So You Want to Be a Farmer

Moo

Good Mooorning

Retirement is as unique and varied as the individual retiree.  Some people want to travel the globe as we are doing.  Others want to play golf or fish.  And others just want to break away from the corporate world to live the good life on a farm of their own

For a time, we considered a brief stint on a farm.  Already growing some of our own vegetables and greens on a small public patch of land in Seattle, we wondered what it would be like to raise a few chickens and maybe a pig

As food lovers with a great interest in grass-fed cows, free range chickens, artisan cheeses and cured meats, we loved the idea of moving our table one step closer to the farm

After reading Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, we decided to give farming a trial run

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For the Love of Biking

bicycle-159796_640

A bicycle is many things… a wonderfully elegant example of human ingenuity and craftsmanship.  An efficient form of transportation.  A builder of self-confidence, health, and wealth

A bicycle is a wonderful learning tool, providing valuable life lessons in personal limitations and how to overcome them.  It is a tool for self-confidence

And at any age, a bicycle is freedom.  As a child, a bicycle opened up my world from a few square blocks to a few square miles.  As a young adult, a bicycle provided freedom from the stress of college and the workplace.  And later, a bicycle helped enable freedom from the need for income

I look forward to making many more great biking memories

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The Cost of Traveling the World (August 2014, Taipei, Taiwan)

Calligraphy

Calligraphy for Posers

August was an exciting month for our family, with confirmation that Winnie is pregnant with our first child.  With that much excitement, we didn’t have much time or energy for other activities.

A baby on the way has impacted other things…  we are having more meals at home and have hired somebody to help with cleaning and home care a few hours a week.  Based on the advice of her flute teacher, Winnie is putting her flute lessons on hold until things are more stable.  She has also decided to avoid contact with the chemicals in oil paints, so no more art classes for awhile

Eating more meals at home has affected our grocery spending and dining habits.  We even ventured to the local Costco for the first time for some heavy duty shopping

With all of these changes our spending patterns shifted around a lot, but the total was roughly similar to previous months in Taiwan

Full details below

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The Cost of Traveling the World (July 2014, Taipei, Taiwan)

Royal Purple Tulip in Oil on Canvas - Winnie

Royal Purple Tulip in Oil on Canvas – Winnie

July was an exciting month, but in an entirely different way than we are used to.  The theme of the month was baby making, and most other activities were put on hold or took place with greater moderation

We both still managed to go to the dentist this month, and I had to do a visa run to avoid legal trouble, which was basically the world’s most expensive Starbucks run.

In other news, there is an update to our health insurance.  Around a year ago we decided to self-insure and said good-bye to our health insurance plan.  Now that we have been in Taiwan 6 months, the feds here decided that Winnie should pay into the system.  Furthermore, we have to back pay for the entire 6 months.  This will appear in our spending in July and August.  The total bill comes to about $12.50 a month for fantastic coverage.  I remain self-insured

Without further ado, here is our monthly expense report, which looks fairly average for our time here

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Is College Worth It? (With Future Tuition Predictions)

The University of Washington

The University of Washington (Winnie’s Alma Mater)

With a child on the way, we have lots to think about.  What to name him/her, how to get all the proper nutrients, natural birth vs. C-section, and how to pay for college

It might be a little early to be thinking about college, but that is the point of biggest concern shared in comments on the blog and on reddit about our estimate for the cost of raising a child.  In general, people are concerned that I am too optimistic about stock returns and not pessimistic enough about the rate of growth in tuition

Let’s investigate

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Retire Early.

Travel the World.

Let's do this.

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