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2014 interview with the Terhorsts
Old 09-02-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
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2014 interview with the Terhorsts

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli published an updated interview with Paul and Vicki Terhorst on their web site:

Paul Vicki Terhorst Interview Update

As a touchstone for those who may not have heard of them, Paul and Vicki early retired about 30 years ago and have been an inspiration for many living-abroad early retirees before that lifestyle was as popular or accepted.

Paul also wrote the successful book entitled: "Cashing in on the American Dream: How to retire at 35"

Small part of the interview here:
Quote:
REL: We asked you before for your advice for someone considering your type of lifestyle. Is there anything you would like to add given the economics and the world changes that have transpired?

P&V: We figure the world has pretty much moved our way over the past thirty years. Airfares have come way down, countries like China and Vietnam have opened up, ATMs make accessing cash easier, AirBNB gives us more housing options, and as our friends get older they have more time to play. Email, online banking, and Expedia have dramatically improved life on the road. We're frankly puzzled why so many people over fifty, with plenty of money, continue to work for their assets, and stay put, and otherwise stick to traditional ways, when the world around us has changed so much.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. Interesting to see that their investment allocations haven't changed over time. I'm delighted to see these two still "out there" enjoying their lives.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. Interesting to see that their investment allocations haven't changed over time. I'm delighted to see these two still "out there" enjoying their lives.
+1

Not my style, but good for them! I'm certain they are never bored. Wonder how they will adapt when health requires them to stay put.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #4
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It was interesting to see how they have aged . I always picture them as they looked on their book cover .I admire their life style but it would never be mine . I'd miss my family too much .
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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They seem like a very nice couple. But I would never take investment advice from them. When his book came out in the 80s, he warned against stocks. Only CDs for them. Then came the astounding 90s. Now he is 100% stocks, when stocks are very much more highly valued than they were then.
For myself only, traipsing around SE Asia in search of cheap living would very quickly get old.

Ha
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:34 AM   #6
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I lived like that for 5 years, the first 5 years of my retirement. I have been retired about 7.5 years now. I really enjoyed my itinerant existence and have no regrets, but I would not go back to living like that.

I love my rented apartment in the Philippines and I want a residence to go back to where everything is set up the way I like it and I have a nice circle of close friends. And a place where I am a permanent resident and I don't already need to buy a ticket out of the country before I enter or make special visa arrangements (which is the setup I have in the Philippines).

So my compromise is to have an inexpensive home base in SE Asia. Although it really is not that much cheaper to live where I am than a cheap part of the USA, the set and forget part when I leave (rent, base utilities) is indeed much cheaper. Even if I were to set off and travel for, say, 8 months most years, I would still probably keep my place.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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I'm envious and miss the itinerant lifestyle. I started living overseas in 1970, and really just returned to settle in the States last October (2013) at the age of 67. If a teaching job opened up in Liberia, I took it. It was that way for 11 other countries.

I have a new 1450 sq foot house in Washington in a very small town 20 miles from Vancouver, Canada. I'm now struggling a little with how I'm going to regain my itinerant lifestyle. It's very difficult to rent a house in a small town, and I'm not sure if I want to. I bought the house almost outright (very small mortgage).

As some of you mentioned, it's nice to come back to your own home and say this is a permanent home for me. As Kramer said, visa arrangements are not necessary, and you slowly make a circle of friends. I'm not sure if I would feel that way if I had a rented place, however.

I'm hoping to travel three months or more per year. My first experience will be to winter in Arizona (with my Labrador). I'm not sure where, but hopefully where there is plenty of off leash trails.
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Old 09-03-2014, 10:22 AM   #8
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Thanks for posting this Kramer. The Terhorsts along with the Kaderlis who conducted the interview have been and are inspirations for many of us. One certainly doesn't have to be a Perpetual Traveler (PT) in order to benefit from their advice on (and demonstration of) simplicity, joyous frugality and choosing to live iight and free with options open and of course LBYM.

I would've liked to have heard more about their investment approach. Years ago I think Paul said they were very heavily invested in commodities and pretty much all foreign stocks. 100% equities at age 65 sounds plenty daring to me, but more power to 'em if they have the stomach for it (and a big enough nest egg to handle a 30-50% drop).

We spent over 3 years living as expats in México but have recently returned to the U.S. as home base. ACA/Obamacare, flawed as it is, had a lot to do with making it possible. We chose a particularly low-cost option that I think will work really well for us: a late-model mobile home that's comfortable, well-insulated and walking and bicycling distance to stores, tennis courts, downtown, etc. in a small city we love in South Central Colorado. We have 16K tied up in the mobile, our space rent is $245 a month, and gas and electric together will rarely exceed $100. Overall it's considerably lower overhead, even with needing to have a car, than we had in Mexico, and we can (and will) "lock it and leave" for extended snowbirding each winter.

