My First FIRE Presentation on Geoarbitrage

My First FIRE Presentation on GeoarbitrageYup, 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 a Google Sheets presentation and putting something a little more formal together.  It took a lot more time and effort to prepare for than I had anticipated.  So much for informal!


Well, we’re here…

The FIRE presentation took place at the Independence Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library in one of their meeting rooms.  For as nice as everything is and how helpful the staff is, it’s both amazing and awesome that reserving these rooms is free.

It took place on 1/27/19 and there were somewhere between 15-20 attendees that made it there.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was elated with how friendly and easy-going everyone was.

It reminded me a lot of FinCon in a way.  When you get a bunch of people together with a common interest, it’s bound to make for great conversation and instant connections.

Was I nervous?  Sure, a little bit, but not as much as I thought I would be.  I had walked through the presentation way too many times at home so I knew the flow.  It was now just a matter of not making a fool of myself!


The FIRE presentation on geoarbitrage

Here were the main bullet points of my talk:

  • Some background on myself and the R2R family
  • Defining geoarbitrage, giving some examples, and explaining why we’re moving to Panama
  • Why we specifically chose a city called Boquete in Panama
  • A comparison of a lot of the costs between Cleveland and Boquete
  • Healthcare – contrasting the costs and treatment in the U.S. versus other countries (spoiler… they can both be winners outside of the U.S.!)
  • Why I quit working and we haven’t moved yet – Roth conversions and school for my daughter
  • The things we already know – pros and cons
  • Wrap-up and questions

I was also very surprised by the number of questions from the FIRE presentation.  And they were a lot of really good questions, too!


Correction of errors

It’s always good to review anything you do to determine what you did right, but also, what you could have done better.  That’s the best way to continue to grow.

The feedback I got from others is that it went well, but most people also tend to shy away from telling you if you actually suck.

Hopefully, I didn’t suck and personally, I did feel it went fine.  But, looking back, I think I struggled with doing too much reading and not enough conversation.  The good news is that I did loosen up a little bit as I made my way through it.

Regardless, practice makes perfect!  I’ll just have to remember that for my next FIRE presentation.


The video

Deanna was nice enough to record the talk for those who couldn’t make it.  She added it to her brand new YouTube channel.  If you want to show some support, you might want to check it out and subscribe to her channel here.

She’ll be the first to tell you she’s new at this though and, unfortunately, she ran out of space on her phone.  I tried to blame it on her recording in 1080p instead of the less space-gouging setting of 720p.  But, that was me just covering for the fact that I probably just yammered on for too long for my talk!

So, if you’re interested, you can watch the first 33 minutes of the FIRE presentation.  I think the whole thing, including all the questions, actually ran about an hour and a half.

Please check it out and feel free to make fun of me in the comments below.  Here’s Deanna’s post on the talk:

FIRE & Geoarbitrage – Featuring Jim from Route to Retire

and here’s the YouTube video:

It was really fun to do something new like this and maybe I’ll try to do some more talks like this down the line.  You never know… maybe I’ll be a FinCon speaker at some point down the line!

Thanks for reading!!

— Jim

You know you wanna share this!!

10 thoughts on “My First FIRE Presentation on Geoarbitrage”

  1. “Anybody in middle management here?.. anybody? it sucks right!?”

    That was funny. I would have been agreeing like mad. Nice job getting out of your comfort zone dude. Start retirement off with some non-money growth 🙂

    1. It does suck, doesn’t it?! So glad to be out of that position. The good news is that even if somehow things don’t work out perfectly with my numbers, I shouldn’t ever have to go back to middle management again. I can get a part-time job not having to deal with all those headaches. 😉

      — Jim

  2. Great job getting out of your comfort zone! I’m sure you can present at FinCon. They’re always looking for new presenters.
    I’ll watch the video later today.

    1. I remember you’ve talked about Toastmasters a few times in past posts you wrote. Maybe you and I can team up for a FinCon presentation sometime down the line and both get out of our comfort zones! 😉

      — Jim

  3. Way to get out of your comfort zone! Now time for a FinCon presentation! You can also be part of a panel and save at least $100 off the FinCon ticket if you want to split up your talking with 4 people.

  4. I agree with Dave on the part about middle-management being hilarious. You were actually quite funny and a natural in my opinion. You shared a lot of information with us which was highly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to be so prepared. The humor was just a nice added touch?.

    FinCon – definitely!

    Oh yeah you’re going to be doing another one someday when you come back to visit your mom in Northeast Ohio…

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