Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are old hands at retirement -- ask them anything about saving, spending or traveling. But one thing may surprise you: their age. Sixteen years after they retired, they are now both 54 -- almost old enough to satisfy the minimum age requirements of the active-adult community in Mesa, Ariz., they call home (when they're not traveling around the world).
When they were in their late thirties, Billy, a stockbroker, and Akaisha, a restaurant owner-turned-office manager, decided they were working too hard and paying too much in taxes. They vowed to save enough to quit in two years. "Every time I looked at a latte or a new pair of shoes, I decided I didn't need them," says Akaisha. "If you are clear about what you want, it becomes easier. You can either buy this or be days closer to your goal."
By 1991, they had accumulated about $500,000, including a $100,000 profit from the sale of their home. They put their belongings in storage and set out to see the world. After six months on a Caribbean island, they headed for South America. Returning to California a year and a half later, they bought an RV and wandered around the western states for two years. Then it was off to Mexico. They had planned to visit the Lake Chapala area for a few months and ended up staying four years. Since then, they've returned home from time to time to care for their parents, but have spent the rest of their time in Asia and the South Pacific.
What's their secret? This might sound like an extravagant lifestyle, but Billy and Akaisha limit their expenses to about $24,000 a year. They eat well and enjoy themselves but don't buy much "stuff." Their few big expenses include Akaisha's extensive dental care in Thailand and a laptop computer they use to update their Web site (www.retireearlylifestyle.com), which attracts 12,000 visitors daily.
The couple invest mainly in low-cost index funds, withdrawing about 3% of the balance each year. They pay little in taxes because most of their income is from capital gains and dividends, which are taxed at a maximum of 15%. They haven't had to touch their IRAs, which would still cost them early-withdrawal penalties. "At this point in our lives, we are less worried about running out of money and more concerned about not having enough time to enjoy it," says Billy.
How to do it
- Simplify. A complicated lifestyle costs more.
- Look beyond the border. An attractive lifestyle can cost much less in many countries outside the U.S.
- Track your spending. And figure out where to cut. This is your life now, not a vacation.
- Pursue low-cost entertainment, such as hiking, bicycling and reading.
Mortgage Demand Ticks Up for First Time in 3 Weeks
Weekly mortgage applications improve despite the 30-year fixed rate edging back up to its highest level in 4 weeks, economist says.
By Joey Solitro Published
How To Get the Best Savings Account Bonuses
By opening the right savings account today, you could be maximizing your earnings through both compound interest and cash bonuses.
By Erin Bendig Published
Does It Make Sense to Rent in Retirement?
Making Your Money Last Renting isn't right for all retirees, but it does offer flexibility and it frees up cash.
By Sandra Block Published
10 Things You Need to Know About Retiring to Florida
Making Your Money Last If Florida is part of your retirement plan, we offer up a few tips to help you find your way.
By Bob Niedt Published
Retirees, It's Not Too Late to Buy Life Insurance
life insurance Improvements in underwriting have made it easier to qualify for life insurance, which can be a useful estate-planning tool.
By David Rodeck Published
Best Banks for Retirees
banking Kiplinger's 2023 list of the best banks for retirees.
By Lisa Gerstner Published
New RMD Rules: Starting Age, Penalties, Roth 401(k)s, and More
Making Your Money Last The SECURE 2.0 Act makes major changes to the required minimum distribution rules.
By Rocky Mengle Published
As the Market Falls, New Retirees Need a Plan
retirement If you’re in the early stages of your retirement, you’re likely in a rough spot watching your portfolio shrink. We have some strategies to make the best of things.
By David Rodeck Published
Retirees: Your Next Companion May Be a Robot
happy retirement Robots may help fill the gap left by a shortage of humans to help older adults live independently.
By Alina Tugend Published
Using Your 401(k) to Delay Getting Social Security and Increase Payments
retirement Your 401(k) can be a bridge from retirement to higher monthly income.
By Elaine Silvestrini Published