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I’m always amazed at the real life honesty that comes out in these posts. I’m a doctor so I’m ok financially. I think that financial matters with the wife should be completely transparent. I’ve probably gone a bit too far allowing my wife to take care of all of our expenses except for pension, stock investments, real estate  and  whole life investment strategies.  I’m a doctor so I’m a idiot when it comes to money. Smartest thing I’ve ever done was buying a small house in Charlottesville to house my kids while they were educated and now could serve for rental income or if things go well a nice retirement residence.
I know that most people will not  agree with this but the next best thing I did was investing in a whole life insurance policy. I started investing in this when I was 36 and if I continue to feed this policy I will get 3 times as much out of it as I’ve invested. If you are willing to go the long term and you are willing to die at some time a whole life policy can be very valuable for you and your family. I actually bought an intermeccanica paying no capital gains using the policy.
I know this isn’t real useful to most people on this site because the investments are long term. But buying a house in a college town where rental income or appreciation will always be guaranteed is a no brainer.  Or investing in a whole life insurance plan early in life where appreciation is little affected by the stock market is awesome.  I’m just a dumb doctor when it comes to investments but those are the two best things I ever done.
I’m not sure buying clown cars is a great investment but it’s sure brought me a lot of joy.

Last edited by 550 Phil

Michael. You are right. What I’ve learned is that the only way you can really benefit from a whole life insurance policy is to die. My wife will live a lot longer than me. Basically I will put $550,000 into this policy over 30 years and then pull $800,000 out of it until I die by my estimates by about 88 years old. Then when I die my wife will get a million dollars. I know I won’t benefit from all of it but it’s still an incredible pay off.

$550,000 in and $1,800,000 out.

Last edited by 550 Phil

Wow Michael I am a bit late to this post but I am really glad nothing worse happened to you!  If you live long enough you realize all of us screw up, the first time you do something or differently is the only way you learn and age is no help

As to the list posts to get  certainly have morphed into financial budgets to permission to buy,  to retirement planning and I had quite a laugh at some of the strategies to avoid conflict between the spouses.  Helpmate def’n your exact opposite is there any wonder there are moments of intense diversion.

BTW. I certainly won’t try to match penmanship with Stan our resident wordsmith.

To be clear - everything I have is Jeanie's, and everything Jeanie has is Jeanie's.

Seriously, we share absolutely everything. We divide household responsibilities along traditional lines, and find it a lot easier to just keep separate accounts. Nobody is hiding anything, but we're not combing through the expense accounts either. Living below our means makes a lot of “fuzz” possible.

The separate accounts are just a way for us to keep ourselves in check - she knows what she needs to be happy and so do I. We discuss the inflow, not the outflow - how much is enough. What each of us does with what we have decided together is "enough" is no longer a matter of debate.

I did this with everything that matters. My kids college money. Their weddings. Everything.

It works.

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My wife was an art major in school and was lucky enough to attend a UC campus where the artist Wayne Thiebaud happened to be a regular member of the teaching staff. So, by chance, she ended up in one of his classes. I think her appreciation for art, and especially for art deco design is maybe the main reason this is the only car I've ever owned that she has forbidden me to sell, no matter what its value may become or how much parts and repairs may cost.

I wonder how many reprieves from the auction block or from the crusher this car's pretty face has won it over the years.



SpeedsterTopView02

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch
@550 Phil posted:

Michael. You are right. What I’ve learned is that the only way you can really benefit from a whole life insurance policy is to die. My wife will live a lot longer than me. Basically I will put $550,000 into this policy over 30 years and then pull $800,000 out of it until I die by my estimates by about 88 years old. Then when I die my wife will get a million dollars. I know I won’t benefit from all of it but it’s still an incredible pay off.

$550,000 in and $1,800,000 out.

I rarely post what I do, but we sell these.  They are designed for people with consistent higher incomes.  We call them LIRPs. (Life Insurance Retirement Plans).  They create a huge tax advantage if they are funded properly like Phil does.   Today many of them also have chronic and critical illness attached the death benefit. 

X2 on Marty's post - We've got similar, cascading life plans plus a plan for long term/extended care, if we need it.  Both of us have relatives who lived to about 100 (tough, old Irishmen and women) and we've got another 30 years to go so we well funded that length of time starting in the 1980s and maxing everything during the 1990s.  We have several plans, some providing income and some still growing for use later.  We were lucky to have the company invite all sorts of financial people in for us to interview in the 1990s and choose which ones we wanted to team with.  That made a huge difference in our retirement schedule and later life to make us comfortable.

Got no mortgage anymore, the cars are paid for, the kid's college plans were fully funded for them, we make monthly payments into our vacation fund and are checking things off of our bucket list.  

We've never seen the need for separate checking accounts, so once I retired I got the occasional hairy eyeball on some purchases.  I was surprise that the lift was welcomed by my wife - She sees it as a safety device.  Me, too!

