Showing posts from May, 2021

Top 3 things to do in Quebec City, Canada

  View of Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City  My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Quebec City, Canada when we lived in New York City.  It is a decent drive as it took us close to 10 hours to get there.  Quebec City is located about 520 miles north of NYC.   Quebec City is the capital city of province of Quebec, Canada.  It is home to over 500,000 residents.  Quebec City has the distinction of being the only walled city in North America.  Old Quebec (Vieux Quebec) is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.   The name ‘Quebec’ is originally an local Indian tribe (Algonquin) word for ‘where the river narrows’ as St. Lawrence River narrows around the city and Cape Diamant.  Quebec City is home to such landmarks as the Chateau Frontenac which dominates the city skyline and the Citadelle, an intact fortress and active military base.   My wife and I picked Columbus Day weekend (October) to visit Quebec City.  The itinerary had us staying there for 2 nights and 3 days.  We left for Que

Thinking of moving to New York City (NYC)? Our pros and cons...

  New York City, NY F. Scott Fitzgerald:  “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.” Both my wife and I had lived in New York City for over 20 years.  We went to school there, fell in love there, worked there, and lived there for a very long time.  Even if we no longer live in New York City these days, we still go there to visit our family.  We left there over 18 years ago, but it’s like we never really left... In this post, I’d like to share our thoughts about New York City and our pros and cons. I was 9 years old when my family immigrated from South Korea to New York City.  We settled initially in Astoria (Queens) on a third floor walk-up apartment building.  My first recollection of New York City from my vantage point in Astoria, would be the New York City skyline. I would walk out a block or two, then I’d be able to see all those high rise buildings across the East Rive

Importance of finding a purpose in early retirement after reaching FIRE (financial independence retire early): A recent early retiree’s thoughts...

  Pinnacle Overlook, Pennsylvania  My wife and I are recent early retirees at ages 51 and 48.  We’ve been slow traveling with our traveling companion Toby, a 13 pound Pomeranian dog since our retirement in August 2020.  We’ve spent a month or longer at various destinations throughout the eastern parts of the United States, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts on finding a purpose after your retirement. Getting to early retirement gave us a goal during our accumulation phase of our journey to achieve financial independence.  We were totally focused on reducing our expenses and saving much as we could towards our retirement. Although we read about and discussed how we were planning on living our lives after retiring early, we didn’t really know what retirement was actually going to be like...It’s like the saying goes, “No plan survives first enemy contact.”   Our initial plan called for two main things: Traveling more We want

Review of Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas, NV (Nevada): Pros and Cons

  Vdara Hotel, Las Vegas (entrance area) My wife and I had visited Las Vegas on numerous occasions.  I had visited five times while my wife had visited three times, up until the last trip.  When we decided to go on a vacation, we again decided Las Vegas was the right destination for the both of us. Las Vegas is a desert oasis that is home to nearly 2.7 million people.  Over 45 million visitors have stopped over at Las Vegas in 2019.  It is the most exciting city west of New York City, and it certainly earns its moniker of ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’! I started going to Las Vegas in 2001 when COMDEX trade shows were still being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  This was right after 9/11 happened. COMDEX was held in November of that same year. I remember going to the airport with trepidation and worry.  New York City was still reeling from the aftermath of 9/11.  There were still cleanups going around downtown Manhattan.   From our apartment building in Queens, NY, we co

Importance of car financing & leasing: Tenth in a series of financial tools to master

  Car dealership  Welcome back!  The topic of car financing and car leasing is our tenth in a series of financial tools to master.  This is undoubtedly one of the most important things to learn as an adult.  For most adults, buying a car is usually the second biggest purchase (besides a home) they’ll make in a lifetime. As I’ve mentioned many times, there aren’t many places to really learn about financing and leasing cars while in school.  Most of us grow up not knowing much about this stuff until we face it head on... In this post, I’d like to share my knowledge about this topic.  A little background... I sold different cars ranging from Toyotas, Pontiacs, Acuras, Mercedes Benzs, to BMWs for a total of about 5 years.  I got into the business to make a living right out of college.  I always enjoyed cars so it made sense...I learned valuable things about the car business and how to finance or lease without being fleeced! With that background done, let’s jump right in.  We’ll cover finan

What is the rule of 72? Important concept to know on your path to FIRE (financial independence retire early)

  Reading stock ticker symbols! My wife and I are recent early retirees at ages 51 and 48.  We’ve been retired since August 2020, and we’ve been slow traveling with our traveling companion Toby, a 13 pound Pomeranian dog.  We are followers of the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement, which is in its simplicity, requires lowering your expenses and maximizing savings for early retirement. In this post, I’d like to discuss the important concept of the ‘rule of 72.’ What is the rule of 72? The rule of 72 is a method of calculating how quickly an amount doubles.  This is the actual formula: t = 72 / r * where t is how many years it takes to double the money, and r is the rate of return Rate of return always changes every year.  But over a long period of time, like a 10 year timeframe, you can reasonably expect about 10% rate of return, if you invested in a S&P500 index fund. One of the worst decades in our recent memory for S&P 500 was from January 2000 to December 20