chttrbx

Retirement Planning

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Wondering if anyone that has successfully made a retirement plan that has culminated in global offshore cruising is willing to discuss?  I am hitting 50 soon, I work in a very stable environment, have savings etc. Home wise, in 5 years we will be empty nest types.  I have been sailing since a teen, racing mainly.  My wife has been around boats her whole life, but kind of starting from scratch on her boat skills.  

Couple this with the need to have 80% of my current salary available to me yearly after i retire, seems tough to do in the US, but central America.......

 

 

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Since I’ve never had a job , retirement doesn’t work 

 But I have done about a half million miles on sailboats 

the best advice I can pass on is that sailing and messing around  with boats is more expensive than you think 

choose a simple boat in perfect condition 

another complication is finding crew

consider yourself a singlehander once you get on the road 

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11 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Since I’ve never had a job , retirement doesn’t work 

 But I have done about a half million miles on sailboats 

 

Is there a book deal coming of that 500k miles on the water?  What kind of boat please?

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The first thing I would sort out are realistic expectations and comfort level. For example elimination of the word offshore puts you in a entirely different budget.  There are always outliers to any example IE people cross oceans in all sorts of boats, however, if cruising around seeing stuff is a priority over big ocean passages you can spend the next 30 plus years in the Carribean and Pacific central America on a small comfortable boat on a reasonable budget.  There is alot of info out there and lots of threads on this and other similar forums with people asking similar questions.  I would suggest finding one of the sailing cert courses some where warm, our friend has one in Puerto Vallarta MX, or the Carribean.  Go down learn some stuff and you will be able to bareboat charter after.  You can try some boats and regions out and get a base line for what your comfort level dictates.  Then find a boat!!

 

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Chances are that sometime before age 60, you'll start thinking "now or never". It's difficult to maintain your strength, and the generation just ahead of you will be beset by various difficulties only some of which are medical. 

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@chttrbx

I'm 47. My nest is already empty because I started early.  I intentionally purchased a small, affordable home very close to the water, so I don't need to waste time or money downsizing later. This is my "forever home."  Property taxes are manageable, operating and maintenance costs are low. I keep the boat at my house, so I'm not paying for dockage every year.

My retirement savings are on track to retire at 62. I hope to acclerate my mortgage payments to pay off the house at that time. I do not plan to "sail the world" but I do plan to cruise the North American east coast and the Caribbean.  The house will be our base when my wife needs time on land, in a real bed and wants to use a flushing toilet.

My government pensions actually start at age 60. If I can accelerate my 401k growth, I'll enact the plan at age 60.  My boat is modest, only 34 feet but it's comfy and well appointed. This also keeps costs low.

I agree with @SemiSalt- You're in a race against your own entropy. You're trying to maintain a certain amount of physical conditioning while accruing enough wealth to pull off the plan.

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i turn 50  in 16 days....I will retire in 6 years, my spouse in 7

we will have no mortgage

we have no kids

we have property in Honduras to build on for a winter vacation home.

we will have our cruising boat to go where we want when we want

 

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7 minutes ago, dacapo said:

i turn 50  in 16 days....I will retire in 6 years, my spouse in 7

we will have no mortgage

we have no kids

we have property in Honduras to build on for a winter vacation home.

we will have our cruising boat to go where we want when we want

 

You're way ahead of me. Good for you.

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9 minutes ago, dacapo said:

i turn 50  in 16 days....I will retire in 6 years, my spouse in 7

we will have no mortgage

we have no kids

we have property in Honduras to build on for a winter vacation home.

we will have our cruising boat to go where we want when we want

 

No kids makes it much easier to reach a point of financial take-off.

I dislike materialism... money is dross... but I realized quite early in life that the more effort you put into accounting and budgeting, the more money you magically have. Back when savings accounts could earn 4 1/2 % I realized that a dollar saved meant ten dollars later (didn't realize about market crashes yet, but that's another story). So I lived cheap (relatively), saved money and studied finance/investing as a minor hobby.

About 25 years after I earned my first dollar, I was making more money from invested savings than from my paycheck.

This leaves a lot of people out of the picture, it has not been popular to save money since, what, the 1940s? But in a capitalist society, there's no substitute for having capital.

Nowadays I work as hard as I ever did, but it's doing things -I- want (mostly volunteer orgs) and I don't have to worry about a paycheck.

- DSK

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Listen to Slug> "messing around  with boats is more expensive than you think, choose a simple boat in perfect condition" 

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We are very close to moving forward with “the plan”  and sticking to the small nice boat theme.  Small boats regardless of purchase price are far less to maintain than larger boats of same price.   We are planners and savers and to the OP  I  encourage you to keep questioning, planning, saving, And reading.  

Books that have helped us plan/structure, dream, and now execute:  Where the Magic Happens - Casper Craven; Simple Path to Wealth - J.L. Collins; Work Optional .....- Tanja Hester.  Sea of Cortez ....... - S. Breeding.   

A warm beach and a cold beer in Mexico will move the plan forward - stay after it - no regrets.   

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I definitely feel the time pressure.  I went to change something on my brakes and when I stuck my head in the wheel well, I couldn't see what I was after. :( 

Late 40's, everything paid off - everything is pretty modest so easier to pay off - some retirement investments, a rental property, a home.  Property tax is higher than I'd like and no free moorage.  But I could retire in the house I currently own just fine. Kids graduate university next year debt free and hopefully they will launch. I like to think I live inexpensively, but how long is a piece of string? I say yes, my wife says no.  I have a modest 38''er that has mostly been refit with the explicit goal of making it ostfront stronk and easy for simpleton like me to maintain.  My wife is game, but it will likely be single-handing with my wife.  I try to stay in shape with yoga - fixing things on a boat requires flexibility! I hope to push off in 5 years. 

But the key questions: How big a nest egg is required? How long do I temp fate before a medical issue possibly sidelines me and my plans? 

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2 hours ago, Epi-sailor said:

We are very close to moving forward with “the plan”  and sticking to the small nice boat theme.  Small boats regardless of purchase price are far less to maintain than larger boats of same price.   We are planners and savers and to the OP  I  encourage you to keep questioning, planning, saving, And reading.  

 

Small is a relative term, define what you mean?  And does your plan involve how many people and how about guests and the ability to go solo?

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My wife and I are probably the wrong ones to take advice from.  We have a larger complicated boat but are both engineers and do a fair amount of work on the boat ourselves.  I/we enjoy the work and the challenge of sailing a large boat.  We fully understand this is not the right boat for most and agree smaller is going to be less hassle and less expensive.  

