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Retirement Dreams

Andrew Forsythe

Andrew retired in 2017 after almost four decades practicing criminal law in Austin, Texas, first as a prosecutor and then as a defense attorney. He and his wife Rosalinda, along with their dog, live outside Austin, at the edge of the Texas Hill Country. Their four kids are now grown, independent and successful. They're also blessed with five beautiful grandkids. Andrew loves dogs, and enjoys collecting pocketknives and flashlights.

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Retirement Dreams

Andrew Forsythe  |  Feb 20, 2024

THIS ISN’T ANOTHER article about dreaming of retirement. Rather, it’s about dreaming in retirement.
I retired in 2017 after practicing criminal law in central Texas for almost four decades. It could be stressful at times. Before that, there were long years in college and law school.
College was relatively easygoing and enjoyable in the laid-back Austin of the 1970s, plus my major was sociology—a world apart from those in pre-med,

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Cooking Up a Kitchen

Andrew Forsythe  |  Feb 6, 2024

I’VE WRITTEN BEFORE about the financial benefits of learning to cook and then preparing meals at home, rather than frequently eating out. I still heartily endorse that notion. Still, our recent decision to remodel our kitchen can’t be defended as a wise financial choice.
In fact, the consensus is that almost all remodeling jobs result in an increase in home value that’s less than the remodeling project’s cost, and that includes kitchen renovations. Instead,

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Getting Off Lightly

Andrew Forsythe  |  Dec 15, 2022

I’VE BEEN A WITNESS to inflation with every trip to our neighborhood H-E-B grocery store. As various articles have pointed out, inflation can disproportionately hurt retirees. Yet recently I stumbled on a piece that argued the reverse, at least for some of us. I think my wife and I fall into that lucky category, and I’m curious if other HumbleDollar readers feel the same.
We own our home free and clear, so there are no rent increases to worry about and no mortgage to pay.

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Booking It

Andrew Forsythe  |  Dec 10, 2022

I SPENT 40 YEARS practicing criminal law, and there was always a lot to read: police reports, lab reports, probation and pre-sentence reports, motions, orders and court opinions. These were required reading and there was little time left to read for pleasure.
One of the great joys of retirement is the freedom to read a lot—and whatever I choose.
Which, in this season of reflecting on the things we’re thankful for, brings me to one of mine: public libraries.

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Heightened Interest

Andrew Forsythe  |  Nov 14, 2022

I TEND TO KEEP MORE cash than the average investor, so the recent rise in interest rates paid on savings has my attention. In fact, 2022’s pitiful performance by bonds has caused me to shift even more money into cash.
We have online savings accounts at CIT Bank, Synchrony, Marcus and American Express. CIT is currently paying 3.25%, Synchrony 3%, Marcus 3% and American Express 2.75%. The rates have climbed so frequently this year that they’ll probably be higher by the time you read this.

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Hear, Hear

Andrew Forsythe  |  Sep 19, 2022

I TURNED 70 THIS YEAR, and decided to finally do something about the hearing loss I’ve experienced over the past few years. In other words, get hearing aids.
I asked my older sister for advice. She told me she ended up spending $4,000 to $5,000 for her hearing aids a few years ago. She also said she wishes she’d asked her friends for advice first.
My sister doesn’t consider herself wealthy but has a few friends who are.

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What’s Cooking?

Andrew Forsythe  |  Sep 10, 2022

COUNTLESS ARTICLES on HumbleDollar speak of the need to save, especially for those early in their careers, so they can eventually retire in comfort. The powerful effect of compounding means that the sooner those dollars are saved and invested, the greater the sum down the road.
But where can folks find those extra savings? Let me offer a suggestion: learn to cook.
The amount Americans of all income levels spend on eating out,

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Fashion Statement

Andrew Forsythe  |  Jun 30, 2022

I’VE PREVIOUSLY written about the dramatic turn my life took when I went from carefree bachelor to husband and proud father of four. With multiple college educations looming, I drastically curtailed my spending, including on my professional wardrobe.
Initially, instead of the Hickey Freeman suits in which I’d previously indulged, I was happy with the latest sale at Jos. A. Bank. But eventually, I dipped my toe in uncharted waters—buying clothes on eBay.
This comes with risks.

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MOO for Me

Andrew Forsythe  |  Jun 22, 2022

I’VE WRITTEN BEFORE about stumbling on an unexpected way to save on auto insurance. My education continues: I’ve also learned of a way to save on Medigap coverage.
When I became eligible five years ago for Medicare, I bought Medigap Plan G supplemental coverage from Mutual of Omaha (MOO). Last summer, as my wife was about to become eligible for Medicare, we took another look at Medigap coverage. I was generally happy with MOO’s claims procedures and customer service,

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Following Through

Andrew Forsythe  |  Mar 27, 2022

THERE ARE MANY virtues, but one of the rarest is persistence in following through. In our complicated world, often you can’t get something done on the first go. Instead, you have to revisit the task, sometimes more than once. This is true not just of financial decisions but also many other aspects of our lives.
In fact, if you’re trying to get folks to do something, often their first defense is to stall—because they know that,

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Credit Where It’s Due

Andrew Forsythe  |  Mar 20, 2022

I RECENTLY STUMBLED on a way to save a significant sum on my home and auto insurance. While I knew that insurance companies use credit scores in setting premiums, I didn’t know about a policy option that could be turned to our advantage.
Our home, auto and umbrella policies are with Safeco, which is part of Liberty Mutual. I don’t know if this option is available with other insurers, although Liberty Mutual has many subsidiaries and I would guess it may be available with them.

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No Harm in Asking

Andrew Forsythe  |  Mar 3, 2022

IN MY COLLEGE DAYS, a roommate taught me something about bargaining. He was a clothes horse, a rarity among college students then and, for all I know, still today. When he was feeling down, his best medicine was to take a stroll down the Drag, as Guadalupe Street in front of the University of Texas is known, and buy a new shirt.
In those days, there were several small mom-and-pop haberdashers on the Drag,

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Paid to Play

Andrew Forsythe  |  Feb 16, 2022

IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY month or so, one of our kids—and, for the married ones, that includes spouse and little ones—is on vacation. A week or two in Cabo or Cozumel, a road trip out west, or a jaunt to some other interesting destination is commonplace. How is this possible? One of the reasons, I believe, is because they don’t work for themselves.
Instead, they work for big institutions, such as corporations, universities, school districts and large nonprofits.

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Humbly Received

Andrew Forsythe  |  Dec 11, 2021

EVEN AS I’VE WRITTEN regularly for HumbleDollar over the past year, I’ve also learned a lot from the other writers. There have been specific tips I’ve picked up, as well as more general strategies that have influenced my thinking.
For instance, John Lim and others have touted the benefits of Series I savings bonds, with their virtually risk-free interest rate, currently set at a whopping 7.12%. My wife and I took the plunge,

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The Investing Life

Andrew Forsythe  |  Dec 9, 2021

MY PARENTS WERE financially comfortable but not rich. Some of their friends, though, were rich. The men always seemed to die before their wives, resulting in a few wealthy widows in my parents’ social circle.
I recall glancing at the annual report of a company for which my dad had done some work. One of the widows was listed as a board member and her occupation was stated as “investor.” I asked my dad what that meant and he replied that it meant she had enough money that simply managing it was a part-time job.

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