For years now, we’ve been using the same two low cost alternatives to major carriers for our cell and data needs. Our plans still operate on major networks with excellent coverage, but cost us less than half of what the major carriers charge. Since switching, we’ve been saving over $100 a month. We only pay about $11/month for Republic Wireless plans with unlimited talk and text in the US, and about $25/month for Google Fi plans with unlimited talk and text coupled with worldwide data.
It’s been over a year and a half since I quit my job. At that time, we calculated that we had enough investments to fund a $40k/year lifestyle indefinitely. Of course a lot has changed since then. For one thing, we travel a lot more. Over the past year, we enjoyed a decadent stay at an all inclusive in Jamaica, road tripped around Catalonia, hiked rural Vermont, swam with sharks in Belize, and just returned from a 3 week surfing trip to Costa Rica. I’ve also continued pursuing my hobbies including mountain biking, surfing in the Northeast, building a greenhouse, and growing a ton of veggies in my garden.
We’re always in search of geoarbitrage opportunities around the world. Many of our vacations are planned around exploring locations that offer awesome food, activities, weather, and natural beauty at bargain prices. We’ve already investigated retirement destinations in Costa Rica and Spain, so we jumped on an opportunity to fly to Belize for free. I was surprised that many people we ran into were already retired in Belize or planning to move there.
A lot of people think you should always work to eliminate debt. While this is a solid approach for high interest debt, paying off low interest student loan debt could significantly slow your portfolio’s growth. I decided not to pay off my student loans, and invested instead. While investing was a better choice for me, some of us are more risk averse, and we each need to find the right balance for ourselves. Before we make any decisions, it’s important to compare the numbers and consider the risks. Continue reading
We live on less than $40k a year, but with all the traveling, hobbies, and awesome food, I feel like we’re living a six-figure lifestyle. We got to this point by maximizing the value we get out of every dollar we spend. This isn’t always easy with tech toys. But a few months ago, for the cost of a textbook, I found a little piece of technology that changed the way I compute – the Acer Chromebook 11. This is a rare occasion where I paid retail price, and still feel like I got more than I paid for.
Surfing is probably my favorite new hobby/addiction. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been learning to bomb some tasty waves in Puerto Rico and Costa Rica – locations known for their sun and surf. However, we do live close to the ocean here in CT, and while the east coast doesn’t get much press for our waves, they do exist. In fact, we get some pretty big surf, you just have to be a bit more diligent about finding it.
As a kid, I tried to make my own solar ovens. I fashioned old windows together, and put pans of water inside to heat. They usually sucked, but these experiments spurred my fascination with greenhouses. Like my grandfather, I love growing things, and would imagine creating an endless summer indoors where I could grow exotic plants. Last year, my childhood fixation was revived when we visited the earth-ships in Taos, New Mexico. This summer, I finally decided to design and build my own greenhouse.
The longer I’ve been retired, the more I’m convinced that everyone should pursue financial independence. I felt trapped while working, and that feeling kept growing as everyday started to look the same. Now, I don’t necessarily know what I’ll be doing the next day, week, or month. But every day I wake up and find myself full of purpose. The fulfillment that comes from living my life the way I want has left me happier than I’ve ever been. I want all of my friends to experience the same thing.