A 1980s Townhouse With Savoir Faire: A 3-Bedroom at 1300 N. LaSalle in Old Town

1300 n lasalle

This 3-bedroom townhouse at Goethe Row at 1300 N. LaSalle in Old Town came on the market in May 2017.

Built in 1980, the listing says it was designed by architect Marcel Freides and has 7 units with parking.

The listing also says the association is applying for architectural landmark status for the complex.

It has many unique features including retro exposed brick walls, various skylights, and round windows.

There are natural stained wood floors and a wood burning fireplace.

One bedroom is on the second floor, with a den, with two other bedrooms on the third floor.

There is a master suite and all bathrooms have Duravit vanities and toilets, with Groehe and Hansgrohe faucets.

The kitchen has Gaggenau appliances, a Subzero refrigerator and custom flat panel modern cabinets.

There’s a brick fenced in private patio off the living room.

It has central air and two car parking.

Originally listed at $1,149,900 in May, it has been reduced $50,000 to $1,099,900.

Is this townhouse a nice alternative for buyers who still want character but don’t want the maintenance of a house?

Danielle Dowell at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Or go to the Open House on Sunday, July 16 from 12-2 PM.

Unit #F: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 3000 square feet

  • Sold in November 1998 for $480,000
  • Sold in December 2012 for $775,000
  • Originally listed in May 2017 for $1,149,900
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $1,099,900
  • Assessments of $340 a month (includes scavenger and exterior maintenance)
  • Taxes of $14,179
  • Central Air
  • 2-car garage parking included
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 17×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 16×12 (third floor)
  • Den: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Brick patio: 18×16

 

256 Responses to “A 1980s Townhouse With Savoir Faire: A 3-Bedroom at 1300 N. LaSalle in Old Town”

  1. Keep price cutting.

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  2. looks like lowish ceilings?

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  3. I think 1 mil is pushing it….It has a very 70’s/80’s vibe to the outside. I can’t see someone spending a million dollars to live here. 700’s, probably , especially in the current market.

    The owners do have good taste though – they kept it simple and the place doesn’t feel cluttered. Otherwise with ceilings that low It would be easy to feel cramped.

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  4. Pix from the ’12 sale here:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/1300-N-LaSalle-Dr-60610/unit-F/home/14112851/mred-08129971

    Kitchen was already done.

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  5. Why do people hang random letters on their walls these days? Who decided that looked good? It’s one step above the inspirational sayings that people stencil on their walls.

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    Rating: +8 (from 14 votes)
  6. Oh, and replace that crappy looking storm door, or at least paint it for the pix.

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  7. Jenny I’m pretty sure that is photoshopped furniture and decorations

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  8. “Why do people hang random letters on their walls these days? Who decided that looked good? It’s one step above the inspirational sayings that people stencil on their walls.”

    It’s called basic b***h.

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    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  9. Low ceilings rock. They’re cozy, practical, eaiser to maintain consistent room temp. High ceiling are a PITA. Sound carries, more difficult to heat or cool, and they waste space, so much wasted space.

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  10. “photoshopped furniture and decorations”

    They ‘shopped in personal photos to the bathroom? And took the time to make the reflection of the couch in the fireplace glass? And chose that weird tv stand?

    nah.

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  11. not every damn picture but most of them look strange

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  12. “Low ceilings rock. They’re cozy, practical, eaiser to maintain consistent room temp. High ceiling are a PITA. Sound carries, more difficult to heat or cool, and they waste space, so much wasted space”

    HD, it’s all about looks. Million dollar buyers won’t mind these inconveniences to avoid the low ceiling look.

    “It’s called basic b***h.”

    Literally lmao. Great post call chuckle. Absolutely right. Why do people feel the need to ever plaster their initial everywhere? sooooo tacky.

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  13. “most of them look strange”

    I’d definitely believe that they brightened them all up a lot an in a weird way. Hard to believe that place is really that well lit.

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  14. “HD, it’s all about looks. Million dollar buyers won’t mind these inconveniences to avoid the low ceiling look. ”

    I disagree with that; the low ceiling preference is probably in the minority; but then again the majority looking to spend a $1,000,000 are mcmansion buyers lacking discriminating tastes. They only want ‘character’

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  15. “the majority looking to spend a $1,000,000 are mcmansion buyers lacking discriminating tastes.”

    Maybe…does this place doesn’t really have character – much of it just feels super dated. Honestly though, with the way the market has been the past few months, who knows, maybe it will sell it ask. One thing is for certain – that buyer will be a fool.

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  16. A fuschia bedroom seems a bit basic b***h to me. Who thinks that looks good?

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  17. I really like this place. I have always found it to have a fun appeal, and i don’t find it dated at all. Very little architecture from this era appeals to me but this is an exception. 3% annual price appreciation off of the 1998 sale is $875K. Given the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood since that time, I think 3% appreciation off of that price is very reasonable and expect this could go for as much as $900.

    That said, you have to privately educate your kid until they are past elementary age if you live here, which may be contributing to the move (and the fuchsia bedroom that undoubtedly will need re-painting by the new owners).

    As for property taxes, if you pay anything close to ask for this, your taxes- are going through the roof. This thing is taxed like a $750K town home.

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  18. “you have to privately educate your kid until they are past elementary age if you live here”

    Proximity lottery for both Franklin and LaSalle, which are both acceptable.

    Also proximity for Newberry, but that’s a bit ‘far’; and Skinner North is more than acceptable and close enough, too.

    But, yes, you can’t use the attendance area school.

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  19. Parker and Latin are only a few blocks away. If youre paying more than a mil for a home, private education is no problem

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  20. “If youre paying more than a mil for a home, private education is no problem”

    So facile.

    Let’s use the Redfin calculator, say 30% down, and cut the (absurd) insurance by 2/3s–that makes it about $5,400 a month, or $65k per year.

    2 kids at gr.4 or lower at Latin = $57k, upper grade = $65k.

    Catherine Cook is $10k cheaper for 2 (and closer!), but they’ve got to get into Payton/Jones after.

    So, paying your PITA a second time for school is “no problem”?

    Let’s say someone is being “reasonable” (not ‘conservative’, but also not pushing the max) in what they spend on a house, and commit 20% of gross to housing–so their gross is $325k per year, all OI, no self-employment tax. Net of taxes, with no deductions for insurance or 401k or anything non-tax, that’s about $19k/month.

    $6k/month for housing is certainly no biggie then, but $11k/month for housing + school sure as hell is.

    Yeah, yeah, you’ll say “shouldn’t buy a $1m+ house unless you make $600k+”, but you shouldn’t drink beer or eat ice cream either, and such suggestions just aren’t going to be well received.

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  21. ” If youre paying more than a mil for a home, private education is no problem”

    Maybe if you’re conservative and actually earning within the right income range to buy a million dollar house, but as discussed on here earlier, probably plenty of folks with a household income of 250-350k with million dollar homes. No way you can afford the million dollar house and taxes AND send your kids to private school in the city.

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  22. “probably plenty of folks with a household income of 250-350k with million dollar homes. No way you can afford the million dollar house and taxes AND send your kids to private school in the city.

    Sure you can. If you’ve earned in that range for years and have invested successfully. Net worth trumps annual income.

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  23. I wonder if that singular, giant G is for Goethe row or the Gaggeanu appliances. I like the place well enough but I don’t like LaSalle street to live on. It can’t commit itself to either Old town or the Gold Coast. And correct about the school. The whole near north side is in a school shamble. And CPS needs to do something.

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  24. “If you’ve earned in that range for years and have invested successfully. Net worth trumps annual income.”

    Eh, I don’t think so . Typically the people that invest well and are saving money for years are not going to blow it on a million dollar house and over priced private school. There are plenty of millionaires that make 200k or less, but they stay millionaires because they aren’t wasting money on excess.

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  25. “probably plenty of folks with a household income of 250-350k with million dollar homes.”

    Certainly *most* of the $1-1.25m homes sold in metro Chicago over the past 3-4 years have been purchased by folks with 250-350k HHI. Just look at the numbers provided above.

    A million dollar mortgage at 3.5 is $4500/month; $54k/year. That’s 21.6% of gross at the low end of that income range. Add in $24k in annual taxes, that’s still under 30%–which is still “ok”, especially if one reasonably believes that they have income growth potential. Probably get hit by AMT, which would be a bad surprise for those who don’t know better, but even then they still have enough unallocated income to not be stressed.

    Of course, if they have $200k in student loans, totally different story.

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  26. “The whole near north side is in a school shamble. And CPS needs to do something.”

    well they did vote to merge Jenner & Ogden

    They will probably merge Manierre and ?

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  27. You can easily afford a $1 million purchase with a HHI of around $300k or so. I’d say most of the mortgages I’ve originated around $1 million are to folks making $300-$400k/yr HHI.

    The biggest issues though are people having the 20% down (many get gifts, inheritances, trust funds… way more than you’d think).

    The second issue is child care and private schools. I can’t tell you how many folks are living check to check because of child care and tuition even though they are making $300-$400k/yr.

    Two young kids can easily eat up $4k/month in expenses for day care and other child related expenses.

    It seems couples where one spouse is making the $3-$400k/yr with a stay at home mom tend to do a little better since child care usually isn’t as high vs the dual income families where child care is needed if both spouses earn similar amounts.

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  28. “merge Jenner & Ogden”

    That’s what constitutes the “shambles”.

    The hope, I’m sure, is that the merger of Jenner and Ogden will soon allow the closure of Mannnierrre.

    I still think that the play should be:

    Close Jenner and Mannnierrre
    Move Franklin magnet program to Jenner building
    Move LaSalle magnet program to Mannnierrre building
    Make Franklin building new a-a school, splitting up (most of) the former Ogden, Jenner and Mannnierrre areas between Franklin and Ogden
    Make old LaSalle building a part of Lincoln Elementary (either lower or upper grades), and expand the Lincoln a-a somewhat (prob mostly former Mannnierrre area).

    Also possible to include Skinner North classical program in the moving buildings thing, if that makes more capacity sense.

    But that’s not politically feasible, at least right now.

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  29. “couples where one spouse is making the $3-$400k/yr with a stay at home mom tend to do a little better since child care usually isn’t as high”

    Russ–you’ve seriously seen single-income couples in that income range that still have full time child care????

    That’s so baffling to me. Maybe at double that income, but at $400k? wow.

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  30. “That’s what constitutes the “shambles”.”

    is it really going to be that bad?

    I don’t really care about schools (the whole no progeny thing) just saw that it happened and figured its probably overall better for everyone to do that right?

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  31. Anon, no. I wasn’t clear.

    I was saying that households where one spouse is making $300-$400k and the other stays home are usually in a better financial position because they typically won’t have childcare or it won’t be as burdensome.

    The dual income households making $300-$400k where both spouses are fairly equitable in their income contribution tend to be worse off because they need full time childcare.

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  32. Sonies: “is it really going to be that bad?”

    At least one person here thinks so.

    Russ: “I wasn’t clear.”

    The “usually isn’t as high” made me think you knew of examples of the fulltime childcare w/ SAHP. I know that most of us know (or have heard of) that situation, but (ime) usually at something more like $2m income.

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  33. With that being said,

    Having a newborn and just starting to look into childcare options – it’s insanely expensive.

    Our income split is not very even, with my income above the mid six figures and my spouses right around the 100k mark. I made the argument that perhaps she should consider staying at home ( especially since we are planning for another child ) , given the high costs of help at home, especially for 2 kids, potentially.

    That was not well received. Let’s leave it at that, haha.

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  34. “right around the 100k mark”

    That’s more than sufficient to justify continuing to work, on a purely cash basis (even with all that income effectively taxed at the top marginal rate), ignoring any other preferences or effects on future earnings.

    Were it under $75k, it becomes a close call, on a cash basis, and under ~$65k, it would have to be all about preferences and future earnings.

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  35. yeah child care is ridiculously expensive. this is a huge problem for working parents and the work force. more employers should offer child care as a perk.

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  36. “Having a newborn and just starting to look into childcare options – it’s insanely expensive. ”

    try having twins. The daycare we went to treated them as if they were babies from separate families. We had to have two of everything, even things they would obviously share at home like lotions, meds and bottles.

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  37. Anon, I don’t know of any folks in my own social circle who have full time day care costs while a parent stays home. I’d say typical household income is $3-$600k.

