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Old 25-06-2019, 07:27   #316
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Uhhh, do you know any financial advisors? Ever seen the employee parking lot of a financial services company? How even their tan is, even in the dead of winter? Financial advisors stay in the game because it pays very, very well. But for investing imbeciles like me, they are better than just leaving our money in a bond at 1.5%.
Maybe high end places in rich neighborhoods.

Most are middle class schmucks driving run of the mill toyotas. They do try to put on a good show of dressing nicely and hitting the tanning salon to appear wealthy.
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Old 25-06-2019, 07:43   #317
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Are you sure, you have not bought anything extra? I can't find it but I saw a study a while back that you spend more when using credit cards vs cash...because it's so convenient.
Exactly. Itís just like how most people say they arenít affected by advertising and marketing, yet all the actual research shows that most of us are definitely influenced. There are always outliers, so SB appears to be one. Truth be told, so am I. I havenít paid any CC interest or fees for well over a decade now. Most of these higher-end cards charge rather sizeable annual fees. I only use zero-fee cards.

But itís an incontrovertible fact that most people do end up on the loosing side of the CC game. And those enticements are there to benefit the company, not the customer.

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One can sort of "win" the cc game by being very diligent with paying off balances. For me the biggest potential win is getting what amounts to an interest-free loan for up to 30 days on purchases, and not having to carry wads of cash for contingies. Also, it enables on-line commerce. and so far at least, the cost is borne by the merchant, not the consumer.
Totally agree. This is how I use them. We always pay the cards off 100% each month, so we ďwin.Ē And it is nice to know there is a large insta-loan available to me should the need ever arise.

In reality, itís hard to operate in the developed world without a CC. Very hard to rent a room, or a car, or make any large purchase without one. And itís absolutely essential for online commerce. The CC companies really do have us by the short and curlies .
Ö
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But besides the opportunity to get interest payments from undisciplined consumers, and the skim from merchants, the credit card companies benefit mightily from knowing what you buy and when. The card premiums they offer, like points, airmiles or cashback, are basically just an honorarium for that info.
So true. As momma always told you, thereís no free lunch out there. You are paying for all these so called ďfreeĒ points and gifts and cash backs. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, we are all paying in higher retail costs. But aside from that, you are paying directly with your privacy data. And all of that simply helps the companies sell you more stuff.

I have them. I use them. But Eyes Wide Open. Nothing comes for free.
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Old 25-06-2019, 08:01   #318
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Exactly. Itís just like how most people say they arenít affected by advertising and marketing, yet all the actual research shows that most of us are definitely influenced. There are always outliers, so SB appears to be one. Truth be told, so am I. I havenít paid any CC interest or fees for well over a decade now. Most of these higher-end cards charge rather sizeable annual fees. I only use zero-fee cards.

But itís an incontrovertible fact that most people do end up on the loosing side of the CC game. And those enticements are there to benefit the company, not the customer.

In reality, itís hard to operate in the developed world without a CC. Very hard to rent a room, or a car, or make any large purchase without one. And itís absolutely essential for online commerce. The CC companies really do have us by the short and curlies .
Ö
You may not have paid interest or annual fee but you did pay the transaction fees (usually 3-4%)...they just don't bill them separately...trust me the company passes those along to the customers one way or another.

There has been a gradual move by some business to charge them separately. Due to credit card/merchant contracts, they have to call it a cash discount but effectively it's the same thing. Most common is gas stations where they list a cash price.

Business with a lot of impulse purchasing are less prone to this as they can make far more if they get you to spend more. Drop by McD's with $5 in your pocket, you will limit your purchase to $5 and likely stick to the low profit margin items. Pull out the credit card and suddenly paying $7.50 for a "meal deal" becomes very easy. That 50% increase in spending is typically set up to be 50-90% profit, so they are happy to eat the 3% transaction fee as they come out ahead overall.

So, did you really not spend any extra due to convenience? It's like the people who come back from Vegas boosting about the big win...they never tell you how much they spent before getting that win. In the long run the house always wins.

You can function just fine without a CC. Use a debit card and limit whats in the account it's tied to (pretty easy with online banking where you can transfer money into that account if you need it). You have similar protections only major difference is if there is a dispute, you are out the money until it gets sorted out.
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Old 25-06-2019, 09:14   #319
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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You may not have paid interest or annual fee but you did pay the transaction fees (usually 3-4%)...they just don't bill them separately...trust me the company passes those along to the customers one way or another.

There has been a gradual move by some business to charge them separately. Due to credit card/merchant contracts, they have to call it a cash discount but effectively it's the same thing. Most common is gas stations where they list a cash price.
Youíre preaching to the converted here. Itís true, I do pay the transaction fee Ö we all do in the form of higher prices. Itís what I said earlier about all those points, or rewards, or cash-back benefits that get paid for by all of us. But since these cards tend to be available to the wealthy, itís a double-whammy for less well-off people since we ALL pay these higher costs.