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

More to Michael's original post, I've done something similar but without the Quickjacks.  I get the car up on my highest jack stands, so that's about 24" off the ground, fully extended.  I get it up there with a floor jack pushed in from the side so there is that car movement toward the side (toward the operator) as it's going up, so I plan ahead for that.  

Once it's up, level and stable on four jack stands I can get under there and release everything at the engine (and there's a lot to mess with, between electrical wires and heater wires and such) then I can loosen the mating bolts and begin getting it out.

I use the same kind of motorcycle jack as Mike to hold and maneuver the engine level so you can jiggle and pull and it usually comes away from the transmission easily and you can drop it down.

Then, just like Michael, you find that the engine, on the motorcycle jack, even when all the way down, is still too tall to bring out the back of the car - the fan shroud  interferes with the lower valence so you have to jack the car up still further to gain clearance.  All I used to have for that was the roll-around floor jack and a big block of wood to jack the rear of the car up high enough to clear and let me tell yah - It was WAY UP THERE.  Then you look at the front jack stands holding the beam up and hope that the car doesn't fall off the stands 'cuz it's really up there in the back.

Once I got it out (laying the fan shroud down towards the front of the car helps with clearance) I could let the rear back down on the stands while I did my engine things, and then repeat everything in reverse to put it back in.   It was risky, sure, but what'cha gonna do?    That was the only show in town and I was lucky nothing disasterous happened (that I remember).

I'm looking forward (not really) to pulling the engine with my new scissors lift - lift everything up to disconnect stuff, bring it down to the motorcycle jack height to pull the engine out, lift the car way back up while the motorcycle jack stays put to pull the engine from under the car and then let it back down (or just leave it up there).  I'm ready, whenever.  I just am not looking forward to it.

X2 on Marty's post - We've got similar, cascading life plans plus a plan for long term/extended care, if we need it.  Both of us have relatives who lived to about 100 (tough, old Irishmen and women) and we've got another 30 years to go so we well funded that length of time starting in the 1980s and maxing everything during the 1990s.  We have several plans, some providing income and some still growing for use later.  We were lucky to have the company invite all sorts of financial people in for us to interview in the 1990s and choose which ones we wanted to team with.  That made a huge difference in our retirement schedule and later life to make us comfortable.

Got no mortgage anymore, the cars are paid for, the kid's college plans were fully funded for them, we make monthly payments into our vacation fund and are checking things off of our bucket list.  

We've never seen the need for separate checking accounts, so once I retired I got the occasional hairy eyeball on some purchases.  I was surprise that the lift was welcomed by my wife - She sees it as a safety device.  Me, too!

I keep buying lottery tickets...sometimes you win. 

I rarely post what I do, but we sell these.  They are designed for people with consistent higher incomes.  We call them LIRPs. (Life Insurance Retirement Plans).  They create a huge tax advantage if they are funded properly like Phil does.   Today many of them also have chronic and critical illness attached the death benefit.

I actually forgot the best part.  All 1.8 million that this plan will provide is tax free.  I know some of you remember the Intermeccania I had.  When I bought it I was in the process of putting both my sons through med school.  I had no disposable income.  Probably wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done but I borrowed $40k from the plan to buy the IM.  The dividends from the policy paid for the car.  And I paid NO capital gains on that money.  I've made anywhere from 5-9% on that policy every year.  Even when the stock market is in the crapper.

@Ewatub posted:

Alan:  If you aren't the richest you are certainly one of the richest of SOCers.  Some would say lucky, but I don't think luck had much to do with where you're at.  If you've not already done so, be sure your Connie reads your post.  We should always recognize people, especially those close to us, do well.  You did good sir.

I sorta got a lump in my throat reading your post , thank you. Yes I am rich..( Richard is my middle name) that being a terrific wife, many great speedster friends, skirted some major health issues, the speedster hobby has generated some pocket jingle and found that my "ticker" is fantastic for a 71 y/o.  I do have a nice size term insurance policy but that expires in 5 -1/2 years.  Today, I took the Meyers Manx dune buggy I just restored to my first car show in yeas, the compliments were just unreal......

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Last edited by Alan Merklin

@Sacto Mitch : Your photo of that creamy example raises the question of how the speedster species can survive when every one is born female.

Love it  

I hope I never talk myself into changing the engine but if I do I probably would have one of a few really skilled mechanic friends that I have who spent their lives fixing cars, trucks and forklifts that go 10 stories high help me.  After all this time they still enjoy doing stuff so it can be quite fun to learn off these guys.  

@Michael McKelvey wrote: "The difficulty is that the engine has to still face the rear and it is hard to pull the jack sideways.  Maybe I will try rotating the engine on the jack."

If your motorcycle jack is like mine, it has swivel casters on the front and straight-ahead casters on the rear.  I wonder (without going out in the heat to check it out) how hard it would be to get another pair of swivel casters for the rear?  (Amazon might be a good source, or maybe even Home Depot/Lowes).  

