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Tita Gidge

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Everything posted by Tita Gidge

  1. I give my home schooler the same that his public school brothers get: a number. I don't know why I feel the need to do it the same way, but I do. Otherwise, I think I'm more partial to a letter grade.
  2. I'm not vegan, but I have a friend who is so I bought a few cookbooks for when she comes over. I really like Easy Vegan Cooking by Leah Leneman. The recipes are approachable, simple, and delicious. Ingredients are things on hand. I also have Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. It's okay, the recipes have been hit or miss, and we generally have to shop for ingredients. We don't use it often. Finally, I have the Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook. The recipes have ranged from great to "okay enough to finish but we won't be making again." I own the cupcakes book mentioned up thead but haven't made anything yet. I forgot I owned it until I just looked LOL.
  3. I'm sorry if that's how my words came across. I believe a part of it - that the hungrier you are, the more opportunities you'll seek out or take advantage of, making xyz more possible. Necessity drives us, it's how we're wired to survive! But in no way do I believe, or did I mean to imply that everyone who has flopped didn't want it badly enough or apply themselves hard enough. (I do think it's a factor in some cases, but definitely not applicable to "anyone" or to "everyone.") I have a string of flops and failures under my belt! I shared some of them on this thread. I have many more as a parent, as a daughter, as a student, and as a wife. In some cases I worked hard and was hungry, but there was no payout. In other cases, I didn't want it badly enough to apply myself. I think this to be a pretty typical approach, that I'm not unlike most people out there. What's interesting to me is that where I'm from, this IS the norm. It's not unique at all. I think that gets lost when I'm communicating, especially online. I try to be careful to identify myself as an immigrant, and as coming from a different culture but in this thread I appeared to do so unsuccessfully. Ask any Asian, we have some serious skeletons in our family closets - same as any other family. But the cultural tradition is steeped with filial duty and interdependence to the point that our family dynamic looks very different than those of typical Americans with the same skeletons in their closets. Rentals are a tricky business. I've learned (the hard way, through failure!) what makes a smarter investment, but even then ... it's always a risk. We like renting to non-traditional college students, to visiting professors, to undergrads whose parents pay us directly, and to military. Our rentals are all near major universities and military bases, on purpose due to traffic, turnover, and the ability to go through university or military channels to protect our investment. We got lucky that our initial investments were trouble free, and that by the time we did run into problems, we had other properties to sustain us while we worked out the kinks. Given your prior rental experience, I'd be shell-shocked, too, and very nervous about going that road! How do you feel about food trucks? I'm serious LOL. We have a hot market right now for food trucks in my area, and my idea is to lease a small fleet, then turn around and rent the trucks to vendors. Even if I start with just one truck, you know? It's still a very premature idea, I have a lot to learn yet. There are lots of investments out there, it's a matter of finding the right one and having the right timing to make it all go down!
  4. What an exciting time for you! I haven't worked in a few years, but at the time we were still looking for skills with PowerPoint, too. I don't know if that's still relevant? Excel was the other biggie. Being familiar with social media platforms was also valued. I'm rounding the corner on 40, too, but we're adding two babies to the family this fall. If it were a game of Chutes & Ladders, you'd be at the top of that really high ladder waving your hands in excitement about this new chapter in your life. If you look down, you'll see me; I'm the kid crying at the bottom of the very long slide, having to unexpectedly start all over again. What projects are you working on around the house?
  5. I heard once a quote by some famous hair stylist that the reason for his success could be attributed to the "grass is always greener" syndrome. I wish I could remember who it was, but he basically said that curly hairs want to be straightened and straight hairs want to be curly, and he makes it all happen. :lol: I say this because I have straight, coarse Asian hair. I'd die for some curls. Heck, I'd maim just for some waves. I think Orphan Annie way cuter than, say, the hair helmet every Asian girl gets as a rite of passage!
