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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-12-2007, 11:45 PM   #21
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Always great to hear from you and Billy, Akaisha!

Cheers,

Ed
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-13-2007, 10:23 PM   #22
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Thanks, Ed!!

Happy to still be up and around!

Be Well,
Akaisha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-14-2007, 03:21 PM   #23
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Akaisha,
Doh... I knew you guys had lived in Chapala from our conversations, but keep thinking you're off 'away in Thailand for a year' and forget you're still right here online ;-) Cool.

Apparently there are 10,000 + expats now in Ajijic and surrounding areas. I read a nice inflight magazine article about the relations between expat and local, and the kinds of things the expat community has done to make things better there for everybody. Starting a dog pound, for instance.
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-14-2007, 10:23 PM   #24
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Hi Bob!

We keep pretty well connected with our friends in Chapala/Ajijic since we lived there off and on for 10 years.. Billy was just there for a month last Oct/Nov. and played quite a bit of tennis on the courts he built

The Ex-Pat community in this area is pretty well established. Anything you would like to do you can find someone there to do it with. (Art, theater, bridge, language, yoga, elder care, etc.)

The Gringos are very involved in the animal treatment there. Dog pounds, dog spaying, dog training, dog adoption, etc. Americans have a very different idea about animals than many 3rd world countries. Many consider their pets part of the family in the States whereas in 3rd world countries they are simply 'animals.' Know what I mean? So yes, the dog pound and adoption is quite a big attraction to them!

Billy would still like to live there in Chapala again... He loves it.

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-22-2007, 12:11 AM   #25
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

I've worked with a few retirees who wanted to settle in Central America - specifically in Costa Rica on the western coast. The only problem is health care. Two friends' dads (both in their 50s, live in the US) had severe chest pain in the last year - took a 10 minute ride to the hospital's cath lab and had a cath put in their hearts which saved them both heart attacks for awhile to come. Put either one of those dudes in Central America and they could have been dead. There is no way you could expect that kind of care there, even in one of the capital cities. When I'm 60+ I'll be 15 minutes or less from a major US hospital.
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-22-2007, 10:34 PM   #26
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Put either one of those dudes in Central America and they could have been dead. There is no way you could expect that kind of care there, even in one of the capital cities. When I'm 60+ I'll be 15 minutes or less from a major US hospital.
You have made a legitimate point there, macdaddy. It brings a couple of things to mind - such as - heart disease is a process, not an event that happens over night. Granted, most people are unaware of where they are on this continuum until that 'event' happens...

As much as I love Chapala, I doubt that they have a heart clinic right in town, but Guadalajara certainly does. --- But I have no desire to live in that large polluted city.

Medical care is much better in places like Thailand - Chiang Mai, & Bangkok for instance. And since it is so affordable, one can have the tests to find out where you are on this health issue and not live in the constant fear - or limit one's self to only places that are 15 minutes from a major US hospital.

Simply an option...

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-28-2007, 07:34 PM   #27
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Hi all-
It's very interesting reading about Phuket and Malaysia. It's crossed my mind, also, to live there. I'm an American living in Singapore for about 20 years now and call it home. A lot of people think of Singapore as being super expensive, but as a person about to retire or semi-retire here, the food is cheap, the streets are safe, but the rentals for apartments are a little on the pricey side (about US$1000 per month for a 2 bedroom furnished apartment). Flights from Singapore to others areas in SE Asia are super cheap, and that does allow me to have this country as my home-base. Medical care here is IMO the best in the world with clinics located at all areas of the country. I've become rather spoiled about not having to learn a new language since English is spoken here, and so communication is never a problem. Also, the transit systyem is unbelievably efficient. You just don't need a car!

Probably the best selling point for Singapore is that as an expat here I am totally accepted as part of the country. I get the feeling that when you live in Thailand or Malaysia, you are forever an outsider. Your closest friends would be other expats, since many of the local people may not speak English and perhaps your Thai or Bahasa may not be up to conversational level. In Singapore my closest friends are all local (Chinese and Malays). I'm not sure if I would get that genuine feeling of friendhip in other areas of SE Asia at this point in time. I do believe, however, that if you choose to integrate into a foreign culture you can. Most expats, however, do not.

I lived in Vietnam for 6 years in the late 1960's right up to the fall of the country in 1975 (I left a few days before), and was in the Peace Corps in Thailand for a couple years after that. I lived in Korea for 4 years working, also. In all these countries I had a wonderful time!!! However, some of my friendship were based on my ability to speak English that others wanted to learn. I was making salaries that local people did not have, and so social times had to be based on what my local friends could afford. However, I got used to that.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on living in SE Asia.

