A Traveler’s Questions on Healthcare, Cost of Living, Apartment Hunting and More

Q&A with a Reader


First of all, thank you so much for being such a wealth of information for people just starting out on the path to early retirement.  I’m just wrapping up my first year in the workforce after graduation, and while I’m loving it, I also love the idea of the freedom that comes with financial independence.  Hearing about people who’ve done it is so encouraging.


I listened to your interview on Mad Fientist last night and loved it.  Coincidentally, I’m currently in Panajachel and couldn’t agree more.  It’s one of my top five places I’ve ever visited.  If you have any recommendations of things to do or places to visit, I’d love to hear them.  Of course, just sitting and looking at the lake is always a good choice.  😀

Thanks again!



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Hi Jane,

GREAT to hear from you. Feel free to write any time regarding questions on financial independence, travel or medical tourism – these are our specialties. And thank you for your kind words regarding our interview on MadFientist. We appreciate that!

Panajachel. Great place. Below you will find links to stories, photos and things to do. Below that you will find some info on Antigua — another must see.


Akaisha and Billy

Things to Do in Panajachel, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan Travel and Info

Our Guatemala Page

Fun things to do in Antigua, Guatemala

Our Antigua Home Page and Directory



I hope my email finds you well.  Once again in Pana and even more motivated to make this a permanent thing.  🙂

I wanted to ask you about calculating expenses.  How do you do it?

For example, we’d like to slow travel, which implies renting.  How do we get an idea for cost of living across a wide range of places and account for that in our “number”?

How do you handle health insurance?

How about emergencies/emergency fund?

Thank you for your help!




Hi Jane,

Nice to hear from you again.

In terms about calculating expenses, you might take a look at our Relocation Page. There you will find listed sites such as City Data, Earth Costs, Great Retirement Spots, Numbeo, and all sorts of Expat forums. These sites will give you cost of living in various locations, and the expat forums are places where you can ask direct questions of people on the forum (many of whom are living in these locations) and receive the answer. For instance, you could ask about the price of a local apartment.

Housing is the largest expense in any household, and if you can get a handle on what you spend for lodging, you can live just about anywhere. In that case, you might also consider house sitting, Couch surfing, living in a hotel room at a monthly discount, apart-hotels, renting a room in a private home, use Airbnb or exchanging lodging for some sort of work that you would contribute. When you arrive in a location, find a notice board at a cafe, restaurant or expat library where rentals are advertised and begin there. Take a look at our Travel Housing Page for other suggestions.


Regarding Health insurance, we purchase local services in the country in which we are traveling. You might consider taking out traveler’s insurance, say, from World Nomads or another provider, but that can be very expensive. We have found medical care to be very affordable and accessible everywhere we have visited, so we simply pay out of pocket.

In terms of funding an emergency, since we live well below our means as a lifestyle, we would fund any emergency from our on hand cash in our accounts.

I hope you find these answers to your questions to be useful.

Best Regards, and take care.


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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