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Old 10-19-2013, 01:53 PM   #101
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I agree it's not where the diploma is from, it's how you use talents.

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I think massive open online courses are going to change the world of higher education. Now anyone with drive and and an Internet connection can learn just about anything taught in college that doesn't require hands on training, and even for hands on stuff all the basic coursework and prep work can be done online. I like online courses because if you don't get something you can play the difficult parts over and over again.

Georgia Tech + At&T are developing an online master in CS for 7K total. Wharton has all their first year MBA course online for free and you can pay $49 for a certificate of completion. Our kids have some friends in brick and mortar classes with hundreds of students in a lecture hall. I can't see MOOC being inferior to that model.

Google is now hiring more non-graduates, because they have looked at the data and decided things like GPAs and transcripts are basically worthless -

http://www.businessinsider.com/googl...aduates-2013-6
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:25 PM   #102
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I've been involved in the hiring of lots of software developers over my career, haven't once looked at GPA or transcripts. Some bigger companies might have black and white requirements for having a college degree, but daylate alluded to even that is less and less common.

You look at what they've worked on, what they're interested in working on, if their personality fits the team/culture, etc.

Optimally you're pulling a poach, which is rampant in the industry. We get someone, they say they know someone else who would be a good fit, we have them reach out. Conversely we get poached from, the worse is someone higher up like a CTO splits then you're really vulnerable to poaching.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:21 AM   #103
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Hi, thankyou for your information. I thought it was 90 days for every 180 days that you could be inside the EU zone. We have planned on that advice to initially have 3 months in Italy, then 3 months in either the UK or Switzerland then 3 months in France to comply with the EU visa stuff. But if we can prove that we earn enough money France Italy and Germany have long term 12 month + visas that we can apply for and apparantly they are not too difficult to obtain. The German one is a self employed web-style one, but as long as you have the income level they require you can apply with just a blog or basic webpage. If anyone is interested I can post an interesting link on EU Visas. We are Australian so in the UK we can stay for 6 months at any time and I can apply for an ancestral visa if we want to eventually. But we will most likely move every three months at this stage, for the first 2 years anyway. Then we may find a base for 12months or so after that. Who knows where....? Does anyone else NOT include the princpial in their SWR? We are only including the income from the principal in our calculations as we will be 42 and 38. Obviously that is a safer option, but just curious as to what the "proper" calculation would be.
Technically you are correct on the 180 days if you wait three months I believe after you leave to reenter. Perhaps for Australian ppt holders there is a way to turn this into resident, but there are problems we saw with Americans who tried this with a no visa tourist entry. One thought they could make a 'visa run' at the end of 90 to the UK (like is popular in Thailand) and back and was refused reentry. How would you plan three back to back three month stays?
I have not looked at income requirements for the 12 month visa you mention, interesting. In our years there we simply never bumped into an American family who did that without a true business or spouse /family connection. Since, unlike in the U.S., you must demonstrate legal presence for many reasons (bank accounts, houses, schools, etc.) it pays to be careful.

If you find an easy way which ends up working for you let us know. Sounds like a grand adventure !

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Old 10-22-2013, 03:08 PM   #104
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We basically plan to live the same, except with more travel. I have built extra travel money in our expenses for each year of retirement for the first 12 years, and by then we'll be 70 so I figure we'll slow down a little!

We travel now, I just assume we will do more once work isn't in the way.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:06 PM   #105
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Technically you are correct on the 180 days if you wait three months I believe after you leave to reenter. Perhaps for Australian ppt holders there is a way to turn this into resident, but there are problems we saw with Americans who tried this with a no visa tourist entry. One thought they could make a 'visa run' at the end of 90 to the UK (like is popular in Thailand) and back and was refused reentry. How would you plan three back to back three month stays?
I have not looked at income requirements for the 12 month visa you mention, interesting. In our years there we simply never bumped into an American family who did that without a true business or spouse /family connection. Since, unlike in the U.S., you must demonstrate legal presence for many reasons (bank accounts, houses, schools, etc.) it pays to be careful.

If you find an easy way which ends up working for you let us know. Sounds like a grand adventure !

_M_
Thanks for your information. I agree; it pays to be careful when planning these things, I would hate to be stuck...

We would spend 90 days in Italy, head to the UK for 90 days (Australians can enter on a 6 month tourist visa to the UK multiple times) and then back to France for 90 days once our "ban" of 90 days was up.

