Shanghai http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1552/all en-US The Shanghai Supposition: Better Choices=More Choices=Better Experiences http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/Uz_uqzLgDh-hi5uRuvt15Ajh_vfkB5h25v_YqpBW7MY/mtime:1295710712/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Jin%20Mao%20Tower.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="100" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m in Shanghai, China on a business trip right now, (read working vacation) and in my time away from working at the Jin Mao tower, which is nestled in the Lujiazui section of the Pudong district, an area that makes Manhattan look like Des Moines (No disrespect to Iowa), I again discovered the wonders of a favorable exchange rate.</p> <p>When I visited a local tailor during a rare break, I bought three tailored dress shirts made of Egyptian and Sea Island cotton, designed by me, configured to my exact bodily dimensions and all for a paltry equivalent of $40 each. In Beverly Hills, or even Macy’s I’m paying maybe $500 each for such shirts if I’m lucky and catch a sale. I won’t even mention the criminal discounts I got on one-of-a-kind teas and items for the family. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">But this isn’t about extravagance at the expense of a slightly weaker currency. Nor is it about my insatiable taste for fine haberdashery. I already went there in one of my past <a href="/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum">posts</a>. This is about the $16, 30-mile train rides, the 28-cent round trip subway rides and the $10 five-star, three-course meals. It’s about discovering something new and about frugality and the ridiculous American mark-ups I experience at home.</p> <p>So I got to thinking, what if I just shopped for my clothing and fine wines in China, or in Malaysia or in Hong Kong or in Prague? What if I saved my money on luxury items and entertainment expenses stateside and created a travel savings account? People have health savings accounts, money market savings accounts. Why not a life experience account? We all know that if I curbed unnecessary shopping here, made different choices about outings to the movies or fine dining or mark ups on exotic ingredients for dishes at home, that I could save a lot of money and gain a lot of goods, time, and experiences money can’t buy. </p> <p>People I know always use the excuse that they can’t travel because they can’t afford it. Well, I’m here to tell you: with anything it just takes planning. If you plan it out, stretch your expenses, book passage and accommodations on the Pricelines, the TravelZoos, the Otel.com and the Cheapoair.com’s of the world, you too can buy Bordeaux Rouge for $6 or look upon the splendor of the Huangpu River and take a deep breath. </p> <p>As I espouse in these posts again and again, it’s not about what you spend or don’t spend that helps you build wealth or create a quality and standard of living that you enjoy, it’s about choices. After this eye-opening trip, I may never again visit Nordstrom or any of the overpriced boutiques or wine shops. If I told you what I spent on these items you’d have to kill me. Savings are good, eating out is good. Going to Macy&#39;s isn&#39;t bad. But no one wants to die having never left the town they were reared in and nobody wants to live their lives through other people&#39;s travel anecdotes either.</p> <p>I&#39;m not saying come over here and go nuts or get rich by saving to fly 8,000 miles to shop; nor am I saying waste your money buying cheap goods in a foreign country. What I&#39;m saying is that experience is something you can&#39;t buy!</p> <p>BTW, General Tso is known over here as a war hero and not a spicy delicious chicken dish.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods">Decked out in... dog? More reasons to boycott Chinese goods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-disgusting-fake-game-show-asks-what-would-you-do-for-money">My disgusting fake game show asks &quot;What would you do for money?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel business China clothing money Orbitz savings account Shanghai Travelzoo wine Fri, 14 Mar 2008 04:50:59 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 1918 at http://www.wisebread.com Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad! http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/-7RDxJpMywHZ-ZxgN16J7ALCwUC3KAQ0e3LlU_A4f0I/mtime:1301030208/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/china_flag_large.jpg" alt=" " width="224" height="150" /></p> <p>Can&#39;t afford to live on your pension or Social Security in the U.S.? Why not find a cheaper place to live? No, not Canada - the other communist mecca... that&#39;s right, China!</p> <p>Ha ha! I know I&#39;ll get all kinds of flack for that one. I&#39;m just kidding, Comrade, don&#39;t take me seriously! I know China isn&#39;t communist anymore.</p> <p>NPR, my favorite news source, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9348962">offered up a story yesterday</a> filed by Keva Rosenfeld, whose mother-in-law (I&#39;m not sure if it is mother-in-law per se so much as his partner, Karen Murphy&#39;s, mother) has chosen to retire in China, finding it much too difficult to live off of $400 a month in the United States. Interestingly enough, the old gal (she&#39;s 75) has chosed Shanghai, arguably the most expensive city in China, to spend out her remaining days.</p> <p>Although the story promises some amusing tales of generational misunderstandings, it&#39;s much shorter than it should be, told from Keva&#39;s viewpoint, as he goes to Shanghai with his wife for a visit with his mother-in-law. There is a short discussion about how small a dingy the Shanghai apartment is, but little about how and where she shops for groceries, if she has learned to barter for her gorceries, if she has made any friends, or what it&#39;s like to live in Shanghai knowing absolutely no Mandarin AT ALL. Where does she go for health care? How does she explain what she needs in an emergency?</p> <p>China is a place you can&#39;t really avoid hearing about these days, so I hate to add to the hullabaloo. Slate featured a couple installments about traveling to China for <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2131601/">medical treatments</a> a while back. </p> <p>Having lived in China, I can attest that unless you live in a big city like Shanghai or Beijing or Shenzhen, you&#39;re likely to have a hard time adjusting as an American. Not that the big cities are easy, either. Things are made immeasurably more difficult if you don&#39;t have any language skills. However, although Keva can be heard in the NPR story suggesting that no one in Shanghai speaks English, this is most certainly not the case.