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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.

Andrew Chen Interviews Billy and Akaisha

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We love receiving offers to be interviewed, especially from the younger generations. Since we have been retired 30 years now, what we know and the experiences we have gathered can save lots of time for the future financial freedom-seekers.

So, when Andrew Chen inquired if he could ask us questions on how we left the working world all those years ago, we jumped at the chance to share.

Read our fun interview below.

Billy and Akaisha in Dominican Republic

Billy and Akaisha in the Dominican Republic

Andrew Chen:
My guests today are husband and wife couple Akaisha and Billy Kaderli. I’m really excited to bring them on the podcast today.

Akaisha and Billy early retired three decades ago in their 30s to travel the globe. They’ve remained retired this entire time, and they are recognized as one of the early participants and experts of the FIRE movement even before there was such a term.

Their story has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, Motley Fool, MarketWatch, Forbes, Fox Business, U.S. News and World Report, and many other newspapers and radio and TV shows.

They've written numerous books and guides about early retirement and nomadic travel strategies, and they share much of this information as well on their website, retireearlylifestyle.com.

Akaisha and Billy, thanks so much for joining us today to share your insights and wisdom about early retirement and nomadic travel.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes. Thanks for having us.

Billy Kaderli
Thanks for having us, Andrew.

Andrew Chen
Just to set context for our audience so we can understand a little bit better about your story, in what year did you early retire?

Billy Kaderli
In 1991. We were 38 years old.

Andrew Chen
What was your career path before you guys pulled the trigger?

Akaisha Kaderli
We did lots of different things.

Billy Kaderli
I was trained as a French chef. In 1979, Akaisha and I went to France. I was trained in the U.S., and then I got more training in France.

And then we came back to Santa Cruz, California, and we bought a restaurant because that was my dream: being a chef. We owned and operated that for 10 years. During that period, I was approached twice by the branch manager of a local Dean Witter Reynolds office, which is now Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, to join Dean Witter.

I refused the first time because I was enjoying what I was doing. But then years later, he came back to me again and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing it.

By then, I was getting burnt out on cooking. I had been cooking for so many years.

So I gave it a try. I became a stock broker. After a few years, they gave me my own office and I was the branch manager of the Aptos, California office, and doing quite well.

And then Akaisha, once we sold the restaurant, she became an executive secretary for a civil engineering firm in Scotts Valley, California.

Now, because I was a broker branch manager in California, the stock market opens at 6:00 in the morning and closes at 1:00, so 1:30 I’m at the beach. Well, that didn’t work out real well with Akaisha.

Akaisha Kaderli
No. It wasn’t working for me, especially when I was still running the restaurant and when he was a stockbroker. That was five years long or so.

I’m working nights, weekends, and holidays. He’s off at the beach at 1:00 in the afternoon. No, no, no.

Billy Kaderli
So we started taking a look at things. We realized that we were starting to drift apart. Anyway, it just happens.

We’re two Type A personality people, and we’re both gung ho into our own careers.

Naples, Florida Beach

Naples, Florida, on the beach!

Akaisha Kaderli
So he comes to me with this idea that he writes down on the back of an envelope. “Hey, I got an idea. Why don’t we quit our jobs and travel the world?”

I’m going, “Yeah, right, sure.”

He goes, “No, really, we can do this.”

Billy Kaderli
So I penciled it out. We had a computer that we ran our restaurant on, but it was nothing like the stuff we have today.

I penciled it out, and for two years, we knocked around this idea. We tried to poke as many holes in it as we could, both financially, emotionally, and any other way we could, just trying to take the balloon down out of the sky. Well, everything kept working.

Akaisha Kaderli
We tracked our spending and found out what we were spending on ourselves, not for things work-related. And we found out that our money at the time could support that.

Billy Kaderli
The amount of money we had invested in the equity markets.

Andrew Chen
Was there a single moment of recognition when that came? And if so, what caused that? Or how did you guys gradually realize that you wanted to make this big life change?

Akaisha Kaderli
How it happened was it was a process. Like I said, he came to me with this idea.

We had a beautiful home a quarter-mile from the beach in Santa Cruz, California. My parents and sisters lived in the same town.

To be honest with you, I was hoping he’d forget about it. “Okay, we’ll track our spending. Yeah, sure, we’ll do this.”

I just assumed that, at some point, he’d let it go, but he didn’t.

So this is the process part. When the numbers started lining up, he said, “Look, we could travel.”

I’m a big traveler. He’s a big traveler. So I had to work out the family thing and the house thing.

But once we did that, and again, that took two years or so, then we moved into making that happen.

Billy Kaderli
Now, during this period, Andrew, we didn’t tell anybody.

Akaisha Kaderli
No.

Our front porch, Island of Nevis, West Indies

Billy Kaderli
Not our parents, not our friends, no one. We kept it to ourselves because we didn’t want those people to try and to pressure us into thinking that we were making a mistake or whatnot.

Akaisha Kaderli
Remember this is 1991. There’s no FIRE.

There’s no financial forums. There’s no Amazon.

There’s no Facebook. There’s no email. There’s nothing.

Billy Kaderli
So it’s just us two, and we kept it quiet. And that’s when it all happened.

We gave our bosses a two-week notice. Two weeks, period.

Andrew Chen
When you guys were making this plan, was the life you envisioned one of long term travel even from the very beginning, or did that unfold in a more gradual way?

Akaisha Kaderli
Both. We both are travelers, and we wanted to go to places that we didn’t have to go back in a four-day weekend or a two-week vacation.

I studied anthropology in college. I like native peoples and cultures. And we both enjoy food.

We wanted to go places and stay months at a time. So we did envision that as an expression of our way from work.

There was no FIRE at that time, so retirement was the only word we used. There was no “financially independent” word. Michael Jordan and Bill Gates were financially independent, but that was not what regular people did.

So we just said we were retired, and that is how we saw that lifestyle for us.

Andrew Chen
When you guys were tracking your budget, the budget you would need (I guess that means your expenses), it sounds like you were doing that daily. Were you factoring in the budget you would need during travel or the budget you were spending in Santa Cruz? Which one were you trying to beat?

Billy Kaderli
What we did is we tracked our spending, and then we excluded all housing-related expenses, all work-related expenses, property taxes, car-related expenses, all this stuff. And we found out that we really weren’t spending all that much on ourselves.

So then I took that number and I said, “How much do we have to have invested in the financial markets in order to generate that kind of income?” And that’s pretty much the process that we did.

Akaisha Kaderli
We don’t separate traveling from the lifestyle. I know a lot of FIRE people do that. They say they want to travel, so they go somewhere or they do separate travel.

Ours was a travel lifestyle. That’s what we did. We’d go and we’d live in hotels or apartments.

We’d go back and refurbish the wardrobe, but we’d be gone a year at a time. That kind of thing.

