This whole early retirement thing has been pretty easy so far, thanks to a solid plan and a bit of luck.
We have had a hefty economic tail wind, a strong US dollar, (mostly) good health, unexpected income, a low tax burden, and an abundance of enthusiasm and good cheer.
There is a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season.
But alas, not everything goes according to plan…
Not Everything Goes According to Plan
A few weeks ago 7 different women had embryos implanted at the IVF doctor. 5 of them are now pregnant. Winnie isn’t one of them.
Our earlier attempt this spring was also unsuccessful.
Scientific reproduction takes a physical and emotional toll, doubly so when the results are negative. As such, we have agreed we won’t make another attempt.
If there is a silver lining, perhaps it is that we won’t need to pay for college for more than one child. Dollars we’ve been mentally holding in reserve are now free game.
Taipei has been our baby making base for the past year. Now, our lease is up in May and Jr’s school lets out in early June. Our need to be present in this one particular country has been greatly diminished.
When the first implant didn’t work out we hopped on a plane to Europe to escape the heat and humidity of summer. That intense sun and sweat will soon be upon us once again…
So… now what?
This has been a topic of much (heated) debate in the GCC household…
Option 1 – Paris
We were in Paris in spring ’17, and Winnie has been dreaming of going back ever since. This time for months on end. For an artist there are few cities as inspiring…
Option 2 – Barcelona or thereabouts
If there is a downside to Paris (besides snow), it is the ridiculous expense of it all. By comparison, we could live in Barcelona… fly to Paris every other weekend and stay in a very nice hotel… for less than the cost of living in Paris.
Barcelona has long been a favorite of mine since visiting for work. We briefly passed through last year, and in 2016 we spent 2 weeks eating all the things and feasting our eyes on all things Gaudí… it is very artsy.
I hear there is also a beach.
Option 3 – California
As recent posts have made clear, California is on our short list of places to make a forever home. But we aren’t quite ready yet… a year or 2 in France or Spain would be a nice transition.
Option 4 – Taipei
Life in Taipei is good. Really good. Perhaps too good?
We could head abroad for 3 months or so during the heat of summer… to Paris or Barcelona or California. Or go ski for a season in New Zealand. Or walk the Camino. Or collect more passport stamps. Or whatever. Really, the options are unlimited.
We are going to take our time making any decisions. The future is bright and we have a lot to be grateful for, even when things don’t go according to plan.
As a brief aside, we were featured in Business Insider’s Real Money Series this weekend. Check it out to see how much money we spent during a week traveling through the Baltic countries.