• About Jim and Jiab
    About Us

What is Your Third Life?

We feel most people have three lives.

Our first life (youth to sometime in our 20’s) is full of wonder, curiosity and zest for exploring, but not yet wisdom.

Our second life (our professional years) focuses on career and family. We spend most of our time and energy addressing our obligations, making and saving money, and perhaps, along the way, we come to understand ourselves better. In the process, we gain wisdom but have very little time to wonder and wander.

When we reach our third life (empty-nest, retirement, financial independence), we may have discovered that money, possessions, and career success only give us fleeting happiness. We begin to value experiences rather than things; we seek meaningful relationships with others rather than mere connections to build an advantageous network.


Our third life is thus about combining the wonder of first life and the wisdom of second life to find richer personal meaning while wandering the world.

If first life taught us “what?,” and second life showed us “how?,” then third life is the time to seek out “why?”.

47 thoughts on “”

  1. Looking forward to hearing more about your life in Alicante. We spent a year in Denia 20 years ago with our two kids and now are considering spending more time there again now that we are close to retirement. How was the process to get the non lucrative visa? It was difficult when we were there then because we were there during 9/11 and things kind of shut down for awhile regarding visas.

    • Hi Scott,
      The process to apply non lucrative visa was not too bad for us. As long as you take the time to assemble the documents and start early, you should be fine. If you need help with it, please feel free to reach out.

  2. Hi guys, this is your vecinos de balcón 🙂 You definitely chose one of the bestest places in the world for your third life. Interesting, inspiring and funny writings here 🙂 Cheers!

    • Juan Y Maria,
      Thank you for checking out our site. Hopefully when the lock down is lifted. We can get a coffee or tapas. Until then,see you at 8 pm.

  3. Wonderful article of yours at https://humbledollar.com/2020/03/grab-the-wheel/ and now I’ve this one too! Thank you.
    It’s possible to combine the 3 lives into one throughout our lives, with some modifications, I call it the 3 in 1 life. I maintain the curiosity for life from my 20s, the working aspect of my 30s / 40s, minus the raising of a family, so I won’t experience empty nestedness, plus I don’t see myself retiring, I see myself being of service to people till the day I die by doing something I love doing, and being paid for it, and in the mean time saving and investing into low cost passively managed index funds to build wealth. I just reached level 40, my wife is at level 48, (we are Aussie’s) we have no kids because we just haven’t gotten over having free time (for travel), money (for travel) and sex (while travelling). Why live your 3rd life, when you can live 3 lives in 1?

    • Sam,
      That sounds wonderful – live 3 lives in 1. You discover a new wonderful secret in having a good life! Keep at it. Keep in touch.

  4. If first life taught us “what?,” and second life showed us “how?,” then third life is the time to seek out “why?”.

    Is this idea specifically yours?
    Can it be used by others?
    I think it is a wonderful way to describe the 3 stages of life .
    I am a life coach for people in mid life & beyond & would appreciate being able to use this concept with my clients

    • Roberta, Thank you for the compliment. I humbly admit to making it up myself. Please feel free, however, to share the concept with others. My only request (as a long-time teacher who drilled in proper citation to my students) is that you give it proper attribution. Thanks and be well.

  5. Hello Jiab,

    My name is Omar Rachid. I became aware of your blog through a mutual friend of ours, Mackie Kazdoy.
    My wife Lanell and I have been to Malaga and Seville to check them out for potential retirement. We liked Malaga but it seems to gotten very crowded and very expensive.

    Can you email me directly because I have few questions?

  6. Great post! I’m going to retire next year in Spain so I am making some research, you should check this website: http://bit.ly/2JuCiKh

    I am going to contact them in order to help me with the retirement issue.

    Kind regards!

  7. what about health care? when I looked at retirement houses in palm springs ca, I would often hear about people who had to come back to America because, of course, our medicare is not taken overseas and buying private insurance is cost-prohibitive. how much is buying comprehensive health insurance in spain that includes prescription drug benefits?

    • TCR,
      Our annual private health insurance is with Sanitas, one of the most highly-recommended health insurance companies in Spain for expats. The Sanitas Mas Salud plan is 188 € for both of us. This is a comprehensive plan with no copay, no deductible, and includes basic dental services. The plan also includes worldwide emergency coverage, up to 12,000€, and we pay an extra to increase emergency coverage in the US to 30,000€ (just over $35,000). To add prescription coverage, it will cost us an extra 4 € a month per person and it cover 50% of prescriptions. Let me know if you want the name of our Sanitas contact so you can get a quote based on your age and health.

      • Hi Jiab,

        I have come across several of your articles on Humbledollar. Could you please private post message me to my email? My wife and I are in a similar situation (age and budget) as you and Jim -prior to you relocating to Spain. We could use a little guidance on a few questions on becoming an ex-pats and your contact at Sanitas.

        Thank you.


  8. I am wondering why everyone thinks it is cheaper to live outside of the US. Sure go live in a 3rd world country and you will have low living expenses but other problems. There are so many great places in US that you can live cheap. You just have to look and you will find easy. If someone wants to live in a country like Spain thats great, but don’t use the excuse it is cheaper than the US.

