5 Best places where $200,000 is enough to retire!

While most of my post are dedicated to saving money or being frugal, I could help but think it might be nice to throw out some more affordable retirement ideas.  I myself am spending a few weeks in Thailand before I get back to normal life. The list below is essentially a list I put together to decide where I wanted to go… not realizing cheap vacation spots also makes for AMAZING retirement spots. Please like and share if you find the be info useful.

Thailand

With its tropical climate, Thailand’s hot season can hit temperatures upwards of 105F (40C) from March to May. The best time to enjoy all Thailand has to offer is between November and March, when the weather hovers around a balmy 86F (30C).

The price of living varies among different areas, but you can live as cheaply as $500 a month or more luxuriously for $1500-2000 a month. A full Thai dinner with beer for two costs less than $10. Thailand also ranks among the world’s 50 best health care systems, according to the World Health Organization. The best private hospitals are in Bangkok and hospital fees cost a fraction of what you would pay in US or Europe.

Mexico

Mexico’s lovely towns and villages offer some of the most popular retirement destinations in the world. Along with gorgeous beaches and historical colonial towns, just $200 a month can get you a one-bedroom apartment to live in, and a few dollars a week will buy bags of fresh produce and fish from local markets and fishermen.

Mexico also has all the amenities you could want, including cable TV, internet, and modern appliances. Here, private health insurance gets more expensive as you get older, so many retirees hold on to medical coverage plans from their home countries and opt to pay out of pocket for minor medical fees in Mexico. A specialist appointment in Mexico costs about $25, while a local doctor outside cities costs only about $10 a visit.

Costa Rica

Year-round t-shirt weather and long stretches of golden beach are punctuated by eateries, bars, and all the amenities you need. While the locals speak Spanish, you’ll find plenty of folks to chat with in English, too.

Health care is very affordable in Atenas, Costa Rica. This town has a public health clinic, pharmacy and emergency room at its center. Some expats choose to pay from $75 to $150 for full coverage under the national public health insurance system, called Caja. Private consultations with Caja doctors cost less than $20 per visit, and private and national public hospitals are just a short drive away from city centers across the country.

Malaysia

Malaysia is South Asia’s most popular destination for retirees. English is widely spoken by expats and locals alike, and temperatures range between an ideal 77F (25C) and a humid 95F (35C) throughout the year.

An inexpensive local meal goes for $3, or you can get a two-person three-course dinner for $15. Renting is also affordable: a one-bedroom condo in the city center costs about $550 per month. Life in the cultural melting pot of Penang is even cheaper, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city costing only $265 per month.

Malta

Malta is a lesser-known international retirement option but it’s one of the best for English speakers! English is the second official language after Maltese, making for an easy transition for North American retirees.

The islands of the Maltese archipelago have year-round sunshine, an extremely temperate climate, and offer a unique mix of prehistoric and colonial history, lovely architecture, and outdoor fun.

Why everyone is running away from Facebook, and that’s a good thing.

Back in 2016, you may of gotten responses like many of the people in this article if you told your friends you were leaving facebook:

  • “But. Why would you?”
  • “Don’t you need it for work?
  • “How will you know what’s going on? Where will you get your news?”
  • “But…what if we get engaged and you’re not on Facebook?” (Love you, dear.)
  • “That’s gonna be tough, man. Not sure I could do that.”

People leaving Facebook is great for so many reasons- but the most important one is people are waking up. They are waking up and becoming aware of this new all digital future where everything they do leaves a trace somewhere.

But in the last year that’s changed, more users are now aware of Facebook’s less than good privacy practices have cause them to become the product on the platform. Largely due to the news that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 campaign, was able to gain access to private data through the social network has sparked an unusually strong reaction among its users. Despite this recent headline, this and similar nefarious activity has been going of for years. Those who are outraged have moved to things like twitter and other social media sites. But others have just outright left the ‘social media’ bubble completely.

As a result, more and more people are leaving Facebook. They are tired of being a product and having their information used against them for marketing reasons.

People leaving Facebook is great for so many reasons- but the most important one is people are waking up. They are waking up and becoming aware of this new all digital future where everything they do leaves a trace somewhere.

Sources/More Info:

Facebook Abandonment at all time high

These are the people who are quitting Facebook

(2016) Why I am leaving Facebook and so should you

Simple approaches to Midfulness Meditation

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and sensations. It’s also known as Vipassanā.

