The Minutiae of Moving to Another Country

The Minutiae of Moving to Another Country

Minutiae.  It’s such a funny word. It makes me chuckle just saying it, so I thought it would be perfect for what I want to talk about today. We’re learning pretty quickly that when you want to move to another country, you can’t just pick up and leave.  There’s a lot of minutiae that will need to be ironed out in the planning. See, wasn’t that was fun to read that word again?  Minutiae. Anyway, I thought I’d take some time today to talk about some of the minutiae we’re starting to think more about lately. Fine, I’ll stop saying the word… for now.  But I do have a funny feeling it’ll find it’s way into this post at some

My First FIRE Presentation on Geoarbitrage

My First FIRE Presentation on Geoarbitrage

Yup, you read that right… I did a FIRE presentation regarding geoarbitrage and our plans to move to Panama. Deanna (aka Ms. Fiology) asked me to do a talk for the ChooseFI local group in Northeast Ohio.  I’m a reasonably outgoing guy, but public speaking is a whole different ball game. I had never done a presentation like this before, but I decided why not push my comfort level and give it a shot?  So I agreed. Although my stipulation was that we keep the FIRE presentation informal, my mind tends to not work that way.  I would have liked to just wing it and simply talk about our story on-the-fly and field questions throughout. Instead, I ended up putting together

Why Less Is More and Bigger Isn’t Better

Why Less Is More and Bigger Isn’t Better

I’ll leave the “bigger is better” jokes up to you guys.  But, if you’ve been around the personal finance blogosphere long enough, you’re bound to hear things like that or “less is more” or some other variations of the phrase. To me that just seemed obvious – sure, if you want to cut your costs, eliminate your cable or drive a used car and **poof** you’ve saved a few bucks.  Frugality at its best. However, I’ve learned that spending less can actually lead to much bigger savings that I wasn’t even thinking about. Sometimes when you spend less in one area, it has a domino effect in other areas that make the costs even less overall.  And in some cases,

Expat Health Insurance – Our Plans for Panama

Expat Health Insurance – Our Plans for Panama

Expat health insurance – the one piece of retirement unique to those living in another country. One of the biggest struggles for folks wanting to pull the trigger on early retirement in the U.S. tends to revolve around healthcare.  Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that one except to say to plan for the worse.  You have to build the unknown into your FIRE number because it can be the one wildcard that can throw off anyone’s plans. That sucks, but it’s our fault as a country for letting the healthcare industry get as powerful as it has.  Unfortunately, that puts most of us in the U.S. in a tough spot where medical care costs more here than any other

Selling a House… It’s the Reason I’ll Never Buy Another

Selling a House... It's the Reason I'll Never Buy Another

Selling a house.  Selling our house.  It sounded easy enough and we needed to consider doing that as part of our plan to move to Panama next summer. We thought about keeping it and renting it out, but after discussing the options with our financial advisor, it actually made more sense to sell it.  We have a lot of equity in it and we’ll need that money to cover our first five years during our Roth IRA conversion ladder. That said, we’re not moving to Panama until next summer so we can let our daughter finish out the school year.  So why not wait and just sell the house in the spring? That was initially the plan, but with the real

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Early retirement planning.  You’d think the closer we get to our FIRE date, the simpler things would become. I mean really – I’m leaving my job in just a few months so as I continue to train my replacement, my workload should start to diminish over time.  Plus, we’re downsizing to an apartment soon (if we could ever sell our house!). What else could there be, Jim?  How much early retirement planning do you really need?  Didn’t you already get these plans laid out months or years ago? I’ll tell you what – I read a lot of personal finance blogs with folks who’ve already left their jobs and it seems like the majority of what I read is: 1) Reach