In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
A Priceless Retirement
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Some say it's impossible. Others simply dismiss the notion outright even if they
are curious. How do we live on $24,000 per year while traveling through New
Zealand, The West Indies, Laos, and other exotic locations? We don't give up
luxury, nor do we deprive ourselves. So what is our secret?
Our approach is very simple: We have chosen not to dedicate our time and money
to support a complicated infrastructure.
Over the past 12 months, we have lived in Ecuador, the U.S., and Thailand and
also bought a new computer and a digital camera. On approximately $24,000.
We have spent considerably more in some years than in others. However, on
average, over the past 15 years of our early retirement, our figures have fallen
in this range.
How is it possible?
From the graph, you will see a
listing of categories in which we track our spending, with the
percentages based on our actual spending from Nov. 1, 2004, to
Oct. 31, 2005. We want to clarify that we do not budget but
rather operate from the position that we are not conspicuous
consumers. (Keep in mind that the $24,000 is net per year, not
gross. This amount reflects our actual spending, not a paycheck
amount from which taxes and savings must be drawn.)
All other expenses
Downsize the house, car, and Uncle Sam
Housing includes our annual fees, maintenance, repairs, and utilities for our
home in the States, as well as hotel rooms or apartments we may rent while on
the road. Transportation includes gasoline, oil changes, licenses, tires, and
insurance for our vehicle at home, as well as airline tickets, visas, taxis,
boats, trains, and tuk-tuks.Another area that takes fiscal
attention is taxes. Income taxes, are something you can control by structuring your portfolio to reflect this choice. Interest from corporate bonds and short-term capital gains are taxed at income rates that are higher than qualified dividends and long-term capital gains.
If you look at your own expenses, you will see that housing and transportation
take a good chunk of your income. Becoming mindful of what goes in to support
these two areas of your life will be eye-opening. Take a close and honest
evaluation of this state of affairs for yourself. Understand precisely where
your money goes and why.
In most cases, housing, transportation, and taxes are the top three areas of
cash outlay in a person's economic life. Modifying any or all of them -- which
is exactly what we did -- will have a significant impact on your annual
High living, low costs
All that being said, we have a great deal of fun living on $24,000 per year.
Spending wisely, we get the most bang for our buck. For instance, living in a
resort location, we have access to a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a workout
room without having to lay out cash for their maintenance. We eat high-quality
meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables because we shop at farmer's markets and
watch for the rotating grocery sales to purchase when prices are attractive.
Walking instead of driving whenever possible, we also choose low-cost
entertainment options such as tennis, hiking, biking, swimming, going to museums
and art shows, and reading books from the library. Volunteering for projects in
local cultures and in our community provides us with new learning experiences.
We share time with friends either cooking for them ourselves or going out to
lunch instead of opting for higher-priced dinners. And when it's time to hit the
road, we take full advantage of current airline deals and travel packages.
Reaping the benefits of simplicity, we place more emphasis on creating a life of
meaning rather than a life of "'stuff."
What about you?
So you think you can't make it on $24,000 yearly? How about $48,000 or more?
All this means is that your net worth will need to be high enough to maintain
these levels of spending.
No matter where you are in this continuum, you can profit from doing any of the
1.) Simplify your personal infrastructure. Know where your money is going, and
decide whether it's worth it to you. Do you want to keep up the pace of your
current spending? Make your funding priorities reflect your values.
2.) Plan your retirement tax strategy now.
3.) Know there is a balance in the exchange of
time and money. Do you want more money, or do you want more time? This could be
a crossroad you face.
4.) Remember, the best things in life are free.
Friendships and connection to society are based more on your attention and time,
rather than on your money. Watching the sun set with a loved one -- sharing life
experiences together -- creates memories that will far outlast anything you can
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of
finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991.
They wrote the popular books,
The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and
Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
information about financial independence and travel, visit our
Billy and Akaisha continue to journal and photograph their
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha