Am I Doomed to Being the 5th Wheel in My Early Retirement?

Q&A with a Reader

Hi there Billy and Akaisha,

I have a question about retiring early.  I’ve reached FI and want to retire early.  There are so many more things I want to do with my life.

I was hoping to find a fella who wants to RE also.  Someone who is on the same wavelength as me.  However I don’t know anyone who wants to RE.  They are all scrabbling around for the biggest mortgage and the fanciest car and they are the most miserably unhappy people in the world.  When I dare to suggest that there are other options in life they inform me that what I am talking about is impossible!

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I know plenty of fellows who could retire early.  They have enough.  They have enough for three lifetimes but still they refuse to leave the golden trough even though the work stress is visibly taking a major toll on their health every single day.

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So I figure I have to set out on my own for the next part of the journey which is so unbelievably scary.

My question is:  are there single fellas out there in the ER world?  I have visions of it being populated entirely by couples such as yourself and I’ll forever be doomed to being the fifth wheel which is not a very appealing future.

You two are very lucky that you have each other and that you both want the same things.

Thank you so much for your website.  It has been so very helpful over the years.



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Hi Pamela,

Thank you for taking the time to write and for your kind comments about our website. We appreciate that!

Yes! There are single men out in the Early Retirement, Financially Independent world! They are traveling and living fulfilling lives and some of them are looking for a like-minded travel companion. Some of the men complain that the women they know don’t like to travel or don’t want to leave the kids for too long a time, or need their comfort at a level that is not adventurous enough for them or too expensive for them to handle.

We like to mention that to find a traveler, one needs to get out there and travel! You won’t find them at the country clubs or working in banks or holding down big mortgages. These travelers have already come to the conclusion themselves that they want something else for their lives and are “out there” on the road, doing volunteer work, and having adventures in foreign countries.

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While I completely understand that it is frightening to take this step on your own, my advice would be to fashion your life filled with things that interest you, go to places that make your heart sing, and if volunteer work appeals, then join these organizations and meet fellow volunteers. If you are doing activities that you love, chances are, this is the place where you will find a like-minded person to accompany you through life.

I would also suggest joining forums (expat forums or forums on topics that hold your interest) and meet people that way.

It’s a big world, Pamela.

The fact that you have your own means of financial support and don’t “need a man” to supplement your financial life makes you very attractive as a companion.

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YOU are an asset.

A man doesn’t have to worry about paying for everything but rather has an equal partner who can contribute in many ways to the relationship. Your entertainment and travel options have just doubled. The fact that you can contribute to housing costs and daily living costs has just upped your value as a potential partner in life. You and a potential mate can live in better housing conditions, travel with more ease, dine in locations of your choice rather than set by your budget, and you have broader entertainment options.

I mean… I hate to sound so unrefined in my above description, but seriously, Pamela. Consider yourself to be valuable. You have the freedom to be on your own as well as being able to contribute to a relationship. AND if someone doesn’t treat you well, you have the freedom and choice to move on. You are not “stuck” due to the fear of financial pain.

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Congratulations on your financial independence!

Billy and I wish you the very best moving forward into the life of your own choosing.

Do keep in touch,

Akaisha and Billy

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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