Go to school. Get good grades. Get a good job. Buy a house. Work for 30+ years. Be a good consumer. Retire on a golf course.
For many, these are the ingredients for success. But life has more to offer those willing to change the recipe.
By living in a small apartment in an old building, walking and biking instead of owning a car, and preparing most of our meals in our own kitchen, we were able to save a large percentage of our income. Instead of buying things and services, we learned new skills that reduced our expenses even further. By learning to invest, we turned those savings into a respectable income stream. Now still in our 30’s, instead of 2 weeks of vacation a year, we have 52.
We are Jeremy and Winnie. Together we are Go Curry Cracker, a rallying cry we earned on our honeymoon hiking trip. This blog shares our journey.
Winnie Tseng is from Taiwan and is the Go Curry Cracker resident photographer. After working in high tech, she found her real love making magic happen behind the camera and in the kitchen. Now she travels the world in search of new flavors and images.
Jeremy Jacobson is from the United States and is the Go Curry Cracker blog writer. His love of learning and adventure make permanent travel the ideal lifestyle.
Want to know more? Contact us!
Also be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!
Guys good luck and I will follow your adventures with great interest… Speak soon Marc
I am awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award for the quality of your work. Further information is available at this site – http://wp.me/p2FYRz-9F.
Congratulations! Keep up the good work. I will be following along. – Mike
Thank you Mike!
You two sound like an awesome team with a fabulous life ahead. I applaud your intrepid spirits and wish you all the best on your life journey, Terri
Thank you Terri and James! You have a wonderful story. Wow, 57 countries!
Just a quick note to tell you how much I’m loving this blog. Very inspirational and really enjoy the combination of writing/photos. Our family goal is to live in a Spanish-speaking country and while Spain as a destination is #1 on the list, I’m thinking Mexico and some of these places you’ve written about may be #2. Keep up the great work.
Hi Buck, thank you for sharing you thoughts with us, I am glad that you are enjoying our blog!
Spain is a great country, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities by far. Check out San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, if you get the chance. It has been our favorite city in Mexico, and is very family friendly
I’ve added San Miguel de Allende to our research list. Thanks for the suggestion!
Congrats on achieving your financial independence early. I look forward to reading some of the information you post about your journey. I want to reach FI in 10 years.
Love your blog and seeing SMA and giving up the corporate life through someone else’s eyes for a change. Merry Christmas Winnie and Jeremy. Xo nic
Can you give more information on how you became fi. saving rates,expenses while you were saving those 10 yrs I am 36 and would Ike to be done in 10 yrs so any real information you can share would be helpful
My standard advice is live in a small apartment close to the office and a grocery store, sell the car and ride a bike everywhere, and learn to cook well so you are excited to eat 99% of your meals at home.
These 3 things provide 80% of the opportunity for savings in modern day America. There are example posts on this blog for each of them
If a person can’t (or in most cases won’t) do these 3 things, then it is much more difficult and takes substantially longer to save enough. It is a personal choice and there is no right answer, but if the goal is to retire in 10 years then I see no other options. Saving a few $ on cell phone bills and cable television don’t make much of an impact to a typical consumer lifestyle, so I don’t provide any advice outside of the Big 3
Good luck. If you have detailed questions about a specific situation, feel free to send them our way via the contact form
Do you have a packing list or similar written up somewhere to inspire others?
We don’t really keep a packing list, that sounds way too organized :)
This post does have a photo of nearly everything we own though:
Hope that helps!
Great mindset. I just can’t believe I have waited so long to try to be as intelligent as you are. Society really brainwashed us… I remember that when I was in high school, my only goal was to get a wife, have 2 kids and a house in a suburban city and have a good but relax job paying 50k per year….and work for the rest of my life… like everyone else.
I thought it was the thing to do because I had no other role model. My parents forced me into that mould, school forced me into that mould and even medias forced me into that mould… but I should have said no.
At least I realized a couple of years ago that my life could be different and that I had to assume to it was my fault if I was stucked in the rat race. I realized that even if society pressure is heavy I could change my way of life.
It will take me years to have enough passive income to become FI but at least now I have a plan and I’m dedicated to it.
Keep writing. The worlds need role models like you guys to see that the [email protected] way of life is not the only path.
There is no time like the present.
Early retirement through saving and investing was really only possible in the past 30-50 years, with rising wealth and mainstream investing options, so its no surprise that society doesn’t present ER as an option
Congratulations for finding this option. With some serious saving it takes less time than it would seem. Good luck!
First of all, thanks for all the posts, mind-blowing. I’ve never thought about a lifestyle like this and it seems pretty true and exciting. Keep blogging and I want to learn more.
Quick questions to you guys.
Do you consider living on passive incoming fragile, as some of the tax “hack” based savings may be gone if the tax law changes? There’s assumption that the investment return rate stays around certain level to maintain the income. How risky is it to make that assumption? I am not sure if you guys have kids, how would the spending on kids (e.g., education) affect the plan of FI as you can see?
