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Author: lsaunders One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 753960  
Subject: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 3:26 PM
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This could be a long one. Sorry. I'm starting to feel deep concern rising about whether I'll ever be able to RE. So I'm looking for some "expert" advice from those of you here who know your stuff.

I'm 40, work in hi-tech in Silicon Valley (read - high stress, long hours and high cost of living). I'm burning out fast and wish to RE as soon as possible. My SO is quite a bit older than me, and has no assets to speak of. We're newly married - and I've since put him on a budget :-) and max'ed his 401K contributions to try to get him into some financial shape. He has a little CC debt which I've got him paying off quickly.

I own a house here, have bought another one in another country (this is where we wish to RE) to take advantage of the exchange rates and the prices down there, have been contributing to my 401K for the past 8 years (maximum); I've got approx. $200,000 invested in the stock market (of course, it's not even close to that in value right now - I happened to buy most of it not too far from the peak in prices!). Both monthly mortgages are pretty low (in California terms) and I've got tenants in the foreign property which offsets expenses and gives me a negative gearing for tax. I've also got approximately $60,000 sitting in a money market fund, just waiting to be invested (I don't know what the hell to do with this because of the stock market condition); and I've got an emergency fund of cash (which I'm about to toss into a CD I think) for 12 months of living expenses for both of us.
I diligently save at least 50% of every paycheck. My SO is putting his into beating his debt down.

Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.
I just met with a Financial Planner who advised me to (of course) allow him to manage my portfolio, that while the stock market on average returns approx. 10-11% each year, his money manager could give me over the long haul 18% and even in some cases up to 28% returns. He's given me graphs/charts comparing their performance to the S&P500 etc.

The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
Now, he did base this upon my current salary, adjusted it for inflation etc etc. But this news, even if I only need half of that, floored me. I don't think I can even come close to building that much wealth any time soon. Not even in the next ten years I'm fearing - but do I really have to work that long anyway? Should I be handing over my finances to someone else? Of course, that would involve a 3% or 2.1 (depending how much money I let them manage) fee. Should I continue to invest in the stock market? Or should I pursue mutuals or index funds?
How do I get out of the rat race? How did Galeno and Intercst do it?
How did some of you others do it? How much did you need? Are you weathering the stock storm okay? I think the "deep concern" is starting to turn to panic!!

Please help!

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Author: Peachy2001 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47603 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 3:40 PM
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Well, your first step is to STOP and Take a Deep Breath!

Congratulate yourself on coming to the right place!

I, myself, am not retired, but I'm working effectively and successfully towards that goal.
(just a youngin' at 33 yrs old)

A recent article was published on the Fool concerning this topic and I believe it should be a definite starting point for determining your next steps. In addition, it provides links to several sources of information concerning your plight.

Read, Enjoy, RELAX,

http://www.fool.com/Retirement/RetirementStep1.htm

...and good luck!

Peachy
Live Long and Prosper(Longer)



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Author: wmhughes One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47604 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 3:45 PM
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With regard to the Financial Planner promising you 18% over the long haul:

RUN! Run like the wind!


wmhughes
(nobody can make a promise like that)

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Author: cfofool Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47611 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 4:20 PM
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Actually, ANYONE can make a promise like that. NOBODY should take them up on it.

:) Kevin

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47613 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 4:40 PM
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lsaunders asks,

This could be a long one. Sorry. I'm starting to feel deep concern rising about whether I'll ever be able to RE. So I'm looking for some "expert" advice from those of you here who know your stuff.

I'm 40, work in hi-tech in Silicon Valley (read - high stress, long hours and high cost of living). I'm burning out fast and wish to RE as soon as possible. My SO is quite a bit older than me, and has no assets to speak of. We're newly married - and I've since put him on a budget :-) and max'ed his 401K contributions to try to get him into some financial shape. He has a little CC debt which I've got him paying off quickly.