  6. :crying: I'm so sorry to hear of your family's loss. 91 is incredible, what a life he must have lived! To think of the things his eyes saw, his ears heard, and the changes in the world he witnessed happening. I bet he had a lot of interesting stories and insights to share. May his soul rest in peace, and may time bring you peace.
  7. I don't think it is possible for everyone to do; I'm not sure where I implied that it was? I answered a question asking how I managed it, I didn't put it out there as a solution for anyone else's situation. :confused1: You're correct that the company wouldn't offer that package to everyone - but not everyone brought in the money that I did, so why would they? And that's pretty much my point (to my kids, not to everyone in this thread who thinks I'm referring to their specific situation) in saying to work smart. I was hired to be a cog in the wheel but in time I wanted more, so I found a way to make myself indispensable. And there were several failed attempts before I managed to succeed, including being passed over for COO. When they no longer found me indispensable, I had to come up with Plan B. And that was to make myself a viable threat to their bottom line. They didn't just sign over a retirement package because I'm cute (though I am!) They did so because they acknowledged my value. I was worth eliminating because of how hard and smart I worked for them, and they didn't want me loose in the industry doing it for myself or others - with a skeleton staff pulled from their ranks and a number of their clients coming with me. Not everyone wants more, so there's no need for them to take risks or work harder than they choose to. Not everyone is willing to negotiate, or (when they do) to ask for the moon as I did. Not everyone knows their own worth, or worse - they do, but don't work for people who do. So again, of course my outcome isn't possible for everyone ... nor does everyone seek the same outcome I did. I still fight issues stemming from our refugee years; I am driven by that experience to work hard and smart so that I'm never again in that kind of vulnerable position. It sounds like you're driven by similar motive, and that we're both fortunate to have had family to lean on. It makes me so sad when I read threads or posts here about fractured (extended) families. My family is far from perfect, and we struggle, but at the end of the day we know we're all better off pooling our resources and working together. So we fight through the challenges and figure out how to make it work with addiction, with gambling, with abandonment, with all sorts of issues facing other families as well. It's a choice, not without trade-offs - good and bad. But that's another sidetrack LOL. I'm grateful to have so many siblings because I can't imagine dealing with the challenging traits of my parents and siblings if there were only a few of us. I imagine my kids feel the same way about me, and will continue to as I get older and even more ornery. Big families are the norm in my culture.
  8. Similar to you, the only relatives I had in this country those first years were the ones I came over with (parents, younger siblings). Unlike you, I did have an extensive family and village network "back home" that supported us in many ways. And when it came time to start bringing people over, we returned both the kindness and the support (in many ways). It's just a very different culture. I stated early on that fortunate timing played a role in my personal story. I imagine the same to be true for everyone else, regardless of circumstances good or poor. To me that's very much in line with your thought that no matter how hard some people work, they won't get college scholarships. And I agree with it. My ex-husband is also the son of immigrants, though he came over at a younger age and became fluent in English early on. His options were to skip college and take over the family business (no desire) ... take out loans to attend college while working to cover room/board (no clue what he wanted to study) ... or to enlist in the military to buy himself some time. He chose the latter. He chose a different path than I did, because his situation necessitated it. He didn't have a network of extended family, nor did he have any chance of a scholarship. I don't know if they could have swung a loan, but they had a lot invested in their family business so I don't know that they would have added to that debt. We both ended up more successful than our parents' generation. We both fulfilled the dreams of our immigrant families in doing so, even though our situations and approaches were very different. The similarity is that we both worked hard and had fortunate timing; we weren't counting on one or the other to carry us - which I've stated repeatedly in this thread. So you and I agree there!
  9. Oh! Those weren't available the last time we did LC1, so I didn't know they were an option until just now. :lol: My daughter is glad I didn't know about them for co-op last year, and grateful MP doesn't make any for LC2 (what we're doing next year). I know someone I can recommend them to, though, so thank you for linking them!