    However, even with a SAH spouse they still often have part-time nannies or part time day care to give the stay at home spouse some time off. Day care one or two days a week or nanny share situations.

    I’m sure there are people who stay at home and have full time help, but it just seems insanely wasteful and unnecessary. I mean if you can afford it great, but I’d stereotype folks that do that to be like real housewives of NYC or something.

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  38. $3k a month is what i pay for two kids in diapers. that’s like leasing two luxury vehicles every month. plus aftercare and summer camps for the older one. it’s brutal. no wonder why there’s so much demand for the state day care subsidy. and only $6k of my child care is tax deductible. no relief in site thanks to the RINOs in congress. i guess these are good problems to have for my family but it doesn’t make it any less stressful or financially devastating.

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  39. HD, I agree. Childcare is a huge drain. It is mindboggling how expensive it is. Our monthly childcare nut for two kids under 3 is larger than our mortgage PITI right now. It has to be affecting the broader economy to some degree.

    We’d like to upgrade to a larger house, but not happening with childcare.

    Ironically, only mortgage that actually looks at childcare expenses when qualifying is VA.

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  40. Agreed with everyone’s posts.

    Not trying to be a jerk, and this is what it is, but mind boggling to me that i’ll be paying the equivalent in fees to a non college grad nanny that I earned as a medical school graduate resident physician.

    Crazy.

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  41. wow sounds awesome where do I sign up for that? LOL

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  42. my PITI is about half my total child cade including the elementary school aged child. granted my PITI is low given my reluctance to spend too much back in the days it’s still a lot. my house while nice is still one of the smaller houses in the area with some degree of external obsolescence. which happens frequently in an crowded medium density urban area. it keeps me up at night thinking how i’m going to pay for all of this

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  43. i used to get all worked up about my student loans!’hahaha that’s the smallest monthly expense i have these days!

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  44. HD not to get too personal but how many kids do you have?

    I used to want 3 ( I have 2 siblings ), but 1 seems like so much to hand, I feel like 2 would be more than enough.

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  45. “even with a SAH spouse they still often have part-time nannies or part time day care to give the stay at home spouse some time off. Day care one or two days a week or nanny share situations.”

    Yeah, of course. And for slightly older kids, drop-off playgroups of one sort or another. Heck, even just the EBC (or whichever) childcare room–3 hour max!–would be a couple hundred a week (ie, $10k/year) if used every day.

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  46. Meanwhile…my sister in law has a live in (albeit i believe illegal ) full time nanny she pays 2k per month to cook, clean, do laundry, and handle both kids.

    That’s texas for ya.

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  47. “mind boggling to me that i’ll be paying the equivalent in fees to a non college grad nanny that I earned as a medical school graduate resident physician.”

    Sounds like you were underpaid in the short run. Do residents get screwed bc of some collaboration (i.e. collusion) among hospitals to ensure “quality” in resident training or some bs like that?

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  48. “Eh, I don’t think so . Typically the people that invest well and are saving money for years are not going to blow it on a million dollar house and over priced private school. There are plenty of millionaires that make 200k or less, but they stay millionaires because they aren’t wasting money on excess.”

    I would argue that a top tier private elementary and high school are very worth it. The education at those schools is like night and day over lesser schools. I was fortunate enough to attend a top private school after spending torturous years at a Catholic school. If I become a parent, I would sacrifice almost anything to be able to send my kid to a top private school. On the other hand, I would expect kids to put themselves through college.

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  49. “Sounds like you were underpaid in the short run. Do residents get screwed bc of some collaboration (i.e. collusion) among hospitals to ensure “quality” in resident training or some bs like that?”

    Not sure. They get screwed though. Working easily 70 hours a week, multiple 24 hour shifts, minimal benefits, average salary in the 50’s. At my program i had to pay my own health insurance. My bi-weekly paycheck after taxes was 1400 bucks. I was working almost 160 hours for that in 2 weeks. It was criminal.

    They justify it by arguing the high income payout afterwards..but still, it was the worst experience of my life. And it happens to doctors every year, every month, every year – and to many who are already hundreds of thousands of debt. Just hope everyone thinks about all that before criticizing docs.

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  50. “I would argue that a top tier private elementary and high school are very worth it. The education at those schools is like night and day over lesser schools. I was fortunate enough to attend a top private school after spending torturous years at a Catholic school. If I become a parent, I would sacrifice almost anything to be able to send my kid to a top private school. On the other hand, I would expect kids to put themselves through college.”

    I’m sorry dude, but that’s the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. Spend a ton of money on grade school and high school then make your kid pay for college? wtf?

    Why not live somewhere there is a decent public school, and help them out with college and grad school? A college degree these days means 0. It’s the bare minimum. I feel as if I owe my kid at least that much.

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  51. PS i went to a crappy grade school and high school, while my siblings went to fancy private schools.

    Guess who is the most successful? ( in traditional terms , not knocking acting or going to grad school on a caribbean island )

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  52. Aren’t the majority of resident’s salaries paid by the government?

    “I’m sorry dude, but that’s the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. Spend a ton of money on grade school and high school then make your kid pay for college? wtf?”

    I agree this is absurd. Also, how would the mechanics of this actually work? Let’s assume the student does not qualify for financial aid (at the levels we are discussing, they would not). There is a cap to federal student loans. My understanding is that private student loans are difficult to get without a cosigner. So how would a student pay for a $50-60K/yr college without parental assistance?

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  53. “my sister in law has a live in (albeit i believe illegal ) full time nanny she pays 2k per month to cook, clean, do laundry, and handle both kids”

    You could prob swing that here, too, if you had a house with a decent nanny suite.

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  54. Lab School is like a damn cult.

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  55. Marie,

    yes – actually medicare I think pays up to 100k per resident. However, hospitals take up this subsidy as a bonus and almost never pass this benefit onto the resident. they keep at least a quarter , and in most cases, half the subsidy, and abuse the crap out of the resident.

    It’s a sad reality. Depression / fatigue / suicide is a sad reality in the resident community. I’ve been there.

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  56. Anyone shocked at the cost of childcare has never dealt with the prices for eldercare. That’s where “insane, “crazy”, and “mindboggling” don’t even begin to describe the expense.

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  57. “I’m sorry dude, but that’s the dumbest thing i’ve ever heard. Spend a ton of money on grade school and high school then make your kid pay for college”

    If you’ve got the money (as you’re inclined to point out, you do), why do pre-K – 12 and college have to be mutually exclusive?

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  58. “It was criminal.”

    Govt says it’s great!

    http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2015/02/hlaw1-1502.html

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  59. “as you’re inclined to point out”

    I think it’s just bc he was enslaved previously.

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  60. “Anyone shocked at the cost of childcare has never dealt with the prices for eldercare. That’s where “insane, “crazy”, and “mindboggling” don’t even begin to describe the expense.”

    Is it that different if you hire your own caregiver? Compared on a per hour basis. I get that you may need 24/7 care whereas you don’t for a kid.

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  61. “the prices for eldercare”

    Dunno; seems pretty comparable, for the most part, if you are able to contract directly with the provider for in-home care, or if you are using a group care service.

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  62. “I get that you may need 24/7 care whereas you don’t for a kid.”

    That then is like comparing a dog to a horse–“You think having a dog costs a lot? You should see my bill from the stable!”

    And, often, the 24/7 care includes rent.

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  63. “why do pre-K – 12 and college have to be mutually exclusive?”

    Because that was the premise offered?

    Why you gotta fight the hypo, man??

    I’m on Riz’s side that dropping 14 x $30k for private El-Hi and then NOT paying for college is pretty dumb.

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  64. “If you’ve got the money (as you’re inclined to point out, you do), why do pre-K – 12 and college have to be mutually exclusive?”

    I feel like once a kid turns 18, (s)he should take responsibility for his/her education. Why are parents expected to still financially support kids after high school? I was lucky in that my parents paid for my undergrad degree, but I questions whether they should have had to cover this expense. Many parents pay for college to the detriment of their own retirement.

    I found college ridiculously easy after private school. I liked that in private school they really focused on helping each student discover his/her talents. The teachers and students are mostly creative and think in different ways. There are the less tangible bonuses too, like getting awesome internships because someone’s dad is a professor and is willing to sponsor high school students in his lab.

    In Catholic school, they wanted students to follow a precise dull mold. Public school is much the same way. My friends are already going crazy because their kid is bored out of his mind at Decatur in 1st grade. It’s supposedly the best public elementary school in the state, but they still have to supplement his math and reading and have had to work with the teacher to give him more advanced assignments. The kid isn’t a genius. The work is just very basic.

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  65. “Why you gotta fight the hypo, man??”

    Bc the hypo originates in jenny-land? And bc her parents never paid anything like the 14x$30k to start w. And bc this is all the result of her loving lab and hating college wherev that was (NW?).

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  66. “My friends are already going crazy because their kid is bored out of his mind at Decatur in 1st grade. It’s supposedly the best public elementary school in the state, but they still have to supplement his math and reading and have had to work with the teacher to give him more advanced assignments. The kid isn’t a genius. The work is just very basic.”

    The thing is, all the parents at decatur believe that of their kids.

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  67. Gah! Jenny really hid that part of the scenario in her paragraph, like a tortoise into its shell.

    Of course, getting kids out of college debt free trumps a private k-12 education. But Riz, if you can afford to both send your kids to Latin/Parker and pay for the colleges of their choice, you should do it (assuming you plan to stay in the city).

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  68. “Bc the hypo originates in jenny-land? And bc her parents never paid anything like the 14x$30k to start w. And bc this is all the result of her loving lab and hating college wherev that was (NW?).”

    I didn’t hate college, but thought Lab was a better value for the money than Northwestern. With their gigantic endowments, these colleges shouldn’t even have to charge tuition.

    “The thing is, all the parents at decatur believe that of their kids.”

    Then why aren’t they making the time spent in the classroom more challenging or interesting?

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  69. “Decatur [is] supposedly the best public elementary school in the state”

    Pfft. Not even the best public elementary school in Chicago.

    And, on top of that, inconveniently located (West Ridge?? C’mon!), and inconveniently ends in 6th grade.

    Wouldn’t have been our top choice *even if* we lived in West Ridge.

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  70. “Then why aren’t they making the time spent in the classroom more challenging or interesting?”

    Bc none of the kids are really that smart, except for 1-2 per class (which I’m sure is your friends’ kid). The “my kid’s bored” is a common excuse/complaint, followed by “my kid’s reading 6 grades above grade level”. Surely your friends have said that.

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  71. Oh, it dropped to number 4 in Illinois: https://www.schooldigger.com/go/IL/schoolrank.aspx

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  72. “it dropped to number 4 in Illinois”

    Ranked *solely* on test scores, which is the total opposite of what you assert to value in primary and secondary education.

    Translation of “my kid’s reading 6 grades above grade level”:

    My kid’s test scores are “equivalent” (per an accepted conversion method) to another number that sez s/he reads 6 grades ahead of grade level.

    Not that the kid actually reads anything with the Lexile (or whatever) score, but the test score indicates that s/he could and could understand much of it.

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  73. “Ranked *solely* on test scores, which is the total opposite of what you assert to value in primary and secondary education.”

    You do have a point about that. What is the best elementary school in the case? How do parents even find out that information?

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  74. “What is the best elementary school in the case?”

    It’s lab!

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  75. “My kid’s test scores are “equivalent” (per an accepted conversion method) to another number that sez s/he reads 6 grades ahead of grade level.”

    it’s something like comparing lexile score to a average/typical/adequate level for 4-5 grades higher and rounding up a bit, when the snowflake’s parents would be horrified if their kid was being taught at that level in grade x+6.

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  76. The folks at my old firm that sent the kids to Francis Parker, didn’t have to work. If they were fired they could still pay the tuition with no change in lifestyle.

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  77. “the snowflake’s parents would be horrified if their kid was being taught at that level in grade x+6”

    Taking a quick look at the lexile suggestions–funny things just from one page of “7th grade” books:

    Lemony Snicket and Great Gatsby are the same
    Diary of a Wimpy kid = Tom Sawyer and both are “harder” than Brave New World

    Seems a little too focused on vocab and sentence structure, so something else that is contra-Jenny-cation

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  78. “they could still pay the tuition with no change in lifestyle”

    But could they *also* keep up with their fundraising expectations??? It would be so embarrassing to not be able to give enough to the annual fund!

