Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
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.
Interview with Brian Watkins
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
We at RetireEarlyLifestyle love to bring you
stories of people we have met. There's no one right way to get to
Financial Independence, and we are happy to bring Brian's adventure to
financial freedom to you.
Thank you, Brian, for taking the time to
answer all our questions!
Brian Watkins enjoying his last year of teaching
Retire Early Lifestyle: Could you tell us a little about yourself, and how
old you are?
Brian Watkins: Hi, as of 14 months
ago I quit my job as a teacher, a position I held for 22 years, and at 48
decided to travel and enjoy a different lifestyle. I wanted a life with more
freedom and less obligation to debt. I had spent a lifetime accepting that
part of the American lifestyle and just wanted something
REL: What got you started investing and when?
my very first year of teaching, I was broke and struggling from month to
month. At work I saw sign that read “Free Pizza….. in the Library.” Not sure
what the rest of the sign said but I was down with free pizza, so I headed
to the library. Little did i know that with a slice came some financial
advice. By the time I left I was investing $100 a month in a 403B and only
going to see a $70 difference in my check. The lesson: live on less and
REL: When did you know you were ready to retire and what motivated you?
BW: At 46 both my mother and father passed within six months of each
other. I really didn’t want to risk working till death. So at that point I
started working on my exit plan.
Boracay Island, Philippines
What do you do for income generation?
BW: When I turn 55 I will be eligible to withdraw from my pension. I
have a 403B in place that will be eligible at 591/2 and I currently live off
the sale of my condo. My overall goal has been to live off 4% of my total
REL: What do you plan to budget annually for your retirement?
BW: I had an educated idea of what my expenses might be but
purchasing your book and
tracking my expenses helped me more than you’ll ever know. In
my first 12 months I spent $16,542. Eight months of that was for two people.
My annual budget broke down as follows:
REL: Can you share with us anything about how your portfolio is structured?
BW: My current portfolio is 75% equities, 25% bonds.
Puerto Galera, Philippines
REL: You are one of the new generation of Early Retirees who are well versed
in a digital lifestyle. How have you used this technology to enhance your
BW: I have actually learned so much from the retirees who are digitally
inclined. I use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for those countries IP
address that my bank blocks. I have a Google voice number so that I can call
(or text) a U.S. number from Google Hangouts using wifi only.
The most important people to me have the Cash App and I can send or receive
money on it and have it deposited for free (3 day waiting period) or for a
fee same day.
When it comes to technology I believe in spending up and going small.
However that doesn’t mean that you always need the latest and most
expensive. For instance, my current iPhone 6 I bought used, then had it
refurbished in the Philippines at a fraction of the cost of the U.S. and
gave my old phone to my girlfriend.
REL: What has been your greatest challenge on your road to Early Retirement?
Your biggest lesson?
BW: My biggest challenge was overcoming fear. Each month that passed the
fear and doubt mounted and I continually got a case of the “what if’s”.
Ultimately it helped me to understand that what happened after is a part of
the journey. I also asked the most important question “What if I die at my
White Beach Puerto Galera, Phillipines
What advice would you give to someone considering Early Retirement?
I would highly recommend they
buy your books. After I made my decision
and made my plans to retire early I researched and purchased your book,
Retirement Dream IS Possible. The book confirmed many of my thoughts on
early retirement and was an extremely useful guide in the process.
Do you speak other languages?
BW: I lived in Mexico for one year as a kid and picked up some
REL: You are too young to qualify for Medicare, what do you do about
healthcare? Are you open to medical tourism?
BW: As I’m an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe I’m eligible for basic
medical and dental through my tribe. However, during travel I pay out of
REL: Share with us your best money-saving secret.
BW: Honestly one of the best tips is from your book which is to tack
your spending. Knowing where the money goes helps me adjust and project
REL: What are your greatest passions in life?
BW: For 25 years I coached high school football and 8 of those I was the
Head football coach. I enjoyed coaching immensely and will probably return
to it in the future.
REL: Do you have a home base or own a home?
BW: Currently my home base is southern California near Victorville where
my sister and aunt live.
Christmas Eve with Russian Friends on Boracay, Phillipines
REL: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance
BW: I would have to say that while living on my own since I was 16, I
managed to graduate from college on my own.
REL: What is a secret fact about you?
BW: At age 10 my mother moved our family to
Mexico and at age 11, I made
the journey back with people I hand known for a week.
What are you most proud of so far in life?
BW: Coaching kids for 25 years and teaching for 22 years.
What do you do for fun or entertainment?
I most enjoy spending time with friends on the beach or near the lake.
Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Where are you going next?
BW: I currently have been spending time between the
Philippines, USA and
Guatemala. However, I’m most interested in seeing Colombia, Peru and
What has been the biggest early retirement lifestyle surprise?
BW: Probably the biggest has been becoming an accidental minimalist. I
reduced all of my life’s possessions down to a few boxes at my sisters house
and two travel bags. My travels have caused me to accumulate experiences
with great people rather than buying “things”.
Again, we'd like to thank
Brian for taking the time to share his story. We appreciate it!
To read more stories of
Successful Retirees and Captivating Characters,
About the Authors
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.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha