How to Claim Tax Treaty Benefits to Avoid Double Taxation

“We’re going to need to see a Japanese tax return.” “You want a what?!?” I sputtered. There are lots of things FIRECracker and I pictured when we started down the path of becoming published authors. Coffee-powered days (and nights) of writing and editing? Sure. Media interviews and book tours? Why not. But reading and re-reading the dense, obscure legalise of international tax treaties until our eyes bled? That didn’t show up anywhere on our becoming-a-writer BINGO card. When we first published Quit Like a Millionaire back in 2019, our agent extraordinaire Andrea Somberg went around selling translation rights to about […]

Reader Case: Am I Fake FIRE?

Today’s reader case comes from the Czech Republic (now Czechia). I loved Prague when we visited, Czechia will always hold a special place in our heart for the classical medieval architecture combined with metal-ass churches made out of real human bones. So without further ado, let’s see how our Eastern European reader is doing, shall we? Hey FIRECracker & Wanderer, This might not be your typical case study request. I believe I am already FI, or getting really close. But all things might not be what they seem.  We are a family of four living in Eastern Europe. About ten years […]

Norbert’s Gambit vs. Wise for Currency Exchanges

We recently got a question in our inbox that goes like this: I have used Norbert’s Gambit before to exchange CAD to USD in my Questrade RRSP account. But I also read about your recent travels and how you use Wise to convert currencies. Which has a better conversion rate in your experience when converting CAD to USD? Because of how much we travel, we do a LOT of currency exchanges, so it’s important for us to reduce fees as much as we can. And those fees can add up, big time, if you’re not careful. If you naively use […]

Preferred Share vs. Stocks and Bonds

I recently got an email from a reader asking the following question. I’ve read that you guys have been investing in Preferred Stocks. I went down a rabbit hole trying to understand them further (particularly Preferred Stock ETFs for broader diversification), but am still a bit perplexed.  I’m wondering if Preferred Stocks could have a place in a portfolio of early retirees, since we’re trying to live off our $ in 1.5 years and do need safer income-producing assets. Right now our portfolio is 100% equities (stocks and ETFs), but that seems too risky, so I’m looking to get to 25% in bonds/similar assets. Would you be open […]

Investment Workshop 2.0

Back in 2016 when this blog was first starting to take off, I ran a weekly series of articles called the Investment Workshop, where I showed people step-by-step how to build and manage an ETF-based portfolio like the one we used to retire. The workshop ran for a year, with 52 articles, and after it was done, I figured we would move on to something else. Little did I know that the Investment Workshop would become the most popular part of our site, with literally thousands of people learning how to invest from it, and even after many years people […]

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