Chris Rither, who owns the OneMeanDream website, is as blunt: “A timeshare is a sucker’s bet, because it preys on the emotional feelings people have for their favorite vacation spot. The problem is that we go on vacation to get away from our responsibilities, and now we’ve turned our favorite vacation spot into another financial liability. And what fun is there in that?”

Developers of course love timeshares, because they get to sell the same unit 52 times, and they collect the maintenance fee whether the owner comes or not. That profit potential is why timeshares - which date back to the mid-1970s in the United States - continue to thrive. The hefty profits fuel well-oiled sales teams, and they also buy lots of ads to keep new owners coming. Timeshares are not going away.

And for that, you just might applaud. That is because there is an easy way to make a timeshare work for you.

Timeshare veteran Isaac Gabriel, founder of - he’s a veteran of four purchases - spelled the insider’s secret: buy used.

He elaborated: "Timeshares are great especially if you purchase a resale. I have personally purchased the first one from the developer, and the other three I purchased directly from other owners, thus, realizing substantial discounts.”

He urged buyers to buy in resorts run by well-known operators - he pointed to Marriott and Starwood - but do not buy directly from them. Buy instead from current owners, tens of thousands of whom are anxious to sell, and many will honestly take pennies on the dollar.

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