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 U.S. or they call us, it’s an international call.  That means some potential extra money for each phone call… and we know I don’t like that! Plus, we have to ensure that everyone has our new number, which can also

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

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

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

Considerations for Planning to Retire Abroad

Considerations for Planning to Retire Abroad

With our recent announcement of us moving up our early retirement date to the end of 2018, the pressure’s now on.  We’re now planning to retire abroad to Panama in the summer of 2019. The news was exciting for us to share, but now reality’s setting in.  Although a year seems like a lot of time, there’s really a lot that needs to be done. It would be one thing if we were just moving to another country for a couple of years.  However, we’re planning to actually retire abroad for the long haul. And with that, comes the need to sell everything.  Not only our house, but our cars, furniture, TVs, books – you name it!  We’re planning to walk