  10. Oh there are so many people here like me! :lol: I still have to make 3D models out of paper. I was trying to describe a bed I want my brother to build. He's drawing as I describe it. What he drew is not computing so I cut out a bunch of paper and fold it and color it and show him in 3D exactly what I want. He's like, "Uh, yeah. Just like what I drew." Oh. Okay LOL. I recognized myself in Tanaqui and dmmettler's posts. I, too, still make the "L" shape with my fingers to determine left from right. I have to do drive-by practice runs. Like, last week my auntie had to see a specialist. Two days before her appointment I drove the 40 minutes to the hospital so I could practice and time the drive. Then I drove to Starbucks for a tea, and home. The day of her appointment, my car drove itself to Starbucks on the way home. That stop got programmed into my auto-pilot LOL. I do this for the kids' activities, too, tournaments in different counties, etc. I did it for my first jury duty. My son's graduation. My other son's scout camp drop off. My daughter's friend's birthday party. My family doesn't understand it. But if I don't do it, the pressure of NEEDING to drive somewhere I've never been proves too much for me to process. Then I'm spatially-challenged AND anxious. One of my sons has been doing some geo-caching and says it'd be good for me - kind of a low pressure way to build up confidence and learn how to use a GPS. I don't know how to use one with map. I use the one on my iPhone and just read the list rather than follow the map or listen to the voice. I keep detailed lists in the car, as described by other posters. The more detailed it is, the more confidence I have and the easier it is for me to get around - even if those extraneous details aren't used. For example, here's how people give me instructions (and how I'd rather they be): turn left (at the old oak tree, turn left) go straight for a bit (go for six miles and look for the yellow one-story house on the driver's side) turn left at the stop sign (when you get to the four-way stop just past the yellow house, turn left) Two of my sons do this geo-caching, and keep asking me to go with them. I wonder if something like that might help? (I haven't wanted to see for myself, but maybe your daughter does :lol: ). My son says it'd be low pressure and good for me to learn how to use the GPS. I'm thinking I'm an old dog and the GPS is too new a trick.
  11. I know these aren't what you're looking for, but - I always thought I'd like to be the UPS guy. I don't look so great in brown, but lots of driving by myself and dropping off packages at the doorway ... ringing the bell and then bolting back to the truck before they can answer ... Sure you'd have the occasional package that required a signature, but mostly it'd be alone time - right? Or the person who waters plants at Lowe's and Home Depot. Me, plants, water ... the occasional blank stare when someone asks me for help but I just point them to the nearest cashier ... I dream.
  12. I took my parents' advice and first followed the money. I graduated at 23 with a double major and went into an industry dominated by men. Companies were highly interested in the few women in our program. I was able to negotiate well as far as starting salary and benefits. Had I gone straight into the major/industry I wanted for myself, I'd have been lucky to find a job at all post-grad. I'd have probably ended up going straight for a master's to kill time. That wasn't a financial feasibility for me, though, and therefore not a true option. I used the company's tuition reimbursement plan to get a different degree of more interest to me and then created a position that didn't yet exist but could successfully marry what they had originally hired me to do with something I was more interested in doing. I took the company in a direction they hadn't ever considered, and it became the third highest-earning division in the company. I was up for the COO position but lost out. There wasn't anywhere else for me to go at that company so I was going to quit and start my own. I had signed commitments from three of my colleagues, my work wife (secretary), and several of my clients to follow me when I was approached by the company. They offered me a retirement package but it was conditional on a non-compete clause. They didn't want me moving to another company or starting my own and taking their business. I didn't want to continue working there. So it was a win-win, and I negotiated one hell of a package. I got two years full pay, and 85% thereafter. I retained the air and hotel miles I had accrued, including all accounts. The company will continue to pay for my passport renewals (but not my airport parking fees, I tried!) I receive full health benefits through the age of 66 (at age 55 my ex-husband becomes responsible for my healthcare costs, per our decree and through his retirement - I negotiated one hell of a divorce, too, and will be receiving 50% of his total retirement, not just during the years we were married; and he's a double dipper). I'll survive by continuing to live below my means, to diversify my investments, to have rainy day backup plans to carry me through the eventual market crashes and recessions, to continue to find ways to allow other people's money work for me (and for my kids, who are my biggest expense.) And that doesn't need to last me 50+ years, only until we become eligible for my ex-husband's retirement, which is mandatory in his late 50s. That'll be harder to stretch, but I have enough kids that someone's bound to take me in. I'll gladly turn over any income I have, and help I can offer around the home, for a room at the inn.
