Tag Archives: retirement

You’re Leaving? Oh Crap !!

And so I boarded America’s oldest, crappiest and most obsolete public commuter train one last time on Friday afternoon and headed to Diane’s office retirement party. As if to mock me, both the BART train and San Francisco MUNI subway car lines both arrived on time and delivered me to Diane’s now former employer right on time. Complete with a pot luck buffet and a map that pointed to Malaysia (albeit in the wrong city), Diane’s entire staff at the Living Donor Transplant Unit gathered in a conference room overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and gave her an awesome going away event.

IMG_2615Ironically, one of the doctors Diane worked with went to medical school in Malaysia and promises he’ll visit the next time he makes his way to Hong Kong, his native homeland. Proceeding to tell us a story about some friends in Kota Kinabalu that served him an odd tasting lizard soup compliments of a reptile that lived in the river down the street, he gave a small speech praising our plans and wishing us well.  Quickly devouring the food and six bottles of wine, time flew by and soon it was just us, Diane’s assistant and her vanpool mates left. Taking a final stroll to Diane’s now empty office, we collected some presents, exchanged good byes and caught a ride for one last commute. Again as if to mock me, we somehow made the 28 mile journey from San Francisco to Walnut Creek in about an hour, about half the normal commute time.

Wrapping things up, it’s time to pack away the computer, printer and other electronics that will eventually make the ocean voyage and join us somewhere down the line. Entering the last weekend of our “rent-back” period, the adventure seems ready to begin on mostly positive notes with the possible exception of the air conditioner situation I discussed in the last post.

move onSaying goodbye to the room that’s been the creative aspect of House Husband Life since I began the blog last fall, I think we’re both a bit emotional but ready to explore and move on to the next chapter of life. Please follow us into Canada for a while and then tune in for all the craziness, misadventures and other seemingly bizarre things that we might encounter as Experimental Expats taking a chance on early retirement in a place we’ve never even visited.

Cheers to the working life !!

 

MM2H Update: Reconsidering Thailand; Visa issues intensify

Financially speaking, moving from the USA to Canada in 2001 was a very smart move, assuming the bulk of your assets were in US Dollars. Luckily, Diane and I left California for Calgary soon after we met during the weakest stretch for the Canadian Dollar in over 50 years. Exchanging one dollar meant receiving back almost $1.58, saving us almost $20,000 on the down payment of our first house. Conversely, when we sold the house for double what we paid only six years later and moved back to California, the Loonie (Canada’s currency) strengthened so much that we received about $0.93 US back for every $1.00 Canadian. Had it remained the same, it would barely have made sense to sell.

stacks-of-red-tapeRecently, I posted about the Malaysian ministry enforcing stricter income verification policies for MM2H applicants that might potentially spell trouble for Americans. Issued as a ten-year social visit pass renewable indefinitely, the MM2H is an attractive long-term visa not requiring any “visa runs” like neighboring Thailand, albeit with more paperwork and much larger financial requirements. Navigating the tedious procedure and emailing Joy-Stay, (our agent) for six months now, I’m thinking we may have finally hit a patch of bad timing through no fault of our own. Almost too coincidentally, an ambiguously written notice from Bank of America arrived last week describing what sounds like a mass consolidation of bank branches that might be a nail in the coffin for the ministry’s “verification letter” from our financial institution.

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hosue husband

Life as a House Husband

Friday, November 1st2013,

1:30 P.M. Walnut Creek, California. Although I was laid off at 9:00 AM, it’s already late due to the crappy mid-day service provided by BART, America’s most antiquated commuter train system.

Still reeling with the initial shock of being laid off, the first thing I did when I got home that day was sit down at the computer. I wasn’t sure exactly why. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Continue reading