Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
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.
Two Paths to FIRE
Independent Retire Early
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
the years have gone by, we have received many questions about FIRE. We’ve
spoken to those who wish to retire early, and to those who have already done
has emerged as a theme, is that there are two paths to FIRE: the monetary,
measurable path -- and the emotional, immeasurable path.
Physical and measurable
obvious that to retire early, one must have the money.
their spending, find out where their money is going and
what they spend annually to live the lifestyle to which they have become
accustomed. Take that annual spending figure and multiply that by 25 as the
experts have recommended, and then that resulting number
the amount one must have in invested,
make reaching that number easier, one can
simplify their personal infrastructure, cut back on spending, invest wisely, and join their
company’s matched retirement plans. If a person is younger, they have
their side to begin making
After retirement, there’s the
safe withdrawal rate, and perhaps some
geographical arbitrage to
keep housing expenses down. Then there’s
Social Security, Medicare, personal wills and trusts.
is a very formulaic, very mechanical approach to achieving the numbers and
protecting your assets.
of the people we have spoken to, say
the easy part. Just follow the
tried and true blueprint.
Then… there’s the other path. The one that can often blow someone out of the
early retirement water.
Emotional and immeasurable
the early days of our retirement, no one spoke of this side of the equation
to gaining your
financially independent dream life.
In fact, this secret
torpedo-to-your-plans was pooh-poohed as not important.
Today, one will see articles here and there about
the emotional component of early retirement, but most of the financial planners that you pay to see
don’t speak of it. That’s because it can’t be measured, there is no
one-size-fits-all, and everyone has different desires and challenges when it
comes to their emotional involvements.
However, if you want to ensure a successful early retirement, the
sentimental and psychological side must be dealt with, or it will rear its
and take you down.
have always said that to retire early is simple, but it’s not always easy.
We believe anyone can do it, but one must be committed. If you are married,
then your partner must be on the same financial and goal-oriented page as
Spender vs Saver
your spouse is a spender by nature and you are a saver, then there will be
trouble in paradise reaching your set goals. If there can be no meeting of
the minds, there can be divorce, or the dream of early retirement will be
shelved. Someone in the partnership suffers.
Different retirement goals
your spouse thinks leaving the job is fabulous, but they want to replace the
job with activities like being on a city or business board, have a life
filled with volunteer work, growing a garden or taking continuing education
classes at your local university, that retirement dream could pose a
compromise to you. Especially if your idea of financial freedom is travel,
housing to save money, becoming a snowbird or an
These are very real situations, and just goes to show you that there will be
issues to resolve between you. Not impossible, but these things need to be
talked out before you make the retirement leap.
Sentimental family home and grandchildren
if there is an old sentimental house in the family that takes commitment to
repair and maintain? Perhaps the other spouse has their eye on a footloose
and freer lifestyle? How does one meld those two very different dreams?
happens when you go merrily along on your FIRE path and
then grandchildren come into the mix? The balancing of this matter has ripped couples apart.
There are workable solutions but one must be open-minded about them,
not putting a foot down giving ultimatums.
Both people have a right to their
pressure and status in society
then there’s the issue of peer pressure and status in the community.
Let’s face it.
One’s career can give us a certain kind of standing in the community from
which we derive all sorts of benefits and pleasures.
man told us that it didn’t matter, that his freedom was more important. But
then as he settled into FIRE, he realized how much he took his executive
first class flights for granted. And his secretary’s ability to plan his
trips and lodging on the company’s tab was also overlooked.
These days, no one calls him to solve problems at his company, and his
flights were in the “common cabin” which affected him psychologically. He
was surprised at this discovery!
It happens. Welcome to the other side of life.
Depending on your particular retirement plan, getting a new car every few
years, upgrading one’s entertainment system, vacationing in 5-star resorts
could all be pushed to the back. No one will defer to you on the sidewalk
like they did at the office. Yes, you have become FREE! But to others you
just look “ordinary.” No job titles are worn
when you jog at the community park.
There is no speedy way to wade through
emotional path of FIRE has to do with intangibles. It concerns values that
roll around in your mind and heart that you might not even know you had.
While the emotional side of your life cannot be easily calculated nor
standardized for everyone, it’s a huge part of your personal happiness.
Finding out how much money is enough is essential to your future. However,
if you don’t respect the matters of the heart for your retirement future,
you may unnecessarily find yourself in choppy emotional waters.
It is important for you to learn who you are
without your job title, before embarking on your new adventure.
Like an actor that has been type-cast, now is
the time to reinvent yourself.
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About the Authors
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.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha