I Quit My Job (And New Adventures to Come)

Exciting news! Approximately two weeks ago I met with my supervisor and gave him notice that I am quitting my job. I should be officially off the books next week.

The best part... I've got absolutely no new job lined up to hop into and have no desire to work another job. But my wife and I have a new adventure planned for our future.

For the several thousand readers who don't know me personally, I have worked in law enforcement for the past nine years. I've had a broad range of experience in the field, working positions ranging from a patrol officer to traffic enforcement to bylaw enforcement to animal control. This means I've headed up investigations into everything from unsightly properties to serious dog attacks to armed robberies.

The experience of law enforcement was life-changing for me. Some countries have military conscription; I believe prosperous countries should seriously consider encouraging their graduates to serve in law enforcement for a few years. Law enforcement will teach you more about human behaviour than any other career I can think of.

However, after nine years my heart wasn't in law enforcement anymore. I think I am probably too independent for the hierarchical structure of the law enforcement world. While the work can be interesting and I worked with many great people on the front lines, the bureaucracy gets tiresome and the policies and procedures are increasingly inhibiting.

By watching our spending, working hard, and successful investing, my wife and I have built a pretty substantial financial cushion and this is a great opportunity for us to do something completely different with our lives. As I always say, this journey is about freedom.

The Future

While I haven't made any serious efforts to find new things to occupy my time for monetary gain going forward, my wife and I have made plans for a huge shift in our lives.

In August 2019 we will be moving overseas to Hanoi, Vietnam. We hope to live there for several years and use it as a base to discover eastern Asia. We've never been there before; in fact, I've never been west of coastal British Columbia. But we've heard a tonne of great things about Vietnam and Hanoi, particularly from friends who have visited there.

The people are supposed to be wonderful, cost of living is low, and Hanoi has much more comfortable weather than other cities in the region like Saigon, Bangkok, Jakarta, or Kuala Lampur.

On the financial side, taxes on stock investments in Vietnam can be as low as 0.1 percent per sell-side transaction. This means I will change a few things in my portfolio, but my investing should become simpler and much more tax friendly in the long run. However, I will take a bit of a tax hit as I will likely be taking money out of RRSP accounts at some point down the road.

My wife, an elementary school teacher, has taken a position with a prominent American school in Hanoi. She's very excited to work with a new curriculum and enter the world of expat international schools.

Her new school is making the transition to Hanoi extremely easy. With their help we've already secured a furnished apartment, got our visas in order, and are getting a full tour of Hanoi and everything we need to know when we arrive. We are also coming into a community of individuals with similar interests.

Once things get settled (likely in the middle of August), you may see some changes around the blog. I might take up more writing, dive deeper into some of the portfolios I work with, do some consulting, and start a regular newsletter.

I'm always open to new ideas from readers, so please contact me if you have some thoughts on where I should spend my time and further develop the blog.

Comments & Questions

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6 Replies to “I Quit My Job (And New Adventures to Come)”

  1. Good luck Daren!

    1. Daren (Editor) says:

      Thank you!

  2. Very interesting – good for you both and best of luck on the new journey.

    Cheers.

  3. Congratulations. That is great news.

  4. Hey Daren!

    First off, congrats! You’re doing something I too would hope to do one day – leave the bureaucracy, and find a living just strictly for life’s joys. Living in SE Asia can be quite an eye opening experience and I hope you like it there, and get a new perspective on things.

    On the point of perspective, I assume you’ll still keep investing and managing your portfolios that are based in Canada/North America, while living on the opposite side of the world. This might come across as a weird question and maybe more just something for you to think about when you’re writing about investing – what is investing like while living in a foreign market, particularly one that seemingly is opposite to North America?

    Being based in Canada, it seems that we get caught up investing in ourselves, work in a Canadian/American job, read about and invest in the North American markets since they (the US) do carry the world markets, but is there a different attitude or POV when it comes to investing when you don’t live in those two markets? Are there other means by which to invest money while living in those countries?

    I’m not sure if this question has any merit on your blog, but I’d thought I’d ask!

    Matt

    1. Daren (Editor) says:

      Thanks Matt, I’m very excited for a different experience! I don’t know if SEA is somewhere I would want to be forever, but our plan is to be there for a few years to start. There are so many places to see around there and I love elements of the Buddhist approach, even though I am a practicing Christian. I think there is a lot I can learn from Asian cultures.
      Regarding investing, so far I have focused on arranging account transfers, tax planning, and currency movements for my personal use. It all seems pretty straightforward: Interactive can easily accommodate my accounts with full market access, once I pay my exit tax from Canada my taxes will be very low, and thanks to Transferwise and online banking moving currencies should be easy as well. However, I’m sure I’ll run into a few hickups once we are on the ground.
      I know that stock investing seems to be less common the further away you are from financial hubs like New York, London, Tokyo, and Shanghai. Other assets like real property pick up favour. I don’t think my portfolio is large enough to handle the risk of real property investing, so I won’t go into that for a while. However, I will be glad to share some of the local perspectives once I’m there.

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