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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-28-2007, 11:11 PM   #28
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for those insights on Singapore. Billy and I have not yet been there, but have had a curiosity about it for quite some time. I like the idea that one doesn't need a car. Very appealing.

In fact, for us, that is one knock about living in the States. We appreciate Car Light towns, prefer to walk, bike or take public transport. The States could use some more options in these areas. Everyone seems so chained to owning their cars and that expense can add up.

Your second car costs you about $7,200 per year, and assuming state and federal taxes take 30% of your income, you'll need to earn $10,300 just to cover the costs of car ownership. A daunting thought indeed.

See Cost of Working: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/cost_of_working.htm

And Retire to Simplicity: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/...simplicity.htm

So you want to be a millionaire?
We have good friends who have not owned a vehicle for 25 years. Go ahead -- do the math. We figure they have saved $200,000 over this period, plus the money they've made by investing it.

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates...


Quote:
In Singapore my closest friends are all local (Chinese and Malays). I'm not sure if I would get that genuine feeling of friendhip in other areas of SE Asia at this point in time.
I understand what you mean... however something has to be said for the international flavor of many of these Ex-Pats. There is so much to do here in Chiang Mai socially and for intellectual stimulation. So far we have not felt any barriers with either the locals (albeit the depth of that experience depends on our learning more Thai) or with the various international Ex-Pats here...

You're right, though -- one might not be able to 'get that' just anywhere..

Thanks again.
Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #29
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
Your second car costs you about $7,200 per year, and assuming state and federal taxes take 30% of your income, you'll need to earn $10,300 just to cover the costs of car ownership. A daunting thought indeed.

See Cost of Working: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/cost_of_working.htm
I wouldn't want to question a published authority, but I think many here would deny that their second cars, and maybe even their first cars cost $7200 pa. $0.72 per mile for 10,000 miles? Al started a thread recently that gave details on his car expenses, and the assumptions behind them. The only way my current car, bought new, is going to cost me anywhere near $7200 per year is if I drive it over a cliff News Year's Eve, 2008.

Ha

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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 10:35 AM   #30
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
The only way my current car, bought new, is going to cost me anywhere near $7200 per year is if I drive it over a cliff News Year's Eve, 2008.
Here is an example:
Code:
Item        Amount  Total
Purchase	     25000	
Miles driven	   10000	
MPG	          20	
$/gal	         2.5	
$	           1250	
Insurance	     1200 2450
Deprec. of 20%	 5000	7450
So the operating costs might be lower although you need to add oil changes and any maintenance. Also the costs of parking and even the cost of maintaining a garage if you use one. You can argue against depreciation or drive an older car that has higher maintenance. But the costs are significant no matter how you slice it.
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #31
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Well, I can't imagine getting only 100,000 miles out of a $25,000 car, and having that car worthless at the end of that time. Unless of course you drop the insdurance and drive into a wall.

You can prove anything with numbers pulled out of a hat. For example, you can drive a Carrera and live in midtown Manhatten and pay $1000 per month for parking. That will get you over $7200 in just 8 months.

Often I have trouble believing that some posters can live as cheaply as they say. This time I believe the assertion, but know personally that driving can be much, much cheaper than this. And buying new, safe, attractive cars.

Ha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 04:01 PM   #32
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Well, I can't imagine getting only 100,000 miles out of a $25,000 car, and having that car worthless at the end of that time. Unless of course you drop the insdurance and drive into a wall.
The way depreciation works is that it is applied to the declining balance so the first year is 5000 then the next year is 4000 then 3200 etc. So the car can last forever and depreciation essentially become insignificant. But eventually you have to shell out for a new one.

The point of the numbers was to show that $7200 probably assumes buying a new car every year, not a typical retiree habit.
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 07:07 PM   #33
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Rob, that was a great post. Thanks for sharing!

Akaisha wrote:
Quote:
I like the idea that one doesn't need a car. Very appealing.

In fact, for us, that is one knock about living in the States. We appreciate Car Light towns, prefer to walk, bike or take public transport. The States could use some more options in these areas. Everyone seems so chained to owning their cars and that expense can add up.
I agree. And it is a pain to maintain insurance, storage, etc., for your car during travels. And if you don't own one, getting proper insurance is more difficult and expensive for occasional car rentals.