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  79. “it’s something like comparing lexile score to a average/typical/adequate level for 4-5 grades higher and rounding up a bit, when the snowflake’s parents would be horrified if their kid was being taught at that level in grade x+6.”

    I think all kids should be challenged. Most schools don’t expect enough from the students. Another friend’s kid is learning multiplication and division in kindergarten. I don’t think that was taught in Catholic school until second grade. Teach at a high level and expect more of students and many will meet the expectations.

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  80. but then children will be left behind!!!

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  81. anonny apparently challenged in reading comprehension dep’t posted: “But Riz, if you can afford to both send your kids to Latin/Parker and pay for the colleges of their choice, you should do it (assuming you plan to stay in the city).” I believe if you re-read Riz’s post he criticizes jenny who suggests she’d avoid paying cost of college for her non existent offspring

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  82. “Seems a little too focused on vocab and sentence structure, so something else that is contra-Jenny-cation”

    Indeed, but I’m sure all the special snowflakes are really deep readers too.

    “But could they *also* keep up with their fundraising expectations??? It would be so embarrassing to not be able to give enough to the annual fund!”

    What are the fundraising expectations? nonny?

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  83. jenny, could you ask your friends what grade level their kid is reading at?

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  84. “jenny, could you ask your friends what grade level their kid is reading at?”

    I feel a little weird messaging them out of the blue to ask their kid’s reading level. He seems smart. The kid was bored at the last party we were at and sat down and composed a song (wrote it out on a musical sheet) and then played it for us. It was decent. He’s not a future Mozart, but it was cute. He’s smart, but honestly I think most kids could do just as well if given a chance. He’s just lucky that his mom is a research scientist and his dad is an engineer.

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  85. Southbound: I believe Riz makes it pretty clear throughout this thread that he thinks private school is a waste of money. Whatever.

    DZ: We pulled out after one semester, and thus weren’t around for the fundraising fun. At the nursery school co op she attended before that (in LP), I can’t recall if we cut a check, or just spent money at and on tickets to the auction/party.

    Had our kids attended Lincoln, I recall hearing that the going rate was $1k/yr/kid.

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  86. “I feel a little weird messaging them out of the blue to ask their kid’s reading level.”

    Well, you could work it into conversation but I guarantee you they like to talk about it.

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  87. “What are the fundraising expectations?”

    I’ve heard it expressed as an expectation that the school be the “primary” recipient of your philanthropy. So, very communistic–from each according to their ability.

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  88. oh–and which is one of the reasons that some *prefer* the British School. Zero fundraising, so zero social expectation pressure.

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  89. I briefly worked in the fundraising department of a private school (not Lab). I helped them build their database of donors. I watched them milk the wealthy parents, but ignore the middle class parents. That method worked well for them and I agree with the concept. They were really shady though. I remember them looking up the addresses of grandparents to try to gauge how much family money might exist. They also would pressure families by telling them another family donated X, so they should donate the same. It was also really tacky in that office. Even the fax machine had a plaque on it with the name of the family that donated it.

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  90. “Meanwhile…my sister in law has a live in (albeit i believe illegal ) full time nanny she pays 2k per month to cook, clean, do laundry, and handle both kids.

    That’s texas for ya.”

    You think this is limited to Texas?

    I’m surprised you’re not hiring that 20-something Pole here in Chicago to have the same set up. It’s not like it would be hard. They fly in and overstay visitor visas.

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  91. “3k a month is what i pay for two kids in diapers.”

    This is why many women quit and stay home with the children now. Unless she is making significant income (likely around $100k) it doesn’t really make sense from a financial view point, or for the massive stress, to have two kids or more in daycare.

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  92. “Eh, I don’t think so . Typically the people that invest well and are saving money for years are not going to blow it on a million dollar house and over priced private school. There are plenty of millionaires that make 200k or less, but they stay millionaires because they aren’t wasting money on excess.”

    My point was there are plenty of people that make 200k a year and are worth +5 million and can easily afford both. I think everyone’s situation is different and talking/thinking in absolutes is not for me. Not trying to get into an argument with you. I value a lot of your posts.

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  93. “My point was there are plenty of people that make 200k a year and are worth +5 million and can easily afford both. ”

    Plenty, but not many. Otherwise there would be more than a handful of really expensive private schools in the greenzone in Chicago. There would be dozens.

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  94. “This is why many women quit and stay home with the children now. Unless she is making significant income (likely around $100k) it doesn’t really make sense from a financial view point, or for the massive stress, to have two kids or more in daycare.”

    Yes, and, the job would be difficult to replace upon entering the workforce if the mother stayed at home.

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  95. “My point was there are plenty of people that make 200k a year and are worth +5 million and can easily afford both. I think everyone’s situation is different and talking/thinking in absolutes is not for me. Not trying to get into an argument with you. I value a lot of your posts.”

    Me either, I agree with you – I do believe these people are out there. I just wonder if they would spend that money if they are such good savers , etc. Maybe some do, I’m sure a lot of people, as we can see by prior posts here, value a private education much more than others. We certainly know that there are people that prioritize having the million dollar home. If they can afford it, more power to em.

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  96. “I didn’t hate college, but thought Lab was a better value for the money than Northwestern. With their gigantic endowments, these colleges shouldn’t even have to charge tuition.”

    I think there are obviously going to be differing opinions here.

    I went to (not great) public schools my whole life, but was always a driven kid. I made good grades, got top scores on my SAT and ACT, and got a decent scholarship to U of I. After that, I went onto get a masters and medical degree from a more ‘prestigious’ university. My terminal degree and residency training program’s reputation have opened a lot of doors for me – NOBODY cares where I went to high school. Could I have been more well rounded if I went to lab? Maybe, maybe not. I can’t say.

    My brothers both went to a private, high tier boarding school near the michigan border in indiana ( a place where supreme court justices have attended, etc ) – They then went onto go to school at Michigan and U of I. They are both now out of college and again, literally nobody has cared where they went to high school.

    My point is simply that you need to do ‘well’ in high school to get into a decent college. If you’re not going onto graduate school – people will look at where you went to college. that Northwestern name has likely opened more doors for you than you realize. Trust me, if you had gone to UIC you would likely have less of a network and less of a ‘prestigious’ resume. If you’re planning on entering the workforce right after college, it’s best to go to the biggest name college in my opinion, as alumni networks and name recognition goes a long way. Again, don’t think anyone cares where you went to high school, even if the experience may be great / more well rounded in private schools.

    Just my .02 though, there are obviously differing viewpoints on this.

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  97. P.S,

    As far as parents paying for kids college tuitions – If you plan for it and save a college fund ( like i’m currently doing ) , it takes a minimal amount out of your overall savings and retirement over 15 years, and secures your kid some money for college – something that is already insanely expensive. I don’t want my kids drowning in debt. My parents made some sacrifices to help get me to where I am – I’m sure my dad would much rather have an extra couple hundred grand in his bank account, but he paid for college and much of my grad school education because he wanted to lighten my burden. I’m eternally grateful to him for that, and hope I can do the same for my kids.

    Again, differing viewpoints on this also.

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  98. “This is why many women quit and stay home with the children now. Unless she is making significant income (likely around $100k) it doesn’t really make sense from a financial view point, or for the massive stress, to have two kids or more in daycare.”

    It’s 2017. In my social circle there are many women who are the primary or an equal contributor to their household. Sure, it’s not 50/50, but it’s getting there. The SPOUSE with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.

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  99. “a place where supreme court justices have attended, etc”

    Singular.

    And your brothers must be so proud that the school decided to raise its profile by becoming a basketball powerhouse.

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  100. oh, as to “no one cares where you went to HS”:

    there are a small number of “elite” HS’s that have pretty strong alumni networks, too. So there is a very small element of that.

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  101. “And your brothers must be so proud that the school decided to raise its profile by becoming a basketball powerhouse.”

    Haha so you know exactly where i’m talking about :)

    Helmut Jahn designed their gymnasium. South korean prime minister’s kid graduated with my brother. Place was nuts.

    All that being said, My brother still didn’t get into Northwestern Med. haha.

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  102. PS, also randomly, I think Jim Gaffigan the comedian went there…he’s come back and done some shows for the students.

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  103. “there are a small number of “elite” HS’s that have pretty strong alumni networks, too. So there is a very small element of that.”

    I agree. If you went to Latin or Lab, then went to northwestern or u of c, harvard, etc, or even a big ten school – you’re far more likely to get a job within your college alumni network than high school.

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  104. “If you went to Latin or Lab, then went to northwestern or u of c, harvard, etc, or even a big ten school – you’re far more likely to get a job within your college alumni network than high school”

    Absolutely.

    But if you’re a 20 year Hyde Park kid (Lab + UC), you’re more likely to get into grad school there, too, bc you know everyone at that point. So it’s a question of desired outcomes, which are *impossible* to determine at age 4. At least for those parents who ascribe free will to their kids.

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  105. Lab has a pretty good alumni network. We can use the U of C alumni network with full benefits. Most of my classmates are more successful than me, so it’s also useful for networking with old classmates. If I left the Chicago area, I suspect these connections would be less useful though.

    Lab had a supreme court justice too. :)

    Riz, why didn’t you go to the boarding school?

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  106. “Riz, why didn’t you go to the boarding school?”

    I’m about 6 years older than my middle brother and 8 years older than the youngest.

    My dad come from nothing in the old country ( literally worked as a waiter while in medical school ) – he was trying to pass his board exams and just starting residency training when I was a kid. We were barely scraping by when I was in middle school / early high school. I literally remember my parents not being able to afford notebook paper, my mom would glue my worksheets from school back to back and draw lines on the sheets for me to do my homework.

    He didn’t have his practice established until I was almost graduating high school, they didn’t have the money to send me to private school. His private practice exploded around the time I was in college, and he did whatever he could to help me after that. He literally bought me a porsche 911 for medical school graduation. He’s a great father.

    All that being said , I think the rough childhood is what motivated me to work my butt off. My brothers are smart, but significantly less motivated than I am.

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  107. “My brothers both went to a private, high tier boarding school near the michigan border in indiana ( a place where supreme court justices have attended, etc ) – They then went onto go to school at Michigan and U of I. They are both now out of college and again, literally nobody has cared where they went to high school.”

    Okay but the list of “notable” alumni is really highly mediocre, so it’s not really a test of anything.

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  108. “Lab had a supreme court justice too.”

    Lab’s list was fairly unimpressive as well. More impressive than the rizbrother
    school but really not that impressive.

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  109. “But if you’re a 20 year Hyde Park kid (Lab + UC), you’re more likely to get into grad school there, too, bc you know everyone at that point.”

    Do you think that’s really true? As compared w someone w a similar profile but no U of C affiliations (and let’s say for sake of argument the only U of C affiliations are lab and undergrad, no parent affiliations etc)? You’d have to define the type of grad school too I suppose.

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  110. “PS, also randomly, I think Jim Gaffigan the comedian went there…he’s come back and done some shows for the students.”

    He’s prob in the top half of notability on that list, which is an indictment of the list.

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  111. “Lab’s list was fairly unimpressive as well. More impressive than the rizbrother
    school but really not that impressive.”

    Impressive for the midwest. It’s definitely not as impressive as the international school my friend attended where he was friends with Swazi royalty much to my amusement.

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  112. Dang Dz, chill with the hate.

    My whole point is I don’t think the schools matter that much. In the midwest you’ll get kids of some rich foreign diplomats, local investment bankers and rich lawyers, etc, but it’s all kind of the same…

    College matters so much more. Grad school more than that. I literally went to a school with latin kings and defunct air conditioning. It didn’t limit me. It’s all relative.

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  113. “He’s prob in the top half of notability on that list, which is an indictment of the list.”

    lol, probably true.

    His stand up is pretty funny though.

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  114. “Impressive for the midwest.”

    Maybe. The latin and parker lists are not that great either.

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  115. “Do you think that’s really true? As compared w someone w a similar profile but no U of C affiliations (and let’s say for sake of argument the only U of C affiliations are lab and undergrad, no parent affiliations etc)? You’d have to define the type of grad school too I suppose.”

    I’m not sure, but damn, going to the same school for 16+ years and then being rejected by it would hurt. I would assume that if you did well in undergrad and made the right connections, you’d have an advantage over others in the applicant pool. Maybe they would reject such a candidate just so that the person would know what it’s like to face some rejection.

