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Frugal Retiring News, Issue #022
March 24, 2011

Frugal Retiring News Issue #22, March 2011

After 20 hours in the air, Julie and I are home safe in Arizona... Severely jetlagged, but grateful for the trip of a lifetime.

We are being baptized in the River Jordan in the above picture... The trip was fantastic without a single drop of rain... More later.

The news that will be affecting you

Since our last letter...the news both foreign and domestic is certainly not the best.

Gas prices may preclude some of us from making the summer vacation plans... The situation in the Middle East has no end in sight... As long as we are dependent on foreign oil the price of gas is only going to go one direction, that is up.

As bad as it is here with prices approaching four dollars a gallon in Arizona...they pay nine dollars a gallon in Israel. that is not a typo... Nine bucks a gallon. I hope the situation in Libya resolves itself soon... There is no way we can afford to be sending our young men and women into harm's way in three countries. The cost of these wars is staggering and is and will act like an anchor dragging us down as we try to get our economy back on track.

My advice is to review the pages on site that can give you tips on how to reduce your spending...

The Israeli economy

One of the first things that strike you when you arrive in Israel is that the skyline is dominated by construction cranes...

I lived in Houston, Texas in the early 1980s and there was talk of renaming the state bird the construction crane...that was quite a time for new construction. I honestly feel there was more building going on in Israel then there was in Houston.

Prime industries are high-tech and pharmaceuticals.

Our frugal tip for this month

Review the tips we give for vacation ...for snacks on the tour bus we took rolls from the breakfast buffet and ate then mid morning and afternoon.

For drinking water, take some lemons, and put slices in water bottles... They make tap water taste tolerable and you save the expense of buying bottled water every time you turn around.

Other folks on the tour... were buying ice cream and candy at every stop. We packed raw almonds and cashews, along with beef jerky we brought from the states. An ice cream bar cost four to five dollars in Israel... No thanks.

You don't have to leave the country, to save money, just a little preparation will save you big bucks.

I can assure you, some members of our tour spent over hundred dollars on snacks, soft drinks, and coffee. Not only is this expensive, it's not the best for your health to eat this junk food.

Julie and I on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The one thing that really struck me was the sea of Galilee is only 6 miles x 13 miles... I thought it was much bigger.

International Living magazine article

As we speak, the editor in Ireland, is putting the finishing touch on my article that will appear in the May issue of International Living magazine.

It is entitled, "You can sail into a Caribbean retirement"...

I pay for a subscription to International Living magazine...and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is contemplating retiring abroad... Where the cost of living is much lower than in the US.

If you have not visited the retire overseas section of the site here's the link.

Misconceptions about Israel

It is amazing how the media can put preconceived notions about a country that turn out to be untrue.

Despite the fact that there was an incident in Jerusalem yesterday... The first in two years... We felt extremely safe and walked the streets in a group at night.

I expected to see soldiers carrying Uzis at every corner... We maybe saw 50 soldiers all trip, all in Jerusalem. Sure you go through metal detectors at some of the popular tourist sites and you could see surveillance cameras if you looked real was not all like I expected.

On this Monday we saw Todd Palin in the old city of Jerusalem... No security with him, we did not see his wife, but it goes to show you that you should not believe everything you read in the media... Israel is a very safe place to go and visit.

Some of the ladies on our tour chatted a while with him... A regular guy, and a hunk they felt.

The cost of living in Israel is out of sight it is not a place for frugal retirement.

But don't let that deter you from considering overseas distortions about Mexico for instance... May be keeping some of you from considering Mexico as a place to retire... It's definitely cheaper than the US...

If you stay away from the border towns, not desirable retirement locations anyway, you can find many beautiful colonial cities, where you can live comfortably on your Social Security, and be reminded of what America was 40 to 50 years ago... Safe to walk the streets at night, with the emphasis on family at a much lower and less hectic pace than in the United States.

Some submissions

Every month it seems we receive submissions from readers that are looking for companions... To go sailing, Rving, etc.

I don't think it is the place to post these on am sure there are many sites that focus more on matchmaking than ours.

I don't know how the comparison of my wife's five dollar outfit To Ms. Obamas $35 foreign-made dress got some readers to conclude that I am a fan...a raving fan, to some...Of her husband's policies... Nothing could be further from the truth...enough said.

The airlines are doing a booming business

On the four flights, we took going to and from Israel... There were exactly 0 empty seats on the four flights... In fact on two the four flights, we could not sit together.

If you are making travel plans that include air travel for summer vacation you may want to make your plans well in advance... Because the recession is certainly not evident in the airline industry, from my observation.

They are doing a land office business and it is not going to be cheap by any means to travel by air this summer.

Be forewarned.

Closing thoughts

I appreciate the many kind notes and prayers for Julie and my safety, on our recent trip. All were answered positively... We had absolutely perfect weather and the tour was fantastic.

I hope all of you get a chance to go sometime.

Let's hope for some better news, both foreign and domestic, by next month.

In the meantime, let us hear from you, with any questions about how you can spend less and still enjoy retirement.

Stay frugal and stay healthy.

All the best,

Gary and Julie

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