</p> <p>I&#39;d be really curious to know if this will be a trend among the Baby Boomers (Murphy&#39;s mother is not a boomer, but I can see boomers doing this), or if living in China is really more for people like Ms. Murphy&#39;s mother, who is described as a &quot;bohemian&quot;. And if Westerners start moving en masse to China, will it still be a viable place to live on less than $500 a month?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-retire-on-less-than-you-think">Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-taking-social-security-could-cost-you-thousands">Why Taking Social Security Could Cost You Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme">Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-do-i-need-to-retire-how-much-can-i-spend">How much do I need to retire? How much can I spend?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement baby boomers China elderly nestegg pension retire retirees Shanghai social security Thu, 05 Apr 2007 15:20:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 459 at http://www.wisebread.com Recession Depression http://www.wisebread.com/recession-depression <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/cdn/farfuture/LQlOUP5n4rcV9Oc7f-SE1OmoA34SzNisnnaoGyHe6rE/mtime:1301030208/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/crash_small.jpg" alt=" " width="150" height="200" /></p> <p>Yesterday&#39;s market &quot;correction&quot; had a lot of investors experiencing acute arm pain as they clutched their chests, watching the Dow Jones average plummet over 200 points in the course of about 2 seconds. The swiftness of the drop was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/sns-ap-wall-street-what-happened,1,4784591.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed">attributed to a computer glitch</a>, which isn&#39;t exactly reassuring, either from a technological standpoint (how did that happen???!?!) or a practical one (it <strong>still</strong> dropped over 500 points, right?). The <a href="http://www.sse.com.cn/sseportal/en_us/ps/home.shtml">Shanghai index</a> correction was the obvious impetus for the drop, and that makes me feel even worse.</p> <p>I don&#39;t have much dough invested in the stock markets, save for a paltry sum that fluctuates in my IRA, so I wasn&#39;t as concerned about the drop as say, my dad, whose entire 401k is directly affected by market swings.</p> <p>Despite this, I was definitely clutching my chest when I heard that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.greenspan28feb28,0,6642246.story?coll=bal-business-headlines">predicted a recession</a> for the US economy. <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,178699,00.html">Some economists</a> have been <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bc55913a-27cd-11db-b25c-0000779e2340.html">predicting a recession for a while</a>, based on the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/11/13/8393160/index.htm">housing slowdown/slump</a> or other indicators that most of us don&#39;t think about much. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-economy28feb28,1,964658.story?coll=la-headlines-business">Other economists with actual jobs</a> have predicted that a full-blown recession is not, in fact, likely, but it certainly got me thinking: how does one prepare for the possibility of a recession?</p> <p>There&#39;s lots of info out there on how to survive a <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bc55913a-27cd-11db-b25c-0000779e2340.html">recession as an investor</a>, but what about us regular Joes who are simply worried that we won&#39;t have a job should the economy turn southward?</p> <p>Well, there are some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Conserve-survive-recession-experts-say/dp/B0008INZYC/sr=1-8/qid=1172699867/ref=sr_1_8/102-1803238-5069756?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books">articles</a> and <a href="http://www.insomniacpress.com/title.php?id=1-894663-24-1">books on the subject</a>. Some <a href="http://mark-watson.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-to-do-to-survive-recession-build.html">bloggers</a> are giving it some serious thought and have their own ideas on the subject. <a href="http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=62383">Forums</a> are filled with helpful (and not-so-helpful) tidbits. Paul Kirvan penned <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CMN/is_n12_v28/ai_11943308">some advice back in 1991</a> regarding this exact topic, when it may have been even more relevant than today.</p> <p>Here are some ideas that I am exploring:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.queercents.com/2007/02/22/build-a-business-while-keeping-your-day-job/">Start your own business</a>. Be prepared to start working on a consultant or freelance basis if you lose your permanent job, and get some great tax write-offs in the meantime.</li> <li>Look around your workplace and find ways to make yourself more useful. Job security is when no one else can do everything that you are doing.</li> <li>Know ahead of time if you qualify for unemployment. If you don&#39;t, look into that emergency savings account that you&#39;ve been meaning to get started for the past 6 years.</li> <li>Take the classes that you need to take now. Make sure to include the costs of continuing education when you file taxes. You can probably make a shift in your career with relative ease if you pick up a few new skills or take a risk and try out a new field altogether.</li> <li>Develop a love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.</li> <li>Get a roommate (shudder).</li> <li>Join the <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/">Compact</a>. Not sure if I WANT to do this, but I might have to at this rate.</li> <li><a href="/balancing-act-the-perils-of-budgeting">Budget</a>. Budget. Budget.</li> <li>Chose a hobby that will actually promote your career. Volunteer for a professional society or nonprofit organization that corresponds to your work. Life shouldn&#39;t be all about work, but these are great networking opportunities, should you ever need them.</li> </ul> <p>How about you guys? Are eBay careers the way to go? Do you have any ideas for recession prep besides what we normally tout to our readers (Save, Budget, Buy Used, Library Card, etc.)?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-depression">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peak-debt">Peak Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-normal-economy">The new normal economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/understand-capital-costs">Understand Capital Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-path-to-recovery-higher-incomes">Another path to recovery: higher incomes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Financial News bull session China Dow Jones economics global trade job market markets NASDAQ prepare recession savings Shanghai stock market US economy Wed, 28 Feb 2007 22:26:37 +0000 Andrea Karim 307 at http://www.wisebread.com