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.
Road to Retirement
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
We have been Car Free
for Six Years
We baby boomers have acquired
a reputation for altering anything we touch. We have been described as a
consumer market to be tapped into by those wanting to profit from our seemingly
endless appetites for consumption. "Having it all" was a mantra of our age
group, one we wore with pride. We displayed our wealth in all of the accepted
Some, however, found that "having it all" has developed into a sort of golden
noose that keeps them stuck working and paying bills with no end in sight. The
American middle class has been one of the most affluent groups of people ever,
even with the humbling effects of those collapses in the housing and
financial markets some time back. Yet we kept moving the goalposts which marked our satisfaction
level, and instead of having a greater sense of fulfillment, many continue to
Some of us, because of our spending choices,
have not saved enough to retire and
maintain the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.
Or so we think.
Why not pare down
a consumer-based manner of living and choose simplicity
instead? Opting for an uncomplicated life doesn't mean hardship or lack. More
accurately, it reflects the efficiency of a well-oiled machine. There is nothing
shameful in choosing value over indulgence, shopping thoughtfully and with
intention instead of on impulse.
For some, this movement to simplification can be especially tough. But if your
wishes don't fit your paycheck, why not reconsider the unnecessary stress that
these desires are placing on your life? How many more clothes can you squeeze
into your closet? Do you really need 200 TV stations? Can you get by with
one car rather than
You've got too much stuff!
For those considering
independence, choosing value and covering the basics is an
attractive option. Recent studies suggest that, in the long run, experiences
make people happier than possessions. The initial joy of acquiring something
new, such as a car, fades over time as we become used to seeing it every day.
Experiences continue to
provide happiness through memories and re-telling tales
for years into the future.
Why don't we focus on gaining more satisfaction out of our lives, instead of
buying more things? One reason comes from our consumer culture. Everything from
our cereal boxes in the morning to the evening movie we watch on our flat-screen
TVs all shout out to us of things we "need to have."
Your happiness is more important than that. More importantly, being open to
alternatives in your future retirement lifestyle could even pay dividends in
your current life as well.
A simple plan: take control
Many of us are swimming in a sea of debt. You may feel like you can barely
stay afloat, let alone get back to shore.
But try this experiment: For the next 30 days,
record where you spend every
penny. No cheating. No saying, "Oh, that coffee doesn't count." Then take a hard
look at where your month's income has gone. If you can get into this habit every
day, you'll soon see how much unnecessary stuff you buy, and you'll think twice
before wasting your money in the future.
This one habit can bring your dream of retirement closer to you by years.
So you want to be a millionaire?
Where you cut expenses is up to you. For instance, we have good friends who have
not owned a vehicle for 30 years. We figure they have saved well over $250,000
throughout this period in auto expenses -- even after considering the costs of
public transportation and the occasional car rental. Based on
AAA average annual car costs are $9000. That amount invested in the
S&P 500 Index over
that time frame is worth well over one million dollars.
Stuff, which ultimately gives little meaning to life, is a sinkhole on your road
to financial independence. It's time to get yourself back onto a simpler path to
About the Authors