Mindfulness is being in the moment.

There are many approaches to Mindfulness meditation and increasing overall focus and awareness of your surroundings. Here are two simple approaches that will help you get started. I talk much more about Mindfulness Meditation and several other techniques in Meditation: Benefits and Techniques for Beginners.

  1. Meditate in a quiet space
    • It’s good to do this for at least 15 minutes per session. Sit up straight but not stiff. Find a fixed point in the room and make this your focal point. Next, focus on your breathing. Isolate the sensation of your lungs filling with air. Feel every muscle in your body stretch as you fill your lungs with air. Feel them relax as you exhale.
    • After you’ve gotten into the rythem of breathing, maintain focus of whats in front of you.
    • If your attention drifts, do not stress out or become upset! Do not fight it either! Drifting is allowed and apart of the process. This helps you discover what is on your mind. After your attention drifts, gently focus your attention back to your breath.
    • At first, your thoughts will be varied and seem like constant interruptions. Don’t be discouraged because this is normal. In fact, to achieve mindfulness, you will need to practice to counter your minds habitual urge to jump from thought to thought. In time, you will learn to truly be in the moment.
  2. Meditate throughout the day in places where there are distractions
    • Precisely the same as above, except instead of finding a quiet space to meditate, you meditate pretty much wherever your are. Places like work, a public park, or even on the bus. This is naturally more difficult because there are more distractions. However, some prefer this. If your busy and don’t have time to meditate it’s another fantastic strategy.

 

Take some time and spend it in the moment. Exercise your mind. Take time to process your emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Observe the world around you with every breath. 🙂

 

How to Meditate when you don’t have the time to

About a decade ago I started to learn about Meditation and Mindfulness. In that time, I have learned so much about myself and the world around me through the benefits of meditation. I’m almost done with a brief ‘How to’ guide that will teach you various Buddhist and Hindu Meditation and Mindfulness techniques. I don’t have a title yet, but I will soon. I am so excited to share my domain knowledge on Meditation with others, that I have to post this excerpt from my book here.

This excerpts from this part of the book are dedicated to all of the hard working people who don’t have time to perform more traditional meditation. Using these techniques, you can still get some of the benefits associated with traditional Mindfulness and Meditation such as increased focus and less stress. With busy 40-60 hour work weeks, these techniques will fit into your schedule easily.

Walking meditation – by far my favourite

The best exercise for all age groups is to walk out in the open. Walking helps the blood to circulate throughout the body and revitalizes you. Early morning or evenings are ideal times to go for a walk. While walking instead of thinking unwanted thoughts, be mindful of your steps and how your legs move one after the other. Think about the rhythm you’ve set to walk. This will help you to be focused.

Start walking meditation by staying still in one place. Be aware of your body weight being transferred to your legs. Think about the soles of your feet and how they’re carrying your weight. Start to walk. Focus on your feet and feel all the sensations as your feet move. Be conscious of how your toes are touching each other and how your socks are keeping them all together. Move up to focus on your ankles and then your calf muscles, knees, thighs and hips. There is no need for you to soak in any feelings. Simply observe them dispassionately.

Breathing exercises

Breath is life; yet we don’t give importance to it. All of us do shallow breathing and land up with several ailments. Deep breathing can help you to resolve half the illnesses. Relax your shoulders and place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Inhale deeply and count from 1 to 5. Hold your breath for a second and then exhale. Repeat this for five to ten minutes. This will help to calm the mind and keep you relaxed. It’ll wipe out all negative thoughts and your mind will be fresh to think positive. You can perform this while travelling to work, at office during lunch time and at home. There is no specific time or place to perform deep breathing exercises.

Tea meditation

Getting up early in the morning before sunrise and looking out of your window is a wonderful practice. The first thing that comes to mind on waking up is to drink a hot cup of tea. This humble beverage rejuvenates and keeps you cheerful throughout the day. In case you don’t have time to exercise, meditate or perform yoga take to tea meditation. 

Add a spoon of tea leaves to boiling water and see the color turn golden brown. This increases your thirst to savor it. Add a couple of holy basil leaves (optional) and cardamom to it and feel the aroma wafting all around your kitchen. You can also add a small piece of crushed ginger (optional) to the tea. Strain the liquid once it is boiled.

PS – Following my blog gives you a chance to be put into a lottery to receive a free copy of my book!