One thing I really liked about the Terhorst interview is how at home they are in the world as a whole from their decades of adventurous living and travel. They know they can have a good life anywhere. I'm also 100% in their camp when it comes to health care and last act considerations, after experiencing what Mexico and Thailand have to offer, and if either of us ever needed assisted living or other such care we'd move back to Lake Chapala in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:09 AM   #9
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I keep glancing at this thread title and seeing it as 'interview with the terrorists'. Time to get my eyes checked!
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:06 PM   #10
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I still don't know how people who write books and blogs for a living can claim they are retired. Maybe they left punching the clock behind but they all seem to be looking for easy ways to make money.

And I agree with Kramer that a home base is a valuable asset. There must be a good reason why rich people choose multiple homes as a place to tie up their assets.

We have 2 homes, one south and the other north but we love to travel to places outside North America every year for at least a month. We are gradually working our way around the world. Our last trip was Croatia, Turkey and Switzerland. We wanted to return and do a Black Sea cruise this year but decided to take a pass.

We are confident that our money will outlast us and that is a shame!
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Old 09-07-2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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I don't think the itinerant lifestyle is a good fit for DW and I but the interview has started us thinking about some extended trips. Maybe 2-3 months on the road in a certain region of the world. I like the fact that you get more value out of your airfare that way. Will have to investigate further.
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jon-nyc View Post
I keep glancing at this thread title and seeing it as 'interview with the terrorists'. Time to get my eyes checked!

LOL This is what I thought at first also.


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Old 09-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #13
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I don't think the itinerant lifestyle is a good fit for DW and I but the interview has started us thinking about some extended trips. Maybe 2-3 months on the road in a certain region of the world. I like the fact that you get more value out of your airfare that way. Will have to investigate further.
Seems to echo my thoughts.

Most of our trips are 1 to 4 weeks. They usually are pretty packed with transportation, planning, museums, hikes, etc. The daily costs range from $200 to $350 a day with the lower rates for car trips.

Maybe we should find someplace where we would do an extended stay in an apartment rather then hotel.

Things I enjoy at our home like running in the state park, gardening, going out to familiar places ... I don't think these should be undervalued. It is a fine line to walk between sharing a different living style and implying others have the wrong living style.
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #14
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I still don't know how people who write books and blogs for a living can claim they are retired. Maybe they left punching the clock behind but they all seem to be looking for easy ways to make money. ...
Yep, seems there sometimes are hidden agendas. It would be best if those people are very up front in disclosures. I never know how much of this to ascribe to the profit motive.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:32 PM   #15
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Seems to echo my thoughts.

Most of our trips are 1 to 4 weeks. They usually are pretty packed with transportation, planning, museums, hikes, etc. The daily costs range from $200 to $350 a day with the lower rates for car trips.

Maybe we should find someplace where we would do an extended stay in an apartment rather then hotel.

Things I enjoy at our home like running in the state park, gardening, going out to familiar places ... I don't think these should be undervalued. It is a fine line to walk between sharing a different living style and implying others have the wrong living style.
We just completed our longest vacation to date in June. We were gone for only three weeks. It was an excellent trip but also pretty active start to finish and we were glad to get home. I think with the longer trips we'll be able to slow the pace down and enjoy it more without getting so worn out.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:03 PM   #16
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We just completed our longest vacation to date in June. We were gone for only three weeks. It was an excellent trip but also pretty active start to finish and we were glad to get home. I think with the longer trips we'll be able to slow the pace down and enjoy it more without getting so worn out.
For us the problem sometimes is: What do you do when you want to slow down?

If one is in a modest hotel, it may not be such a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon. I guess one could check into a nicer place for a rest stay. Or perhaps a nice apartment is useful. So often for 2 people the apartments seem to be more expensive then a decent hotel.

One thing we have done is to bring along sketching material to do watercolor sketches during the day. Forces you to sit in one spot and concentrate on the subject. Also it is very rewarding. Most couples don't both enjoy art, so another thought would be reading for several hours in a park if the weather is nice.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:35 AM   #17
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I still don't know how people who write books and blogs for a living can claim they are retired. Maybe they left punching the clock behind but they all seem to be looking for easy ways to make money.

Why is it OK to trade stocks in retirement- but writing a blog is considered employment?
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:52 AM   #18
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Why is it OK to trade stocks in retirement- but writing a blog is considered employment?
Interesting, isn't it?
Maybe we should go back to Potter Stewart for an answer to how to define retirement, eh?
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:58 AM   #19
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Trading stocks is like playing poker. You enjoy the game and hopefully make some money.

Writing a blog might be for enjoyment. It depends on whether there are ads on the site. The Calderlies and Terhorsts both write for money, and they do travel a lot. I think it would be more forthright if they say they began independent living at 35.

It is simply a matter of degree.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:16 AM   #20
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^agreed
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