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  • Avatar mapplebum 
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    I tried to make this distinction and it seems others are as well so I’ll rephrase. Let’s compare some numbers

     

    Williams $53k.
    Population 2k.
    Average SAT 1468.
    Acceptance rate 17%

    Scripps College $50k
    Population 1k.
    Average SAT 1384
    Acceptance rate 30%

    Regional College, $45k.
    Population 3k.
    Average SAT 1140
    Acceptance rate 70%.

    Gordon College $36k
    Population 2k
    Average SAT 1168
    Acceptance Rate 92%

    *Regional college is where I taught. It has similar numbers to my current institution just more expensive

    When debating if the instruction is superior at a small liberal arts college I daresay it matters which school you’re discussing. Schools that accept broadly simply cannot have rigorous curriculum and we all know once a student is enrolled it takes a lot to get kicked out. Departments are rewarded for graduating students. This little exercise is fun so now I’ll look at larger schools.

     

    Harvard $47k.
    Population 22k.
    Average SAT, 1520.
    Acceptance rate 5%

    MIT 48K
    Population 11k
    Average SAT, 1528
    Acceptance rate 8%

    UCLA $13k, $40k
    Population 45k
    Average SAT, 1365
    Acceptance rate, 18%

    University of Michigan $15k, $45k
    Population 45k
    Average SAT, 1415
    Acceptance rate 28%

    University of North Carolina Greensboro 7k, 22k
    Population 19k
    Average SAT 1105
    Acceptance rate 73%

    University of Toledo $9k, $19k
    Population 20k
    Average SAT 1130
    Acceptance rate 96%

    No real point to including larger schools but v. interesting.

    in reply to: Public vs Private College #241301 Reply
    Liked by Kamban, Tim
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I’ve told my kids that if they are pursuing a STEM degree from an elite college that we’ll pay for it, otherwise they’ll go to the state school of their choice that offers them in-state tuition.

    Click to expand…

    What, no degree in basket weaving or critical studies from an overpriced, not terribly selective liberal arts school at $60K+ per year in tuition plus housing in a high cost of living / very high cost of living location?

    Click to expand…

    I believe the degree is Underwater Basket Weaving.

     

    I’ve taught at 3 different private universities / colleges, all regionally known though not prestigious. I am of the opinion that students by and large receive a superior education from larger schools. Not only are private colleges more expensive, most faculty are part time / adjunct, therefore do not have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of their department, and simply are not held accountable as they are at larger schools. My favorite story is of the student who came to her professor asking what grade had so she could know what to aim for on her final. Nothing was up on the online grading system. The professor’s words were “Karen, you know I’m not good at that.” As in, grading assignments from the semester. She kept pushing it and ultimately he graded a fraction of the assignments and attributed them to her total grade. I’ve heard so many stories like this over the years I take every opportunity to encourage students to attend cheaper public schools.

    I have no doubt bigger name small schools like Wellesley are of a different ilk.

    in reply to: Public vs Private College #240406 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    And ‘gratitude’ cannot be ‘cultivated’ unless there is a personification of ultimate reality to be grateful to, and a profound sense of the depth of the gifts you have received, not just in the accidents of life such as your wealth or your family, but in your very substance as a human being who has intelligence, will, and the capacity to love. It is a uniquely human ability to confront death and to sense that there is something beyond it. Of course, if your scientistic superstition is that thought comes from meat, or that no meaning inheres in the universe, then you will have a hard time understanding any of this.

    Click to expand…

    You can take it there but mine was in a purely humanistic sense. The perspective is that the universe is both beautiful and cruel, and so far as we can tell humans are the only creatures who make such judgments. What do we know? That things are born and then they die. The flaw, which is deeply ingrained in Western culture, is the idea that birth is joy and death is sorrow (the workaround being a belief in redemption, after life, and higher beings). The fact is, we can “cultivate gratitude” for both: what brings joy (or happiness or contentment) and what bring sorrow (or discontentment). Purely because it is lived experience, because we are capable of feeling and processing it, and because our time on earth is limited.

