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JJReyes last won the day on August 4 2018

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About JJReyes

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    Traveling Somewhere in America
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    Photography. My wife and I love to travel and we intend to do so during our retirement years as independent seniors.

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  1. There is a Tibetan Buddhist saying, "The richest man is the person who has nothing." We found out that giving nearly everything away lowered our stress level. If we need to entertain, it is at a restaurant rather than worry about food preparation at home. No mortgage. Everything is now on a cash basis. Credit cards are a convenience and the balance automatically debited from our checking account each month. We buy stuff, but something has to be given away through Goodwill or Salvation Army because of limited space.
  2. Sri-Lanka isn't high in my list of places to visit. Usually, I check the Internet for images and there isn't a lot of attractions enticing me to visit Sri-Lanka. This might be unfair, but my travel priorities are elsewhere.
  3. JJReyes


    Being prepared is the key. In the Philippines, you should have a two-weeks supply. The minimum drinking water is one gallon per person multiplied by the number of persons in the household. Instead of eating rice which requires lots of water for rinsing and cooking, have a supply of peanut butter and crackers. Keep a supply of baby wipes available in lieu of taking a bath.
  4. We gave away all our things ending up with a 5' x 5' locker containing family photographs, momentous, boys' trophies, etc. You learn to become minimalists. For example, cooking with one 2-quarts pot and one frying pan. (The RV has a convection/microwave.) Clothes are purchased and discarded throughout the year. You end with the same number. The RV parks have laundry rooms which we use once a week. How much "stuff" do you really need?
  5. The problem with wall construction is you can't place it exactly at the border. The border is the Rio Grande and the soil at the river bank is unstable. So in some areas of the USA/Mexico border, the wall has to be build north of the official demarcation line. I think this is what happened in this situation. The Mexican Federal police sees armed American solders south of the wall. The Americans were on US territory, but it is confusing because Mexicans now think the border is the wall. Another future problem is immigrants can cross the river into the United States right before the wall barricade. They can petition for asylum because they are technically inside US territory. Now what?
  6. Walmart welcomes RVers to stay for one night because the occupants buy their supplies from the store. No hook-ups, however most RVs are designed to be self-contained for several days. Kampgrounds of America, the largest campsite chain and others fought back claiming Walmart deprives them of revenues. Ordinances at certain places were past to prevent Walmart from allowing overnight stays. We have never done it, but our understanding is there are websites that mention which Walmart stores you can stay overnight. Another place are Bureau of Land Management (BLM) properties. You can stay for free up to 14 days. BLM is responsible for more government land than National Park Services and US Forest Service. These site are primitive. No facilities. For rest periods less than 8 hours, RVs park at highway rest areas. The highway patrol won't both you if you extend the time a few more hours. Better than having a tired motorist on the road.
  7. We were visiting friends in Randers, Denmark located in the Jutland peninsula. At the time, my wife and I were the only persons with black hair and brown eyes. Everyone else had blond hair and blue eyes. Now, the adults tried to be polite and not stare. But the children, especially the younger ones, would open their mouths and stare while pointing their fingers at us. Our hosts explained the children thought we were Inuits or Eskimos from Greenland which is governed by Denmark. So we played along by rubbing our noses much to the delight of the children. The children were taught it is a common greeting among the natives from the artic region. A few wanted to rub noses with us as a welcome to their town. After the Vietnam war, there were lots of black haired children during our visit. Some were adopted. Others were from Vietnamese refugee families who were now residents. Gone were the days of our rubbing noses.
  8. There are, from time to time, ads in the Philippines offering the sale of new RVs at a 20% to 30% premium over the list price in the United States. Most are Class B which are the smaller units. I also met someone during my last trip to Manila who does van conversions. Her market are senior executives who need a bed, television or toilet during their commute to work. Nice to have a toilet handy when stuck in Metro Manila traffic for 3 hours. The US retirement rate is 10,000 per day! Some have elected to purchase RVs to see the world (USA, Canada and Mexico). The number of RV parks have not increased which means their daily fees have skyrocketed because they now operate at near full capacity. We use to get full hookups (water, electricity, sewage plus WiFi and cable television) for around $20 per day. Now it is closer to $40 in remote areas. We have reservations at a California casino resort in Temecula and their weekday rates are $60, and for weekends it is $100. That's