The GCC Accumulation Phase Expenses

Old Growth Forest Near Home

Old Growth Forest Near Home.  The Price Is Right

If somebody was looking for a great example of how to live lean, to truly be efficient in spending and maximize savings…  we would not be it.  Or at least, we wouldn’t be a good example today

It just takes a quick look at our detailed expenses to see that we are by no means a frugal household.  We rent 5-star accommodations, eat out 2 to 3 times a day, and buy whatever we want whenever we want.

This is one reason that I find it a little humorous when the idea of early retirement gets some mainstream press, and people go nuts in the comments.

“Yeah, right.  Like I’m going to live like I’m in poverty now, so I can save enough to allow me to live like I’m in poverty forever.  No thanks.  I’m going to work forever and live a little”

“Yeah, you can do that in Whereverville, but here in my high cost of living area it is impossible (turns on TV)”

Besides ignoring the effects of compound interest, or the value of time and freedom, this type of comment ignores the obvious.  A person that lives well below their means can always choose to increase spending.  A person that is already spending everything they earn has few options, in spending or in life

So I thought I would look back and see what we were spending while we were still accumulating, to see what 10 years of “living like we were in poverty” in a “high cost of living area” looked like

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Reader Financial Review: Escape From New York

financialreviewWelcome back for the 2nd post in our series of Go Curry Cracker Reader Financial Reviews, where we dig deep into the finances and ambitions of a lucky anonymous reader.  Together, we can overcome limiting beliefs, change the rules, and exceed our goals

This month we go to Manhattan where Mr and Mrs NYC have discovered that lifestyle inflation is one of the world’s most powerful forces, second only to compound interest.

We will also learn a little about the difference between owning real estate and investing in real estate, the high tax burden of NYC, and why the Backdoor Roth is not necessarily a great investment choice.

We exchanged many emails over the past several weeks, which inspired a lot of creative thinking on both sides.  Let’s see how it turned out

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Monthly Expenses (January 2015, Taipei, Taiwan)

The Big Tent

The Big Tent:  Cavalia

Hello 2015! Our 3rd full year of early retirement is off to a good start.

We kicked off the new year with some fireworks, went to the coast for a bike ride under a mountain (photos below), and then went under the big tent to see Cavalia, a horse and circus extravaganza.

In normal daily life, I continued with my Chinese studies, now in my 4th quarter. Winnie continued with flute lessons and enrolled in 2 new painting classes

We have mostly settled into our new neighborhood, and are now known on site by several of the local restaurants.  At our favorite Szechuan place, as soon as they see Winnie the staff runs in the back room to grab an extra pillow for better back support.  My favorite coffee shop knows my usual order, and the little hole in the wall Japanese place has started giving us free appetizers.  It’s like we are in an episode of Cheers

How much did this extravagant living cost?
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How Tim Ferriss Helped Me Retire in My 30’s, Lose 17 Pounds, & Cook Like a Pro

True Love

Soul Mates

Two year’s ago Valentine’s Day, Winnie and I celebrated our love by going to a small pastry shop for afternoon tea.  I remember our conversation like it was yesterday

Winnie: “We were really lucky to find each other.  I have never met anybody that fits me so well.”

Me: “I know, I feel the same way.”

Winnie:  “I bet we feel so comfortable with each other because we have been together in past lives, like soul mates”

Me:  “You think so?  I believe that”

Winnie:  “Yeah, and maybe in our next life we will be together again. I could even be the man and you be the woman”

Me:  “You think?”

Winnie:  “Yeah…  but, maybe you could lose some weight first.  I’m not really into fat chics”

True love… how sweet it is

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GCC vs The RMD

Challenger 2 main battle tank by Cpl Ross Fernie RLC - Defence Imagery. Licensed under OGL via Wikimedia Commons.

Go Curry Cracker Going to Battle with the RMD

Over the past few years, taxes have become a bit of a passion obsession.

I had always assumed our tax rate would be lower in retirement, and therefore followed the mainstream advice to max out my 401k each year.  This definitely helped to Turbocharge our Savings, and saved a ton in taxes during the accumulation phase

Then in our first years of early retirement, it became clear just how low our taxes could be.  Infinitesimally low.  Completely non existent.  Zero

Now I’m on a mission to Never Pay Taxes Again, not for any politically or financially motivated reason… but just because we can

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