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  116. dz you have some high standards amigo…

    You have some pretty high standards..I assume your kids are going to choate rosemary, st. albans, or le rosey in switzerland? : )

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  117. “Dang Dz, chill with the hate.”

    I don’t disagree that much w your main point. And maybe rizbrother school has that (I’ll admit the extent to which it has really famous alumni isn’t really that central to someone trying to network since you’re prob not getting that far w the Supreme Court justices).

    fwiw I went to a range of hs, from dreadful (like in lists of schools to shut down) to mediocre to regular good burb hs.

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  118. Yeah man, just saying.

    I don’t think it matters that much.

    Work hard in high school and get into a good college – I think that matters much more.

    I’m decidedly against the private school agenda based on my experiences. I’ll send my kids to good public schools, and if they get in to a good private school , i’ll pay for it. I am not going to pay for an overpriced liberal arts college over a good state school though.

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  119. I shadow the college is more important perspective.

    There’s a lot that knowing the rich people game, the way careers work, the goals of internships, the networking, the comfort of being able to talk about rich people activities and vacations.

    But I wonder to what extent are the rich parents’ kids just not that smart. I was always in the 98% scale of testing (it always annoyed me I never got the 99%) in terms of grades and testing, and got into u of c undergrad coming from a plain jane suburban high school. I grew up in a single parent immigrant poor household and got a poor scholarship to college, and I’m eternally grateful.

    I would stay up until 2am reading literature and doing my homework because it drove me nuts that I wouldn’t get it / understand it / rise up to the challenge.

    I’m a lot more chill today, but I simply loved school.

    If your kids love school and learning, you don’t need to pay 30k a year for grooming. If you kids need grooming, then maybe they won’t really cut it in professional career life anyways that demands skill not just social lube.

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  120. I personally have never been asked and have never asked anyone else where they went to high school as part of any networking or interview process….and eventually, in my field at least, where you went to college is utterly irrelevant. Your professional reputation is all that really matters 10+ years into a career.

    While I think there may be some value in having advantages from a young age because what is a marginal advantage when you are 7 years old, translates into a huge advantage by the time you are 17, so you may not even make it on to the playing field if your grade school education isn’t at least pretty good, but college and motivation still are way more important…and for most folks I would say going to a major university that is on the radar of a lot of recruiters, is most important. If you do really well at U of I you can still go to an Ivy for grad school. Grad school seems to be becoming more and more relevant and undergrad, “the bare minimum” as Riz put it.

    That said I think sometimes too competitive of a high school is a detriment if you aren’t at the very top of your class – – the best universities limit the number of incoming freshman from any one school. You would be better off going to a good …but not “great” public school and working your tail off. When I was a freshman in colelge I befriended a girl that graduated from the top of her class at some po-dunk high school in the middle of nowhere Arizona where quite literally the only printed reading material in the house she grew up in were bibles. She was on a full ride scholarship. Now, she had to take all remedial classes freshman year because top of your class from a rural high school with not a ton of resources doesn’t translate into “ready for college” necessarily, but my point is really that with her work ethic, had she had a slightly better high school or more than just a bible on the bookshelf at home, she literally could have gone anywhere and done anything.

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  121. I had a similar situation in medical school,

    we had some students from some ‘underserved’ areas in the city – they could barely pass the basic science classes. When we were on medical rotations, they would completely misdiagnoses patients constantly. They failed the USMLE exams – in some cases, multiple times. The school stuck by them though, and they graduated as physicians..(although typically went into family medicine ) –

    Always struck me as unfair.

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  122. what I’d like to know is how much more successful jmm’s sister is than he is as a result of sps alumni connections.

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  123. this has turned into an interesting conversation about schools. I too am the product of public schools…public k-12, public college, public grad school. I do relatively well, but not WOW well.
    My take on this is that its easier to excel and be the top of your class in a public/mediocre school rather than compete against equally driven/smart kids in a private or top school. Ultimately top universities outside of Illinois don’t know the difference between top illinois high schools vs. a mediocre illinois h.s. With that said, I do think the main draw for private schools is the connections to other rich kids that your child will be exposed to.

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  124. Only part of the value in private school is in the connections or the leg up on getting into a top college. I only have Catholic school to compare it to, but the way of thinking and the teachers were very different. There was so much more diversity and the courses were interesting/challenging. Kids who were a little different, weren’t bullied. There were LGBT clubs and no one would have even considered teasing the kids whose parents were gay. I literally did not know a single black person until I went to Lab. I learned so much about different types of people at Lab. As an oddball, it was nice being with a group of kids who were all a little odd.

    I tested well to get into Lab, but I was behind in math and science, so I had to work hard to catch up. It’s ridiculous that all schools don’t have the same standards as Lab. All kids (barring extreme cases) can work to that level. They just aren’t given a chance in many schools.

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  125. “I tested well to get into Lab, but I was behind in math and science, so I had to work hard to catch up. It’s ridiculous that all schools don’t have the same standards as Lab. All kids (barring extreme cases) can work to that level. They just aren’t given a chance in many schools.”

    Maybe. Remember, not all kids, like all adults, are at the same level of intelligence. This newfound environment of all kids being ‘smart’ and being able to achieve high performance goals is dumb. Not everyone is a genius, and that’s okay.

    I feel like kids are way too pressured these days.

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  126. ” top universities outside of Illinois don’t know the difference between top illinois high schools vs. a mediocre illinois h.s.”

    Depends what you mean by “top universities”.

    If by “top” you mean flagship state schools–especially in non-border states–the above view is certainly more true than not.

    However, the admissions staff at every one of the CHYMPS-level (ie, Ivies + similar) schools is familiar with the differences (and similarities) bt the Hinsdales, New Trier, the CPS SEHS, Parker/Latin/Lab, etc.

    They most likely are not familiar with the differences bt Bogan and Bowen, but a kid from either of those will NOT be compared to a kid from Payton–they know that much. The Bogan/Bowen kid who is truly excelling academically is going to get *massive* admission preferences from CHYMPS-level schools compared a kid with the same profile from a SEHS.

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  127. Riz, I don’t know social circles you run in but getting a 911 upon graduation is probably something you shouldn’t relate to the general public even if it’s part of your father’s rags to riches story. I’ve known some very very UMC people throughout my life and even that level of ostentation was frowned upon. That’s rich kids of instagram type stuff.

    As for underserved populations there’s nothing wrong with giving them a chance to succeed. Otherwise society would be divided into the family based guilds of the rich like the medieval societies of europe which perpetuates for generations. One researcher did a study a few years back and found that a statistically significant percentage the wealthier families and households in and around Florence today can trace their linage to the wealthy families during medieval days. And there’s nothing wrong with family medicine, it’s the front line of medicine and gets a bad rap for the low pay, but everyone has a primary care physician, no need to knock them.

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  128. The high school is important because of the students in the school. A lower rated school with low income kids won’t have as many ambitious and driven children as a higher income, better rated school. For example I grew up in a very working class area and all the kids in my neighborhood got jobs or trades (or prison) after high school; but fortunately my high school was large and encompassed many different towns so I got to mingle with more UMC kids who were college driven. I remember being a freshman in high school and my buddy told me that his older brother was a senior and was looking into attending U of I. I had a general idea what college was but I had no idea what U of I meant or where it was or what it meant to go there. I remember that was the first time in my life I thought about what it actually meant to go to college. Crazy to think but if you’re not exposed to that kind of stuff at an earlier age it’s not something that you think about. And from those experiences I was able to pull myself up by my bootstraps, get an education, and a decent job. And quite frankly, this the way a lot of society is.

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  129. “I remember being a freshman in high school and my buddy told me that his older brother was a senior and was looking into attending U of I. I had a general idea what college was but I had no idea what U of I meant or where it was or what it meant to go there.”

    You went to U of I? That’s more impressive than I would have thought. Imagine if his brother had gone to Harvard!

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  130. Periodically blind squirrels find acorns & I agree w/ an hd statement: “The hs is important b/c of the students in the school….”

    My experience is the best decision my wife made for our kids was to drag me/move us from Chgo into school district of a competitive suburban high school with very diverse student body. One month after starting new school one son rebuffed my praise for a report card w/ 3 A’s & 3 B’s, stating “my new best friend (an immigrant from China) told me his parents won’t let us hang unless my grades get a lot better really fast”. Very unexpected HS peer pressure. I’ve bragged before 4 of our kids attended top 20 US universities in large part b/c their HS was exceptional & their peers motivated them to study more/ perform better than they previously had. I also agree w anon(tfo) – Wash. U/ St Louis & Univ. Notre Dame absolutely understood difference between Chgo area high schools. Imo upon graduating our young adults received better initial jobs & salaries than if they’d attended U of I or similar. Finally fwiw we aimed to limit their undergrad school debt to $5K/yr each, wanting them to have some but not burdensome amount of skin in game.

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  131. “Wash. U/ St Louis & Univ. Notre Dame”

    they may understand Chicago area schools, in part bc of proximity, but they’re not chymps level.

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  132. “Remember, not all kids, like all adults, are at the same level of intelligence. This newfound environment of all kids being ‘smart’ and being able to achieve high performance goals is dumb.”

    Yep. Someone is in the bottom 50% at New Trier. Many kids there are just “average” and that’s okay.

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  133. “Ultimately top universities outside of Illinois don’t know the difference between top illinois high schools vs. a mediocre illinois h.s.”

    Yes they do. They get the same applications from the same “types” of kids year after year. Every year, a certain percentage of students applies to those “top” universities outside of Illinois so they become quite familiar with those high schools. The admissions offices are quite sophisticated. They actually, gasp, talk to the college advisors at these top high schools.

    What would be different for them is if they get an application from a high school that isn’t the top high schools where they’ve never had an application before. For instance, a kid from a smaller high school out by Rockford applying to UVA or MIT. They would find this more “interesting.”

    I have a friend who grew up in a small town in downstate Illinois. There were just 150 people in his entire high school. He ranked in the top 10 of his class but he was not #1 or #2.

    He ended up getting into and going to Indiana even though he wasn’t the “top” at the high school. Why’d they let him in? Because no one else in his high school applied to go there…ever. It tells you something about a kid coming from a town with just 5,000 people that he wants to attend a school in another state. Indiana found him interesting (certainly more so than some kid at Hinsdale Central).

    Kids from high schools like New Trier are a dime a dozen. There is a “New Trier” in the suburbs of EVERY major city in America. The kids are mostly upper middle class. They vacation in Mexico and Europe. They built houses in Guatemala for the summer. They are great students with high test scores. But they otherwise are the same types of kids year after year, from city to city. They even eat at the same restaurants, parents have the same types of jobs etc.

    The big state schools will let these students in. The ivies want something more, if they can get it.

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  134. “The SPOUSE with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.”

    Marie, I know what year we’re in. Unfortunately, women still make significantly less than men. In most families, it’s still the woman earnings less than the man so when you have to decide who is going to stay home to save on costs, it’s still usually the women.

    However, I do know a couple of men who stayed home with their kids. But they were unusual. Had to start their own “Mr. Mom” group online.

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  135. “it takes a minimal amount out of your overall savings and retirement over 15 years, and secures your kid some money for college”

    You only say this, Riz, because you’re upper middle class. You’re the ones who DO have to pay full tuition price though.

    If you make $90,000 a year in a major city and have 2 kids, it’s nearly impossible to save both for retirement and your kids college education. This is why those kids get significant help from most schools now.

    Didn’t Northwestern just announce that if family income is $65k or less that the student gets a full ride?

    At $90,000 a year, your child would also get a lot of help from most private and public schools. Even the state schools award aid packages now.

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  136. “Riz, I don’t know social circles you run in but getting a 911 upon graduation is probably something you shouldn’t relate to the general public even if it’s part of your father’s rags to riches story. I’ve known some very very UMC people throughout my life and even that level of ostentation was frowned upon. That’s rich kids of instagram type stuff.”

    Hey, I’m an open book, for the most part. If people have a problem with what kind of car I drove when I was 24 that’s their problem. I didn’t say it was logical, just a pretty crazy gesture from my dad that i’ll likely never forget. My kids are going to be driving hondas. :)

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  137. “You only say this, Riz, because you’re upper middle class. You’re the ones who DO have to pay full tuition price though.”

