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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.

Doug Goldstein Interviews Billy and Akaisha

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We were interviewed by Doug Goldstein from The Goldstein on Gelt Radio Show in Israel!

We would like to thank Doug for his time, and also for his interest in our story of financial independence.

Enjoy this fun and informative interview below:

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli's success in the brokerage and restaurant businesses gave them the opportunity to retire at the relatively young age of 38. In this interview, the couple share their tips and insights on early retirement.

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, financially independent world travelers

Douglas Goldstein: Iím very excited to be talking to Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, who are in Guatemala right now. They retired there several years ago. I guess the first question is, why did you retire so young?

Why Did Billy and Akaisha Retire so Young?

Akaisha Kaderli: Billy and I were working so many hours a week. We put in 60-, 80-hour work weeks, and we werenít really seeing each other very much, and our relationship started to suffer. Billy came up with this idea that we could possibly retire on our investments and not have to work at all. Instead, we could travel the world. I thought it was a crackpot idea, but he was pretty convincing. We took about two years to plan it all out, and then yanked the chain and left.

Douglas Goldstein: At that point, how many years were you married?

Akaisha Kaderli: A dozen or 15.

Douglas Goldstein: You knew by that time that he wasnít actually a crackpot?

Akaisha Kaderli: No, heís a genius. He really is.

Billy Kaderli, forward thinking financial investor making the complex understandable

Douglas Goldstein: Billy, you were actually a Wall Street guy. You knew about investing, and Iím trusting you still do know about investing. You were a branch manager for a major brokerage firm at the time. What were you thinking in terms of how you would structure your investments? What age was it that you retired?

Billy Kaderli: We retired when we were 38 years old.

Douglas Goldstein: How did you think youíd structure your investments to go from 38 till the end?

How the Kaderlis Structured Their Investments

Billy Kaderli: Right at the end of my career, I was learning about no-load mutual funds and low-expense index funds, so we started pouring everything we could into the S&P 500 at that time; the S&P 500 Index. This was in a mutual fund at that time. Today, thereís ETFs that I use, like SPY, that are just easier for me. I did a lot of projections on this and I figured out what weíd been making per year on the market, and I figured if we could live on 3% to 4% of that, and allow 3% to 4% of that for inflation, we were covered.

Douglas Goldstein: Thatís the total of 6% to 8% you thought youíd make in the market?

Billy Kaderli: Pretty much so. On the day we retired, the S&P 500 closed at 312.49. Today what is it? 2600 and something; I donít even know. Itís a 8.27% return annually, plus a couple percent for dividends, so we picked up at 10% per year just being in the S&P 500.

Douglas Goldstein: Youíre richer today than when you retired. How many years ago was that?

Billy Kaderli: Yes, quite a bit more and much more financially stable, and thatís ahead of inflation and spending.

 

Douglas Goldstein: When you started, you were 38? Iím a little bit older than 38 now, too, but Iíve seen a few crashes in the market. I wouldnít be prepared to retire now. I would just say, ďAt this point, in order to retire at a young age, I need to put a lot of money into the stock market,Ē but Iíd be afraid of a major collapse. How did you deal with that fear?

Dealing with the Fear of a Stock Market Crash

Billy Kaderli: When I was working as a broker, I went through the 1987 crash and I saw how that came back. Also, since we retired, weíve gone through the 1999 crash, the 2000 Y2K issues and then the 2008 and 2009 financial mess. You just got to kind of gut it up a bit; Iím getting better at gutting it up. Itís not easy, I can tell you that. I always looked at it as if there was a 50% correction in the market, could I still handle it? Could we survive? The answer has always been yes. Thatís the way I looked at this thing, that I could handle a 50% drop and knowing that itís not going to last down there, knowing that this is going to be a temporary situation. Now, ďtemporaryĒ could be six months to a year. I donít know.

Douglas Goldstein: Or it could even be longer. No one knows. What was your asset allocation when you started? When you were young?