  13. I think we can definitely agree on this. I've always expressed the importance and benefit (to me) of my family's dynamics. It's exactly why I prioritize them over every thing else. And you're right, we don't get to pick our parents. And I'm sorry for your husband's experiences, particularly what amounts to the loss of BOTH parents at a young age. Like him, my family counted on me to work. At the time I was studying for college, I had 10 younger siblings to help care for and financially support. Maintaining a college scholarship (away from home) was a breeze compared to what I had to deal with while trying to earn it. My challenges weren't identical to his but they were close, and I can relate to how defeating it felt. I like what you said about it being something that builds from one generation to the next. I think where I benefitted most is that my parents' generation worked side by side with me to get me where they wanted me to go. Families who don't have that same multi-generational tradition can still benefit, it may just take more generations to realize the benefits. But - not to get sidetracked - this is also where the culture of COMMUNITY comes into play, and where the differences between typical Asian culture and typical American culture are glaring. My parents didn't have a bunch of cash to put into a college home for me! And even if they had qualified for a loan (they wouldn't), they don't trust banks and would never have taken one - a carryover from the old country LOL. That money was pooled from the community - aunts, cousins, grandparents, friends, etc. This is not unusual for Asians, especially those new to the US. I just don't see that happening with Americans ... they seem to prefer formal contracts and keeping business separate from friends/family. What someone sees as then being lucky to have that option, neglects to see the accompanying strings that comes with it. Different cultures.
  14. Well, I'm not sure why you or anyone would be hung up on what I personally acknowledge or don't ... but I'll give it to you. I don't think I've ever said that the decisions I made were the One True Way for everyone, or even for anyone outside of my own kids. In this thread and others like it, I've always attempted to be clear that my approach was tailored for (really, by) my own family. As an immigrant I've grown up straddling two cultures - the one I was born into and raised with, and the one I currently live in. We originally moved to an area overrun by Asians but we're now in the Bible Belt where the nearest Asian anything is bad teriyaki chicken meals in the frozen section of Walmart. I'm very aware that my family dynamics are not the norm, not here and not for the majority of the country. I post with this in mind, and typically with this explicitly stated (although this thread I neglected to state so prior to now.) Likewise, I didn't present my choices as a solution for the masses. I simply answered someone's question as to what I had in mind when I told my kids to work smart, and elaborated as a conversation developed. I've always believed (and said as much earlier in the thread) that fortunate timing is also a factor. But timing and luck alone aren't enough, the hard and smart work is the essential part. RE: rental properties. Yes, several factors at play. Some can be planned for (location, pricing) and some cannot (market downturns, timing). The key is to be prepared and to try to stay one step ahead of the market. And it's still a gamble, right? Even the illustrious Donald Trump has gambled on real estate and lost. What gets him back on top every time? Finagling himself into a position to buy low and sell high, using other people's money. (Please! Don't take this as me looking to him as any kind of guru, he's just an easy one to use an example because he's so ... out there ... with his personality, his show, his campaign, and his many rises and falls LOL.) So yes, outside factors matter. But so do those we have more control over. (And as I read this last paragraph, I see where this may come across as me putting out there that this is attainable by anyone. Really, though, it's a conversation to me in which I'm thinking aloud and countering the naysaying. It's not intended to come across as a prescription for anyone's situation, so if it does or has been ... just know that's not been my intent. To me it's been a dialogue and exchange of thoughts on a situation that none of us are immune to.)
