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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.

How Do You Contribute to the World?

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Sometimes there is an idea that those who FIRE are living an egoistic lifestyle, jet-setting around the world without thought to those who are less fortunate.

In our experience, we have not found that to be true.  In fact, we think becoming Financially Independent is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for the world. No longer time-deprived nor tied to a paycheck, you can give back to the world from your store of wisdom, knowledge and expertise.

For real life examples, read below from some of our interviews of Early Retirees about how they contribute to the world.

 

Dennis and Martha McIntire

Dennis and Martha McIntire

Fabulously fun, generous and warm-hearted, we posed this question to Dennis and Martha McIntire.

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Dennis and Martha: There are many small ways that we contribute and some larger ones. A simple smile at someone and letting people know you appreciate them. We try to always value people where ever we are located. We are in Mexico right now and there is always an older gentleman on a corner that washes cars for a living. He never complains and is always working. Frequently we will bring him a coke and chips or something to eat. He is always very appreciative.

Martha and I have financed 3 Mexican girls through college and felt very fulfilled to see them graduate. Now we have three new families for life. More parties to attend now!!! Haha There is always some way to help, you just have to look around. On a global scale, we have a small carbon footprint and not many utilities to pay when you are  homeless!!

Chris anad Kim Mamula

Chris and Kim Mamula

Young, energetic and fresh to the world of FIRE, we asked Chris Mamula this question.

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Chris Mamula: Honestly, not as much as I would like to this point. This was a driving factor for me to pursue FIRE. When working, we regularly donated money and occasionally time, but I constantly felt too busy to do the things that were most important.

 

 

 

 

Now that I’ve left my job, I am using my blogging/writing platforms to educate and help others to become more financially literate and help them to see the world differently. Since we don’t need more income due to our investments and my wife’s ongoing income, we’ve decided to give away half of anything I make in these endeavors.

I also want to get more involved in my local community. While I did not like being a physical therapist in the traditional medical system, there were certain aspects of the job that I loved. I would like to apply my physical therapy skills and knowledge combined with my love of the outdoors working with adaptive sports or youth programs once we are settled into our new home.

Steve and Lynn Miller with their boys

Steve and Lynn Miller with their boys

Amazing world travelers Steve and Lynn Miller who have found their sweet spot in their FIRE lifestyle answered us this way:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Steve and Lynn Miller: We reserve a certain portion of our yearly income for our favorite charities, but we also like to volunteer. We have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens and other local events but we also try to help during disasters. Hurricane Michael devastated Florida (towns close to us) and Georgia last year. My father’s town was hit hard, and I’ve spent countless days helping them recover.

Kathy and Jim McLeod in Athens, Greece

Kathy and Jim McLeod in Athens, Greece

Curious, open, engaging, people-oriented Jim and Kathy McLeod said:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Jim and Kathy McLeod: We both enjoy helping others: Jim's a troubleshooter (with computers) and Kathy can connect with anyone. So Jim can help resolve a lot of technical issues and Kathy helps people at a personal level.

Suzanne O'Rourke installing solar panels on a Palapa in Todos Santos, Mexico

Suzanne O'Rourke installing solar panels on a Palapa in Todos Santos, Mexico

Thoughtful, authentic, dependable, down-to-earth John and Suzanne O'Rourke explain it to us this way:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Suzanne and John: We use our flexibility to react.

When a friend is very ill or dying we have gone great distances to be with them. We have a multilevel approach to adding value to the world. It starts at home, whatever or wherever home might be (right now it is an RV, but it’s been a rented apartment in Puerto Rico, a long term hotel in Ireland, a boat in a remote and isolated community etc.). At home we strive to live a low-carbon, green existence and be environmentally sensitive.

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If there is a way to participate on a local level, we do that. We’ve planted trees, done beach clean ups, John worked with an organization for a year in Mexico to help the Huichol Indians convert their native designs to screen printed artwork, we went to a shelter in Puerto Rico one Christmas and asked for a list of the kids and their ages so we could buy them Christmas gifts….thinking there might be a few. We came back to a list of 167 kids. So we canvassed our apartment building and set up an adopt-a-child for Christmas program and ended up with 3 gifts for every child donated by amazing people that were grateful to participate. We donated 22 giant bags of toys to that shelter Christmas Eve anonymously.

