retirement tips

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gera
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#1 retirement tips

Postby gera » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:14 am

Please, if you have any tips regarding retirement (bank accounts, credit cards, health care etc) consider to post here. I do not want to be seen as overly ambitious and do not assume that everything related to retirement should be posted here. But, in my view, every little bit of useful information counts. To start the ball rolling, I decided to figure out what US credit cards I will be able to keep, if I permanently move to Thailand. I mean keep legitimately without pretending I am still living in US. So far, American express said no. But Fidelity signature visa card yes. I am having checking account with debit card (which reimburses ATM fees worldwide) with Fidelity too. I was told I will be able to keep this account too. In general, looks like brokerages are more flexible than banks in this respect.

fountainhall
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#2 Re: retirement tips

Postby fountainhall » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:51 am

Talking of credit cards, some banks in Thailand will issue cards but you usually have to check around, sometimes at different branches of the same bank. I was lucky. I had a Thai HSBC credit card. When it sold its consumer banking division, it came to an arrangement with Krungsri that anyone who moved to the Thai bank did so with the same benefits as before. That also gave me access to a safety deposit box at a tiny fraction of the cost other banks were charging.

Additionally I keep my Hong Kong based Amex charge card and a Citi credit card. These are basically used when I travel outside Thailand but they also cover occasional expenditure in Thailand since the HSBC/Krungsri limit is small. Both issuers know that my base is now Thailand and not Bangkok - no problems and I always keep a small balance in each account.

For a locally based medical insurance company, you might wish to check Pacific Cross - https://www.pacificcrosshealth.com/en/

Up2u
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#3 Re: retirement tips

Postby Up2u » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:45 am

I didn't know (or forgot) about Fidelity as I had a brokerage account with them years. For Americans, a list of bank debit and credit cards with recommendations that have no foreign transaction fees.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking ... -atm-fees/

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Gaybutton
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#4 Re: retirement tips

Postby Gaybutton » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:34 am

If you are going to use a credit card or debit card in Thailand, issued by a non-Thai bank, it is also a good idea to inform your issuing bank, especially their fraud department, about where you will be and that you intend to use the card.

If you don't do that, often they will lock your card. Then you will have to contact them, convince them you are the legitimate card holder, and that the purchases made were indeed yours. Otherwise they will not unlock your card.

Informing them in advance avoids the card being locked.

I also advise keeping at least one home country bank account open. I didn't because I did not anticipate ever needing an American bank account again. It never occurred to me that many years later maybe I would need it after all. But because of this IAT problem, obviously now I regret that decision.

I should have listened to my high school driver education instructor who would constantly emphasize - "Always expect the unexpected."

bobsaigon3
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#5 Re: retirement tips

Postby bobsaigon3 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:15 pm

Informing them in advance avoids the card being locked........Most of the time. I have a US-issued Citibank card and every three months I dutifully inform them that I will be using the card in Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia, but at least once a year they block the card because of overseas use. Then I have to call the Fraud dept, get a special code number, relay that number to my office in the US. Citibank calls my US office, they are given the special code number, and then all is well. Till the next time.

fountainhall
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#6 Re: retirement tips

Postby fountainhall » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:32 pm

In 20 or so years my Citibank credit card has only been blocked twice. Both times due to fraudulent use - once in Seoul and most recently in Jakarta. I had visited Seoul only once about 10 years ago and never visited Jakarta since getting the card. On both occasions, Citibank fraud department in Hong Kong contacted me, informed me they had blocked the card and asked for an addresss where they could send me a new card. It was painless!

I do agree with GB’s suggestion, though. Informing card issuers where one is going and on which dates helps ensure smooth transactions.

gera
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#7 Re: retirement tips

Postby gera » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:45 pm

fountainhall wrote:Talking of credit cards, some banks in Thailand will issue cards but you usually have to check around, sometimes at different branches of the same bank. I was lucky. I had a Thai HSBC credit card. When it sold its consumer banking division, it came to an arrangement with Krungsri that anyone who moved to the Thai bank did so with the same benefits as before.

