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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-28-2005, 09:25 AM   #301
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

bpp said in part...
Having lived in the US in the 70s/80s, with one year in the
UK in there, and Japan in the 90s/00s, I have seen a lot
of economic malaise in my life, and I don't think that I would
trust any good times to last, should I ever find myself in the
right time and place to experience them. My basic strategy
is to emphasize saving, diversification, and low costs.

Hey, bpp, maybe you can comment on the financial situations you experienced. I was in the UK durning some of their decline but was very financially unconscious, courtesy of the US Navy. In fact the one FI type guy I remember (said I don't buy cars, only things that appreciate) I thought was nuts.

But since then I have come to wonder, suppose I was some average Japanese guy 15 years ago, say $60k income or any other working amount, and I came to think that Japan Inc was just over priced, real estate and stocks. But I still live there and work there, no plan to relocate. What could I do financially to make some money or at least do better than the fellow financially asleep at the next desk?

I think we have come to a similar situation to that which I used to make fun of. But I still live and work here. My financial world is based on a pension, a paid off house, and some tax deferred savings, mostly index funds. But I sctatch my head and think there must be something better that I could do with at least part of my funds. The only problem with my increasing my 20% funds in a total foreign index is that right after the US declines I expect a good number of other countries to follow. Everybody has problems, although ours seem to be too much of our own making.

I'd like to hear your take on financial issues.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-28-2005, 06:04 PM   #302
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Bookm,

Nice to see you, too.

Bpp
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-28-2005, 06:48 PM   #303
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Yakers,

Quote:
I'd like to hear your take on financial issues.
I hope I didn't give the impression of having any kind of expertise in that area. But I will see what I can come up with.

Quote:
Hey, bpp, maybe you can comment on the financial situations you experienced. I was in the UK durning some of their decline but was very financially unconscious, courtesy of the US Navy. In fact the one FI type guy I remember (said I don't buy cars, only things that appreciate) I thought was nuts.
I was there as a student, myself, so while I was impoverished, that is the normal state of affairs for students and I can't really say I was personally affected too much. But the atmosphere was bleak and hopeless-feeling, similar to and maybe even worse than in the US, as I recall. There was a real sense of things-are-falling-apart, with some alarming things going on like the rise of National Front (which ended up fizzling out, I gather). But all I can really conclude is that recessions are very demoralizing to be in the middle of.

Quote:
But since then I have come to wonder, suppose I was some average Japanese guy 15 years ago, say $60k income or any other working amount, and I came to think that Japan Inc was just over priced, real estate and stocks. But I still live there and work there, no plan to relocate. What could I do financially to make some money or at least do better than the fellow financially asleep at the next desk?
If you had known for sure what was coming, you could have done relatively well domestically with long bonds, 10-year CDs, value stocks, and avoiding buying a house or apartment -- many people who bought around that time are still upside-down on their mortgages. But I don't think anybody really believed such a long period of deflation was possible back then, so it would have been a tough call to make at the time -- especially if you had also looked back at the US in the 70s, when this approach would not have worked very well.

International diversification would certainly have been a good idea, and as I understand it, this would have been true in the US in the 70s as well.

Quote:
I think we have come to a similar situation to that which I used to make fun of. But I still live and work here. My financial world is based on a pension, a paid off house, and some tax deferred savings, mostly index funds. But I sctatch my head and think there must be something better that I could do with at least part of my funds. The only problem with my increasing my 20% funds in a total foreign index is that right after the US declines I expect a good number of other countries to follow. Everybody has problems, although ours seem to be too much of our own making.
Short-term I expect that most countries are chained together, but long-term, I imagine that if the US somehow went permanently down the drain that other countries would just learn to do without it, and trade with each other instead. But what do I know.

My only conclusion is to diversify as much as possible, both geographically as well as in types of assets. Not so much for better returns as for greater safety. (But I might mention that I have 40% of my portfolio in Japan and 40% in the US, both of which I consider "domestic" in some sense, so my "international" ratio is really the same as yours, 20%.)

But if I had a pension and a paid-off house, I guess I would ask, what could kill me? and try to mitigate against that. I imagine deflation would not hurt me personally, and might be welcome if my pension is fixed. Inflation could be a worry if the pension is not COLA'd. I'd probably lean towards TIPS, international stocks and bonds, and commodities myself, but whatever is comfortable for you.

But as I said, I hope I don't give the impression that I know what I'm talking about.

