See ya in Sevilla

See ya in Sevilla

New Granadinos taking their first visit to Sevilla, we step into a controversy that has apparently long simmered, cual ciudad es mejor?
Venturing Out

Venturing Out

In theory, there is no reason why Santa Fe, Spain should still be of significance, let alone worth a day trip.  It is not an organic city, as it was intentionally founded in 1490 for one purpose, to be the tactical center of the Spanish army as it laid siege for two years to Granada. ... Read moreVenturing Out
Less is More

Less is More

"Less is more" is an attractive idea. But what happen when you actually live it? Read about our experience living with one-third less in Granada, Spain.
Taking Their Money

Taking Their Money

Financial literacy deteriorates 2% every year after age 60, while confidence in financial decision making doesn’t decline. Jiab discovered the unfortunate result—in her own family.
Circuit breakers

Circuit breakers

It is a typical morning. Jiab is going between writing, doing dishes, and managing cat food intake, while I am shuffling between writing, doing laundry, and scooping cat post food-intake outflow.  We move around each other in a Fandango of precision productivity, rehearsed almost daily as a common morning ritual. And then the power goes ... Read moreCircuit breakers
Poco a poco (little by little)

Poco a poco (little by little)

After two months in the beautiful, historic city of Granada, I’m looking back at what I’ve learned during my major-life-change move from Dallas. From the things that have been pleasantly nice surprises, to the things I’ve struggled with, it’s time for a pulse check, and I’m happy to share our findings. On the whole, two-months ... Read morePoco a poco (little by little)
Cuesta Molinos

Cuesta Molinos

I have a new addition to my morning ritual. As I have my coffee, enjoying that my being seven hours ahead of the US means my morning solitude will not be molested, I take time to research historical places that caught my interest the day before. It has become a treasured morning dip into the ... Read moreCuesta Molinos
Comida en común (Food in common)

Comida en común (Food in common)

Of all the hundreds of letters, comments, and questions we get on our blog, one of the most common is, “How is daily life different?” So, between Jiab’s detailed, financial planning and my ethereal philosophical musings, we thought we would give you a quick insight into a daily activity for us, grocery shopping. Everything is ... Read moreComida en común (Food in common)
Building a platform to FI (part 3)

Building a platform to FI (part 3)

Part (plank) 1 covered how we tackled and improved our financial lives by focusing on eliminating credit card debts and buying the right-size home. Part (plank) 2 covered how we looked for ways to minimize the outflow of money on the necessary expenses for most families – cars, cellular phone and utilities. In this last post ... Read moreBuilding a platform to FI (part 3)
Mudéjar

Mudéjar

For centuries, Granada was the point of convergence where North African Islamic and European Catholic cultures met. Unfortunately, too long was that convergence a front line of conflict. Everywhere you walk, there is some vestige or reminder of that contention, but often such ghosts of the past come in one of two forms. One kind ... Read moreMudéjar
Building a platform to FI (part 2)

Building a platform to FI (part 2)

Last week I covered how we built the foundation for a platform to get to the FI train – we stopped borrowing from our future selves by ensuring money inflow (income) > money outflow (spending). Once we got our finances in the black, we then moved to the next step: how to make that difference ... Read moreBuilding a platform to FI (part 2)
Building a platform to FI

Building a platform to FI

We have had a few requests asking us to discuss how we were able to retire earlier than the traditional retirement age and to share any tips that might help others. I will be honest; initially, we didn’t have a long-term plan to retire early.  We were pretty typical: two jobs, spending (or trying to ... Read moreBuilding a platform to FI
A tale of Two Kitties, part 2: Cat-apulting overseas

A tale of Two Kitties, part 2: Cat-apulting overseas

A continuation of the feline saga from Part 1. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Looking back, it was a sign that things were going our way when our biggest concern in moving overseas was how to transport our two cats, Benjour (15 years old) and Sangria (6 months). ... Read moreA tale of Two Kitties, part 2: Cat-apulting overseas
A Tale of Two Kitties, part 1: Cats love chasing paper; humans, not so much.

A Tale of Two Kitties, part 1: Cats love chasing paper; humans, not so much.

We are self-admitted cat-crazed people. When our sons were young, we made a family plan in case of fire. We laid out exit routes with the plan to rally at the mailbox to make sure everyone was safe. Our boys asked about the cats, to which we assured them Jiab and I would make sure ... Read moreA Tale of Two Kitties, part 1: Cats love chasing paper; humans, not so much.
In Defense of Pun

In Defense of Pun

Jim's article as published in Commentary section in Dallas Morning News - June 9, 2018.
Making Cents of Spain

Making Cents of Spain

There’s bad news and good news about retirement. The bad news: It can be one step forward, two steps back. As many people are aware, America is having a retirement crisis: Americans need to save more than ever before in order to retire, yet a large percentage of people have very little saved. Due to ... Read moreMaking Cents of Spain
Heart of Spain

Heart of Spain

When one is considering a major move, such as we were with moving to a new country, there is often a fierce debate, not between husband and wife, but between head and heart. Some places make sense for all the rational, budgetary reasons, but they don’t fill one’s heart with a sense of “this is ... Read moreHeart of Spain
Of consulates, visas, and bureaucracy (a first encounter)

Of consulates, visas, and bureaucracy (a first encounter)

  Palmer, Ennis, Alma, Rice. “Huh,” I think, “Their first letters spell PEAR.” Such are the kind of inane musings one has looking at the names of small Texas towns between Dallas and Houston…at 5:00 am…for the third time in 2 days (and with one more trip back to go). Jiab and I are tired, ... Read moreOf consulates, visas, and bureaucracy (a first encounter)
Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

“Life’s is just OK, but …” Are you in this situation? You are in your second life (career, kids) and….. Your job is no longer meaningful. It isn’t bringing you the fulfillment you used to have. You go through your days on autopilot. You’re not psyched about the new “reorganization” your company just announced. You ... Read moreMind the Gap
Now you see it…

Now you see it…

Is just looking enough before taking the proverbial leap?   How do you know if you want to buy something? How do you know if something is right for you? Smart consumers, before they commit to spending money on a product, “check it out,” which for most of us means looking at it, “kicking the tires” ... Read moreNow you see it…
Trenches & Tapas

Trenches & Tapas

Trenches. When you think about that word, or imagine being in one, what is your gut feeling? Are you closer to feeling protected, safe from the dangers of the world as you hunker down till the threats have passed, or do you feel penned in, claustrophobic, choking on stale air? I definitely have strong feelings ... Read moreTrenches & Tapas
When To Start the Third Life?

When To Start the Third Life?

For many, the decision is involuntary due to being laid off and unable to find a new job. For a lucky few, it’s a self-determined decision planned in advance. Obviously, being given a choice and leaving on one’s own terms is the preferred way to go, but it can also make for some anxious moments ... Read moreWhen To Start the Third Life?
Stop Treating Teachers Like Saints

Stop Treating Teachers Like Saints

Jim's article as published in Commentary section in Dallas Morning News – May 20, 2016.

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