When Is Enough Money Enough? How Do You Just Stop Working?

Q and A with a Reader

Hi Billy, Akaisha,

Just listened to your broadcast on youtube.

Wow! you guys are the pioneers of this movement. Congrats on your success.

I am well on my way to following your lead. I currently live in southern Thailand, still telecommuting for work back in the US but I am almost at the point of stopping. It was very encouraging to hear that you have been able to live off of your investments for such a long time.

I have a question, and I’m sure you have heard this many times before, how do you know when enough is enough? I mean, my investments would cover my expenses, at least if I stick to the 4% rule but how did you come to pull the trigger and just stop?

When you come back to Thailand, let’s get together. I would love to chat.



Surfing in southern Thailand is great fun!

Hi Spencer,

Thank you for taking the time to write. We are very happy that you enjoyed our interview with Mad Fientist.

How much is enough is a question we asked ourselves when we were preparing to leave the conventional working world, and it is a question that we are asked often today. The answer is individual, of course, depending on the style of retirement you want to live. But to give you an idea of how to figure that out, you would take the amount of spending you are doing today to live the life you are living now, and multiply that by 25. That Dollar amount is the figure you need to have in invested assets in order to throw off enough income plus enough to cover inflation.

Over the last 3+ decades of world travel, our annual spending is still under $30,000USD per year and we have more money now than we did when we first retired.

We knew we wanted to travel the world

As far as how we were able to “pull the trigger” and let go of our jobs and current lives and jump into our undefined futures… There were a couple of things. One for certain, is that we were being pulled by our dreams of a better lifestyle – one of travel, free time, personal creativity and continuous learning. In other words, we were being pulled forward instead of trying to escape something we had.

We made a list of all the things we wanted to do, wanted to learn, places we wanted to visit, etc., so that when we left our jobs, we knew what we were going to do on day one. So it wasn’t a complete unknown. It wasn’t like we were jumping into a void.

That being said, we did sort of “Jump into the Volcano” (it was a popular Tom Hanks movie at the time) and trusted ourselves enough to figure things out. We didn’t diddle and daddle and over-analyze every little thing. We took 2 years to track our spending, knew what we needed financially, had our list together, and dreamed ourselves into our future.

How much money would we need to retire?

There were certainly some unexpected things we had to face… as you can read here… but we have never regretted our decision.

I hope you find my answer useful, and do feel free to write any time.

Thanks again for your interest in our story.

Best Regards, and wishing you the best of everything,

Akaisha and Billy

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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