We believe in giving our time and talents more than our cash. Our financial donations tend to be towards environmental and wildlife protection programs. At our 30th anniversary we solicited donations instead of gifts to buy a Playpump (playground equipment that pumps water) for a remote African village. We do a lot of business consulting for budding entrepreneurs whom we encounter through our current Sales business. One of these will be featured soon, about a single Mom with two girls who is starting an artisan food company and wants to export it from Mexico.

Giving back is important to us.

Randy and Lori Grant overlooking the Cinque Terra town of Vernazza in Italy

Randy and Lori Grant overlooking the Cinque Terra town of Vernazza in Italy

Adventurous, athletic, FUN and fearless (!) Randy and Lori Grant answered our question this way:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?  

Randy and Lori Grant: We understand how fortunate we are and always try to help others when we can. Whether it is through charitable giving or volunteering, there are always ways to give to others in need.

I kind of think of myself as an empath and every now and again I will meet someone who just needs some compassion, a smile, or my time and attention. I call these my special “appointments”. Here’s an example of one such occasion. I was riding the bus through town in Ajijic, Mexico and happened to sit next to an older, somewhat frail-looking expat lady. I said hello and she quietly returned the greeting. We didn’t say anything else for a bit. I could tell that she was sad or tired or in distress of some kind, but didn’t feel it was my place to pry. So, I just smiled at her and made some friendly comment about the weather.

Before I knew it, she was talking about just receiving an upsetting cancer diagnosis from her doctor and how lonely and worried she felt. I listened to all that she had to say, while in my mind I sent her all the good vibrations I could muster. I keenly felt her fear, her sadness, and her heaviness as she recounted all she’d recently been through.

In the meantime, my bus stop had come and gone but I stayed sitting right next to her until I felt her spirit lift a little. I softly patted her shoulder and reassured her that all would be well (I felt that in my gut).  Finally, it was time for me to get off the bus. When I did, I happened to look back up at the window where she and I were sitting and found her smiling down at me. I waved and she did as well. As I walked back toward home, I looked up to the universe and felt such gratitude that I had been in that bus at that exact moment. It was a divine appointment and I always treasure these fleeting meetings when they come along.

Robert and Robin Bungee jumping Queenstown, New Zealand

Bungee jumping Queenstown, New Zealand

Silly yet practical, adventurous yet grounded, Robin and Robert Charlton will throw their bodies off any cliff and climb any mountain. They responded to our question this way:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

R&RC: Robin has done meaningful volunteer work as a nurse and spent four years caring for her mother after her stroke. My biggest contribution to the world so far has been trying to show others by example how to make their early retirement dreams come true. Even those with debts and smaller salaries can get there. We support Kiva Microfunds, Nature Conservancy, Unatti Foundation (Nepal), and other causes we believe in and hope to do more hands-on volunteer work going forward.

Jeremy Jacobson and Winnie Tseng of Go Curry Cracker

Jeremy and Winnie of the famous Go Curry Cracker Blog described how they contribute to others in this manner:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Jeremy and Winnie: On a daily basis, we treat people with respect and kindness. A genuine smile is always welcome and brightens people’s days. For anybody that has read YouTube comments or tried shopping on Black Friday, it is clear that the world could use more kindness.

 

 

 

 

We also share how we have been able to retire fairly young and experience life in a different way. A lot of people feel trapped, and by showing that there is another way perhaps a few more people will be able to find their freedom and pursue their dreams. We’ve received a lot of emails from people saying that our blog has helped them get closer to their own early retirement or rethink their lifestyle choices.

When we ultimately kick the bucket, we plan to create an endowment to fund charitable hospitals.

Kim Hurt at ancient Stonehenge, England

And when we asked Kim Hurt he said:

REL: How do you contribute to the world?

Kim Hurt: Most of humanity depends greatly on the company of true friends. I think I contribute to the world by being one.

Billy and Akaisha on Chacala Beach, Mexico

Those of you who have read our story know about the tennis courts Billy built, how he put lights on them, the basketball scoreboard he imported for the city of Chapala, the End of Life Care we have done and how I taught Thai Massage to the locals - just a few of the memorable projects we have been able to do, since we have the time and freedom to focus on something other than our careers.

It's our privilege and pleasure to do this. Financial Independence gives us the time and the ability to give to others. Once we are no longer tied to a paycheck or to paying the bills, we can expand on opening up our world and making lives better for others.

Thank you, everyone, for letting us know how you utilize your FIRE time to give back to others.

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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.

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