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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 01:57 PM   #41
 
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by rmark
Catching numerous trout with inexpensive Zebco reel and salmon eggs while standing in feezing water in jeans and tennis shoes WHILE Eddie Baur outfitted fly fisherman (including hats, wicker creel and SUV) don't catch a thing *- PRICELESS. I wore those same salmon egg soaked pants several days in a row - boy were they damp and cold in the morning.
Us Fly fisherman fish with flies, not because it's easy; we do it because it is difficult.

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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 02:02 PM   #42
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Us Fly fisherman fish with flies, not because it's easy; we do it because it is difficult.*

Kinda like mountain climbing or walking around the block, they're both walking but one is slightly more difficult....Shredder
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 02:44 PM   #43
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

I tend to catch carp - not intentionally, it just happens. I once caught one on a Mepps spinner while trout fishing on Lake Vallecito in Colorado.
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 02:50 PM   #44
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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ĎFour Pillarsí does mention withdrawal rates near the last chapter, suggesting that with expected returns at the time of printing, withdrawal without touching capital might be only 2%.
I think this sounds reasonable. If you retired in your 30s or early 40s, it would make sense not to drain your portfolio much in first few years to allow for some increased compounding and give yourself a "raise" as your portfolio increases. Besides, folks that can retire at that age are probably pretty well accustomed to LBYM and saving (how they could get to 1 million plus ports), and are happy at that level of spending.

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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 03:25 PM   #45
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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To the person who wants to retire at age 45 or 50, I say lots of luck; while it's possible he or she may be able to withdraw 5% per year of the intitial inflation-adjusted corpus, I can easily conceive of circumstances in which even 2% may be too much. Further, with a time horizon that long, one has to face up to the reality that "merely" keeping up with inflation will seriously disadvantage him or her regarding wage earners, whose earnings will be increasing along with productivity increases.

My advice? Forget about retiring at 45; you're better off being a productive human being as long as you can, and you'll certainly worry a lot less about your money running out.
For the record, i agree with him.* *Intercst/those on that other sister website know that i do, because i disagree with the assumption made by firecalc that the great depression can be assumed to be the worst case scenario.* *To assume it could never get worse than that is simply naive, if i may just be blunt.

I think he's right not only about considering your productivity level in your 50s, but also not having to worry about money is a major good reason to work a little while longer.* *To elaborate, most people make more money as they get older and move up the ladder.* *Your late 40s/early 50s are likely to be your highest paid years of your career.* *To give those up really hurts from a financial standpoint.* *

Re: worrying about money, i have seen many of you ER regulars here doing just that frequently either directly and blatently, or indirectly implying its a concern for you, as well as having to live an ER life without some of the luxuries of us working folks (such as a solid health plan that you can afford).* *Being at work can certainly suck.* *Worry all the time whether you're going to run out of money by the time you're physically unable to work I would have to imagine, could also suck equally as much, perhaps more.

I also remind you guys on some of my former discussion on how compounding works.* When you cut out those last typical 5, 10, 15 years of a compounding model, you effectively cut out the real growth period of monetary growth.* *Anyone that's seen a compounding model over time knows that the real money is made at the end (aka in your 50s) while you're still working and saving.* *That being said, for every year eariler you want to retire, you have to work exponentially harder to make that happen (to make up for the lost compounding effect).* That is a mathematical truth.

I think as with so, so many things in life, the best answer for me, and i charge possibly for most people, is a happy medium.* *For me that's probably going to be mid-late 50s.* * I think for most people, mid 40s is taking it too far, and 37 (looks at intercst), is just insane.* *Intercst, you will either continue your speaking engagements and/or you will go back to work some day.* *Its probably best someone tells you that now while you're still young enough to reconsider your approach. Now if you're worth 2mil+ now and living like the unibomber, then yes consider myself "corrected".
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 03:40 PM   #46
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by Martha
HaHa, this is for you.
Thanks Martha (and Greg). This is*a very interesting article.

If the market doesn't tank soon, Greg and I will have to get together and sing "We Shall Overcome".

Ha
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 04:08 PM   #47
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by azanon
...I think as with so, so many things in life, the best answer for me, and i charge possibly for most people, is a happy medium.* *For me that's probably going to be mid-late 50s.* * I think for most people, mid 40s is taking it too far, and 37 (looks at intercst), is just insane.* *Intercst, you will either continue your speaking engagements and/or you will go back to work some day.* *Its probably best someone tells you that now while you're still young enough to reconsider your approach.* Now if you're worth 2mil+ now and living like the unibomber, then yes consider myself "corrected".
That post reminds me of the song Frank Sinatra would sing "All or Nothing at All."

