Financial Independence Interview-Tawcan

We have ourself a Canadian today on Even Steven Money, we have gone International!  I have only been to Canada once but really enjoyed my time while I was there, maybe one day I can visit again and I get a tour from Tawcan!

I love reading about other bloggers FI goals, including what they plan to do when they reach financial independence and what road they plan to take to get there.  That’s the great thing about the Financial Independence community, no person or plan is the same.  I hope you do the same thing as I do when I read the FI Interviews and  get motivated to reach your goal and make you think about an idea or plan that you can use in your own personal path to FI.  Without further ado, I give to you Tawcan.


Who are you and tell me about your reason for setting a goal of FI?

I am Tawcan and I write on a blog named after myself. What does Tawcan mean? It is a word I invented myself that stands for Taiwanese Canadian. As you can probably guess, I’m originally from Taiwan but call Canada home. I’m in my early 30’s living in beautiful Vancouver BC Canada. I’m happily married to a very awesome and supportive wife that I refer her as Mrs. T on the blog. I’m also a dad to an energetic toddler.   

The reason for setting a goal of FI is simply to provide Mrs. T and me with more options. We would love to one day to travel around the world and live in different cities for an extended period of time and learn about the different cultures and different types of food. The idea of calling my own schedule sounds pretty good to me. Reaching FI would also allow me to spend more time with Mrs. T, Baby T, and any future kid(s).

Who got you started and who motivates you on your Financial Independence journey?

Early retirement is not a strange concept to me since my dad is an early retiree himself. Growing up, I definitely appreciate him being able to spend so much time with me during the typical school days. My dad is not someone that likes to show off, so when it comes to how to retire early or achieve financial independence, he prefers me to look for answers myself. I have read quite a number of books on personal finance and early retirement. Mr. Money Mustache was one of the blogs that I came across a few years ago that got me even more hooked on the idea of FI. Now I blog about FI and have connected with many other bloggers in the FIRE blogosphere, you can say that all of the fellow bloggers motivate me on my financial independence journey.

What or Who is your Why?

My family is my why. Being able to spend more time with Mrs. T, Baby T, and our future kid(s) is the main reason. A more selfish reason is to provide myself with more time and freedom to pursuit stuff that I really enjoy doing, like photography, personal finance, and travel. I would love to travel around the world with my family and do photography gigs on the side, and maybe become a financial advisor to help out people’s finances. These are great part-time jobs that are not location dependent.

Do you have any debt?  If so do you have a plan to pay this off before FI?

The only debt we have is our house mortgage. When we crunched out numbers on the FIRE spreadsheet calculator that we created, we definitely took mortgage payment into consideration. To us, reaching financial independence simply means that our passive income exceeds our expenses. It would be great to pay off the mortgage before FI but that’s not our focus.

What planned income streams are you working on towards FI and Early Retirement?

The simple explanation is that we plan to live off our investments, but that’s a pretty vague statement. To elaborate, our planned income streams can be categories as below:

  • Stocks. Mostly from dividend stocks that we own but also from sales of index ETF’s and individual stocks.
  • Interest on cash and bond (hopefully rates will go up at some point)
  • Part time work like my photography business
  • Book sales – Mrs. T and I have published a couple of cookbooks, Mrs. T is in the process of writing a book.
  • If we end up getting some income from blogging that’d be a bonus too.  

We haven’t looked into real estate rentals yet. Vancouver real estate is insane so we may need to explore rentals in other cities. Real estate rentals only make sense if we can be net positive consistently.


What are your plans during early retirement?  (Travel, special projects, part-time work)

Our plan is to travel around the world and live in a different for an extended period of time at each destination. This will allow us to have a home base to travel in the surrounding areas, immerse ourselves in the culture, and interact with the locals. Growing up, my parents would take me and my brother to trips whenever we are on school summer holidays. We have traveled quite extensively in North America, driving everywhere, camping in different cities, and seeing lots of different things. I also managed to travel to other parts of the world by myself when I was in my 20’s and continued to explore the world even today. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from traveling and I’d love to provide the same opportunity to Baby T and any future kid(s). I’m a true believer that you can learn more things from traveling than you can from reading a book or sitting in a classroom. Mrs. T loves traveling as much as I do and have the same view about traveling.

Early retirement is not sitting on the beach drinking Pina Colada all day. I’d get bored doing that after a couple of days. To me, early retirement is about having the freedom and options to do things that are important to Mrs. T and me. Having more time to pursuit in our interests will be awesome. We would also have more time to be able to enjoy and appreciate the smaller things in life. As mentioned above, I’d love to pursuit in photography even more. Mrs. T and I would also love to spend more time on our cookbook business. Living in different parts of the world would allow us to learn more about the different cuisines and also share our cookbooks with different people. Having more time would also allow us to explore other interests and possibly turn them into income generating sources. Ultimately, it would be great being able to generate income from non-location dependent works. Living below our means during retirement will be the key. We’ll make sure that we continue staying frugal. If our retirement expenses are less than income from our part time works, then we’d be golden.

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7 Responses to “Financial Independence Interview-Tawcan

  • Hi Tawcan.

    I am super jazzed at finding out you made up your name. Super cool. I always wondered what that meant.

    And it’s so great you had your dad as a role model for the whole early retirement lifestyle.
    The Roamer recently posted…Surprise! Why me? Dealing with bad surprisesMy Profile

  • Nice article. Like the commentor above I’m also glad to know the etymology of the name Tawcan 🙂 I think you are wise to plan on some part-time work after FI. I think most people will eventually want part-time work, so it’s smart to consider it from the start. Cheers!
    The Bearded Dragon recently posted…Expenses: October 2015My Profile

  • Tawcan,

    Sounds like you are really living the life. My wife and I are ~2 years away from being in the same position. I’ve considered taking up teaching so that we can travel the world with our kids in the Summer similar to what your dad used to do for you. Good stuff! recently posted…How to Pocket $5,000 in Savings in One YearMy Profile

  • Always interested to read more about a blogger who is planning to reach financial independence who lives in a high cost of living area. When you said you would travel for extended period, will you be keeping a home base in Vancouver? Or will you guys be more like Go Curry Cracker?
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Consumers BewareMy Profile

  • Thank you for clearing up the mystery of your name! 🙂 How cool that you guys have published some cookbooks and Mrs T is writing another book. Writing a book is definitely on our list for early retirement, and while we have about a million ideas, we have nothing concrete.

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