Life in Early Retirement

What’s It REALLY Like to Live in a Foreign Country?

We’ve now been living in a foreign country for six months.  If you’re not familiar, we moved to Panama in August of 2019. We had visited the country in the summer of 2017 as a sort of recon mission along with my brother and sister-in-law.  Don’t worry, we had plenty of fun while there, but the real goal was to determine if we could see ourselves actually living there. The cities we scoped out included Nueva Gorgona, Coronado, El Valle …

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Is FIRE the Finish Line or Just the Beginning?

Looking back on my own path to financial independence, I treated the whole thing like a race in my mind.  Reaching the finish line was the utmost important goal. As I continued to make more money every year through raises, I saved more and more.  But the other side of the equation is cutting expenses… and cut expenses we did! In my mind, if it wasn’t a necessity, I really had to think about if it made sense to spend …

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Our First Visit to the Dentist in Panama Was… Different

Last week we made our first visit to the dentist in Panama.  I had been looking forward to it for a while now because I’m always intrigued just to see the differences from what I’m used to in the United States. I was told that going to the dentist here is a lot like being waterboarded.  Thankfully, I’d never experienced anything like that before but somehow that actually intrigued me more.  Curiosity killed the cat though, right? Even though we …

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Would You REALLY Work Out Once You’re Retired?

I hate to work out. When talking to gym-addicts, they love to tell me things, “oh, you’ll learn to enjoy it over time.”  I chuckle. I don’t think so.  I hate knowing that it’s time to go work out and I hate the actual workout. “Yeah, but you feel so much better once you’re done, right?” Um, no.  I’m glad it’s over, but no, I don’t feel better or refreshed at all. Look, I’m just keeping it real.  I do …

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5 Life Lessons from Our First Year of Early Retirement

It’s time to share some life lessons I’ve gone through in my first year of early retirement. Exactly one year ago today, I was at the office on the last day I would ever work in my career again.  It was New Year’s Eve, 2018 and it was the day before my retirement officially began at the sweet age of 43. My career in IT started back in 1999 and lasted almost 20 years.  I started as an unexperienced Systems …

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Our Return Trip to Panama – How We Saved Thousands

This return trip to Panama is well overdue.  We had a blast, but we’re whupped and ready to get back home (we’re finally starting to get comfortable calling Panama “home”). We spent over a month in the U.S. enjoying time with friends and family.  Then we took a roundtrip Caribbean cruise out of Miami. Who’da thunk that we’d be ready to go home after so much fun?!  But we really are – it’s time to enjoy the holidays together and …

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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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One of the Absolute Best Facets of Early Retirement

A lot of you have been following FIRE (financial independence, retire early) blogs as you continue down your own path toward financial freedom.  And the numbers to reach FI (financial independence) are important, but what about the early retirement side of things? Some of you will continue to work and just want FI to ensure a secure retirement.  If you love what you do, that’s the best scenario you can have.  Congratulations! But others of you want to get out …

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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 …

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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 …

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