Geoarbitrage

Uh-Oh… Our Retirement Expenses Are Higher than Expected

Retirement expenses are a tough one to plan for in life. You can budget for what you think your expenses will be, but you really don’t know if they’ll be more or less.  The biggest reason is that your life will likely be dramatically different at the time. This is probably even more on par the younger you are when you leave the workforce because you’re likely not going to be resting on your laurels.  Not only would you be …

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The What-Ifs of Moving to a Different Country

Recently, my friend Lisa from the Mad Money Monster blog wrote about the “what ifs” on moving to a different country.  It was appropriately titled The What Ifs of International Geoarbitrage And Early Retirement. There’s a lot of talk on the Internet, particularly in the personal finance community, about the idea of geoarbitrage.  That’s the strategy of moving to another location, domestic or abroad, to take advantage of the lower cost-of-living and move ahead financially or possibly retire early. It …

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Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

I don’t normally write book reviews on this blog, but I’m making an exception for the new Choose FI book.  I was expecting my opinion to sway one way with the book but my impression after reading it went in a completely different direction. Chris Mamula is the author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence (along with coauthors Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa).  If you’re not familiar with Chris, he retired in 2017 at the young age of …

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Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just …

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Guest Appearance on the ChooseFI Podcast

Guest Appearance on the ChooseFI Podcast

I’ve been wanting to be a part of the ChooseFI podcast shortly after it began.  Jonathan and Brad launched the show at the end of 2016 and quickly took the FIRE community by storm! It’s a fantastic podcast helping to discuss the path to financial independence.  They bring on various guests to examine different aspects and strategies of reaching FI. What’s really great though is that they also focus quite a bit on enjoying the journey along the way.  I …

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Using Google Voice to Stay in Touch While Living Abroad

Using Google Voice to Stay in Touch While Living Abroad

Ever heard of Google Voice?  If not, know that this could be one of the best ways of staying in touch with family and friends while you’re living abroad. One of the small concerns we had was how to keep communication simple with everyone while we’re living in Panama.  When we get there, we’re going to get Panamanian cell service for our phones. The problem is that gives us a Panamanian phone number.  So if we call anyone in the …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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