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Old 08-27-2009, 02:43 PM   #21
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I've estimated that a "pension" of $2700/mo. beginning at age 60 would be roughly equivalent to $450,000 in savings...does that sound right?
You might want to plug your numbers here to get an idea of how close you are.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
Double the good feeling by traveling someplace where the local currency is going to hell. Did that on a ten-day trip to Mexico once in 84. By the time Amex calculated the exchange rate I got a nice discount on everything but the airfare.
I was trying to get down to Mexico this year when the peso surged to over 15 per USD. Last few times I spent extensive time down there it was around 10-11 per USD, so our dollar would have gone 50% further this time around (but for inflation's effect).

We are looking at using some frequent flyer miles to South America and oddly enough one thing I am looking at is which country (if any) has an abnormally devalued local currency. I feel like a finance nerd.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #23
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We are looking at using some frequent flyer miles to South America and oddly enough one thing I am looking at is which country (if any) has an abnormally devalued local currency. I feel like a finance nerd.
Funny way to plan a holiday, but what have you found? I'm sure every one of the countries in South America has something interesting to see ...
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:37 PM   #24
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Funny way to plan a holiday, but what have you found? I'm sure every one of the countries in South America has something interesting to see ...
So far it looks like of all the countries I have looked at, Argentina has had the most currency devaluation vs the US dollar, and prices look to be relatively low based on guidebooks from BEFORE the recent ~25% USD appreciation.

We want to visit Argentina anyway, so this works out well. Peru is also on the list, haven't checked their currency or prices yet. Macchu Picchu is something we would love to see and it will cost a good bit regardless of forex rates. We only have 5-6 days for this vacation so that constrains what we can do too.

We had never really planned to go to South America anytime soon, but we came into some easy frequent flyer miles sufficient to go to S America or Europe a time or two pretty easy. Europe is rather pricey right now due to Forex, so S America seemed like a good choice (given our indifference to Europe vs. S America).
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:08 PM   #25
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So far it looks like of all the countries I have looked at, Argentina has had the most currency devaluation vs the US dollar, and prices look to be relatively low based on guidebooks from BEFORE the recent ~25% USD appreciation.

We want to visit Argentina anyway, so this works out well. Peru is also on the list, haven't checked their currency or prices yet. Macchu Picchu is something we would love to see and it will cost a good bit regardless of forex rates. We only have 5-6 days for this vacation so that constrains what we can do too.

We had never really planned to go to South America anytime soon, but we came into some easy frequent flyer miles sufficient to go to S America or Europe a time or two pretty easy. Europe is rather pricey right now due to Forex, so S America seemed like a good choice (given our indifference to Europe vs. S America).
spent some time down in the southern tip of Argentina a bit of time in Buenos Aires... the former was very rural and like the "old west" but I loved it... BA was more cosmopolitan and more like Europe that you might think...
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:19 AM   #26
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We only have 5-6 days for this vacation so that constrains what we can do too.
With this constrain also I would recommend South America - in Europe you would have at least 5 hr (or even 10hrs if you go from West coast to Moscow) time difference. South Am - most of the time an hour of time diff - much easier on jet lag, if you have only 5-6 days.
Would you take kids to Peru? I'm torn myself between wanting to hike Inca Trail (no kids obviously, until they are older) and going there sooner, kids included.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
So far it looks like of all the countries I have looked at, Argentina has had the most currency devaluation vs the US dollar, and prices look to be relatively low based on guidebooks from BEFORE the recent ~25% USD appreciation.

We want to visit Argentina anyway, so this works out well. Peru is also on the list, haven't checked their currency or prices yet. Macchu Picchu is something we would love to see and it will cost a good bit regardless of forex rates. We only have 5-6 days for this vacation so that constrains what we can do too.

We had never really planned to go to South America anytime soon, but we came into some easy frequent flyer miles sufficient to go to S America or Europe a time or two pretty easy. Europe is rather pricey right now due to Forex, so S America seemed like a good choice (given our indifference to Europe vs. S America).
We spent a couple of weeks in Cusco last year and it was spectacular. We rented an apartment through a language school for $75/wk in the San Blas neighborhood and it was fine, except that, like most of the non-tourist buildings, it was unheated... and Cusco is chilly at night.

Here is the view from the bedroom:
Cusco.jpg
We also found that hostels (basically a hotel with no lobby) were nice and readily available for $40/night with ensuite bath. Just pick one near the main square.