Billy Kaderli
Mostly, our time constraints are visas. I’m sure your people are familiar with it, but when you go to a foreign country, you have to have a visa. You have to have permission from that country to enter, and then they typically restrict you to a certain number of days or months, and then it’s time to move on.

Now, there’s ways of dealing with those things by either going to the embassy and re-upping, or to go to a neighboring country for a week and then come back.

But we never planned this out. It has been an evolution.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. It’s been organic.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah.

Akaisha Kaderli
It just came about.

Andrew Chen
What I’m trying to get my head around is when you guys were planning for long term travel, if you were planning to live in, say, Thailand versus in London (I’m sure there’s many places you want to go), the budgets will vary widely.

How did you factor in what you anticipated you would need for things like airfare and the cost of living differential between high and low cost countries and make sure that it would work essentially forever from the vantage point of 1991?

Jak a Ran in Bangkok Thailand

Cycling around in Bangkok, Thailand

Akaisha Kaderli
What we did was we tracked our spending. We had an annual amount and we had a cost per day. So we managed that every day.

When we’d go to a higher-priced country, London or Australia or New Zealand, our daily average would go up. And then we would just arbitrage that amount by going to Thailand or Mexico or Cambodia or something like that, and then that average would go down.

We didn’t budget. We just monitored our cost per day.

Billy Kaderli
And the more you do that, the more comfortable you get with knowing that you can bring it back down to where you need it to be.

We’re going back some years, but I think when we were in Australia, we were spending well over $100 a day, and when we were in Thailand, we were spending $40 a day. We get back to Thailand and, all of a sudden, we start seeing our averages come down and we’re all good.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Once you realized that your investments would cover your average daily spend, how long was it from that point, that realization, to actually pulling the trigger?

Akaisha Kaderli
I think Billy pretty much said, “When we take the house mortgage out, the car insurance, and the house insurance, property taxes, we’re spending this amount.” So our finances, our investments generated that amount plus a little more.

So we had to sell the house. We had to sell our stuff. We had to get stuff in storage.

Painted house in Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Little beach house, Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico

Billy Kaderli
One thing was I got an annual bonus from Dean Witter, so I wanted to make sure that I was there long enough to get that bonus. It was pretty much two weeks into January I got the bonus. We’re gone.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah, it was January 14th. He went down to Nevis, and I had to finish the house. I’m still going to the flea market and Goodwill.

Billy Kaderli
Nevis, West Indies in the Caribbean.

Akaisha Kaderli
Nevis, West Indies. Right. So then I just met him down there as I tidied up what was left of the house.

Andrew Chen
What did you guys invest in to build this retirement fund? Literally, what were the type of stocks or bonds you were holding?

Billy Kaderli
At that time, we were 100% long in equity funds. At the time, we were using Dean Witter funds because I was loyal to the company. But then once I got away from there, we switched things over to Vanguard and bought into the Index 500 and pretty much 100% long for years.

Andrew Chen
VTI?

Billy Kaderli
VTI wasn’t around. It was the S&P, what’s now SPX. But it was the mutual fund, open-ended fund, because ETFs weren’t around at that time.

Andrew Chen
Got it. And you guys were 100% long on stocks for the growth and no fixed income?

Billy Kaderli
Correct.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha.

Billy Kaderli
Let me just tell you how that works in rough numbers. Say the markets average 10% a year with dividends reinvested. If you're spending 4% of that and you’re making 10%, that leaves 6% to be put back in or just left into the market.

Exponentially, it’s just going to continue to grow. That’s what has happened in our situation.

Andrew Chen
How much did you guys have saved up before you realized it was enough?

Billy Kaderli
We had about $500,000.

Andrew Chen
In ’91 dollars?

Billy Kaderli
In ’91 dollars.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Now you guys have been retired for over three decades now technically, or you’re right on three decades?

Billy Kaderli
Right.

Andrew Chen
Over all those years, how many have you lived abroad versus in the U.S.?

cigar maker in Dominican Republic

Cigar maker in Dominican Republic

Akaisha Kaderli
I would say that we have probably lived, especially now, about 80%.

Billy Kaderli
I would say that because we spent a lot of time in Arizona.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes, but we’ve mostly been overseas.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah. 60/40, something like that.

Akaisha Kaderli
It’s hard to say. Because what was happening for a while there is, of course, my parents were still alive and we’d go visit home and family.

And then we’d have a three-year loop where we’d go to the U.S. and then we’d go to Thailand and then we’d go to Mexico. That would take two or three years to do that. And we do have a place in Arizona.

Billy Kaderli
But then for when we would do that loop, we would just branch off to other countries while we were in those areas, because it doesn’t make sense to be in the U.S. and then fly to Vietnam and then come back to the US and then fly to Thailand. That’s ridiculous.

Andrew Chen
I see. So then you had multiple home bases from which you would launch out to do more regional travel.

Billy Kaderli
Exactly.

Andrew Chen
And it sounds like Thailand was the home base for Asia, Mexico for Southern Latin America, and then Arizona for North America?

Akaisha Kaderli
That’s right.

Billy Kaderli
Correct.

Andrew Chen
Got it.

Billy Kaderli
Chiang Mai, Thailand specifically.

Akaisha Kaderli
We would go for a year. We’d leave Arizona and go to Thailand for a year. And during that time, we’d visit Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Laos, China, all those areas.

And then we’d maybe go to Mexico next or something, and then we’d visit Central America and all those places, and stay there for a year.

Billy Kaderli
And then once we got to Mexico, we could easily shoot up to Arizona or California to visit her family or mine were in Florida at that time. So we just tried to coordinate that with airports and how easy it was to travel.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. The earlier years, we spent more time in the States.

Billy Kaderli
Yes.

Akaisha Kaderli
And then our parents passed. These days I go back for a month at a time, five weeks, to visit family. And then we’re mostly overseas.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Chiang Mai is beautiful.

Getting foot massages in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Getting foot massages in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Andrew Chen
I’ve been there. It’s quite lovely.

Billy Kaderli
Yes.

Andrew Chen
Where are you guys currently based at the moment?

Akaisha Kaderli
Chapala, Mexico. It’s near Guadalajara.

Billy Kaderli
About an hour south of Guadalajara.

Andrew Chen
Got it.

Billy Kaderli
We’re about 5200 feet in elevation.

Andrew Chen
Great. So your loop from Thailand, Mexico, U.S., how do you guys proportion your time between these places now that you have even fewer obligations?

Do you mostly spend your time now outside of the U.S.? How do you guys think about the loop these days?

Akaisha Kaderli
We do spend most of the time outside of the U.S. We probably did the Asia loop for about eight years, from about 2000 to the Great Recession, 2008-2009.

