At year end, upon arrival in Taiwan we signed an 18-month lease, making it our official recharge center. Jr has started part time pre-school, and we are doing our best to be completely normal in every way that doesn’t involve going to work.
2016 was our 4th full year of living large. And this year we have the receipts to go with it.
We traveled a bit, spending time in 16 countries. This includes a month in Thailand, a month in Malaysia, a few days in Singapore, 4 months in Western Europe, 2 months in the US, and a few months in Taiwan. Jr has been to 17 countries now.
If somebody was looking for a great example of how to live lean, to truly be efficient in spending and maximize savings… we would not be it. Or at least, we wouldn’t be a good example today
It just takes a quick look at our detailed expenses to see that we are by no means a frugal household. We rent 5-star accommodations, eat out 2 to 3 times a day, and buy whatever we want whenever we want.
This is one reason that I find it a little humorous when the idea of early retirement gets some mainstream press, and people go nuts in the comments.
“Yeah, right. Like I’m going to live like I’m in poverty now, so I can save enough to allow me to live like I’m in poverty forever. No thanks. I’m going to work forever and live a little”
“Yeah, you can do that in Whereverville, but here in my high cost of living area it is impossible (turns on TV)”
Besides ignoring the effects of compound interest, or the value of time and freedom, this type of comment ignores the obvious. A person that lives well below their means can always choose to increase spending. A person that is already spending everything they earn has few options, in spending or in life
So I thought I would look back and see what we were spending while we were still accumulating, to see what 10 years of “living like we were in poverty” in a “high cost of living area” looked like
2014 was our 2nd full year of Early Retirement and International Intrigue
We began the year by slipping into Cuba, experiencing a country lost in time. And none too soon. Based on recent statements by President Obama, the Cold War may finally gasp its last breath. Cuba will never be the same
Back in the modern world, we jetted across the Pacific on a secret mission that would change our lives forever. Thanks to the miracle of modern medicine and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF), we were able to create a little human boy, due April 15th, 2015 (Ironic, no?) Going to Taiwan for Medical Tourism saved us 80% off US prices
Our intentions were to undergo IVF treatment, travel throughout SE Asia, then head to Europe for a Destination Birth. But even with infinite flexibility, things didn’t go as planned. A little scare and a brief period of Doctor mandated bed rest convinced us to stay in Taiwan throughout the pregnancy. We explored a bit, visiting Taroko Gorge and the islands of Penghu, and I road a bike 900 km all the way around Taiwan
In Taipei, we found some great accommodations and spent our day hours pursuing artistic endeavors. Winnie studied water painting, oil painting, calligraphy, and the flute. I am 3.5 semesters into an intensive Chinese language program, and continue to play guitar daily.