We both retired early from we'll paying jobs and have no regrets about it.

Good luck with whatever you decide, cruising is great.

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Y'all might want to read The Number by Lee Eisenberg. Only 288 pages.

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8 hours ago, chttrbx said:

Small is a relative term, define what you mean?  And does your plan involve how many people and how about guests and the ability to go solo?

You’re spot on  -   So to us we have defined small as under 40.    We know from previous boats we owned, sailed,  and delivered that we can, within our means and skill set........care for, feed and sail this size boat.  We also prefer quality over quantity (size/length),   So simple answer is for us under 40 and the leading candidate is. 35.    Either one of us can handle this size essentially solo and most of the time it is just the two of us with occasional friends. Note: we have no solo ambitions - at least that I’m aware of  :)

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Our plan is a small mountain top condo at the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains (at a small ski hill), and a 35 footer on the Chesapeake Bay.  Sailing is scalable, so where i once wanted to sail around the world, I'm now content to sail around the Ches Bay, and up to New England, maybe down to the Caribbean.  We have the advantage of 2x20 year Navy Retirements, but the youngest is only 12, so we are 6-7 years from pulling chocks from Socal to make that happen.  Modesty in home and sailing equals an increase in affordability.  Is sailing around the world important?  Or is sailing for the rest of your "functional" years important?  No wrong answers here....

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16 hours ago, chttrbx said:

Wondering if anyone that has successfully made a retirement plan that has culminated in global offshore cruising is willing to discuss?  I am hitting 50 soon, I work in a very stable environment, have savings etc. Home wise, in 5 years we will be empty nest types.  I have been sailing since a teen, racing mainly.  My wife has been around boats her whole life, but kind of starting from scratch on her boat skills.  

Couple this with the need to have 80% of my current salary available to me yearly after i retire, seems tough to do in the US, but central America.......

 

 

We put a ton away early and had some investments that were throwing off nice cash when we started cruising full-time at 46 in 2012. My wife was an insanely busy OB/Gyn, so that helped.

We're burning the principal now, so it's time to pull ashore while there's still post-tax money in the bank and simplify, rebuild the post-tax kitty before heading out again a few years from now. We chose a larger, more complex boat because we left with a 12 yo and 15 yo and knew we'd have teens with us and needed space. Also, we wanted to live in reasonable comfort, not camp.

There's a thread here about it:

One thing I did YEARS before we started was put together a spreadsheet that's a giant what-if of what it would cost to do this. It had to work in theory, and the model actually was pretty solid on a few predictions in spite of some variables we didn't plan for.

Here's a link to a generic version of the spreadsheet  - those are dummy numbers, not my real ones. You put in things like your cash on hand, how much equity you'll pull out of your house if you sell it, what year you plan to leave, how much you plan to spend on a boat, whether you will finance it and at what terms, how much more you can save every year until you leave, what post tax investment return to use, how much you have in pre-tax retirement dollars, what year you buy it (I recommend 2-3 years before you plan to leave if you can swing it), and what you estimate your monthly expenses for a variety of categories to be. There may be a few more variables...

It then calculates per year after you leave how much money you should expect to have if things go close to the plan. It showed me it could work, in theory.

We were not intending to come back to our house, so we sold it.

We financed the boat, which gave us a nice boat but also adds a certain pressure when you have a monthly payment, and is a driving impetus now to sell the boat. If you can pay cash, I recommend it as it gives you more options down the road to manage your cash flow. But you need the boat you need.

We chose to do it with our kids, with the caveat that our financial plan MUST allow us to give them an undergraduate education at the school of their choice.

We're not done sailing, for sure, but with the pressure of aging parents and kids turning into adults in the US, we feel a strong need to be closer and more nimble for the next few years. We also have significant savings in Pre-tax retirement dollars which will change our picture once we can take it without penalty...this too will affect our future plans.

In hindsight, a few things we could have done better before leaving:

  • Sell the house earlier, with a more aggressive sales price to move it fast. If we'd lived in a smaller rented place for a year or two we would have been much better off than keeping the house.
  • Cut our spending more and increased savings even more than we did.
  • Replaced my generator before we left

ll be happy to answer any more questions about what we did, how we got here, etc.

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16 hours ago, chttrbx said:

Couple this with the need to have 80% of my current salary available to me yearly after i retire, seems tough to do in the US, but central America....... 

I think this number is a fallacy. It drives me nuts, and assumes you will be living the exact same lifestyle you do when you retire as you do when you're raising kids, working, keeping up with the Joneses, and running on the hamster wheel five days a week.

Your expenses can drop a lot when your older, at least until you head for the nursing homes. If you get minimalist like a cruiser, you will need much less than that.

Smaller houses (or sell the thing), no kids to support, etc. etc. Vacations you have more time for, and can do them slower and cheaper. I mean, you're not taking off work, right?

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17 minutes ago, Crash said:

Sailing is scalable .........

Modesty in home and sailing equals an increase in affordability. 

Is sailing around the world important?  Or is sailing for the rest of your "functional" years important?  No wrong answers here....

Love all these thoughts particularly the scalable insight. 

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9 hours ago, chttrbx said:

Small is a relative term, define what you mean?  And does your plan involve how many people and how about guests and the ability to go solo?

If you're cruising think on the 90% rule. How will the boat be used 90%+ of the time?

Here's a simple truth: Everyone says they want to come sailing with you. Very few ever actually do. At this point I'm very free with invites because I know the odds of them being accepted are near zero.

Since 2012 we've had my parents on board 5-6 times (4 international), my brother-in-law and his kids three times (1 domestic, 2 intl), my father-in-law and SO once (intl), and some sailing friends twice (international). That's pretty much it that I can remember. People with homes, lives, day jobs, etc. can't spend as much time away.

When we picked a boat we knew two teens meant three cabins for peace. We could afford 53, so that's what we did. But now with just the two of us, it's too much boat. And no more people are coming to visit now than did before. Once you get to the far side of the world visits happen a lot less then when you're in Maine or Maryland.

So if it's you and your wife, and you *may* have people visit...think about how you need it most of the time. Young adult children, married kids with grandkids...how often will that really happen? It's cheaper to fly home than own too much boat for years, and you get to see more people on your visit.

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1 minute ago, Epi-sailor said:
29 minutes ago, Crash said:

Sailing is scalable .........

Modesty in home and sailing equals an increase in affordability. 

Is sailing around the world important?  Or is sailing for the rest of your "functional" years important?  No wrong answers here....

