Winter 2019/2020 Life Update

After a slow recovery from getting sick at the end of our winter vacation, we are finally back in action and getting in to a great 2020 so far.

Net Worth: $466,341

Latest cool place we’ve been:


Latest labyrinth hunt:


Both are in bustling New York City! Despite getting sick near the end of the trip, we had a great time visiting museums, wandering around cool neighbourhoods, and trying interesting food.

Our net worth has increased by $32,953 since our last update in October, despite taking a trip to New York City over new years, and also booking our 2020 summer vacation to Europe. We’re looking forward to visiting Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and maybe Slovakia once summer rolls around. There are no firm plans for next winter’s trip, though Cambodia is calling my name, and India is a strong contender as well. We’ll see.

While it’s hardly worth comparing year over year spending at this point, our 2020 non-travel spending is currently $1,365, compared to $1,286 on this day in 2019. Though it’s pretty early on, we expect our spending to be roughly in line with previous years, as we have no unusual expenses planned for 2020.

If we retired today, our monthly income would be $1,554. Our monthly retirement income continues to increase nicely, with about two years to go before we have a lifetime travel fund in addition to our normal spending.


  1. Hey guys, congratulations on your personal finance success. I found your story through a recent CBC article. I wanted to ask about your investments if you don’t mind. I’m curious to know about general architecture. Do you guys have any thoughts on Fixed Income, Equity, Cash allocations? How have you balanced your portfolio geographically? How heavy do you lean on Canadian Dividend income? Do you make adjustments based on anything in the news? What are your favourite information sources to learn yourselves about investment choices? Sorry for the number of questions and feel no pressure to answer them all! Congrats again and best of luck.

    One last query, are you concerned about a market pull back setting you back in terms of timelines and if so, any steps to mitigate that risk? Thanks very much guys!

  2. I appreciate how hard you both work towards staying within budget.

    For us, not having a car for past 30 years, already means a lot of savings. For myself it’s even longer, since I gave up my license at 21 yrs. I estimate I’ve redirected $300,000 in that same time to savings, a home, etc. One just has to choose to live in the right place.

    We each come from poor, immigrant families and we each know how challenging it is to live a minimalist life. Where I used to sew 80% of my wardrobe until well into my early 30’s.

    Kudos to you. It is not entirely for me but to at least have enough money to have coffee and something else outside of home…as a break.

    Other FIRE wannabes have to seriously consider the future cost calcualtions…the healthiest people I know, including myself (I’m 61), end up with at least 1 major illness or injury. And these are people who aren’t obese, no heart/respiratory problem. And our public health care system doesn’t cover reduced dental care costs, etc.

    • Up until now we were paying $75 per month for the provincial health care insurance. As of January the government removed that and just increased payroll taxes, so we do not pay that anymore. For other health spending that is not covered such as dental, we paid $630 for 2019. Although we do have employer dental insurance.

  3. Hi, congratulations! Your lifestyle is very inspiring to me. I think my husband would like to live the way you two are, and I’m open to considering some aspects and perhaps shooting for retirement by 50.
    I’m curious about your finances during “retirement” (which could easily last 50 years). Do you plan to continue living on about 19- 20k/yr, as you are now? Will you be relying on the interest made on your savings and if so, how much do you anticipate generating every year from tbis? How are you able to build a home on the gulf islands-will you be purchasing land and if so, how will you pay for it?
    Thanks so much,

    • Hello Coral, we plan to spend the same as now, and would not retire until our investments produced enough to cover that. If we end up building a home on an island, that would just come from the portion of our investments that would otherwise produce income to cover our rent. There’s not really much difference between having a chunk of money in investments producing money used to pay rent, versus having that same chunk of money tied up in a property you live in and thus don’t need to pay rent.

  4. I’m cutting out most travel. I haven’t left the country in five years. I know people that take multiple trips each winter to escape the so called horrible Canadian winters. But imo they are just giving in to the barage of advertising that says you must go south each winter. I actually love winter and I bike all winter too

  5. Have just discovered your blog, it is so interesting. I retired early at 46, and have never regretted it. I also love to travel and still live a moderately frugal lifestyle in order to travel more. I especially like cruises.

  6. @Paul These two are under no obligation to post. Perhaps a more persuasive tone would engender a response. Please don’t put them off as, like you, I’m interested to hear how recent events have impacted their trajectory. Suspect the short answer is: market is down hard, so are the investments, acknowledgement of aversion bias, but cost of living remains low, philosophical focus steers them towards the importance of health and community, timeframes extend, tomorrow is promised to no-one, enjoy the journey.

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