Success stories are regular features of our Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter service, where we share profiles of people who have become financially independent. One of the most remarkable stories we've come across is that of Billy and Akaisha Kaderli. At age 38, they left their fast-track lives and started traveling the world. We caught up with them in Chapala, Mexico. Here, Billy and Akaisha address recent market volatilities and currency fluctuations.
Once retired, you have numerous options available as to where you would like to live or spend your time. We choose to travel the world gathering as many unique experiences as possible. Even though the financial markets have been in a downward spiral for the last year, we continue to press ahead with our globe-trotting lifestyle.
For the last few years, weakness in the U.S. dollar has hit us a bit -- but not that much. For instance, the cost of a two-hour Thai massage went from $5 to $6 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. But you can still eat a plate of Phad Thai noodles for lunch for less than a buck.
However, we are no longer in Thailand. Now we are happily residing in Chapala, Mexico. When we arrived six weeks ago, the peso was trading slightly below 10 pesos to the dollar. For our record-keeping purposes we simply rounded it out to 10. Now, a few weeks later, it’s over 13 to the dollar -- meaning a peso is worth just under 8 cents. That’s a big bump in the purchasing power of our retirement dollars.
To put this into perspective, our rent, which is priced in pesos, has now declined more than 20% in dollar terms. In fact, everything is now 20% off for us. Food, restaurants, transportation, and entertainment have all become less expensive.
So, even though the S&P 500 has nose-dived recently, we have received a significant raise in our buying power.
If you are nearing retirement, perhaps now is the time to look beyond the border for locations where the quality of life is better and the costs are less than those in the U.S. We have.
Fool contributors Billy and Akaisha Kaderli write regularly for the Fool's Rule Your Retirement newsletter. They retired in 1991 from the brokerage and restaurant businesses to a life of international travel. Visit their website at RetireEarlyLifestyle.com and check out their new CD book, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement.