I want to retire and travel, my wife and child do not. Suggestions?

Q&A from a Reader

Hi Billy and Akaisha,

I’m looking for a bit of guidance for myself and my family of 3.

I’m 39 and pretty much retired. My goal from the age of 20 was financial freedom and I’ve achieved ‘budget’ financial independence.

My wife on the other hand has different goals. She wants to continue her work at a non profit and my daughter of 6 goes to school in our town.

Walking the malecon in Chapala, Mexico

I have two main issues that I’m tackling at the moment. The first is not having a large goal anymore (mid life crisis) and the second is my wife and child are extremely happy staying in our town and are not really interested in a more nomadic life.

My possible solution to this is to go on mini adventures for a month or two each year to see if that satisfies my craving for adventure. Would you have any other suggestions or ideas in this regard?

Ancient Mayan wash basins, Antigua, Guatemala

Also, I’m looking for a town or city with an excellent racquet club (tennis, squash) where I can meet like minded competitive friends. I have my eye on Antigua, Guatemala as a potential option. There is a club there. The ideal location for me is affordable, warm sunny weather, lots of cheap restaurants and bars, hiking and a racquet club. I’m completely willing to learn a fourth language if necessary. Could you recommend a few places?

Thank you so much for reading this. I really enjoy your work and reading about your lifestyle.


Santa Catarina Arch, Antigua, Guatemala

Hi David,

We’re so excited for you and your retirement! And let us just say that you have so many options available to you right now.

First, relax about the “mid-life crisis.” This just means that you are ready for the next great thing. You just achieved a huge life goal of retirement, so naturally, there is this “big space” wanting to be filled. Please, just relax about that, because…

When you begin to travel a bit, it will shake loose the cobwebs and old patterns in your mind and you will be able to put new information into your life experience. At some point, all that new information, the new perspectives and possibilities will begin to gel into something very exciting for you for your future. Just stay open and allow the information to come in.

Wine tasting in Antigua, Guatemala

When you visit other countries, you will see other ways of people and places and you’ll just automatically tuck those perspectives into your own new lifestyle and incorporate them. Your life will expand.

Opportunities will open for you. You may or may not want to pick up a side hustle, or volunteer or who knows what? Get involved in a new passion of expression. The world is now  open to you.

Allow your wife and child their own bliss and enjoyment in their own chosen lifestyle. If you are happy and they are happy, what more could you want? Share that happiness together. It’s only when we “need them” to do  something in order for us to be happy that things get tight and uncomfortable. Happiness is a good thing.

Guanajuato, Mexico

And, today, you have FaceTime, Skype, Facebook, email, What’sApp, etc. to keep in touch with phone calls, videos, photos and such. It’s so easy. Bring them into your life. Share. And enjoy their lives too.

Now… about traveling.

There are LOTS of cheap, affordable, sunny places with restaurants and bars. Hiking and tennis may narrow the search a bit, but don’t dismay. There might be other exercise alternatives like a gym, volleyball, biking and such.

I’m not sure what you consider affordable, as the US can be expensive compared to Mexico, Central and South America, Asia and even some below-cost-of-living locations in the States.

Antigua has lots of restaurants and bars, and things to do – but it is considered high priced as compared to Panajachel at Lake Atitlan.

Chapala, Mexico has great weather, LOTS of activities like hiking, biking, tennis, volleyball, restaurants, etc. (See our Chapala Guide.) Chapala is also a super place to travel FROM. It has an international airport, and you can also get great inter-country deals to the beach or Colonial towns, or college towns like Guanajuato.

Cathedral at night, Guanajuato, Mexico

Lots of people enjoy Panama and you can have mountains or beaches, cities or towns. However, to be honest, it was a bit too rainy for us.

All of these places above are easy to get to, are basically on the same time zone as the US (say, as compared to Europe or Asia) and have expat communities already in place.

Take a look at our Relocation Page for all sorts of ideas of places to visit, and for lots of Expat forums.  These forums are free to join, and you can ask many questions of members for specific locations there.

Remember, the world is now open to you to explore and to expand yourself and your ways of interacting within it. It’s a very exciting time for you. You can have the best of both worlds – your loving family and the world of travel.

Dock at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala


Feel free to write any time with your questions and  concerns. And thank you for your kind comments!


Akaisha and Billy

Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, All Things Financial, Heart Song, Q & A From our Readers, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Are Supposed to Change

Do any of you find that there are loved ones – friends and family – who unknowingly seem to want to pull you back from changing your life (for the better)?

Perhaps they are intimidated by your choices or don’t understand them. Maybe they are afraid of change themselves. Or it might be that they are fearful that your changes will leave them behind, and they will no longer matter to you.

What do you think?

Let me know by writing to me at TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com


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Preparing for Financial Independence – The Importance of Housing Costs

Whether you are currently retired or saving up for your new lifestyle away from work, it’s essential to realize that housing is one of your biggest capital outlays.

