USA Culture Shock Part 6: I've Got So Much Money I Just Need to Spend it All!steemCreated with Sketch.

in travel •  last year

I've been out of the Country for 3 years and I just got back. I'm having a hard time with culture shock. I see people spending money here like it's going out of style. It's like more, more, more, more, more!!!!!!!! Is the name of the game.

Uhh, time to get another storage unit!

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Did you know anyone on the planet making 40,000 dollars a year after taxes can permanently retire to Ecuador in about four years time? All you have to do is downsize your life to about 15,000 dollars a year in expenses and save 25,000 a year. That may mean, cooking your own meals, moving to a small or shared apartment, or even taking public transportation.

Once you have 100,000 dollars saved, you can move it to Ecuador and earn an insured 9% of your money in interest from well to do banks and credit unions. You'll earn 750 dollars a month on your money (twice the average Ecuadorian Salary) live comfortably on that in 70% of the world and you'll never have to work again. You may not be wealthy in material possessions but you'll be wealthy in free time and lifestyle.

(guess what....That's what I did, now I travel all over the world living my dream)

But this concept is so foreign to most people they could, nor would ever do that. Nor should they be expected to. The overall concept of saving and investing is very foreign to most Americans. (I lived in Asia for years, they are some of the best savers on the planet; this is why they come to America and do so well!)

The concept of having money to most Americans only begs the question of what can I spend it on? The concept of your money buying you freedom from a J-O-B for the rest of your life is generally not a concept at all!

When I hear people talk about money. It's usually in the frame work of, "I'm getting a bonus check next month, so we're going on a trip to Bermuda"...(and then we'll be broke again immediately after)

Or, "I'm going to buy an I-phone 7 as soon as I get paid on Friday".... (and then I'll be broke again immediately after)

Or, "sure let's go out on the town I've got 100 bucks left in my account, and I've got overdraft protection and credit cards"... (and then I'll be broke again immediately after)

People have such high incomes in the USA (and developed world) they have no idea how rich they are. To be able to afford a monthly lifestyle of 2-4 thousand dollars a month is impossible to over 6 billion people on the planet.

To have money in the US, is to find something to spend it on. Even when a nice sirloin steak is on sale for 2.99 a lb, people will often spend 15.99 a lb on then next level up on grilling meat. They don't even think twice about giving up the slightest comfort or luxury at seemingly any price! It's shocking after spending so much time in the third world, where some barely have the money to afford meat at all!

Then people complain that the new retirement age is 72. I can only think that if people took better responsibility of their finances and lifestyle the retirement age could drop to fifty! 

I value time and freedom over material wealth.  I tell people I just had an 190 dollar a month all included furnished apartment with washing machine and wifi in Ecuador and their eyes glaze over in disbelief!

Then my eyes glaze over when they are paycheck to paycheck and in debt while earning $60,000 a year. 

I don't fit in here anymore. I'm feeling a bit ill with culture shock. I'm not sure if the cure is leaving to Thailand like planned in three weeks or taking one major chill pill. Comments and advice is appreciated.

More Travel Reports and positive"normal" up-dates coming soon!

World Travel Pro, over and out!

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Nice post. I'll follow you and I'll check your older posts. Keep grinding.


Wow this was such an awesome read & I'm glad there are people out there who feel the same way as I do! It seems like people these days--no matter how much they make--are always looking to upgrade their lifestyles, which leads to a longterm lack of being content/grateful for what you have.

"Too many people spend money they don't have to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like."--Fight Club

It really amazes me too how people can live paycheck-to-paycheck. I mean (and God forbid) if something bad happens to them, they'd be in financial ruin. I guess that's all part of America's spending culture.

I don't fit in here anymore. I'm feeling a bit ill with culture shock.

I love the U.S. and am forever grateful for the endless blessings/opportunities my homeland has provided me, but I 100% understand how you feel about being back home. The more time I spend away from the States, the more I realize how messed up the country and our culture is. I've been trying to put a finger on exactly why this is so, and the closest thing I've come up with is that growing up in a country that lacks a sense of culture/cultural identity breeds bad qualities and habits among their people; unlike what you'd find in Europe or Asia for example.

That said, I thought you might find this article interesting:

Once you have 100,000 dollars saved, you can move it to Ecuador and earn an insured 9% of your money in interest from well to do banks and credit unions

Do you mind me asking which Ecuadorian banks in particular you'd recommend so I can start looking into this? ;)

Thanks a lot for the post & keep up the great work!


Thanks for the detailed reply. If America got a taste of real poverty in a country without such welfare safety nets maybe their views and habits would change but until then that is just how things are.

Regarding Ecuador you can put your money in a regular bank or a "cooperativa" which is like a credit union. The Banks only pay about 4-6.5% interest and cooperativas pay up to about 10%.