Love all these thoughts particularly the scalable insight. 

We've never set a circumnavigation as a goal. We've been "sailing around in the world" which is very different. A lot less goal oriented...

I say "we will sail again" but I'm still sitting on the boat typing this, so it hasn't actually ended yet.

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^^^^^^ THAT^^^^^^ what BJ said.

80% of your salary is not needed.

  Consider your kids are gone, saving for retirement is gone, home costs are gone, transportation costs are gone, work costs are gone, taxes are greatly reduced it eliminated.

If you have no debt your living expenses become quite low. There are allot of folks out here with modest boats and health care covered by previous employment arrangements.  They basically have food and entertainment coats.

I suspect for many, cruising costs a fraction of being a clod.

 

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14 minutes ago, Bryanjb said:

^^^^^^ THAT^^^^^^ what BJ said.

80% of your salary is not needed.

  Consider your kids are gone, saving for retirement is gone, home costs are gone, transportation costs are gone, work costs are gone, taxes are greatly reduced it eliminated.

If you have no debt your living expenses become quite low. There are allot of folks out here with modest boats and health care covered by previous employment arrangements.  They basically have food and entertainment coats.

I suspect for many, cruising costs a fraction of being a clod.

 

The kicker is getting back into the "real" world when cruising is done. If we had left five years ago (just a whatif, since we are probably a little too old to go full-time now) it would not be possible to get back into the local housing market for less than 50% more than what we had sold for. We know people that faced this exact scenario, except they went land voyaging. 

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Cruising is a state of mind.

We are carers for one of our kids, so selling up and moving out are not options.

My wife and I have been sailing since we were around 10 years old, mostly racing and coastal cruising around Sydney and Hobart.

We recently spent close to six summer months in the PNW over a couple of years, by buying a 30 footer there and selling  it when we had finished, and then picked up a boat in Queensland and spent time cruising the Whitsundays and Hervey Bay. It is still in southern Queensland as we speak waiting for shortish visits in the winter.

And we have had many road trips through Europe, and the USA over the years.

And we live in an amazing cruising ground, with 92 sheltered anchorages within a days sail from Hobart, where we keep our main boat. Having a base allows us to maintain networks, lets my wife continue as a hobby potter, something she couldn’t do on a boat. And we are fixing up a nice little waterside house for our dotage.

Our small  village is a popular settling spot for many long term cruisers, so it must have something going for it..

But my point is, cruising is not all or nothing, it’s grabbing the opportunities you can find and making the most of them. Just do it.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

But my point is, cruising is not all or nothing, it’s grabbing the opportunities you can find and making the most of them. Just do it.

Yup, there's a lot of ways to cruise.

Some people do it on a fixed basis - X number of years.

We've met people that cruised for six months, then laid up the boat in the Caribbean to go back and work for six, lather, rinse, repeat. So many people did this it caused a tempest in a teapot over at the SSCA about what the rules to become a Commodore should be, since they originally required living on board and cruising for a year or the like, so the part timers could never qualify even though they'd lived on board cumulatively for years. So the rules were flexed.

Selling up and sailing and a nomad life isn't for everyone. And I can tell you already after being back in NZ for a week and thinking about the next year or two: the wind-down is a pain in the ass, too. Cruisers keep their boats working well, but keeping everything Bristol when you spend less than a week per year in a slip is a challenge. The next two months of our lives will be spit-shining the boat to get her glossy enough for broker pictures. I have an unholy number of teak bungs to replace...

It remains to be seen how well, if at all, we'll reintegrate to land-bound life when this is over.

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3 hours ago, Ishmael said:

The kicker is getting back into the "real" world when cruising is done. If we had left five years ago (just a whatif, since we are probably a little too old to go full-time now) it would not be possible to get back into the local housing market for less than 50% more than what we had sold for. We know people that faced this exact scenario, except they went land voyaging. 

That was one of our big concerns about going cruising and returning. We had a really special place we loved that we sold. We can't afford to go back to that now, or anything close to it. We knew this going in though, and it was one of the risks of "what if we hate it and want to stop" that we'd lose what we had.

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As far as planning, I've long been a fan of "contingency planning," after witnessing/participating in a couple failed IT projects that depended upon best case scenarios playing out. Yes, positive thinking is powerful, but IMHO it's far from the whole story. Best to think about possible best case/worst case, and expect reality to fall somewhere in between. If best case actually pans out, well, bonus! There are a couple variables that are difficult to accurately predict - health (it's like a casino, if you keep playing at some point the house wins). Inflation (those of us who were adults in the late 70's and lived through moderate inflation probably "get it" a little better) can gut your financial plans. Another thing to consider is how well you know yourself, and how risk adverse are you in your bones? The reality of cruising might not match up with the dream, and unwinding can be difficult and expensive.

Your stated requirement of 80% of income needed in retirement does seem high... but if once retired/cruising you expect to enjoy fine wine with dinner, frequently eat at fancy restaurants, have pros do all your boat maintenance, etc., that might be the case. Sorry, rambling a bit... certainly some folks have found a plan that works for them, and I guess that's the key, to find what works for you. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

I think this number is a fallacy. It drives me nuts, and assumes you will be living the exact same lifestyle you do when you retire as you do when you're raising kids, working, keeping up with the Joneses, and running on the hamster wheel five days a week.

Your expenses can drop a lot when your older, at least until you head for the nursing homes. If you get minimalist like a cruiser, you will need much less than that.

Smaller houses (or sell the thing), no kids to support, etc. etc. Vacations you have more time for, and can do them slower and cheaper. I mean, you're not taking off work, right?

I'm really glad to hear you say that because I was wondering the same thing.

I've read several retirement planning "generic" budgets that have crazy line items in them like $200/month for CLOTHING.  Huh? We don't spend $200/month on clothing NOW. Why would I spend that much in retirement when I don't need nice clothes for work?

BTW, my retirement plans and budget are based on the numbers of MY retirement accounts and pensions only. I do not factor in my wife's assets because hey, you never know what will happen in the next 10-15 years. She could ditch me for a Chippendale's dancer or something.  If she still loves me and is with me at retirement, we'll have twice the money I've predicted. Possibly more.

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we could hang it up any time, kids/mortgage/problems largely over.

Only thing I can add is you have to do your OWN spreadsheets. smoking/drinking/gambling/clothes shopping/ maintaining a 160yr old home/keeping two cars. Its different numbers for everybody. Guidlines are good, but you need your numbers.