I own a house here, have bought another one in another country (this is where we wish to RE) to take advantage of the exchange rates and the prices down there, have been contributing to my 401K for the past 8 years (maximum); I've got approx. $200,000 invested in the stock market (of course, it's not even close to that in value right now - I happened to buy most of it not too far from the peak in prices!). Both monthly mortgages are pretty low (in California terms) and I've got tenants in the foreign property which offsets expenses and gives me a negative gearing for tax. I've also got approximately $60,000 sitting in a money market fund, just waiting to be invested (I don't know what the hell to do with this because of the stock market condition); and I've got an emergency fund of cash (which I'm about to toss into a CD I think) for 12 months of living expenses for both of us.
I diligently save at least 50% of every paycheck. My SO is putting his into beating his debt down.

Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.

I just met with a Financial Planner who advised me to (of course) allow him to manage my portfolio, that while the stock market on average returns approx. 10-11% each year, his money manager could give me over the long haul 18% and even in some cases up to 28% returns. He's given me graphs/charts comparing their performance to the S&P500 etc.

The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
Now, he did base this upon my current salary, adjusted it for inflation etc etc. But this news, even if I only need half of that, floored me. I don't think I can even come close to building that much wealth any time soon. Not even in the next ten years I'm fearing - but do I really have to work that long anyway? Should I be handing over my finances to someone else? Of course, that would involve a 3% or 2.1 (depending how much money I let them manage) fee. Should I continue to invest in the stock market? Or should I pursue mutuals or index funds?
How do I get out of the rat race? How did Galeno and Intercst do it?
How did some of you others do it? How much did you need? Are you weathering the stock storm okay? I think the "deep concern" is starting to turn to panic!!


Relax. Anyone saving 50% of their salary is well on the way to early retirement no matter what a Financial Planner promising 18% to 28% returns says. I could post a chart showing the 40% averge annual returns I got in my IRA from 1990-2000 -- it doesn't mean I'll do anything like that in the next 10 years. Do your planning based on something less than the 10% average annual historical return of the S&P500. That way the odds improve that if you're surprised, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Any Financial Planner that thinks you'll need $5.3 million to fund $60,000 per year in expenses must be using an economic scenario just short of the Earth colliding with an asteroid. You'd need $1.5 million for a $60,000 annual inflation adjusted withdrawal of 4% of assets. If inflation averages 3% per annum for the next 10 years, the $60,000 expenses figure grows to $80,000 per year and that $1.5 million in assets required grows to just $2.0 million.

Simply your life with this amazing 4 step program:

(1) ignore the planner,
(2) save his fee,
(3) continue to save 50% of your salary,
(4) buy an index fund

You'll retire long before most of this planner's clients. <grin>

intercst




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Author: BeanieMike One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47621 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 5:22 PM
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I think the "deep concern" is starting to turn to panic!!

Don't let any real or imagined panic cloud your judgment. You'll find a lot of info and good advice here. As everybody knows/says here, no one is as interested in your investments as you are. When you go off in search of those unbelieveable returns, you're walking on thin ice.

I don't want to paint the the financial planner/advisor community with a broad brush, but after a career of working fraud cases, can't tell you how many times I've heard of promises of returns like you mention, and easily accompanied with charts, numbers, etc. Doesn't matter whether it's stocks, precious metals, gold mines, real estate, oil and gas, etc. Many times, some investors will see those kinds of profits - for a while. It's easy when the "profits" of investor #1 are being paid by investor #2, #3, or whoever. Mr/Ms Investor, meet Mr. Ponzi.

Have often heard investors told, "We just made you 28% over the last year, and if you take your initial investment and that profit and roll it over into blah, blah, blah. . . " and not finding out for several years that the money was gone from day one. If only people would once in a while say, "Gimme everything and I'm gonna park it in a CD" or something just to see if they can actually get control of their funds for a while. Seeing your numbers on account statements don't mean squat.

Know of one financial planner years ago that was doing so well for his clients and himself that he/familiy would fly to Paris on the COncorde to shop, prepaid 4 yrs at USC for his daughter and on and on. Gee, guess where the money came from. Imagine being a Dr. in your 60's ready to retire only to find out you had nothing.

