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.
THE GOOD LIFE Second Acts
What do you do for an encore? Here are
portraits of people who are taking new paths—and changing their lives.
Akaisha and Billy Kaderli: Country to Country
Most people hope to retire early enough to enjoy
their later years, but Billy and Akaisha Kaderli were committed to
retiring in the prime of their lives.
1991, when both were 38 years old, the couple sold their house, quit
their jobs and started what has become a lifelong adventure
traveling from country to country.
"We looked around at our friends and colleagues
and saw many people who were burned out and unfulfilled," says Billy
Kaderli, now 68. "So we started seriously planning our escape."
Early Retirement, Lifelong Adventures:
Billy Kaderli riding in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador.
Retiring at 38 takes some careful financial
planning. The Kaderlis had owned and run a restaurant in Santa Cruz, Calif., for
10 years. The proceeds from the sale of that business and their home were enough
to generate about $30,000 a year in dividends and interest—the amount they
figured they would need to live as permanent travelers. The Kaderlis have no
children and weren't concerned about staying in one place for family.
Still, most people, when they heard about the
plan, found it hard to believe the two were serious.
"The hardest obstacle we faced were the judgments
of our friends and family," says Ms. Kaderli. "They told us we were crazy to
walk away from good jobs [and] a nice home."
But their plan did work, and the Kaderlis have
lived in dozens of countries, including Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, Guatemala and
Ecuador. They stay in areas where they want to learn a skill (like Thai massage
or authentic Mexican cooking), volunteer with a local organization or visit
In response to a website the couple started in
the late 1990s, people around the world began writing and asking how they, too,
might plan their big escape. So the Kaderlis decided to write a book on the
subject. Today, "The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement:
Your Simple Path to FIRE 4th Edition" is sold in 40 countries and complemented by a popular website,
RetireEarlyLifestyle.com. Proceeds from the book and website go to nonprofit
The Kaderlis still live on less than $30,000 a
year—and live well, Ms. Kaderli adds. They also travel to Europe, around the
U.S., and in Canada, but in Latin America and Asia their dollars tend to go
"There's the most amazing wine shop where we're
living in Mexico, and an outdoor market with delicious produce," she says. "You
don't need a lot of money to retire early, but you do need to overcome your fear
of the unknown."