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Reading this, reminds me of probably the most common thing we hear from people out here. "We wish we would have went sooner".  Sugarbird was spot on on the lack of a crystal ball on nailing it all down.  There are just so many variables.  Obviously proper planning fiscal responsibility etc are hugely important, but the scale of time is so different out Cruising.  In the rat race you blink as years tick off.  The mindset of knowing you don't have a free lunch as we do and will have to go back to work at some point is not the end of the world.  Once out on the boat if you like it you can find priorities change, and along with them expenses and flexibility in most things.

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My wife and I decided long ago that upon retirement we would not own property.  Instead we'll buy into a retirement community that will take care of us from the go go years through the no go years. I don't want to burden my children with a lifetime accumulation of crap to be disposed of and I certainly don't want my children to be burdened with caring for me or the missus through years of failing health.  

 

 

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So many excellent perspectives, really need time to digest and think about all of this stuff.  I would like to respond to so many of the posts individually but, that would take some time.  So i just hit the like button if your post resonates with me.  Our current thought for ideal boat size is 38-45.  

And OMG, i thought i had a great looking spreadsheet, i'm having spreadsheet envy

 

I also like the comment about what we are going to do post sailing without being a burden on anyone.  

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I was able to retire early 50's because we were debt free.  Get debt free as soon as possible.  Your options increase dramatically.

Plus 1 to BJ's comments about guests.  They seldom come... kids, no vacay, next year, sorry....  (I also had a 5 day limit.  If poor guests, we could endure, if really great guests, we could do it again.  Ultimately, one couple came twice, one came once and one--we/they endured until a hotel option came available after 3 days. YMMV.

80% income in retirement -  it depends on whether your income is $50k or $200k.  You don't need 80% of $200k....   Yes, some expenses go away, but others go up.  When you're not working, you have more time to spend money.  Ocean cruising / crossing can be cheaper since you don't spend much $$ at sea or in a remote anchorage.  If you rent cars, use marinas and take inland sightseeing trips--- you'll spend a whole lot more.

Do not overlook the re-integration after your cruising days--and they ARE a season.   Very few folks live out their senior years aboard a boat.  Flush toilets, real seats and good beds feel pretty nice after some period of time.  

We un-retired about 7 years after living aboard (for 2 years) and hybrid cruising 6 months a year.  It's worked out well for us but if I had to return to my previous career, it would have been 'challenging' on most every level.  

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7 hours ago, Epi-sailor said:
8 hours ago, Crash said:

Sailing is scalable .........

Modesty in home and sailing equals an increase in affordability. 

Is sailing around the world important?  Or is sailing for the rest of your "functional" years important?  No wrong answers here....

Love all these thoughts particularly the scalable insight. 

Zackly

That only wrong answer is "I can't"

I worked in a blue-collar field ~35 years and while I made quite a good wage, it was not on the scale of 'professional' income... above the national average by a bit. My financial goal was to save/invest 50% of my income and I usually achieved saving 40%. With kids it would be a lot more difficult to achieve financial take-off but having simple inexpensive tastes will carry over into "the rest of the story" too.

What kind of boat... big question. Again, there are no wrong answers except for the one that financially cripples you. Debt is not your friend.

My wife and I sailed & 'cruised' in a small trailerable boat for ~12 years while working; my wife loved her job and was not serious about retiring. On weekends and week-long vacations, we covered most of the East Coast from Cape Cod on down, and lots of inland waters. We lived in a place that was a ~2 hour drive from the coast. Then with retirement looking like it might really happen, we started looking at bigger long-term cruising boats in the 35-ish ft size range but after a year of looking/thinking we decided a trawler would be better for us. We owned that boat for a couple of years before taking off,  then cruised on that full time for a couple of years, then part time, tapering off to "we have a really nice comfy house overlooking one of the nicest anchorages we've ever seen so why go."

I regret not having a zippy sailing dinghy to take cruising but I was still racing one-designs (still am, sort of). But that's another story

FB- Doug

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On 2/12/2020 at 7:59 AM, chttrbx said:

Wondering if anyone that has successfully made a retirement plan that has culminated in global offshore cruising is willing to discuss?  I am hitting 50 soon, I work in a very stable environment, have savings etc. Home wise, in 5 years we will be empty nest types.  I have been sailing since a teen, racing mainly.  My wife has been around boats her whole life, but kind of starting from scratch on her boat skills.  

Couple this with the need to have 80% of my current salary available to me yearly after i retire, seems tough to do in the US, but central America.......

 

 

A couple of observations:

Couple this with the need to have 80% of my current salary available to me yearly after i retire

How does this work and how does going to Central America increase your salary? Also note being simple and cheap will free you but trying to maintain a boat with all the comforts of home will be an expensive mess sooner or later.

Second, you are exactly one medical diagnosis away from not sailing anyplace for a long time or maybe ever. You can find various family members getting various illnesses that mean you are tied to helping them and then it is you or your wife's turn. GO NOW while you can! Also note that more commonly than not a woman's tolerance for heat, cold, bugs, danger, and discomfort declines exponentially with age. Just sayin...............

* I am finding the minimum required boat that my wife needs grows every year :rolleyes:

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I looked at B.J.'s spreadsheet a few weeks ago when that last thread came up. I have to admit I didn't understand some of it, but I went back and tweaked my own spreadsheet that I pull out every few years.  (If it's to be believed, I'm losing money by not retiring, stat!) One thing that makes an eye-opening difference is plugging in annual inflation on expenses while income stays fixed.  Another is adding even a small amount of income on top of investments.  But YMMV.  Also interesting to see how small choices early on make big differences later.  

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2 minutes ago, toddster said:

I looked at B.J.'s spreadsheet a few weeks ago when that last thread came up. I have to admit I didn't understand some of it, but I went back and tweaked my own spreadsheet that I pull out every few years.  (If it's to be believed, I'm losing money by not retiring, stat!) One thing that makes an eye-opening difference is plugging in annual inflation on expenses while income stays fixed.  Another is adding even a small amount of income on top of investments.  But YMMV.  Also interesting to see how small choices early on make big differences later.  

Also HUGE difference between voyaging and sitting someplace. There are places that you can go where $600 US a month would be plenty as long as your boat doesn't sink. Sailing involves wear and tear, fuel, customs fees, and keeping the boat in much better than "not currently sinking" condition.

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Yeah, and that's where sticking with a small "practically disposable" boat with small sails and small hardware makes a big difference.