-> Checkout my post on how to make an extra $30 a day, so you can make more time to meditate!

Now that I am debt free, all I want to do is quit my day job.

Now that I’m debt free and have saved a few months rent- all I want to do is quit my current job and leave the rat race now. I currently hate the work I am doing, and I feel like my skills are wasting away. It’s amazing how free feeling it is to be about of debt!

I haven’t felt this liberated since I was a child… so since the last time I had no debt. Huh, funny how that works.

Anyways, on top of that, I recently just broke a milestone and am earning a few dollars each day without doing anything through affiliate marketing on another small site I run.

The only reason I haven’t quit my day job is because I only have a few months of rent saved up, and I should really have at least six. Also, I currently make $300 a day at my day job- my passive income revenue is $3/day. I need to improve that. I am also looking to save money to make a down payment on a rental property early next year- which I hope will add another $50-$80 dollars a day depending on the property.

However still, I can’t help the feeling that I am just doing the wrong thing in life as far as my career goes and it’s bugging me. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and coding- I just don’t like the industry. I was happier contributing to research in college and internships rather than supporting corporate applications. Following my anniversary with this company, I may leave the 9-5 sooner than planned to pursue other options later this summer.

It may take me a little longer to save up with a smaller income, but I think the peace of mind will be worth it. We’ll see what happens.

How to get rid of plastic produce bags forever.

Produce grocery bags are terrible for the environment, although that’s probably not news to you. Maybe people have already started using reusable totes to carry groceries- but they still use anywhere from 5-15 plastic produce bags at the grocery store. Not only is this wasteful by design, but plastic waste can cause a multitude of other issues for the environment if  it isn’t disposed of properly because it is not bio-degradable.

What’s worse is plastics are photo-degradable, and as plastics lay in the sun they break down and produce gas through a process known as off-gassing. The sun only speeds this reaction up, it also happens in your home at a much slower rate. These gasses are hazardous to your health! In trying to rid the world hazardous plastics, it’s especially important to recognize we need to eliminate the largest sources of plastic use.

What if I told you there was a way to get rid of plastic disposable grocery bags FOREVER? I mean it. It’s dead simple and hear is how you can do it:

Start bringing your own reusable produce bags to the store!

You can use any of your own bags from home OR you can buy bags like these (image below) from Amazon.

But in order to rid the world of produce bags FOREVER (and ever and ever) I need help spreading this message. Please be sure to like and share this note with your family and friends so they can start help ridding the world of plastic produce bags!

There are some challenges to this- some people are worried about additional cost of their own bags. Most grocery stores have a modern scale that is capable of subtracting the weight of the bag from the weight read on the scale. You can ask your grocer to weigh your bags for you to get the correct offset.

A more formal method would be to buy bags that have a tare weight inscribed on them, like these Produce Bags. My wife and I started using them recently at the grocery store and they worked great! Not only was the cashier able to subtract the bag weight- which is .07 pounds by the way- but EVERYONE LOVED THESE PRODUCE BAGS AND ASKED ME WHERE I GOT THEM!

I got 9 Cotton Mesh bags right here on Amazon for only $19.99 .

But again, if your trying to stay more frugal you can use your own sacks from home. THIS COST YOU NOTHING. I definitely recommend something that is mesh so your food stays fresh and can breathe. I have the bags pictured below and they work perfectly!

Sources:

Six reasons why produce plastic bags are terrible

Plastic Pollution Outgassing

Plastic Pollution Issues

Book Signing in Seattle!

So last March marks the 12 month anniversary of the release of my first book: Meditation: Benefits and Techniques for Beginners.  I wrote this book with two goals in mind for the audience:

  1. To be a simple, straightforward approach to multiple types of mediation.
  2. To be easily accessible.

I also wrote the book and self published hoping to explore this alternative area of income as a passive income experiment… and I’m pretty happy with the results, which I will be sharing in detail in a future blog post. I have another book on the way now and hope to be done this summer! My goal is to be 100% free is 4 years now… but that’s another post for another day.

Back to the book: I believe that mediation is a great practice and that everyone should do it at least once a week. My book is free to read if you have Kindle!

There will be a book signing this weekend! Please come out! Will be giving away the first 200 copies and will stay till we are out of books! Hope to see you there and May the 4th be with you!

Half Price Books from 2-4pm, May 4th 2018. 
17171 Bothell Way NE, Seattle, WA 98155