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.
Lori and Randy Grant
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Over the years, Lori and
Randy Grant have written to us about preparing for retirement, and now their day
of leaving the workforce is in view. We at RetireEarlyLifestyle like to offer
our Readers stories of those who are successfully paving their path to financial
Please enjoy this interview
with Lori and Randy Grant!
Skiing at Appi
Kogen in Japan
RetireEarlyLifestyle: Could you
tell us a little about yourselves?
Lori and Randy Grant:
We are two teachers who
left Mississippi 15 years ago for the great unknown. We were offered the
opportunity to come to Japan to teach and we jumped in with both feet. It was
the best decision we have ever made. It has enabled us the opportunity to travel, you can see our travel destinations on our
blog, to so many interesting places. It has truly
been a most rewarding experience.
REL: When do you plan
L&RG: There’s about a 50%
chance that we’ll be retiring this year, but it looks more realistic for
us to retire next year, just before Lori’s 50th birthday. This will allow
us a bit more breathing room in our pre-retirement timeline to get all of our
affairs in order (Obamacare, taxes, international banking, selling all our
household possessions, etc.) before taking this giant step.
REL: When did you
know you were ready to retire and what motivated you?
L&RG: We are both realizing
that we’re becoming pretty burned out with teaching. Lori has been in the
classroom for over 27 years and I have been teaching for over 20. We just have
this strong feeling that there is something else out there waiting for us and
even though we have no idea what that “something” is, we know we are ready for a
REL: Do you have a
home base or own a home? Will you stay put in the same location, relocate or
The family in
Tokyo with Imperial Palace
L&RG: We have no permanent
home, but we do have relatives in Florida and Mississippi. Retiring early will
afford us the opportunity to spend time with our aging parents and
help out with their care if and when it’s needed. Until that time, we plan on moving around
the world from place to place, renting furnished apartments, or even giving
international house sitting a try. When our visa for one country runs out, we’ll
simply move on to our next adventure!
REL: What has been
your greatest challenge on your road to Early Retirement? Your biggest lesson?
What were your fears and obstacles before making the leap? Did the fears and
obstacles pan out or were they replaced with others?
Guide to Early Retirement, 3rd Edition
L&RG: I think our two biggest
fears are running out of money somewhere down the road and going without health
insurance during early retirement.
We don’t mind paying for medical care as we
go and have used hospitals overseas before as medical tourists. The care we’ve
received overseas has been phenomenal and state-of-the-art. What to do about
naked) while in the states is another nail-biting issue,
It seems like most of
the media tries to scare you into never retiring, but sometimes in life you just
have to go for it. Another fear is the question of what will happen when the
“honeymoon” of retirement wears off? How will we cope with day-to- day life once
we are out of tourist mode?
REL: Do you have any
advice for someone looking to retire in this current economic environment?
L&RG: We have approached our
early retirement the same way we did when we found out we were expecting our
son. Everyone tells you that you can’t afford to have kids. But when you do, it
just all works out. I think our retirement goals are similar. Everyone tells us
we can’t possibly retire this young, but we have researched and prepared much
more for this milestone than we did when we realized twenty years ago that we
were suddenly going to be parents.
REL: What style of
retirement are you looking to create? Do you have goals? A 3-5 year plan? Or are
you looking for a care-free lifestyle?
The family in
L&RG: I think the carefree
lifestyle seems more appealing to us. We want to explore and interact with as
many cultures as possible and be free to pursue opportunities as they arise.
When people ask us where we plan on retiring, we tell them the answer to that
question is… everywhere! We have made lists of retirement interests we want to
pursue such as language learning, tai chi lessons, volunteering, blogging, and
REL: Do you have
children? How did that figure in to your retirement preparation?
L&RG: We have one son who is
currently a junior in college. We always said that we would wait until he
finished school before we retired, but it looks as if he is going to be
financially set thanks to academic scholarships and student loans when needed,
so we decided to go ahead and take the leap sooner than we originally planned.
REL: Where have you
traveled to longer than 2 weeks? Are you looking to scratch below the surface in
your retirement travels?
Adventurer's Guide to Destination Choices
L&RG: We have traveled to
Europe and New Zealand for longer periods of time. Every time we travel
somewhere we always wish we could stay longer. We try to get off the beaten path
and really mingle with the locals. The tourist sites are great, but really
getting involved with the locals and participating in their daily customs are
the true rewards of traveling.
A spontaneous cultural exchange
REL: What will you do
about transportation? Do you own a car?
L&RG: Like you, we plan on
going carless. During our last year of work we are planning to downsize to just
one car and then sell our remaining car right before we retire. We have been
many places around the world and we don’t have a problem using their local
transportation. Plus, walking is great exercise and we actually lose weight
while traveling because we walk everywhere.
REL: What will you do
about healthcare? Are you open to medical tourism?
L&RG: Currently, we have our
yearly checkups in Bangkok (Bumrungrad Hospital) and Lori has even had surgery
there. The care we’ve received is phenomenal and the price is so much cheaper
than the states. Obamacare is something that we are currently researching.
laws are still very new so we plan to consult a CPA this summer about our
options. Since we don’t necessarily want to live outside the U.S. for 330 days a
year in order to be exempt from having insurance, we have to figure out a way to
work around it. This next year we hope to uncover some solid answers to this
REL: How do you plan
to manage your finances while on the road?
L&RG: We have a financial
advisor who we’ve consulted with for over 20 years and he has advised us on our
journey so far. We are in the process of setting up which accounts we will use
first and the withdrawal percentage that we will use each year. We are also
looking into some overseas banks (HSBC) that might make withdrawing money out of
ATMs a little easier, as those fees add up over time. (We are open to
Fidelity rebates ATM transaction fees. You might want to contact them for more
REL: Can you share
with us anything about your portfolio? Did the market declines of 2008 affect
your retirement nest egg or make you question your retirement plans?
L&RG: We have always
maintained keeping a certain asset allocation within our portfolio. When we
started at the beginning of our marriage, we had about an 80/20 (stocks/bonds)
allocation. We currently have and will maintain in retirement around a 65/35
ratio. Our accounts took a pretty big hit in 2008, but we have always practiced
dollar cost averaging. We didn’t get spooked, continued to invest when stock
prices were low (we’ve always loved a good sale!), and therefore our accounts
eventually bounced back very nicely.
Milford Sound, New Zealand.
REL: What do you plan
to budget annually for your retirement?
L&RG: We are currently
budgeting for $60K a year, but in reality we plan to live on a lot less. Living
in places like Thailand, Guatemala, Malaysia, or Ecuador, we could easily live
on half of our yearly budget projection.
REL: Share with us
your best money-saving secrets.
L&RG: For us, the secret to our
financial success has always been to pay ourselves first. We have always
systematically invested even when our paychecks were much smaller and
the big, bad bear markets came along to stir up chaos. We have never
wavered from saving monthly and we have weathered financial storms with
some bruising here and there.
Adventurer's Guide to the Possible Dream
When we got raises at work, we upped the ante on our investments and
continued living below our means. Simplifying our lifestyle and only shopping
for things we truly need has also helped a great deal. Like you both, we now
choose experiences over things. Best decision we ever made!
REL: What are your
greatest passions in life?
L&RG: We are both happiest
when we are traveling anywhere. We love the major sites when we travel, but we
have enjoyed it most when we meet people we’d never expect to meet. In China, we
got lost walking around the hutongs (old neighborhoods of Beijing) and stumbled
upon some little old ladies drinking tea and gossiping. We didn’t understand a
word they said, but they laughed merrily and invited us to sit with them and
join their little tea party. What a priceless memory that was!
REL: Tell us about
your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.
L&RG: I think we both agree
that having Chase was one of our proudest accomplishments. He is articulate,
well-mannered, self-motivated and has never been embarrassed to have us hang
around even when we taught at the same school he attended. He is great to travel
with and his quick wit keeps us in stitches most of the time. He has also been
bitten by the travel bug and is already forging his own path toward early
REL: If you had just
5 years to live, what would you accomplish or do with your time?
L&RG: We’d do exactly what we
are planning to do right now. We’d get out there while we can and see the world.
There are so many places we have yet to see so we are very excited about
starting this next chapter in our lives. We have been very blessed so we
definitely want to give back to others as we travel the world.
Lori walking the ancient city
streets of Pompeii, Italy.
REL: Where are you
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L&RG: In the summer we
plan on going to Chiang Mai, Thailand for a month to do a trial run of early
retirement. We want to rent an apartment and track our daily expenses in order
to make adjustments as needed. We will probably stay long term in Thailand and
Malaysia to start off. Our son will be studying abroad in China next year so we
would be closer for visits with him. If not Thailand or Malaysia, Lori wanted to
spend her 50th birthday in Italy. If so, we’d head there during the fall for three months before returning to
the states to see Chase graduate from college.
We at RetireEarlyLifestyle would like to
thank Lori and Randy for taking the time to answer our questions and share their
lives with our Readers.
Thanks Lori and Randy!
About the Authors
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.