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11 minutes ago, toddster said:

I looked at B.J.'s spreadsheet a few weeks ago when that last thread came up. I have to admit I didn't understand some of it, but I went back and tweaked my own spreadsheet that I pull out every few years.  (If it's to be believed, I'm losing money by not retiring, stat!) One thing that makes an eye-opening difference is plugging in annual inflation on expenses while income stays fixed.  Another is adding even a small amount of income on top of investments.  But YMMV.  Also interesting to see how small choices early on make big differences later.  

But DOES income stay fixed?  My retirement funds are comprised of multiple pensions and investment funds.  The pensions do have built-in COLAs. Social Security has COLAs (but I don't factor SS into my retirement plans because I expect the SS pot to be empty by the time I retire).

401k doesn't "COLA" it goes up and down in value with the markets, so that's a different story.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

"we have a really nice comfy house overlooking one of the nicest anchorages we've ever seen so why go."

We have experienced just this.  We bought the house we used to anchor in front of several times a season.  Having the boat at that dock cuts several ways.  We have been known to make after work sails with a cold supper and sail up the river in a dying breeze and then motor home when the wind shuts down.  It's also easy to procrastinate with the "we need to do X.Y.Z and can sail tomorrow or next weekend, etc."  

When we lived more than an hour from the marina, we headed to the boat on Friday after work and back to town on Sunday afternoon.   Once we had kids with swim team, soccer, lacrosse, etc, it got a lot harder to make time to sail, even with the boat 100' from the door.  

KIS' "one medical diagnosis" statement is very true.  Might be you, your spouse or child or a parent but plans can change in a microsecond.  

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42 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Second, you are exactly one medical diagnosis away from not sailing anyplace for a long time or maybe ever. You can find various family members getting various illnesses that mean you are tied to helping them and then it is you or your wife's turn. GO NOW while you can!

Often mentioned in threads like this but far more than a cliche.  Read it again and go back to what ever step your at and take one step forward.  

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43 minutes ago, toddster said:

Yeah, and that's where sticking with a small "practically disposable" boat with small sails and small hardware makes a big difference.

My boat has one GIANT advantage over others - she is PAID FOR. I don't do it, but I could go places where no one would insure me. Do NOT overlook insurance for your planning. Insuring a big $$$ boat for world cruising is not a trivial task. Hell - just moving to Florida would TRIPLE my insurance :o Not like back in the day when we added coverage to Bermuda for $50 and did so via a phone patch on the way there. Kind of forgot about it in the rush to leave :rolleyes:

"When are you leaving?"

"Saturday"

"Which Saturday"

"Last Saturday!"

 

"

 

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24 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I texted that to my wife and got 3 as an answer.

I knew that would be the case for some of you guys! She is OK with the porn though, right?

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

But DOES income stay fixed?  My retirement funds are comprised of multiple pensions and investment funds.  The pensions do have built-in COLAs. Social Security has COLAs (but I don't factor SS into my retirement plans because I expect the SS pot to be empty by the time I retire).

401k doesn't "COLA" it goes up and down in value with the markets, so that's a different story.

Depends on what and how you invest.  If you buy high quality companies with solid earnings growth and solid dividend growth you can effectively COLA IRA's, 401k's, SEP's... Dividends increase annually, hence they are COLA'd.  Market fluctuations really don't matter but you have to be cognizant of buying at fair valuations.  I tend to sell when a company I hold trades we'll above fair valuation. 

As an example, I held SO for steady growth of both earnings and dividends, it was bought below fair valuation but recently the market went crazy (as markets sometimes do) and I was forced to sell. I'll buy it again when it's valuation is in line with it's historical valuation.  This isn't a bad thing, the buy/sell yielded an annual 20 percent ROR.  I'll buy it again when the valuation is correct.

 

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Having never earnt more than the national average wage while in the UK,  until we finished paying the mortgage we couldn't afford to sail off into the sunset. Unfortunately ten years before that happened SWMBO became unable to move without severe pain, so she's on 11pills a day and 12years ago I became dependant on drugs to stay alive. 

I've used a spreadsheet to help keep us solvent, the first year ex-RAF (1988) we made a serious loss as costs exceed income,  that wiped out our savings at the time. 

Luckily with the National Health Service  the cost to us of medical treatment,  is now Nothing, that's a very good reason not to leave the country. 

We are both on our military pensions,  but that's not enough to live on,  as we both had to leave early,  on medical grounds ( not caused by the military) so I've another couple of years to go till I retire. 

We have achieved living in a good area less than ten miles from my sailing club, I'll be able to sail there and at any other local event.   Once I've retired we will be able to afford to travel regularly in the UK,  with or without the sailing boat trailing along behind. 

As for reduced costs once retired,  my only reduction will be the £2000 spent on fuel for the car,  and it's reduced wear and tear. This is why we have not increased our expenditure on non essentials since the mortgage was paid off. 

For me the 80% requirement is probably true,  if we run out of money, we can sell the house,  on a remain living in it deal. 

 

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6 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Reading this, reminds me of probably the most common thing we hear from people out here. "We wish we would have went sooner".  Sugarbird was spot on on the lack of a crystal ball on nailing it all down.  There are just so many variables.  Obviously proper planning fiscal responsibility etc are hugely important, but the scale of time is so different out Cruising.  In the rat race you blink as years tick off.  The mindset of knowing you don't have a free lunch as we do and will have to go back to work at some point is not the end of the world.  Once out on the boat if you like it you can find priorities change, and along with them expenses and flexibility in most things.

This is one reason we went why we did.

OUr history went like this.

Me, sometime around 2002: "What do you think about selling everything, quitting medicine and going sailing with the kids?"

My wife: "You are insane."

After a couple years going around about it she warmed to the idea a lot. Enough to buy the boat, but you may be surprisedthat even when we bought the HR53 my wife was not 100% committed to the idea of doing this. We realized in the worst case scenario we didn't go after all, and the only hit was the loss in value on the boat. But we thought to buy the cruising boat, do some bigger, overnight trips, and learn how we liked sailing a bigger, more complex boat.

Once we had the boat, the plan was to:

  1. Spend two years or so learning the boat and getting it ready to go.
  2. Put the house on the market towards the end of this time
  3. When this house sells, that starts our one-year countdown time to leave the following spring

That would have had us leaving around 2009 or so.

Then the housing market when to complete shit, and we spent several years chasing the market downwards and not selling the house. Part of the reason for this was the market, part of it was my tax assessment which quickly outstripped my selling price as the market dropped.

We decided in late 2010 that since going with the kids was a priority, we had to go sooner and without selling the house as they would be heading into 9th and 6th grades the next school year, a natural breaking point for taking them out of school. So we decided fuckitall, we're leaving without the house sold. The worst case scenario? We dump the price and the house takes a year more to sell.

