You are now reading the 100th post of this blog! Thank you for being part of this journey, no matter when you started.
In 2014, while in Auckland, I began responding to some common personal finance questions from expats that I’ve seen over and over in community forums. A cautious person in nature, I didn’t think I could cover all angles to making a prudent financial decision through short messages. So I decided to write long form responses. (Plus, I kind of wanted to try out designing a website on my own at the moment.)
Thus, Money Matters for Globetrotters was born.
AAFSW quickly picked up my first few articles on retirement planning for expat spouses. Since then I’ve also discussed the challenges expat spouses face in building an income stream, paying student loans, and running a business.
In addition, I have covered topics as broad as efficient currency exchange, behavioral finance, investing in securities markets and real estate, and advanced tax planning for expats. I even did a video series on the intersection of life coaching and financial planning with my friend Jodi Harris from World Tree Coaching.
Whatever I wrote, it came from my own life, or from discoveries while working with my clients. My writing over the years reflects the collective experience and challenges we face as we move and live overseas.
You’ll notice that I am not a prolific writer. It took me over 4 years to get to 100 blog posts. Part of it is due to the fact that English is not my first language. It takes a while for my ideas to shape into language that I can share. Then my gracious mother-in-law had to check my grammar and usage to make sure they are comprehensible. (Thank you, Lori!) From ideating, researching, writing, editing, to posting, the process could take up to two weeks.
But helping people make decisions is always my number one goal, so I wanted to get it right. I hope my writing over the years has not just been providing information, but also helping you make some personal financial decisions and feeling confident about it.
It may not have been obvious even if you have been a reader for a while, but I’ve moved three times and lived in four countries since the first blog post.
Along with building my business, writing on this blog is one constant that keeps me anchored when we went from New Zealand to the US, then back to the Pacific in Taiwan and China. You might recall from this summer’s blog update that I “celebrated” not having to move this year, after doing so for 3 years straight.
Well, you know what? I celebrated too soon!
Three days ago we once again saw our earthly belongings fit into two wooden crates and left on a truck. We will not see them again until March, when we expect to get to our new home in the Caribbean!
While this move is somewhat unexpected, it is a new direction my husband and I happily take on. In a sense it is not that different from all the moves we’ve done, but it is a challenge to actively make an exit from the system we are in, giving up known benefits for something unknown.
It is a good example of every life decision is a financial decision. This time we chose not to maximize our financial gains, but pursue a more meaningful life in a financially responsible way. (Perhaps I’ll share more of this after our transition is said and done.)
I have been brainstorming ways to celebrate the milestone of 100th post for a while. It ended up approaching at an unfortunate timing.
Saying goodbye yet again to a life established within two weeks is hard enough. In the last week, my grandfather passed away. My home country went through a chaotic election season. I had to make the all so familiar but still tedious decisions on all my possessions. This is all happening while I am running a business alone, the first time since I took over my ex-partner’s shares earlier this year.
It’s another reminder that ego depletion and decision fatigue are real. I had experienced it before, but never in such an emotional state. There were several days I just wanted to push back, avoid, and space out.
I was fortunate, therefore, to have someone to turn to for advice on what to write for my 100th post. She told me to just share something personal. (Thank you Carolyn!)
As I considered it, it became clear that I had been masking my personal life a lot more since our move in 2017. It’s perhaps a reflection of the invisible constraint I felt living in this country.
So in addition to reminiscing the past of this blog on this 100th post, I’ve also made a decision for its future.
I’ll share more of my money stories along these global journeys. While knowledge and information are crucial to help you make good financial decisions, they don’t always inspire you to. The mission of this blog will still be helping you make prudent financial decisions with confidence. And sometimes, seeing what others have gone through, whether they were good or bad, helps you take an important step toward the right direction.
Here’s a taste of what is to come.
Of course, I’ll continue to share those 2,000-words articles and tools that help you manage your investments, taxes, and other areas of personal finance while on the move.
To wrap up, this 100th post will also be my last post of 2018. Thanks again for your support up to this point, and your continuous readership going forward. I hope you have a great holiday season with your family, and see you next year!