The old adage is that one never forgets how to ride a bike. I would add that, once you feel that empowerment of moving forward by your own impetus, you always crave it.
How do you keep the openness of the day from compelling you to lie on the couch until you are a pile of melted goo, or the madness of purposelessness creeps in till you are found with five hundred pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” on your computer?
You’ve probably heard of the “Mediterranean diet,” proven healthy by a very impressive amount of research. Spain, in fact, will surpass Japan with the longest life expectancy by the year 2040, and no doubt the healthy diet is a major factor in this. However, this begs the question… what exactly is the “Mediterranean diet?” ... Read moreNew Year’s Resolution
I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s. I’m a positive, looking-forward-to-next-year person, but always felt like the festive mood was a little forced. More than a few friends have told me they go out to NYE parties more because they felt they should rather than they wanted to. I think the worst party ... Read moreAño nuevo
New Granadinos taking their first visit to Sevilla, we step into a controversy that has apparently long simmered, cual ciudad es mejor?
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" is an attractive idea. But what happen when you actually live it? Read about our experience living with one-third less in Granada, Spain.
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.
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
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)
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
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)
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)
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
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)
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 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
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.
Jim's article as published in Commentary section in Dallas Morning News - June 9, 2018.
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
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
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)
“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
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. 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
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?