Collectively known as Rodi, I’m Rob and my wife is Diane. Thanks to some diligent planning, a little sacrifice, and some good timing, we decided on early retirement in 2015. Understanding the power of compounding, historical long-term stock market trends, and a well-diversified investment portfolio, we found ourselves just prepared enough for the plunge when an unexpected layoff ended my so-called career. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, I moved to San Francisco during the first Bush presidency. But unlike many early retirees, boredom played more of a role in my decision than burnout. Spending 27 “cubicle years” in the financial services industry, my administrative positions proved uninspiring but opportunistic. Contrasting my background totally, Diane grew up in the western Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta. Born six years later than me, she’ll celebrate her fiftieth birthday later this year. (She’s not thrilled).
Professionally, Diane holds a BSc in nursing and smartly chose a highly transferrable career specializing in renal care. Finishing her working years as a Coordinator in the Living Donor Transplant Unit at a large hospital in San Francisco, she gave her feet a break, said goodbye to 12 hour shifts, and joined me as an office worker. Clearly not as ambitious as her, I graduated high school in 3 1/2 years, landed a junior role at a Wall Street investment bank and worked my way up without the benefit of a university degree.
Classifying our move as an Experimental Overseas Early Retirement, we spent five and a half years living in Southeast Asia. Thanks to an advantageous retirement visa known as MM2H (Malaysia My Second Home), we started inPenang, Malaysia. Realizing it wasn’t our cup of tea, we left after two years and settled in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Unsure how long we’d stay in Asia, our comfortable lifestyle and low cost of living proved highly advantageous. Trapped in a small Southern Thai beach town at the height of the pandemic and tiring of extreme heat and humidity, we decided to ditch the developing world for the immediate future and returned to North America.
Chronologically arranged from the planning stages to the New Normal, the blog shares our stories and tales of food, travel, and what we’ve learned about life from living overseas. Presenting realistically honest points of view, sometimes humble and other times cynical, I pull no punches but try to keep it real. Unclear of our next move, we’re still haven’t necessarily figured out what to do with life after work, but I guarantee it won’t be back in the office.