Bpp
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-28-2005, 07:30 PM   #304
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
Likewise Beachbumz. I didn't know you were so active here. All the boards combined you posted at in the recent past, you have been quite busy.

I don't know if you read my question I posted at NFB the last day there or not, but I didn't get to find out if you did. It was about a place in Port Canaveral called Grills tiki bar?

Bookm
I did respond, but it was close to the end...

YES, we have been to Grills many times. It was the first place we ate when we moved there. We take all our friends there when they visit. They have a great breakfast too. The first time there, the waitress told us the frozen drinks were potent. She said after two we would be feelin' right and after 3, we would be dancing on the table naked. Man, was she right!

I just wish it wasn't so far away (10 minutes).

Beachbumz


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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-29-2005, 02:19 PM   #305
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
Hi folks,
Another potential refugee from NFB here
Hi bpp. Can I ask what the 'NFB' site you refer to is?

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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-29-2005, 02:51 PM   #306
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
Hi bpp. Can I ask what the 'NFB' site you refer to is?
NoFeeBoards. R.I.P.

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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-30-2005, 01:19 AM   #307
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi! You ERs are my heroes. I've been lurking for about a year...decided to uncloak today.

I'm a 42 year old RN in the military, about to punch out at the 20 year point (only 7 weeks until I'm done). My hubs is also a retiree, but 25% of his retirement pay goes to his ex (in the amount of $666, which I thought was amusing).
I think we'll be OK with O-5 and O-4 retirement pay and the only debt is a mortgage. We've got $280K in various mutual funds/Roths. I think its enough, but I'm still not entirely sure how my spending habits will change once I'm retired.
I am truly a fish out of water--no one can believe it when asked what I'm going to do, and I say "nothing." Or "Whatever I want." I don't even want the requisite "retirement ceremony." Bleah.
Even my parents are saying things like "Are you going back to school?"
I've enjoyed the threads on this board particularly about lifestyles in retirement. I have few needs and/or wants. My husband (ER for 2 years) has taught me to live in the moment. The military is bad about brainwashing you to constantly be planning your next move, check the next box, get the right job for promotion. As I sit here at 0400, about to get ready for work, I am SO looking forward to figuring out what it is I like to do for fun. And getting up at 10 a.m. to go do it. :P
My question to those of you off the hamster wheel, how long does it take to feel normal again?

Leslie
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-30-2005, 03:31 AM   #308
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hmmm

Best guess it took me about a year - remembering back to 1993. One day I noticed the hamsters and the wheel were gone, - I would probably have some form of shock if I ever went back to work.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-30-2005, 05:09 AM   #309
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
My question to those of you off the hamster wheel, how long does it take to feel normal again? *Leslie
Welcome, Leslie!

You and your spouse are the only other ER dual-military couple we know of. Congratulations! Is TAP still required? Were you able to keep your mouth shut?

Golly gee, aren't you afraid that no retirement ceremony will mean "no closure"? I never understood that either-- stick to your guns. Most commands seem to be afraid that retirees will complain later if they're not made to do one.

Chronic fatigue can persist for a month. I was taking two-hour naps for at least that long before it started to affect night sleep. Today 30 minutes is a sweet spot. Work- or stress-related allergies may take six months to settle down and a year to disappear. Part of that is improving health as you have the time to work out and to eat on your schedule.

Overall I guess "normal" takes about a year as your annual cycle changes from work to retirement. I noticed two years because Paul Terhorst mentions "Do nothing new for two years" in his book.

Your routine spending habits may not change at all or could even drop. Retirement victory laps & fantasy vacations are great one-time blowouts but day-to-day you have the time to do most things for yourself. If you currently have few needs/wants that's not likely to change unless you decide to take up an expensive hobby. But again that "Do nothing new for two years" guidance can help you survey the field without committing a lot of cash.

Heck, one way or another your spouse has probably already shown you what to avoid. Enjoy.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-30-2005, 07:56 AM   #310
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi Leslie,

We have a few similarities so I thought I would contribute. I am about your age and worked in a health-related field. I RE the first of the year.

At first it was hard to slow down. I cleaned every closet and dusted and cleaned EVERYTHING. I'm sure that had alot to do with the good ol' fashioned midwestern work ethic. Always stay busy. But I soon got over that. I really haven't done a darn thing today but surf the net. And I am OK with that.

I also don't miss the work that I did. I thought that with all my education and work experience that I would feel a hugh void. Not at all. Hardly think about it. I've found new interests.

I am sure you'll find plenty of things to keep you busy at first. But just having the choice to do any of it is priceless. Good luck.

LovesLife
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-30-2005, 06:24 PM   #311
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Just home from work...and happy to find great responses!

Nords, are you and Mrs. Nords the other dual military retired couple? You and GD-ER are correct--I'm getting all kinds of harassment about not having a ceremony. Someone even said to me, "Its not about you--its closure for us." What? I thought that was what a funeral was for. So painful. So GD-ER and Nords, thanks for confirming what I already suspected--its a waste of time! My husband had a retirement BBQ during the last Tyson fight--it was fun, but I don't even want to do that.
There is a TAP and now an ETAP--E meaning "executive" for E-9s and Os. Its four days of negotiating salary/benefits packages, working on your "30 second commercial" for the interview process, and critiques of your appearance (in a nice way--I was told my neckline was too low :P.) It was so interesting to watch people suck up to the employer panel--business cards were flying around like a blizzard. Some people were planning to work at new jobs during their terminal leave. It was fascinating and sad.
LovesLife: I am also planning a purge and clean fest--and painting the house too. I've been too tired before now. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your time--my new motto is "Time enjoyed is never wasted."

Limping to the finish line,
Leslie
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 04:03 AM   #312
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

GD-ER: You know why I sat through TAP for 4 days? It was preferable to being at work! I had 4 blissful days of not having my gut tied up in a knot.

I'm Air Force, too by the way...

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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 10:33 AM   #313
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
Nords, are you and Mrs. Nords the other dual military retired couple?
So far-- spouse is still drilling the Reserves but she's learning to turn it off for the bare minimum. Judging from the fierce whining by day 3 of any set of orders, she's making progress... and after three years I know that I'm not returning to the workforce.

BTW, congratulations on making it through all those decades of co-locations assignments! Spouse was presented with an "unrefusable offer" that caused her to punch out to the Reserves just short of 18. This has turned out to be far better than the alternatives.

Quote:
You and GD-ER are correct--I'm getting all kinds of harassment about not having a ceremony. Someone even said to me, "Its not about you--its closure for us." What? I thought that was what a funeral was for. So painful. So GD-ER and Nords, thanks for confirming what I already suspected--its a waste of time! My husband had a retirement BBQ during the last Tyson fight--it was fun, but I don't even want to do that.
Gosh, so it really is all about them!

I managed to duck all the "farewell" dinners & lunches as well. After a month of terminal leave I got together with our civil-service staff for an enjoyable hour of catchup & gossip, but none of those workplace relationships followed into ER.

Quote:
There is a TAP and now an ETAP--E meaning "executive" for E-9s and Os. Its four days of negotiating salary/benefits packages, working on your "30 second commercial" for the interview process, and critiques of your appearance (in a nice way--I was told my neckline was too low :P.) It was so interesting to watch people suck up to the employer panel--business cards were flying around like a blizzard. Some people were planning to work at new jobs during their terminal leave. It was fascinating and sad.
How sad-- who appointed these sartorial guardians?!? If you fail TAP on a neckline violation, do you have to repeat the training? We had to muster (in writing) twice daily to ensure no one was sneaking back to our IN boxes. But you were "permitted" to bring your IN box with you (and even to use it as a pillow).

While our TAP motivational speaker turned in an amazing performance, the fact that we needed job-search motivation was an even stronger signal that ER was the right decision.

A warning-- after you "win" the battle for no ceremonies or dinners, your command will feel entitled to ambush you with any awards, farewell "department meetings", "group lunches", or other surprises. COs may be the enablers but XOs are usually the overenthusiastic executors. I shudder to think what your command could do with all those medical supplies. Good luck.

One final note-- I was deluged with requests for recommendation letters. (That affirmation boosted my morale far more than any ceremony or dinner!) If you don't solicit those long before your last day, you can predict what's going to happen then.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 01:28 PM   #314
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi; I am a month away from bailing from 25 years as a litigator; mostly medical defense. Rather than totally retiring, I will be pursuing a masters degree in writing and want to teach at the community college level for a few years which, believe me, will be part time compared to the hours I have put for the last two and a half decades. My DW retired from teaching @ four years ago. We are both 56. I have been lurking here for over a year and am addicted to the forum. Kudos to the regular posters who provide inspiration and practical advice while maintaining a fair degree of decorum and civility. While most of my business partners are conservative republicans, I look toward progressive polictics as providing a modicum of hope for the future. I believe the geopolitical issues facing us require more agility than we will probably see in the near future from either party. I comb the posts here for nuggets of investment advice as I need to now commit my stash of acorns to some sort of sustainable program but I remain stymied between the Coffeehouse apporach versus buying and burying Krugerands in a big jar in the backyard. In the meantime, I am now driving and loving my Prius hybrid and look forward to logging mega mile on my Trek and trying to get to the next level on my sailboard this summer as I will try my last case in the next couple of weeks. Cheers, Rick
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 01:37 PM   #315
 
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Welcome windsurf! - Lurking for a year without posting! - You have self restraint!