You have made an excellent decision when you moved your account to Krungsri bank. I was a customer of HSBC Thailand but simply closed my account at that time. Both benefits that you preserved (safety deposit box and local credit card) are difficult to come by. My understanding of the situation with credit cards in Thailand is that some banks will issue it for a foreigner but will require cash deposit equal to the credit line which makes it more like debit card (unless one has a work permit). The situation is the same in Singapore. As for a safe deposit box, I do have one in Pattaya with a storage company (but I would much prefer to have it with a bank). You also make another excellent point about credit cards in Hong Kong. I have HK credit card from HSBC HK and another bank offered me a credit card too. So, it is definitely an option. At the moment though US credit cards are far superior in terms of attached benefits in comparison with my options in HK.

gera
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#8 Re: retirement tips

Postby gera » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:52 pm

Gaybutton wrote:If you are going to use a credit card or debit card in Thailand, issued by a non-Thai bank, it is also a good idea to inform your issuing bank, especially their fraud department, about where you will be and that you intend to use the card.

GB, some of the US credit cards no longer require any information about travel. I usually use Quick Silver Capital One credit card while in Thailand.
It gives 1.5% cash bank on everything and has no foreign exchange transaction fees. It also sends instant text messages about all charges. I have an option of locking the card from the app in case of any trouble. It is a big question whether I still keep this card , if I no longer reside in the US. The card does not require travel notifications.

fountainhall
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#9 Re: retirement tips

Postby fountainhall » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:49 pm

gera wrote:You have made an excellent decision when you moved your account to Krungsri bank. I was a customer of HSBC Thailand but simply closed my account at that time. Both benefits that you preserved (safety deposit box and local credit card) are difficult to come by.

My preference was not to go with Krungsri. I hoped I could get a similar deal either with Citi or Standard Chartered here. Despite my being a long-time Citi customer in Hong Kong the staff here all but laughed in my face. Standard Chartered said they normally could offer a safety deposit box but they had none available and a long waiting list. I checked with several other local banks but none could match the deal HSBC had hammered out with Krungsri. Since the switch I have had no problems.

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Gaybutton
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#10 Re: retirement tips

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:41 pm

bobsaigon3 wrote:Informing them in advance avoids the card being locked........Most of the time.

Oh well, like I said - "Always expect the unexpected." In your case I suppose the unexpected was that some idiot that managed to get a job working for the bank failed to do his job properly, and just your luck that's the one who was supposed to make sure your card wouldn't be locked.

Still, informing the bank prior to your trip is the best anyone can do to at least try to keep them from locking the card.

Years ago, before I lived in Thailand and was coming only for holidays, I informed my bank. When I returned home I found a letter from the bank thanking me for having informed them in advance. Somehow someone had gotten my card information and had charged up $2500 worth of perfume in Korea. The bank told me that having informed them of where I would be, and when, they were able to charge the fraudulent use back to the shop that had sold the perfume.

By the way, during that trip the only time I ever used the card at all was at none other than Richard Burk's Amor Restaurant. I don't think Richard had anything to do with it, but apparently someone on his staff did.
_______________________________________________________

Speaking of Richard, as an aside I don't think I ever posted my favorite Richard Burk story - and just about anyone who knew Richard also knew there was no shortage of Richard Burk stories.

I was sitting at Dongtan Beach when my phone rang and it was Richard. Some of you may remember Microsoft's infamous Service Pack 2 that ended up crashing a lot of computers. It crashed Richard's. He was panicking because he had all his business records on his computer, no backup, and after installing the service pack, now he couldn't even get his computer to open, much less access his business files. He pleaded with me to come over to his condo right away and help him. He knew I'm pretty good with computer problems and he wanted to avoid having to pay for a technician if I could manage to fix the problem for him.

I did go, and it's a trek from the beach to where Richard's condo was. If you know where the Alcazar Show, PIC Hospital, and the Beach Road police station are, that's all very close to where Richard lived.

I worked on his computer for a solid 3 hours and I was finally able to get it working and restore access to his files. Richard was very grateful. Then he said, "You haven't been to the Amor lately."

I said, "That's true. Your restaurant isn't exactly the most inexpensive in town and I'm having a rough time financially this month."

Richard said, "Did you drive your car to get here?" I said yes. Then he said, "When you finish, I'd like you to drive me over to the Amor and have dinner."

I said, "Thank you, Richard. That's very kind of you."

I drove him to the restaurant and ordered dinner. After it was served Richard came over to my table and presented me with a bill!!!

I looked at him as if he had lost his mind. Before I could get a word out, Richard said, "I know you said you're having money problems this month. Don't worry about it. You can pay this bill next month when your money comes in."

True story.

THAT was Richard. And I'll bet anyone reading this who knew Richard isn't the least bit surprised . . .


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