So in January 2011 we sat down with my wife's partners and told them we'd be sailing off at the end of the summer in August. Then we told the hospital, and all hell broke loose. In brief, a deal was worked to keep us around until the end of May, 2012 so the practice and hospital could hire two doctors to replace her and she could help transition them.

So we aimed for 2009, but missed by a few years and still forced the issue.

 

 

 

Also, a fun fact on the "Worst Case Scenario." We were a tad wrong about it. In fact the "Worst case scenario" for us was that a pipe burst on the 3rd floor, destroying almost everything from the 3rd floor to the new furnace we'd put in the basement, the insurance company kinda screwed us  because you don't want to rebuild you want to sell1, the water cleanup company screws the pooch and lets a huge mold problem develop, and you end up taking a "flood sale" price. Sixteen months out, not a year...

 

1 - Their settlement offer was way below what any contractor would quote it, and they said "that's OK, just repair it and give us the bills." Of course, I was in the South Pacific at the time. During this time we also got the town to cut almost 40% of our assessment which helped the sale.

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7 hours ago, SASSAFRASS said:

Reading this, reminds me of probably the most common thing we hear from people out here. "We wish we would have went sooner".

Also to this point...

We met many, many older cruisers. We also met many younger cruisers with younger kids. We were the odd ducks for sure, in our late 40s with teens we only met a few families like us.

That being said, many older cruisers saw us and said "Yeah, I wish we'd been able to do this with our kids."

Do you know what I've NEVER once heard? A single regret from parents that did cruise with their youngsters who wish they'd waited until they were older.

 

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4 hours ago, toddster said:

I looked at B.J.'s spreadsheet a few weeks ago when that last thread came up. I have to admit I didn't understand some of it, but I went back and tweaked my own spreadsheet that I pull out every few years.  (If it's to be believed, I'm losing money by not retiring, stat!) One thing that makes an eye-opening difference is plugging in annual inflation on expenses while income stays fixed.  Another is adding even a small amount of income on top of investments.  But YMMV.  Also interesting to see how small choices early on make big differences later.  

I'd be totally happy to explain that spreadsheet in greater detail if anyone is interested. It is quite complex, though it works well if you put the right data in. Speak up anyone that wants to discuss it, it should have it's own thread. It is also entirely possible there are bugs in it, it evolved over some time.

I had to make some assumptions for simplicity - inflation was one of them. Too damned many variables. When to start the inflation, for example based on the assumptions? I put a "cushion" number in the monthly expenses essentially to pad them out for inflation and other variables.

The other one was return on investments. I assumed it would be post tax return, as calculating income taxes would be hideous.

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3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

My boat has one GIANT advantage over others - she is PAID FOR. I don't do it, but I could go places where no one would insure me. Do NOT overlook insurance for your planning. Insuring a big $$$ boat for world cruising is not a trivial task. Hell - just moving to Florida would TRIPLE my insurance :o Not like back in the day when we added coverage to Bermuda for $50 and did so via a phone patch on the way there. Kind of forgot about it in the rush to leave :rolleyes:

"When are you leaving?"

"Saturday"

"Which Saturday"

"Last Saturday!"

 

"

 

Also an argument for size/value. My insurance is close to $10,000 for sailing about in the world and crossing oceans. It was more like 1/3 that when I was a coastal cruiser.

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Me: "Boss I got ass cancer"

Boss: "Oh shit, sorry to hear that, how can we help etc..."

Me: "Nothing right now. I sure am glad I retired early and went sailing. Don't have too many regrets"

 

At age 29 I quit my job and my wife and I sailed for 4 years in Mexico/Central America.

I went back to work designing for beltway bandits for 1 year, yachts for 3 years, and then back to previous company in Canada for 6 year (so 10 years of working)

At age 43 I quit my job and my wife and kid and I sailed for 8 years around the world.

I went back to my previous company in Canada (this is the 4th time they have re-hired me) at age 51

I found out I had rectal cancer at age 52.

Go now if you're thinking about it. Your health won't get better as you get older and it won't get easier!

 

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2 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

One of the better retirement planning calculators I stumbled upon.

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator

That is better than most.  It actually shows us decently in the black if our estimate of post retirement living expenses is close to correct.  That confirms our recent discussions on when to retire and what will our income be.  We compare that with current spending and think we will be OK.  

I hate the presumption by many "advisers" that you need 80% at retirement to maintain your lifestyle.  I've failed at retirement twice (got bored) so am using current income to build savings and pay off the house.  Both of us currently max out 401 with pre-tax dollars, including catch up, will pay off the mortgage  within 2 years from now by paying triple payments each month, etc. and are putting away a fair amount in after tax savings.   We won't be making those payments after retirement and they total today more than 40% of pretax income.  I have trouble understanding why I need 80% when my current expenses excluding 401 and the mortgage total less than 60%.  

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23 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:
3 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

One of the better retirement planning calculators I stumbled upon.

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator

That is better than most.  It actually shows us decently in the black if our estimate of post retirement living expenses is close to correct.  That confirms our recent discussions on when to retire and what will our income be.  We compare that with current spending and think we will be OK.  

I hate the presumption by many "advisers" that you need 80% at retirement to maintain your lifestyle.  I've failed at retirement twice (got bored) so am using current income to build savings and pay off the house.  Both of us currently max out 401 with pre-tax dollars, including catch up, will pay off the mortgage  within 2 years from now by paying triple payments each month, etc. and are putting away a fair amount in after tax savings.   We won't be making those payments after retirement and they total today more than 40% of pretax income.  I have trouble understanding why I need 80% when my current expenses excluding 401 and the mortgage total less than 60%.

Well, using THAT went south in a hurry...

image.thumb.png.5ab324cb5a3f7d2674b38c7314f40250.png

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30 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Me: "Boss I got ass cancer"

Boss: "Oh shit, sorry to hear that, how can we help etc..."

Me: "Nothing right now. I sure am glad I retired early and went sailing. Don't have too many regrets"

 

At age 29 I quit my job and my wife and I sailed for 4 years in Mexico/Central America.

I went back to work designing for beltway bandits for 1 year, yachts for 3 years, and then back to previous company in Canada for 6 year (so 10 years of working)

At age 43 I quit my job and my wife and kid and I sailed for 8 years around the world.

I went back to my previous company in Canada (this is the 4th time they have re-hired me) at age 51

I found out I had rectal cancer at age 52.