    Maybe, I don’t know. Right now it doesn’t seem like much, but yeah, it probably would at a 90k income level.

    We toss around the terminology upper middle class / UMC a lot around here…What’s our definition of that? household income of 100-800? Seems like a big category. Just curious. And what’s ‘middle class’ household income of 50-100?

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  138. “I’ve known some very very UMC people throughout my life and even that level of ostentation was frowned upon. That’s rich kids of instagram type stuff.””

    People in the Midwest are not flashy at all, its the Scandinavian cultural influence perhaps? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Jante

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  139. The whole college admissions process is arbitrary and capricious. The year before I graduated the reader for Lab applications at Harvard was on sabbatical or some such. No one got into Harvard that year from Lab. The year after she was back and I suspect felt guilty because they let in something like 15 kids (nearly 15% of the class). Unless you’re the president or Warren Buffet wealthy there is no guarantee that your kid will get into any of these schools.

    “At $90,000 a year, your child would also get a lot of help from most private and public schools. Even the state schools award aid packages now.”

    Are these aid packages loans or free rides? At $90k a year, a family is not going to be able to afford $50,000 a year for college. There’s no room to save for college at that salary either. There’s barely enough room to save for retirement. This is why I think if the burden was placed on the student and not the parent, tuition prices would be forced to go down.

    I also question that need for college for the average office worker. I’m in marketing and while I think my college degrees had a bit of a tangible impact on my ability to do my job, I question whether the help is worth the money spent. Now that I’m applying for jobs for the first time in many years, I can see that my master’s degree is very helpful because it ticks off boxes for employers. I suppose I’m an idealist in some ways because I think people should go to school because of the knowledge gained and not just to check boxes.

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  140. “they may understand Chicago area schools, in part bc of proximity, but they’re not chymps level.”

    Of course the ‘knowing the diff’ goes beyond chymps, but it is *unassailable* that chymps knows the diff. Next tier school X one might be able to argue about their admissions dept knowledge.

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  141. “The SPOUSE with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.”

    Marie: It’s 2017, why you hating on unmarried co-parents?

    The PARENT with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.

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  142. “Wouldn’t have been our top choice *even if* we lived in West Ridge.”

    Curious–what would be your top choice if you lived in West Ridge? Asking since we live in that neighborhood.

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  143. “We toss around the terminology upper middle class / UMC a lot around here…”

    UMC = more than one makes. Everyone thinks that they are ‘middle class’.

    But seriously, UMC is (at least in metro chicago) $150k+ in HHI, or perhaps a little higher, assuming a multiple person HH; single person somewhat lower. No one (who isn’t making that much) would credit $800k income as “merely” UMC; think that you certainly lose the “middle” at the 1%-er level, and probably at something a bit lower than that. So, prob more like $150-$450.

    Ok, just looked at the tax tables, and I have an anchored proposition:

    UMC (on the low side) = 28% marginal rate threshold–for ’16, single = $91,900; joint = 153,100

    on the high side = 39.6 marginal rate threshold–single = $418,400; joint = $470,700.

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  144. “Curious–what would be your top choice if you lived in West Ridge? ”

    Chris M: Not entirely sure, as didn’t need to contemplate, but classical school wouldn’t have suited our kids well at K age, so that’s a lot of it. Also wouldn’t have liked to have the pressure on at 5th grade level for where to go for make or break 7th grade year.

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  145. I consider myself lower middle class. Single household, making a tad under $90,000. I feel like I can never get ahead. Every time I turn around there’s another expense – special assessment, dog needs surgery, tax increase, dog destroys couch, etc.

    I think it comes down to how one feels. I imagine that people in the upper middle class don’t feel suffocated by expenses.

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  146. “Curious–what would be your top choice if you lived in West Ridge? ”

    I recommend North Park Elementary School. I went there for pre-school. They have a bit of an experimental teaching philosophy, which is nice. I’m sure it’s changed a lot since I’ve been there, but interestingly enough the same principal is still there, so I suspect it retains some of its roots.

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  147. Being UMC is all relative. Someone making $100k seems rich to a guy making $50k. $200k seems rich to someone making $100k. etc, etc, etc.

    I’d say up to about $450k or so could be considered middle class for the reasons we’ve discussed early on this thread – daycare, tuition, etc. At best, they’d be considered “working rich.” It wouldn’t take much to bankrupt due to loss of job, divorce, or medical issues.

    In my experience, making that kind of money just means you don’t necessarily have to watch every dime, but you most certainly aren’t poppin bottles with Jay Z either. So I can go out to eat, max out 401k, put little cash away for a rainy day, and afford a vacation. However, that is about the extent of it, especially when you factor in child care which is what eats up all the real disposable income.

    Chicago is an expensive city. The other thing to consider is that level of income is hard to get outside of major metro areas with high costs of living.

    In NYC, investment bankers making $1 million a year feel middle class. I know a VP in M&A at a bulge bracket bank who had to move to NJ because they couldn’t afford Manhattan anymore with two kids.

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  148. “Ok, just looked at the tax tables, and I have an anchored proposition:
    UMC (on the low side) = 28% marginal rate threshold–for ’16, single = $91,900; joint = 153,100
    on the high side = 39.6 marginal rate threshold–single = $418,400; joint = $470,700.”

    Like jenny said above, It’s probably relative to how one feels.

    If I add my spouses income in, we are at a pretty high six figure salary..but with loans, household expenses, baby stuff etc, we don’t feel like we have a ton of extra money around to spend on extraneous stuff.

    To me, being ‘upper class’ would be when you truly don’t have to think about your bills, mortgage, expenses ,etc, because your salary / net worth more than covers it.

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  149. “I imagine that people in the upper middle class don’t feel suffocated by expenses.”

    And people who are *actually* LMC imagine that a family (nevermind a single person) doesn’t feel suffocated with a $90k income.

    It is all positional.

    “North Park Elementary School”

    Not convenient to West Ridge, at all. Montrose and Damen. No other opinion about it either way.

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  150. “To me, being ‘upper class’ would be when you truly don’t have to think about your bills, mortgage, expenses ,etc, because your salary / net worth more than covers it.”

    I could have $50m in cash equivalents, and I’d still think about my expenses. Now, that would be because all our family vacays would be netjets, but you’re defining “upper class” as only either (1) aggressively stupid about money, ala Antoine Walker, or (2) billionaire types, which is absurd.

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  151. When one claims that $500k HHI = middle *anything*, one comes across as an ass to 90%+ of the country.

    Is it “upper class”? Nope, unless it’s passive income, then it certainly is. But it’s not the middle of anything.

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  152. “Marie: It’s 2017, why you hating on unmarried co-parents?

    The PARENT with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.”

    Touche anon! :)

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  153. We have 3 kids and my wife is at home so even if North Park Elem was close to us private school isn’t in the budget. We’re going with Peirce in Andersonville next year for my two older kids, entering 2nd and pre-K. About a 10 min drive from our home in West Ridge.

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  154. “Marie: It’s 2017, why you hating on unmarried co-parents?

    The PARENT with the lower income is the one who might consider staying at home.”

    Touche anon! :)”

    No, unmarried co-parents are called baby mommas and baby daddies. Go spend some quality time in the basement of the Daley Center and you’ll see the difference between married spouses and people who just shacked up and had babies. Granted, divorce court isn’t all that much better, but in the eyes of the law, being married means an awful lot, and it takes you out of the baby momma drama syndrome so afflicts so many residents of our great state of IL. For every 1 couple that never marries but effectively coparents there are 20 others that fight in child support court. Call me old school but modern progressive sensibilities of ‘unmarried co-parents’ doesn’t accurately portray the absolute clusterF**K that is being an unwed parent with two child from different fathers chasing down a degenerate deadbeat dads who barely make a living wage.

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  155. “an unwed parent with two child from different fathers ”

    These people aren’t making decisions about who stays home instead of paying for third-party childcare.

    Total strawman to the discussion.

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  156. HD you kind of went off in a different direction there amigo…

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  157. I have a couple of friends where the dad stays home and the wife works. The wives are extremely successful execs.

    I stayed home two days a week with our first born mainly because I had the flexible job even though my income is higher. Basically stayed home 2 days a week to cut down the expense of day care. It sounded way better on paper than in practice though.

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  158. “No, unmarried co-parents are called baby mommas and baby daddies. Go spend some quality time in the basement of the Daley Center and you’ll see the difference between married spouses and people who just shacked up and had babies.”

    I used to think like this, but then some of my friends made the choice to have kids even though they weren’t married. The kids were planned and the families have money. They don’t want to get married usually for some sort of high minded ideals about marriage no longer being relevant. It wouldn’t be what I would choose, but I can understand their choice and am non-judgmental about it.

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  159. Some of the most wealthy men I know never want to get married and some have kids (not from other daddies though) because of divorce rules basically reaming men over the barrel

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  160. “These people aren’t making decisions about who stays home instead of paying for third-party childcare.”

    They were likely at some point shacking up so yes they probably made this decision at some point.

    Again, spend some time in the basement of the daley center. It’s not just poor people with baby momma drama. it’s all sorts of people from all walks of life. that’s what unmarried coparenting gets you.

    As for high minded ideals, it’s just pure stupidity. Not all progressive ideals are good. Going into child rearing is difficult enough and doing so with the person your shacking up with is foolish, I’m not saying this from a moral high ground, but rather, a practical world based experience. Baby momma drama never ends well.

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  161. “Not all progressive ideals are good. Going into child rearing is difficult enough and doing so with the person your shacking up with is foolish”

    False equivalence.

    You been indulging in your MedMar stash today HD?

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  162. how many baby mommas you got anon(tfo)?

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  163. Ad hominem, HD.

    Your logic is failing you miserably today.

    Did you get served with a paternity suit from the North Center firecracker, or what?

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  164. “Curious–what would be your top choice if you lived in West Ridge? ”

    If I were in West Ridge, I’d try to get my kid into the WildWood magnet program. http://www.wildwoodworldmagnet.org/

    The (free) school bus ride would not be too far. And it would be well worth it.

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  165. dude i’ve got 11 kids only 4 with my current wife.

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  166. “No one (who isn’t making that much) would credit $800k”

    What would you be able to convince someone who is making $800k, or $500k, that they should be called, if not umc?

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  167. “Did you get served with a paternity suit from the North Center firecracker, or what?”

    That’ll give hd some memories he can work w. Hope wife is not reading.

    Is ponies scandinavian?

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  168. “What would you be able to convince someone who is making $800k, or $500k, that they should be called, if not umc?”

    or what can you convince riz he should be called, since he’s the richest person on here, except for the guy w the leapfrog stock.

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  169. “I recommend North Park Elementary School. I went there for pre-school.”

    weird, why did you not stay there, pre-lab.

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  170. “what can you convince riz he should be called, since he’s the richest person on here, except for the guy w the leapfrog stock”

    Suppose we have to discount Ze, Westloopelo, Clio and John(??) in Miami, since they aren’t really “here” anymore, but then neither is leapfrog stock guy, who also would have had to dump the stock pre-go-private.

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  171. Oh, and, of course there is no convincing the $500k-$1m set that they are anything other than UMC. hard enough to get the upper to stick.

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  172. “Suppose we have to discount Ze, Westloopelo, Clio and John(??) in Miami”

    ze for sure, but he seemed fantastical. hard to get a handle on westloop. clio has almost certainly bankrupted himself by now and isn’t obviously richer than riz on a comparable basis (at same point in time, or over lifespan). and I don’t remem John(??) in Miami.

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  173. “If I add my spouses income in, we are at a pretty high six figure salary”

    how much does riz make? w spouse has to be at least $800k, right? bc $600 is still mid six fig, $700 is high (at best) but not pretty high six fig, so gotta be $800+.

    so he makes $700 by himself?

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  174. “I recommend North Park Elementary School. I went there for pre-school.”
    weird, why did you not stay there, pre-lab.

    My mom went back to work full time when I was school age, so getting me to school was an issue. The neighbors sent their kids to Catholic school so it was easy for my parents to car pool. Options were limited in the 80s and 90s for families where both parents worked. North Park didn’t offer before school care at that time. My dad had gone to Catholic school and liked it, so he didn’t understand why I hated it.

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  175. Depends on how you add it up.