If you exercise some reasonable caution with your investments and keep at it, you'll do just fine. May have to settle for regular 911 instead of the Turbo, but at least you won't be taking the bus.




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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47645 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 9:13 PM
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intercst wrote:
Simply your life with this amazing 4 step program:
(1) ignore the planner,
(2) save his fee,
(3) continue to save 50% of your salary,
(4) buy an index fund


No argument with intercst here. You dollar cost average 30% of your and your SO's gross monthly income into VTSMX or VFINX and if you average an 8% annual return, you can retire in 25 years. A 12% return will get you retired in 20. And if you can get an 18% annual return you can retire in 15 years.

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Author: GringoFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47648 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/9/2001 10:24 PM
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Feeling loquacious, and on a roll, thought I'd go for a record two posts in the same evening. Intercst has already responded perfectly to the financial side of the equation, and I hope you feel less "panic" now than before.

Isaunders commented that:
I own a house here, have bought another one in another country (this is where we wish to RE) to take advantage of the exchange rates and the prices down there, .........

Sounds like south of the border (maybe even as far south as Galeno in Costa Rica)? Ours is in Mexico, so I can relate a bit. Just a note to mention that a decision to retire outside the U.S. needs to consider more than just exchange rates, housing prices, or cost of living (which is not to say that you haven't already thought about this or spent time there to be sure you liked it). There is a lot to say for the way of life in Latin America, but it comes with its own set of frustrations.


Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.

A real plus that I found after working in Latin America for a number of years was that my annual budget started to reduce, unconsciously, because of not being exposed to the same constant bombardment of consumerism that we have come to accept as normal here in the States. Since your yearly budget is the controlling factor on how much you need to save before FIREing (25 times yearly expenses), it is as significant a factor as how much you can save and your return on investment in figuring when you can pack it in.

You might, while continuing to work on debt reduction and savings/investment, give some thought to whether you'd really need $60k if you retire outside the States (you might, eveyone's idea of their desired lifestyle is different). Certainly a lot depends on whether you want/need a lot of imported stuff, plan on traveling extensively outside the country, plan on maintaining a second home here, etc.)

Anyways, good luck on your plans. Congratulations on finding the page. Yeah, there's still stuff here for those who want to RE.

GringoFool
Drinking tequila reposado since 1902........


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Author: ariechert Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47649 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 12:09 AM
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"The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
Now, he did base this upon my current salary, adjusted it for inflation etc etc. But this news, even if I only need half of that, floored me. I don't think I can even come close to building that much wealth any time soon. "

"How do I get out of the rat race? How did Galeno and Intercst do it?
How did some of you others do it? How much did you need? Are you weathering the stock storm okay? I think the "deep concern" is starting to turn to panic!!"

Please help!


First of all those figures he gave you were for you staying in a high income and high cost of living area. I live in East, TN with no state income tax and low property taxes ($500/yr on a house and 10 acres of land). There are other options also; you could consider Costa Rica or Mexico. You can scale your living expenses way back too. Consider that most people in the world live on less than $2,000 a year and you can see the fallacy of the financial planners figures. I wanted a new car but buying one would have meant another 5 years of working. I decided it wasn't worth it to me. I'm not saying it's not worth it to you but that is something to consider. My sister's husband bought a giant Dodge truck that guzzels gas. She was telling me how poor they were and I told her that they would come out ahead just letting the truck go for payments, rather than trying to get some money out of it, because they would at least save the $400/month payments plus the $100/month gaz that the truck guzzels. So take anything you hear with a grain of salt. From what I can tell the biggest expense is health insurance. From what Galeno says Costa Rica has a nice health care system. I was lucky in that my wife wanted to keep working, she likes her job teaching college students. So just scale back your expectations, figure out what will make you happy, and work toward a realistic goal that both of you can live with. The first thing I would do though is after you have gotten close to attaining financial independence is get the heck out of Silicon Valley. Your friend, Art



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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47657 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 3:36 AM
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I suddenly realized something... this fund manager thinks that when you retire, you should put 100% of your portfolio into Treasury bonds.