If I understand you correctly, you think working and saving until at least age 55 is the best move while others here think quitting cold-turkey at 40 or younger is the way to go.

Well, the "happy medium" may be working and saving to age 40 or thereabouts, and then working just enough (part-time) to cover your living expenses thereafter until age 50 or thereabouts.

If you need $45K a year and you have $1,000,000 at age 40, which is the preferred track to take:

1. *Keep working full-time to age 55 ending with $2,978,000
(assuming 6% growth plus $25K added from savings per year)

2. *Work part-time to cover your living expenses while letting the portfolio grow without additional savings to say $1,790,000 by age 50 (6%, no additional savings)

3. *Retire completely at 40 with $1,000,000 with a 4.5% draw per year.

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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 04:19 PM   #48
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
...Sure things might get worse in my lifetime than the depression. If it happens, I'll adjust. But, if I had to bet, I'd bet it won't get worse than the depression. That's actually pretty realistic, according to most economists and financial folks.
And, even if it did get worse than the depression (which I also don't think it will), most ER folks have a sizeable amount of cash as part of their portfolio.* When everyone is out of work and bread costs 5 cents a loaf again, I will still be sitting pretty, relative to everyone else that has zero or negative net worth.

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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 04:36 PM   #49
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Okay, so tell me whats so productive about getting up at 6am, putting on clothes you only bought for work, getting in your car and driving it somewhere where you'll leave it all day, and spending that day sitting in a windowless room arguing over whether a program should be named 'x' or 'y', or having two hour conversations about taking away employees cell phones and pagers to save on expenses. All this to get a paycheck to pay for the clothes, the car, the house that sat empty all day, and for gifts and vacations with the family you never get to see...?

I guess some jobs may be more "productive" than others. On the other hand, some ER's may be more "productive" than others. I learn a lot. I spend every hour of every day with my newborn son. I dont get stressed out over work politics and projects that dont matter now, let alone a few months or years from now.

I like my ER productivity a LOT better than my old work productivity.
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 05:23 PM   #50
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by retire@40
That post reminds me of the song Frank Sinatra would sing "All or Nothing at All."

If I understand you correctly, you think working and saving until at least age 55 is the best move while others here think quitting cold-turkey at 40 or younger is the way to go.

Well, the "happy medium" may be working and saving to age 40 or thereabouts, and then working just enough (part-time) to cover your living expenses thereafter until age 50 or thereabouts.

If you need $45K a year and you have $1,000,000 at age 40, which is the preferred track to take:

1. *Keep working full-time to age 55 ending with $2,978,000
(assuming 6% growth plus $25K added from savings per year)

2. *Work part-time to cover your living expenses while letting the portfolio grow without additional savings to say $1,790,000 by age 50 (6%, no additional savings)

3. *Retire completely at 40 with $1,000,000 with a 4.5% draw per year.

I could have retired many years before I did, if I had had a plan in place
before my epiphany (circa 1992). As it was (no plan), I needed those last few years of working. Even then I really didn't have a plan right up until
the job ended. Seems stupid now, even though it worked out okay.

JG
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 05:35 PM   #51
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Anyone on here ever question his claims?
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 07:26 PM   #52
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
For the record, i agree with him.* *Intercst/those on that other sister website know that i do, because i disagree with the assumption made by firecalc that the great depression can be assumed to be the worst case scenario.* *To assume it could never get worse than that is simply naive, if i may just be blunt.

I think as with so, so many things in life, the best answer for me, and i charge possibly for most people, is a happy medium.* *For me that's probably going to be mid-late 50s.* * I think for most people, mid 40s is taking it too far, and 37 (looks at intercst), is just insane.* *Intercst, you will either continue your speaking engagements and/or you will go back to work some day.* *Its probably best someone tells you that now while you're still young enough to reconsider your approach.* Now if you're worth 2mil+ now and living like the unibomber, then yes consider myself "corrected".
I'm 49 now and have been retired for 11 years. My retirement portfolio has grown five-fold over that time while my annual living expenses have increased a bit more than 50%. My annual withdrawal rate is about 1.5% of assets today.

