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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.

Transitioning to Retirement

A Remarkable Story

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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(Click here to read Part 2, Part 3)

Has your transition to retirement gone smoothly? Did you meet unexpected obstacles along the way? If so, how did you handle those? Did you move through them, take a different turn, or stop?

Our first days into retirement absolutely did NOT go smoothly. But now it's a remarkable story we tell to others along that same path. Enjoy our narrative below of Our First 200 Days

Billy and Akaisha enjoying their freedom in Thailand, sitting at a table with rice paddy in the background

Billy and Akaisha in Thailand enjoying their freedom

Retire Early?

It was January, 1991, the Gulf War had just started and there was no word for what we were planning to do. In fact, the road we were taking was a barely visible, unmarked trail. Some people thought we were crazy to put our financial and social lives in danger like this. Others just looked at us with pity, knowing we’d be back in a few months from our vacation with our tails between our legs, begging for re-entry into the world we seemed so willing to chuck for the sake of adventure.

Even though Billy and I both had trepidation over this decision to leave the conventional working world, and venture out on a lifestyle of travel, we had taken 2 years to plan this out. We had to be ready. And if we weren’t, well, we’d figure it out somehow along the way.

We had been defying convention all our lives - from purchasing our restaurant with no money down to Billy becoming a stockbroker - people told us “It can’t be done.” It wasn’t so much that we were trying to prove them wrong, but looking back, it did add to the fun of it.

How it all started

Let me back up a bit.

 

Billy was a trained French Chef and he and I owned a successful California-French restaurant in Central California for a decade. It was located near the yacht harbor, minutes from the beach and at the time, was considered to be one of the finest in our tourist beach town.

We were so successful that 5 years into our ownership of this culinary enterprise, my business-minded husband was recruited by a financial brokerage house and offered a job he could not refuse. We decided that he would become a fully vested member of Wall Street and I would run the restaurant in his absence.

Our career choices were never easy, but now, with Billy’s days tied to the New York Stock Exchange, my schedule was at 180 degrees from his. I worked nights, weekends and holidays, and due to the 3 hour time difference from New York to California, he was off at 1:00 PM in the afternoon and worked Monday through Friday.

Trouble in paradise

The long and short of it – Stress became super stress and we were like passing ships in the night.

Something had to change.

Billy has always been a numbers guy, and he came to me one day with this outrageous plan. We’d quit our jobs and travel the world!

Um. Yeah.

No, really, he insisted.

But what about our house? My family? What would we do for money? How could we afford it? (And what about the life I had been planning – it surely wasn’t this!)

So what’s the plan, Stan?

Billy had it all organized. His idea was that we would take 2 years to track what we were spending on ourselves – minus the cost of working. We would subtract the expenses of dry cleaning, lunches out, high priced vacations, our gardening and maid services, the price of work clothing and other employment costs.

He looked at what we were spending for the past few years and said if we could live comfortably on this amount for the next 2 years – while we were still employed – then we could do it for real.

Or something like that.

Whaaat?

We were 36 years old and I figured this plan would buy us 2 more years and besides, maybe he would forget about it.

We sold the restaurant and I took a day job – an attempt to revitalize romance and place me on the same working schedule as he was. Then we fired our lawn and housecleaning services and we started to do our own laundry, mow the lawn and clean our own house again. We packed our lunches and eased up on expensive wines and lattes. Could we be comfortable in this sort of lifestyle long term?

In the old days…

The most difficult part of this whole process was that there was no support system in place for “professional vagabonds.” The words “Location Independent Living” hadn’t been invented yet, nor had email, electronic bank transfers, safe withdrawal rates, downloadable books or music.

I mean, think about it.

When we finally cut loose and began to travel, we wrote letters to family from countries abroad in long hand, addressed them, put a stamp on them and dropped them inside the nearest dusty post office. A month or two later, our family received them. Phone calls cost $2 a minute from Mexico and a quick half-an hour chat cost $60 bucks.

Hefty price to say hello.

We prepaid our credit cards in advance so that we could use them at all… no point in trying to receive our statements in St. Somewhere. We were “forced” to return to the States during tax time (there was no e-filing at that point), or have our accountant be our proxy and sign for us.

Our camera was an old Nikon SLR camera with interchangeable lenses, all of which weighed a TON. Books and magazines in English were worth their weight in gold and I found myself hungry for copies of Cosmopolitan or Vanity Fair that were 2 and 3 years old!

 

These days

That was 28 years ago, and today the choice to become financially independent and live a lifestyle of travel is So. Much. Easier. We utilize email, Skype and social media to keep in touch with friends and family. Photos are digital and are kept on a hard drive or up in the cloud. Ninety-nine percent of our bills and financial transactions are done online with the click of a key. The rest we can view digitally from anywhere in the world. We can get our news in an instant with 24/7 worldwide coverage. We download movies, take online courses, and order music or books from Amazon or from hundreds of businesses who offer what we are looking for. 

Our first computer to run our restaurant was an Apple 2e, cost nearly $4,000, had 64kb of memory on a floppy disc and took over the entire desk. Today we each have our netbooks for a fraction of that cost, with Gigabytes worth of memory and they fit into our day pack.

Would you like to live a traveling lifestyle like this?

We’ll tell you how in our next chapter…

(to read Part 2, click here)

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 Adventurer’s 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 – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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