I know in Canada there have been attempts by various retailers to try and offset the costs of these higher end CCs through differential pricing. The CC companies have been very quick to use market pressure and lawsuits to prevent this from happening. I think theyíve been pretty successful ó unfortunately.

We do most of our transactions via debit card. Itís actually been pretty standard up here in the Great White North for a long time. Debit card fees in Canada are very low and generally range from Ę2 to Ę4 per transaction. Itís not based on a percentage like CC companies.
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Old 25-06-2019, 10:04   #320
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Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

Back in the day when I was still in the Army, most all of the ďsmartĒ guys would carry quite a lot of debt on credit cards, but as they were smart, they would continually be switching cards that had zero interests on debt carried over for x amount of time, then switch to another card that offered the same.
I knew it would eventually catch up with them, but they didnít admit it if it did.
Ref. Credit card transaction fees, Amex is I believe the highest and has been forever, 4% I think, if I were buying a big ticket item, Iíd talk to the seller about a discount if I paid cash, I almost always got one as long as I wasnít talking to an employee.
For instance if you pay by electronic check, Rich will send you a cruisers supplies kit that has filters, pump oil, pickling powder etc. for ďfreeĒ.
We both won, he didnít pay the fees, and I got a discount, or in Cruise ROís case, supplies for no additional price.

Funny thing about debt and credit, people will lie about both, people that usually donít lie, will about debt and credit.
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Old 25-06-2019, 10:44   #321
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

So, um......Equador looks cheap with some good ex-pat benefits.

I found Turkey to be quite reasonable. I have a co-worker friend that has lived in Kas for many years. He REALLY likes it.

Mexico has a crapload of American ex-pats as does Costa Rica.I don't think CR is so cheap these days.
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Old 25-06-2019, 11:48   #322
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Uhhh, do you know any financial advisors? Ever seen the employee parking lot of a financial services company? How even their tan is, even in the dead of winter? Financial advisors stay in the game because it pays very, very well. But for investing imbeciles like me, they are better than just leaving our money in a bond at 1.5%.

And you are paying directly for their Extravagant Lifestyle,
Most of their advice is freely available on line,
Or in Seminars or conferences on how to increase your wealth,
Financial advisors do go Bankrupt quite often, And they dont care if you do,
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Old 25-06-2019, 12:42   #323
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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You may not have paid interest or annual fee but you did pay the transaction fees (usually 3-4%)...they just don't bill them separately...trust me the company passes those along to the customers one way or another.
That's not my experience, here anyway... in maybe 90% of the places I deal with regularly, the price is the same, whether I'm paying with a CC, with debit card, or with a crumpled-up wad of cash.

In other words, in all of those places, everyone is paying for the use of credit cards... so there's no price penalty to the consumer for using one vs cash.
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You can function just fine without a CC. Use a debit card and limit whats in the account it's tied to (pretty easy with online banking where you can transfer money into that account if you need it). You have similar protections only major difference is if there is a dispute, you are out the money until it gets sorted out.
Merchants get charged a percentage for accepting debit cards, too, though not always as high as a CC.

You just reminded me of another benefit of credit cards: it's often easier to win disputes and refunds when a CC was involved, because you can complain to them and the CC company will sometimes investigate and act on the consumer's behalf. Example: my Mom was caught by one of those fake virus alerts where your screen gets filled with junk windows directing you to call a number to get it fixed. Mom calls number (to a company in the US), they ding her US$200, and pretend to fix it. When Mom finds out from us that this is a scam, she hires a local IT guy to have a look, give his opinion, and do some clean-up. She complained to VISA, included the local guy's report, and VISA reversed the charge. She would have been SOL otherwise. I don't believe the debit folks would have given a rats ass.
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Old 25-06-2019, 13:18   #324
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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...Merchants get charged a percentage for accepting debit cards, too, though not always as high as a CC.
In Canada the main debit card system is managed through Interac. The typical transaction fees are generally range from Ę2 to Ę4 per transaction. It’s not a fee based on a percentage of the payment.

Of course now all the CC companies are pushing their own debit cards. I assume these cards come with much higher fees. I don’t think the USA has any equivalent to Interac, which as I understand it is kind of a cooperative.
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Old 25-06-2019, 13:24   #325
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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So, um......Equador looks cheap with some good ex-pat benefits.



I found Turkey to be quite reasonable. I have a co-worker friend that has lived in Kas for many years. He REALLY likes it.



Mexico has a crapload of American ex-pats as does Costa Rica.I don't think CR is so cheap these days.


