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LiveAndLetBuy

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About LiveAndLetBuy

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  1. They have already started to cut the state pension as well as increase the retirement age. Now you need to have worked for 15 years to even qualify for one, and the calculation at retirement is based on the previous 25 years income rather than just the previous 5 years.
  2. I wanted to pay a rare visit to see what people's thoughts were on this. To me it sounds like a way of formalising what we have anyway - state backed banks - so yes you might as well place the central bank in the way of banks lending to each other. I guess it might ring-fence them since only the central bank has exposure to a bank with bad debt, so it would allow banks to go bust without systematic melt-down. Retail banking would effectively be nationalised, with the job of dealing with customers outsourced to the banks:. Not ideal but better than what we've got?
  3. I live in Arganzuela, which is central and resonably cheap (new build 3 bed flats with parking, pool and gym go for less then €300k now). If you prefer the "bohemian" scene then Lavapies is bang in the centre and cheap (you can easily pick up apartments for less than €100k). Madrid doesn't really have dangerous areas (not by UK standards anyway) but some areas are poorer than others. The main problem with buying in Spain is the cost (both purchase and selling) - it can easily excede 15% of the price - so it's something you want to get right first time.
  4. A lot of this is true (Penelope Cruz was on the Nuevos Ministerios El Corte Inglés, which now has signs to each department in Mandarin as well) The Chinese are buying up a lot of real estate in Madrid and a lot of upmarket hotels such as Four Seasons are moving in as well, and they're bringing shopping centres with them. Spain seems to have built up a lot of trade with China - I guess this is partly because not having experienced much immigration during the last century, there was a "gap in the market".
  5. Catalonia is the prettiest part of the med coast, but you don't get the long summers/warm winters there. The Atlantic coast is better than Catalonia but it rains a lot. If you're not too bothered about being near the sea then there's plenty of good scenery but most people don't see it because they stick to the motorways that tend to cut through the plain.
  6. If they could fail on their own then they wouldn't have offered them the emergency lending facility in the first place
  7. LiveAndLetBuy

    Social Security Contributions

    The EU had a conundrum in that it wanted to allow people to work and therefore pay social security in different EU countries, but in order to qualify for the state pensions in many EU countries people need to contribute for several years. E.g. in Spain you need to contribute 15 years social security to qualify for a state pension, so anybody spending less time than that working in Spain ended up paying into the system but with no pension in return. Also there's the issue of different retirement ages in different countries. To get round this the EU came up with a system whereby you claim your pension in the last country you work in before retirement, you send them the details of the other EU countries you have worked in, and each country will work out the equivalent pension if you had paid everything into their system. That amount is then adjusted to reflect the actual time you were covered in that country and you are given whichever amount is higher. I don't quite understand how they do that but it is described here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/retire/state-pension-claims-and-calculation/index_en.htm So it seems the EU basically underwrites your state pension if you work in different EU countries.
  8. Sports events are perhaps the one type of broadcast where it makes no difference whether it's on ITV or BBC. It's the same football match, track event, etc regardless of the channel. And I'm happy to have the occasional advert if it a) saves me money and means I don'thave to listen to some stupid BBC panel trying to fill airspace by talking utter sh1te and smugly smiling to the viewer/each other because of course everyone knows that the BBC is the best there is. After all they've been using other people's money to run their own advertising campaign telling everyone how wondeful they are for years now. The worst example is Match of the Day, where the BBC uses public money to outbid ITV which would give the same service to the public for free. And then we have to put up with this: http://www.youtube.com/embed/AfQarImZ97Y?feature=player_detailpage
  9. In Spain there is a tax based on "imputed rent" for property held overseas. I live in Spain and still own my UK house and I have to pay tax based on the "imputed rent". However they calculate it as a certain percentage of the purchase cost for the house (they don't realy have much else to go on) so it has no relation to the rental market whatsoever.
  10. I wonder who Siemens bribed this time? http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/04/11/athens-metro-german-rail-bribes-hand-in-hand-with-siemens/
  11. LiveAndLetBuy

    German Court Case Could Force Euro Exit

    He was right about practically all the economic faults in the euro, and some of the consequences (no lender of last resort = bond market runs, one size fits all interest rates = debt crises, etc) But while he is good at describing and predicting certain economic situations, he is hopeless at predicting what will be done about them, since that depends on politics and how far politicians will go to protect themselves. So when AEP writes this type of article I tend to switch off. He might turn out to be right this time, but if so it would be a case of being a stopped clock
  12. A bit about Spanish employment law: In Spain there are two main types of employment contract: temporary and permanent. Those on a temporary contract have very few rights and can be dismissed instantaneously without compensation. Those on a permanent contract have very strong employment rights: for example, if they are made redundant they are untitled to 33 days pay for every year worked (45 days for years worked before 2012) so it costs an employer over a years wages to lay someone off who has been working for them for 10 years. People on permanent contracts do not change job regularly because they lose accrued redundancy, they would rather get made redundant first and then find another job. So they sit behind the same desk for as long as possible, doing as little as possible. And the longer they sit there the more expensive it is for an employer to lay them off. By law people on temporary contracts have to be given a permanent contract when they have been working for 2 years with an employer. Therefore most people on temporary contracts get made redundant just before they have been 2 years with an employer and they then have to start again somewhere else. These are the people on the minimum wage. Somehow the Spanish government has come to the conclusion that it is the temporary contract workers who are causing the problem, and they need their wage floor removed while permanent contract workers can continue having more and more job security as a reward for doing less and less. They really are clueless.
  13. LiveAndLetBuy

    What Did The Eu Ever Do For Us Anyway?

    No they increased it to €500k recently (obvioulsy after the more discerning Russian gangster)
  14. LiveAndLetBuy

    What Did The Eu Ever Do For Us Anyway?

    The UK could easily resolve the "immigration issue" by applying existing EU law in the same way Spain has done: nobody (including those from other EU countries) can get Spanish residency unless they can either prove a certain amount of monthly income or they can show they already have a contract to work in Spain. Why Cameron doesn't implement something similar is beyond me.
  15. LiveAndLetBuy

    Admission When Wrong

    I find this site is great from an academic point of view, I learnt a lot about money theory and economics, especially leading up to and during the 2008 crash. However theories only give a certain point of view, and one can get bogged down in them, trying to make the best decision, or waiting for some "event" to occur, when really it is sometimes best to "take a punt". I made that mistake with gold, back in 2008. I thought about buying gold but then thought I'd rather hold cash in order to buy a cheap house. Houses in my area crashed, but not enough to make them a good "investment", gold shot up, house prices shot back up, and an opportunity was missed. These days I tend to drip feed money into various asset classes if they start to look attractive (such as gold is again) rather than trying to hit a market bottom.
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