Billy wanted to be on the same time zone as the markets. When you’re over in Asia, when we’re sleeping, the markets are open, so we went to this side of the time zone. We started doing more Latin America, Mexico stuff to be on the same time zone as the markets.

Andrew Chen
Got it. How did you guys choose these home bases? I’m sure cost of living had something to do with it, but there’s certainly other places that have low cost of living.

How did you guys choose the specific home bases you did? What were some of the other factors or considerations that went into the decision?

Billy Kaderli
In between all this time, we bought a fifth wheel trailer and we were traveling around the Western United States: Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Texas.

When we were in Texas, we met another couple who mentioned Chapala, Mexico, and they invited us to come down and visit them. The plan was to come down for two months, and we stayed four years.

Akaisha Kaderli
We really liked it.

Billy Kaderli
We got caught into a “Mexicoma” is what I call it, and it has just worked out really well for us. So that’s how we discovered Chapala. Then we’ve since discovered many places throughout Mexico.

And then years prior to that, before I met Akaisha, I had been in Guatemala and I told her I wanted to take her down there. So then we started basing out of Panajachel, Guatemala, on Lake Atitlan. We stayed down there for four or five years.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah, much longer.

Billy Kaderli
So if we like a place and we get a good vibe out of it and things are what we call easy living or we can shop easy locally and has little hassles and easy to get to an international airport, we’re good.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. We like to look for good weather, good cost of living.

We don't need a car. We don’t want to have to have a car. We like to have access to excellent food, friendly people, have it be safe.

We do have a list. And like Billy says, we look for easy living.

Andrew Chen
When you say that you stayed in Chapala for four years and Guatemala for four or five years, was that cumulatively, like a year at a time when you were doing the loop, or actually altogether?

Chapala Living Guide is based on our first hand eperience of living in Chapala, Mexico

Billy Kaderli
For Chapala, it was altogether. Back then, you could get into Mexico with a driver’s license and a tourist card. They didn’t stamp your passport.

So we had a way to extend our visas. It wasn’t exactly the most legal thing to do, but it worked.

Akaisha Kaderli
Things are a lot more digital now.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah. They know right where we are today.

Akaisha Kaderli
I’m not a crook. (Fingers in Peace sign like Nixon.)

Billy Kaderli
So that’s how we stayed in Mexico. In Guatemala, we had to leave every 90 days.

Akaisha Kaderli
So we’d go to Panama.

Lake Atitlan Sunset, Guatemala

Sunset over Lake Atitlan

Billy Kaderli
What we did there is we would give our passports to a travel agent who would run them through the border and bring them back with stamps in and out of Guatemala. That’s how we did it down there. But that’s risky because you’re giving your passport away to somebody else.

We never had a problem with it, but there were times when other people were stopped at the airport and said, “This is an illegal stamp” or “We don’t have you in the system.”

Akaisha Kaderli
But we’d also go to Panama or the Dominican Republic. We travel.

We just recently went to Colombia. You can get out of the country and get restamped.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Chen
How do you guys do accommodation? Do you rent an apartment for a year lease, or do you do short term accommodations to have the flexibility to travel regionally and locally so that you’re not then paying hotel costs when you’re away as well as apartment costs holding the apartment? How does that work?

Akaisha Kaderli
We used to travel for a year at a time, and we’d have to bring beachwear and mountain gear. That got to be really heavy.

But as time has moved on, we have a residence here that we rent. But on those other years, we often would hire a hotel, get a room. You get a monthly rate.

Or you can do an apartment hotel. They come in and clean. You could have three, four, or six months of that type of stuff, then you leave.

Billy Kaderli
If you go to a hotel and you ask them the price for a night, it’s one. If you ask them the price for a week, it’s another. If you ask them the price for a month, it’s a third price.

You can usually get a pretty good deal if you go for a monthly rate. You can get benefits thrown into it as well. “Okay, I’ll pay a little higher price, but I want this, this, and this.”

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. And this was before Airbnb.

And we’ve done house sitting. That wasn’t necessarily available in the earlier years either.

Those things all affect your housing costs. It makes it a lot easier.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. At this point, how many countries have you guys gotten to visit in the last three decades of nomadic travel?

Billy Kaderli
I don’t know.

Akaisha Kaderli
Dozens. We’ve never really had a list.

Billy Kaderli
We don’t count it like that.

Akaisha Kaderli
Not... like if you go to Europe and you visit all those little countries, is it just the EU or is it all those little countries?

Billy Kaderli
We’ve been to almost every island in the Caribbean.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Billy Kaderli
Does that count?

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. We’ve been all through Europe.

Billy Kaderli
We lived on Nevis.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. Canada, U.S., Mexico, lots of places in Asia. We’ve not done anything in Africa yet or Middle East.

Billy Kaderli
Right. We’ve not been to Russia.

Akaisha Kaderli
We’ve not been to Russia. We’ve been to China.

Billy Kaderli
And Venezuela.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes. And Ecuador. South America, we’ve done some.

Billy Kaderli
Colombia.

Inside the Walled City of Cartagena, Cafe del Mar rooftop bar, Colombia

Inside the fortified wall of Cartagena, Cafe del Mar rooftop bar

Andrew Chen
What are the most memorable places you’ve traveled?

Akaisha Kaderli
Gosh. It depends on what category.

Weather makes a difference. Food makes a difference. Ease.

Billy Kaderli
We have memories from all of them.

Akaisha Kaderli
Really.

Billy Kaderli
We’ve discussed recently, because China has been in the news, that our time, we were in Western China. We didn’t go to Beijing or anything like that. We were in Western China, in a place called Jinghong which is on the Mekong River.

There was only one other English-speaking person in that town that we could find. Boy, we were on her like glue.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. “Help us here. Help us there.”

But people everywhere are wonderful. Food everywhere is interesting.

We do prefer good climate. The cloud forest sounds really romantic, but it’s flipping cold and wet and damp.

I’m glad I went there. That’s a good memory in that I went there, and I would choose not to go back.

Billy Kaderli
Vietnam is great. We’ve been there twice now. Last time, I think we were there for three or four months.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Billy Kaderli
All in Saigon. Talk about a happening city.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah.

Billy Kaderli 24:54
Lots of things are going on there.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Our goal is to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

Andrew Chen
Did you guys always travel together from the very beginning of early retirement as a pair? Did either of you travel solo without the other?

Akaisha Kaderli
Sure.

Billy Kaderli
Sure, we do that. I’ve got a funny story.

Recently, in early March of just this year, a friend of mine that I met here in Chapala, I said, “I’ll take you down to Guatemala” because he’s never been there.

It’s Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, which is where we go. It’s a beautiful lake. It’s like Lake Tahoe, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, only warmer and surrounded by three volcanoes.

We left on March 11th, and about four days later, the entire country shut down because of this virus. That means the airports were closed.

