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


Retire Early Lifestyle Blog 

Free Newsletter Subscribe/Contact

Advertise on info here

Retire Early Lifestyle logo My new favorite beach...

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.

Don't Retire Early! - Is Suze Orman Right?

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and buddies in Ajijic, Mexico

Billy and some buddies in Ajijic, Mexico

Recently, I watched a video of Suze Orman, a personal finance guru, being interviewed about the very popular FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early).

It was exactly 23 minutes into the hour plus video when I had to shut it off. I couldn’t take anymore fear mongering and negative “sky is falling” scenarios.

Listening to this video, I was both aghast and disappointed.

However, Suze made some excellent points worth considering which I list below.

An introduction

Suze lives on her own private island and has her own private plane. Her friends are multi-millionaires and billionaires. She has done very well for herself and good on her. She breathes rarified air if you know what I mean.

After coming out as absolutely hating the FIRE movement (“I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.”) she also states unequivocally that she personally believes retiring early is the biggest mistake, financially speaking, you will ever, ever make in your lifetime.”

Now that Billy and I are into our fourth decade of FIRE, we have a different point of view.

Let’s analyze why.

Things happen

As you get older, things happen. You get hit by a car. You fall down on the ice. You get sick. You get cancer. If a catastrophe happens, if something goes wrong, what are you going to do? You are going to burn alive. - Suze Orman

Well, Suze has a point. Things DO happen, and they can happen at any age - like when I almost lost my finger in a freak accident in Guatemala.

Money does not prevent those things from happening, but when you are working, you are most likely covered by employee health insurance or have the money to purchase some. We all know how expensive and distorted the delivery of health care is in the States.

If you do choose to leave your job early and hit the road, it is wise to have a health care strategy in place. Research your options. There are many choices, from buying specific country coverage to going naked. The topic of Health Care in the States has been a moving battleground for some time now, and it’s wise to know what you are facing if you choose to continue to live in the States after FIRE.

Akaisha Bogie Boarding in Phuket, Thailand

I doubt I will be Bogie Boarding at Seventy Years Old in Phuket, Thailand

Some options you might consider

When you were working, how much were you paying in taxes? After FIRE, your tax bracket and liability has probably been reduced. Some of that money previously paid towards taxes could now go to purchasing a health plan, or maybe you want to open an HSA or you might choose to utilize Medical Tourism.

If you relocate to another country such as Panama or Mexico, there are government health programs which are affordable and this could cover that very important piece of infrastructure in retirement.





Two million dollars is not enough to retire

If you have 20, 30, 50 or 100 million dollars, be like me, OK? If you have that kind of money and you want to retire, fine. Two million dollars is NOTHING. IT’S NOTHING. It’s pennies in today’s world, to tell you the truth. - Suze Orman

Um, ok… I wonder if Suze realizes that only 156,000 households in the U.S. have more than $25 million in net worth according to a 2016 report. What are the other 99.9% of households supposed to do? Never retire? How realistic is it to think that the average American or Canadian will amass $50 or $100 million dollars so that they can have the retirement of their dreams? Or maybe more accurately, of Suze’s dreams.

Come abThe FIRE Bus is Leaving the Station! Panajachel, Guatemala

Come aboard Suze, the FIRE Bus is Leaving the Station! Panajachel, Guatemala

Don't travel when you are young - get to work and don't retire until after age 70

Young ones should not go traveling but rather right out of school get working and start saving. Get your employer to match the funds. Use your age and the compounding ability of money to your advantage.

Work as long as you can in an area that you love so you don’t think it’s work. Don’t retire until you are at least 70 years of age. - Suze Orman

Suze made a good point here in that young people do need to take advantage of their youth to begin compounding and creating their own money machine. Learning self-reliance and how to live below your means are skills that pay off every day of your life.

However, working until one is “at least” 70 without ever seeing the world, other cultures, or climbing the trails to see the spectacular view and  geography in other locations makes for a very monotonous and stress-filled life. There is more to living than “just” work. The idea of simply “slaving” away to amass money without the tempering and the soul-enriching aspects of travel and learning about new cultures can bring about very brittle perspectives.

Billy and I loved to work.  We still enjoy that feeling of being productive and accomplishing something. However, in our case, we worked so much that the personal side of our lives began to fall apart. 

For us, we needed a different blend of work, travel, personal expansion and production. We may never make that $100 million Dollar threshold, but that doesn’t mean we have failed. We prefer to gather experiences over stuff and enrich our lives in this way. Sometimes, less is more. Was it worth it to us to break out of the mold over 30 years ago and FIRE? We say YES! It. Was.

Don't go into retirement with a mortgage

After funding your retirement, pay down your mortgage so you don’t have a mortgage when you go into retirement. Invest in Roth IRAs so you no longer have to pay taxes in the future when you take your money out. - Suze Orman

Excellent points, Suze!