  15. Brilliant! I have a ton of these in the garage already, now I'm not sure I can wait until school starts. I may start shooting them just for the fun of it. :lol:
  16. I thought, "Oh, Debby Harry! Super fun, super cute!" Then I had to google Elizabeth Warren. And now I want to cry for you. That's not even in the same universe as what you asked for!! Where do you live? (Rhetorical; personal, I know.) But I mean, are you near a downtown or college town? Maybe you'd have better luck at a salon that's geared towards a more edgy clientele. You might have to bring in a photo of Debby Harry LOL but they'd get the style right away and hopefully nail the cut you want. I'm sorry you have a mom bob :sad: I hope it grows out quickly!
  17. :patriot: Oh, Moses, that's a big baby!
  18. I think this is a lie people tell themselves. I say this with all due respect because I see so many working and middle class Americans who feel stuck without options for education - too "rich" to qualify for much aid, too "poor" to actually fund higher education out of pocket. But I think the real issue is that they aren't as hungry as those who driven by true necessity to move up the socio-economic ladder, and so they justify opportunity away. I started out with less than most people. I know this because when we first moved here, we ate canned dog food since it was cheaper but still "meat" so it had to be okay, right? With rice, always with rice. Every meal was rice, sometimes we were lucky and got the dog food, too. Two years later I had a full scholarship to a major university. I wasn't going to college any other way, and it's part of why we moved to this country so I wasn't about to let my family down. I don't normally share that experience. It's humiliating. But it's important in illustrating why I tell my kids to "work smart" - because I know it pays off. I feed my dogs human food LOL. Starting out 50-100K in debt wasn't an option for me; it wasn't a luxury I could even entertain, and so I didn't. I busted my butt to secure my way into college. My extended family, in turn, busted theirs to buy a rental property for each of us ... they (smartly) determined it to be a wise investment. Let other people's money fund their children's education and let other people's money fund their college room and board expenses. And it worked. With 12 kids to put through college (my eldest sister didn't attend until her 30s) my parents funded $0 towards tuition and managed to gift 10 of us rental properties upon graduation. Every single one of those mortgages was paid off by renters, not by my parents; they merely fronted the money. They stuck it into a property instead of a savings account. It's unfortunate that the take away is 'disheartening' because I firmly believe that if I could do it, anyone can - especially most American kids who grew up working or middle class and have significant more advantages than I ever did. They just have to be hungry or desperate enough, and most aren't.
  19. People haven't handed me money :lol: but I can see where it might appear so from a single post! I moved to the US as an older teenager, with limited English skills. I worked hard, both in school and outside of it, from the time my feet hit the ground. I won't even claim credit for that because it was forced on me and expected by my parents. I earned a full scholarship to a university I had no desire to attend for a major I wasn't crazy about pursuing. I attended anyway because it meant my education was funded by other people's money and I'd have career options immediately post-graduation. My goal was to then find post-grad employment at a company that offered tuition reimbursement so I could pursue a field I was more interested in. And I did. My college home cost less than the equivalent of a year's tuition, which my family was off the hook for because I worked hard to earn a scholarship and followed the money rather than my desire/heart/interest. This was the first of many smart decisions I made in securing the situation I'm in now. Other people's money paid off that rental - the mortgage was covered by renters, not by me or my family. That was another smart decision. Instead of throwing money into a dorm or apartment, we put it down on a property and let other people's money pay it off and work for us. I still own that property. The money I still earn is being funneled into purchasing a property for my son as he heads off to college next month. He, too, worked hard and earned a full 4-year scholarship. Nobody is handing him anything, either. What you see as a gift is a blessing in one sense, but also the fruit of his hard work and some long-term planning. He's still working for room and board, it's just as a student maintaining his scholarship and networking instead of cleaning up popcorn at the movie theater or delivering pizzas. It's making other people's money work for us - first through scholarships, secondly through roommates paying off the mortgage of the property I merely sign a loan for. As for living near family, that was a choice I made. When they