Dear Dave: My wife and I recently sat through a timeshare pitch at my mom and dad’s community as a favor to them. We’re trying to get out of debt and take control of our money, so when the salesman said we could put the whole thing on a credit card, I told him about you and your plan. He then said that he used to be your personal financial advisor and had sold you three timeshares in the past. Is this true, or are timeshares a bad idea? — Jeremy
Dear Jeremy: A timeshare salesman said he had been my personal financial advisor? Wow! It takes real guts, and a bunch of dishonest nerve, to spread that kind of crap around.
No, I’ve never in my life owned a timeshare. I’ve made just about every financial mistake known to man, except that one. I’ve also never made the mistake of having a timeshare salesman as my financial advisor. This sounds like the kind of guy who you know is lying if his lips are moving!
I’m really sorry if your mom and dad already hooked up with this bunch. Timeshares, even with honest salespeople, are just straight-up stupid. Never buy a timeshare! The customer dissatisfaction rate with those things is sky-high, and you’re pretty much stuck once you buy one. They’re almost impossible to sell, because you don’t really own anything.
For the money you spend to buy a timeshare, you could take several nice vacations and stay in some pretty decent places. People get suckered in to these things all the time, Jeremy, but it’s a really bad idea. Don’t do it! — Dave
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