    My personal experience dictates that most discontentment or unhappiness can lead to personal growth. In most situations we can, shall we say, turn a thorn into a sword. But some things, usually personal tragedy or loss, are insurmountable. They will never be fixed. It will never cease to be broken. You would be better off had it never happened. In that case it is helpful to recognize that we need not only be grateful for the things that bring us joy. We can be grateful for all things simply on the basis that it makes up the kaleidoscope of our finite existence.

    in reply to: The Happiness Curve #240387 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Am I missing something here? (Maybe because I had an unhappy childhood) I just don’t understand the assumption that we deserve to be happy. Like it’s a right given to us at birth. I consider myself very fortunate, as I’m sure many on here do / should too, but that next step of thinking I deserve it, or that it’s owed to me, is a place I’m not willing to go. Suffer your way to wisdom, right? Is it that many in their 40’s are finally beginning to address their own mortality? The youtube shared was good but it still boils down to everything we’ve heard before. The safest path, clearly targeting a specific audience: obtain higher degrees, create stability through family, eat well, exercise, and avoid addiction. I daresay plenty who do just that still experience their fair share of ennui.

    Adam Phillips’ “Missing Out: in Praise of the Unlived Life” was a transformative read. It validated the perspective I had already developed as a young adult. The impulse to run from dissatisfaction or unhappiness is strong indeed, and often these problems can be resolved, or lead to a higher level of meaning and satisfaction by working through. But there are no guarantees. Sometimes there is no point to dissatisfaction except that it is real and we should sit with it.

    The flip side of that is cultivating radical gratitude. Hardship, or even addressing our own mortality can be informative and lead us to more fulfilling modes of life. But I daresay every person at one point or another will experience hardship so profound that it is an end in and of itself. There is no mending. The point of it is simply that it has happened and in order to be authentic beings we must address and live with it. Can we be grateful for that simply on the basis that it is lived experience?

    I don’t know, without reading the book it kind of seems like, good? If a person hasn’t addressed the big questions by their 40’s they probably should.

     

    in reply to: The Happiness Curve #240351 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    ZZZ,

    well, that’s kind of what I’m asking about.  I’ve exhausted all the tax advantaged options.  I put in $30-40K into a taxable account nearly every month.

    I’ve looked into Whole Life/UL/VUL and came away unimpressed.

    Does it make sense to divert some of those funds into 529 for exactly the reasons you’re talking about (especially since the penalties for unqualified withdrawals are not very severe)?

    Click to expand…

    If you’re putting that much into a taxable each month I sincerely don’t understand why you wouldn’t pay for your daughter’s graduate school. I mean, is graduate school excessive? Are you open to her finishing college and say, cutting hair for a living? Managing the local grocery store? Not to say you should pony up for more private school if a public one is just as good. If I were you I would play hardball. Tell her she needs to go after funding: full ride + stipend. If she gets it, fantastic, that will give her a leg up applying for jobs. Any kind of experience will. Which leads me to my next suggestion. Does she have a job? Internship? There’s nothing more pathetic than an empty section under “work experience.” If she’s not doing any of those things but is publishing and heavily involved in research, she should get a pass. Otherwise, she needs at least some kind of job. Insisting she gain real experience in her field as a student will help her in the future, even if she responds badly to that now. If she goes after funding and falls short I would average out the cost of a public, in state program and offer that.

    This is never suggested on this forum but here I go. Even without knowing specifics, adult children have a sense of their parent’s financial health. If you’re refusing to pay for her education on the principle that she needs to have “skin in the game” don’t be surprised if it engenders resentment. If paying for another degree is a hardship for you, she should understand and hopefully tell you she doesn’t want your help. Everyone knows the current cost of education is astronomical compared to what previous generations paid. This is not the fault of Millennials or Generation Z. And yet for many students the choice is borrow for an education or bag groceries for the rest of their life. If it’s not a financial hardship, if your children are responsible, and not dealing with chronic issues like gambling or an opioid addiction, I just simply don’t understand why you would willingly place the burden on them.

    Lastly, this suggestion does not seem to have gained traction but I do want to respond to it. The only thing worse than a wealthy parent insisting their child take out education loans is when the wealthy parent becomes the bank. Trust me, don’t go there. If it’s cultural, that’s a different story, but if it’s not, from personal experience I would say it’s impossible to avoid resentment / damaged relationships on one side or the other if not both.

    in reply to: Is overfunding a 529 plan enabling? #238898 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    So long as they have kombucha on tap.

    in reply to: What's with this CBD oil fad? #238096 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I refuse to buy CBD products but cannabis based muscle soreness salve definitely works.

    in reply to: What's with this CBD oil fad? #238084 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Not everyone is as rich and independent as you, FLP. 😉  Pay it off, OP! I agree you won’t regret it.

    in reply to: I feel like paying off my small undergrad loan #237883 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Any of you think that you might regret saving too much money now and not being able to do some of those activities when you’re older? An example is a supercar that was brought up in one of the threads or traveling to remote locations. You can enjoy a Ferrari or travel to Antartica now in your 30s and 40s and you probably won’t be able to do that in the 70s.

