3 Meals in Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is a culinary lovers’ dream. With offerings ranging from quick snacks served in dark alleys to Michelin rated multi-course meals surrounded in elegance, this cosmopolitan metropolis has it all and at a price that won’t break the bank

With a varied political and culinary history, Taiwan offers diners food from across Asia and beyond, with strong influences from Japan and Southeastern China.

With all of this along with delights that are pure Taiwan, it was difficult to narrow it down to just 3 meals.  Here are the 3 that rose to the top

Reflections of 2013, A Year on the Road

2013 was our first year of traveling the globe, and what a good year it was! We traveled by plane, boat, bus, car, bicycle, and foot through Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and part of the US Pacific Northwest.

We swam with whale sharks, released baby turtles into the sea, swam in underground rivers, jumped off waterfalls, witnessed many wonderful sunrises and sunsets, and ate delicious foods.  We studied Spanish, guitar, jewelry making, and Mexican cooking, skills and interests that we can carry through a lifetime.

We left the stresses and inconveniences of the working world behind, and found happiness and contentment through everyday experiences. We even learned quite a bit about the finances and tax benefits of early retirement, slow travel, and medical tourism. But perhaps the highlight of all of these adventures and experiences, we met a lot of interesting people and made many incredible new friends

By any metric, our first year of early retirement was a great success

Throughout the year we have shared details of our expenses, in order to inform others who may be interested in pursuing a life of travel and adventure themselves. Let’s look back on those expenses with the benefit of hindsight


Social Security And Early Retirement

For many, the monthly social security check is a welcome sight.  Part of the social contract for ages, it helps pay rent and grocery bills, put some gas in the Cadillac, and provide for the occasional trip to Florida.  With all of the press about the underfunding of the Social Security trust, it still takes in more in employment taxes than it pays out, and is part of retirement planning for the majority of future retirees

Like many retirees (early and otherwise), we paid no Social Security tax in 2013 (and don’t plan to ever again*.)  This raised a great question on the recent post where we shared our 2013 taxes.

“The one downside to not paying social security tax going forward is that your payout when you retire will be lower than a person paying as they continue to work….am I correct about this? If so, then the loss of a “annuity product for life” can be a major problem.”

Let’s see if this is a major problem, or even a problem at all.