However, with only 5-6 days, I would opt for BA. It is a beautiful city with great restaurants and lots to do. The Home hotel in Palermo Hollywood is so chic it hurts, and reasonably priced. We have also had nice stays at the Dazzler (more centrally located) and the Etoile (in Recoleta). BA is a big city, so you have to be careful, but visit a Tango club, eat at a parrilla, and have a great time.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:36 AM   #28
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With this constrain also I would recommend South America - in Europe you would have at least 5 hr (or even 10hrs if you go from West coast to Moscow) time difference. South Am - most of the time an hour of time diff - much easier on jet lag, if you have only 5-6 days.
Would you take kids to Peru? I'm torn myself between wanting to hike Inca Trail (no kids obviously, until they are older) and going there sooner, kids included.
That was a big factor for us - no jet lag. S America is the same time zone or 1 hr behind I think. Flight times from the east coast are running 10-12 hrs to S America or Europe.

We will not be taking kids on this trip. That is the reason for the 5-6 day time limit (the max time that DW can part from the kids!). I would love to do the Inca Trail hike up to macchu picchu, but I figure it would consume a min of 8-9 days and that is about all we would do (2-3 days to get there and back, 2 days to acclimate to the altitude, then 4 days to hike).

I feel like we could see/do more if we went to BA vs. Peru/Macchu Picchu for the relatively short period of time. Our plan is to travel down probably in January or February, as that is the low season down there so frequent flyer miles go further and it is pretty cold here on the east coast Jan-Feb. Can we expect mild weather during that period in either Peru or BA?

I think I need to start a separate thread in the Travel section at some point after I have done some further research...

Independentlypoor, I love the pic of Cusco. I was wondering how it looked and that is sort of what I expected (although flatter than the guidebooks make it sound).
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:18 AM   #29
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Cool. Argentina is first on my list anyway, although my better half is more interested in visiting Chile. This is more ammunition for my choice ...
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #30
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Cool. Argentina is first on my list anyway, although my better half is more interested in visiting Chile. This is more ammunition for my choice ...
Wait, wait, I have the perfect compromise: do both!
Fly into BA, spend a couple of days, fly to Bariloche, take the Cruce de Lagos, and return from Santiago.
IMG_5679.jpg

I love tempting folks.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:42 AM   #31
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My wife has taken tours with her friends to BA and some other locales, but I have not.
Yes, it's tempting. SPEND, SPEND, SPEND! Stimulate the world economy. I love it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:46 AM   #32
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Wait, wait, I have the perfect compromise: do both!
Fly into BA, spend a couple of days, fly to Bariloche, take the Cruce de Lagos, and return from Santiago.
Attachment 7210

I love tempting folks.
It is tempting and we can easily do one way frequent flyer tickets into one country and out of another for no extra charge. Not sure if is worth it on a 5-6 day trip, but if we had a week or two to blow, that would definitely be awesome.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #33
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You might want to plug your numbers here to get an idea of how close you are.
That's very helpful, especially since you can calculate it with the survivor's option--thanks, REW.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:16 PM   #34
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or go even further south in Argentina and catch a boat over to Chili and maybe even Antarctica...

just tempting
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:27 PM   #35
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Back to original posters question. I understand his or her question. I thought I was doing OK until I joined this board. I have no pension or insurance. Only social secuity and savings. But compared to many here, it is small potatoes. But understand the title of this forumn is "Early Retirement".

This choice is not available to most people in the country. As everything is relative, it depends on who you want to compare yourself to.

To many millions of other potential retirees, you would probaly be in an envious position to them, but compared to many on this board, the opposite. You do the best you can, and learn as much as you can from the people on this board, as it is an excellent forum, and much can be learned. But there are lots of lurkers on here that don't have a "bundle". They may just feel a little intimidated compared to the rest and might not speak up as much.

And those who have even less, don't come on this board, and they are the masses. Don't forget, just being able to make it by and afford to retire someday and keep a roof over your head, your belly full with just the basics in life, is an accomplishment in itself. Anything more than that is just an added plus.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:53 PM   #36
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Back to original posters question.
... Don't forget, just being able to make it by and afford to retire someday and keep a roof over your head, your belly full with just the basics in life, is an accomplishment in itself. Anything more than that is just an added plus.
True true
The 'everyone is equal concept of America' colors how we think.
I have what I have and made the decision I made to pull the plug when I did. Some have more and some have less than we do. That does not matter one iota to me. I am happy with my lot in life.
Do the math, make the decision ... stop looking over your shoulder and enjoy life.
Use this forum for verification and sanity checks, as well as a source of community and fun.
In the words of one of my favorite sources of entertainment when I was younger ... ' go forth and prosper'
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:42 AM   #37
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You might want to plug your numbers here to get an idea of how close you are.
Thanks, I did...that's where I got that number...guess I just wanted someone to verify that it looked right.
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