Or we could go to an alternate nonEU country for the 3 months.

This thread is so interesting.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #106
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The one thing that never really clicked with me until I started reading ER books and blogs and made a retirement budget was how much extra a bigger sized house costs above and beyond the mortgage payment for repairs, insurances, furnishing, heating, cooling, etc. We have put a lot of money into repairs on our older house over the last ten years and there is still a lot more we probably should do. Just having our trees trimmed is a big budget item. We are looking forward to having a newer and smaller house with a small yard or just a patio to take care of.
Amen to that. The month I ERd (July 2013), we put up for sale our aging (1908) Victorian home and moved permanently into our much newer country home (2001). The repair/maintenance cost savings already realized, and anticipated, are substantial. Also, moving from city to country is saving us thousands on home insurance, car insurance, and property tax.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:29 AM   #107
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Amen to that. The month I ERd (July 2013), we put up for sale our aging (1908) Victorian home and moved permanently into our much newer country home (2001). The repair/maintenance cost savings already realized, and anticipated, are substantial. Also, moving from city to country is saving us thousands on home insurance, car insurance, and property tax.
Not to be pedantic, but Queen Victoria died in 1901, so your home would have been Edwardian in era although I suppose it could have been designed with an older style. My old family home (1901) is considered Edwardian.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:44 AM   #108
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I guess I'm a bit spoiled. Since I've been fairly successful my retirement income is substantially more than 75k a year that most on this blog thinks is a lot. I don't know if I could live on less unless I sold a car, bought a smaller house and asked my kids to quit their private colleges and enroll in community colleges instead. So, how many on this blog make more than a couple hundred grand a year and expect to come close to that income in retirement. And, how many of the high income bloggers intend to substantially reduce their income and accept less in life. I really don't consider myself rich.....I believe I'm middle class but on the upper income end of what would be considered middle class. My challege is this year we needed a new roof, DW and I got new glasses, DW spend 4 days in the hospital and I'm about to get a dental implant. I wonder how some say they live on 30k a year and do everything we had to do in the past 12 months. I guess "how much is enough" is vastly different for many of us. What makes all of us lucky is when we don't have to worry about having enough.....what we believe is enough for us. I think I've got enough, basically because I've earned, saved and now invest in index funds living off of my dividends....But I do hope next year is a better spending year than this year......I'd rather take a longer vacation than spend my fun money on another dental implant.
Sorry for the long quote but your post was quite a way back. I have been retired for over
7 years now and once we acquired all the capital goods we wanted ( mainly houses and autos) have been living on pensions and dividends . Our spend rate is very high because our income is as well. We enjoy what most people would consider a lavish lifestyle and know how lucky we are in this regard.
How much is enough is a very personal question . We have basically set the spend to equal our divs and pensions. Could we have retired earlier? Sure, but I am glad we didn't as we have gotten pretty used to this lifestyle and things could certainly have turned out differently if the market had not recovered in 2009. Anyway. I think the key is to be satisfied with what you have and create the most happiness for a given level of income/assets. Easier to say than to do I guess.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:16 PM   #109
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One question of course is on life insurance, do you keep enough to pay final expenses? One nice thing about the old whole life policy, is you can turn it into a paid up policy and keep getting the dividends. (Actually if you have an old whole life policy it may not be costing much, as the premiums almost all go to cash value, have a 45 year policy where the insurance cost is now $10 per year, and in 2 more years or so it will be paid up)
Owning whole life will cost you tens of thousands in lost investment income. It's worse than an annuity. You are lucky to earn 1-2 % interest on a whole life policy vs 7-9% annually compounded yourself. Worse yet, if you die and then the life insurance pays out, you forfeit the investment portion! It's a win win for for the insurance co at your expense.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:00 PM   #110
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For the past 24 years, we have invested 3 out of every 4 discretionary dollars. This has caused us to live a lifestyle which was comfortable but without a lot luxuries such as travel, cars, fancy restaurants, etc.

The primary objective was to retire as early as possible. We could retire now (Ages 47/46) and live the same way we have always lived.

However, we will likely work a few more years so that we will be able to "live the good life". Basically everything we earn from now until we retire can be spent on "wants" like travel, cars, giving, rv's, etc. etc.

