Hey Billy & Akaisha – Are You Retired or Not?

Wide expanse of beach, Santa Cruz, Califoria

Wide expanse of beach, Santa Cruz, Califoria

Hey guys,

Enjoy your newsletter and you’ve both been an inspiration for a few years now as my wife and I plan our early retirement. My concern as the years have passed is that it has become clear that in some ways you aren’t retired now as you must be receiving a good amount of income from your books and web-site (I could be wrong, but it does appear that way). I applaud you for this and think its great that its worked out for you.

What I think would be fair to the rest of us is that you mention this and without giving out details you would rather remain personal at least give some sort of estimate as to how much of your income is now from what I would call your “retirement business”.

Reduce your cost of living. Pay less for medical care. Find better weather. Create a healthier way of life.

I think for the rest of us who will be trying this with no other income but what we have invested, that it would help as we access our own situation. I do understand that this was not your original intention and that you started out with just your investments, but since that isn’t the situation now, it would be helpful to the rest of us.

Billy with hill tribe kids, Thailand

Billy with hill tribe kids, Thailand

If I am way off base with this, I apologize as I am simply assuming based on your success post retirement that it’s fueled a good income and I could be totally off base. If I am, then that information would actually be even more helpful and encouraging. Either way, I think the information would be helpful.

Thanks so much,

Darin G.

Hi Darin,

Thank you for taking the time to write.

We want you to know that we appreciate your question and we address this issue in a piece we recently posted on our website: Is it Work or Is it Passion?

The most important thing is to be able to live off one’s investments which we did for 15 years before we wrote any books. In planning for your own retirement, you must be able to live from the income that your investments generate, and if something else comes up after your retirement years, then it is simply “extra cash.” As we mention in our article, once you are retired, opportunities come up and you can take advantage of them as you like – or not. If you do an exchange with a neighbor or join the Peace Corps and receive a modest payment for your volunteer work, are you no longer “retired”? Will you feel inclined to move yourself from the ranks of being retired to the semi-retired column and then back again when circumstances change?

Akaisha riding in a Jak Ka Ran, Vietnam

Akaisha riding in a Jak Ka Ran, Vietnam

This is one of the reasons we prefer the term of Financial Independence. One either is or they aren’t.

If we no longer pursued our website and the writing of books (which is a passion) it would not affect our ability to be Financially Independent. We do the website and books as our volunteer time because we are passionate about educating people on financial independence, world travel and medical tourism. We aren’t caught up in whether or not someone puts a label of “semi-retired” on us or whether or not someone feels we have “tarnished” the label of being fully retired.

Billy and I are productive people and we didn’t want to sit around “doing nothing” all day. If we weren’t writing for our blog, we would be doing something else that is productive (like building tennis courts or teaching massage or anything else of our choosing).

I hope this explanation puts your questions to rest and that it answers this matter for you personally. When you retire, – or become Financially Independent – what you do with your time is up to you. If an opportunity fell into your lap or if you want to do an exchange with a neighbor or friend I certainly hope that you would not allow someone else’s tendency to label you “only” semi-retired keep you from living a satisfying life of your choosing.

Thank you so much for writing and we wish you and yours the very best on your road to financial freedom. Please feel free to write any time.



About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired three decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement (Your Simple Path to FIRE) and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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