    In 2016 I made into the mid 600’s but had to pay my own malpractice that year (like 75k), so that kind of comes right off the top. This year I believe i’ll break 700 and my malpractice is paid by my group as a partner perk. The wife makes around 100 give or take a bonus.

    I’m trying to earn more this year as i’m saving as much as I can while young. I get around 12-16 weeks of vacation per year depending on how I use it, and i’m using almost half of it this year working overtime.

    I’m currently finishing my second week of ‘vacation’ but have actually been working overtime covering the radiology reads at a hospital in the city. My primary specialty is interventional rads but I’m still licensed to read CT / MRI etc. I’ve spent my two weeks of vacation working 7 pm – 7 am nights, 6 nights a week for a group that lost their night coverage. Worked 12 of the past 14 nights in a row. I’m a total zombie.

    But, they paid me almost 3 k per night, so that’s money in the bank. Don’t think I could do this again though, feel like death. No such thing as easy money.

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  176. PS to those that mentioned my old buddy clio, haha –

    Nowhere near his income level. I can’t afford a lamborghini and an in town residence at the palmolive.

    I consider myself very much a ‘working stiff’ as said here before. My income potential is very high, but It’s directly related to how much I work. I can’t chill and get this money passively. Passive income at a similar level would be amazing.

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  177. “If I were in West Ridge, I’d try to get my kid into the WildWood magnet program. http://www.wildwoodworldmagnet.org/

    We applied to Wildwood via the lottery but no offer.

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  178. “I’m still licensed to read CT / MRI etc. ”

    Is there a reason why a substantial portion of this work doesn’t get taken over by automation (w some human oversight) sometime soon? Serious question.

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  179. “We applied to Wildwood via the lottery but no offer.”

    Do you know where you’re going?

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  180. “Do you know where you’re going?”

    Peirce in Andersonville. Wife and I toured several weeks ago and were impressed. School is also in the final stage of getting approval for an IB primary years programme.

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  181. Peirce was approved for an IB primary years programme.

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  182. “Peirce in Andersonville. Wife and I toured several weeks ago and were impressed.”

    The couple families I know there seem pretty happy.

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  183. “Is there a reason why a substantial portion of this work doesn’t get taken over by automation (w some human oversight) sometime soon? Serious question.”

    It’s a fair question – there’s a lot of hype in the media these days about automating radiology. That’s because tech guys look at it as not much more than an algorithm to solve – there’s much more to reading a ct scan than pattern recognition – a machine can certainly point out abnormalities well, but it can’t really come up with a differential diagnosis, reason one disease vs another etc.

    I think eventually artificial intelligence will commonly assist radiologists with work flow, but it’s arrogant when people think you can replace a doc with a machine. It’s not going to happen any sooner than your pharmacist gets replaced by a pill counter or ur primary care doc gets replaced by webmd – medicine is a lot more intricate than people realize.

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  184. Riz, I love when people share the no BS numbers. It makes posts so much more interesting.

    I’m curious, approx how old are you or how long have you been practicing? Are you at your income peak? I assume passive income is in the future if you are a partner in a practice.

    FYI, I can relate a lot to this thread. I was a pretty smart underachiever at a very good public school and fought my way into an Ivy. When I got there, I was very much in over my head. I had to spread classes out over summer and winter sessions and work my ass off to graduate with a 3.3. It was miserable and almost broke me, but I came out really capable, with good job opportunities and the ability to work much harder than my peers.

    Now I’m a full time dad with 2 kids at one of the uber expensive private schools mentioned heavily in this thread. While I’m terrified about the work load my they’ll face, I take comfort in knowing they’ll probably have a much easier time at a top college and in their career as well. When you have the money how can you not rationalize spending it on your kids to give them the best opportunities?

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  185. AC,

    I’m in my early (getting into mid now ) 30’s and I’m in my 3rd year of practice. It’s my first year as a ‘junior partner’ in my group, not everyone makes ‘senior partner’, but I’d like to think that’s in my cards. I don’t think I’m quite at my income peak, That’s mostly because I haven’t made any real investments that are bringing any passive income in, and although I’m working my butt off, I still have limited equity share in my group’s practice and profit sharing, which will continue to grow on a percentage for the next 5- 10 years.

    I understand your points about public / private school, I just don’t know how much I relate to them personally. I have many friends and family members that have gone on to higher end public universities ( berkley, u of m, etc ) and also ivy’s from a good public school education.

    I went to an average public school and a so – so public university at best and did pretty dang well in a high end medical school and higher end residency program.

    I just think it’s relative. I have a lot of friends whose kids are at parker and latin – they aren’t all going to high end colleges. A lot of them are going to places like michigan, NYU, boston college….a few are going to harvard, yale, princeton, but not many.

    Maybe it’s something I should think about more, I don’t know. I guess noone has really proven to me the strong benefit of a private school vs a good public school so far.

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  186. “When you have the money how can you not rationalize spending it on your kids to give them the best opportunities?”

    Sure.

    But the best public schools are in the same caliber as the best private schools. Why not just move into the New Trier or Hinsdale Central school districts? (or any of the other “top” public schools?)

    I would also argue, that the top Chicago magnet high schools are even BETTER than ANY of the private high schools in the city or suburbs. Why? Because they literally are choosing from the best students in the entire city. If you go to Walter Payton, you can write your own ticket. But just because your kid goes to Latin since kindergarten, doesn’t mean they are really being challenged the same way they would at one of these large public high schools. Are they learning Chinese there? I mean, come on. Some of the public schools just crush it.

    Not everyone at Latin is Harvard bound, that much is for sure.

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  187. “Now I’m a full time dad with 2 kids at one of the uber expensive private schools mentioned heavily in this thread.”

    I also love it when people share the no BS numbers. So what are the fundraising expectations?

    Also, when you say you’re a full time dad you mean you stay at home? Which is great, but that’s what you’ve done with your the educ you fought so hard for?

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  188. “If you go to Walter Payton, you can write your own ticket.”

    Write your own ticket to where? What percent of Payton kids go to a chymps school (just as an example)?

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  189. Sabrina, for a lot of reasons my wife and I want to stay in the city and yes, I would love for my kids to go to Walter Payton. How do you do that? Seems like a nearly impossible proposition and certainly something you can’t plan on. I know a ton of people in CPS who have had to scramble to figure out a decent high school and some who end up with kids attending schools on opposite ends of the city, not to mention the pressure it puts on your kids in middle school to get perfect grades. One of our friends, a fan of Freakonomics, offered her kids $5k each per year, to spend as they wished, for straight A’s and $0 for anything less. Her kids got into Jones and saved her a fortune relative to private school which was their alternative.

    We got lucky and were accepted for nursery in a top school that runs through 12th grade. It’ll cost a fortune, I know. I’ve even considered the value an annuity I could create investing the money I’m spending on tuition.

    Figuring 3% annual tuition hikes, it will cost about $550k per kid though 12th grade. Assuming universities also increase tuition at the same rate, another $400k for an undergrad degree. If you invested each year’s tuition at an average return of 7%, you’re looking at about $1.15M by the time your kid’s 22. If you kept that 1.15M invested at 7% and withdrew the gains annually, that annuity would pay $72.5k forever. If you end up paying for a secondary education, the annuity could $100K or more. Nuts right?

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  190. DZ, I use my education every day, doesn’t everybody? In the past I’ve successfully launched and operated businesses, but today I’m in the business of being a dad. I take care of the kids, I’m the primary caregiver to a newborn and I man the wheel at home to keep things running smoothly.

    Where I add the greatest financial value is enabling my spouse to reach her maximum career potential. I give her the flexibility to give full attention to her job, whenever she needs to, for as long as she needs to, without guilt or worry about the kids. Since I’ve stopped working her income has nearly doubled. I also actively manage our investments.

    As for fundraising, I gave $10k to the uppity nursery school our kid went to for 1 year, a few hours a week, just in hopes they might give the schools we were applying to the impression that we were generous. At that nursery school the fundraising efforts were over the top and relentless. It was insane.

    At the school we’re at now, they target 100% participation in fundraising, but it’s a soft ask. Each year, most give little if any, a small number give thousands and a very small number give millions. We give a couple grand. Not sure how that fits with their expectations for us.

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  191. See AC,

    That’s what doesn’t make sense to me.

    I’d much rather send my kids to new trier, invest all that money I’m saving for 18 years into a trust for them, and then pay for wherever they go to college plus hand them a trust fund when they are 30 that will likely help support them throughout their adult life, if they need it.

    Just my .02 cents though.

    Again, in my own personal example both my brothers went to a boarding school that cost a fortune, neither ended up better than I did. What percentage of Latin and Parker grads get into Ivy’s? I’m sure it’s higher than public schools but Is the statistic worth the exorbitant cost.

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  192. The trick to getting into a CPS school is know somebody or be somebody’s somebody. This is common knowledge. Everything in Chicago works this way despite the Shackman decrees. It’s been this way forever. Just one of many anecdotal stories, many years ago I tried to apply for an internship with the city. The day the internship posting went live I called the phone number in the ad asking for more information. I was told not to send in my application because the job had already been filled. I told the hiring director that the job had just been posted that morning. She said they got a lot of applications. I said, so you’ve already interviewed and hired someone? She paused and gave some corporate explanation about how a process is set up to hire, yada yada yada. The internship was already filled before the posting went up.

    How about this “Chicago Safari” nonsense going on in the water department? You know that high ranking water dept official sending the ridiculous emails through the city’s email system? The son of an former alderman. Everyone else on that list of fired employees was a personal friend or associate of a current or former mayor. It’s the same with CPS. You know somebody who knows somebody and suddenly your name goes to the top of the list – race is irrelevant (despite these specific emails). Meanwhile the rest of the upper middle class yuppies stress over school choices, and those with no choices at all get shafted into horrible underfunded elementary schools where the teachers make more money than the average resident and have lavish pensions that earn them more in retirement than they ever made as an employee.

    No wonder Chicago is such a joke.

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  193. “What percentage of Latin and Parker grads get into Ivy’s? I’m sure it’s higher than public schools but Is the statistic worth the exorbitant cost.”

    Don’t forget Trump, Bush and Kerry all went to Ivys. So do many rich children of foreign nationals who return home to their despotic nations. They’re not for everybody, and quite frankly, I’d much rather have my children graduate a big 10 school. Ivy’s may have cache for those who strive to attend there but for much of the country, Ivys kinda suck. I’m one who tends to agree with this. Every once in a while a genius comes out of there but more often than not you get some ruthless financier who sets out to rape and pillage corporate america. The rest are whacko left leaning professors in their ivory towers and no common sense.

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  194. “The trick to getting into a CPS school is know somebody or be somebody’s somebody. This is common knowledge.”

    Is it? The process used to be decentralized with copious amounts of principal discretion. Now both the selective enrollment and lottery processes are centralized through the OAE. Selective enrollment high schools reserve 5% of their seats for principal discretion (athletes, siblings, etc.), but PD is gone for elementary schools.

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  195. That’s what they tell you Marie and you can believe that if you want, but some things in Chicago never change. Somehow the connected always manage to get in.

    “Crain’s Chicago Business first reported how in the fall of 2008, Rauner changed his voting residence from Winnetka, where his wife continued to live, to a Downtown condo. That same year, his daughter applied to the highly selective Walter Payton College Prep at 1034 N. Wells St.

    His daughter initially was rejected, but Rauner called then-CPS chief Arne Duncan, and his child was admitted. The Sun-Times reported he made a $250,000 donation to Payton.

    Rauner has said that the donation was not linked to his daughter’s admission and that she was accepted “fair and square.”

    And that’s Rauner who had to pay to play. The children of the connected city employees always manage to find a way to get into the most selective schools too….

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  196. And if you can’t pay to play, then you just need to be a relative or be an associate of some other influential city employee…

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  197. I’m surprised it was only 250k. Parents of my kids classmates are writing checks 10-100x that amount and they’re already in.

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  198. you people and wasting so much money on education in this town are fucking bonkers IMO

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  199. “The trick to getting into a CPS school is know somebody or be somebody’s somebody.”

    I know a lot of kids at/graduated from SEES and SEHS, and the vast, vast majority–even the rich white kids–are nobody nobody sent. They’re just smart, test-prepped or both.

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  200. Bottom line is we want to be in city, in Streeterville, where everything is right outside our door. Living downtown saves my wife hours of commute a day and thats the difference between her job being doable and not doable. Were she commuting from the suburbs she wouldn’t see our children awake mon-fri. Very few people have a job like she does and she couldn’t do it anywhere else.

