Retire Early Lifestyle
Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler

 

Retire Early Lifestyle Blog 

Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact

Advertise on RetireEarlyLifestyle.com info here

RetireEarlyLifestyle Logo RetireEarlyLifestyle inspirational photo

In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Interview with All Options Considered

Ali and Alison Walker

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

We at Retire Early Lifestyle like to share with you the stories of Captivating Characters. Below you will find another success story of a journey to financial independence and personal satisfaction. Enjoy our interview with World Travelers, Ali and Alison Walker.

Allison and Ali in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Allison and Ali in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

REL: Could you tell us a little about yourselves? What type of work you did, what your life consisted of before FIRE?

Ali and Allison of All Options Considered: We’re both originally from California, Ali from Northern California and Alison from Southern California. We each migrated to Seattle during our careers which is where we met in 2004. Ali spent her career in marketing and business development for firms that specialized in architecture, engineering, and environmental science. Alison spent her career in the print industry managing image retouching of high-end catalogs for numerous well-known retail companies. We retired in 2018 when Ali was 44 and Alison was 54 years old.

REL: When did you start your journey to Financial Independence? What was your motivation? Were you both always on the same page with this goal?

AOC: During our careers we were very focused on saving money and learning about passive income generation. We have always been on the same page, though we often see things from different angles and make decisions differently. We started managing our own investments in 2005 and we really enjoyed soaking up as much money related content as possible from books and podcasts, investing classes, and the women’s investment club we joined together. Ultimately we both just needed time to build our confidence and stop worrying about having enough money. Our motivation for reaching financial independence was to spend more time with each other and more time traveling, reading, walking, cooking, watching movies, and enjoying life.

 

 

 

 

REL: Did you ever think it was possible to live a different lifestyle other than the conventional one? What turned the light on for you to think outside of box?

AOC: Alison’s aunt was a great source of inspiration for us in terms of financial independence. She retired early when she was 42 years old and designed a lifestyle that was perfect for her. She taught us that financial independence was possible, and she also taught us that everyone’s retirement lifestyle can and should be unique. Designing our own perfect lifestyle took a long time because our jobs were a huge distraction.

During our careers the idea of leaving work for more than a few days seemed like a challenge so we didn’t take very much time off for ourselves. We finally took our first big vacation in 2014 and went to Europe, and that’s when we fell in love with the idea of travel and really started to get serious about financial independence. Travel helped us see past our career focused lives and imagine life after retirement, which is why we spent our first two years after FIRE traveling internationally full time as nomads.

Isle of Wight, England

Isle of Wight, England

REL: Would you consider yourselves to be Financially Independent? Do you consider passion projects or side jobs to supplement your lifestyle?

AOC: Yes, we are financially independent. At this point we don’t have paychecks or other forms of new income to save or invest, and it’s amazing to see how much our portfolio continues to grow even without new income and with market downturns. Now that we’re retired and our annual income is covered by our investments we spend a lot of our time on financial coaching and blogging. At this point we have not monetized our blog though we have been encouraged to do so and we might consider monetizing at some point. But we don’t accept payment for our time and we have no intention of changing that in the future. We love to support other people and projects that we believe in so we offer our time and ideas to other people for free as part of our own personal giving plan.

REL: The cost of housing is one of the highest cash outlay in any household budget. In your retirement lifestyle, did you choose to keep a home? Relocate? Travel? Do you have a home base now? Where do you keep all your “stuff”?

AOC: We spent our first two years after reaching FIRE traveling full time, and learned that nomadic travel is a lifestyle that we love. We gave ourselves a $50 per night housing budget as an average for our travels and in some locations like Ho Chi Minh City or San Cristobal de las Casas we spent much less than that, while in other locations like Paris and London we spent more than that. We also do some house sitting when we travel to help control costs and to meet new people in other locations. We’ve had some fabulous house sitting experiences in the USA, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Thailand.

Batu Caves, Malaysia

Batu Caves, Malaysia

Since we weren’t sure how long our nomad life would last when we sold our condo in Seattle in 2018, we decided to put some of our favorite things in storage. That turned out to be the right decision for us since the type of traveling we wanted to do came to a stop less than two years later during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ll spend most of 2021 in our own home that we bought in September 2020 in Arizona, partly because Covid made our international nomad life impossible but also because we want to spend as much time as possible with family right now. We plan to keep house sitting when we can, and in fact we’re house sitting right now as we work on this interview for you!