However, the US Government could change the tax laws in the future to be able to tax those accounts. Nothing is written in stone, and tax laws change all the time. But for now, excellent advice to place your retirement funds into Roth IRAs.

We also encourage people not to bring a mortgage into their retirement, or any other kind of debt. In fact - depending on one’s circumstances and age - we recommend downsizing, moving to an Active Adult Community (they're FUN!), house sitting around the world, or even renting and investing the proceeds of the sale of your house into more liquid assets to provide inflation protection and income.





Have a passion

Retirement – sitting and doing nothing – it will get to you after a while. Don’t run from your work. If you DO retire, have a passion that makes you get up in the morning to start another day. That passion will help you live into your future. Don’t want to “just retire” because you hate work. - Suze Orman

Another excellent point.

In our book, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement, we recommend that future early retirees make out a list of things they want to do, or learn, places they want to visit, projects they want to complete and volunteer ideas. Human need is great all over the world. Why not install potable water systems in villages in Africa? Or supply any indigenous community with free dental care? What about "adopting" a family overseas and sending the children to grade school, high school or even college? Why not go to a rural area and teach hygiene? Or teach English as a second language ?There is no shortage of ways you could share your expertise and time.

Running away from work is not wise. You want your dreams to pull you forward.

Children and FIRE

What aspect do you want to play in your kid’s life and do you want to put all that cost of education on them? Can you do FIRE and have kids and pay for all of that education to give your child the best chance in the world? Having an income of $80k a year is not going to give them a private school education. You’ll have to home school them yourselves… get scholarships, sign for parent-plus loans for college… it gets very complicated. - Suze Orman

Just because the kids receive a college diploma doesn't mean they are going to be successful in life. It doesn't even guarantee they will get a job! Is the payment you made or the student loan debt they accumulated - and are now burdened with - really the best use of funds for their future?

We know lots of early retirees who have children. Some of those children traveled with their parents and became bi- or tri-lingual, getting a “world education.” That’s priceless! Learning self-reliance and achieving scholarships is a good thing. Creating a partnership with your children - instead of keeping them dependent - has many benefits which will pay dividends in your and their future lives.

We are Retire Lifestyle Mentors. Ask us anything

You can't live on $80,000 a year

You need at least $5 million, or $6 million. ... Really, you might need $10 million to retire. Short of that, it’s just not going to be enough for most people. When you are older you are going to want to have $100 million dollars. You can't live on $80,000 a year. - Suze Orman

We think there are many ways to live a life. You have to decide for yourself how much is enough. It’s a big spread from $80,000 a year and having $100 million dollars. There are plenty of lifestyles in between.

And you have options. You could move to a state with lower taxes, or to a city with a lower cost of living. You might even choose to move out of the US where the quality of life is high, and the cost of living is low.

We often speak of the four categories of highest spending in any household  -  housing, transportation, food/entertainment and taxes. Make adjustments in any of these categories, and you will “find” money that you can use elsewhere in your retirement.

Having $100 million dollars is a terrific goal. If you are short by $50 million, should you continue working? That is a question only you can answer.

Lunching with the Ladies in Ajijic, Mexico

Lunching with the Ladies in Ajijic, Mexico


You can’t control the world. If a boat sinks, or an airplane crashes, no amount of money is going to get your life back. You cannot buy your physical life, you cannot purchase a guarantee for your health. Steve Jobs had a considerable fortune, got the best care available, and still died young.

We think your best investment would be in personal flexibility, self-reliance, and the skill of looking at life as half-full no matter where you are.

Building a life that has meaning to you, contributing to the world, and knowing what your happiness quotient is brings benefits that go way beyond money accumulated.

Do you really want your tombstone to read "Here lies the richest person in the graveyard"? What will you be thinking on your deathbed?

"I wish I would have put more money in my IRA? D*mn! I shoulda crossed that river, climbed that mountain, took that safari…" Or will you be pleased with a life well lived knowing you did your best? There are no "do-overs" in life, no rewind and no replay.

We say - Get out there and LIVE your life! Have more fun than anyone with memories and stories that last a lifetime and that you can share with your grandchildren.

Don't let anyone steal your dreams. This is NOT a drill, it's the real deal.

To read the fabulous stories of other Early Retirees, click here

For helpful links to hundreds of sites to help you plan your Retirement, click here

What's Your Number? - How much money do you need to retire?

Want us to be your private Retire Lifestyle Mentors? Find out more, click here

For more on Retirement Topics, click here and here

Retire Early Lifestyle 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, 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

Trending on Retire Early Lifestyle


Contact info for Retire Early Lifestyle

Advertise on

visit Retire Early Lifestyle Book Store

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