    We lucked out and got our kids into one of the best schools in Chicago, even nationally. We’ll gladly pay for that opportunity.

    It costs a fortune and probably won’t make it easier to get into an ivy, as competition within their school is so high, but it will likely allow our kids to shine wherever they go to college and in their careers. It also seems to be a very safe peer environment and I hope they’ll face fewer social pressures.

    The point of my analysis on the cost of private education was to illustrate just how insanely expensive it is. I know this.

    Ritz, I think you and I just think a little differently. You’re offering a trust fund, I’m offering best education I can and a sweet inheritance long down the road, after my kids have had a chance to work hard and make their way. Of course I can help along the way should I decide to.

    According to the latest FU Model which assumes $200k of annual savings and a 7% investment rate, we should be able to retire with similar passive income to what we have now when my wife is 55. If things are good at work, she’ll probably stay a little longer. We are very fortunate and I don’t take that for granted.

    In retirement and even sooner, I hope start spending and and enjoying that money. Doubtful we’ll ever go through it all and children will do well with their inheritance someday. Neither my wife or I started with anything and I think it’s good for kids to be hungry when they start their careers.

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  201. Ritz, I envy your vacation time, even if you are working though it now. We just got back from a 10 day trip and my wife got busy and had to work through most days alone in a back bedroom on the phone. We take a few long weekends throughout the year, but really can’t get away much longer.

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  202. Riz, I envy your vacation time, even if you are working though it now. We just got back from a 10 day trip and my wife got busy and had to work through most days alone in a back bedroom on the phone. We take a few long weekends throughout the year, but really can’t get away much longer.

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  203. “That’s what they tell you Marie and you can believe that if you want, but some things in Chicago never change.”

    First, your example is from 10 years ago. Second, the PD system was changed *after* that. Third, that involved Arne, who really thought/thinks he’s above everything. Lastly, the experience apparently galvanized Rauner against such “Chicago politics” and set him on his present course of creative destruction.

    [nb: in case not clear, the last was snark]

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  204. ” Lastly, the experience apparently galvanized Rauner against such “Chicago politics” and set him on his present course of creative destruction.”

    hilarious, love it

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  205. “Parents of my kids classmates are writing checks 10-100x that amount”

    $25 million? And you’re not talking about the Crowns and the like, who are multi-generational benefactors?

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  206. Don’t quote me on 100x, but I do know of 7 and 8 figure leadership gifts.

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  207. “Where I add the greatest financial value is enabling my spouse to reach her maximum career potential. I give her the flexibility to give full attention to her job, whenever she needs to, for as long as she needs to, without guilt or worry about the kids.”

    The other thing your schooling prob got you was the fancy wife.

    “I also actively manage our investments.”

    What’s your investment strategy? Bc I’m not getting much useful info out of ponies.

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  208. “Riz, I envy your vacation time”

    Yeah, I envy that too. Especially really being away when you’re away. I take more vacation than AC wife and am probably interrupted less, but never fully away from the office.

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  209. “I know a lot of kids at/graduated from SEES and SEHS, and the vast, vast majority–even the rich white kids–are nobody nobody sent. They’re just smart, test-prepped or both.”

    Very much agreed.

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  210. “Again, in my own personal example both my brothers went to a boarding school that cost a fortune, neither ended up better than I did.”

    That’s bc your brothers grew up in the soft cushy life that your kids will now grow up in.

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  211. Actually, met my wife growing up. Clearly a benefit of a public education.

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  212. “Actually, met my wife growing up. Clearly a benefit of a public education.”

    But would she have married you if you were less accomplished?

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  213. For sure. I certainly wasn’t accomplished when she met me.

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  214. “If you go to Walter Payton, you can write your own ticket.”
    Write your own ticket to where? What percent of Payton kids go to a chymps school (just as an example)?

    —————-

    Probably not. One of my coworkers has very intelligent kids and Payton was not letting them take AP courses as sophomores. They were putting her kids in dumb downed classes because they thought the kids were too pressured. Her kids wanted to be in those AP classes and were willing to do the work required, but they were denied and put into regular classes. At Lab, if you wanted to be in AP classes, the school allowed that, even if you weren’t quite ready for those classes.

    At a private school, there is pressure on the school to live up to the expectations of students and parents. At public school, you are at the mercy of the government. I don’t know why people who distrust the government for everything else, trust the government to educate their kids. Of course, there are many people who can’t afford private schools, but I don’t understand why Riz wouldn’t put his kids in the best private schools.

    I just never saw kids not being challenged at Lab. When students max out the high school level classes, they can take classes at U of C.

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  215. ““I know a lot of kids at/graduated from SEES and SEHS, and the vast, vast majority–even the rich white kids–are nobody nobody sent. They’re just smart, test-prepped or both.””

    You’re foolin’ yourself if you think that the vast majority of kids at elite chicago high schools are nobody nobody sent. Nobody goes around announcing that they used nepotism and connections to get where they are. This is Chicago, for goodness sakes. it’s like that in every department in every aspect of the city, from the water dept. to CPS to the police department and everywhere. With the kind of demand and competition there is to get into CPS (stories from recent years of kids with Straight A’s and no missed school days still not getting into their schools of choice), of course there’s going to be a separate non-meritorious way to get it. Look at the stories from U of I just recently where there was a separate, informal appeals process where connected students got accepted. Even the Ivy’s let in ‘legacy’ admissions like Bush as a short cut to merit. CPS is the worst abuser of them all.

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  216. Go home, HD, you’re drunk.

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  217. PS

    “no missed school days”

    Hasn’t been a factor since 2009-10 school year.

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  218. It seems insane to me that Rauner spent $250k to get his kid into Payton when he could have sent her anywhere in the world. He could have sent her to La Rosey. I guess he just wanted to say that he had a kid in CPS.

    To HD’s point, there are parents who will spent lots of money to get their kid in certain public schools.

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  219. cmon anon it happens everywhere in this town, even for stupid stuff like saving 20 bucks on parking at the United center

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/ig-alleges-preferential-parking-scheme-on-streets-near-united-center/

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  220. “Go home, HD, you’re drunk.”

    If I’m drink, then you need to wake up! You’re living in a dream world where you believe entry into elite CPS schools is based on merit!

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  221. Bottom line 8th grade is a little late to scramble to find a private high school when most filled their classes years ago. It’s too bad public schools in Chicago have to be so difficult to navigate.

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  222. ““Evidence suggested that the scheme was happening elsewhere in the city, including at other major venues, and involved other city departments,” Ferguson wrote.”

    ““The department has zero tolerance for this behavior. It is a privilege to serve the public as a City employee, and we expect all employees to adhere to the highest ethical standards,” Tate-Nadeau was quoted as saying in an email.”

    YET:

    All OEMC employees targeted by the IG were hit with suspensions ranging from five days to 30 days. Ferguson recommended firing another Emergency Management employee, but the department chose a 30-day suspension because officials were “not fully convinced the employee set out to deliberately mislead” the inspector general.

    Yeah, minor unpaid summer vacations for clout heavy employees running an illegal parking scheme. This is some of the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of corruption, and the punishment is a complete farce.

    Hell, even lowly I in the trenches was offered by somebody who knows somebody preferential admissions to a magnet school. I turned it down because I moved to Long Grove instead. And prior to that I kept a wildcard in my backpocket for preferential admissions if I ever needed it.

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  223. “Yeah, minor unpaid summer vacations for clout heavy employees running an illegal parking scheme. This is some of the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of corruption, and the punishment is a complete farce.”

    agree, the people responsible need to be fired to set an example or else whats to stop this sort of crap from continuing at every level?

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  224. There is definitely a “who-you-know” type deal with these elite schools. I was offered a spot at North Side College Prep back in the day because my family knew the principal. It wasn’t a bribe type situation.

    It works the same way in the corporate world. I got my job because I knew someone who gave me a glowing recommendation. I am leaving my job because the SVP hired her close friend to be the VP of my area and he is creating such a toxic environment that people are leaving in droves.

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  225. Jenny, corporate ‘who you know’ is called networking, and is perfectly acceptable for private enterprise.

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  226. “Bottom line 8th grade is a little late to scramble to find a private high school when most filled their classes years ago.”

    Um, no. Parker adds ~20 at 9th grade. Latin adds ~40.

    “I was offered a spot at North Side College Prep back in the day”

    A *freshman* spot? I thought you were (slightly) older than that. You graduated from HS in 2003 or later??

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  227. “A *freshman* spot? I thought you were (slightly) older than that. You graduated from HS in 2003 or later??”

    I think it was the first or second year that the school was around when I was offered the spot. I just looked it up and the school started in 1999. so I would have been a sophomore. I can’t remember the exact details of the offer.

    “Jenny, corporate ‘who you know’ is called networking, and is perfectly acceptable for private enterprise.”

    It’s not really “networking” when the people helping you get the jobs are friends and not professional references. For better or worse, it’s how the world works and if you think it’s acceptable in the “real world,” then why isn’t it acceptable for schools to do the same?

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  228. “I think it was the first or second year that the school was around when I was offered the spot. I just looked it up and the school started in 1999. so I would have been a sophomore. I can’t remember the exact details of the offer.”

    Possibly a v different situation versus today. I know people who got their kid into skinner north, in a non-entry year, after multiple rounds (meaning people ahead of them turned it down) in the first couple years of its existence. It was an offer through the official system, so diff from your situation, but still.

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  229. “cmon anon it happens everywhere in this town”

    So, that’s the only reason HD has any success as a lawyer, too, right? Because somebodies watching out for him!!

    If everything is corrupt, then *everything* is corrupt.

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  230. “Possibly a v different situation versus today.”

    Totally different. Talking about filling out the upper classes at a brand-new school. They were looking for 150+ transfer students to a pig in a poke–that’s always hard.

    Not that Jenny wouldn’t have done great there, but that’s the thing–the principal knew she was at Lab and lived relatively close to Northside, so an obvious candidate to save some cash and shorten the commute.

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  231. hd worked for the city?

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  232. “Um, no. Parker adds ~20 at 9th grade. Latin adds ~40.”

    A lot of people apply for those 60 seats.

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  233. “So, that’s the only reason HD has any success as a lawyer, too, right? Because somebodies watching out for him!! ”

    On some level, yes. Moreso than you’d probably think. Let’s say that I know a guy that knows a guy, but I don’t know ‘the guy’ and quite frankly, I am purposely on a need to know basis when it comes to ‘that guy’. Not all of my lawyering these days is through that avenue, for various reasons, and all the reasons are entirely ‘political’, but not governmental. That’s all I can say. This is a public forum you know.

    But at the end of the day, I’m still a nobody in this city, but at least I’m loyal, and that’s why I’m still around and I get work referred to me.

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  234. “hd worked for the city?”

    No, but political, as a lawyer at a firm over the years I worked for various clients and have connections to partners with connections would be the best way to put it. Low level, at best. I’m just a working stiff who keeps his nose clean.

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  235. “A lot of people apply for those 60 seats.”

    Sure, but that’s a lot different from

    “8th grade is a little late to scramble to find a private high school when most filled their classes years ago”

    as that’s about a quarter of a Parker’s HS class, and about 1/3 of Latin’s.

    From a Chi-Mag article:

    “For the 2014–15 school year, the Latin School in the Gold Coast received 282 applications for 51 ninth-grade spots, and Lincoln Park’s Francis W. Parker School reported a meager 19 percent acceptance rate for its incoming class, including new students in the upper grades.”

    That acceptance rate is right on the (overall) SEHS acceptance rate, and a lot better than the Tier 4 acceptance rate for the “big 4”.

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  236. “That’s bc your brothers grew up in the soft cushy life that your kids will now grow up in.”

    Maybe, Probably actually, haha. I still stick to my point. I don’t think they’d be much better / worse off If they went to the public school I went to.

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  237. “I’m just a working stiff who keeps his nose clean.”

    That makes two of us HD.

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  238. “A lot of people apply for those 60 seats.”

    Sure. But do they have to take a test to get one of those seats? What are the qualifications other than 1) family connection and 2) money and then 3) ability?

    The private schools are self selecting. They MUST let in the rich kid of the big hedge fund trader because they need the money. Who cares if the kid is just a so-so student? He’ll graduate and that’s fine. Because, of course, SOMEONE is at the bottom of every class, especially at private schools.

