Retire Early Lifestyle
Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler

 Traveling Mailbox

Retire Early Lifestyle Blog  Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact Us

Advertise on info here

In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

20 Questions We Are Frequently Asked

Media Interviews with Billy and Akaisha

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

January, 1991:  At the age of 38, Billy and Akaisha packed it up, sold everything, left the conventional working world, and moved to Nevis, a 36 sq. mile island in the Caribbean.  From there they started traveling and haven't looked back.

"Life is an adventure, follow your dreams."

People have always asked us why we left our beautiful home and our successful careers for a lifestyle of travel. But the questions over the 30+ years of our Financial independence have changed.

In the early years people wanted to know if they could retire if they had children, and barely believed us when we said “YES!” But, of course, with today’s emphasis on FIRE, there are many stories of young retirees with children leaving the conventional work force. So that path has been blown wide open.

Today, the questions to us are different.

Take a look below.

Updated April, 2022

Billy and Akaisha at Mar de Jade, Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha at Mar de Jade, Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

How has COVID affected your lives personally?

While COVID has dramatically restricted places available for travel, we still look for friendly options. Since COVID began we have traveled mostly through Mexico and Akaisha has gone to the States to visit family. We take all necessary precautions and use common sense. We have tried our best to live our lives in a way that we are minimally affected by the pandemic. We are freedom-seekers and think it's important not to let Fear rule our lives. Had we caved into Fear in the very beginning of this journey, we never would have retired to begin with.

Why did you retire early?

Actually, we never wanted “to retire." We were on a fast track, hamster wheel of life, and made the decision to leave our jobs to pursue traveling and other interests. We didn’t take the perspective that we would never do another productive thing in our lives.

We were lead by our dreams of a different life, one that didn’t fit the traditional description. The acronym FIRE didn’t exist then, nor did the words “financial independence” in general. So… we simply said “we retired early.”

Weren't you too young to leave jobs and a secure paycheck?

In 1991 when we were 38, no one told us there was an age qualification on obtaining financial independence. We think it is a worthy goal at any age. Now, decades later, we feel it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

In fact, we think becoming financially independent is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the world. When you are no longer held hostage to debt, to a paycheck, to a job you dislike, to a commute that takes too many productive hours out of your day, or to a relationship that you no longer want to be in but are stuck due to financial pressure – you now have the freedom and ability to give back to your personal or global community. When you are not cemented into a situation where you are simply paying off bills, your life opens up.

This is good for everyone.

Today, with the active FIRE community, many people in their 30s and 40s are re-describing their approach to their working lives. There is no one-size-fits-all, and FIRE is not for everyone.





Aren't you wasting your lives?

Chances for volunteering, continuing education, and opportunities to grow in a myriad of ways present themselves constantly, now that we are not tied to a job. We have taken full advantage of these circumstances, including teaching English to children, coaching basketball teams, building tennis courts, teaching massage to indigenous people and writing books and articles. Possibilities are everywhere, and now we have the energy and time to explore them.

Our personal lives are wealthy beyond belief.

Billy and Akaisha, Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha on the beach!

What did your friends and family think of your unconventional plans?

In 1991, our leaving the working world challenged the belief system of Everyone. We. Knew.

Remember, this was before personal computers were commonplace, before financial forums, Skype, blogs, Amazon, Facebook, email, WhatsApp and the internet as we know it today. We were walking on a "high wire" with no net, but we had a lot of confidence in ourselves. It was an adventure we wanted to take, as we were following our dreams.

How do you manage your finances and mail while traveling so much?

We have very little "snail mail" coming to us now, and 99% of our communication and bill paying is done electronically. It wasn't this way when we started almost three decades ago, but the internet has made dealing with these obligations much easier. Today we utilize Traveling Mailbox where we can view our mail online from anywhere in the world. They will deposit a check for us or forward our mail to any address where we might be traveling.

We also utilize a personal assistant who handles private matters and various things that need to be done if we are on the road.

We explain this topic in more detail in our very popular books, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement, 4th Edition, Your Simple Path to FIRE and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible

Akaisha in a coffee shop, Oaxaca, Mexico

Akaisha in a coffee shop, Oaxaca, Mexico

Why did you begin the Retire Lifestyle Mentors Subscription Service?

Throughout our retired life and our world travels, we have met up with hundreds of people who wish they could live a life with less stress and more options. Many didn’t know where to start.