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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 01:42 PM   #316
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Quote:
Hi; I am a month away from bailing from 25 years as a litigator; mostly medical defense. Rather than totally retiring, I will be pursuing a masters degree in writing and want to teach at the community college level for a few years which, believe me, will be part time compared to the hours I have put for the last two and a half decades. My DW retired from teaching @ four years ago. We are both 56. I have been lurking here for over a year and am addicted to the forum. Kudos to the regular posters who provide inspiration and practical advice while maintaining a fair degree of decorum and civility. While most of my business partners are conservative republicans, I look toward progressive polictics as providing a modicum of hope for the future. I believe the geopolitical issues facing us require more agility than we will probably see in the near future from either party. I comb the posts here for nuggets of investment advice as I need to now commit my stash of acorns to some sort of sustainable program but I remain stymied between the Coffeehouse apporach versus buying and burying Krugerands in a big jar in the backyard. In the meantime, I am now driving and loving my Prius hybrid and look forward to logging mega mile on my Trek and trying to get to the next level on my sailboard this summer as I will try my last case in the next couple of weeks. Cheers, Rick
Congratulations on your pending retirement from "the law" and trying your last case! So are you paid/employed by insurance companies? If so, I don't envy you one bit. I knew there was at least one other progessive lawyer out there.

What do you plan to teach at the community college level?

Martha
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 03-31-2005, 05:49 PM   #317
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

I hope to teach English with a masters degree. I wanted to pursue an advanced degree in anthropology but was counseled that I would have to get a Phd. to have hope of landing a teaching position. *Seven or eight years in the Phd program just seemed too long. Yes, much of my work was paid by insurance companies on behalf of their insured docs as well as directly for hospitals. *I never had much intellectual interest in the law but loved learning the medicine and interacting with some of the country's leading docs (involved in cases as expert witnesses).
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 04-01-2005, 02:37 AM   #318
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Welcome, Windsurf! Can you confirm the rumor that the Prius can hold a longboard? Or were you able to find a roof rack?

Use the "Modify" icon to edit your original post (upper right-hand corner of your post above the line), delete your subsequent admission of guilt with the adjacent "Remove" icon, and only the moderator will have the evidence... *

Teaching English-- have you sat through a class of your typical potential students? *You must have tremendous patience and endurance.

But if you're gonna embark on that career, have you read any of George Carlin's books with his comments on grammar & vocabulary? *He goes far beyond the "Seven Words You Can't Say on TV", and it sure beats plowing through a copy of Strunk's.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 04-01-2005, 07:48 AM   #319
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Hi, Nords. Thanks for the editing tips. The Prius holds quite a bit. With the split rear seat and hatch access, I have hauled skis, large tv's, dog crates, bales of mulch and bikes. A longboard may fit down the middle all the way to the dash. I just ordered q-clips from Yakima to fit my roof rack for hauling sailboards. The car, imho, is a techno marvel. The fun goes way beyond milage. It has voice recog software, climate control, vehicle stability control, and much more. It is zippy enough for me and has the same interior space as a Camry.
I have not seen George Carlin's book but am a fan and have heard much of his act re language. I'll look for a copy of the book.
I taught kids for awhile before law school so I know the terrain. I have some ski and windsurf buds who do community college teaching and the flexibility of their schedules allows huge chunks of playtime.
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Re: Introduce yourself here!
Old 04-11-2005, 07:01 PM   #320
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Re: Introduce yourself here!

Well, my last trial got "continued" as we say (the other two attorneys weren't ready and got the judge to agree to set a date five months down the road). *So now, a partner is assuming the case and I am doing reports and tying up loose ends and will close out my litigation career over the next couple of weeks. *I'd be lying if I did not admit that I have bouts of the heebie jeebies. *After all, sometimes I would go into work on a Saturday evening b/c being there had a calming effect. * However, the last five months of "wind down" (put in a two year notice) have provided a preview of ER and it does seem sweet! *Had an eye opening day with the tax lady today and will be writing what I hope is the last fat check to SAM. *Soon to have more time to post, *Rick
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