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Old 04-02-2014
B.J. Porter B.J. Porter is offline
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Re: Financing a Family Circumnavigation

There are probably almost as many answers to the question as there are people that want to do it. More probably, because more people obviously try to make it work and can't...those might not be the right answers.

In our case it was a long term plan, combined with good earning power and saving some money and having some OK investments.

But we started planning to do what we are doing now almost ten years before we finally left.

Some people just GO, and worry about the nickels when they do it. In our case my wife was not up for that financial risk as she wants to make sure our kids can go to college.

The permutations and combinations are endless...we ended up leaving before we'd achieved every financial goal (#1 being sell the stupid house for a lot of money) because we wanted to go with our kids. We were already a couple of years behind leaving (see house not sold...) and just said "lets so it" so we could be with the kids.

What I've learned so far...

- Get the house sold. It is worth more to you gone than bleeding money while you are out there. If you want to keep it an rent, do it...but get a rental manager. You do NOT want to be trying to deal with a flooded basement from 5,000 miles away.

- Smaller and simpler really is cheaper. We love our boat, it is fast, comfortable and we can carry frozen meat, make water, etc. But we've spent a lot of money and time fixing stuff. Simpler boat = fewer things to break = less $$ spent on repairing things. When you anchor things like your boat length don't affect your costs, but when you have to paint the bottom, haul out, or get a slip it adds up fast.

- That being said...people on simpler boats spend a lot of time fixing things too; you have to include that in your plans.

- Start trying to live cheaply NOW. The last year before we left we almost made a game of it. The year before that we took some steps...but weren't really on it. If we'd been doing that for five years we'd have had a lot more in the bank.

- Many of your costs that you are used to now will be lower of go away. Clothes, cars, etc. all drop off a lot. Communications ends up being more than you expect, but not awful. People in this day and age are used to being in touch!
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