    Click to expand…

    I disagree that you can’t enjoy those things in your 70’s. Unless you’re trying to pick up chicks but even then I’d feel a little more proud of myself for doing so at 70 than 30. But I digress.

    It’s hard to find a good balance on the spectrum of living below your means. My emotional money barometer is biased. It doesn’t seem excessive that we are paying 5x as much towards loans than when husband was in training but it hurts my soul to see our CC bill consistently double what it used to be. One of the main contributors is the luxury people on this forum deem an adequate excess: travel. Nothing huge, in fact no overseas travel at all this year. But even with some reimbursements it adds up. 3-5 night trips in March, May, June, July, August, 2x October, and November. Two of those trips include partial reimbursements. The “we’re good for it” mentality has sunk in. A marginal upgrade in hotels is absolutely worth it. As is National Emerald Club for just a few dollars more. I don’t know that anything has changed with our food, wine + whiskey habits. We have long since been living the good life in that regard. And then there’s house guests. Before moving this spring we averaged -1 guest per year, but now that we’re in a bigger space we have had FIVE rounds of visitors since May. In no way am I the host who insists on paying for everything but if someone is flying across the country to see us I’ll pick up the tab on at least the most expensive meal. We do like good food and drink. The final evening with our last round of guests we probably drank through close to $500 worth of wine. Welcome to Hôtel de MB, my friends. Lap of luxury.

    As we enter this year of uncertainty there is a part of me that sort of wishes we’d stayed home and used that money to buy me a car. Not to say it won’t happen but after retirement and paying loans, whatever is leftover is now going to the WTFIGTH* fund. I love to travel. Not complaining whatsoever, but once it’s over all you can hope to keep are memories and a new collection of photos on social media. If I bought a new car I would enjoy that sucker nearly ever day. But husband and I are similar in this regard: many small excesses are more palatable than one big one. We’ll see how it plays out. For now I’m fattening our rainy day fund because, well, a storm is coming ?

    Excuse me while I prepare to be crucified for traveling so much.

     

     

    *Key: WTFIGTH = What tf is going to happen

    in reply to: Enjoying your money while you're young #237086 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I couldn’t find it but for awhile the husband was obsessed with a cell phone that could only make calls and actually had a notepad and pencil attached to the back. He never bought it. I can’t remember the name of it but did find this The Light Phone

    in reply to: Flip phone #235838 Reply
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    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I grew up as the oldest of 6 kids in a working class home. (Dad began to move up in the world when I was in high school.) Mom managed the money with a tight fist.

    My wife and I spend plenty compared to the median US household, but very little relative to my income.

    Click to expand…

    i also interpreted the question as spending less relative to income.  you can change cars every two years and still mentally spend less by buying used and selling before tire change.  you can still clip coupons even when your net worth is 7 million.  you can still buy generic versions or wait for sales or try to maximize value rather than purely enjoyment, ie  this one is perfect but twice the price of that other one that i will enjoy 80% as much.   i was teasing the neurosurgeon who makes well into 7 figures because i ran into him at the grocery store and he had 12 boxes of cereal (every single one in the store) because they were on sale for $1 off.  i asked him what the poor people were going to eat.  he just laughed.

     

    Click to expand…

    As people may have noticed, I run on the frugal side, however a neurosurgeon who has a 7 figure salary who is buying 12 boxes of cereal to save 12 bucks doesn’t have a good grasp of math. I remember I saw an interview with Lebron, I guess he has a reputation of pretty cheap amongst his teammates, and he refuses to pay for the premium version of pandora or spotify. That also shows a very poor grasp of math.

