I also agree that your highest likelihood of success will be impacted by putting an emphasis on education.
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?
Replies: 68
Views: 6318

Re: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?

Re money in the school system equating to high-performance, I think this has an impact but not at the tippy-top levels in academics. We live in a pretty wealthy area and the schools are rated highly compared to the rest of our state but at the very high levels we do not compete. The top STEM academi...
by retired recently
Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?
Replies: 68
Views: 6318

Re: How to approach kid’s middle school / high school / college decisions?

I have a HS senior and we are going through the college admissions process now. Any advice anyone gives is based on their kid who is probably much different than yours. For our kid, we noticed early on that he was more engaged when the cohort was stronger, so we supplemented when he was ahead of wha...
by retired recently
Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defray math enrichment program costs for minor child?
Replies: 5
Views: 616

Re: Defray math enrichment program costs for minor child?

FYI, you might want to look into the Art of Problem Solving. Arguably one of the best math resources out there. They have great online courses that are not that expensive.
by retired recently
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on Tennessee
Replies: 116
Views: 14023

Re: Thoughts on Tennessee

I could be mis-remembering, but it seems this is the poster that was looking to move so he could take his Porsche and speed around the curvy roads. If this is your goal, I cannot imagine you will be accepted with open arms in many communities.
by retired recently
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Increase insurance coverage?
Replies: 4
Views: 416

Re: Increase insurance coverage?

Thanks for the advice, I will document as you suggest. I am headed that way today to block the path and will take before and after photos.

I intend to keep the property and hopefully acquire more. I should be spending a bit more time there as I like to hunt and the season is not far away.
by retired recently
Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Increase insurance coverage?
Replies: 4
Views: 416

Increase insurance coverage?

I purchased 200 acres about a year ago and when I visited yesterday I noticed an ATV had come in through some trails, driving by many no trespassing signs. He did not do any damage but was inconsiderate enough to smoke a few cigarettes and throw the butts down and leave a bit of other trash lying ar...
by retired recently
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Blocking ATV access to remote location
Replies: 2
Views: 500

Blocking ATV access to remote location

I purchased 200 acres about a year ago and when I visited yesterday I noticed an ATV had come in through some trails, driving by many no trespassing signs. He did not do any damage but was inconsiderate enough to smoke a few cigarettes and throw the butts down and leave a bit of other trash lying ar...
by retired recently
Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic
Replies: 317
Views: 31067

Re: Oddly Difficult to Find Items During the Pandemic

We also could not find the sodastream replacements so I looked online to see options. Apparently you take off the top of the cartridge without too much effort and purchase pelletized dry ice to insert into the container. You have to keep weighing the canister to ensure you do not overfill but it is ...
by retired recently
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What precautions are other universities taking?
Replies: 26
Views: 1443

Re: What precautions are other universities taking?

Son attends a residential high school, so similar to a uni system, and they have split the student body into an A and B group. The A group, of which my son is part of, will start the semester at the school while the other half will attend online, midway they will switch. All classes are to be finish...
by retired recently
Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: hyper inflation hedges
Replies: 54
Views: 3088

Re: hyper inflation hedges

I lived and worked in the Former Soviet Union for 14 years starting in 1995. Inflation had been incredibly high and the currency had lost almost all of its purchasing power. There was another hit specifically to the currency in 1998 while I was there. The folks that did really well (billions) were t...
by retired recently
Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?
Replies: 232
Views: 24325

Re: Are 55+ Communities a Baby Boomer Thing Only? If so, who will buy when Boomers want to sell?

My wife and I are in NC and are interested in moving into one of these communities in a few years. What is the noise level like in these communities? I envisions living beside of someone that is hard of hearing and leaves the TV blaring for hours and hours...or perhaps the communities being overrun...