Not that I would have taken it, but I'm glad you weren't around in 1994 to offer advice. <grin>

(PS. That 'speaking engagements' thing is a joke, though you'd be surprised how many organizations try to book me, and how many financial advisor types ask me to refer them the 'overflow')

intercst
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 07:59 PM   #53
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Even though I plan on staying invested in equities, I am only planning on 2% real return to trout fish until I die. Even 0% real could keep me drinking decent wine. A negative return could eliminate travel. And a double digit negative return would require me to enact the 'trout bum in a trailer parked down by the river lifestyle'

What does this article say to you?
Assuming that your question is real, and not rhetorical, the most important part of the paper is in 4 plots near the end. He gives 4 plots, using mean real returns of 4% and 5%, and SDs of (15%, 20%), and (20%, 30%) respectively. He then shows dispersion of returns over periods ranging upwards from 10 years. What this might mean to you, with your 2%, 0%, and negative return matrix would depend on how you look at things, and of course what actually happens. To me, the average guy in drawdown (not you I suspect, since your wife has a good professional job) would get pretty nervous long before 10 years were up, let alone 20 or more.

We should also remember that these graphs are not indexed to valuations at the start of the return period. I don't want to start that debate again, but I just thought it should be mentioned.

As far as what it means to me, it is mainly preaching to the choir. I will use it to help me see more clearly the fuzzballs that get passed off as fact, unwittingly and on purpose by writers on retirement money management.

My own situation is that I am no longer exactly an "early retiree", though I was. But I am definitely retired, so large mistakes would not be very clever on my part. I have no pension, and when I draw SS it will be basically pitiful, because when I retired the limit on SS taxed income was still fairly low and I have more than a few blank years too. I am not risk averse, so much as risk discriminating. Well researched factual articles like this add to my data base of relevant information.

Lastly, I know myself well enough to know that I would be much happier moving to the trailer now, increasing my odds of having at least a gently rising standard of living, than I would* be if I were to keep the spending pedal to the metal and risk an abrupt comeuppance. The first cut is the kindest.

But hey, I spend money. Just last weekend I bought a (new to me) Turkish cymbal for $135. I just took it out of the budget for household cleaning products which donít get a lot of use anyway.

Ha
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 08:08 PM   #54
 
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Mikey,

I read your post and gleaned that a guy might get pretty nervous.

In your best prognostiction. What do you think the real return of a 50/50 stock/bond portfoilo will be over the next 30 years?

Yes, a real question.
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 08:12 PM   #55
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Assuming that your question is real, and not rhetorical, the most important part of the paper is in 4 plots near the end. He gives 4 plots, using mean real returns of 4% and 5%, and SDs of (15%, 20%), and (20%, 30%) respectively. He then shows dispersion of returns over periods ranging upwards from 10 years. What this might mean to you, with your 2%, 0%, and negative return matrix would depend on how you look at things, and of course what actually happens. To me, the average guy in drawdown (not you I suspect, since your wife has a good professional job) would get pretty nervous long before 10 years were up, let alone 20 or more.

We should also remember that these graphs are not indexed to valuations at the start of the return period. I don't want to start that debate again, but I just thought it should be mentioned.

As far as what it means to me, it is mainly preaching to the choir. I will use it to help me see more clearly the fuzzballs that get passed off as fact, unwittingly and on purpose by writers on retirement money management.

My own situation is that I am no longer exactly an "early retiree", though I was. But I am definitely retired, so large mistakes would not be very clever on my part. I have no pension, and when I draw SS it will be basically pitiful, because when I retired the limit on SS taxed income was still fairly low and I have more than a few blank years too. I am not risk averse, so much as risk discriminating. Well researched factual articles like this add to my data base of relevant information.

Lastly, I know myself well enough to know that I would be much happier moving to the trailer now, increasing my odds of having at least a gently rising standard of living, than I would* be if I were to keep the spending pedal to the metal and risk an abrupt comeuppance. The first cut is the kindest.

But hey, I spend money. Just last weekend I bought a (new to me) Turkish cymbal for $135. I just took it out of the budget for household cleaning products which donít get a lot of use anyway.

Ha
Interested in your view of SS. *I too am "no longer an early retiree
but definitely retired". *NO pension, no paid health insurance.............
SS (I will draw near max) is the linchpin that anchors our retirement.
Without it, we could do it I suppose (have been for 8 years now)
but it wouldn't be pretty. *SS will save my ass from years of careless
spending and ignoring the future. *(It was quite a party though) *
352 days and counting.....................

