Reflections of 2020 – Procreation, Pandemics, and Politics, Oh My

2020 was our 8th full year of “retirement.” While much of the world seemed a bit more chaotic than usual, we were fortunate to be largely sheltered from any abnormality.

We had a pretty good year – we started with a big ski trip to Japan (Jr’s 1st), traveled a bunch locally, had a baby, and joined a country club. We also upscaled our housing, our taxes, and our domestic staff.

These things were not inexpensive, but even so our spending was no higher than our most profligate travel years (just 3x our 1st year.)

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GCC Business Review 2020

2020 was our 8th full year of life beyond work. After all this time I still feel it is pretty nice.

This year was a bit more disorganized than most, simply because the year was more chaotic – a global pandemic and the birth of our 2nd child may have been contributing factors. As such, 2020 content was more wide than deep. Topics covered include:

Each year we’ve also shared detailed income and blog traffic data – I always suspected that during a big recession readership and income on a blog such as this would plummet. If there are no capital gains, there isn’t much interest in tax optimization. If you can’t or won’t travel, travel hacking isn’t the most exciting topic.

Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised on both counts.

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Scared to Death of Early Retirement, No More. An Update.

Enjoying Early Retirement Travel in Switzerland – photo by Bob

{GCC – Since publication 6 years ago of the widely popular financial review for ‘The Bobs’ , people have inquired on social media, email, blog comments, and even in person, “Where are they now? Please tell us how it turned out!” Not wanting to let you all down, I asked (often) if they might share an update of what they have experienced and learned. Alas, they were much too busy enjoying retirement. Until now…}

Happy New Year GCC readers. Bob here from our now infamous financial review, Scared to Death of Early Retirement. I just had my 5-year retirement anniversary, so I thought we would give you and Jeremy has been pestering me for an update on how things have been going.

First off…

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Happy Holidays!

Watercolor by Winnie

Happy winter solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you fellow financiers and adventurers-in-place.

And Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Diwali! Happy Festivus! Seasons Greetings!

This was our 8th full year of post-work life. 2020… man, what a year.

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Award Travel Series: Your First Five Credit Cards

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As the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and a vaccine is in sight, the thought of travel is slowly starting to trickle back in to the realm of possibility. Banks and credit card companies have redoubled their efforts in the home stretch of the year in an effort to make up for lost profits in Q1-3, which means increased welcome bonuses and a barrage of deals becoming available. If you plan to travel at all in the next 12-18 months (I know I am), now is the time to start building your points and miles balances so you can take advantage of these opportunities.

In the Award Travel Introduction, I went through some travel hacking terminology and explanations of transferable currencies, which are far and away the most powerful way to maximize your award travel options. As was initially mentioned, credit card signup bonuses are the most lucrative method of earning miles and points, especially transferable currencies, and so today we’re going to outline the first 5 credit cards you should consider opening to get the most free travel possible (hint: they earn transferable currencies!).

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