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2 women, post-FIRE, living our best life
through financial independence.

About us

We are Ali and Alison Walker, and we used to call Seattle, Washington our home. We met in 2004, married in 2006, and retired in 2018. After reaching FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) we wanted a complete and total change from our career-focused lives. We decided that meant leaving our Seattle life behind and making travel our new lifestyle. By November of 2018 we had sold our home and car, let go of 99% of our belongings, and left Seattle. READ MORE…

Our Blog

Our goal is to share our stories, connect with other people, and help others create their best life through financial independence. We love personal finance and we love travel so we use our blog to talk mostly about our experiences with those topics. Alison writes most of our Money Crush posts, and Ali writes most of our Travel Stories. And sometimes we share more personal stories as well, which we refer to as It’s just us. We hope one of our posts is useful for you. Please let us know what you think!


Recent Posts

It’s August – Now What Are We Gonna Do?
International Health Insurance vs ACA Coverage in the USA

We arrived in Flagstaff at the end of May. We drove here from California in a rental car to minimize our exposure to other people along the way. But while we were hanging around our rental house, cooking and working on projects and having a great time, COVID-19 got much worse in AZ and across the USA. Back in Mom’s retirement place case numbers were also increasing. We heard there were 22 staff plus two residents who tested positive, including one of Mom’s friends. And we know they aren’t testing residents unless they end up in a hospital bed so there’s no way to know how much community spread is really happening there now. Bottom line – we decided we are NOT comfortable taking Mom back there right now. READ MORE…

We’re Wearing Face Masks From Now On

Now that we have experienced life during a pandemic, there are a lot of things that have permanently changed for us. COVID-19 has done a lot of damage across the world, and human behavior during today’s pandemic has been both fascinating and disappointing to watch. Particularly in the USA. Seriously people, we can do better! It’s clear that face masks should be worn outside of our homes and in public places, especially where social distancing is difficult to maintain like in grocery stores. Face masks feel especially critical for us here in Arizona where we are currently spending a couple of months and where COVID-19 is surging. So we sat down with Alison’s Mom and made face masks! READ MORE…

Midyear Money Thoughts – The ACA vs Roth Conversion Conundrum

I must admit I haven’t had the mind for money blogging since the world got turned upside down with the global COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year. But now that we’ve settled into Flagstaff for at least three months and collected my mom from her retirement community in Tempe, I’m feeling much more grounded and ready to run off into the weeds playing Money Crush. READ MORE…

5 Weeks in Japan, Part 1: 10 Days in Osaka

We loved our first trip to Japan in 2019. We spent five weeks exploring a few cities on the main island Honshu. We were in Japan during Golden Week and the imperial transition, which made it even more special. Our goal for this first trip over 5 weeks was to find one city we loved enough to return and stay in for three months on a future trip. Osaka is definitely a city we want to stay longer in on our next trip! READ MORE…

Our Trip Back to the US During COVID

We intentionally avoided returning to the US in March when things were chaotic. We wanted to wait until our originally planned travel date on May 3 in hopes of having a gentler time with reentry. That seems to have been the right decision since our return trip included zero chaos. READ MORE…


The Posts We Love

What’s Your Why for FI?

In the FIRE community one question that gets asked all the time is, what is your motivation to change your approach to life and money and stop following the pack? Shortly after Ali and I made that decision in June of 2017 I asked Ali this question, “Why do you want to stop working right now?” Her answer was amazing and very simple. “Because I want to spend more time with you.” Talk about a mic drop. That was it. READ MORE…

Home is More Than Just Housing

When we decided to retire early we took the opportunity to look closely at our housing options moving forward. We took a deep dive into both our personal needs regarding a home of our own, and also into what we could afford on our retirement budget. What we discovered about ourselves and our new retirement mindset was surprising. Going through that process helped us design clear parameters for our housing choices moving forward. READ MORE…

Avoiding the RMD Cliff

While we were still working our W-2 jobs I asked the experts questions like “Should I invest more in my 401k, or my Traditional IRA, or my Roth? Should I focus more on one account over another?” And the response was always “Well it depends on what your tax bracket will be in the future after you retire.” Then I would ask, “Well what will my tax bracket be after I retire?” And the response was, “Well it depends on how much money is in your various accounts in the future.” A vicious cycle of, “Well it depends.”  READ MORE…

Outline Your Goals in a Personal Money Statement

Ask Yourself – Can We Go It Alone? We have been managing our own investments and money for a while now. It has definitely taken us some time (years) to build the confidence we needed to go it alone. The process became much easier for us once we found all the amazing information online from the FIRE community. And we have learned a lot from other authors, bloggers, and podcasters in the financial independence/retire early movement. The overwhelming message that we have gotten is — we can do this on our own. READ MORE…