JG
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 08:29 PM   #56
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Mikey,

I read your post and gleaned that a guy might get pretty nervous.

In your best prognostiction. What do you think the real return of a 50/50 stock/bond portfoilo will be over the next 30 years?

Yes, a real question.
Hi Cutthroat, OK now that we have established that the questions are real, I unfortunately have to take a pass on your Q above. I don't have a clue. I just don't like the amount of variability that seems built in, given my postion of living off portfolio generated income. I will only increase my spending if I get very lucky, or find a low risk money generating business activity-ie. un-retire. My health is good, so I could do a number of things.

Your situation however is quite different. Your wife is young and working, you probably have good SS coming along sometime, and if I remember correctly you have a very healthy portfolio. Mine is healthy, and has become healthier; but I still don't call it "very healthy".*

Ha
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 08:52 PM   #57
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

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Okay, so tell me whats so productive about getting up at 6am, putting on clothes you only bought for work, getting in your car and driving it somewhere where you'll leave it all day, and spending that day sitting in a windowless room arguing over whether a program should be named 'x' or 'y', or having two hour conversations about taking away employees cell phones and pagers to save on expenses. All this to get a paycheck to pay for the clothes, the car, the house that sat empty all day, and for gifts and vacations with the family you never get to see...?

I guess some jobs may be more "productive" than others. On the other hand, some ER's may be more "productive" than others. I learn a lot. I spend every hour of every day with my newborn son. I dont get stressed out over work politics and projects that dont matter now, let alone a few months or years from now.

I like my ER productivity a LOT better than my old work productivity.
Nicely stated. Projects that don't matter now? Hmmmm. or a few months or years later Hmmmm. Been there, done that. I suspect most of us, retirees or still working, have also been or are currently there. That's the problem, IMHO. Working doesn't bother me. Irrelevance does.
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 09:03 PM   #58
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
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I was just wondering what you or the article seems to think that real returns will be in the next 30 years. 1-2% real?
He really doesn't make an assumption for a period that short. He points out that over the past century, US median real returns have been ca 6.3%, with an SD around 20% He then trims that to 5% going forward. He then shows the range (dispersion) of likely possibilities given that 5% median real return over fixed holding periods of 10, 20, 30 years. The meat of paper is in this dispersion, and in his caveats. Even during the past century, only a portfolio undisturbed for 100 years would get that exact 6.3%. All shorter periods are dispersed around this median, with the greatest dispersion in the shortest holding periods. It really doesn't lend itself well to summarization. But, taking the case of 5% real median return, then the range at 30 years is as follows: ( I am just eyeballing this from a graph) the range is from annualized -5% to +17% at 30 years. The quartiles are bounded by approximately 0 and +13%. To directly address your question of a 50:50 portfolio of fixed and diversified equities, if one uses an average of the current yield on 20 and 30 year TIPs to give the fixed return, the range of a 30 year holding period of a 50:50 mix should be from -1.6% to +9.4%.

I recommend a close reading; there is lot there. He is not telling anyone what to do, this is no Bernstein type guru. He describes the past and points out things not likely to be repeated, and lets the reader decide what it might mean for him. Actually I should say they, since there are 3 authors.

Ha
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-22-2005, 09:23 PM   #59
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
For the record, i agree with him. Intercst/those on that other sister website know that i do, because i disagree with the assumption made by firecalc that the great depression can be assumed to be the worst case scenario. To assume it could never get worse than that is simply naive, if i may just be blunt.
If it gets worse then the great depression, working won't be a solutution to low or negative returns -- more then 25% won't have a job.
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!
Old 09-23-2005, 12:25 AM   #60
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Re: NEWSFLASH: Bernstein slams early retirement!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by intercst
I'm 49 now and have been retired for 11 years. My retirement portfolio has grown five-fold over that time while my annual living expenses have increased a bit more than 50%. My annual withdrawal rate is about 1.5% of assets today.

Not that I would have taken it, but I'm glad you weren't around in 1994 to offer advice. <grin>

(PS. That 'speaking engagements' thing is a joke, though you'd be surprised how many organizations try to book me, and how many financial advisor types ask me to refer them the 'overflow')

intercst
Intercst:* I think you are making a big mistake by not following the
advice of the 30 year old government employee that suggested in no uncertain terms that you get back to work post-haste.

Incidentally, I think I've figured out how your retirement has been so successful.* *Cheap Green Fees in Texas.

Regards, Jarhead
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