ARDA President Responds to Dave Ramsey about Timeshare Ownership

Oftentimes the critics of timeshare make the statements they do because they don’t really understand the product, the pricing, or the benefit of vacation ownership. And if you don’t understand what you are buying or what you are critiquing, the risk exists that you will either be unhappy with your purchase or, in the case of non-owners writing critiques, that you will make inaccurate statements and wrongful assumptions. Timeshare ownership was back in the spotlight again this week in negative commentary that  probably wasn’t meant to malign an entire industry of hardworking, caring professionals, but in fact, did just that.

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”

Before you buy a timeshare or a timeshare resale, take the steps to be an educated consumer so that you understand fully what the vacation ownership product is, what responsibilities come with it, and what the many pleasures and benefits of timeshare really are. Committing to taking regular vacations, to travel and to enjoying spacious, amenity-packed vacation resorts is a lifestyle choice. Although it may not be right for everyone, you may be surprised by how many people who are timeshare owners, truly love their timeshare vacations.

Below is a recent statement from Howard Nusbaum, the CEO of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA)  addressing the subject of timeshare critics and the truth about vacation ownership.

Satisfied with Your Timeshare? Welcome to the 83%!

By Howard Nusbaum

July 17, 2013

Did you catch personal finance guru Dave Ramsey on the popular Fox & Friends show, doling out advice on the “do’s and don’ts” of travel spending this morning?

Dave gave timeshare a “don’t” vote, not only wrongly claiming that there is a 98% dissatisfaction rate amongst people who buy timeshares, but also claiming that most owners are “stuck” with their timeshare, there is no flexibility or choice of vacation destinations, and that timeshare is not a “good investment.”

While Dave is an excellent advice-giver when it comes to true financial investments, I respectfully disagree that he is qualified to offer advice on something that isn’t supposed to be a financial investment at all—vacationing. Whether you are renting a hotel room, buying a timeshare, or even just taking grandma out to dinner for allowing you to vacation on her couch—vacations do not offer a financial ROI, they are a lifestyle enhancement.

Timeshares as “bad investment” is simply a matter of apples and oranges. However, timeshare does have a key value proposition—for example, contrast the lifetime expense of vacationing, assuming you take a 2-week vacation in a hotel property and spend $3,000 each year. In just ten years, you will have spent $30,000, which is $10,000 more than the average cost of a timeshare!  And that doesn’t even count the savings from eating some meals in your timeshare unit, rather than the 21 meals out in a week.

Not only do our owners report an 83% satisfaction rate* (a complete 180 from Dave’s claim of only 2% satisfaction!), but we hear time and time again from happy owners who take vacations with timeshare year after year—thanking themselves for the wise purchase that grants them the discipline of better vacationing. They are doing what is truly important: spending time with people they love.  Whether it’s heading to their favorite beach resort that feels like a second home, or exploring a new destination through the vast network of properties all over the world, timeshare owners do have a choice.

So Dave, please stick to traditional investment advice and leave the vacation advice to the lifestyle gurus! At the end of the day, the time one enjoys with family (including the comforts of home that a timeshare offers) offers a huge dividend—just ask those you love. It’s that simple.

Thanks for the advice Dave, but I think you should take “two weeks of timeshare,” and then call me in the morning!

*Source: Shared Vacation Ownership Owners Report – 2012 Edition, prepared by The Research Intelligence Group for the ARDA International Foundation.