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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 Part 3

(Click here to read Part 1, Part 2)

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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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 smiling, 3 decades later, still enjoying their financial freedom width=

Billy and Akaisha almost 3 decades later still enjoying their financial freedom!

CHAPTER 3

So there I was, days before I was to leave California for a tiny island in the Caribbean, sitting in front of the TV watching the news on The Gulf War. Talking heads discussed with other talking heads how frightening things were and what a mess our country was in.

There was commotion in my own private world too Ė my parents, my sisters, my friends were all saying I should wait. Just wait it out until the war was over.

And when would THAT be? I wondered to myselfÖ

The Fork in the road was in front of me and I had to make a decision. Should I stay or should I go?

To say this disruption in our plans to retire early and travel had not been planned was an understatement. At this point, neither the path of going or staying was guaranteed and both scenarios looked rocky.

 

Life lessons learned

Billy and I both expected to come up against challenges on this new course in life that we were taking, itís just that neither of us expected it to happen with such immediacy or so early in our journey. I guess thatís why itís called a surprise.

We had already come up against lessons like dealing with group opinion and facing peer pressure. We had encountered people telling us that leaving the conventional working world couldnít be done successfully and that we didnít have enough money.

My motor had been going in one direction and it wasnít so much that I had burned my bridges, but most of the planks had been packed.

The next lesson meeting me eye-to-eye was; Did I have enough faith in myself Ė or ourselves Ė to trust that we could figure it out?

No matter how many ducks we have in a row, the unexpected is just that. I think itís at these times in our lives that we must calm the noise, grab whatever it is we have inside that we call strength, belief, guts or self-trust - and move on into the unknown.

The love of my life

This was the lesson before me.

That being said, Billy has always been the love of my life. We have had chemistry for business pursuits, life adventures and for our personal relationship. The two of us together cover enough bases in life that Ė even though I was exhausted and fearful - I chose to move into the nameless, faceless, unmapped area of the future and take my chances.

Waiting on the dock

The flights from California to Florida were long plus I took another flight to the island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. Next I had to board a water taxi that took 30 minutes to take me from St. Kitts to the tiny sister island of Nevis, where Billy met me on the wobbly dock.

My few pieces of luggage were schlepped up from the water taxi and placed into a dusty, open-air rickety jeep. Billy made sure we arrived at our new place of residence Ė a 4 bedroom, 2 bath house that belonged to the Mayorís brother. Painted white on the outside, the front terrace was a blistering orange. When I walked up the steps and turned around, I had a view of 3 islands.

Sounds fabulous, right?

Except we werenít renting the house romantically by ourselves, we shared it with other employees of the Four Seasons. Although we were only 38, most of the other employees were in their 20ís and seemed like spoiled kids to us.

 

The importance of housing

Ours was the smallest bedroom in the house but we had the privacy of our own bathroom, which was a plus. There were donkeys tied up right outside our bedroom window and they brayed at sunrise each morning to wake us up. And because the back door of the house opened to the sugar cane fields of Nevisí jungle, we had cane spiders coming in to say hello from time to time.

These rust-colored, hairy spiders were the size of my fist and they had the unique talent of being able to jump a couple of feet of distance at a time!

This hadnít been what I expected.

But I was learning another lesson which we would modify to perfection with the more practice we had and that is Ė Manage your housing costs and you can live just about anywhere in the world.

Buck up and quit complaining

The cost of housing is one of the biggest expenses in any household. While this particular setup might not have been my first choice, our portion of the rent was affordable and we had spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean from the front porch and of Nevisí volcano from the back. We had color TV, ceiling fans, all kitchen appliances, maid service and hot water in the showers.

A short walk to the end of the street brought us to cheap public transport and we could go anywhere on the island for less than a dollar.

Why was I complaining?

Looking back, we had a spectacular setup. I was simply shell-shocked from the massive changes to my personal life that I had gone through and I had yet to train my eyes to see the advantages of my surroundings.

If you are considering changing your conventional lifestyle to one of world travel and with few possessions, give yourself time to adjust. We went from our super-speed, super-stressed lives to ones of a crawling pace. And, at the time, itís just what we needed in order to slow down.

There were plenty of times along the road where we could have given up, could have dissed our dreams and settled for a life that did not make our hearts sing. But instead, we followed our inner push to do something different.

In 1991, everyone we knew said it couldnít be done, but we werenít designing their dream, we were creating ours. And, after almost three decades of world travel, we are still here.

Editorís note: Our adventure did not end here on the tropical island of Nevis where we ate lobster salad sandwiches on the beach for lunch, dove the crystal clear waters and watched dazzling sunsets while sipping coconut rum. We caught a triple master sailing ship, slept in the Captainís quarters and sailed south to Grenada. From there we headed on to Venezuela and spent another month on the island of Isla de Margarita.

We made a surprise visit home to spend time with family and friends, then our next adventure was journeying through the western United States. So we purchased a 5th wheel travel trailer and a 1Ton pickup. For the next two-plus years we went from deserts to mountains to the rugged Pacific Coast and back again Ė but thatís another story!

For more information and stories about our travels, see our Travel Stories Page.

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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