With the assumption that you make this particular stupid move, he's otherwise probably taking good care of you: giving you a stable after-tax, after-inflation income for at least two or three decades.

That's why he thinks you need $5.3 million. Plus, probably around the 30-year mark the money is EXPECTED to RUN OUT.

If instead you put at least 80% of your long-term portfolio into a broad mix of US equities, then your long-term portfolio needs to be about $1.5 million (25 times your desired annual income) to give you a stable, inflation-adjusted income of $60K for the same period. With a 95% likelihood of still having money left, and an expected inflation-adjusted balance of at least $5 million.

In addition to that long-term portfolio you'll want a short-term portfolio equal to your expected expenses for about 5 years, or $300,000. This portion should be invested for security, which means money-market funds and I-bonds lead the way. (Long-term bonds are NOT a good choice for short-term secure investing.)

This is a total of $1.8 million, and substantially improved security.

If you have a pension, or believe that you'll get something from Social Security, you can deduct that from what you expect to need from your portfolio. However, pay attention to inflation adjustments!

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Author: Pablum Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47670 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 9:09 AM
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Intercst wrote:
<<Simply your life with this amazing 4 step program:
(1) ignore the planner,
(2) save his fee,
(3) continue to save 50% of your salary,
(4) buy an index fund
You'll retire long before most of this planner's clients.>>


I'm truly surprised, Intercst, that you could announce to this poor young lady such a gross inaccuracy.....

She will, in fact, retire long before ALL of this planner's clients <grin>

She will also do well to check the variety of books at Intercst's Retire Early Home Page, and to leisurely rummage through the posts on this board.

I'll give her a month before she's advising me of a thing or two....

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Author: galeno Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47671 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 9:10 AM
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GringoFool wrote:
You might, while continuing to work on debt reduction and savings/investment, give some thought to whether you'd really need $60k if you retire outside the States (you might, eveyone's idea of their desired lifestyle is different). Certainly a lot depends on whether you want/need a lot of imported stuff, plan on traveling extensively outside the country, plan on maintaining a second home here, etc.)

Very good point. I support my wife, four kids (all in private school) a full time gardner and maid on $4,000 per month. A couple that retires in Mexico or Costa Rica can live VERY well on $1500 per month.

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Author: RoseSmeller One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47692 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 12:10 PM
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Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.
...
he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
...
Of course, that would involve a 3% or 2.1 (depending how much money I let them manage) fee.


Actually, I think the planner's math is OK, it's his priorities that may not match yours.

A 4% withdrawal rate from a $5.3M portfolio is $212,000/year. His fee would be $111,300 to $159,000 of that leaving you $53,000 to $100,700.


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Author: YvesManoover Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47703 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 1:22 PM
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The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.

I can't resist this one for pure lunacy.

Assume, $5.3 Million is the prescription for an optimal financial condition, & America has 270 million people, then collectively we need to accumulate something like 1.4 quadrillion dollars to reach this guy's idea of financial security. Or, just to make this ugly picture look better--in case he was referring to family wealth--assume the $5.3 million is sufficient for 2.8 people, so that the collective required total is "only" a half quadrillion dollars. It would take the entire US government hundreds of years to run through a fortune like that.

If we extend the scenario to the world's population of 6 Billion or whatever, even adjusting for relative living standards in the various countries, obviously there isn't enough wealth on this and the next 3 planets to satisfy such a predatory and exclusionary ideal. & idiotic. The man must have been fooling with you.

You'll find better guidance in more reasoned discussions on this board. Or for starters, try this recent story that most retirees make it on $22,000 per year.

http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7BC08E7297%2DFE70%2D43FC%2DBEA0%2D1E6A247BC377%7D&siteid=mktw
Yes, you can retire on $22,000 a year, by Paul B. Farrell, Feb. 7, 2001

YvesManoover


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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47708 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 2:52 PM
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Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.
...
he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years.
...
Of course, that would involve a 3% or 2.1 (depending how much money I let them manage) fee.