Then, it would not only be (theoretically) easier to position the engine when going in or out, but you could simply push the jack and engine sideways and out through the wheel well opening (although the spring plate is still in the way, but to the rear of the brake is open.)   You could also rotate jack and engine (once you removed the quick-attach handle) if needed for better clearance.

You would have to match the wheel size and drop of the front pair and having the rears lock might be a good thing, too, although the current rears on mine do not lock and it's been fine to work with.  100# capacity each should be plenty.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/TITAN...el-Caster/1002282454

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

I've managed a list as long as a Scroll but my most harrowing experience is when I torch cut off a stock VW pee shooter exhaust and it blew up right in from of my chest and face ( raw gas in muffler) ...The flame somehow went out the other pee shooter tailpipe that was not directly in front of my face..........

Last edited by Alan Merklin

@Jack Crosby, I am not aware of the Raby cooling fan upgrade.  Can you tell me where I could find out more about it?

@James, what happened was totally unrelated to the QuickJack.  Before starting the work the car was on the QuickJack. I then raised the front slightly and put it on jack stands.  To raise the rear I used a small bottle jack placed at the end of the tunnel.  The bottle jack was now the only support at the rear.

When I was pulling the engine to the side to try to get it through the wheel opening it caught on something. This pulled the car sideways, tipping over the bottle jack and as the car rotated, the front jack stands tipped over. The rear of the car came down on the engine shroud and the front came down on the QuickJack.

The engine was tilted sideways at about a 30-degree angle. I now think my oil leak was from the disconnected valve cover vent.

I am hoping I don't have damage to the underside of the car.

I agree about Stan's writing ability.

Michael, the replacement for the VW bug fan shroud is the Jake Raby DTM system.  Not only will it cool your engine better than anything out there, but it adds an exotic appearance to your engine which looks nothing like a VW Beetle engine.  Just Google 'Jake Raby DTM" for info.  driving att day at 75-80 mph I have never seen oil temps over 185 degrees. Hope you are well, my friend.  I hope to see you at this year's Smokies gathering!

Last edited by Jack Crosby

@Jack Crosby, thanks for getting back to me.  When I first read your post I thought you said there is a Raby setup that DID look like stock VW.  Then I realized you were talking about the DTM system.

I have gone ahead and ordered a 36hp style shroud with the heat outlets.  I have ordered it through Awesome Powdercoating and they will modify it to accept the thermostat flappers and powder coat it.

It will be interesting to see if I can notice any cooling difference between it and the stock shroud I have been using.  I am slightly concerned that their heat outlet system seems to block air to the cylinders a bit. I suspect it also won't move as much air through the heating system.  As I noted in another, topic, I plan to add tiny fans for the defrosters.

With my stock shroud, my oil temps stayed around 180 degrees.

I would love to attend the Smokies gathering but we are still being very cautious about Covid, partly because my 94-year-old mother-in-law lives with us.  The last time I attended I got left behind by the more aggressive drivers and there was no GPS to guide me back to the hotel.  I have thought maybe there should be 2 groups of drivers - the really fast drivers and the slightly more moderate drivers.

Yes. Stan and those darn Spyders do get a little out of control sometimes. And unfortunately even if you have your cell phone sometimes there won’t be enough internet signal to get google maps going. When I go on trips where I think that I might lose internet signal I bring a conventional GPS. Remember your phone’s GPS is always working but you can’t load the maps without internet signal. A convention GPS already has the map on its hard drive.
People will say that their phone’s GPS still works without internet signal. That’s only is you load the route and the map where you have internet signal. After it loads the map and the route it no longer needs internet signal. Like I said it’s satellite triangulation always works just like a conventional GPS. Bring your Garmin.

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Phil, what you're saying is true about your phone needing a cell signal to display the maps unless you download the maps (for free) beforehand.

But downloading the maps is no big deal. You can do so up to a few weeks beforehand - say, before you leave home - or even the night before from your motel room (if you've got reliable WiFi there).

I've used an iPad for GPS navigation on trips to Europe. I was able to download the whole of the UK in a few minutes, using Google Maps, and it worked a lot better than a dedicated (paid) nav program I'd used on previous trips.

Just saying.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch

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You can fine tune tighter than a whole state.

Just call up Google Maps of the area you want, draw a rectangle around it, and download that. It is time-stamped and expires after a certain period, but I think that's a month or so.

@Ryan in NorCal is the expert on how this all works, and on the best apps to use. I was meeting him once and he was able to email me a link to a real-time map that showed his progress along the freeway as he sped toward us.

I haven't used my old Garmin in years.

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P.S. Just did some checking.

You've got to be signed into Google for this to work.

Was able to download a large chunk of the smokies in just a minute or two - it was about 80 Mb. And the downloads are now good for a whole year.

First navigate to the area you want to download (maybe start by searching for 'Smokey Mountains', or any town nearby. Zoom to the whole area you want to include.

Once signed in, you'll see a red icon for your account (probably with your initial on it). Click on that.

Select 'Offline maps', then 'Select your own map'. You then have the option to download.

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