The KEY is, and this is super important is that you go with a cooperativa that is insured with a totally legit tried and true insurance called COSEDE. It's like the FDIC insured deposits n the US. The banks and cooperatives actually pay each month to have this insurance. This is no joke.

This is Ecuador you don't want to screw around. The insurance is up to 32,000 dollars not 250k like in the US; so if you have 100k, you want to spread it around. Secondly you can't just put your money there and leave the country. You have to get an investors visa which means you have to put at least 25k into the bank (or cooperative) or buy land at that value. You have to stay in the country 9 of 12 month's for the first two years. Like you're there more than to just take advantage of the high interest being offered. After the 2 years is up you can leave your money there and just return to Ecuador once every 5 years, even if it's for one day to get your passport stamped. But you'll forever have access to their high interest and will have permanent residency there.

This is why I had to kind of stop traveling and stay in Ecuador more or less two full years. But it's a very nice place to live. I'd recommend Cuenca if you like a more city atmosphere, or Vilcabamba if you like a small town with perfect weather. Also the "coops" will deposit your interest direct into an account linked to an ATM card every month if you wish, which I find pretty cool. That's what I have going right now. It's like my social security check comes once a month, direct deposit, and I'm only 34.

I use the biggest Cooperative "JEP" They pay me 8.5% and they are all over the country, I've also Used Alianza De Valle pays about 9% and Pablo Munez Vega pays about 9%. The last two are based out of Quito and all are in the top 20 biggest safest cooperatives in the country. Below is a link to the biggest, safest, most important coops in Ecuador. I wouldn't stray from those if you decide to invest. Don't go for anything above 10% interest that's how people get burned. If it's too good to be true it probably is.

On a side note. I'm new here on steemit less than two month's I put together this 6 part culture shock series. It took me hours and hours to do so. I've earned so far two new followers and about 5 dollars. It's quite discouraging. What do you think about helping a fellow steemer out and resteeming this article or one of my culture shock articles you like. That would be super nice of you. I see you got about 1000 followers. It would probably make all this time and effort worth while. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance. -Dan "World Travel Pro"


Man what a load of useful information, thank you so much! I dunno how I feel about having to practically spend 2 years in Ecuador (since I like to bounce around pretty often), but it's nice to know about these options. As you said, it's probably well worth it in the long run to have access to those high interest accounts for the rest of your life! And thank you for the city recommendations :)

Resteemed part 1 ;) Couldn't agree with you more on this, and it's almost frightening to think about how careful you must be these days with the words you's like walking on thin ice! I hope this helps


Thank you so much for resteeming. Being new here can be a bit of a challenge to get my work seen! Yes it is a commitment regarding Ecuador, going ahead with it is a big decision and not for everyone. With how my life has gone I'm very content with going forward with it. Glad you value what I have to share.

Have a great day! -Dan "World Travel Pro"


lol! I mentioned I'm new here. You are newer than me! Then I'm like 975 followers in a month! Wow! Then I scroll down to your intro. You have a big youtube following. That is awesome man! Congratulations on your ever growing success! :)


Thanks a lot man, I truly appreciate your kind words!

I've just finished reading all six parts of your series here Dan @world-travel-pro, enjoyed and up-voted them all. It's odd, we experience varying degrees of culture shock on our return to The North and the people from those south of us countries seem to just want to dive in and experience our culture, the junk food and the super-sized everything.
I'm glad you're hanging in there and reconnecting with your family and old friends; three years is a long time to be away. Thanks for sharing, happy travels!


I'm glad you enjoyed them. Good to hear from you. I almost didn't post any of this cause to a lot of people it may be a bit of turn off. I'm kind criticizing American Culture, but I got so used to things being so different, I found everything "shocking"! It all I could think about. So I wrote about it. Anyway, thanks for checking in. I'll be in touch.

Why did you leave Ecuador? I've thought of moving there for awhile.


It's a great country. I liked it there. I just missed traveling. Staying in one place for too long is not for me. I get bored. I need to see the world my friend :)

Nice post... I really like, keep up the content, please upvote some of my posts and follow, in return I will do the same for you.

Society as a whole is very saddening and frustrating at the best of times...


Yes, it's a good reminder to look at the brighter side of things.


Absolutely 😎👌

Great post! I am still using the Iphone 4, my first smartphone, and put myself on a budget every month, try to save as much as i can to use it to travel! very good post made me think


More power to you! Thanks for your kind response!

Should we trust Rothschild banks?


Aren't they all more or less Rothschild Banks?

OMG! totally!! . . your statements on how people talk about money (the frameworks) are so spot on. I hear the same thing from my friends still living in the US.

I agree with your comment "I value time and freedom over material wealth." - I honestly believe it is a MUCH better path to true happiness.

Am enjoying the similarities in perspectives. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for your super nice comments!

brilliant post i feel exactly the same

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