Passing the Physical Presence Test

You Are Here

Physically Present (photo credit)

A great number of world travelers utilize the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to keep up to $102,100 in income out of the paws of the IRS (2017 tax year.)

For those who aren’t bonafide residents of another (non-US) country, this requires passing the Physical Presence Test (PPT) by being in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 days.

2017 is the first year we tried to pass the PPT, and getting it wrong by even one day could cost $20k or more in tax. Needless to say I wanted to get it right.


Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays everyone! I wish you all a joyful and well deserved holiday season.

We had another adventurous year, circumnavigating the globe and visiting 15 countries. France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, United States (but less than 35 days), Japan, and Taiwan.

Our Instagram shares some great photos of each.

Jr now has 28 unique stamps in his 2 passports. I was surprised when I added it all up this morning.


So You Want to Hike the Appalachian Trail

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

(GCC: Ever since I read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, it has been a dream of mine to hike the Appalachian Trail. It’s also a popular idea for those early stages of Early Retirement, when the psychological transition from earning to spending is underway. Fresh air, physical exertion, and low prices are a great cure all. Plus an accomplishment as great as this one can bring a whole new perspective to life. Just ask Joe, today’s guest post author. )

Me (after returning from a three day hike in the Smokies): Hey, uhh…Katie?

Katie: Yes?

Me: I wanna hike the Appalachian Trail. Like the whole thing. All at once.

Katie: You do? When?

Me: This March (we were planning on getting married in March…)


Is it Better to Use Cash or Points for FinCon?

FinCon or Bust

It’s that time of year again, when the world’s financial bloggers converge to communicate, collaborate, and carouse, aka FinCon.

We will miss out since we are back in Asia, but hundreds of others will be converging in Dallas this week. As with any gathering that involves travel, there will be airplane tickets and hotel rooms, a bit of dining, maybe a car rental or Uber, and perhaps even an alcohol related expense or two.

Sounds like a great opportunity to use credit card reward points to get some free travel, right?! Several people on Twitter were considering last minute trips and trying to decide, cash or points.

imho, cash. Every time. Twice on Sunday.


So You Want to Walk the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrim Parade on the Camino de Santiago

GCC – A great way to boost early retirement success rates is to spend a little less in the early years. We did this by traveling in Central America rather than Western Europe, but there are a ton of good value options that are also physically and mentally rewarding. One of them is a dream holiday of mine, to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. 

I’ve wanted to write about this goal for some time, but wasn’t sure where exactly to start. But then I discovered someone who has walked the Camino, not once, not twice, but FIVE times!!!  Who better to help the dream become a reality, for myself and others?

Please welcome today’s guest post author, Miss Mazuma.


Global Family Connections

An International Family – 4 Generations

I’m from a good sized family, the oldest of 4 children. I have 9 nieces and nephews. Both parents have 5+ siblings. My Grandmother has 16 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren, of which I am her favorite. (Obvi)

You can’t pick your family, but I’m fortunate to have been dealt a winning hand. Family is important, and mine is kind and supportive; they’ve been there when times were tough and encouraged me to chase my dreams.

I’ve also done well with my Internet family, the nice people online who look out for my best interests. Some of them are concerned that a nomadic family might not get enough love, as you can see:

“I love my family, I would never abandon them like you did!”

“My siblings and parents visit often, I couldn’t disappear for months at a time just to travel.”

“It is terrible that your child will never have strong relationships with his cousins and grandparents!”

Thanks everyone, you’re the best!

But there is no need to be concerned. Not only is our nomadic family full of happiness and love, we are thriving. Here is why:

Retire Early.

Travel the World.

Let's do this.

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