Go now if you're thinking about it. Your health won't get better as you get older and it won't get easier!

 

Sorry to hear about the ass cancer, that sucks.

Goddammit...you've reminded me I'm a year older than when you got your DX and I've still not had a colonoscopy, and colon CA runs in my family.

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Sorry to hear that Zonker.  

 

This might be a good place to point out that I've acquired several pieces of my "practically free" cruising gear from people who's health took a left turn before they ever got to use them.  Moral of the story is always, "Don't wait, go while you can."  

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14 minutes ago, toddster said:

Sorry to hear that Zonker.  

 

This might be a good place to point out that I've acquired several pieces of my "practically free" cruising gear from people who's health took a left turn before they ever got to use them.  Moral of the story is always, "Don't wait, go while you can."  

I know someone that sold everything and equipped their big center cockpit boat with every toy known to man. It lasted about 4 months before the wife was too sick to be on a boat, she couldn't even climb on or off :(

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1 hour ago, B.J. Porter said:

Well, using THAT went south in a hurry...

image.thumb.png.5ab324cb5a3f7d2674b38c7314f40250.png

Walnut St, Green Cove Springs, Florida

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5 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

One of the better retirement planning calculators I stumbled upon.

https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-calculator

That's an okay one for a basic number. Here https://www.firecalc.com/ is one that lets you compare to various historical market conditions and give you an idea of success based on number of years

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There are countless retirement and withdrawal strategies.  I have no idea which one is best for anyone or best for us.  Here's a historical analysis of savings withdrawal, it's pretty obvious timing is a key factor. If you're able to be flexible with withdrawal amounts then the whole timing thing is minimized.

https://engaging-data.com/visualizing-4-rule/

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Withdrawal strategies work unless it’s a gap of say, 1965/1966 and somewhere near 1995. 
 

I think future retirees are going to be disappointed with their returns as compared to the current crop. 

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I ran my spreadsheet out to age 104, although most of the assumptions are probably out the window over that time frame.  Who knows? Three of my great-grandparents did it.  (Next two generations smoked and drank, and worked in dank factories though, so the track record took a severe dive...) When one former employer cashed out their pension plan, based on their claim of what they owed me, back-calculations suggest that they were figuring that I'd last until 68.   Um... that's only ten more years :huh:  Guess I can spend like crazy! :D

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3 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

Walnut St, Green Cove Springs, Florida

Well that's where I reside, which is different from where I live.

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6 hours ago, Zonker said:

Me: "Boss I got ass cancer"

Boss: "Oh shit, sorry to hear that, how can we help etc..."

Me: "Nothing right now. I sure am glad I retired early and went sailing. Don't have too many regrets"

 

At age 29 I quit my job and my wife and I sailed for 4 years in Mexico/Central America.

I went back to work designing for beltway bandits for 1 year, yachts for 3 years, and then back to previous company in Canada for 6 year (so 10 years of working)

At age 43 I quit my job and my wife and kid and I sailed for 8 years around the world.

I went back to my previous company in Canada (this is the 4th time they have re-hired me) at age 51

I found out I had rectal cancer at age 52.

Go now if you're thinking about it. Your health won't get better as you get older and it won't get easier!

 

Ouch. May your recovery be rapid and complete.

I'm happy you "retired" early, had a massive adventure, and kept many of us entertained, inspired, and informed along the way. Looking forward to more.

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Thanks all. Nobody dies saying " I should have spent more time at work! "

So if its something you want to do then do not wait. During our first time cruising I can't count how many retired couples told us how they envied us doing what we did at our age.

Geez if you have a family history go and get a colonoscopy now. I don't really have risk factors (healthy eating, not lots of red or processed meat, no family history). I blame the bottom paint....

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Thanks all. Nobody dies saying " I should have spent more time at work! "

So if its something you want to do then do not wait. During our first time cruising I can't count how many retired couples told us how they envied us doing what we did at our age.

Geez if you have a family history go and get a colonoscopy now. I don't really have risk factors (healthy eating, not lots of red or processed meat, no family history). I blame the bottom paint....

You weren't supposed to apply it to your suppository, you know!

Funny - I've no regrets about not getting my own boat until late in life - it would have been sitting unused on a mooring. I had a very (to me) interesting career, got paid to go places that are really hard to get to and poked around in a lot of Australian coastal waters doing fish survey work in earlier years. I could have bought a boat & gone blue water sailing but then I likely wouldn't have done a lot of the other stuff I've done. There aren't many (any?) major decisions I'd do differently if I had a do-over.

I've been retired for over 10 years now and do pretty much exactly what I want to do. Crossing big oceans in a small boat isn't very high on the list. It's the fringing bits where the interesting stuff is IMO. I think Olaf had a good plan and if I decide I'd like to see the PNW I'll buy a boat over there then sell at a loss once done rather than sail mine across. Same with the East coast of the USA. Doing the ICW and the lakes plus the Mississippi would be fun - in a power boat.

FKT

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7 hours ago, Zonker said:

Thanks all. Nobody dies saying " I should have spent more time at work! "

So if its something you want to do then do not wait. During our first time cruising I can't count how many retired couples told us how they envied us doing what we did at our age.

Geez if you have a family history go and get a colonoscopy now. I don't really have risk factors (healthy eating, not lots of red or processed meat, no family history). I blame the bottom paint....

I had colon cancer at 35.  I'm missing 16 inches of plumbing. Turns out that it is in the family medical history, but no one told me.

I hope you kick cancer's ass, Zonk. We can't afford to lose good people.

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5 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

You weren't supposed to apply it to your suppository, you know!

Funny - I've no regrets about not getting my own boat until late in life - it would have been sitting unused on a mooring. I had a very (to me) interesting career, got paid to go places that are really hard to get to and poked around in a lot of Australian coastal waters doing fish survey work in earlier years. I could have bought a boat & gone blue water sailing but then I likely wouldn't have done a lot of the other stuff I've done. There aren't many (any?) major decisions I'd do differently if I had a do-over.

I've been retired for over 10 years now and do pretty much exactly what I want to do. Crossing big oceans in a small boat isn't very high on the list. It's the fringing bits where the interesting stuff is IMO. I think Olaf had a good plan and if I decide I'd like to see the PNW I'll buy a boat over there then sell at a loss once done rather than sail mine across. Same with the East coast of the USA. Doing the ICW and the lakes plus the Mississippi would be fun - in a power boat.

FKT

That is called the Great Loop. It actually looks really fun. Oddly enough some people have discovered that de-rigged sailboats are the most economical way around if you aren't in a hurry.