REL: How long have you been Financially Independent?

AOC: We were slow to test our numbers and declare that we were financially independent, but we finally verified that we had surpassed the number we wanted to reach for financial independence in 2017. We know we could have retired a few years earlier than we did and acknowledge that we were nervous about pulling the plug on work and trusting in our investments. Now that we’re retired we’ve been able to unravel the emotional side of financial independence, which is why we enjoy doing some financial coaching for others who are going through the process of planning for FIRE themselves.

REL: In your retirement life, what do you do about access to health care? Are you open to Medical Tourism?

AOC: For 2021 we have a subsidized ACA health plan to cover us in the USA. While we were international nomads we had a global medical insurance plan, which we barely used since health care costs are so affordable in other countries. We had some fantastic experiences with medical tourism including seeing a variety of doctors in Panama and dentists in Thailand, Panama, and Mexico. We look forward to more medical tourism experiences in the future.

REL: What do you average in spending annually? Does this include health insurance? Do you track your spending?

AOC: We track every penny we spend and enjoy following a detailed budget. We averaged $60k in spending for our first two years of retirement while traveling full time including health insurance, giving, taxes and everything else we spent money on. For those two years of travel we spent around 46% of our budget on things like health insurance, family and charitable giving, our storage unit, quarterly income taxes, and audiobook and tv/movie streaming subscriptions. Then we spent about 21% on food and beverages, about 24% on housing, about 6% on transportation, and about 4% on admissions and other fun activities. Our budget will be very different this year in 2021 since we’ll be living in one place in the USA.

Amboise, France

Amboise, France

REL: Can you share with us anything about how your portfolio is structured? Did your retirement affect your asset allocation at all?

AOC: Now that we’re retired we want a low risk / low maintenance retirement portfolio. We keep all of our accounts with Schwab, and all of our investments are in market index ETFs with an allocation of 75% equities and 25% bonds. We also keep a three year emergency fund in cash. We still make a couple of proactive moves in our portfolio every year including withdrawal of our annual living expenses in January, portfolio rebalancing in May, and Roth conversions in December.

REL: What was your biggest challenge to obtaining Financial Independence?

AOC: In a sense we took our earliest steps towards FIRE in 2005 by starting to manage all of our own investments but we didn’t yet have the personal finance vocabulary or financial support structure we needed at that time. We were drawing from a blend of different financial lessons we learned from our family members at that time including both successes and failures. Finally in 2014 we found the FIRE movement and a few good examples to learn from in other bloggers, podcasters, and authors including you guys at RetireEarlyLifestyle. But making a plan that was perfect for us and building the confidence we needed to put our plan into action took a couple more years. In 2017 we finally tested our numbers with a CFP and took the time to build a plan and put it in writing which we called our Personal Money Statement. Having a plan gave us the structure and personal accountability we needed to retire and change our lives in 2018. 

REL: What did your family and friends think of your choice to leave your jobs and previous life behind?

AOC: A few of our family members were really worried that we were putting ourselves in jeopardy when we told them about our FIRE plans. And most of our friends were pretty shocked by our decision to retire, sell our home, and leave our career focused lives behind. But a few of our friends thought our plans were inspiring and we have been thrilled to see them making changes in their lives and finding their own versions of financial independence to pursue.

Miyajima, Japan

Miyajima, Japan

REL: What has surprised you the most about your journey to FIRE?

AOC: Most of the time we felt like we weren’t really doing anything that unusual in terms of saving for retirement, we were just trying to grow our investments over time and making incremental adjustments along the way. The biggest surprise was how easy it was emotionally to really walk away from our careers once we finally resigned. Deciding it was ok to quit was hard, but walking away was easy.

REL: What inspires you about your new life?

AOC: The freedom to spend our time, energy, and money on what we care about and enjoy most is incredibly inspiring.

REL: What is exhilarating beyond words? Something you would never trade about your lifestyle to obtain “security?”

