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Old 01-24-2016, 07:13 PM   #21
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I'm helping a young couple I know with their finances, and she's originally from Kewlona and went to college in Calgary.

Compared to his tuition at a US school (he's from DC), she certainly got a bargain. But...hers is an art degree and his is engineering.
She could have obtained an arts degree at UBCO in Kelowna. Here's how arts tuition would stack up against engineering at that location:

UBC's Okanagan Campus Tuition & student fees
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:50 PM   #22
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My tuition was $117.50 to $192.50 in a big city state university, and I graduated in 1972.

But with current college graduates running up $20-25K in student loans (on the low end,) it's going to put them 7-10 years behind in starting saving for retirement aggressively.

And with compounding and taking those years out of the marjet, those having to pay back student loans are going to be way behind those that didn't have to take out student loans.

If I was going to start college today, I'd go to cheaper community college 2 years, including going to Summer school. Then I'd transfer to a state university to finish up. And I'd live like a monk--triple frugal.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:06 PM   #23
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She could have obtained an arts degree at UBCO in Kelowna. Here's how arts tuition would stack up against engineering at that location:



UBC's Okanagan Campus Tuition & student fees

I know, I know.
But she did a ceramics major in Calgary. His engineering degree is from Clemson, here in SC.

On our magical trip from Seattle to the Yukon and beyond, we camped at her mom's place, overlooking an orchard. Idyllic, like everywhere in BC we went.
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:41 PM   #24
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If I was going to start college today, I'd go to cheaper community college 2 years, including going to Summer school. Then I'd transfer to a state university to finish up. And I'd live like a monk--triple frugal.
I actually took a similar path. I started at the local "community college" and got a diploma in computer programming. I used that to get 1 year worth of science credits and transferred into a Comp Sci major at the local University. I also got a partial scholarship based on my grades. I switched majors right away and graduated with a business degree.
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Old 01-25-2016, 01:18 PM   #25
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The common countries that come up most often seem to be Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Thailand. So Spanish would be very useful in most of those cases...
We considered Uruguay before buying in Mexico. Recently I have heard that the cost of medical care has become prohibitive for retirees.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:20 PM   #26
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We are retired in Mexico...

... you can also get a job teaching English.
Does not follow.
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Old 01-25-2016, 03:29 PM   #27
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Hi DrRoy,

I use the 3-4 % withdrawal rate as a rule of thumb. In reality my withdrawal rate will likely be variable. I am thinking there will be an absolute minimum withdrawal rate, lets say a real 2% rate, along with a variable portion depending on how well my portfolio is doing. Also with kids I am also flexible and would likely have to continue working if my future child has special needs requiring income over and above that which my portfolio can provide. However I am very independent and was raised to take responsibility for myself. Hopefully my kids will pick up the same skills and traits.
That sounds more sustainable. If 2% covers your basic COL needs and other spending waits for a better return year then that has higher odds of success.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:50 PM   #28
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A friend from high school just posted on facebook that her daughter is getting a full ride (volleyball) to USD. That means they can repurpose (with a tax hit on the gains) the fully funded 529 to their early retirement.

That's one way to cover the US college expenses... have a bright and incredibly athletic 6'1" daughter who can spike like crazy.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:13 PM   #29
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Yes it's true... everything is free in Canada!

Everything free in America!

For a small fee in America!

-Stephen Sondheim, West Side Story
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:26 PM   #30
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Tuition is not free but generally a lot less than in the US. Medical is much less expensive in Canada unless you are a high earner because it is, after all, paid for through a higher tax rate. Typically combined Max marginal tax rates in Canada range from 48% to about 55% and are reached around $200,000 in income. For the average family if works out pretty well.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:17 AM   #31
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A friend from high school just posted on facebook that her daughter is getting a full ride (volleyball) to USD. That means they can repurpose (with a tax hit on the gains) the fully funded 529 to their early retirement.

That's one way to cover the US college expenses... have a bright and incredibly athletic 6'1" daughter who can spike like crazy.
I know that's an option for some people, however I have no known genetic relatives from my side or my wife side who have anything approaching the athletic talent needed to get a scholarship. Probably a super long shot but hey I'll take it if it comes.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:24 AM   #32
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I know that's an option for some people, however I have no known genetic relatives from my side or my wife side who have anything approaching the athletic talent needed to get a scholarship. Probably a super long shot but hey I'll take it if it comes.
I don't either. I'm expecting to have pay full freight for my kids... They play basketball - but are not stars. Their grades are not as stellar as they should be... no chance for scholarships.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:47 AM   #33
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OP - Welcome.