How did you all decide how much "good life" budget you wanted in retirement?
Sorry for the late reply...but someone famous once said "Begin with an ending, and end with a beginning." So...we asked ourselves many years ago..."what kind of life do we want to have in FIRE?" We put together a budget based on that lifestyle (that's the "ending"), then we started a plan to reach that goal (that's the "beginning"). There is no way I'd live a life of no luxuries just to retire to a life of no luxuries....so we are choosing to w*rk a few more years so that we can do all the fun things. We expect our lifestyle in FIRE (will FIRE in about 2 years) to be about 20% "better" than current. Spending on things like the house (now paid off), furniture (house is now full), and cars (won't be driving them to work anymore) will decrease substantially, while spending on healthcare (not be desire, but by design), hobbies (think cooking classes, woodworking, and musclecars), and travel (two international trips and two domestic trips per year) will increase substantially....that's what's built into our budget.

To each his own...but this is how we wanted it. I'll be 52 in less than a month, and begin working 4 days/week in January, decreasing to 3 days in 2015, then zero days in 2016. DW goes to zero days in 2015....so basically we'll be fully FIRED in our mid '50s and lots of plans to have some fun.
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #111
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>>> How did you all decide how much "good life" budget you wanted in retirement?

I am still ~5 years away from FIRE, and I am trying to decide the answer to the OP's question for myself. Tracking my discretionary spending for the past 3 years has given me some idea of how much income I will need to maintain my current lifestyle. Since I expect to spend more on travel once I retire, I started taking one "real" vacation (airfare, hotel, etc) in the U.S. a year. This year I will gain another 5 days of vacation time so I plan to expand my travel by taking one international trip while continuing my trips in the U.S. This serves a dual purpose; my annual spending plans will include real world travel costs and I get to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, while LBYMing my way to ER.

My long standing personal weakness is for German iron (VW, Audi, BMW.) I am planning to pay for my European sports sedan jones before I retire and then to make it last 10 years. That will be a challenge for me because I like cars and the longest I've kept a vehicle, since starting at megacorp, is 7.5 years. Regarding other luxuries such as staying at 4 star hotels or a condo on the beach; I've pretty much decided that I don't want to work long enough to pay for those things. With respect to buying luxury "stuff", I do like to own nice things, but I also subscribe to the philosophy of trying to minimize my impact on our planet by not churning & burning (buy the thing b/c it was on sale, wear it once, hang it in the back closet, give it away 2 years later.) To control those tendencies I plan to give myself an annual spending limit.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:07 AM   #112
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I also have a weakness for German iron. Currently 5. BMW's. M5/M6/X5/X3/X3. Spread among 3 places. In our case the spend in retirement was iterative. We went through a period just after retirement where we were cashing options. The prices we got for those determined how big the portfolio would eventually be. Layered on top of that we're the one time costs associated with buying 2 more vacation properties. The overriding constraint was to endure we had enough invested to generate income in retirement that could support our desired lifestyle. Before I retired we tracked expenses to decide what a good retirement looked like. This was about 25-30% higher than our spend while working. Biggest increase was travel but most discretionary expenses increased. The key is knowing where the money is spent prior to retirement .
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:28 AM   #113
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How Much is Enough?

After 24 years of retirement...
1. When you are happy with your life.
2. When money is not a worry, but a hobby.

Cheers!

Well, I think this covers it! Though the numbers clearly vary for each of us, the principles are the same. DH and I are only about 18 mo. into retirement, but these ideas pretty much helped us decide when to RE, and then decide how to manage our finances.

Now, we discuss when to downsize (while continuing to de-clutter). We look forward to several trips a year, but much of our enjoyment/entertainment is free. The major appeal of ER, for us, was simply having so much more time to enjoy life. (And "stuff" has never been a big draw for us; still, we have somehow accumulated much more of it than we need.)

It's Thursday morning, and I've been on this site for three hours....procrastinating on raking leaves. Instead, I could be at school, racing to accomplish everything possible between the bells, then facing 3-4 hours of grading at night.

It's a thrill to be here procrastinating instead.

(I thoroughly enjoyed 34 years in the classroom; but, when I got tired of it, was happy to opt for a morning like this.)

The sun out there is shining on golden leaves. I will head out soon.