    Competition is so much more intense at a top public high school. It’s much harder to succeed there than at somewhere like Latin where, again, they want and need the money.

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  239. “Go home, HD, you’re drunk.”

    This is common for lawyers. Come on. And heroin, opioids, coke, meth etc.

    There was an excellent, and heartbreaking article, over the weekend about a Silicon Valley partner who died of a drug overdose. It’s more common than you think.

    https://nyti.ms/2voahKB

    So many pressures to bill, bill, bill. And then the pressures of the high cost of living in the major cities? It’s a recipe for disaster.

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  240. “This is common for lawyers. Come on. And heroin, opioids, coke, meth etc.”

    Eye rolling hard here.

    you told me the same a few years back about doctors. My wife is a lawyer – she works her tail off, as do her co-workers. Most of them are married with kids and go home after work to their families. They aren’t raging hard doing drugs and alcohol.

    So tired of these dumb -A$$ stereotypes.

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  241. Those without families in the city, that’s pretty much all people do here it seems (no matter what their career), gets old after a while that’s for sure, kind of sad

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  242. Riz,

    The point of the article was that it’s all hidden. Heck, you could be an amphetamine addict yourself to stay up and work all those crazy hours..even while you’re on ‘vacation’. I’ve known plenty of alcoholic and problem drinking professionals over the years. The stress, the money, the lifestyle, pressures, it all leads to wanting to have a good time.

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  243. “My wife is a lawyer – she works her tail off, as do her co-workers. Most of them are married with kids and go home after work to their families. They aren’t raging hard doing drugs and alcohol.”

    Yes. They. Are.

    And since when does “working hard” have ANYTHING to do with whether or not you’re an alcoholic or a drug addict?

    You clearly didn’t read the article AND you’ve never worked at one of these law firms with the pressures.

    In the actual article, the lawyer went to an Ivy League school. Worked in IP. Had a wife. Had kids. They had NO IDEA (although they were divorced by this point.) But it had been going on for years.

    Drugs all over his house.

    It starts in college and law school with the Adderall. Alcoholism is rampant. IN THE ARTICLE other lawyers, at top firms, discuss their alcohol addictions (with the firms commenting that they had no idea.) They hide it well because working 7 am to 9 pm – everyone is overworked and on something. No one asks questions as long as the work gets done.

    My god- something like 25% of all lawyers were using cocaine in former surveys!

    Wake up Riz.

    You’re naïve beyond belief.

    I admire this woman who came forward to report on this. It must be hard to write about your husband’s last years like that. The saddest part of the article is the part where his work colleagues are at the funeral and what are they all doing DURING the funeral? They are looking down and e-mailing/texting about work. How sad.

    Also- his diaries for the new year said one of his resolutions was to “Quit.”

    Quit what?

    The drugs or the law? Or both?

    One of my lawyer friends had a boss at one of the top law firms in the country. He wasn’t yet 40. Lived in Pacific Heights. Wife and 2 kids. 2 nannies. Private schools. Had gone to Yale. Wall Street Journal top lawyers under 40 list.

    His boss tells him one day, “I wish I could win the lottery.” (He was making $3 to $5 million a year when he said this)

    “Why?”

    “I want to quit and do something else.”

    So, yeah, the profession is REALLY messed up at the upper echelons.

    Only my lawyer friends who are in government or academia are even remotely happy.

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  244. They’re NOT stereotypes Riz. Open your eyes:

    From the NYT:

    One of the most comprehensive studies of lawyers and substance abuse was released just seven months after Peter died. That 2016 report, from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association, analyzed the responses of 12,825 licensed, practicing attorneys across 19 states.

    Over all, the results showed that about 21 percent of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers, while 28 percent struggle with mild or more serious depression and 19 percent struggle with anxiety. Only 3,419 lawyers answered questions about drug use, and that itself is telling, said Patrick Krill, the study’s lead author and also a lawyer. “It’s left to speculation what motivated 75 percent of attorneys to skip over the section on drug use as if it wasn’t there.”

    In Mr. Krill’s opinion, they were afraid to answer.

    Of the lawyers that did answer those questions, 5.6 percent used cocaine, crack and stimulants; 5.6 percent used opioids; 10.2 percent used marijuana and hash; and nearly 16 percent used sedatives. Eighty-five percent of all the lawyers surveyed had used alcohol in the previous year. (For comparison sake, about 65 percent of the general population drinks alcohol.)

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  245. Here’s more.

    It’s not surprising that in surveys where asked if they would go to law school if they could do it over again, about 75% of lawyers say “no.”

    From the NYT:

    The A.B.A.’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs’ most recent national report identified alcohol as the No. 1 substance-abuse problem for lawyers. The second most commonly abused substance was prescription drugs.

    “We see two major trends in the legal profession,” said Warren Zysman, the clinical director of the EARS Recovery Program in Smithtown, N.Y., a medically supervised chemical dependency program, and the former chief executive of Addiction Care Interventions, a rehabilitation center in Manhattan for professionals, including lawyers. “One is the opioid addiction, and the other is use of benzodiazepines like Xanax.”

    In recent years, he said, “we’re seeing a significant rate of increase specifically among attorneys using prescription medications that become a gateway to street drugs.” It used to be mostly alcohol, he said, “but now almost every attorney that comes in for treatment, even if they drink, they are using drugs, too — Xanax, Adderall, opiates, cocaine and crack.”

    Opioids and stimulants often go hand in hand with alcohol. In fact, drugs are sometimes used to combat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

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  246. ” the lawyer went to an Ivy League school”

    He went to an Ivy League college*, and a non-Ivy law school.

    Yes, it does make a difference.

    *ok, yeah DZ, I don’t know his major; maybe it was a state college at an Ivy University.

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  247. “in surveys where asked if they would go to law school if they could do it over again, about 75% of lawyers say “no.””

    Cite, please. And as you say surveyS, at least two.

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  248. I think lawyers are unhappy because many go to law school when they have nothing else to do and don’t really understand what the profession actually entails. Perry Mason courtroom showboating vs reading contracts/documents.

    Throw on top of that the school debt and feeling like you are forced into big firm law to dig yourself out of the hole, I can see why many are unhappy.

    Every profession has its stresses and drug use is a lot higher than I think most people want to admit, especially among the upper class. I don’t think law is unique in this area. Plenty of junkies on Wall Street. Cops. Teachers. Hell, in my little world of mortgages, I worked with two loan officers that OD’d and know of plenty more that are functioning alcoholics / addicts.

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  249. The fact of the matter is that for most people, it takes a lot of stress and hours to earn a decent income. The market dictates that if you want to earn a six figure income, you’re going to work a lot. And there is a nearly limitless supply of people willing to step up to the plate to work those long hours to make that six figure income. So people like Riz can make a decent $600,000 income but they have to work 6 days a week 12-14 hours a day, all dependent upon how many charts he can read.

    Few professionals have passive income like the 1%. Sure some professionals have some outside investments but for the most part they don’t have large portfolios generating passive income, so they have work. And the system is set up this way too. while it’s not impossible for a guy like Riz to buy rental buildings, or invest in side companies, the fact of the matter is that after living expenses, savings and taxes, there really just isn’t all that much left to invest, and any worthwhile investment would cost too much in cash so financial lending would be necessary, so he’s competing with everyone else for these same assets. But it becomes difficult to manage the investments when you’re working a 60 hours a week and have a family. People will disagree with me on this but the wealth is essentially being hoarded by those at the top, and they feel guilty about it, which is why so many of them these days want guaranteed income. I think this is misguided, because as we’ve seen before, when the government gives things away for free, it suddenly drives up the cost. You can google a u of Hawaii study that shows:

    The retail price of (infant) formula is high. Significantly, the retail price is higher where WIC is most active. Grocers and other
    merchants know that WIC will cover the retail price of formula
    sold through WIC vouchers, so they are motivated to push the
    price up. The pattern is well documented.

    The top 1% holds 38% of all the wealth in the US. That’s insane, it’s crazy, and all of us are drugging ourselves out and working 60 hours a week so we can send our kids to good schools, just to get a little minuscule sliver of that 38% of the wealth. It’s sad if you ask me, and I actually have a pretty decent life and I have been lucky that I don’t work 60 hours a week, or barely even 40, and still earn that decent UMC income. But I definitely don’t have any time or income leftover to make passive income generating investments; putting money into my retirement and sitting on some cash in my savings account is really all I can hope to do. I had some buddy tell me a few years ago that he was going to basically buy, fix and repair old appliances or junk for cash. Like buy a broken lawnmover for $20, fix the blade, and resell for $60. That’s $40 profit on every lawnmower, is it really worth it? FOr him maybe to earn an extra $40 maybe, but $40 wont’ even fill up my gas tank on my car.

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  250. “The retail price of (infant) formula is high. Significantly, the retail price is higher where WIC is most active. Grocers and other
    merchants know that WIC will cover the retail price of formula
    sold through WIC vouchers, so they are motivated to push the
    price up. The pattern is well documented.”

    no shit… I used to go to Olympic Meats on Randolph… then they started accepting food stamps, needless to say the prices went up, and there were far more awful customers in there so I don’t go there anymore

    pisses me off when I see people at the Jewel on Division at the fresh lobster tank yelling to her family like “HOW MANY YOU WANT”

    the fuck man

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  251. “ok, yeah DZ, I don’t know his major; maybe it was a state college at an Ivy University”

    If it’s hyp, people tend to name it, though his wife was being relatively discreet, which I respect.

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  252. “Wake up Riz.
    You’re naïve beyond belief.”

    Right. I did 6 years of residency training in a high acuity field at a level 1 trauma center. My wife is an attorney working in litigation.

    I’m sure we are naive, and YOU – who sits at home and runs a real estate blog, knows more about the stresses of our professions. Makes total sense right.

    My point stands – a minority of people in these fields abuse drugs or alcohol. And I would argue that’s something you find in all high stress jobs – consulting, trading and investment banking, sales, etc.

    Just too tired to argue with you today.

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  253. “So people like Riz can make a decent $600,000 income but they have to work 6 days a week 12-14 hours a day, all dependent upon how many charts he can read”

    I don’t read charts, I’m not a internist. I specialize in endovascular intervention. Yeah, I work my tail off, but it’s because im working for senior partnership and equity in my group, but also because I want to scale back in my 40’s.

    That being said, I don’t know many people willing to go to the training and schooling I’ve been through to get to where I’m at. That’s when people complain about physician income etc, I tell them to bite me. Anyone can do it, very few are willing.

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  254. PS, so your point is that people in high stress, high level jobs , that work crazy hours are more prone to drink and do drugs as an escape.

    That’s quite a deduction Sherlock Holmes.

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  255. “about 21 percent of lawyers qualify as problem drinkers”

    Here’s an article about a study that sez it’s 1 in 3:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/business/dealbook/high-rate-of-problem-drinking-reported-among-lawyers.html

    But then the abstract of the linked study sez: “20.6% screening positive for hazardous, harmful, and potentially alcohol-dependent drinking”

    20% is a lot different than 1 in 3.

    Also, the test used to identify “problem drinking” scores you as a problem drinker if you answer honestly that you (1) have a single drink with dinner most nights, and (2) know a nudge who thinks that is too much and has said so to you in the last 12 months.

    So, meh.

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  256. I know 3 BigLaw lawyers. OF them, just one dabbles in cocaine sometimes when he has to work through the night and again the next day. I think people make a big deal out of drug use, but there are plenty of people who are fine using drugs occasionally.

    BigLaw is not something for the average person who just wants to make some money and take care of his/her family. My ex and I broke up because I couldn’t take his depression anymore and his inability to get adequate help. His issues would have been solved had he gone to work in for a non-profit or charity, but he didn’t want to give up the money. He didn’t use illegal drugs and drank as much as the average person.

    The last of the BigLaw lawyers I currently know is “of counsel” because he doesn’t want to be a partner. He has never dated that I know of and seems to find endless amusement in litigation. He doesn’t mind the long hours. I’ve never seen him drink, let alone use drugs.

    I don’t buy into the government’s notion that illegal drugs are bad and that we all need to stay away from using them. I see lots of successful people use them occasionally and be perfectly fine. I don’t use drugs now, nor have I ever, but I think I’m in the minority among my peer group.

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