Is One Million Dollars Enough to Retire On?

Is One Million Dollars Enough to Retire On?

One million dollars.  It’s the coveted goal for many. Maybe it’s something you think is way out of reach.  Or maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum and close to it or even long surpassed that number. Regardless, one million dollars just seems to be a good round number in our heads to strive for reaching.  In fact, it’s a number that many folks have had as their target number for financial independence or retirement for decades. You suddenly gain the status of “millionaire” and you become part of the “7-digit club.”  What could be more exciting than that? However, we all know that the dollar ain’t worth what it used to be.  Inflation loves to strip away

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

Only You Can Change Your Circumstances

Only You Can Change Your Circumstances

Some guys have all the luck.  Things just seem to work out for some people and not for others.  Such is life.  After all, you can’t change your circumstances… can you? Hmm, that’s a question worth digging into – can you change your circumstances in life? I’ve always had this weird fascination about how cool it would be to take someone from the past (like from the 1700’s or 1800’s) and bring them to the present. Yeah, I’m a weirdo – deal with it. But, imagine their awe at some of the technology we have today.  There’s so much we take for granted… computers really are an astounding feat. If we just look at smartphones as one facet of technology, it’s almost

Travel Rewards – 12 Free Flights Earned in 9 Months!

Travel Rewards - 12 Free Flights Earned in 9 Months!

You ever see those offers from the credit card companies with the big juicy sign-up bonuses?  They might be offering 50,000 points or miles in travel rewards for spending maybe $3,000 in the first few months. If you’re like I used to be, you get those offers in the mail and just tear ’em up and pitch ’em.  Those jerks aren’t suckering me into their little trap of overspending my hard-earned money for a lousy plane ticket or hotel stay! Yeah, well that was then.  Back in my college days, I got my first credit cards and ran up about $30k in credit card debt.  It took me years to realize just how screwed I was and work my way

The Hardest Part of the Path to FIRE is…

The Hardest Part of the Path to FIRE is…

The path to FIRE (financial independence / retire early) can be a long and sometimes arduous path.  Each of us runs into our own obstacles and stumbling blocks along the way. One piece of good news is that, unlike the early trail-blazers that went down this path, there’s now a wonderful community on the big old Internet.  If you look past the get-rich-quick garbage out there, you’ll find a lot of supportive and helpful folks who want you to succeed. Another plus in your favor is that FIRE continues to become something more folks are doing.  It’s far from mainstream, but it’s more common than it has been anytime before. Because of that, there are a lot of success stories providing

The Next Steps in Our Early Retirement Plans

The Next Steps in Our Early Retirement Plans

I thought I’d take a step back from my normal posts to update everyone on our status – where we’re currently at and the next steps in our early retirement plans. My regular readers know that I’m leaving my job at the end of this year and we’re moving to Panama next summer (2019).  It seems like an eternity away, but it’s really not a lot of time. So the good news is that the adventure is almost ready to begin!  The bad news is that we have a lot going on to make this happen successfully. I’m a planner by nature, but it’s been a little stressful as each of these big steps has a lot of little steps.