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Old 10-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #114
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I looked at what we were spending during the w*rking years and kept that as our budget in retirement. I've built in an extra 25% percent of fluff just in case we encounter fun fluffies or the not so fun fluffies.
+1

I'm a can't-help-it-kind of frugal person by nature. I've recently realized my post-FIRE budget (effective 1/15) will include travel and "fluffies" (love the word) I'm not now engaging in pre-FIRE. I, too, have built in around 27% extra post-FIRE for fluffies and not so fluffies I might encounter.

I have absolutely no interest in living a "lavish lifestyle" of any kind, mostly because I currently live in a very trendy, upscale neighborhood in lost angeles where I'm bombarded by that crap daily (e.g., stretch limousines, masarotti's--or however the hell you spell it--rolls royces, are a daily, pathetic sighting, as are the pathetic people who drive them (if you don't live in LA, you won't get this). Only thing the trendies are doing for me is continuing to drive up property values so I'll cash out big time, sell/downsize and get the hell out of Dodge.

Another thread discusses FIRE milestones, and my biggest along the way was transitioning from a things person to an experiences person.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #115
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I think you are saying that some people, not their expensive possessions, are pathetic - because they are using beautiful, costly things to make themselves feel better about themselves. Without the fancy duds, they'd feel like nobodies. We have that phenomenon on the east coast, too That said, I do not think someone is pathetic based on their car or home.

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+1

rolls royces, are a daily, pathetic sighting, as are the pathetic people who drive them (if you don't live in LA, you won't get this).
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What is so sadly pathetic....
Old 10-25-2013, 07:47 AM   #116
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What is so sadly pathetic....

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I think you are saying that some people, not their expensive possessions, are pathetic - because they are using beautiful, costly things to make themselves feel better about themselves. Without the fancy duds, they'd feel like nobodies. We have that phenomenon on the east coast, too That said, I do not think someone is pathetic based on their car or home.

Amethyst
is the lack of time for developing the blessings of an inner life. I lived in CA for 25 years and remember acutely the constant, intense pressure of the rat race, both in So. Cal. and the Bay Area. As my husband and I used to say to each other, we were so busy working all the time to pay for a modest, middle-class lifestyle that we had little time to enjoy all that sunshine.......let alone build deeper relationships with friends and family. It truly helped to LBYM (and our best friends were doing the same). But, as Options says, we were surrounded by lifestyles that encouraged debt rather than frugality (which could lead to financial freedom).

DH and I are both from the East Coast originally, and have seen the same pressures there. And, yup, they're here in NE Ohio too.

I just love the fact that we now live 45 min. from a shopping mall. I'm missing so many trends and fads with each passing year. Alas, I'll be missing more in the future!

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Old 10-25-2013, 09:02 AM   #117
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Well, I certainly didn't plan for a lavish lifestyle in retirement. About 10-12 years prior to retirement we had a net worth less than zero. Just got lucky and things worked out very well. Some might suggest I give most of it away to find some " inner peace" but no plans for that at this point. My point is it isn't difficult to increase your spending and perhaps even your enjoyment if things turn out a little better than expected. I think this is a better outcome than the other way around.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #118
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I don't want to live broke and I don't want to die with lots of unused money in my piggy bank. So, somewhere in between is the right amount.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:30 PM   #119
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I think you are saying that some people, not their expensive possessions, are pathetic - because they are using beautiful, costly things to make themselves feel better about themselves. Without the fancy duds, they'd feel like nobodies. We have that phenomenon on the east coast, too That said, I do not think someone is pathetic based on their car or home.

Amethyst
People are pathetic who equate themselves with what they own, what they buy, or whatever lifestyle they live. There's a whole lot external showiness/internal emptiness going on, and it's rampant here (particularly given the entertainment context saturating everythng). I suppose it's no different than the D.C. area with the insatiable lust for power, or Manhattan, with the insatiable lust for greed. I am bombarded with that whole king of the hill mentality daily, and to me it is indeed nothing less than pathetic.

In FIRE, I have no intention of worrying about money, but I have no intention of attaching my identity either to it or to what lifestyle it can buy. Best of all, I won't be living here anymore, either!
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:39 PM   #120
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It's Thursday morning, and I've been on this site for three hours....procrastinating on raking leaves.
(I thoroughly enjoyed 34 years in the classroom; but, when I got tired of it, was happy to opt for a morning like this.)

The sun out there is shining on golden leaves. I will head out soon.

LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten, 5
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room, 10
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
--AE Housmann
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