Home Sweet Home

If you can modify this area of your retirement planning, you will have more cash to put towards other valuable areas of your life, perhaps pursuing a passion, putting aside money for grandchildren or freeing you up for longer travel stays.

If you have never considered this area of your household budget before, this simple exercise will help clarify this for you.

How much is your housing budget?

In order to figure out how much – per day – that your home or lodging is costing you, add up your mortgage payment, your house insurance, and your property taxes for 12 months.

Add to that figure, the amount of any upgrades you have made to the home in this past year or 12-month period (new flooring, new paint, new draperies, kitchen/bathroom re-dos, new rugs, new sheets, towels, extra sets of dishes and flatware, tree pruning, yearly flower plantings, housekeeping services, gardeners, pool services, maintenance and repairs, the new deck you just added on, … etc.)

Yep, all of it.

Total that annual expense number then divide by 365 days. That figure is what your current housing situation is costing you per day.

Insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs add up!

This is very valuable information to you because – if nothing else – it puts this category into perspective for you.

Lots of Options Available

Fortunately, there are many different housing choices in retirement or you can make this decision earlier in order to save money for your life of Financial Independence.

Smalling up, downsizing, renting an apartment/condo, doing an AirBnB room or section of a home for added income, taking on a roommate, moving to an Active Adult community, house swapping for travel, house sitting for travel, moving to a tax friendly state, living on a sailing vessel or houseboat, or choosing to RV as a housing choice are ALL options open to you.

Did your Housing Cost Per Day surprise you?

Feel free to write to me at TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com and let me know your thoughts!

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The Power of Words – What If…?

Many of us don’t realize that the mind is an obedient companion and it looks for direction.

The purpose of The Power of Words threads is to help you “manage your perception” so that your experience of Life is more supportive, more FUN and less stress-full.

You will find that being more mindful of the words you use on a daily basis will change your life.

I think it would be safe to say that we all have lots of experience in using the two words, “What If…?”—  except we tend to use it to our detriment.

For example:

What if I get sick?

What if I run out of money?

What if I don’t get that job?

What if I’m old, alone, and have no money?

Ok… What would happen if you turn the use of those two words around? Use them for your benefit to open up your mind to find things to support you? As in…

What if… there’s an answer here somewhere, I just don’t see it yet?

What if… this isn’t as hard as I have been telling myself?

What if… I don’t have to be locked in by this diagnosis?

What if… I looked at this differently?

What if… This isn’t as bad as I think?

What if… This is a GOOD thing?

What if… I could learn something here?

What if… I didn’t respond with anger this time?

What if… I didn’t take offense at that comment?

What if… I actually HAD enough money to do “X”?

What if… I got the support I need?

What if… This works out for me?

What if… It’s easier than I think?

What if… I could find common ground with this person (whom I don’t like)?

What if… This current health challenge I face isn’t “The BIG One”?

What if… I get everything I need, in an easy manner and it all falls into place for me?

Asking yourself an open-ended question with a positive direction allows your mind to focus on something favorable. You will be surprised at how the stress and anxiety about a conundrum you face just falls away, and creative energy flows in, instead.

We are already skilled in using “What If” in a negative way. Turn it around to your benefit.

What if… I OPENED up to the situation here?

What if… I had FUN with this instead of stressing out?

What if… I don’t have to be perfect?

What if… I’m really ok?

Billy and I use “What if…” as a way to open up to solutions when we feel stuck. It really works!

Let me know about your experiences using “What if…”. Feel free to write to me at TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Susan: Great advice, Akaisha! When you are confronted with a scary medical diagnosis, for example, some of these questions can be very helpful, but hope, optimism and MOXIE! also figure into the equation.

Akaisha: Absolutely, Susan. Our mental attitude and perception have much to do with how we see the world, and our interaction within it.

Things can be an “ordeal” or an “adventure. Something can be a “challenge” or a “gift.” How we choose to view makes all the difference in the world.

Susan: Well said, Akaisha!

Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, Health, Heart Song, The Power of Words | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Power of Words – OPEN

OPEN is GREAT word to work with, and another one which will change your life.

If you have followed the thread about the Power of the word FUN!, you will realize that your mind will look for what you program it to find.

In our day-to-day lives, we are bombarded with negativity. When the economy is good, it COULD get bad or it won’t last long, and if it’s bad, it’s going to get worse. There are possible wars, politics, and end-of-the-world scenarios of one sort or another almost every day.

This barrage of stuff – most over which we have no personal control – tends to make us close down and feel constricted.

Constricting feelings in our lives express as depression, lack of joy, anxiety, fear, loneliness, frustration, anger or even headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia!


OPEN is a word we can say to ourselves as a gentle reminder “Open. Open.”- or as a chant “Open, open, open, open” or even “OHHHH-pen. OHHHHHH-pen. Deep breath in, then out…. OHHHHHHHHH-pen.”

