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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Ole Mexico
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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A climate of fear and panic has seized our nation and has affected how we look out at the world. What we used to know as dependable and true has dissolved into chaos, and transfixed US citizens are glued to their TV screens eager to find out the latest debacle either politically, financially or internationally.

Is it no longer safe to take a trip to Mexico? Let's take a look.

Family time at Lake Chapala

Family time at Lake Chapala

Many of our readers have written to us asking about safety conditions in the Land of Mananas. News reports fill the TV screen warning would-be travelers not to venture into the nation south of our border due to horrendous drug violence, kidnappings and who knows what else.

Cities such as Juarez, Nogales and Tijuana are plagued with almost daily aggression between drug gangs and Police. Tourists understandably do not want to be caught in the crossfire. The U.S. Department of State has issued strong warnings against several locations for annual college spring break trips to Mexico. “Know before you go!” is good advice.


Billy and I have been spending time in Chapala, Mexico with various trips traveling by bus to Puerto Vallarta, Chacala Beach and through Oaxaca state plus 600 miles up the western coast. No doubt that what appears as naiveté bordering on simple mindedness has some of our readers scratching their heads.

We have been living in and traveling through Mexico since the 1970‘s. There have been captivating Colonial Colonial cities, dazzling beaches, dusty and downtrodden border towns, upscale expatriate enclaves, seemingly endless mountains, lakes, and deserts. We have seen native peoples weaving baskets and rugs, and have experienced inept government bureaucracy. From staying in resort hotels to eating street foods I would say we have a good bit of direct involvement and first hand observation.

Simple outdoor restaurant in Cancun

Simple outdoor restaurant in Cancun

But do we know the future? Do we know what you should do? Of course not.

Fear versus Caution: Know the Difference.

A few years ago I read a book by Gavin de Becker called The Gift of Fear.

Mr. De Becker takes the position that violence isn’t just "random" and that clues and access to information which can prevent us from becoming a victim is available to us beforehand. He explains that caution is different than fear, with fear actually being a gift that can save our lives. Gut instinct is much different than an over-active imagination.

The information in this book is good, solid advice to use anywhere, including your own home town.

A very high percentage of victims of violence will admit that they knew "something wasn’t right" or that they felt strangely before violence struck. They shushed themselves up and went ahead into the dangerous situation anyway. In other words, we as human animals "know" but often don't take our warning signs seriously.

Violence doesn’t normally happen to someone who looks confident, or appears to know where they are going and walks with a purpose. Perpetrators look for someone who is distracted or lost, seems weak, has their purse, money bag or belongings helter-skelter while they are looking at a map. They could have their hands full and generally they appear worried or look down at the sidewalk when they walk. Criminals seek the weak not the strong.

Ancient Pyramid in Chich'en Itza

Ancient Pyramid in Chich'en Itza

If you are lost or trying to get your bearings, step inside a building and gather yourself, then go back onto the street.

Distraction or desperation brings with it a high probability for trouble. Walk confidently and with a destination in mind. Give the impression of being self-possessed when you are traveling and walking around in unfamiliar locations.

Desperados don't want trouble, they want an easy take.




Common Sense Rules the Day

In most situations, using common sense is … well… common sense.

Keep a low profile, avoid being loud or argumentative, and if you meet friends at a bar, don’t get so looped that you can’t find your way back home. Too much alcohol consumption contributes to situations we call "leaving your brains at the border." Keep a certain "situational awareness" about yourself at all times.

When street or beach vendors ask politely "Where are you from? Where are you staying? Where did you have dinner?" realize that they want to know this information for a reason. Vendors have years of experience sizing up tourists in order to estimate what price they might be able to extract from you for their goods - they are not "just being friendly". When you divulge too much information about yourself, your whereabouts and what kind of money you may be carrying, you are clearly asking for trouble.

If you travel to Mexico dripping of jewels, yielding loads of cash, staying in high end resorts with a false sense of security, brandishing an attitude and generally not aware of the impression you are giving to poorer locals, you are setting yourself up to be a target for theft or worse.

Be willing to use all of your abilities -- the rational, conscious mind as well as the subconscious mind which picks up hundreds of clues and processes information more quickly than the rational mind is able to do.

Do not be taken in by a stranger in strange circumstances. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck. Politely and quickly disengage yourself from the situation and get out of harm’s way.

Centuries Old Santo Domingo Cathedral, Oaxaca

Centuries old Santo Domingo Cathedral, Oaxaca

Put Caution Into Perspective.

No one is telling you to throw caution to the wind. On the other hand, if you never leave your 10 mile radius of daily travel in your home town, you will be missing out on a whole lot of adventurous opportunities. If you knew how dangerous it is to drive a car, and how many deaths a year are related to motor vehicles, you might not go to the grocery store. But more than likely most of you drive somewhere every week. Do you realize you are taking your life in your hands by doing this?

Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Yet you make those judgments every day with confidence. You put things into perspective, you trust your abilities and you go on living your life. Violence and the unexpected can happen anywhere, including our own home cities like Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, Winnipeg or Chicago. Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the United States and yet people travel there daily.




Going to Mexico or not are two sides of the same coin. Some harbor angst about the Mexican side of the border and would never take the chance of visiting. Then there are those who gleefully trade their homes and the familiar surroundings in Canada or the US for a new lifestyle with tropical sunshine and warm breezes.

Whether you decide to go to Ole Mexico is up to you. But if you live too cautiously, you could miss out on life enhancing adventures, something we're not ready to give up.

For more stories and photos of Mexico, click here

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

Retire 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.

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