for a Deluxe site which is a small back-in site. The big RVs may opt for a Chairman's Premium site which is over $200. This includes a barbecue pit and lawn furniture. The unit in the photograph is a motorhome, probably in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 range. It could also be one of those customized units for the "rich and famous" so the price tag could be $2.5 million. Lucky if you can get 5 miles to the gallon on the open road. So they are equipped with 100 gallons or more tanks. Each time you fill up, it could cost you $400. More common are 5th Wheelers which are pulled by a large pick-up or semi-truck. The 5th Wheeler remains at the campsite and you drive around in the large pick-up. You can't take the larger motorhomes into the city so the owners tow a car to drive around. By the way, those large American motorhomes are illegal in many European countries because of their width. The same for most of Asia. You will notice that the deluxe buses used in the Philippines are narrower because the roads are smaller. More later.
  9. Thousands of military personnel register as South Dakota residents because there is no state income tax. You can be assigned anywhere including California. It is your place of residence that counts. Met today a recently retired police officer from California. He is on his way to Rapid City to register as a resident (you need to stay at a hotel, motel or campsite for one night) and open a PO Box account. Next, he plans to stay another 30 days to qualify for a "Concealed Weapon Carry" permit. There is a reciprocal agreement with other states having a similar law. One additional requirement is the retired police officer cannot stay more than 180 days in California during a calendar. I do the same because California claims I owe them money. We maintain a daily log as to where we are physically during a calendar. The tax authority in California can demand to see the log book for a period of 8 years. So far, I have completed 5 years.
  10. Philippines also has a unique sports called, "dynamite fishing." Winner is the person with the largest count of fish and fish body parts.
  11. I am very family with Torrance where my wife's family still resides. My first visit was 49 years ago when my wife and I started dating. At the time, there were lots of marsh land for migratory birds. Now it is a sprawling suburbia.
  12. I am not sure about the China reference, but the increasing debt at lower interest from the global financial institutions is forcing the Philippines to borrow from China at much higher interest. Traditional lender are starting to get cold feet at the size of the Philippine debt. Inability to repay China both the principle and interest means more political and economic concessions. Of course, Duterte and his cronies don't care because the finder's fees for borrowing the money is between 2% to 7%. Again, enjoy the Philippines, spend your money, but keep most of it in overseas investments.
  13. 50% of investment advisors claim the market will go up, 50% claim the market will go down. Half of them can brag they were correct in their prediction. You are right that it is the politicians who are making me nervous. Everyone is worried what will happen to Great Britain after Brexit. I am more concerned about what happens to EU's economy after the UK departure. Germany's economy is the only thing sustaining the Union and it is in rapid decline. US politics is becoming more extreme moving everyone to the radical left or right. Many countries, including the Philippines, have debts that cannot be repaid. Most of our funds are in the financial markets ready to ride out any storm. For example, my wife and I like Berkshire Hathaway because it is one company that actually does better in a depressed economy. We also don't pay taxes on dividends because there isn't any. What I have done is keep enough cash, plus anticipated social security benefits, to last us 3 or 4 years based on our annual budget. The losses from monetary inflation is relatively small compared to down markets of 10%, 20% or even 50%
  14. Excellent advice. The Philippines has an authoritarian regime which means without the normal checks and balances. They can arbitrarily change the rules including sudden increases in taxes. Spend money in the Philippines, but earn it (interest, dividends, annuities) elsewhere. Personally, I anticipate a very large drop in the global economy. I am keeping a significant portion of our investment portfolio in cash and cash equivalents.
  15. Unless the rules have changed, the P5000 minimum deposit is for checking accounts. The minimum for savings might be much lower like P100. There is also a difference between commercial and, for example, rural banks. A long time ago, the governor of Bangko Sentral wanted to encourage high school students to open savings accounts. Nearly all the banks protested claiming the effort would cost money in terms of personnel time. Only a few banks were willing to participate. The process was to physically accompany the students from school to the bank to open an account and learn about the financial system. Participant banks over a one year period found tens of thousands of new accounts being opened at their branches. The post program study showed that many in the lower and middle income bracket were intimidated and they were unfamiliar with opening an account. It was high school students showing the relatives the procedure. The result was tens of millions in cash were flushed out from "under the mattress."
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