So far in semi-FIRE, I can easily do all of my errands without a car. But I use it mostly to meet with friends and relatives. It can be hard to be spontaneous without a vehicle.

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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 10:36 PM   #34
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Ha
Quote:
I wouldn't want to question a published authority, but I think many here would deny that their second cars, and maybe even their first cars cost $7200 pa. $0.72 per mile for 10,000 miles?
Hi Ha. I think it's excellent to question people's posts. Keeps us on our toes. From our piece Retire to Simplicity: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/...simplicity.htm

The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that car-ownership costs are the second-largest household expense in the United States. In fact, people in the average household spend almost as much on their cars as they do on food and health care combined for their entire family -- about $600 per month.

We received that information in the Spring of 2006...

You might also want to check out sites such as Carfree.com http://www.carfree.com/

Take a look at their links page also. Cars are expensive to own. We in the States have become very dependent on our vehicles for lots of reasons. When one considers insurance, maintenance and repairs, gasoline, parking, car washes, storage and so on, it does add up.

We have been able to keep our transportation costs down below $7,200 per year but that is for a couple of reasons. We only drive about 1,500 miles a year, drive an older vehicle, put it on storage status when we leave the States and don't consider our vehicle a sex symbol. Our transport costs also includes airfares and public transportation which is what we use most of the year.

Kcowan

Quote:
So the operating costs might be lower although you need to add oil changes and any maintenance. Also the costs of parking and even the cost of maintaining a garage if you use one. You can argue against depreciation or drive an older car that has higher maintenance. But the costs are significant no matter how you slice it.
Costs are significant. In a person's household the costs usually go in the decending order of housing, transport, taxes, food. If you can cut in any of those areas you will see measurable savings.

Ha
Quote:
Often I have trouble believing that some posters can live as cheaply as they say.
Again, it's important to question people's posts. I'm not sure if that was meant as a 'knock' on our figures (see Priceless Retirement http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/..._article_6.htm ) but we have posted that we spend +/- $24K per annum net .

Some years it is far less and other years it is a bit more. We have brought our figures up to date so as to reflect 2006 spending, and although the categories have shifted, the net annual spending has been the same. It shocks us too because we live very well. Knowing how to cook helps, not needing 'stuff' helps and basing our lives on experience, not things adds to our quality of living tremendously. We are not 'poor', we do not 'scrape by.'

Kramer

Quote:
I agree. And it is a pain to maintain insurance, storage, etc., for your car during travels. And if you don't own one, getting proper insurance is more difficult and expensive for occasional car rentals.
Yeah, they getcha there...

I just read in the Bangkok Post the other day where a large amount of foreigners lose their lives while driving in a country other than their own. There are cultural reasons for this (for instance - driving on the 'other side of the road' than one is used to, Americans and British tourists take for granted that stop signs and red lights actually mean something and Americans are less likely to use their horns and foreigners rely on them as a function of driving...) It is considered safer to take public transport than to figure out the mapping, foreign language signs and cultural differences.

Quote:
So far in semi-FIRE, I can easily do all of my errands without a car. But I use it mostly to meet with friends and relatives. It can be hard to be spontaneous without a vehicle.
I agree that it's hard to be spontaneous without a vehicle. Everything has a price, no doubt. That's why I would like to see more public transport options.

One of the trades I utilize is that I have girlfriends drive and I treat them for lunch. -- but maybe that's a 'girl' thing...

Be well,
Akaisha
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-29-2007, 11:26 PM   #35
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

It's not really only the savings potential when you do not have a car. It's the time that you free up not having to worry about car related things. However, as already mentioned, you really need to be in a city that has a great mass transit system. At least in Singapore that certainly is the case. Also, when you're out driving a car in a foreign country, you miss out so much on the culture in a country, and even in the US, you miss out on the pulse of things in your own country.
I'm looking forward to spending my retirement in Singapore, but if I see a one to 6 month opportunity in Thailand, Malaysia or anywhere else to teach or work with the needy, I'll do it. The problem with Thailand is that I have heard that you need to be under 60 to work there. I'm sure there are many ways around that, but I'd sure like to to be official that you could be over 60 and work. There was something advertised on the web about working with Burmese refugees. It sounded very appealing.
Someone asked about living in Singapore and whether I would write more. There are numerous web sites on the country, but quite honestly, this place is not for everyone. It is sterile when you're here for a few weeks, but once you're actually a part of the country, you see the countless opportunites to keep busy and productive from Yoga to teaching to volunteer work of all kinds. I'm actually a Permanent Resident here (same as a green card holder) so I don't hold any sort of visa. However, visas can be issued as long as 3 months, and then to renew them, you simply go across the border to Johor Bahru in Malaysia, get your passport stamped and return for another three months. It's very simple.

