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Month: November 2021

Realistic retirement numbers

Realistic retirement numbers

Now mid-career, I have been doing some math and adjustments to my retirement planning. One question that always gets asked is ‘When can I retire?’. This first boils down to ‘How much money do I need to have to retire’ (then in what ways can I arrange/distribute that money in a tax/minimal penalty way)

You read a lot about FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) folks that are ‘retiring’ in their 30’s. I say ‘retiring’ in quotes because it’s not your traditional retirement. The idea is that you carefully examine and reduce expenses to the point you are saving up to 70% of your income, and then retiring when your expenses reach the return on savings/investment. While there are variants, many folks are retiring on around $1M (or even less) in the 30’s to 40’s.

As a frugal person myself, I have been intrigued by the FIRE movement, but often found their calculations and assumptions to be very optimistic. Aggressive FIRE calculations work well in low-inflationary, 8% return markets we’ve had for the last 20 years. They do much worse in high inflation and lower returning markets that are being predicted the next 5-10 years.

Enter Brian Fry, a certified financial planner, who ran a bunch of interesting simulations to give you a much more realistic set of values if you want to retire at certain ages to ensure income well into retirement. I found his assumptions (listed in the artcle) to be MUCH more realistic than the $1M and retire numbers that I often see come out of FIRE calculations.

How much money you need to have invested to retire early
Clue: A Novel by Michael McDowell

Clue: A Novel by Michael McDowell

The movie Clue wasn’t a great hit when it came out – in fact it was pretty well panned by the critics. It wasn’t until much later that it became popular with a cult following. This initial flop had unfortunate side effects on the other items that came out with the move – especially the books. The lackluster movie performance meant that the books were quickly discontinued and forgotten.

Two books that came out with the movie were Clue by Michael McDowell, and Clue: The Storybook. I got a copy of the storybook via inter-library loan a few years back and uploaded a copy here. It’s a fairly short picture book, but does reveal a much-hinted at secret 4th ending that was never filmed. The Clue novelization by Michael McDowell, however, is much more of a standard length paperback.

While I have a lot of nostalgia for the movie, watching and quoting it endlessly, the McDowell book …. well…. leaves a lot to be desired. The writing isn’t good and it certainly doesn’t capture the fun of the movie. You won’t learn anything new and it pretty much follows the movie shot-for-shot. Still, for a fan, it’s worth a casual read.

I have a copy of the novelization, but prices have been getting stratospheric lately. Running as much as $200-$400. I have considered scanning my book for posterity, just like I did for Clue: The Storybook.

But until I get to that stage, you can actually listen to an armature reading of the un-abridged version via the above YouTube video. Read by Austin Curry (sp?), he does mispronounce words on occasion, but it’s more than good enough to give a listen. You can also download a mirrored copy of the audiobook version here if the YouTube link breaks (again).

2023 UPDATE!: you can now read and download the McDowell Clue book from the Internet Archive!!

If you’d like to download McDowell’s Clue book, I also put a PDF copy locally here for posterity.

Title : Clue
Author : Michael McDowell
ISBN : 9780449130490 
ISBN10: 0449130495
LCCN : 85091213
Publisher: New York : Fawcett Gold Medal
Publication date: November 12, 1985 by Fawcett
188 pages, Mass Market Paperback

Who Done It? A Clue Documentary

Who Done It? A Clue Documentary

Seven suspects. Six weapons. Five bodies. Three endings. One amazing ensemble cast and one extremely talented director. That is the formula for one of the greatest cult classics of all time: Clue: The Movie. One of my favorite movies.

Soon, It looks like So Fake Productions will release the fan doc: Who Done It: The Clue Documentary. Featuring rare photos, fan testimonials, archival interviews and, more importantly, ALL NEW interviews with original cast members.

More info on their Facebook Page

Lenovo Yoga 730 13IKB keys not working well

Lenovo Yoga 730 13IKB keys not working well

This seems to be a common problem. On my keyboard, I’d have ASD intermittently drop out or take a couple hits to register.

I used this technique to re-seat the cable and help it lay a bit better under the battery – but I also used 99% isopropanol alcohol to clean the contacts. I actually got quite a bit of gunk off the contacts. I re-connected things but was still having trouble with f and g keys. I tried once more, and it seems to have perhaps solved it.

Time will tell, but maybe give it a try if you are having trouble.