Have you seen my stapler? (photo credit)
After visiting 16 countries in 16 months we are back in Taipei, Taiwan for the next year or so. A rental property we stayed in awhile back was available once again and the landlord was happy to have us move back in. It always pays to be a good tenant.
Even better news, this apartment has a room we used only for storage. So I turned it into a tax deduction.. err, I mean a home office.
GCC: Before we retired I looked long and hard for International cost of living/travel data. What I found was limited, vague, or outdated. Since then many sites and blogs have offered new data or a new approach.
Recently I found a new favorite… The Earth Awaits. Others like it too; it is currently featured on BBC’s The Travel Show.
In this Guest Post, see what the Frugal Vagabond has to say about his creation:
A Labor of Love
I love the world, and think that travel makes us better, more thoughtful, and more charitable with each other. In a world that seems to be turning inward, we could all use a little more of that.
Back in July, my wife, my father-in-law, and I sat down to a delicious Indian dinner. Dinners like this are always a little bittersweet— my wife’s mother passed away early last year, and her dad misses his wife terribly. Without her, he has an understandably tough time finding things to look forward to. Seeing his struggle with this loss always reminds me that time is our most precious resource.
As we ate, my father-in-law casually mentioned that his youngest brother had retired, making him the last of his siblings not to have done so. “Someday,” he said, “they’ll find me dead at my keyboard, I guess.”
I glanced at my wife and saw that she wore an absolutely miserable expression. She wants her dad to be happy, but doesn’t know how to help him look forward to anything.
“Hey… you’re collecting your Social Security, right? How much is that check every month?” I asked.
“About $2,300, why?” he replied.
Looking back, that was the moment that The Earth Awaits was born.
At FinCon 2016 (read my review) Jr was a shrewd negotiator in several business meetings, and an immaculate host for our guests on the houseboat. Clearly he is ready to step out of the shadow of his parents and build a place for himself in this world.
We discussed at length what opportunities would be the best fit for his skill set and experience. It has always been my goal that we coach him to be a problem solver and risk taker. Rather than asking what he wants to be when he grows up, we might ask “What improvements to the world would be most exciting for you to pursue?”
That must have been a little deep, because he just smiled and tried to look cute. And then it dawned on us…
Classy in San Diego
In September we (all 3 of us!) attended the financial bloggers conference known as FinCon for the first time, which took place over 4 days at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
I’ve been wanting to attend ever since I won a Plutus Award at last year’s FinCon for Best International Personal Finance Blog (yeah!) Thanks Plutus Awards!
Although I’ve been blogging for awhile, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. What exactly is a bloggers conference? I’ll try to convey our experience as first time attendees.
And naturally, attending a conference about fiscal responsibility requires a bit of fiscal responsibility, so I’ll share our actual costs. Hopefully this helps with planning if you want to attend in the future.
Rainbow of Credit (photo credit, badumtss)
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In the last year or so we’ve opened 9 new credit card accounts, 7 in my name and 2 in Winnie’s. We have plans to add several more in short order.
Many of these cards have great benefits in their own right, but the primary appeal is the generous signup bonuses which saved us nearly $10,000 on our recent trip to Europe.
Normally the signup bonus is dependent on spending a minimum amount within a specific time period, e.g. “Spend $4,000 on the new card in 3 months.” Our 9 new accounts came with a minimum spend requirement of $23,500, no small amount.
How does one meet these minimum spending requirements without breaking the bank? Inquiring minds want to know.