Thanks a lot!
Thank you for reading! And great questions
First the questions about kids:
Do we consider living on passive income fragile?
Not at all. And definitely less fragile than living off a paycheck.
This is how I explained it to my Mom
Mom: “You are quitting your job? Forever? Do you have an emergency fund?”
Me: “It will all be OK, Mom. We have a 40 year emergency fund”
Tax law will change, but even if it returns to historical highs, it won’t affect us more than a few percent. The daily choices we make on how we spend our money are significantly more important
There are deeper answers on many posts, if you are able to browse through them
All the best, Ming
Awesome site! I really love the idea of Financial Independence/Early retirement combined with travelling the world.
Did you have a favourite place so far?
Thanks Pat! Choosing a favorite place might be like trying to pick my favorite flavor of ice cream :)
We loved San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. My favorite city anywhere is probably Barcelona. Winnie wants to go back to Southern France. And there are still so many places we haven’t been.
I’ve spent most of my day reading past articles on this site and have loved every second of it. You have changed many of my beliefs regarding the strategies needed to retire (much) earlier than is considered “normal.”
Please let me know if I have missed something, but any where on this site do you lay out suggestions for people wishing to follow a similar route? Something like a “If we were starting with $0 in savings and wanted to get to where we are now, here’s how we’d do it?” type of step-by-step article? From reading other posts I have pieced together a few how-to’s, but am curious if a “beginning to end” roadmap already exists.
I should write such a post, but I haven’t yet. But here is a simplified version:
– Live in a small apartment in walkable neighborhood, cook meals at home, ride a bike -> Save 70%+ of income
– Use tax advantaged accounts to save: 401k, HSA, Traditional IRA, and then taxable Brokerage account
– Invest primarily in index funds, such as VTI / VTSAX
– Wait 10 years or so -> You are now financially independent
– Spend less than 4% of assets each year, primarily from qualified dividends and long term capital gains
– Convert tax advantaged accounts from Traditional to Roth type over time at the 0% tax rate
That’s really all anyone would need to do to repeat what we did
Fire away with any questions, we are happy to help
Thanks for the summary. Am I correct in understanding that the primary reason for building up the investments in the taxable brokerage account while working is so that it will provided qualified dividends and long term capital gains (and will thus cover living expenses) when the person is not working?
Yes and no. Retiring early requires saving a high percentage of income. The tax-deferred account limits are too low to save everything in them (e.g. $18k in 401k in 2015), so inevitably you will end up with investments in a brokerage account as well
you must have had very high paying jobs to afford to do this
Maybe. Or it could be we didn’t spend very much
My sole source of transportation for years was a bike I found on Craigslist for $50. I later sold it for $60.
Income is only one side of the equation, and not always the most important one
Do you have any posts from when you were working that talk about how much you earned, saved, and got to your current lifestyle?
I don’t. I didn’t start blogging until after retiring
Got it, that makes sense. Too bad though. It’d be great if you could write something that summarizes things. I’ve been on a similar route for a few years now but make much less. Also my partner is still paying off loans which makes it extra hard.
Your idea got me to look back at some of our old spending, which I summarized in a new post:
Hope it helps
When you refer to saving 50 or even 65% of your income, I assume you mean after tax income. So, lets say I make 100k / year, but after taxes, fica, 401k, hsa, and health ins. lets say I bring home about 50k / year.
So, I need to be saving 65% of that? How do you factor in for pretax savings, 401k (plus match) and HSA?
I currently max out my hsa and 401k (3% match) so I figure that has to go into the 65% some where, just not sure as it is pretax how you calculate.
Thanks, and I like the blog, a lot of good info about avoiding taxes in early retirement, I hope to take advantage of some of that in 7-10 years. :)
A 50% after tax savings rate:
(Income – Taxes) / 2 = Saving = Spending
I count pre-tax and post-tax savings as the same, since I expect a 0% tax bill
Thank you both for the inspiration. My wife and I are going to sit down and plan something similar. Best wishes for safe and happy travels!
Good luck Pete! It’s worth it
After your adventures, how much money will you have left? What job will you get back into? What are your thoughts on a couple wanting children impacting what you are doing now?
There will be no future jobs and no end of adventures
We are a couple wanting children, expecting in April.
See these posts for more:
Jeremy, Sounds like you did it right. The most important thing was to find a wife that is not only beautiful, but understands the meaning of saving a dollar. Unfortunately most American women only want the man to work themselves to death while they enjoy life with no stress jobs or no jobs and most do not know how to save a dime.
Looks like you have a beautiful marriage and life ahead of you. Thumbs up!
You guys are in my hometown! I miss Taipei…
Just one question….why “curry cracker”? :)
Just came across this blog. And I´m so excited to read it and learn from your story so I can do it myself. I need to show my husband this is possible! I don´t want to collect things… I want to collect experiences! And the same for my babies.
All the best.
Saludos de Panamá!
