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.
Vicki Terhorst Interview Update
We met up
again with Paul and Vicki Terhorst in the northern city of Chiang Mai,
Thailand on our latest trip to Asia, and there was lots of catching up to do.
The world has changed, and we have all added a few years onto our count,
bringing in different concerns so we asked them if they would mind doing an
Fantastically, they said yes.
When we last interviewed
Paul and Vicki Terhorst in 2007, they owned
property and a home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some people were very taken
that the Terhorsts, who are perpetual travelers, would purchase property and
build a home. But the desire to own a domicile became a priority at a certain
point in their lives and now they have since sold it.
our interview with Paul and Vicki Terhorst:
Paul and Vicki Terhorst in Chiang Mai,
Retire Early Lifestyle:
How long did you own your home, and why did you decide to sell?
Paul and Vicki Terhorst: We bought about two acres of land in March of 2005 in a gated community of
weekend homes in the countryside near Buenos Aires. A year later our
custom-designed, rustic country home was ready for us. We sold in 2012, mainly
because of very high cost of living and crime rates in Argentina. We felt we
could have put up with either high crime or high cost, but not both. Because of
recent peso devaluations the cost of living has fallen a bit, but in retrospect
we sold at the right time.
Owning a domicile never became a priority in 2005. Rather, we saw a real estate
opportunity and took it. In the end fussing with a home proved more trouble
than it was worth.
You and Vicki retired at the age of 35. How long have you been retired now?
P&V: We just turned 65, so it's been 30 years. We now have Medicare, which reduces
the risk of traveling to the USA. But we still plan to do routine medical stuff
abroad, and pay out of pocket.
Other than the years when you owned your home, you still pretty much maintained
a perpetual traveling schedule, even visiting China and India. Have you slowed
down much? Where are your favorite countries to live and why?
Guide to Early Retirement, 4th Edition
P&V: Our home in Argentina was a summer, vacation home with no heating. We only
lived in the house 4 to 6 months a year. One year we skipped our regular visit
to Argentina altogether. So, even when we had a home we considered ourselves to
Overall, we haven't slowed down much, but realistically we figure we have only
another ten more years or so on the road.
We're most interested in Europe these days, especially Eastern Europe. Think Lviv, in Ukraine, or western Romania, perhaps Bulgaria on the Black Sea. And
we’ll continue to visit Chiang Mai on a regular basis.
Thailand has just recently gone through its 18th coup. Were you in
Thailand at this time and were you concerned for your personal safety?
P&V: Yes, we were in Thailand, but the coup was a non-event for us.
Over the years in Thailand we’ve lived here
under military rule, appointed rule, democracy, caretaker government, and now
martial law and another coup. For those expats and Thai citizens without a
political agenda, life goes on pretty much as before. We’ve experienced
coups in other countries too and like most expats, we're nervous about having
fewer rights. But safety has never been an issue for us. In all cases we
stay away from protest sites and hope airports stay open.
As we age, there are particular issues that take the forefront, such as our own
longevity, having enough cash to last our lifespan and long term care should we
As perpetual travelers, do you have a plan should you need this type of long
term care and are unable to travel any longer?
P&V: Wherever we are when our bodies break down, that's probably where we'll settle
in. We'll pay out-of-pocket for long-term or temporary care.
We notice that you are inclined to spend a little more money for comfort in
travel these days. Is it a worry for you to be tapping into your nest egg? Are
you concerned more about running out of time or running out of money?
P&V: We're running out of time, no question. We have enough money, provided we
refrain from wasting it to support fixed assets (houses, cars). We want our
assets (stocks) to work for us.
Do you still hold fairly close to the $50 a day rule as written in your book,
Cashing in on the American Dream, How to Retire at 35? With all of your travel
are you still living on less than 30K per year?
P&V: Our $50 rule excluded plane tickets and taxes. As a guess we spend a bit more
than $50 a day, but we don't track it. Instead, we look at our net worth. Our
goal is to have our net worth go up by inflation every year. We easily make our
goal most years.
Looking at inflation, the $50-a-day rule when we retired in 1984 now comes out
to $100 a day. These days, 2014, we still live on $50 a day in SE Asia but it’s
much tougher to do so when we travel through Europe or South America.
Paul and Vicki in Lviv, Ukraine
Back when we interviewed you in 2007 you were heavily invested in equities with
a 95% allocation. You must have been hit hard by the 2008 crash. Have you since
changed your positions to a more conservative one?
P&V: We're still all stocks, all the time. We got whacked by the 2008 crash, but
we've lived through crashes before. We figure the worst that can happen is we
move to a low-cost part of the world, like Southeast Asia, and stay there. We
could continue to live very well.
My advice when the next crash comes: do nothing at all, just wait it out. We
recovered from the 2008 crash by 2010.
We asked you before for your advice for someone considering your type of
lifestyle. Is there anything you would like to add given the economics and the
world changes that have transpired?
We figure the world has pretty much moved our way over the past thirty years. Airfares have come way down, countries like China and Vietnam have opened up,
ATMs make accessing cash easier, AirBNB gives us more housing options, and as
our friends get older they have more time to play. Email, online banking, and
Expedia have dramatically improved life on the road. We're frankly puzzled why
so many people over fifty, with plenty of money, continue to work for their
assets, and stay put, and otherwise stick to traditional ways, when the world
around us has changed so much.
Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices
Here's a travel tip: take along an extension cord. We travel light, with carry on
luggage only. So adding a piece of equipment requires a major decision. But
we've been carrying around a lightweight, muti-socket extension cord. With the
cord we need only one adaptor to fit a local plug outlet, and we crawl under the
bed to find that outlet one time only. Once set up we're assured of a
convenient place to plug in computer, tablet, phone, immersion heater, etc.
REL: We would like to thank Paul and Vicki Terhorst for taking the time to
answer our questions and to share their lives with our Readers. Thanks!
To read more interviews with Expats,
Early Retirees and Interesting Characters,
About the Authors