The Retire Early Lifestyle Site
The first thing I like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that the “20
Questions” page offers a concise introduction to the Retire
This page explains that: “At the age of 38 [in 1991], Billy and Akaisha
packed it up, sold everything, retired, and moved to Nevis, a 36 sq.
mile island in the Caribbean. From there they started traveling and
haven’t looked back.” It then offers the Kaderlies' take on the
questions most frequently asked by those hearing about the Retire Early
concept for the first time.
This page provides a nice introduction to what our movement is all
about. Asked if they are wasting their lives, the Kaderlies note the
opportunities for volunteer work and for learning new things that open
up to those who overcome paycheck dependence early in life. Asked how
their friends reacted on learning of their plans, they say that “our
retiring early challenged the belief system of everyone we know.” Asked
what they do about health insurance, they reveal that they rely on a
high-deductible catastrophic coverage plan.
These questions all merit more in-depth responses, and the Kaderlies no
doubt provide more in-depth responses to many of them in their
The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement
CD-ROM (I expect to review the CD-ROM at some future date). I think it
was a good idea to build a page containing only the briefest of
responses to these common questions.
It is easy for newcomers to the movement to be intimidated by the amount
of information there is to process before taking the big step of handing
in a resignation to a corporate or government job. The “20 Questions”
page provides a helpful overview for those who want to dip their big toe
into the water before deciding whether all this early retirement jizz-jazz
is worthy of further exploration.
The second thing I like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is what the Kaderlies say
about why they pursued the CD-ROM project even when they faced
difficulties in bringing it to completion.
After commenting that completing the project was hard work, they note
that “creativity has a place.”
There are some segments of our community in which “work” is viewed as a
four-letter word. What a bore!
There are certain types of work that we all want to escape from, to be
sure. That’s the point of winning financial freedom early in life.
But I don’t have the sense that most community members want to avoid all
productive activity from the day they hand in their resignations
forward. Note the tag line at the top of the home page of this site:
“Winning Financial Freedom to Do the Work You Love.” We are not a
movement dedicated to avoiding work so much as we are a movement
dedicated to becoming free to do the right kinds of work (which includes
some activities more commonly thought of as “play” than as “work).
The Kaderlies found that completing work on
The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement was the right
kind of work for them to be doing in their retirement. So they stuck at
it. Community members seeking to learn some lessons from their financial
freedom quest reap the benefits of their insights and the Kaderlies got
to experience that good feeling inside that comes from completion of
important and meaningful work. A win-win.
The third thing I like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that it reveals that
the Kaderlies published their guide to early retirement in an unusual
The Kaderlies explain that they were finding that they were not able to
accomplish what they wanted with their guide by publishing it in the
conventional book format. For example, they wanted to include photos of
places they had visited in their travels. They determined that
publishing numerous photos in a book would be prohibitively expensive.
They decided to apply some independent thinking to the project. They
note that that comes naturally to early retirees. I very much agree.
The Retire Early idea shocks many people when they first hear it. The
reality, though, is that some form of early retirement makes good sense
in many circumstances. The hardest part of the journey is applying
independent thought to see that it makes sense and thereby to overcome
the skepticism so many express about the idea.
One lesson I have very much taken to heart as a result of putting
together my Passion Saving plan is that it is important to question
conventional thinking in many areas of life. It is possible to get
carried away with that sort of thing. There are usually good reasons why
certain ideas come to be accepted by majorities. In the right
circumstances, though, there can be a big payoff to checking things out
for yourself. Independent thinking is very much a distinguishing trait
of Financial Freedom Community members.
The fourth thing I like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that the Kaderlies make
the case for their decision to retire early on efficiency grounds.
The Kaderlies note that, when they were both employed, they had lots of
money coming in but little time to enjoy it. Their decision to retire
early meant a drop in buying power but an increase in time to enjoy the
things that money allows one to obtain.
Many people become so accustomed to the struggle to gain more money that
they come to believe that it is always a good idea to trade one’s time
for money. It isn’t. The discovery that that is so is the discovery that
drives the Retire Early movement.
The fifth thing I like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that the Kaderlies
stress how making changes to just three spending categories can make a
The Kaderlies rediscovered something that Paul Terhorst (author of
Cashing in on the American Dream) learned a good number of
years back. Three expenses--housing, cars, and taxes--dominate the
budgets of many middle-class workers of today. Make dramatic cuts to
those three, and you may not need to do all that much else to gain
financial freedom many years sooner than would otherwise be possible.
The first thing I don’t like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that the Kaderlies were
DINKs (double-income, no kids).
They can’t help it, of course. We all are what we are. And there are
benefits in reading another story of how a DINK couple attained
financial freedom early in life.
Still, I think the need is greater for the other kind of Retire Early
story, the kind in which a married couple with a moderate income and
with the responsibility of raising children pulls off some version of
the Retire Early dream.
Those stories are different sorts of stories, of course. We don’t all
have the same options open to us. But we do have moderate-income workers
with children telling their stories at our discussion boards. So there
are versions of the Retire Early dream open to non-DINKs. We need to
place more focus on those types of stories in days to come and less on
the types of stories we hear from Terhorst/Kaderli types, in my view.
The second thing I don’t like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is that the Kaderlies
adopt a glib tone in their discussions of the risks of early retirement.
Handing in a resignation from a good job at an early age is a risky
business. That’s the primary reason why most people react so skeptically
when first hearing of the Retire Early concept.
We need to explain why the risk in some circumstances need not be an
insurmountable obstacle. But we make a mistake to underplay the risk, to
suggest that people should just take a chance and that things will
likely work out for the best.
The Kaderlies were lucky. They invested heavily in stocks and they
retired in the early 90s, when stocks were about to begin the biggest
run-up in prices that has ever been experienced in the U.S. market.
Other early retirees will not be so lucky. They should not let the risks
of early retirement stop them from exploring the concept. But they
should be prudent in their planning. They should give the risks serious
consideration before taking any irreversible steps.
The third thing I don’t like about the Retire Early Lifestyle
site (RetireEarlyLifestyle.com) is the
over-simplification I feel the Kaderlies engage in when they argue that
planning an early retirement is “not rocket science.”
It’s not rocket science. The statement is literally true.
But there is a lot that you need to look into before reaching the point
where you can responsibly hand in a resignation from a good job at an
The time I spent putting together my plan was a great learning
experience. I didn’t know much more than the conventional wisdom on
saving and on investing and on career advancement before I began putting
together my Retire Early plan. It was the process of thinking hard
enough about these topics to put together a plan that had a decent
chance of working in the real world that helped me develop many of the
strategies that I write about at this site.
I wouldn’t want to deny that sort of learning experience to anyone.
Planning an early retirement is not rocket science. But there are a lot
of things that need to be worked through in the process of putting
together a successful plan. And doing that is a good part of the fun
that makes early retirement so enriching a life experience.
Don’t hand in a resignation without spending a good bit of time putting
together a plan and then examining it from ten directions looking for
any possible holes in what you have put together. There’s no better way
to develop true expertise in the money management project.
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 Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and
Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
information about financial independence and travel, visit our