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Old 09-19-2014, 03:20 PM   #1901
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Have not read it yet, but requested it from the library (even though I'm already retired):

You can retire sooner than you think : the 5 money secrets of the happiest retirees

The first review on Amazon is a 5 star from Ernie Zelinski.
Not a five star in my opinion. It's got some Zelinski-esque stuff in it about happiness (core pursuits), but many of the conclusions are based on a survey where I question the direction of causality. For instance, the author, Wes Moss (who has a radio show, but I've never heard of him), says that you should have more income streams because in his survey, people with more income streams self reported higher happiness level. But since it's not adjusted for total income, he's comparing unhappy "only Social Security" people with people who have investment income, rental propery income, plus SS. This isn't the only example like this...the book is filled with them. "Happy retirees take at least two vacations per year, and when they do vacation, they spend more than unhappy retirees." Ya think maybe the unhappy ones might be a little short of cash and so take shorter vacations and are less happy? !?! Because the people who self-reported as the happiest also say that they socialize a lot, Moss prescribes that retirees go out and socialize. Probably a good idea, but again, the causality: depressed people don't feel like going out, so they report "not happy" and "don't go out". That doesn't mean that going out will be the solution to their depression.

On the financial side, Moss tends to simplify stuff. That's good for people that don't concentrate on their finances, but rules like "you'll get $1000 per month for every $240,000 you have invested" don't seem very helpful to me. He's big into interest and dividend paying investments, saying that keeping money out of growth will smooth the bumps, which I think is probably true.

I'll end with the thing that he and I agree on. An interesting take on the whole "pay off the mortgage or not" thing. He says that if you can pay off your mortgage with less than 1/3 of your after tax savings, then do it. That seems like a reasonable rule of thumb. But even there, if doing so would take you from 3 years of ACA subsidies to 2 years of ACA subsidies, maybe it isn't such a great idea.

There are a lot of good and interesting things in this book, but not too many that were new or fresh to me. It is a quick read, and I'm glad I read it, but glad I just borrowed it from the library...not one for the personal bookshelf!
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:52 PM   #1902
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Chalk up another vote for The Martian by Andy Weir. I got it yesterday afternoon and didn't put it down until finishing it a bit after midnight last night.

I hadn't done that for about 30 years.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:28 PM   #1903
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Not a five star in my opinion. It's got some Zelinski-esque stuff in it about happiness (core pursuits), but many of the conclusions are based on a survey where I question the direction of causality. For instance, the author, Wes Moss (who has a radio show, but I've never heard of him), says that you should have more income streams because in his survey, people with more income streams self reported higher happiness level. But since it's not adjusted for total income, he's comparing unhappy "only Social Security" people with people who have investment income, rental propery income, plus SS. This isn't the only example like this...the book is filled with them. "Happy retirees take at least two vacations per year, and when they do vacation, they spend more than unhappy retirees." Ya think maybe the unhappy ones might be a little short of cash and so take shorter vacations and are less happy? !?! Because the people who self-reported as the happiest also say that they socialize a lot, Moss prescribes that retirees go out and socialize. Probably a good idea, but again, the causality: depressed people don't feel like going out, so they report "not happy" and "don't go out". That doesn't mean that going out will be the solution to their depression.

On the financial side, Moss tends to simplify stuff. That's good for people that don't concentrate on their finances, but rules like "you'll get $1000 per month for every $240,000 you have invested" don't seem very helpful to me. He's big into interest and dividend paying investments, saying that keeping money out of growth will smooth the bumps, which I think is probably true.

I'll end with the thing that he and I agree on. An interesting take on the whole "pay off the mortgage or not" thing. He says that if you can pay off your mortgage with less than 1/3 of your after tax savings, then do it. That seems like a reasonable rule of thumb. But even there, if doing so would take you from 3 years of ACA subsidies to 2 years of ACA subsidies, maybe it isn't such a great idea.

There are a lot of good and interesting things in this book, but not too many that were new or fresh to me. It is a quick read, and I'm glad I read it, but glad I just borrowed it from the library...not one for the personal bookshelf!
I tried to finish Wes Mosses book but just couldn't do it. It was rudimentary at best and many assumptions that I just couldn't buy into. I hear him on the radio here in Atlanta (where he lives) and I'm not very impressed with his advice. I'll stick with Clark Howard for local financial advice.

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:20 PM   #1904
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Hard to see why people who can save up 100s of thousands or x millions of dollars would want to read personal finance books by people who are rarely as well off as the members here. It seems pretty simple. Make more than you spend, keep close a eye on your purse, and when you retire take it easy to be sure that you understand how your overhead can grow too fast. Oh, and love money more than you love your ego. This gives you a good shot at happy evermore.

I read investing books, but many of these authors are well off hedge fund guys chiefs and know a lot more than I do.

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Old 09-30-2014, 10:29 PM   #1905
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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Charming story of an Italian innkeeper and Hollywood starlet in 1962-told through a variety of devices with an ever changing time frame. I hear it is going to be a film next year, but it is hard to see how they capture the literary novelty that makes the lovely story really sparkle.


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Old 10-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #1906
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"The Cancer Cure That Worked", by Barry Lynes. Esentially about Dr. Royal R. Rife, born in 1888. In "conspiracy" medicine Dr. Rife is credited with building an optical microscope that can show a live virus, and and building a variable RF frequency device. With the device, he is said to have experimented watching bacteria & virus until he found the RF frequency that killed the pathogen.
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #1907
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I just finished reading "Mystic River" man what a great book.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:00 PM   #1908
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Reading, Before the First Shots are Fired by Tony Zinni.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #1909
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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Charming story of an Italian innkeeper and Hollywood starlet in 1962-told through a variety of devices with an ever changing time frame. I hear it is going to be a film next year, but it is hard to see how they capture the literary novelty that makes the lovely story really sparkle.


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I just spent the last two days engrossed in this book, thanks so much for recommending it. I'm going to hunt down all his other books, perfect for a curl up on the couch.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:15 PM   #1910
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While I love the Kindle, one of the big disappointments when I got it was the lack of books by Salinger and Harper Lee.

I see they are now offering an "enhanced edition" of To Kill A Mockingbird, so I pre-ordered it. It's not free, but a book like that, in my opinion, is worth it.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:43 PM   #1911
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I just finished "On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery" by Robert M. Poole. It was a great read. It went over the history of the cemetery along with stories of the many service members buried there throughout the years. $1.99 for the e-Book.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Hallowed-Gr.../dp/0802715494


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Old 10-17-2014, 09:45 AM   #1912
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Just finished the new book by Maeve Binchey, which is a compilation of related short stories. I really enjoyed it. Now I'm reading Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon. I'm enjoying it so far.


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Old 10-17-2014, 10:00 AM   #1913
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Just finished the new book by Maeve Binchey, which is a compilation of related short stories. I really enjoyed it.
Would that be "Chestnut Street"? It was her final book. She died in 2012.

Maeve Binchy
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:11 AM   #1914
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I just finished Ken Follett's "Edge of Eternity " .This is the third book in his trilogy and IMO the best .
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:16 AM   #1915
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'The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer' by Gretchen Reynolds. A good compilation of the latest science/research on fitness and exercise.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:50 AM   #1916
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Would that be "Chestnut Street"? It was her final book. She died in 2012.



Maeve Binchy

Yes, I forgot to list the title. I sure will miss her.


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Old 10-20-2014, 06:23 PM   #1917
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Talk in the travel forum made me want to reread this one: The Salzburg Connection by Helen Macinnes

It was originally published in 1968. It's a spy thriller with post-war Nazis coming out of the woodwork. They put a box in the alpine Lake Finstersee and a lot of people want to get at it. Helen Macinnes was a wonderful writer whose husband was in MI6.

Next I read her 1976 book: Agent in Place
This was a better read in my opinion. Another spy thriller involving Soviet spies and Nato documents. Well written and the suspense builds after a somewhat slow beginning. Mentions of using a typewriter to copy documents and an agent having to find a phone booth to make a vital call remind one we are back there in the good old days.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:01 AM   #1918
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Dear Leader by Jang Jin-Sun (2014) is a fascinating memoir of an elite propaganda writer in the service of Kim Jong-Il in North Korea. He fled to China in 2004 and now lives in South Korea. His description of life in totalitarian North Korea is horrific, reminiscent of a George Orwell's 1984. I learnt a lot about the power structure and modus operandi of that hermit state. This dark story is illuminated with acts of human kindness and courage as people help the author in his quest for freedom. The English translation is very fluent and the book is unputdownable.

Here are some reviews in the press:

Jonathan Kay: A shocking exposé of the power behind North Korea’s Kim dictatorship, written by a real life Winston Smith | National Post

Dear Leader review – a telling account of the madness of North Korea | Books | The Observer

Book review: ‘Dear Leader,’ a look inside North Korea, by Jang Jin-sung - The Washington Post
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:13 AM   #1919
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I just finished reading "Mystic River" man what a great book.
I did not read the book, but watched the movie. Mystic River was directed by Clint Eastwood, a box office hit that was also critically acclaimed, and won Sean Penn and Tim Robbins each an Academy Award.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:38 AM   #1920
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'The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer' by Gretchen Reynolds. A good compilation of the latest science/research on fitness and exercise.
Thanks. I try to keep up with research on optimal exercise regimes. I downloaded this one from the library.
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