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I like to understand the math before I buy
Old 10-08-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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I like to understand the math before I buy

When I bought a house a number of years ago, I drove the mortgage broker nuts because I needed to understand all the math in the deal. This was hampered a bit my less-than-stellar-but-better-than-average math abilities. I find that if I wrestle with a problem long enough, I can usually get it -- especially with regard to financial decisions. So I was happy to discover this board (which occurred because I had a Google Alert on "longevity annuities" and received a message about this board) where I see a lot of intelligent discussion that, more than occasionally, gets into the math.

About my nickname here: my hobby is making crossword puzzles. I've sold a few to the New York Times. This may be an avocation in my upcoming retirement, but it will never be a living. The NYT pays $200, and they are the top of the heap! But I figure that the time I spend making crosswords saves me money vs. other activities that might be more costly (read: bail money).
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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Welcome Xwd.

Bail and jail are definitely ER UNfriendly. Good move to stay away from those.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Xwd-puzzler View Post
When I bought a house a number of years ago, I drove the mortgage broker nuts because I needed to understand all the math in the deal. This was hampered a bit my less-than-stellar-but-better-than-average math abilities. I find that if I wrestle with a problem long enough, I can usually get it -- especially with regard to financial decisions. So I was happy to discover this board (which occurred because I had a Google Alert on "longevity annuities" and received a message about this board) where I see a lot of intelligent discussion that, more than occasionally, gets into the math.

About my nickname here: my hobby is making crossword puzzles. I've sold a few to the New York Times. This may be an avocation in my upcoming retirement, but it will never be a living. The NYT pays $200, and they are the top of the heap! But I figure that the time I spend making crosswords saves me money vs. other activities that might be more costly (read: bail money).
Hi, Xwd-puzzler, and welcome to the Early Retirement forum! Many of our members enjoy working through the math involved in retirement planning, and we have quite a few engineers, CPAs, and others who work or worked in mathematically intensive occupations of various kinds. So, someone who wants to understand the math will fit right in, here.

How cool it is that you actually design/make crossword puzzles! Even if it doesn't pay a lot, I'm sure you will always find a use for a few dollars earned here and there by doing something you love to do in retirement.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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This was hampered a bit my less-than-stellar-but-better-than-average math abilities.
I can relate...

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Welcome Xwd.
Bail and jail are definitely ER UNfriendly. Good move to stay away from those.
Nah, it's just a different form of survivor bias. You never hear about all the happy-go-lucky ERs in jail because they don't have the bandwidth to post here.

Retire on $500
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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Nah, it's just a different form of survivor bias. You never hear about all the happy-go-lucky ERs in jail because they don't have the bandwidth to post here.

Retire on $500

Looks like "Al" may have executed his plan to ER on $500. Hasn't been heard from for 7 years.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Looks like "Al" may have executed his plan to ER on $500. Hasn't been heard from for 7 years.
Hey, if the word gets out then everyone will be doing it...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Welcome, Xwd-puzzler.

So, you create crossword puzzles and sell them. That's impressive. Not my cup of tea. I think I picked one up to try many decades ago, and never tried again. English is not my mother tongue, but I don't think that would be the real factor.

No mathematician here, but I think math is easier. For numerical solutions, well, we form all numbers with just 10 symbols from 0 to 9, don't we? And for symbolic solutions, mostly we just use x, y, z, t, u, v as variable symbols, plus some Greek symbols, and that pretty much covers it.

Man, English or any language, that's hard! So many permutations and combinations of letters. If you get the letters mixed up in a word, they call it misspelling. If you mix up the order of the words in a sentence, or heaven forbid, leave some out all together, they call it bad grammar. The result is that people scowl at you. Well, in school they would flunk you too, but none of us is still in school, I don't think. Whew!

I think I am going to change my signature line to read: "Words is hard".
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:10 PM   #9
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Welcome. I read every page of every mortgage document I ever had. Found errors in all of them. They were small errors in favor of the lender not me. Someone not paying attention would have gotten something with higher rates than they thought they signed up for. Pays to understand math. Told the lenders in advance either give me the stuff to read in advance or expect to sit there a long time. We all sat while they corrected the documents.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:36 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:23 AM   #11
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Welcome to the forum. Like others have said, there are many here who are adept with math. I know spreadsheets figure prominently in my decision making, and I typically make sure I understand the math before I leap. I can't imagine retiring without knowing a great deal about managing retirement income sources/distribution, but I'm well aware others do just that...
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