Your plan sounds fairly reasonable, but I felt there were 2 issues in all the discussion.
1) You are renting, and perhaps in 10 years you will have the cash, but still be renting, besides the concept of a low foreign COL country, what is your backup plan if you stay in Canada for housing (rent all life, or buy in cheap city like Halifax NS ?).

2) Children, will you really raise them in a 3rd world country, won't that limit educational and health opportunities ?
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:46 PM   #34
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OP - Welcome.

Your plan sounds fairly reasonable, but I felt there were 2 issues in all the discussion.
1) You are renting, and perhaps in 10 years you will have the cash, but still be renting, besides the concept of a low foreign COL country, what is your backup plan if you stay in Canada for housing (rent all life, or buy in cheap city like Halifax NS ?).
We'll consider buying a home when it makes sense but right now we're investing the money saved in food, water and ammo. I am thinking of buying a plot in northern Alberta and raising my kids to live off the land and thrive in the harsh Canadian winters. Just kidding . I have no idea where I will be in 10 years but if buying houses in my area made more financial sense then renting I would mortgage a house.
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2) Children, will you really raise them in a 3rd world country, won't that limit educational and health opportunities ?
The term "third world" comes from the cold war era and refers to nations not aligned to Nato (the first world) or communist countries (the second world). This included almost all of latin america, Africa, middle east, some of Europe and much of Asia. There are tons of health and educational opportunities in many of those countries. In fact many of those countries offer excellent healthcare and educational opportunities at very affordable prices.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:32 AM   #35
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36 year old Canadian husband who wants to retire within 10 years

I think it is amazingly great when people have such clear goals with actual plans that they are implementing at such relatively young ages. You may or may not hit your numbers right on schedule, but you are giving yourselves something perhaps even better: options. Virtually everyone you know will never have your options because lifestyle and subsequent debt choices will chain them to the highest-paying job they can find, forever, regardless of toxicity. Bravo - and never fall for the lifestyle trap. I'm 50 and, though DW and I have stepped in the lifestyle trap a few times, we have also saved well since age 28 and learned to invest, and now I so appreciate our FU money and options.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:55 PM   #36
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I think the biggest wildcard isn't money or where to live... It's children.

Speaking as a 40 year old with 2 kids that CAN fire, I can tell you that it's looks VERY different with kids than without.

Without kids you can do what you want... Spend hours on hobbies, travel the world, pick up side gigs, play video games all day .

WITH kids you FIRE is much more like being a stay at home parent which is actually more work than a job (at least in my case ).

It can also be very monotonous, frustrating and kind of unrewarding... Short term. Long term it's absolutely amazing and as my kids get older it gets better and better.

Now... Some people travel the world with their kids... I wouldn't. Anything over a 4 hour plane trip with infants can be grueling (I've done 5 from 5-15 hours in the last 2 years). Changing their sleep patterns is rough on you and them. You have to pack all their food, diapers, milk, transport... Or you have to figure out where to get that stuff at your destination.

On the other hand, people say that kids are expensive. I haven't had this problem. I guess if you feel the urge to buy them fancy clothes and toys that might be true. We spend roughly the same with 2 kids as without because other expenses dropped quite a bit. The only exception is school and health (if something goes wrong especially).

That said... Some people can handle being with young children 24/7... Some can't. I can handle it ok... But without some kind of "job like distraction" my brain turns to mush and I become unpleasant. People have said to just block off a few hours and work at home but I find this very hard. I feel guilty being at home and telling the kids they can't bug me .

Anyway I suggest have kids THEN retire .

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Old 02-01-2016, 04:27 PM   #37
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Now... Some people travel the world with their kids... I wouldn't. Anything over a 4 hour plane trip with infants can be grueling (I've done 5 from 5-15 hours in the last 2 years). Changing their sleep patterns is rough on you and them. You have to pack all their food, diapers, milk, transport... Or you have to figure out where to get that stuff at your destination.
I remember a guy I used to run with, who went on a driving European R&R with a new baby......they (initially) figured on spending most of the day touring, and finding a new hotel each evening.

When he returned he said that it was about 11:00 a.m. before they could check out of one hotel, and by 01:00 p.m. they were searching for another.
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:43 PM   #38
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:45 PM   #39
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:37 PM   #40
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It's very odd to hear you quoting your net worth and not include your wife's. Same with expenses. Your expenses are $28,000 and hers are similar? Don't you mean your expenses are $56,000.
+1. Makes no sense.

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It is my understanding that public universities in Canada offer free tuition to their citizens.
And it is my understanding that all American universities charge annual tuition fees of $5 million per student. Also, IIRC every US citizen is required to spend 20 years of compulsory military service. Etc.

It would be helpful if people made a basic effort to check the facts before gratuitously posting misinformation … Google makes this very easy to do.
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