RoseSmeller answered:

Actually, I think the planner's math is OK, it's his priorities that may not match yours.

A 4% withdrawal rate from a $5.3M portfolio is $212,000/year. His fee would be $111,300 to $159,000 of that leaving you $53,000 to $100,700.


This is so good, I thought it needed to be repeated!

I came to the same conclusion the last time I talked to a money manager.

Vickifool



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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47711 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 3:20 PM
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An example -

Salary 100000
Savings % 50.00%
Yearly Salary Increase % 1.00%
Rate of return % 10.00%

Year Year Total
Savings Saved

1 50000 50000
2 50500 105500
3 51005 167055
4 51515 235276
5 52030 310833
6 52551 394467
7 53076 486990
8 53607 589296
9 54143 702368
10 54684 827289
11 55231 965249
12 55783 1117557
13 56341 1285654
14 56905 1471125
15 57474 1675711
16 58048 1901330
17 58629 2150092
18 59215 2424317
19 59807 2726556
20 60405 3059617


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Author: bamboo7431 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47719 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 4:40 PM
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Our ave. cost of living, including mortgages etc, is approx. $60,000 per annum.
[..]
The shocking part was that he told me that I'd need $5.3M to retire on in 10 years. Now, he did base this upon my current salary, adjusted it for inflation etc etc.

And that's why he's wrong.
Your real cost of living is 60K. Using 4% rule you would need to have 1.5M to retire NOW. Assuming there is a 3% annual inflation, in 10 years that amount would be 1.03**10 * 1.5 ~ 2.016M. Assuming there is a 5% inflation it would be ~2.443 M. Assuming there is a 10% inflation (highly unlikely) this amount would be ~3.891M - pretty high but still nowhere close to $5.3M so don't trust him and sleep well :)

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Author: bamboo7431 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47722 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/10/2001 4:59 PM
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This is OT and has nothing to do with original message but I can't change the title.

You directed us to:
http://www.fool.com/Retirement/RetirementStep1.htm

...and good luck!


...and this article says
So much so that you have to do it on an '89 Intel 386 that generates enough heat for a two-bedroom apartment?

While an old '89 Intel 386-based computer does generate more heat than the current one, the '89 386 processor consumes less energy and generates less heat than modern Pentiums. Yet again Fool gives us an example how someone who doesn't know his stuff shouldn't write about it.

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Author: lsaunders One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 47814 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 8/11/2001 7:48 PM
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All,

Thanks very much for all the Foolish advice you gave. I greatly appreciate the help .... and yes, I have stopped hyperventilating and am sleeping well! I've perused a lot of the information that's been posted, have run some numbers and have got a lot of planning to do.
It's gonna be okay. And I think I'm going to be able to ditch the rat race a lot sooner than I would have thought.

Galeno, I have a question for you. I gather, from your post, that you are retired. Are you able to fund you and your family's lifestyle (sounds very nice by the way) just off the returns on your investments?
At what point were you able to pull the pin on working and take that step into RE confidently?

Thanks also for the advice regarding moving to a foreign location. Yes, we absolutely did live there and diligently checked it all out before taking the plunge on a home purchase. It's down in Australia where I originally came from, and right on the beach! Now we just have to get there!

Thanks again everyone.



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Author: Holg Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 49363 of 753960
Subject: Re: Money Manager ...? Date: 9/1/2001 7:13 AM
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Galeno,

I support my wife, four kids (all in private school) a full time gardner and maid on $4,000 per month. A couple that retires in Mexico or Costa Rica can live VERY well on $1500 per month.

Wah!? Maybe it *is* time to change contries again..... :-))

I live in Taiwan, "support" one wife, one cat and drive a 15-year old car that I bought 2nd hand. Tiny apartment outside of the city, because it is a lot less expensive there. All that is about $3,000 per month.

Cheers!

Holg

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