AOC: Our time as nomads was exhilarating beyond words and it changed us forever. During our first two years of retirement we visited 12 different countries (not including the USA) and stayed in 31 different cities in those countries. We met a lot of amazing people during our travels and built some really important friendships along the way. We love spending time in other countries, learning the history of other places, meeting new people, trying different foods, and learning about other cultures.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Our goal is to help you achieve your retirement dreams.

REL: So far, what has been your biggest challenge with your new lifestyle?

AOC: Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge we’ve faced since retirement, but we have been really lucky ourselves since the virus hasn't hurt us personally it just temporarily stopped our travels. Financial independence has been our safety bubble, shielding us from the majority of things people have worried about during the pandemic. Covid motivated us to redirect ourselves, create a new home base to pause and be safe in, and focus more on being supportive of other people.

REL: What would you say to someone who is considering tossing the conventional lifestyle and retiring early? What advice would you give?

AOC: Build a community with people who have reached FIRE themselves as well as other people who are also working towards financial independence. Being able to talk openly with people about all of your financial independence related plans, dreams, and questions makes a huge difference!

Grand Canyon, USA

Grand Canyon, USA

REL: What would you say are your most unique talents?

AOC: We are emotional, open minded, flexible and adaptable, which helps us cope with whatever is happening in our own lives. And we care about other people and want to get involved and help where we can. We each bring our own unique experiences from life along with experiences as women and LGBTQ people, and try to reach a broad group of people who are hungry for conversations about financial independence.

REL: What are your greatest passions in life?

AOC: Our greatest passion in life is each other, followed by our family, friends, and other people. We’re very fortunate to have loving family members who care about us and support us. We’re the proud aunties of six nieces and nephews who we love spending time with, and watching them build their own lives makes us very happy. We’ve also really enjoyed building our chosen family and we’re thrilled that our chosen family is still growing.

REL: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.

AOC: Our greatest personal success is definitely our marriage. We’ve been together for more than 16 years and we feel incredibly lucky to have found each other when we did.

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

AOC: We love to support other people and projects that we believe in with our time and our money. As part of our own personal giving plan we offer our time and ideas to other people for free. We make charitable and political donations every year and we also offer gifts of money in the form of donations and scholarships for people to use in support of their financial independence related projects.

 

 

 

 

REL: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

AOC: Back to traveling much more frequently! Our lives have changed dramatically every year since we reached financial independence so we try not to make assumptions for the future. But travel is our religion so we certainly hope we’ll be traveling a lot 5 years from now.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

REL: What is your biggest splurge?

AOC: The house we bought in September of 2020 feels like the biggest splurge of our lives even though our new house cost half as much as the condo we used to own in Seattle. Buying a house after retirement and after living as nomads for two years was a totally different experience for us.

REL: Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you've found to be very helpful?

AOC: YES! All Options Considered! We first came up with All Options Considered in 2007 and made it our personal family motto. At the time we were working on making a change from individual stock investing to owning rental properties and we wanted to give ourselves permission to try anything. We’ve used the idea of All Options Considered for every big financial decision we’ve made together, and it has been a great mindset for us in terms of learning about personal finance and exploring our hopes and dreams so it’s an idea we want to share with other people.

REL: What do you do for fun or entertainment?

AOC: We both love reading, writing, cooking, watching movies, taking long walks, birdwatching, photography, and spending time with friends and family. We also love building complex spreadsheets and talking about money with other people.

REL: I understand that you keep a blog with your stories about financial independence and travel. Where can people find your blog?

AOC: We share our stories on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

Blog: https://alloptionsconsidered.com 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AllOptionsConsidered

Instagram: www.instagram.com/alloptionsconsidered

 

We at Retire Early Lifestyle would like to thank Ali and Alison for sharing their lives and financial independence story with our Readers. We hope they have inspired you to follow your dreams and to live your best life.

For more stories and interviews of Captivating Characters and Early Retirees, Click Here

Visit our book Store

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.

Trending on Retire Early Lifestyle

 

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

advertise contact ad-info@retireearlylifestyle.com

Your financial independence and travel starts here

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.

HOME   Book Store

 

Retire Early Lifestyle Blog      About Billy & Akaisha Kaderli      Press     Contact     20 Questions     Preferred Links    

Retirement     Country Info     Retiree Interviews      Commentary     REL Videos

 

 

 

 
Subscribe Newsletter