    • Ed, Thank you so much for your comment, and for checking out the blog! First, let me clarify that Spain is not a third world country as demonstrated by this 2019 list: http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/third-world-countries/. I could go into the many reasons why Spain is not on the list, but let me point out that life expectancy is longer in Spain and the health care system is rated superior to that of the US, two important factors for retirees.

      More, you do bring up a very important point. There is no one “right place” to retire to. Each must find what suits them. For many, the US offers amenities and comforts they are used to and cannot get anywhere else. For others, the thrill of exploring new places and cultures provides opportunities for adventure worth the travel. Either way (and we don’t suggest any one path for everyone), we hope everyone finds the right place in terms of mindset and pocket book to provide a rich retirement lifestyle.

      Be well.

    • Have you ever visited Spain? It is NOT a Third World country. Their infrastructure, transportation and public services put the US to shame. They are now the world’s healthiest country and the second in longevity. Their healthcare is among the best in the world as well. The food, culture, free activities, lifestyle and people are amazing. The US is not number one in anything anymore…except military spending.

    • I just returned from a month in Salamanca and was so impressed with the city. Beautiful, old architecture and tons of history. I may return for a year (a year of pre-retirement) because I loved the energy of the place. It was such a walkable city. People were out and about enjoying their lives with family and friends and looked really happy. I saw very few obese Spaniards.

      Spain is definitely NOT a third world country.

  9. Hola! Que hay??
    Jiab and Jim, I’ve read through your site and am super psyched to have found you. My wife and I live in Baltimore. She has dual citizenship(USA and Spain) and I’m just a simple guiri ;). We have a couple houses in Spain(Alhama de Granada and Almayate) and I have a sports tourism business(trailrunspain.com) there as well. We absolutely love Andalucia and, more specifically, Granada. Hopefully, once I can pry her away from her CMO job at the bank(sound familiar?), we will move to Granada city in the next few years. Would love to chat and, ideally, meet up for say a pionono and cafe at Ysla. I’ll be in Alhama from Sept-Nov for the trail running business with frequent jaunts into the city. Where did y’all settle? We are looking at Centro, San Anton, or Realejo.
    Ha luego. Hasta Grana!

    • Orla,
      We are in Bola de Ora and love the location. It is quiet and about 20 minutes walk to the center. Contact us in September when you get to Granada. We love to chat with you over cafe con leche and Pionono!

  10. Hello,
    Thank you for the information provided.
    I too am planning to move to Spain, but I have some questions:
    Would you need to forfeit you social security benefits after leaving in Spain for 5 years?
    How do you navigate that situation?

    • No, we don’t forfeit social security benefits. Many Americans continue to receive social security benefits regardless of where they live.

  11. Awesome! I want to live in Spain and want to know if you guys pay any taxes at all living there under the non-lucrative visa? It has always been my intent to retire there at some point in the near future and this is what has always concerned me….taxes. Appreciate your feedback and look forward to communicating more with you in the future.

    • Rap,
      Yes, we are considered a Spanish resident for tax propose if we live > 183 days in Spain. However, the US and Spain have a tax treaty and we can get a tax credit on our US tax return on the tax we pay to Spain. I hope this answer your question.

      • Once again awesome! I would like to go into more details about what you guys are doing exactly as my wife and I are contemplating making a move to Spain for our retirement but just don’t know all the details in advance. We are currently in Texas and you are the first ones we have reached out to personally to discuss in more details since Jim also hails from the great state of Texas….yeehaw! Can we talk more offline….via email?

  12. Congrats and thanks for sharing your experience! I hope your future posts will address whether you sold your home in the U.S., what’s surprised you most about living in Granada and what other countries you considered.

  13. Mgt from Ireland here & I stumbled across your third life while searching for a dog /pet sit in Spain.I hope to wander the world using trusted hse sitters to find my way!

  14. This is where we are at in our lives! We are fortysomething from Oregon, USA. Last time we were in the US was Summer of 2017. We have called Europe home for the last 15 months!

    Live life to the fullest!

  15. Hi guys,

    This is inspirational! I’ve always wanted to live for at least a year in Spain to soak up the mudéjar architecture, the tapas, and the culture. Thank you for showing us that it is not just possible, but also cheaper than living in the US! We’re on our countdown to retirement, and Spain is on our list.

    • Tony,
      Thank you for your comment. Best of luck and let us know if there is anything we can help. Please keep in touch and share with us your experiences as you navigate your journey toward your third life.

    • Hi,
      I enjoyed the interview
      about your move
      to Granada.
      A couple of things I would like to know about are: do you have to renew a visa or some permit to live there for a determined time? Also, what about the language differences – do you know Spanish or learning Spanish?

      • We received a non-lucrative visa that is good for a year. We can renew for two more years twice. After five years, we become permanent residents.
        We don’t know Spanish and took a semester at local community college before going to Granada. We continue to take classes at University of Granada and private classes. I hope this helps.


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