uprooted everyone and moved to the groin of America, I followed grudgingly BECAUSE of the value they brought to our lives and that we brought to theirs. It was not starting out ahead of the game, it was staying ahead of the game by prioritizing it - which, to me, is smart. I took a financial hit by moving to them. My job was less in demand so my income was reduced significantly; in order to raise it back up, I had to travel to clients. I spent half of each month or more in hotels, homeschooling on my days home around the irregular schedule of international clients and still meeting the old-world expectations my parents had of their adult children. The trade-off was that I had family support (be it laundry, cleaning, or babysitting) and proximity that would foster relationships with my children. My Asian friends always understood why I did it, but my American friends never could wrap their heads around prioritizing extended family over finances/job. It may not have been the smart choice for them, but it was the smart choice for me based on my family and priorities. But still - free laundry, housecleaning and babysitting was a decision I intentionally made, and not something I lucked into or was handed LOL. Many days I'd rather wash my own stupid clothes than do the job I got instead: bathing three aunties (one with Alzheimer's), one uncle (with dementia), and my grandmother ... all in their 90s! No offense, but I see a lot of Americans attribute the drive/grit of some people to pure luck. And fortunate timing does play a part, for sure, but it's easier to write off someone as being lucky than it is to fuel one's own inner drive to make things happen for himself. We came to this country with virtually nothing. I have a strong mentality rooted in my experience about what's possible when it's truly necessary. I've found it common within my circle of immigrants, and also to Americans who grew up in true poverty. And in keeping with the topic of the thread, perhaps the "where there's a will, there's a way" thing is a lie people feel they've been told. But I think denouncing it's possibility is more a lie people tell themselves.
  20. I don't have a set budget for kid, but I have a general idea in mind of what I'm willing to spend individually. This number changes from year to year, depending upon the kid (and his grades, his chores, his level of involvement in said class/sport). I am not willing to participate in the "competitive" level pay-to-play scheme. I will fund the first year of any "competitive" sport they wish to play, but after that it's up to them to earn their way, whether it's by playing hard and well enough to earn a scholarship, or to work and pay their own cash money. Effort matters; if they come close and have worked hard to earn their sport but are still short financially, I will front them the money and allow them to re-pay it over the year. It's almost all in hard labor, versus cash. That's win-win for all of us, though! I spend less on the older kids because I feel like they're more able to contribute to their own activities, be it through scholarship or earnings. My contribution is time (driving) and related expenses (car, insurance, gas, once they drive themselves) and background support for the team (manager, tournaments, etc.) I don't know how I'd handle the issues of one child showing more promise. One son hopes to make the men's national team in the same sport his older brother played (he's skilled but not talented; was offered a D2 scholarship). The older brother had to fund his own youth club fees and opted to play intramural in college; the younger child was good enough that his youth club waived all fees. He then moved to the national junior team which is 100% free - so paying more for promise wasn't an issue, the promise paid for itself. My youngest loves a particular sport, but she's not particularly talented. She plays at an average level but still has fun. She won't be moving up to the competitive level, probably ever - by her choice (and my unspoken preference). But she NEEDS the physical and social outlet that her sport provides her. So even though she shows no true promise and has no genuine desire to be a super athlete, I'll always find a way (and perhaps even prioritize) to fund her sport. I think it's important to look at EVERYTHING a child gets out of an activity, and that emotional/social/mental outlets are as valid as developing athletic skills. Short answer, I just play it by ear. :lol:
  21. I'm thinking I need to buy some hacky sacks to throw at the kids when I notice them off-task and I'm not within poking distance. How fun is that?! :lol: The most exciting we're getting this year are new chairs for the school desks. I gave each kid a budget and a 10-mile radius of where I'm willing to drive. My daughter is eyeing a chair made of rooster fabric from Pier 1, and my son wants a vintage orange pleather chair from Craigslist. It's really messing with my ridiculous need for design control and color coordination LOL. I can't tell if they're being serious or just messing with me.