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29 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

That is called the Great Loop. It actually looks really fun. Oddly enough some people have discovered that de-rigged sailboats are the most economical way around if you aren't in a hurry.

ya that's my plan.  Got my boat last year, fixing her up and will retire in 3 to 4 years, then plan on doing all those loops on the east coast, great lakes, etc. With a sailboat at a gallon an hour, what's the rush?

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The Great Loop is a grand cruise. There are a lot of sub-loops or mini-loops too. Mrs Steam and I found inland cruising on the rivers, canals, lakes, etc to be a lot of fun. Along the old canals there are a lot of historic towns that are very interesting and very welcoming.

Within the limits of draft, a sailboat is just fine for this. It can be a PITA docking and locking with a mast on deck though

FB- Doug

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50 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

The Great Loop is a grand cruise. There are a lot of sub-loops or mini-loops too. Mrs Steam and I found inland cruising on the rivers, canals, lakes, etc to be a lot of fun. Along the old canals there are a lot of historic towns that are very interesting and very welcoming.

Within the limits of draft, a sailboat is just fine for this. It can be a PITA docking and locking with a mast on deck though

FB- Doug

No mast on deck for many of the Loopers - strictly powerboat mode ;)

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5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

The Great Loop is a grand cruise. There are a lot of sub-loops or mini-loops too. Mrs Steam and I found inland cruising on the rivers, canals, lakes, etc to be a lot of fun. Along the old canals there are a lot of historic towns that are very interesting and very welcoming.

Within the limits of draft, a sailboat is just fine for this. It can be a PITA docking and locking with a mast on deck though

FB- Doug

Yeah - it was the draft issue that made me think a power boat would be better for that trip. Plus there's generally a lot more living space in a power boat, length for length, than a sailboat. Fast wasn't in the list, a slow displacement cruiser was what I'd have in mind.

FKT

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

No mast on deck for many of the Loopers - strictly powerboat mode ;)

There's a bunch of places along the Loop you can take your mast down for the canal/river part of it. I dunno how much shipping / storing a mast is, but I would seriously consider it. Of coourse, you'd want your rig UP for the Great Lakes, good sailing there.

Once you get away from the cities, most of the fixed bridge heights along the Mississippi and connecting rivers is 55ft. We saw a bunch of smaller sailboats cruising this area with their rigs up

11 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Yeah - it was the draft issue that made me think a power boat would be better for that trip. Plus there's generally a lot more living space in a power boat, length for length, than a sailboat. Fast wasn't in the list, a slow displacement cruiser was what I'd have in mind.

FKT

5' is readily do-able, depending on rainfall. 4' would be better. Our trawler drew 3 1/2 with a full skeg and that allowed us to be a little adventurous, to proceed a couple of times when everyone else was waiting for rain, and generally have a better trip. I know of boats that did it with 6' draft. Shucks, the Loop has been done in everything from a canoe to a paddle steamer to a cigarette boat.

FB- Doug

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Retired at 52, divorced at 54, bought boat at 54, now 55.  I mostly live on the boat but its in Greece and right now I'm in Santa Fe.  Came back to US for winter, to make a crap ton of money and that dam Schengen thing.  Ill be back at the boat in late March.  

 

Money is like water it finds level.  If you were smart and saved for retirement then go do it.  Or you can sit in a chair and turn into a fossil.  Yell at kids to get off of your lawn and pickle yourself.  I recommend the boat.

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20 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Well that's where I reside, which is different from where I live.

Doesn't really matter where you live, only where you pay the Uncle.

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Friends delivered a Hunter 34 from the NYC area to Chicago. They had the mast dropped around Albany and stepped as they reached Lake Michigan.  They reported running the engine 100% of the time. 

I was surprised at the number of routes available.

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6 hours ago, Bryanjb said:
On 2/14/2020 at 3:28 PM, B.J. Porter said:

Well that's where I reside, which is different from where I live.

Doesn't really matter where you live, only where you pay the Uncle.

That's not really so true. The Cost of Living in Dogpatch, Iowa is different from Warwick, RI, New York City, and Most of Florida. Taxes, real estate, housing, etc. all vary quite wildly so it's absolutely relevant where you live.

You could be a Florida resident who spends six months a year up north, or a New Yorker who snowbirds. Either way, YMMV.

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BJ, all the Smartasset.com program tries to do is calculate your income from most sources minus taxes based on your declared residency.  It doesn't care if you live in Dominica or Denver.  It sounded like you would be living a domestic nomadic life rather than an international nomadic life.  Either way you'll need a declared state for residency.

Florida works for us, federal taxes don't change but it's good to be finished with state and local taxes.

Anyway, good luck with your new adventure.

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Lots of great comments here, thank you for sharing. My wife and I recently work through a plan on a spreadsheet. The best thing I did was ask her to write down her goals, dream big. Then we put dollars to those goals. we intend to sail, but there are other things we wish to do. We also prioritized the goals based upon our physical skills and gave a 5-10-15 year bucket to place them in 

once we had this the conversations became real. If this was going cost $x dollars and needs to be done during this timeframe we need to do this...or have this amount saved etc...  what happens if there are grand kids? 

This may sound silly but income and expense are huge factors in the early years. If I choose to work Part time and earn $20k or spend $20k out of an IRA changed the longevity dramatically. 
 

I have been making large investments updating my current boat so it can meet our needs and keep costs as low as possible. We also recognize our sailboat will eventually become too difficult for us and that a powerboat is our way to stay on the water. We have much learning to do but time to do it. 

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6 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

BJ, all the Smartasset.com program tries to do is calculate your income from most sources minus taxes based on your declared residency.  It doesn't care if you live in Dominica or Denver.  It sounded like you would be living a domestic nomadic life rather than an international nomadic life.  Either way you'll need a declared state for residency.

Florida works for us, federal taxes don't change but it's good to be finished with state and local taxes.

Anyway, good luck with your new adventure.

We've been officially Floridians since 2012, yeah it works OK.

 

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Hope it all works out for you Zonk.

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23 hours ago, Bryanjb said:

BJ, all the Smartasset.com program tries to do is calculate your income from most sources minus taxes based on your declared residency.  It doesn't care if you live in Dominica or Denver.  It sounded like you would be living a domestic nomadic life rather than an international nomadic life.  Either way you'll need a declared state for residency.

Florida works for us, federal taxes don't change but it's good to be finished with state and local taxes.

Anyway, good luck with your new adventure.

Best to have some money in stocks at least one, and preferably two, bull markets before you n