Billy Kaderli: A hundred percent long in the S&P 500.

Douglas Goldstein: Wow! Today?

Billy embracing life in Panajachel, Guatemala

Billy Kaderli: Today weíre about 60% long, and itís a little bit more diversified. We own SPY, which is the S&P 500, ETFs, VTI, a DVY dividend play on the DOW, and a couple of other smaller positions.

Douglas Goldstein: Whatís the 40%?

Billy Kaderli: Weíre about 60% long right at the moment. Iíd like to increase it. I, like everybody else, seem to be waiting for a dip. We havenít had one, since February about a couple of years ago, and since then, the markets have gone up 34%.

Douglas Goldstein: Got it. The 40% that youíve got is that youíre sitting in cash waiting to be deployed?

Billy Kaderli: Yes.

Douglas Goldstein: Interesting. Wow!

Billy Kaderli: Iím nervous about the bonds market; the Fed is raising interest rates, so Iíve got a preferred ETF called a PFF, and it pays around 6%. It pays monthly - not 6% a month, but 6% annually. My point is that Iím using that as a money market substitute for the time being, but Iím ready to pull the trigger on that thing as soon as I see some trouble, like, if the Fed starts raising rates too fast. So far, theyíve telegraphed everything and the marketís been able to absorb them, so Iím watching to increase our equity exposure at some point.

Douglas Goldstein: You retired and put all your money into the stock market. I guess you had a big prayer and hoped it would work out. Then what did you do? What was the next thing you did the next day?

Billy Kaderli: The next day we went to Nevis, West Indies, in the Caribbean. I donít know if youíve ever been to the Caribbean, but itís a very laid back, slow-living, slow-moving place. I wanted to go someplace where Iíd hit a wall. I didnít want to be tempted or to get back into the business, because Iíve seen other guys retire and then six months later theyíre being asked to do something else, and I didnít want that. I wanted to go down and live the island life, so we lived six months on Nevis. I always had a saying that on Nevis, if you want to order a hamburger today, youíd better order it yesterday because thatís how slow it is.

Douglas Goldstein: That is very slow. Letís talk about other things that are slow, because you mentioned something before, in terms of interest rates. You said you think that they may be pushed up a little bit by the Fed, sort of in a slow but announced way, meaning the Fed is announcing their intentions and then theyíre doing it. As such, you mentioned that you were happy to have money in a preferred stock fund. You mentioned a PFF. A preferred stock fund normally acts very much like a long-term bond fund in terms of how it reacts to interest rates. First off, can you explain that and then explain why youíre not really worried about that?

Billy Kaderli: Well, I didnít say I wasnít worried about it.

Douglas Goldstein: Well, why donít you say that now?

ETF and PFF Analysis

Billy Kaderli: It does act like a long-term bond and thatís why Iím concerned about it, but we were sitting in cash for a while and I was looking for some money market substitute, and I discovered PFF. Since it pays on a monthly basis, thereís cash-flow. So I thought I would give that a shot to put a portion of our cash investments into it. I monitor it every day and if it starts to slide, Iíll be happy to get out. For the year so far, I donít know, Iím up about 5% or 6% in it, so thatís the dividend plus the gain.

Douglas Goldstein: Youíre just saying itís a ďso far so good modelĒ and youíre prepared to jump ship as soon as it no longer looks good to you?

Billy Kaderli: On that position yes. On our index funds no, I wouldnít touch them.

 

Douglas Goldstein: Those are just for long-term and you get some dividends out of it. Do you use only dividend income now to live, or do you also look at the total return and you might sell off positions in order to raise capital to cover expenses?

Billy Kaderli: We used to sell off positions from the total return, but as weíve aged (weíre 65 now) we're drawing Social Security. Between dividends and Social Security we make up more than enough of our spending.

Douglas Goldstein: How much do you get for Social Security since you didnít actually work till 65 like most people do?