Iíve traveled quite a lot in Ecuador, I was surprised to find prices to be close to US prices, and of course their currency is the US Dollar.
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Old 25-06-2019, 13:27   #326
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Iíve traveled quite a lot in Ecuador, I was surprised to find prices to be close to US prices, and of course their currency is the US Dollar.
As money and people move free around the planet, price differences decrease. I am always suspicious when offered a life-long free lunch...
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Old 25-06-2019, 14:01   #327
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Ah, but in most cases the banks DONíT take any real risk. Most of the time they allow you to borrow against established assets which are put up as collateral. For large loans they buy insurance (often at the borrowerís cost) to cover any default. And they are first in line for repayment in the case of bankruptcy.

The fact is, banks take absolutely minimal risk on most loans, yet they reap most of the rewards.

While collateral is important, there are still significant risks to the lender. In particular, the collateral may not be available to seize at the time of default. Additionally, the value of the collateral may be greatly reduced. The collateral is usually worth more to the borrower than to the lender.



The time it takes to actually gain possession of the collateral is often significant and can consume substantial amounts of time and effort. In the case of autos, the value of the car is quite often lower than the value of the principal and interest. In the case of a mortgage, the value can be significantly reduced by the cost of repairs and the time to sell.


In short, the banks really don't want the collateral. Having said that, there are often back door deals that lessen the sting of a default. Many times they sell the loan and let the new owner of the debt deal with the risk.



It is true that the banks reap the majority of the reward, but they are assuming all of the risk.
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Old 25-06-2019, 14:03   #328
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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I donít think the USA has any equivalent to Interac, which as I understand it is kind of a cooperative.

I think you are correct, however there are credit unions that are typically more consumer/customer friendly. There are also some interesting on-line lending companies and financial institutions (NOT accredited banks) that offer some interesting options. CAVEAT EMPTOR though!
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Old 25-06-2019, 14:14   #329
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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According to CreditCards.com:

"If youíve had credit card debt for more than a year, youíve got a lot of company.

According to a new poll from CreditCards.com, 56 percent of credit card holders who are carrying balances have been doing so for more than a year."
Well that's me!!!!! I have carried a balance on my credit cards for 30+ years. Yet I consider myself debt free the last 10 years as I pay off the statement balance every month. But that doesn't make my current balance 0. It does however result in $0 interest charges and free cash back and an 830+ score.

Listen it's easy. If you have a credit card that you can not pay off every month:
- Look for a balance transfer deal and transfer your balance to it. It will have probably a 3% transfer fee, but be interest free for 18 months. That 3% fee is less than you are going to play in interest on that card by a lot.
- Don't use the new card for any new purchases!!!!!!!!!!
- Made the required payment or MORE on that card. If you can't pay it off within the 0% interest period, look for a new transfer deal and repeat!
- Get a brand new card with cash back rewards. Use that card for EVERYTHING you would normally buy during the month. Each month pay off the statement balance. That is the SAME amount of money you were going to spend using debit card, checking, cash!
- take the monthly rewards as CASH applied to your balance. Not on "stuff" the credit card is trying to sell you. This is SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Everytime you transfer a balance it pays off a credit card. That increases your credit score.
Opening a new credit increases the number of credit accounts in good standing you have. That increases your credit score.
Using the new card for your everyday needs and paying it off each month uses a smaller available balance. That increases your credit score.

If you are living within your means nothing is easier to improve your credit score and getting better credit deals related to the score than .............. using your credit.
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Old 25-06-2019, 14:14   #330
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Re: Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich

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Youíre preaching to the converted here. Itís true, I do pay the transaction fee Ö we all do in the form of higher prices. Itís what I said earlier about all those points, or rewards, or cash-back benefits that get paid for by all of us. But since these cards tend to be available to the wealthy, itís a double-whammy for less well-off people since we ALL pay these higher costs.

I know in Canada there have been attempts by various retailers to try and offset the costs of these higher end CCs through differential pricing. The CC companies have been very quick to use market pressure and lawsuits to prevent this from happening. I think theyíve been pretty successful ó unfortunately.

We do most of our transactions via debit card. Itís actually been pretty standard up here in the Great White North for a long time. Debit card fees in Canada are very low and generally range from Ę2 to Ę4 per transaction. Itís not based on a percentage like CC companies.

Spot on. We just won a major victory here in NY State. We are now allowed to charge different prices for cash versus credit cards. People using credit cards cost me a significant amount of money. What many don't realize is that Visa/MC are often as expensive to the vendor as AMEX. Yes, Visa?MC can be 1.75% but if it is a corporate card, then it is the same as AMEX or 3.5%. This doesn't include charge backs, costs directly to Visa/MC and other expenses. The reality is it can be well over 5%.
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