  22. I said in my original post that I believe in working smart but that fortunate timing is also a factor. My family is too cheap to pay rent. For those of us who went to college away from family, they purchased a rental property. And that was really the beginning of it. I was gifted "my" property upon graduation and used it to leverage the purchase of a second rental property (a fourplex, my husband and I in one unit and the other three units financing the mortgage). And from there we kept buying properties, each one paying for the next - other peoples' money working for us. We kept that money separate from our incomes and just kept re-investing it. We had a great head start thanks to my family; the same I hope to give my kids. We had great timing in our non-real estate investments, always lucking into a great market and having a buffer in downturns. Real estate can be tricky and we've been fortunate thus far. And we've always lived below our means, which has been doable because we chose to live near family. We continue to pool our resources as a group to benefit our entire family. I've spent eight years trying to convince my family to move out of the Bible Belt, but it's not happening. So at least I'm benefiting from the cheaper cost of living LOL. My ex-husband and I disagreed about mortgages. He hated them. I thought they were a justifiable debt, and smarter to have (if you were going to have any debt at all). I thought the money was better off invested elsewhere in a higher earning potential because you can write off a mortgage and still pay it down if the outside investment goes right! But there's no greater feeling than to pay it off. I hope you get there soon!
  23. :grouphug: We take my auntie to the local Alzheimer's assisted living facility once a week for Bingo with the residents. My auntie is 98. Most of the people there are in their 80s, some in their 70s. I always thought it was a disease of the elderly. A few months ago a new resident came to stay. He's in his 50s. Until him, I had no idea it could strike so young. He has young grandchildren, and it's heart-breaking to watch them lose him this way.
  24. What's dumb is to think the two are mutually exclusive. :blink: I retired at age 36 (with health benefits). My retirement income is fixed at 85% of what I had been earning while working F/T, and that's before factoring in investment returns earned post-retirement. Those are doing well right now, so I'm currently earning more as a retiree than I did as a F/T professional. If and when those take a downturn, my income will hold steady at 85% of my former salary. I paid cash for my house, so with no mortgage we're able to live on 65% of my retirement income - which has thus far offered a solid buffer during recessions (including the ability to take that unused 35% and invest while the market is favorable). I'm down to six kids living at home. As they get older and leave, my expenses go down and I can reduce my livable income and invest even more. My ex-husband hits mandatory retirement age in his 50s and will begin to draw his retirement, of which I'll be receiving half. He's a double dipper. We're not even counting on social security or our pensions, but if they're around we'll be eligible. And this is all outside of our non-work-related investments. Since those are more risky, we don't factor them into our baseline. As I get older my income will remain steady at minimum, and will increase at best. A former client recently contacted me about a temporary project. It's 18 months long, and in the middle of that one of my certifications will expire. I plan to maintain this certification anyway, but rather than pay for it myself I negotiated it as part of my contract. I'm letting the client's money work for me. Why wouldn't I? I own a vacation property. I paid cash (profit from a rental property) so all it costs me is $10k per year for taxes, maintenance, management fees and insurance. If I rent it out for nine weeks per year, it pays for itself. It rents for an average of 38 weeks per year. I get a vacation home that is financed by other people's money ... with enough left over to save or to re-invest however I choose. I realize this isn't everyone's dream, so to each her own. As long as you end up where you want, I support the choices you make to get there. Me, personally? I'm not tryin' to "work dumb," but hey - it's a free country. You do you!
  25. Do you mean the Latin Ludere workbooks? My son didn't mind them but he could have lived without them. They seemed more busywork than solid review, but he latched onto Latin easily and well. My daughter detested them (they were used at her co-op) and preferred flash cards, which she used independently and with her older brother (quiz bowls). From our co-op experience, I'd say that the workbooks were great for kids who didn't "get" Latin straight away, especially once they moved into declensions - especially if their parents had little to no background (or interest in) Latin.
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