Uh-Oh… Our Retirement Expenses Are Higher than Expected

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 more 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 trying your hand at all sorts of projects (some that cost money or transportation), but there’s a lot more time for changes to occur. And by changes, I mean that you have a longer amount of time for your

The What-Ifs of Moving to a Different Country

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 was a great post!  I love it because it raises a lot of questions that many people are thinking when they even consider geoarbitrage.  And she wasn’t trying to say whether or not moving to a different country is good

10 Reasons Not to Live in Panama

10 Reasons Not to Live in Panama

Life’s not all a bed of roses here in Boquete.  I thought today that I’d share some reasons not to live in Panama. So far, living here has been a wonderful experience for me and my family.  It definitely was an adjustment (and still is occasionally), but just being a part of a life that’s so different than we’re accustomed to is both interesting and amazing. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat.  Between the perfect temperature (at least for me!) in Boquete where we’re living, the mountain scenery, the cost of living, and more, we’ve been very happy. But there’s no perfect place and I thought I’d give

The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

The 7 Reasons I Love Living in Panama as an Expat

I’ve been living in Panama as an expat for a little over a month and a half now.  And what a truly awesome experience it’s been so far for me and my family. The first couple of weeks were like a vacation.  Most of our time was consumed with exploring and having fun.  We spent our days eating out, shopping (ok, mostly just browsing!), and doing fun activities like whale watching. Starting at the beginning of September, we began to scale back a little bit.  It was time for us (mostly Lisa) to start Faith’s homeschooling.  That had its ups and downs but seems to be working pretty well as of late.  But it also has meant an earlier bedtime

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

Solving the World’s Problems… Starting with Mine!

When it comes to solving the world’s problems, I’m the man.  I’ve got it all handled.  Call me “Mr. Fix-It”! Ok, maybe that’s far from true.  I’m not solving the world’s problems at all.  In fact, I sometimes struggle to handle my own problems. But, I’m good at adapting and actually enjoy change.  I have an engineer’s/programmer’s mindset and like to logically find an optimal solution to problems. And now that we’re living in Panama, I get to push my problem-solving to a different level.  We live in a small town in the mountains called Boquete.  There’s no Walmart, Target, or Home Depot here.  The closest counterpart I’ve got is a small discount store called Novedades La Reyna and a

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

Our First Week of Homeschooling in Panama

We’ve been preparing for our move to Panama for over a year now.  When we decided to move, we knew we were going to be homeschooling for at least the first year we’re here. Immediately, I started researching homeschooling and have been trying to figure out this new world.  There are so many different philosophies and strategies on how to homeschool that I wrote about previously in my post, Homeschooling Research… Aarrgghh!!!!. I quickly realized this was going to be an ongoing learning process for all of us and a big adjustment! For this first week, I didn’t plan too much as far as lessons go.  Jim and I came up with a daily schedule for each day of the