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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.

Paul and Vicki Terhorst Interview Update

We met up again with Paul and Vicki Terhorst in the northern city of Chiang Mai, Thailand on our latest trip to Asia, and there was lots of catching up to do. The world has changed, and we have all added a few years onto our count, bringing in different concerns so we asked them if they would mind doing an update interview.

Fantastically, they said yes.

When we last interviewed Paul and Vicki Terhorst in 2007, they owned property and a home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some people were very taken aback that the Terhorsts, who are perpetual travelers, would purchase property and build a home. But the desire to own a domicile became a priority at a certain point in their lives and now they have since sold it.

Here is our interview with Paul and Vicki Terhorst:

Paul and Vicki Terhorst in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Retire Early Lifestyle: How long did you own your home, and why did you decide to sell?

Paul and Vicki Terhorst: We bought about two acres of land in March of 2005 in a gated community of weekend homes in the countryside near Buenos Aires. A year later our custom-designed, rustic country home was ready for us.  We sold in 2012, mainly because of very high cost of living and crime rates in Argentina. We felt we could have put up with either high crime or high cost, but not both. Because of recent peso devaluations the cost of living has fallen a bit, but in retrospect we sold at the right time. 

Owning a domicile never became a priority in 2005. Rather, we saw a real estate opportunity and took it. In the end fussing with a home proved more trouble than it was worth. 

 

REL: You and Vicki retired at the age of 35. How long have you been retired now? 

P&V: We just turned 65, so it's been 30 years. We now have Medicare, which reduces the risk of traveling to the USA.  But we still plan to do routine medical stuff abroad, and pay out of pocket. 

REL: Other than the years when you owned your home, you still pretty much maintained a perpetual traveling schedule, even visiting China and India. Have you slowed down much? Where are your favorite countries to live and why? 

The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement, 3rd Edition

P&V: Our home in Argentina was a summer, vacation home with no heating. We only lived in the house 4 to 6 months a year. One year we skipped our regular visit to Argentina altogether. So, even when we had a home we considered ourselves to be PTs.

Overall, we haven't slowed down much, but realistically we figure we have only another ten more years or so on the road. 

We're most interested in Europe these days, especially Eastern Europe. Think Lviv, in Ukraine, or western Romania, perhaps Bulgaria on the Black Sea. And we’ll continue to visit Chiang Mai on a regular basis.

REL: Thailand has just recently gone through its 18th coup. Were you in Thailand at this time and were you concerned for your personal safety? 

P&V: Yes, we were in Thailand, but the coup was a non-event for us. Over the years in Thailand we’ve lived here under military rule, appointed rule, democracy, caretaker government, and now martial law and another coup. For those expats and Thai citizens without a political agenda, life goes on pretty much as before. We’ve experienced coups in other countries too and like most expats, we're nervous about having fewer rights. But safety has never been an issue for us. In all cases we stay away from protest sites and hope airports stay open.

REL: As we age, there are particular issues that take the forefront, such as our own longevity, having enough cash to last our lifespan and long term care should we need it.

As perpetual travelers, do you have a plan should you need this type of long term care and are unable to travel any longer? 

P&V: Wherever we are when our bodies break down, that's probably where we'll settle in.  We'll pay out-of-pocket for long-term or temporary care. 

REL: We notice that you are inclined to spend a little more money for comfort in travel these days. Is it a worry for you to be tapping into your nest egg? Are you concerned more about running out of time or running out of money?

P&V: We're running out of time, no question. We have enough money, provided we refrain from wasting it to support fixed assets (houses, cars). We want our assets (stocks) to work for us. 

REL: Do you still hold fairly close to the $50 a day rule as written in your book, Cashing in on the American Dream, How to Retire at 35? With all of your travel are you still living on less than 30K per year?

P&V: Our $50 rule excluded plane tickets and taxes. As a guess we spend a bit more than $50 a day, but we don't track it. Instead, we look at our net worth. Our goal is to have our net worth go up by inflation every year. We easily make our goal most years. 

Looking at inflation, the $50-a-day rule when we retired in 1984 now comes out to $100 a day. These days, 2014, we still live on $50 a day in SE Asia but it’s much tougher to do so when we travel through Europe or South America.

Paul and Vicki in Lviv, Ukraine

REL: Back when we interviewed you in 2007 you were heavily invested in equities with a 95% allocation. You must have been hit hard by the 2008 crash. Have you since changed your positions to a more conservative one?  

P&V: We're still all stocks, all the time. We got whacked by the 2008 crash, but we've lived through crashes before. We figure the worst that can happen is we move to a low-cost part of the world, like Southeast Asia, and stay there. We could continue to live very well. 

My advice when the next crash comes:  do nothing at all, just wait it out. We recovered from the 2008 crash by 2010. 

REL: We asked you before for your advice for someone considering your type of lifestyle. Is there anything you would like to add given the economics and the world changes that have transpired? 

 

P&V: We figure the world has pretty much moved our way over the past thirty years. Airfares have come way down, countries like China and Vietnam have opened up, ATMs make accessing cash easier, AirBNB gives us more housing options, and as our friends get older they have more time to play. Email, online banking, and Expedia have dramatically improved life on the road. We're frankly puzzled why so many people over fifty, with plenty of money, continue to work for their assets, and stay put, and otherwise stick to traditional ways, when the world around us has changed so much. 

The Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices

Here's a travel tip: take along an extension cord. We travel light, with carry on luggage only. So adding a piece of equipment requires a major decision. But we've been carrying around a lightweight, muti-socket extension cord. With the cord we need only one adaptor to fit a local plug outlet, and we crawl under the bed to find that outlet one time only. Once set up we're assured of a convenient place to plug in computer, tablet, phone, immersion heater, etc. 

REL: We would like to thank Paul and Vicki Terhorst for taking the time to answer our questions and to share their lives with our Readers. Thanks!

To read more interviews with Expats, Early Retirees and Interesting Characters, 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 and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, 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.

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