    Click to expand…

    Not the point but I don’t understand paying for a music subscription, especially Pandora. Pandora is seriously the worst. Husband and I do not and will never agree on this but if you have Prime, Amazon Music is more than sufficient. Whole albums! No extra cost! I’m sure everyone will ask my recommendation so here it is. I’ve been listening to complete albums of Kishi Bashi, Son Lux, Laura Mvula (<– all classically trained artists), Ibeyi, Sohn, Anohni, Daughter, London Grammar…all free with an existing Prime membership! Plus there’s playlists AND stations so if you insist on not being able to listen to complete albums / choose who you’re listening to (ahem, Pandora) you can use those features. Big fan.

    Click to expand…

    Yep, I love Spotify. As cheap as I am I could not go back to the free version, Spotify premium is great.

    Click to expand…

    I found out today included in a Spotify subscription is Hulu (with ads). Husband has Spotify (against my better judgment) so that means we’ve been paying for a double Hulu subscription. ::face palm::

    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I grew up as the oldest of 6 kids in a working class home. (Dad began to move up in the world when I was in high school.) Mom managed the money with a tight fist.

    My wife and I spend plenty compared to the median US household, but very little relative to my income.

    Click to expand…

    i also interpreted the question as spending less relative to income.  you can change cars every two years and still mentally spend less by buying used and selling before tire change.  you can still clip coupons even when your net worth is 7 million.  you can still buy generic versions or wait for sales or try to maximize value rather than purely enjoyment, ie  this one is perfect but twice the price of that other one that i will enjoy 80% as much.   i was teasing the neurosurgeon who makes well into 7 figures because i ran into him at the grocery store and he had 12 boxes of cereal (every single one in the store) because they were on sale for $1 off.  i asked him what the poor people were going to eat.  he just laughed.

     

    Click to expand…

    As people may have noticed, I run on the frugal side, however a neurosurgeon who has a 7 figure salary who is buying 12 boxes of cereal to save 12 bucks doesn’t have a good grasp of math. I remember I saw an interview with Lebron, I guess he has a reputation of pretty cheap amongst his teammates, and he refuses to pay for the premium version of pandora or spotify. That also shows a very poor grasp of math.

    Click to expand…

    Not the point but I don’t understand paying for a music subscription, especially Pandora. Pandora is seriously the worst. Husband and I do not and will never agree on this but if you have Prime, Amazon Music is more than sufficient. Whole albums! No extra cost! I’m sure everyone will ask my recommendation so here it is. I’ve been listening to complete albums of Kishi Bashi, Son Lux, Laura Mvula (<– all classically trained artists), Ibeyi, Sohn, Anohni, Daughter, London Grammar…all free with an existing Prime membership! Plus there’s playlists AND stations so if you insist on not being able to listen to complete albums / choose who you’re listening to (ahem, Pandora) you can use those features. Big fan.

    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I’m all for taking care of your waiter, but I find the “young and need the money” argument to be thin. Lots of people other than waiters are young and need the money. My niece is young and needs the money. The homeless guy is young and needs the money. The tech working extra night shifts is young and needs the money.

    It has to be about paying for a service (which I’m happy to do), otherwise you should just buy into socialism and start handing out your cash to everyone.

    Click to expand…

    I’d say a lot of people “just buy into socialism” but that’s not the point. The point is most waiters make…$2.25 / hr? I briefly worked at a bourbon / small plates restaurant years ago. On Saturdays waiters pulled $200-300 in tips. On Mondays, when I worked, about $30. Everyone should know they make below minimum wage. In order to compensate a 20% tip is customary. If you’re willing to pay 200-300% mark up (at least on alcohol, probably similar with food) and the scrimp on what? $5-15? probably shouldn’t be eating out.

     

    in reply to: How much to tip? #231153 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    Save your sense of injustice for something that matters.

    in reply to: How much to tip? #230436 Reply
    Avatar mapplebum 
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    I never have them clean my room mid-stay. I’m not fancy but I always travel with jewelry. Peace of mind, those safes are useless. I’m not going to tip for a room they haven’t serviced during my stay but maybe I’m just stingy.

    Not sure what I would have done in the OP’s situation, probably 15%. As far as regular dining, once in a blue moon I tip under 20% for bad service. Great service, more. I’m at the point now where my favorite bartenders rarely charge me full price (I usually prefer to eat at the bar) so whatever they leave off the bill I add to their tip.

    It has always irked me when you go out with people who undertip. I waited tables, that cash matters.

    in reply to: How much to tip? #230424 Reply
    Liked by octopus85
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