I’m not with her. We’re communicating daily, but I’m telling her, “Look, things are getting bad here. They’re starting to shut this place down.”

“I’ve got Plan B going here for us to get out of here.” But I wasn’t going to be flying at that point because they closed the airports, they closed all public transportation, and they closed the borders.

I’ve got a private driver down there and I’m talking to him, and he’d go, “I don’t know. They got roadblocks all over.”

Mayan woman, Antigua, Guatemala

Fascinating Maya culture

I said, “How much do you need?” So we paid him quite a bit of money and we left. It’s a six-hour trip to get to the Mexican border from Panajachel, Guatemala.

About four hours out, we got stopped. The police held us up for 45 minutes and asking all kinds of crazy questions. At one point, they wanted us to go back to Guatemala City and be quarantined.

I just told the police, “Look, that’s just not going to happen.”

I said, “We’re Mexican residents. We’re going to Mexico. You can’t deny me exit out of this country.”

This went back and forth. Finally, they said, “Okay, you can go, but he’s going to turn back.”

So here we are, my friend and I. We’re standing there in the mountains of Guatemala hitchhiking when there’s no public transportation. Well, we got to the border.

Andrew Chen
On foot?

Billy Kaderli
No. You know what a “tuk-tuk” is?

Andrew Chen
Oh, yeah.

Billy Kaderli
Two hours in it with a series of tuk-tuks. Our asses were sore.

One guy would take us so far, and then we’d stop, and he says, “I don’t go any further.” So then we get off and find another one, and then another one.

Finally, we got to the border. Once we got into Mexico, all was good.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Have there been other times, not counting pandemics, when you guys decided to split up?

What I’m curious to understand is how did you guys make the decision of when to go together, when to go solo? Was it just one wanted to go one place and the other didn’t? How did those things happen?

Garifuna storyteller, Livingston, Guatemala

Garifuna storyteller, Livingston, Guatemala

Akaisha Kaderli
One time, I did end-of-life-care for my parents, and that was a two-and-a-half-year period. So Billy did a lot of travel with friends on his own during that time. That’s when he first went to Asia, and that’s why he wanted to bring me there.

And I really like it when he does these reconnaissance trips because I’m older now, so I like to have a little bit more comfort. So I really like it. He can do a guy trip and stay in crummy hotels and figure out where he can take me.

Andrew Chen
I love it.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah, because I did all that when I was younger. I can’t tell you the hotels and the bugs I’ve seen. But I figured I’ve done it.

So now I love it when he goes with the guys. And I tend to do more family trips and stuff like that because I see my family yearly.

Billy Kaderli
I go down to the beach all the time by myself or with other guys, or I meet other people down there. We rendezvous at some western beaches here in Mexico.

Akaisha Kaderli
And I might stay home.

Billy Kaderli
She might come with me.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. At this point, it sounds like you guys have a familiar loop. You guys do Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, U.S.

Did those home bases emerge organically where you started out just continuously traveling and then realized, “We want to stay in this particular place for a longer period of time”?

Or did you guys already plot out even from the very beginning the strategy of having home bases to then branch off from?

Akaisha Kaderli
It was just organic. One of the things, like Billy said, is we like being close to an international airport. That’s one of our easy living things.

Chiang Mai, it’s a short flight to Bangkok. But then from Bangkok, you can go anywhere in the world. The same thing here, Chapala to Guadalajara Airport, you can go anywhere.

Billy Kaderli
It’s 30 minutes from here.

Akaisha Kaderli
That was organic. We didn't have that in mind ahead of time.

Billy Kaderli
The thing that speeds us up is usually the visa. We’ve been trying to get back to Europe since 1979, and we were planning on being there right now. We were ready to book tickets to go to Italy.

And then we decided, “Maybe we should hold off a little bit.”

Akaisha Kaderli
“Well, the flights were really good prices.” I said, “Yeah, then maybe we’d be stuck over there... For who knows how long?”

Billy Kaderli
Yeah. But if we like a place, and like I said, if we can get comfortable in a place, we’ll stick around.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah.

Andrew Chen
In what ways does travel feel different as a long term traveler versus a vacation traveler? Because I imagine there are going to be really big differences when you’re going for two weeks versus going for a year.

Billy Kaderli
The size of your suitcase. Ours is much smaller.

Andrew Chen
Interesting. The longer you go, the smaller it is. I guess you buy a lot of stuff locally?

Billy Kaderli
Exactly. If you need something, you buy it. We’re down to carrying just day packs.

Akaisha Kaderli
If it rains for a day, or if one of us gets ill, like we catch a flu or something, we don’t have to go, “Yes, but it’s Tuesday, we have to get to Belgium. We’ve got to get going.”

No, it’s not like that at all. We just stay another four or five days. Or if we get into a bad weather pattern, we just move on.

Billy Kaderli
We wait it out.

Akaisha Kaderli
Or wait it out. So we have a lot more freedom. We’re not glued to a schedule.

If we can’t make the museum today or the beach today, we’ll do it tomorrow or Thursday or something.

Billy Kaderli
We’ve given up a fair amount of return tickets.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Andrew Chen
Do you guys typically buy round trips or just buy one-ways now everywhere?

Billy Kaderli
We buy one way if we can. Some countries, you need to have an ongoing ticket to go through it.

And again, there’s ways around that. There are ways of doing these things and making them work for you.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. What if we decide to go to "X" place and then take a bus from that country to the next place?

We often will say that we’re going to overland from this place to that place, so we don’t need a round trip ticket. And that works too.

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Did you guys ever have to deal with loneliness on the road over the years and decades? I guess you had each other, but not everybody has that.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah, true.

Billy Kaderli
That’s true.

Akaisha Kaderli
In the early days, I missed my family a bunch. With my parents both gone, losing that connection has opened things up in other ways.

With my sisters, I talk to them every week. I visit them once a year for five weeks at a time.

My girlfriends, I get them all on Zoom or Skype, and we do email and that kind of stuff.

Billy Kaderli
WhatsApp chat.

Akaisha Kaderli
We do a lot of WhatsApp. I’ve got friends all over.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah.

Akaisha Kaderli
Loneliness not so much. We really self-entertain well.

I’m an artist. I can just zoom into my artwork for days.

Billy Kaderli
And since I was trained in French cooking, since we’ve been “locked down” here in Chapala, which is a loose term, I’ve been cooking these great gourmet meals.

Shrimp fettuccine

Billy's Shrimp Fettucchini

Akaisha Kaderli
Beef Wellington and blackened salmon and tenderloin pork crusted in parmesan.

Andrew Chen
Good for you, Akaisha.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. I'm very fortunate!

Billy Kaderli
We could still buy wine. There’s no beer here in town anymore. The Mexican government had this great idea to shut down the breweries because they weren’t essential, but the tequila factory is going.

You can’t make any sense out of any of this.