I live in a part of Singapore that is a stones throw from Little India. Walking around that area reminds me of Bombay. It's a congested and just enough "Third World" to be appealing. Not far from me also is Chinatown, and that has enough of old world China to also be very appealing. As a result of all this, I love taking long hikes from one end of Singapore to the other. We have huge parks for those interested in wildlife, and the Singapore zoo is probably the best in the world. You need a couple days to see all the exhibits thoroughly.

A 30 minute boat ride from Singapore is Batam Island and Bintan Island, both belonging to Indonesia. Traveling there and spending time can also be very productive. To see such great contrasts in life styles so close to Singapore is very educational. For those that are very adventurous, you can take the train from Singapore to China, or Singapore to Bangkok if time is an issue. I'd still love to try both of those.

Singapore does not have a retirment visa as far as I know. Malaysia certainly does (Malaysia, My Second Home). You do not really need to deposit money in a bank there. You can also get a retirement visa if you show that you have a very adequate retirement income coming in. The only problem retiring in Malaysia is you are not allowed to work- only retire.

Cheers,
Rob
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-30-2007, 07:45 AM   #36
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Rob,
Welcome to the board and great to have a lifetime Asia hand here. We visited Singapore years ago when we were expats in Tokyo and had a great time. Had never thought of it as a retirement destination, but I can see how it would make sense, especially as a hub for moving around Asia. I'm glad you addressed the 'sterility' issue, because we did feel some sense of loss there of the sort of chaotic diversity that is so appealing about traveling in most parts of Asia.

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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-30-2007, 05:22 PM   #37
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

I did some homework on retiring in Singapore as a married couple, who are friends of mine, lived there for 6 years and loved it. But it is just too expensive to retire there IF you have not worked there before age 50. They ask too much, and it is just too discouraging to retire there.
Hence, I chose Malaysia which is easier to get a resident visa in as they are really encouraging Americans to retire there. And Malaysia is alot safer than the other countries around there, it seems.
FYI: To find facts on all the countries you might be interested from Safety to Infrastructure put this in your computer: internationalliving.com 2006 Quality of Life

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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-30-2007, 05:47 PM   #38
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Well, I can't imagine getting only 100,000 miles out of a $25,000 car, and having that car worthless at the end of that time. Unless of course you drop the insdurance and drive into a wall.
I bet that annual expense also includes lease costs, and taking the car straight to the dealer at the first sign of trouble.

We bought a '94 Taurus, nearly two tons of Detroit's finest plastic, in Jan '99 with 55K miles on it for $8100. We've added another 50K over the last eight years.

Since then we've spent about $11K, including a $3K automatic transmission, a $2K A/C repair, and various bits & pieces like water pumps, starter motors, & $400 windshields (I don't want to get into that). The $11K includes all taxes & registration but not the cost of the liability insurance, which would be roughly another $4200 since '99.

So $19K over eight years adds up to about $2400/year plus another ~$500/year insurance. The car still retains approximately $1500 of its original value. At least that's what Edmunds claims...
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #39
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
... including a $3K automatic transmission, a $2K A/C repair, and various bits & pieces like water pumps, starter motors, & $400 windshields (I don't want to get into that). The $11K includes all taxes & registration but not the cost of the liability insurance, which would be roughly another $4200 since '99.

So $19K over eight years adds up to about $2400/year plus another ~$500/year insurance. The car still retains approximately $1500 of its original value. At least that's what Edmunds claims...
Ouch! That's expensive.
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.
Old 04-30-2007, 06:37 PM   #40
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Re: 3/21/07 Wall St. Journal: Retiring abroad; oceanfront;bouncing around; etc.

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Originally Posted by Sam
Ouch! That's expensive.
Yeah, I wasn't very happy about the transmission and the A/C evaporator core is apparently carved out of a block of 24K gold. But the new transmission seems to have come out of an M-1 Abrams tank and the car stays cold so we'll keep it for another year or two.

It's hard to find a vehicle that hauls longboards & sheets of 4'x8' plywood while fitting in a two-car garage and getting 22 mpg. But maybe a Prius with a roof rack will change that.
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