Let’s Go Exploring: Cusco and the Lost City of Machu Picchu

“Holy…crap…how…much…further?” I panted. I was carrying a 10L jug of filtered water from the supermarket to our AirBnb. What’s normally a common and uneventful task in South America turned into an unexpected slog because of one major thing you have to watch out for if you ever visit Cusco, Peru: the altitude. Cusco sits about 11,000 feet above sea level, which is *checks notes* really freakin’ high. We had gotten a prescription for Diamox, an anti-altitude sickness drug, before we left for Peru, and once we arrived we were chugging the coca tea generously provided by our host like crazy, […]

Reader Case: Can I Move to Spain?

When we first left Canada in 2015, we thought travelling internationally was a luxury that we could only afford to do for a short time. Little did we know that it would become our unfair FIRE advantage since it can be used to control your living expenses using geographic arbitrage (in non-pandemic times, at least). So this subject line immediately piqued our interest. Spain is one of the Europe’s favourite retirement destinations because of the sunny weather, friendly locals, and surprisingly affordable cost of living. So can geographic arbitrage rescue our reader? Let’s find out! Hello:  I have read your […]

Big Tech Is Laying Off Workers: Is Your Job Next?

For most of the FIRE movement’s existence, the single largest career type that made up the movement was engineers: specifically, software engineers. The reason for this is that the modern FIRE movement’s explosion in popularity happened to coincide with a similar explosion of growth in the tech sector. From early 2000 to now, the world went from a personal computer being a 20 pound box of metal sitting on a desk to something so small and portable that we can fit it in our pocket. We also went from a typical US household owning a single computer to our current […]

The FIRE Guide to the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

In 2022, Canada’s federal government introduced a new tax-free savings vehicle known as the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, or FHSA, and as of this month, it’s actually here! Well, technically April 1st is when the law creating the FHSA comes into effect. Most of the big banks aren’t ready to start opening accounts yet, but at least one that I’m aware of has their act together (which we’ll reveal at the end), so it’s now possibly to actually start using this thing as of today. But what is it? How does it work? And does it only help people […]

Dude, Where’s My Yield?

A few weeks ago, I received an interesting email. Hello FireCracker & Wanderer, I’m an investment workshop alumni and longtime blog follower, but I’m struggling to understand yield – specifically, the unpredictability and inconsistency of my actual portfolio yield.  As I review your posts at the beginning of each year, inevitably your projected yield from the previous year comes very close to matching your actual yield realized.  Clearly, that is reassuring since this is your expense covering income source.  I began trying to simulate the same projection process to track my own portfolio yields against expectations.  Granted, I am still in the accumulating phase, so I’m still adding new […]

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