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 Jim and Kathy McLeod
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Retire Early Lifestyle
interviewed Jim and Kathy McLeod a few years back
when they first retired. We caught up with this happy couple and asked if we
could do an update on their lives as early retirees.
this fun and informative interview below!
RetireEarlyLifestyle: How long have you been retired now? Was Early Retirement everything you
thought it would be?
Kathy and Jim McLeod: We've been retired now for 4.5 years. Early Retirement has exceeded our
expectations. We never imagined we would have been able to do something such
as El Camino in Spain, and yet we just finished
Camino Frances earlier
Happy Thanksgiving, San Antonio Tlayacapan, Mexico
REL: Both of you seem very physically active. Where have you traveled in
this new lifestyle? Does any thing or any place stand out for you?
K&JM: Yes, as we said, we just recently hiked El Camino in Spain. We visited
London and Paris before our hike. Last year we did a trip similar to Billy
Belize and Cancun. And prior to that we traveled to Greece.
And with our home base in
Mexico, we have been to Manzanillo, Los Ayala,
Guanajuato, Deloris Hildago, San Miguel de Allende,
Morelia. We also followed in Billy and Akaisha's
footsteps and did their
We really enjoyed our trips to Europe, especially Greece and Spain where
there is just so much history and beauty. And of course we love Mexico with
so many great places to visit and explore,
beautiful beaches, wonderful
people and great food.
REL: In your previous interview you mentioned you budget 16,000 Canadian Dollars per year,
plus travel expenses. Are you sticking with those numbers or have they
After moving recently, we've actually lowered our budget by 1,500 CD per
REL: How do you manage your finances while on the road? Have you changed
your portfolio in any significant way since you retired?
K&JM: All of our finances are managed over the internet, so as long as we can get
access where we are, we can keep on top of it. As mentioned in our previous
interview, because we take a conservative approach, we only invest a small
portion of our savings in value stocks. This left the remainder of our
portfolio under-utilized, which prompted us to look into "safe" options for
investing that money. After some research we discovered we could invest it
in 5 year laddered GICs which, at this time, pays out enough to cover our
REL: Now that you have finally reached
Financial Independence, what do you find yourself
spending the most time doing?
So far, we spend around 1/3 of our time traveling, and the rest of the time
exploring areas closer to home walking, hiking or hopping on local buses to
check out local sites.
Hot Springs, San Juan Cosala, Mexico
REL: Knowing what
you know now, if you had it to do over would you have quit your job when you
did? Or would you have retired earlier?
I'm sure we would have liked to have retired earlier, but I think everything
lined up at the right time for us to retire when we did.
REL: How has your Seguro Popular Mexican Health Insurance been working out
K&JM: Fortunately, so far we haven't needed it.
REL: Do you find the cost of living in Mexico to be affordable?
K&JM: Definitely. We were back in Canada earlier this year for 2 weeks and
couldn't believe how expensive it was. We spent 1/3 of our travel budget,
even though we stayed with family, so fortunately, we didn't have to worry
about accommodation or transportation (which, where we were, is much more
difficult to be
car free). What we spent on that trip would have lasted us
4-6 weeks traveling in Mexico, which would include accommodations and
REL: Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Mexico?
K&JM: Do your research with books, videos and sites such as the
REL Mexico section.
Make sure if you do come, that you have an open mind; check your
expectations at the border.
is not just vacation resorts
but, if you plan on living here, it is real life, with the same real life
issues you had to deal with back home, but possibly quite different from how
you're used to dealing with them. And probably a lot of issues you're not used
to dealing with: different language, different power, water, sewage, traffic
and internet infrastructures and the nuances of each of those differences.
If you still decide you might want to live here, come stay for a few months,
and try out different areas you liked during your research phase. Then if
you're sure you still want to live here, make the plunge. If It doesn't work
out, you can always go back.
REL: Do you own a vehicle?
K&JM: No we don't. So far, the majority of places we've been have had amazing
public transportation systems that have been able to get us almost
everywhere we've wanted to go for a fraction of what it would cost us to own
REL: Do you have a home base or own a home?
K&JM: Yes, we have a home base in Mexico, but at this point we just rent.
REL: What is your most treasured possession?
K&JM: Our health. One of the biggest reasons for retiring early for
us was health issues and the benefits of our current lifestyle and weather
here in Mexico. Both of us have improved significantly
retired. One of the reasons we hiked El Camino this year was that we
weren't sure how much longer we would be able to tackle an adventure as
physically demanding as El Camino Frances. If we had waited until the conventional age to retire, we're
sure we wouldn't have been able to enjoy a quarter of the adventures that we
have since we retired early.
REL: What’s the worst thing you deal with in your chosen lifestyle? Your
K&JM: Going back to Canada to visit family and friends. Fortunately, a number of
them have been able to come visit us.
REL: What is exhilarating beyond words? Something you would never trade
about your lifestyle to obtain “security?”
Adventure and leisure travel. The ability to hop on a bus, or a plane,
whenever we want and just go.
REL: If you could
give any advice to younger you, just starting out this journey, what would
Start saving earlier. As the saying goes, youth is wasted
We're on, or in some cases, over the cusp for some of the adventures on our
bucket list now. But never fear, we still have a lot of adventures that we
can and will still do.
El Camino Frances, Spain
REL: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen?
K&JM: In Chichicastenango, Guatemala, a man loading
a live pig on the top of a
van/bus with all of the other luggage.
Is there a
happiness mantra or motto that you find very helpful?
K&JM: A quote by Tony Robbins, "Live with Passion!"
Seize the Day, Paris, France
To read about more Successful Early
Retirees and Captivating Characters,
What's Your Number? - How much money do you need to retire?
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