Others were inexperienced in money matters or how to get to that “magic number” of critical mass. Still others couldn’t see themselves living in their home country on the money they had in savings.

Retirement covers a wide variety of topics, and we have over 3 decades of living this lifestyle successfully.

Offering a personal Skype phone call, emails and personalized direction as their very own mentors can be a real benefit to someone. We smooth out the road to their retirement dreams and untangle the obstacles on the way. 

So far, this mentorship subscription has been a great success and we look forward to helping more people achieve their dreams.

Do you have long-term care insurance? Now that you are getting older, what do you plan to do about assisted living in the future?

We do not have long-term care insurance.

Over our decades of living around the world, we have seen different options for personalized care for the elderly or infirm.

If one is still able to manage on their own but would like some personalized daily attention like cleaning the home, cooking or shopping, this service is very affordable. Countries in Asia, Mexico and Central America where we have lived, wages are less so house keepers, gardeners, and dog walkers are readily available and economical. Private drivers on retainer to take you to doctors appointments, to meet friends for lunch or go to social events are also very inexpensive.

The option of having a live-in caregiver is easily managed. Some people have a small apartment or casita on their property where a nurse or caregiver may stay as part of their wages. Or if one lives in an apartment complex, then paying for a caregiver's apartment next to yours is also an option. Doctors commonly make house calls.

If you would rather live in an Assisted Living facility, here in the town of Chapala, Mexico for instance, there are a variety that are full service. Laundry, meals, nurse and doctor visits, a driver, activities, swimming pools, a gym, and more are included in the monthly price. Sometimes there are restaurants, beauty shops, and scheduled shopping trips available. Medical "packages" can also be purchased. These monthly rates - depending on the services one needs - currently run from $1,500 to $3,000 a month.

With all of these feasible and convenient choices available, we figured we'd work out something that fits our situation, should we need help. There are so many options here.

How do you figure the dollar amount to spend each year?

We don't.

We track our spending using a spreadsheet we developed and is available in our 4th Edition, Your Simple Path to FIRE and our book, Your Retirement Dream IS Possible. This gives us plenty of data to know what percentage of our net worth we are spending on a daily basis, so if we need to make adjustments we can do so in real time. We continually do annual spending updates and our average annual spending is still around $30,000USD.

Do you own a house?

We have a low maintenance, high amenity humble abode. This comfortable place in an active adult resort community satisfies our needs completely when we are in the States. Otherwise, we are traveling or living in Mexico.

How did you give up the idea of having a traditional home "with the white picket fence?"

This is a very good question. 

I'd be lying if I said it came easily. However, just as Billy realized he's not his job, I realized I am not my house. These nesting desires must be taken into consideration to find your own balance. It became clear to me that my personal craving for travel and adventure overcame my requirement for a traditional home. Again, we discuss this topic in further depth in our book (Table of Contents).

Also, we have added house sitting to the mix, so we stay in some very nice homes around the world.  

How much capital is enough? How/when did you know you were ready to retire?





When our days filled up with more "have to's" than "want to's," we realized we were going in the wrong direction with our lives. The amount of capital is a personal decision, and one that needs to be thought about carefully. Financial experts say one needs 25 times your annual spending invested in liquid assets and apply a Safe Withdrawal Rate of 4%  or less and you should not run out of money.

As far as when to retire, do not let Fear make that decision for you. Risk has a price, and so does security.

With your investments in the stock market, were you hurt in any of the bear markets over your retirement time period? Did it affect your lifestyle?

Did we get hurt? Sure we got hurt, but did it alter our lifestyle? Not much if any. 

We continue to travel and expand our lives through what we learn and share. We survived the second worst bear market in history and the Great Recession, lived well to tell about it, and have a higher net worth now, after expenses, than when we began in '91.

Retirement is not static. There are always changes in Life and one must be prepared for the ups and downs that happen.

Why don’t you run out of money? How can you have more money now than when you left your careers in 1991?

Today we have a higher net worth after spending and inflation due to the fact that we created a money machine. What this means is that our investments create enough cash flow to cover living expenses and higher costs of living and as long as we keep our spending in a safe withdrawal range our assets should continue to grow. After 30+ years of using this system we can say that it works.

Healthcare - What do you do about health insurance?

This is a very common question. We used to have a US-based health insurance policy, or as Akaisha likes to call it "asset insurance."  It was a high deductible, catastrophic coverage plan and it worked well for us for a very long time. However, some years ago, we decided to Go Naked.