Geological wonder, Boquete, Panama

Geological wonder showing heat, power, and force, Boquete, Panama

Andrew Chen
I’m just curious because you mentioned in the early years for you, Akaisha, homesickness for family was somewhat of a struggle. Were there ever any moments for either of you where you had a twinge of regret and thought, “Did we make the right choice?”

Even if not financially, just life path. Were there ever any moments where you second-guessed? And how did you guys grapple with that?

Akaisha Kaderli
I never second-guessed. I never wanted to do anything different. Once I got the communication together with my family and friends, then I was set.

I’m a traveler. I’ve been moving around since I was a young kid.

Billy Kaderli
Andrew, when you travel to a new location, it’s like being reborn. Everything is new.

It could be new cultures. There’s new stores and restaurants. You’ve got to get familiar with it.

New transportations, situations. It just pretty much occupies all of your time just negotiating things early on there. So, no, I haven’t had any regrets about this.

I wish we had started investing sooner, even younger than we did, but it’s worked out well for us.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. I like to bring the stories and the insights back to my family. That makes me feel like I'm including them in all my travels.

So I’m good. They’re good.

Andrew Chen
What is the community of long term nomadic travelers like, as you’ve experienced it?

I’m sure there are other people you've met on the road over the years who are doing a similar type of early retirement long term travel. I’m just wondering if you could help us understand the community that you guys have met.

Akaisha Kaderli
I would say that most of them are freedom-oriented, freedom-loving, independent, self-reliant, creative, interesting, intriguing, constantlly learning. It is a great community.

It doesn’t even matter the age, because we started early. We were 38, but not kids.

Now, people are that same age and they’re traveling. Young women are traveling, which is just great. I just think that’s fabulous.

Billy Kaderli
And everybody has a story. There’s many occasions when we meet somebody and they go, “Are you Bill and Akaisha?”

“Yeah.” “I bought your book 10 years ago or something.”

Akaisha Kaderli
That’s always fun.

Billy Kaderli
So then we sit down and have coffee or dinner or whatever. But we want to hear their stories. We want to hear what motivated them and how they got to this point.

Plus travel tips because everybody has “When you go to this town, you got to stay at this hotel.”

That’s how you learn about, I call it, the taco telegraph.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. It’s a great community. It really is because there’s no one-size-fits-all.

There’s no flavor that’s the same. Everybody is different. Different sizes, ages.

Beautiful Early Retirees

Women who lunch - early retiree friends

Andrew Chen
Is there a mailing list that you guys can keep in touch? Or is it more transient where you meet people but then they drift away after you guys go your separate paths?

Akaisha Kaderli
We do have long term friends who are also world travelers, whether they’re in Asia or whether they’re in South America or they’re in the Philippines or whatever. That’s where WhatsApp comes in because it’s free. You can call or chat or send a photo.

Billy Kaderli
Right. I’ve been communicating with a friend of ours who bought our book. I’ve probably known him for 20 years or so.

He’s in the Philippines right now and he’s stuck, so he has to decide whether or not he wants to get out.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. We have other friends in Portugal.

We had a friend that just got out of Peru because he was stuck down there. Billy helped him get out of Peru. We’ve got some friends that just came back from Asia who are now in Southern Mexico.

There’s a group that sometimes we just check in to see how they’re all doing.

Billy Kaderli
We travel together if they’re around. We’ll say, “Do you want to go to the beach? Do you want to go to the mountains?”

Andrew Chen
In all the time, how have you guys weathered the economic ups and downs since you retired? Because there have been really big recessions during your retirement period.

Even in the early ‘90s, there was one. 2001, “dot-com” crash. 2008, Great Recession.

Now in 2020, there’s been a big one.

Were there times when your portfolio took a beating and you feared potentially having to return to work?

Billy Kaderli
I was a stockbroker in October of 1987 when the market went down 23% in one day.

Andrew Chen
Oh, yeah. Black Monday.

Coffee berries on the tree, coffee plantation, Panama

Coffee berries on the tree, coffee plantation, Panama

Billy Kaderli
Yeah. All of a sudden, that scarred me. I saw how fast this could happen.

So then when we retired, there was the 1989-1990. There was one I think in 1995, and then Y2K in 2000, and then 2008-2009, and then now this. We’ve been through a few ups and downs.

What we did was, in the ’07-’08 recession, as we’ve gotten older, we talked about “Let’s move a little bit more into dividend type funds or ETFs” so that we had a better cushion on cash flow and so that we weren’t forced to sell in a bad market.

We made that move back then. And we also used that opportunity to move out of Vanguard open-ended funds into VTI and SPY because I wanted real-time trading. With the open-ended funds, I was stuck with the end-of-day pricing.

Back then, the market was falling 5000 points a day, so it would put a sell order into suicide. Then you wait until tomorrow, it drops another 5000.

With the ETF, you just sell it real time. So we used that opportunity to do that and do some tax harvesting back then.

Since then, we’re only about 60/40, 55/45 stock equity to cash or bond equity or bond portfolio.

Andrew Chen
Earlier on, when you guys were doing the math of what your expenses were and whether your investments had covered those expenses, how much of a buffer were you guys factoring in to prepare for some of these market dips, which the only thing you know is that they’re going to come but you just don’t know when?

Billy Kaderli
True. They’re going to come.

We’re going to have another bear market. Well, we just had one.

What we did back in ’91, we figured our living expenses were about $20,000 a year. I multiplied that times 25 and I came up with half a million dollars. At that point, that’s when we realized we were about there because that’s basically the reverse of the 4% rule.

Are you familiar with 4 % rule, Andrew? Okay. That’s pretty much a backwards way of doing the 4% rule.

Figure out how much you're spending that year and multiply that times 25. That’s what you need to have invested. So that’s pretty much the way we did it.

In spending $20,000 a year, we had a buffer. If the market is performing 10%, we could have done it on $200,000. So we had a buffer of twice that, plus.

Does that answer your question?

Retirement, like your parents but way cooler

Retirement - Like your parents, but way cooler!

Andrew Chen
Yeah. You mentioned you’re 60/40, 55/45. Now you have a much bigger buffer, I imagine.

In the earlier half of your retirement, did you guys have a withdrawal strategy so that you could avoid selling investments at a loss? For example, having two years’ worth of cash or bonds, liquid investments, or a bond ladder, etc., so that you wouldn’t have to touch equity investments in case there was such a loss?

Or did that emerge only later, more organically?

Billy Kaderli
It emerged later, more organically. In fact, like I said, we were 100% long for a long time, and we rode these things out.

If I had a crystal ball and I could say “The market is going to drop next month,” we would take more money out this month so that we could get through that period.

We had a small amount of cash back then, but nothing like we have now. Now we’ve got about five, six, seven years of cash to buffer it.

