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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-08-2005, 08:02 AM   #21
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

Speaking of Thailand, On CNN I saw this Australian gal, Schapelle Leigh Corby, who had been arrested in Bali for drug possession and could face the death penalty. When I googled it, I was led to this site:

I don't know the bonafides of this URL, could be just internet chatter, but am assuming it's valid.

Perusing it, I found there are hundreds of prisoners in Thailand, of all places, facing the death penalty, many for drug possession. Travel is great, but having to sweat somebody putting something in your bags is nerve-wracking. This gal insisted someone put stuff in her bag; of course, everybody's innocent when they get caught.

On the other hand, a lot of the youngsters think nothing of taking drugs into other countries; talk about risk, that's simply stupid. When I was working, we had engineers going to Saudi Arabia. To get a visa, they were required to sign an explicit sheet of paper informing them of the death penalty, should they get caught with drugs in the Kingdom. I think I wouldn't bring anything but hand-carried luggage into any of these "death-penalty for drugs" countries, so I could keep an eye on them. But, I would have never thought of Thailand as being one to worry about. You guys living or traveling over there, Are there any stories we should know? The only drug I take is prescription, other than booze, so this isn't a personal. I hope this Aussie Gal gets out, but I doubt it.
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-08-2005, 09:09 AM   #22
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

I may have posted this before. If so, please cut me some slack.

I will never have to worry about "death penalty for drugs"
countries as I am probably never leaving the USA
(unless deported as a subversive) Anyway, I was sitting in
my sleeper on an AMTRAK train in New Mexico, waiting for my
dinner reservation to come up. A knock at the door. It's a cop.
He wants ID. I produce it. Being an inquisitive sort I ask what
is going on. He says that people are moving lots of drugs back and forth on AMTRAK. (That I believe - back then they had zero
security). He says "they" noticed I had a Texas driver's license,
Michigan license plates. an Illinois mailing address and I had left my truck in Kansas. I suppose that might look a little funky if you are the
suspicious type. Anyway, then he says "Can I come in and look
around?" I say "Absolutely not!" I had nothing to hide really
but I resented the intrusion, plus the thought that he could easily "drop" something or slip it into my bags....well, it was
a no-brainer decision to keep him out.

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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-08-2005, 12:21 PM   #23
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

Hey Janie,

I'll retire under the older CSRS which has a 2% per year pension "penalty" for retiring under age 55.* Penalty notwithstanding, I will still come out ahead for 21 years (until age 68) in total gross pension received than if I waited until age 55 to retire.* And according to actuarial tables, I will then only have 11 additional years of life to bemoan the fact that the government came out ahead.* So I perform the upper-level calculus, and I am "ahead" of my pension payer for 2 out of 3 years of my remaining life.* See?* I can rationalize Early Retirement so many ways...

After reading your message, maybe I should qualify "extensive" travel.* I've never been able to get away for seven weeks, much less years.* But I have been through most of South America and concur that Southeast Asia seems easier and safer.* The grinding poverty in South America can wear you down after a while, and you generally have to have your wits about you in any urban area after nightfall.* If the figures are to be believed, Caracas has more murders per holiday weekend than my city has during a year.
Originally Posted by Janie
...under the Federal early retirement provision (Voluntary Early Retirement) my understanding was that the penalties for retiring before age 62 (5% per year pension reduction) were lifted.* Was this not true for you?
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-08-2005, 03:40 PM   #24
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

Hi Eagle,

Ever seen Midnight Express? Drugs in most Asian countries are serious... It's good to make an effort to look somewhat clean-cut while you're traveling- at least while you're in transit or crossing borders. While traveling with my husband I've always found officials to be very polite and respectful.


I think your math (or was that new math!?) makes perfect sense. As long as you can keep your health benefits and receive a modest, COLA'd pension, what more does a guy need? Hold onto your outside investments and don't touch them for awhile, do some contract or seasonal work between travel adventures, and enjoy your life beyond the cubicle. We are really hoping an early out program is offered in the next couple of years... otherwise we have 5.5 years left, not impossible to get through, but it'd be nice to have our freedom sooner.


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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-09-2005, 03:26 AM   #25
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

Well at a net worth of around 650-700k and budget around $14k/year in Asia you certainly do not have any problems! We are talking a 2% w/r! (yes some of it is in bricks but still...).

I can confirm that $1100/mth is fine in Thailand. A serviced studio (meaning incl. furniture/kitchen/ maid service, sheets/towels etc) at $300/mth at (having pool/gym/sauna) or similar will leave plenty for fun and food.

Your nest egg/apt value (rental income?) would grow while your job simply is to keep spending within reason - not too hard in SEA.

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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-09-2005, 01:47 PM   #26
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

Thanks for everyones responses... I ve decided to refinance my 2nd mortgage at 6.12 fixed equity rate and pay out the 18k 3 year buyback.

Janie, if i leave my vested retirement account and collect a pension at 50, it includes health insurance which does not charge monthly dues. This of course can change in the future but I will still get the employee group rate. Luckily there are no penalties for retiring at 50 since the monthly amount of the pension is based on the doubled balance in the account and the actuarial factor at that time.

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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help
Old 05-09-2005, 02:34 PM   #27
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Re: Young Dreamer Needs Help

John Galt deported to Sweden. Claims he's not from there.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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