During our years of retirement, we have taken care of health issues while on the road in our own version of medical tourism. When we visited the States, we purchased traveler's insurance.

These days, we qualify for Medicare, so visiting the States has become easier in terms of health care for us there.

Do you own a car? What do you do about transportation? 

We became car free years ago.

The adjustment to this carless lifestyle was easier than we ever expected. Now we don't worry about maintenance, licensing, parking fees, fuel costs or insurance for a vehicle. In the States we hire a driver to take us places if we cannot walk to them and share rides with friends. Generally, we prefer walking to and from stores if at all possible.

These days there are Uber, Lyft and other transport services besides taxis, and there is always the idea of ride sharing or sharing a vehicle.

Transportation is easy in foreign countries. Mass transit, tuk tuks, taxis, boats and a variety of other sorts are plentiful and is available for a low expense. We often hire a private driver to take us places, including to major cities for doctor's appointments. They drive us there, wait for us, and then drive us back. Easy peasy!

Billy in a Chicken bus in Panajachel, Guatemala

Billy in a Chicken bus in Panajachel, Guatemala

Do you have children?

We do not have children. However, that does not mean that those who do cannot become financially independent. We know people who have adult children and plenty of money, but feel they cannot afford to retire or step away from a paycheck. It's not the kids. It's the mental fear surrounding this issue.

We have interviewed several couples with children who have successfully broken away from conventional lifestyles. And of course, this way of living isn't for everyone.

Will you ever settle down, buy a house and quit traveling?

We'll probably continue to travel until we are no longer able to do so. While we never want to say never, at our ages, purchasing a home with all that it requires in attention, maintenance, taxes and insurance, might not be the best use of our assets.

Do you have any regrets? Would you do it differently? 

We have no regrets, and are not sure how we could be doing it differently. 

However, you have to modify your plan to fit your needs. Oh, we suppose we could have worked another ten years, and "really" had a pile of cash, but then, we would not have had the experiences that we've had in the last few decades. And neither one of us would have traded the time for the money.

We believe that with some of the devastating market crashes and the loss of family members to illness, we might have become timid, pushing back our "Freedom Date" even further.

What have you learned by being retired for 30 years?

1.) It’s a lifestyle, not a vacation

2.) The stress doesn’t stop, it just changes form. 

3.) We utilize the K.I.S.S. system (Keep It Simple, Stupid);  Keeping it simple pays dividends in time and enjoyment. 

4.) Retirement is a work in progress, and we're in charge. 

5.) Don't take life so seriously, have fun with it! It's later than you think! 

I admire what you are doing, but it sounds risky. Aren't you being naive?

When we were in our late 30's preparing to leave the conventional workplace, people certainly did think we were being naive and expected us to fail at this endeavor. After all these years we have walked the talk and have proven that early retirement can not only work out, but bring major life benefits as well.

We say that Life is a risk. There are no guarantees for anything; health, marriage, bear markets, the unexpected, weather, tragedy. Since we have been retired, we have "survived" SARS, the Asian Bird Flu, H1N1, the Ebola breakouts, the bear market of 2000, The Great Recession, the first Gulf War, coups in foreign countries, COVID, the deaths of close friends and some funny traveling debacles just to name a few.   

We like what Helen Keller says: "Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."

What would you say to someone considering leaving the conventional working world and becoming financially independent?

Know your motivation. Are you wanting to quit a job you “hate”? Or are you pulled by your dreams to do something different? What will you do with your time after you no longer have a job? Do you know what your annual spending is?

Be flexible, there is no one way to do this, have your plan and be willing to adapt to changes. Adaptability is an asset. There are many ways to live a life, so find out what works for you. Never give up your dreams.

Where are you going next?

We continue to watch for airfare deals, countries that interest us and where the currency exchange rate is favorable and visa stays are friendly. The world is a big place!

What's Your Number? - How much money do you need to retire?

Want us to be your private Retire Lifestyle Mentors? Find out more, click here

For more on Retirement Topics, click here and here

About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, 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 available on their website bookstore or on

Trending on Retire Early Lifestyle


Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

HOME   Book Store


Retire Early Lifestyle Blog      About Billy & Akaisha Kaderli      Press     Contact     20 Questions     Preferred Links     Retirement     Country Info    
Retiree Interviews
      Commentary     REL Videos






Subscribe Newsletter