I’m so excited to read the article on Forbs about you two because of how similar my situation is with yours. I met my fiance last year. She works in Taiwan, and I work in the Bay area, at a company and salary similar to Jeremy’s. I’m 36 and she’s 30. I’m also on my way to 25x my yearly expense in a couple of years. The fiance is struggling to move over due to her contract on her current job. I’m sure I will be coming back to your blog for any advice after retirement. Thanks and good job!
Wow you guys are amazing I’m very inspired by your marriage & teamwork :)
Bold and Well planned move. Congrats Jeremey and Winnie.
You deserve your freedom ! Congratulations!
I just found you after reading an article in Brazil. I think your story is really spreading around the world! Congratulations on your achievements!
In one of the blog posts, you talked about “travel hacks” that allowed you to fly business class for cheap. Do you have any post in the blog where you teach that?
I’m interested in that subject.
In the US, it is possible to get great sign up bonuses with new credit cards. Sometimes this is enough for one or even two free flights. But it is possible to do much more with some time and effort and there are sites dedicated to this. Travel is Free is one example.
This is incredible. What industry of work were you both in before you retired? I’m graduating from college soon and I am so nervous about getting a good job. Congrats on all your successes
We both worked in tech.
Congrats on your upcoming graduation.
After reading an article in Brazil I found your blog. His story is being talked about around the world! Congratulations on your achievements!
I would like to know because I saw your post on how he managed to fly business class to economy class.
I have some post where he teaches this way?
This post about how we got over $10,000 in free travel to Europe might be a good start.
Hello Jeremy and Winnie :)
My name is Becky, my husband and I have been reading your blog religiously and are planning on retiring early ourselves. We are both in graduate school right now, him- dental school, me- speech pathology, but our true passion is travel. I have been so excited about your formula for financial independence and traveling the world that I haven’t been able to keep it to myself. Unfortunately I have been met with a lot of negative criticism, and well just a lot of haters. Have you dealt with this? How do you not let it phase you? Why do you think there are so many haters?
I overhead my wife saying to someone once, “Jeremy truly gives zero shits about what anybody thinks of him.” She’s right. Especially with random strangers on the Internet… my life is exactly the same before and after I delete their comment.
The haters usually got their own thing going on. Their anger probably isn’t even related to us. It’s about them, not you. Other times, it is because we made different choices, and this suggests they are somehow responsible for where they are in life due to their own choices. Easier to blame us, or the government, or Wall Street, or China, or illegal immigrants, or whatever.
Good luck with saving and investing. The rewards are worth it.
Ótimo material, venho lendo vários artigos de sua autoria e tenho gostado bastante do seu conteúdo.
Parabéns pelo excelente trabalho!
Like your blog. Unfortunately current housing costs compared to what you paid in Chiang Mai 7 months ago have more than quadrupled, making Chiang Mai, a not so reasonable place for 1 or 2 month dwelling for foreigners. Here is the latest lowest price we were quoted for Smith Suites in June 2016 ($1,527a month) as compared with what you paid in November 2015 ($375 a month).
Hai Ya, Chiang Mai
Reservation possible without a credit card
Price for 30 nights
Max people: 2
Apartment You can cancel later, so lock in this great price today!
We have 1 room left!
FREE cancellation – no prepayment needed
Smith Suites has large 1 bedroom apartments on upper floors that rented for well over $1k/month. The “1 room left” is probably one of those.
Great post! thank you for sharing :D
I’d like to know – what’s with the name Go Curry Cracker? You should put that in your about page!
There is a link up there :)
Muito bom passar suas experiencias.
Hello Jeremy, thank you for these tips. I am now starting to work on the internet and take the help of professionals as you are key. Congratulations and thank you
Taiwan is the best! I lived in Taipei for 2 years as a child. I want to go back.
Thanks for sharing this
Wonderful journey! I want to start my own adventures this year. =)
Thank You Go Curry Cracker! You are both outside the box.. Very Cool… I love reading your Blog and feel exasperated reading some of the comments where it seems some are so trapped… not only physically but mentally…in the world of “Working to Live”… Because really that is what many people believe they have to do…We are so blessed to have had experience on the other side.. Thanks for sharing.. Hopefully there will be more of us as we “get the word out” there is another way. We “Love to Live”. My track is a little different to yours… I decided to add another income maker on the side as well… So far that is working well for me.. and I expect it to get even better…
Hopefully there will be more of us as we “get the word out” there is another way. We “Love to Live”. My track is a little different to yours… I decided to add another income maker on the side as well… So far that is working well for me.. and I expect it to get even better!
Hey, thanks for the inspiration! I’m going to sit down and plan something similar ;)
How amazing is a work optional life! I’ve been on the FIRE journey for 7 years now, and am taking my first ‘mini retirement’ now after 14 years in the workforce (16 if you count grocery stacking in high school!). My partner and I have spent two months around Philippines and SE asia and heading back to Australia soon. AI have used a lot of your tips and tricks re: frugality in order to max out the saving and investing rate. Now it’s time for the travel!