I think that’s important to have a couple of years’ cash. As you get older, you get a little wiser.

There was nobody to guide us on this stuff, Andrew. We were on our own trying to figure this out the best we could.

But we wanted to maximize growth at that time. It all just evolved.

Eating street food, Thailand

Eating street food, Thailand

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. There were no forums or anything. There was no Skype, no FIRE community or anything.

Billy Kaderli
Nobody to knock these ideas around with.

Akaisha Kaderli
No.

Andrew Chen
What does your portfolio look like now, three decades later? Is it larger than when you started out? What are you actually holding in your portfolio these days?

Billy Kaderli
It’s much larger after inflation and spending. It’s much, much larger.

We’re holding VTI, SPY, a dividend ETF called DVY, which is popular, and then Vanguard Technology, VGT. I think that’s about it.

Akaisha Kaderli
Dividends.

Billy Kaderli
We’re on Social Security and we’re on Medicare now. Medicare is “free” because you paid into it. But Medicare Part B, which is a supplement to Medicare, we decided to stick with that because it’s fairly inexpensive.

So what I did is I bought an ETF called MAIN, and it pays a monthly dividend. That covers our Part A amount.

Akaisha Kaderli
Actually, it’s the Part B. "A" is your Social Security.

Billy Kaderli
Okay. It’s the Part B amount.

Akaisha Kaderli
It’s the Part B, and then that raises up every year. But our MAIN dividend…

Billy Kaderli
…it’s a monthly payout, which is nice. I’m always balancing that with taxes because we don’t want to put ourselves into a bad situation where we’re giving money back. So I keep a pretty close eye on that kind of stuff.

Akaisha and Billy

Akaisha and Billy in Mexico City

Andrew Chen
Got it. When there were market dips, did you guys end up reducing or adjusting your withdrawals commensurately, or was it 4% rule pretty simply applied? Was there more nuance to it?

Billy Kaderli
Yeah, there’s more nuance because, even though we’re very familiar with the 4% rule that was invented many years after we retired, I wouldn’t say we never because in 2007-2008, we went over 4% in our withdrawals.

But we have a tracking system where we not only track our spending, but we track it as a percentage of our net worth. Every day, I know what percentage of our net worth we’re spending. Once we see that starting to go out a lot, we can contract our spending if we need to or make some other adjustments.

But we like to do things in real time.

Akaisha Kaderli
Our lifestyle hasn’t really been affected very much, Andrew, by any of these downturns. We did, at one point in the 2008 deal, consider going back to work.

But then we thought, “We’d have to get professional clothing. We’d have to get a car. We’d have to move back to the States on a more permanent basis.”

“What kind of job would we get? We’d have to pack our lunch. We’d have to have gasoline and maintenance.”

So we went, “Nah, I don’t think so.” That was our one and only, first and last discussion about going back to work.

We really live well on very little, and we try to spend more money sometimes. Sometimes we go out with friends and go, “Ah, Billy is going to buy tonight.” We just don’t need to spend a lot of money.

We’re really happy. We eat well. We have great weather.

We’re healthy. Thank God. We’re self-entertaining.

Cathedral from a rooftop bar, Morelia, Mexico

Cathedral from a rooftop bar, Morelia, Mexico

Billy Kaderli
We’re 67 now, so we know there’s an exit plan for us somewhere down the road. We don’t have children, so you can’t take it with you.

Akaisha Kaderli
We have causes.

Billy Kaderli
When we travel, we try to have more comfort. We stay in nicer hotels. Maybe sometime in 2050, we’ll be able to travel again!

Akaisha Kaderli
Oh, gosh.

Billy Kaderli
I’m an optimist, Andrew.

Akaisha Kaderli
Put my coffin on the plane.

Andrew Chen
Once they invent the youth regeneration pill.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Billy Kaderli
I’m in. Give me the ticker symbol.

Andrew Chen
Definitely long on that one.

Billy Kaderli
For sure.

Andrew Chen
Were there ever any large unexpected expenses that came up over the decades that put stress on your retirement finances? I’m thinking in particular about healthcare, but there might have been other things.

Billy Kaderli
We were living in Arizona at the time and I had to go to the hospital, and we had a $10,000 deductible. It was a hit, but it was one that we had already factored in mentally, so we dealt with it.

Akaisha Kaderli
Nothing has ever really hit us to the point where it affected our portfolio.

Billy Kaderli
No.

Akaisha Kaderli
Billy had that incident in the States. That ended up being a $14,000 expense, but we were able to pay the hospital back on an interest-free loan. I paid them every month.

I took advantage of that so the portfolio could grow.

Billy Kaderli
So we didn’t have to extract anything out of the portfolio.

Akaisha Kaderli
But we’ve had other emergencies and surgeries and had that taken care of overseas. The cost difference is just huge, so we didn’t have to pay very much.

Billy Kaderli
We spend out of pocket for everything overseas.

Andrew Chen
Interesting. I see. I’d love to understand a little bit more about how you guys do health insurance and healthcare right now.

Now you’re on Medicare, which will cover you in the States but not abroad. I guess there’s some assurance in that regard.

If you could comment, how did it work before you were on Medicare, and then how did it change after you were on Medicare? That would be really insightful.

Billy driving a Chicken Bus, Guatemala

Billy driving a Chicken Bus, Guatemala

Akaisha Kaderli
We lost you for a second.

Andrew Chen
Oh, yeah. Sorry.

Billy Kaderli
We lost you for a second. We know you’re in Silicon Valley where they have weak internet.

Andrew Chen
I love it.

Billy Kaderli
We’re down here on Coke cans and a string, Andrew.

Akaisha Kaderli
Let me just say that in the early years, we did have a U.S.-based health insurance plan. We spent thousands of dollars a year to do that. And we were traveling the world for so much of the time that we realized, other than Billy’s one event that we happened to be in the States at the time, we were not really using that U.S.- based health insurance.

So we did what in the community is called “going naked.” We basically went naked of any insurance company, of any insurance policy.

When we went to the States, we took out a travel plan from World Nomads, and that took care of us if we were sick or something in the States. But otherwise, we took care of everything locally and we haven’t had a U.S.-based plan for 15 years maybe.

Billy Kaderli
But we are on Medicare now and we’re covered. But Medicare doesn’t do anything outside of the United States.

Andrew Chen
Yeah.

Akaisha Kaderli
Unless you’re 30 minutes from the coast and on a cruise ship or something. There’s rules.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Chen
Health insurance is one of the big ones, I think, that deter folks from making this life choice of early retirement or at least make them think really hard about it because, obviously, in the U.S. we don’t have universal healthcare. Once you have a condition that arises, you’re pretty much locked out from preexisting conditions.

Obamacare definitely changed that, but that didn’t come until two decades after you guys were in retirement. Also, there’s a lot of pushback now politically to try to roll that back. That’s a separate discussion.

