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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.

Interview with Early Retirees Rick and Rory Ackerman

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We at RetireEarlyLifestyle love to bring you different retirement stories. There's no one right way to get to Financial Independence, or to spend your FI time after you achieve it. We are happy to bring Rick and Rory's adventure to you.

Atop Franz Joseph Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

Atop Franz Joseph Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

Retire Early Lifestyle: Could you tell us a little about yourselves?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We both grew up in the northeast. Rick had a career in IT; Rory was an accountant. We’ve been together for 20 years and have a “hybrid” lifestyle (different from most early retirees). We have a permanent, low-maintenance home and lots of opportunities to travel. Rick has a pension and we both took Social Security early.

REL: How have things changed for you since you left your jobs and began to live the Early Retirement Lifestyle?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We do what we want to, when we want to. We don’t HAVE to be anywhere in particular. We travel more often and volunteer when we’re home. We have no intention of ever working for anyone else again.

REL: How many years have you been retired now?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Rick: 13 years; Rory 11 years.

REL: You both like to travel. Can you mention a few of your favorite places where you traveled in the years since your FIRE?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Western Europe (especially Paris, Amsterdam, Italy & Greece); Australia (Tasmania, Kangaroo Island are our favorite places); and the Galapagos Islands.

REL: Do you have a home base?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Yes, in South Carolina.

Rory sitting in the main highway, Western Australia

Rory sitting in the main highway, Western Australia

 

 

 

REL: Since housing is a big expense, how do you manage lodging on the road? Do you house sit? Rent apartments? Stay in hotels?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We rarely stay in hotels (don’t meet many locals there). We house-sit, rent apartments (Airbnb), and stay with friends (once in a while). We take advantage of public transportation and eat many meals in. A kitchen, proximity to public transportation and supermarket, free wifi, and a comfy bed are our main requirements.

Rel: What do you do about health care? Are you open to Medical Tourism?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We are both covered by Medicare. We would seriously consider medical tourism, if necessary.

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We call ourselves “The Corporation of Rick & Rory”. We run our financial lives that way. Rory is the CFO, Rick is the CIO. (We both think we are the CEO.) Rory does the accounting and taxes; Rick handles the investments and the travel planning. Our annual budget is approx. $5K per month, funded solely by our pension and social security. This includes our travel and medical. We have a “budget meeting” every year in late December to plan for the next year.

Juneau, Alaska

Alaska, Rick's 50th State

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Believe it or not, after doing lots of reading and, just before Rick retired, we fired our financial planner and converted all our stocks/bonds/managed mutual funds to a portfolio made up totally of low cost index funds. We’ve “let it ride”. We don’t trade. We don’t panic. We’ve weathered all the ups and downs of the market over the past 13 years and, despite all that turmoil, we’ve never lost any sleep worrying about finances.

REL: How do you manage your finances while on the road?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Electronically.

REL: Do you own a vehicle?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Yes.

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REL: What’s the worst thing you deal with in this new chosen lifestyle? Your biggest challenge?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Finding the time to do all the things we want to do. Not bad, huh?

REL: What has surprised you the most about your Early Retirement Lifestyle?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: We don’t have to be anywhere at any given time. It’s probably as free as we’ve ever felt.

Parrots in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Rory and friends, Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: A lot of laughing!!

REL: What would you say to someone who is considering tossing the conventional lifestyle and living one of travel? What advice would you give?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: 1) Keep track of everything you spend (every nickel) for as long as possible before you retire. Your needs in retirement are driven by what you’ve spent, NOT by what you’ve earned. 2) Eliminate ALL debt. 3) Make a comprehensive retirement plan. 4) Go for it and adjust as necessary.

REL: What are your greatest passions in life?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Travel, photography, appreciation of the arts, and fantasy baseball (Rick only). Oh yeah, each other!

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: A well-developed (some might say overly developed) sense of humor. Developing good habits (personal and financial) at an early age. Getting a good education. Learning from mistakes.

Waitangi Treaty grounds, North Island, New Zealand

Waitangi Treaty grounds, North Island, New Zealand

 

 

 

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Volunteering in our neighborhood, at our local zoo, and whenever interesting opportunities arise; mentoring university students; promoting education and the Arts. Rick has developed a seminar called “Six Habits for Personal Financial Success” which he has presented regularly at our local university.

REL: What is a secret fact about you?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: It’s still a secret.

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: More of the same and continuing to take advantage of whatever opportunities present themselves.

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REL: What is your biggest splurge?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Other than traveling, enjoying a nice dinner to celebrate special occasions, and the occasional upgrading of technology tools.

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

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Embrace change. If it feels right, do it.

REL: What do you do for fun or entertainment?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Taking classes at our local university, a lot of reading, watching lots of movies, supporting our university’s women’s basketball team.

REL: Where are you going next?

Rick and Rory Ackerman: Spain! We’ve got a bucket list that we hope to complete while we are still healthy enough to travel. When we can’t any more, we’ll adopt a pet or two.

We at RetireEarlyLifestyle would like to thank Rick and Rory for taking the time to answer all of our questions and for sharing their lives with us.

To read other stories about Captivating Characters and Early Retirees, 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, 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.

contact Billy and Akaisha at theguide@retireearlylifestyle.com

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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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