If you’re in your 30s, it’s unlikely that you have retirement on your radar. If you’re a go-getter, you may have started to contribute to a retirement fund, either privately or through your employer. Most of us won’t even be close to saving enough of a nest egg to fully retire at 38 like this savvy couple did.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli, both 61, successfully retired at 38 and still travel the world, living on less than $30,000 per year. Their retirement-friendly world travel encompasses much more than a road trip to a neighboring town. The pair spends the year globe-trotting from Asia to Central America back to the U.S.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll demand to know their secret. Akaisha spilled the beans to Next Avenue: “We have chosen not to devote our time or money to support a complicated infrastructure in our lives.”
This nod toward minimalism sounds lofty and hipster-esque, but Billy and Akaisha are two normal people who made it work. Their early retirement plan started more than two decades ago when Billy was managing a California brokerage office of Dean Witter. Focused on the future, the couple decided to take an inventory of their assets. They came up with a strategy that allowed them to travel the world while they were still young enough to enjoy it.
This early retirement plan did not come without sacrifice. Akaisha reveals that the couple cut their health insurance and mortgage, freeing up a big chunk of change every month. Just as importantly, Billy and Akaisha bypassed the bondage of monthly plans that quickly eat up a paycheck. This included cable, cell phone contracts and country club fees.
The three big cash-sucks: housing, transportation and taxes
Before jumping ship into uncharted retirement waters, Billy and Akaisha ensured that they were debt-free. They steered clear of big purchases with hefty monthly bills, like buying a boat or a car.
For those who want to retire before 40, Billy and Akaisha say that there are three cash-sucks you need to get a handle on right away: housing, transportation and taxes. The couple urges simplicity and minimalism to make early retirement attainable.
Instead of a mortgage, consider house sitting or travel to low-cost countries. Walk or take public transportation versus paying off a car. While death and taxes may be non-negotiable, taking care of the first two points will relieve your tax burden significantly.
Billy and Akaisha now work on a volunteer basis and use investments to fund their minimalistic, $30,000-a-year lifestyle. The couple runs the Retire Early Lifestyle website to guide other aspiring retirees and has written two early-retirement books.