But how did you guys get the confidence that that would be okay? Because it is one of the things that a lot of people worry about.

Billy Kaderli
I can just give you an example. Here in Mexico, I can walk into almost any pharmacy without a prescription or without going to see a doctor, and buy medicines at a lot less than what it costs in the United States.

That eliminates me spending $100 or $200 or whatever it takes to go to a doctor just to get a piece of paper to go to a pharmacy. The prices are so much better here.

Akaisha almost lost her finger in Guatemala. This was a very serious accident where she cut an artery in her finger and she was bleeding out on the street.

We got her to a local hospital where they patched her up, but she was losing her finger as it was turning very black and very cold. There was no circulation in it.

Long story short, we got in touch with a plastic surgeon in Guatemala City. He’s also a hand surgeon. He took her under his wing.

She had to do two weeks’ worth of hyperbaric chamber treatments plus two surgeries. The whole thing was about $3000, and $1000 of that was a private driver from Antigua, Guatemala into Guatemala City. So that was very manageable for us.

My advice, especially for younger people, is don't be afraid. Go out and live.

If you’re going to stay fearful all your life of “What if I get this?” or “What if I get that?” you’re probably going to get it.

Just get out of that stinking thinking and move on.

The Maya ruins of Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico

The Maya ruins of Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico

Akaisha Kaderli
We were very programmed. I certainly was.

My mother had illnesses when I was growing up, so the idea of being without a health insurance policy terrified me when we first retired. We were living in Nevis, West Indies, and I’m assuming that I have my health insurance, and two or three months later, I find out that I have no insurance.

I don’t know what I was thinking at that point. I had something going on. But I found out that I had been three months not covered.

I just broke out in a sweat and I said, “Well, I made it.” I made it three months without a policy.

So things started to change then. And then like Billy says, just being afraid of it.

If I were younger with a family, like the people coming in now, I would seriously consider moving overseas, or trying some of the ministries where they share prices, or one spouse could work digitally, nomadically, and get a health insurance policy. You can get a concierge program from some doctor who allows you so many visits, x-rays, access to prescriptions a year.

There’s all sorts of other things to do. You could move to a foreign country and pay out of pocket. If you’re retiring early, you can afford most of these prices.

Billy Kaderli
There’s a whole industry called medical tourism. Bangkok has one of the finest hospitals in the world, and they advertise full page ads in the Bangkok Post of heart specials. This month, we got a special on…

Akaisha Kaderli
Bypass surgery.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah, heart surgery.

Akaisha Kaderli
We’re replacing hips this month. This is a deal right here.

Billy Kaderli
They’re in competition with other hospitals. It’s like if you’ve got a restaurant and the restaurant next door where you’re in competition for the same customers. So they marked down their prices to get people in.

And their quality of care is fabulous. Princes and kings and presidents all go to this hospital.

I’ve worn glasses since I was three years old, and I had the most thorough eye exam in my life in that hospital. I had never had anything like this done with any U.S. ophthalmologist. It was unbelievable.

Akaisha Kaderli
Dentists do the same thing.

Andrew Chen
Did it not make you nervous the first time you saw heart procedures being advertised like they were beef in a supermarket?

Akaisha Kaderli
No. We go, “What a great business plan.”

Fresh grilled octopus, Puerto Escondido Beach, Mexico

Freshly grilled octopus, Zicatela Beach, Mexico

Billy Kaderli
Yeah. This is a top-rated hospital, I’m telling you.

You think you’re in the United Nations. When you walk in, you have your own interpreter come with you.

Akaisha Kaderli
They speak eight or 12 different languages. You get the language of your native tongue. And that person takes you all around.

It’s a great business plan. And dentists do the same thing. They’ll give you three caps and a bridge or something this week.

Billy Kaderli
Even right now in Algodones, right on the border of Mexico and Arizona, people go out of Phoenix, they drive to the border and get dental work done.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Billy Kaderli
Because it’s a third of the cost.

Andrew Chen
Have you guys met other travelers (maybe it’s not yourselves) who have chronic conditions? And how do they manage trying to take advantage of medical tourism but also realizing they need constant, continuous care?

Often that is easier done when you go to the same hospital because, obviously, they have your track record. They have all your stats, etc.

Billy Kaderli
That’s one thing. Yeah, they’ve got all your stats.

Here it’s your responsibility. They give you your stats, so you travel with it. You put it digitally.

You go in to another doctor, another hospital, they plug your chip into the computer, they see all your history. So it takes a little bit of more personal responsibility.

But if you’ve got a chronic thing where you need to be checked out, I’ll give you a good example. A friend of ours who is younger than we are, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer here in Mexico.

He had the procedures done. He had two operations done. He had to be monitored very closely because they did a chemotherapy on him, etc.

He’s on a plan now to be in Mexico every three months. It was once a month. Now it’s three months.

Soon it will be six months and then once a year. But he just makes it a point to be back in this area right now.

Akaisha Kaderli
He also got things done elsewhere. He got his thyroid hormones while he was in Mississippi or Florida (they have family in both states), and he got his test taken there because he had his little chip.

“This is what I’m doing. These are my numbers. I get a blood test before I go to the doctor.”

I’ve had something similar where I had a condition that every three months I had to have checked. I did it in Mexico, Thailand, in the United States, and someplace else.

Because everybody has two arms, two legs, two eyes. Doctors know these parts. As long as you have your information, you get your blood tests, you’ve got your data, any doctor can read that.

They might want to take their own x-ray, but it works.

Billy Kaderli
Measure twice, cut once.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah, right. So it’s not as scary as it’s said to be in the States.

Billy Kaderli
Right. And it goes back to personal responsibility. You’ve got to take on a little bit of that yourself.

My theory, and I haven’t been wrong yet this year, is that this whole health insurance thing was born out of World War II where our fathers came back from the war and companies were retooling to a civilian society from a war economy, and they were in competition for workers.

These men came back and they had a training in the military, so they offered them health insurance. Before that, the doctor on the corner delivered the babies.

So this whole thing is a fairly new phenomenon about when you get a job, you get health insurance and you never have to worry again about your life because somebody else is going to take care of me.

We don’t prescribe to that. We think our health is our responsibility.

Akaisha Kaderli
It is a big leap, Andrew, when you first move from that mindset because we were retired and three months into living on a paradise island. I realized, looking back, I hadn’t been covered by my insurance.

I don’t know if I had a "panic attack", but (sigh). So I get it. I do understand and I know some people do have health issues that they are concerned about.

Andrew Chen
Got it. You cut out a little bit, but I think it’s back.

I think I got the gist of what you were saying, Akaisha, that it is a real fear and it was a very personal decision, but it’s not the end of the world.

Akaisha Kaderli
Right, because there really is good medical care in a lot of countries. If you take responsibility and you bring your data with you, most doctors can figure that out for you.