Try breathing the word OPEN in and out of the center of your chest area, as if from your heart. This can be VERY effective.

Of course, you can always sing one of these words that I suggest. Sing it to one of your favorite songs! Dancing to OPEN is also super. Get Silly!

We as humans are built for movement and for growth. Constriction is painful – emotionally or physically. So, saying the word OPEN can relax your mind, body and emotions. Your mind will get into the place of “allowing” wonderful things to come to you.

Say OPEN when you are feeling overwhelmed or emotionally tight. Say OPEN when the line in the grocery is long, or the traffic is stuck. Say OPEN when you are angry or afraid. Say OPEN the first thing in the morning as you begin your day. Say OPEN when you are waiting for the next shoe to drop.

OPEN to new ideas

OPEN to the possibilities all around you

OPEN to a suggestion someone is making

OPEN to a different way of seeing

OPEN to a solution instead of conflict

OPEN to forgiveness

OPEN to a new way of expressing yourself

OPEN to finding a hidden talent

OPEN to making new friendships

OPEN to moving on

OPEN to letting go

OPEN to your personal growth

OPEN to Personal Peace


You can also say to yourself: “My world changes in all sorts of beneficial ways and expressions. I am OPEN to Flow and Grow! Everything always works out for me, because I am OPEN to change.”

Let me know how this word OPEN works for you. I just love using it, as wonder-filled surprises always come to me when I do.

Tammy: Very Very good! I love this!

Akaisha: Thanks! Hope you try using this technique. It will literally OPEN your world!

Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, Health, Heart Song, The Power of Words | 2 Comments

Getting Older and Staying Mobile


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The Power of Words – FUN

Words are immensely powerful.

It’s something that is taken for granted, since most of us speak every day. But consider this idea. Words are vehicles we can ride – in order to manage our perception.

If you tell yourself “This is so hard” or “Gawd, I hate this” – then that is the road on which you are driving. Your (obedient) mind will look for “hard” and it will look for “obstacles” in your way, thus fulfilling the suggestion or instructions you have given to it.

So let’s try something… FUN! instead

One of the words I enjoy using as a “change-up” vehicle in my life is FUN. I like to sing to myself the word “Fun” to a tune like the Camptown Races – Fun fun fun fun fun fun… FUN FUN, FUN FUN. Fun fun fun fun fun fun all the dooh dah day!

It’s silly and no one has to know I’m singing this as I do it internally while I’m standing in line to cash out my purchase, or while waiting for a cab. Somehow my eyes get to twinkling, (sometimes my toes get to dancing) and people respond to that and we have… FUN!

Or I can say FUN like a mantra – FUUUNNNNNN… FUUUNNNNN… FUUNNNNN…

Or sing it to Moon River!

The point is to place your mind in a position to look for Fun, Interesting, Appealing, Smiling, Delightful, Open Stuff.  I find that maybe the first few times I sing or chant the FUN word, I might be resistant – because you know, it IS rather silly, and I have important things to do.

But then maybe later on in the day or even the next day I’ve got it wired.

Why not try it? Let me know what comes up for you – Your resistances, and your positive experiences.

I have used this FUN vehicle when I have needed to have a conversation that I was dreading, or when I needed to do a household chore I didn’t want to do. Telling my mind to look for FUN while singing a Broadway tune to myself just crumples my barriers.

Give it a try.  It costs you nothing! And… it could change your life a LOT.

If you feel like sharing, write to me at TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

The Power of Words – FUN – MORE!

People sometimes write to me when I tell them about using the “word vehicle” FUN. They say – “That’s very nice, Akaisha, but I have just received a diagnosis” or “I have a medical procedure to go through – how can I have FUN with staring this in the face?”

I do understand.

Singing the word “Fun” to a favorite show tune or saying the word “Fun” throughout the day can be a great reminder that we can break away from fear and stress, even for just a little bit.

I am very excited to share this video with you (hope it comes through) that illustrates this “having Fun” even in the hospital with other patients and nurses.

Take a look! Click on the video image below to enjoy!


Fun is a powerful word.  Fun to read about Fun.  I will practice Fun more often and I am sure I will reap the benefits of Fun.


One of the best ideas I’ve seen.  I will share it with many, and even try to sing some FUN when I can’t sleep.  xo


What a great story!  Love, love love it!  As we talked earlier, words are very important.


One last bit of FUN on this topic — Watch the video below for a breath of fresh air. What a GREAT laugh this man has!

Laugh along, change your day!

What a great story on words AND the videos were fantastic.  You are such an inspiration!   Thanks for sharing.


Posted in Adding Pizzazz to Your Life, Heart Song, Humor, The Power of Words | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Is Your Mind Open or Closed?

This cartoon is a reminder to keep our minds open to new ideas.

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What a useful perspective from Gregg Braden

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