Social Security Policy

Billy Kaderli: Well, the U.S. rules for Social Security are that you need 40 quarters, so if you worked for 40 quarters, then you make $600 in a quarter or something like that. You qualify for Social Security.

Douglas Goldstein: Are you just making the minimum amount?

Billy Kaderli: No, because I made a pretty good salary. In the case where you make a pretty good salary, I donít know if weíre average or above average, or what it is, but we donít make the maximum that people make today.

Douglas Goldstein: Got it.

Billy Kaderli: We stopped working 28 years ago.

Billy riding in the back of a flete taxi with native Mayans, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Douglas Goldstein: Yes. At the moment, your two income sources are Social Security and drawing dividends from your portfolio?

Billy Kaderli: Correct. We even wrote a piece on our website. I came up with this idea on how to double your Social Security, and thatís by buying dividend growth stocks so that your dividends can match your Social Security payment. Now, all of a sudden, youíve got twice as much Social Security coming in. If you start this when youíre young and dividend into your investments, you can amass quite a dividend portfolio.

Douglas Goldstein: Have you met someone today whoís 38 years old who said, ďYou know, Iíve been thinking of doing what you didĒ? You would presumably ask him, ďWell, how much money do you have?Ē because that would be the test to see whether he could actually retire. How much money do you think someone, a 38-year-old today, would need to retire and then live like you for the rest of his life?

How Much Money Would a 38-Year-Old Need to Retire

Billy Kaderli: I would say very comfortably on a million. We did it with half of that, but that was, like I said, many years ago. Almost three decades ago now.

Douglas Goldstein: Youíve been living outside the United States the whole time?

Billy Kaderli: No, we have a residence in Arizona.

 

Douglas Goldstein: Oh, no kidding. How much time do you spend in the U.S.? I apologize because all along I was thinking this whole model works if youíre willing to move to a a really low-priced jurisdiction, but thatís not the case.

Billy Kaderli: Well, yes and no. It works better in this type of situation. Weíve spent a lot of time in Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, and Guatemala in the last few years.

Douglas Goldstein: Can someone do this in America if someone doesnít actually want to leave?

Billy Kaderli: Yes, for sure. We know people who are doing it.

Billy and Akaisha - The joy of being together for decades!

Akaisha Kaderli: In Arizona, and the situation that we were living there was one of our lower costs of living for the year. We live in an active adult community; itís a resort and so we had social outlets, swimming pools, and workout rooms, and that sort of thing. We own our little manufactured home, and food prices are good and all that sort of thing. It was one of our lower prices of living anywhere in the world.

Douglas Goldstein: When youíre travelling and overseeing this, do you have to spend a lot of time dealing with your investments or itís just set on autopilot? You have your 60, 40 split. If something changes, youíll make an adjustment and then you just get on with your life?

Billy Kaderli: The short answer is no, because I was in the business, as you know, and so itís a hobby to me.

Douglas Goldstein: Sure.

Billy Kaderli: I like to stay abreast of whatís going on, because in the morning I have coffee with guys and we all BS about everything. I try to steer conversations to financial topics, and it really surprises me how poorly educated these guys are. They are international. Theyíre Australians, Germans, Dutch, Americans, and Canadians. It just surprises me how little financial literacy they have.

Douglas Goldstein: But luckilyÖ

Billy Kaderli: Luckily, theyíre where they are.

Douglas Goldstein: Yes, I wanted to say luckily, thereís a way for them to learn about it. In the last few seconds, tell us how can people follow you and follow your work?

How to Follow Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy Kaderli: From my website www.retireearlylifestyle.com . We answer all correspondence as soon as we can get to it, and we have a free newsletter that you can subscribe to. Thatís right on our homepage. Feel free to drop us a line. Weíd be happy to help in any way we can.

Douglas Goldstein: Billy and Arkaisha Kaderli, thanks so much for taking the time.

Akaisha Kaderli: Thank you.

Billy Kaderli: Thank you Doug.

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 RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person Ė the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesnít want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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