The Good Retirement Life in Asia (or not)


Every once in a while bloggers get accosted by strangers offering infographic candy. What's not to like, Hey, just share our snazzy and FREE! graphic on your blog, and you'll look like you really know what you're doing, techo-savvy-blogger-like (and we get a link back to whatever blog we're pushing, duh). Presumably, an infographic appeals to the modern short attention span: easily digestible bits of data wrapped in a pretty visual. This one is the first and probably the last to be hosted here at 101 Centavos. Keep reading below the fold for some commentary. Retire in Asia OK, now that we know a little bit about the price of rent, beer and nightlife, let's talk about the REAL reason that mostly male Westerners dream over … [Read more...]

Retirement Worries, Retirement Strategies

Peaches, plums, blackberries, and zucchini

While many look forward to retirement, even early retirement, others fret, fuss and worry. Top retirement fears, according to my not very thorough web research, drawing from no less than a dozen newspaper articles, blog posts and national poll results. Poor health High healthcare costs Being physically incapacitated Not enough money Having to move in with relatives or own children Social Security crapping out Not *ever* being able to retire Having to work as a Wal-Mart greeter Greedy, grasping, needy boomerang kids Discovering the true value of Depends coupons OK, I made up the last three. I can add one more fear, my own: not being able to eat well. Not terribly rational, but that old saw about seniors trying … [Read more...]

Nickel-Plated Trailers: a Centavos Dividend Portfolio Update

... going back a ways ...

With the last portfolio update back in November, we're about due for another one. Some new additions to the lineup: United Mobile Homes (UMH) Vale  (VALE) Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (PBR) United Mobile Homes UMH, is a subsidiary of one of my current holdings, Monmouth (MNR).  From their website, UMH invests in quality “manufactured home communities”.   This blurb from the S&P report: According to the company, manufactured homes are being accepted by the public as a viable and economically attractive alternative to common stick-built, single-family housing. The affordability of the modern manufactured home makes it very attractive. Modern residential land lease communities are similar to typical residential … [Read more...]

Retiring Abroad — A Few Things to Ponder

Sunset on Agta Beach Resort - Biliran - Philippines - Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas.  The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.  ~Jonathan Clements Here's a nice mental picture: you're living the dream in a some foreign, exotic locale: nice comfortable bungalow, swaying palm trees, frozen margheritas in comfortable hammocks on sun-kissed evenings. Living high on the food chain, with a maid and gardener, all taken care of by a fraction of the passive retirement income you'd need back home. That's one scenario. Let think about an alternate reality. One day, while you're away from your house, the local cops drop by with a panel truck, and vacuum the house empty, taking every single item of value. Carpets, furniture, clothes, down … [Read more...]

Coffee Talk: A Few Things I Learned from my “Old Contract” Grandfather

Nonno Aldo, Piazza Delle Carceri, Prato, Italy, c. 1928

This post is inspired by a writing challenge series started by Instigator Sandy L @ First Gen American, per the following rules: 1. Write an article with the following as a topic:  “What my Dysfunctional ________ taught me about ________.” 2. The article must feature a loved one and an interesting topic I immediately thought of my Nonno Aldo as an example. I have many fond memories of Nonno, and some not so much so. There’s a number of things that I’ve absorbed as lessons from these memories. Respect It wasn’t that Nonno Aldo was necessarily dysfunctional in his relationship with Nonna Silvana. Certain aspects of their marriage could even have been considered commonplace by the standards of their day. He usually referred to … [Read more...]

Obscure Senators Intrude on your 401K

Some of our overlords in DC are at it again, waggling their tut-tutting nanny fingers at us.   (This kind of stuff just drives me nuts, so rant alert!) A Senate Bill (The SEAL Act) recently introduced by money-grubbing Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) would limit regular peasants Americans from accessing the funds in their 401K’s for emergency loans. I’ve written on this blog about the pros and cons about taking out loans on the 401k, here and here.  It’s not for everyone, and not for every need, and in fact, most uses of 401K loans are ill-advised.  But it’s a personal decision, left to the individual, and not for two douchebag senators to decide. Senate bill Would Limit Savers using 401Ks as Rainy Day … [Read more...]

401K Loans: good idea or bad idea?

Is taking out a loan against your 401(k) retirement plan a good idea, or a daft looney-tunes crackpot personal finance move? A short web search will disgorge dozens of articles that argue for the latter.  There are some advantages, but the general conclusions is that the cons outweigh the pros. Advantages include no credit checks (you're borrowing from yourself), the interest rate is usually low, about one or two points above prime, and perhaps the nicest thing, the interest you're paying is to yourself, it goes right back into the 401K and is tax-deferred until withdrawal time.    Read More .... … [Read more...]