Billy Kaderli
When we were in Panajachel, Guatemala, that’s isolated there. It’s not the best medical area. I had a gastritis attack and I had to go to the hospital in Guatemala City, which is a hard three - to four-hour drive.

I was in the hospital for two or three nights. When I was getting ready to leave, the doctor came in and he said, “I want to see you again in 10 days.”

I said, “Doc, I live in Panajachel. You know what the drive is like.”

He said, “Here’s my personal cell phone number. Call me and let me know you’re okay.” Done.

That’s the kind of care we’re used to getting in these parts. They actually care about us.

Indigenous in Oaxaca, Mexico

Indigenous in Oaxaca, Mexico

Andrew Chen
Gotcha. Shifting gears and beginning to wrap up, I understand that you guys did not have children.

Can you share about how you came to that decision? What were the factors you considered and why you ultimately decided against having kids?

Akaisha Kaderli
It was a personal decision. I think I would have been a nervous mother, actually. I wanted a career.

I don’t think everybody is meant to be moms. I’m a much better teacher.

I’m a much better aunt. I’m a much better sister. I’m a great daughter.

But as far as the mother thing goes, it takes very special people to be parents. That’s a forever job, 24 hours a day. It’s one of the biggest jobs with the greatest respect I have.

I just didn’t think I wanted to do that.

Billy Kaderli
And we came back from France and we bought a restaurant. Our 100% focus was operating that restaurant, and it was no place to have a kid running around in there. We were busy.

Akaisha Kaderli
Working 80 hours a week.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah.

Andrew Chen
Got it. Is it accurate to say then that that decision preceded the decision to retire early?

Akaisha Kaderli
No, it had nothing to do with it. In fact, I just want to say that we have done interviews with families.

One family is a family of five. They’ve got five children. Another family is a family of six children.

And they travel the world. One travels the world globally. The other travels within their location.

They do a lot of camping and stuff. And they are retiring with children.

They're global people. Talk about healthcare, talk about education... They do all of that digitally and use medical tourism.

She’s had a baby here. She’s had a baby there. So it’s just your style.

What do military people do? They do it all over the world. Or people who live on sailboats.

World School, educating children while on the road

World School, educating children while on the road

Billy Kaderli
There’s plenty of them around.

Akaisha Kaderli
Right. And I really admire those people too because they’re giving their kids a world education. I think it’s great.

Andrew Chen
Based on what you’ve observed, how does early retirement or nomadic long term travel differ when you have a family? What are some of the considerations that the families you’ve met have had to factor in that perhaps couples or solo travelers do not have to?

Billy Kaderli
We’ve seen them get their kids involved. With the times we’ve spent with them, they’re very polite. They ask adult questions.

They’re not whining over there because of some reason, this or that. No. They’re part of the group, and we find that very refreshing.

So I think the biggest thing is they want to be involved in the culture that they’re in and to absorb as much as they can, because when you’re younger, you’re like a sponge and languages just come easy to you.

Akaisha Kaderli
They’re more flexible. They’re more solid in who they are.

Many of them speak different languages, two or three languages. Many of them, obviously, either they go to bilingual schools or they’re home-taught.

They’re not fussy about their food because this is what we’re eating.

“We’re in Vietnam. This is what we’re eating.”

“Now we’re in Italy. This is what we’re eating.”

I think the kids get a real good self-reliance and self-respect perspective and a worldview.

Billy Kaderli
Confidence.

at indigenous Saturday market, Ecuador

At indigenous Saturday Market, Ecuador

Akaisha Kaderli
Confidence. And like I said, they speak several languages. Personally, I think it’s one of the greatest things you can do for your kid.

Now, I understand same school, basketball team, same friends forever. I get that. That’s the other side.

There’s not one versus the other. But since our life is a global one, we see what an advantage it is to those kids, and we really like that.

Andrew Chen
All right. Great. Looking back, knowing everything you know now about early retirement, nomadic travel, long term travel, is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back and do it over again?

Billy Kaderli
Start investing earlier.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes.

Billy Kaderli
We probably wouldn’t have bought a house.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yes, I would not have bought a house.

Billy Kaderli
At the time, we owned a fair amount of Exxon stock. We used that to buy the house.

Looking back, if I compare the two investments, there's not a comparison. That would be my thing.

Akaisha Kaderli
That would have been mine too. I was in California on the beach. In my 30s, we wanted to buy a house.

Why? Because I wanted a garden and I had a dog.

But like Billy said, we had Exxon stock. Later on, I would not have bought that house. I would have kept the stock and we would have done far better off.

And investing much sooner. But nobody told us anything about investing.

Andrew Chen
It seems like it worked out still pretty well.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah.

Billy Kaderli
It’s worked out fine. Yeah.

Andrew Chen
What adventures from your bucket list are coming up that we should keep an eye out for in terms of future Akaisha and Billy sightings?

Billy Kaderli
Hopefully June 1, they’re going to let us go to the beach and into the water.

Akaisha Kaderli
We want to go to Greece and Italy. We want to do our own style of food tour.

Billy Kaderli
We want to go back to Colombia because we discovered some new places that we’d like to go next time we get there.

Akaisha Kaderli
I wouldn’t mind doing a safari. I hear there’s some really nice safari tours.

That would be a two-week deal, and I want to be comfortable. Yes, I do.

Andrew Chen
I should connect you with my wife. I think you guys would be good travel buddies in terms of what you guys look for.

All right. Listen, Akaisha and Billy. This was so delightful.

I’m so glad I was able to connect with you guys and share your story with our audience today. Where can listeners find out more about you, your website, what you’re up to?

Billy Kaderli
retireearlylifestyle.com is our website. We update it pretty much every day.

Akaisha Kaderli
We have an eBook store.

Billy Kaderli
We answer all emails. If somebody has got a question from this podcast, you’re welcome to shoot us an email.

Akaisha Kaderli
We also have a mentor service. If people want to sort out some sticky problems they may have for their own retirement, we answer.

We have a service for that. We answer questions, give you private phone calls.

We have an eBook store. We have our free newsletter.

Billy Kaderli
Yeah.

Andrew Chen
All right. We’ll definitely link to all that stuff in the show notes, point folks to that.

Akaisha Kaderli
Thanks.

Andrew Chen
So they can learn more. Thank you again so much for taking the time to chat with me. All best wishes with everything, and I hope we see you in your travels in the future.

Akaisha Kaderli
That would be wonderful.

Billy Kaderli
Thanks, Andrew. Come on down.

Akaisha Kaderli
Yeah. Give your wife our best.

Andrew Chen
Thank you so much. Cheers.

Akaisha Kaderli
Thank you too.

Billy Kaderli
Cheers.

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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 RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, 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 Amazon.com.

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