Liveaboard and Cruiser
Along with an introduction and a request for help, a name would be nice...
...and BTW Jeff is always ''kind''. He just has information that sometimes others find a bit painful to hear. <g>
Smaller budgets (and cruising kitties) along with an absence of trust funds suggest a smaller boat is better than a bigger boat. (IMO the last thing you need is a CT 41 with its HUGE keel). Smaller crews (you''ll be two-handed, apparently) suggest smaller boats, as well. Boats will always limit the quantity of ''stuff'' you have aboard...or at least, they should. Be clever, resourceful and thoughtful about what you take aboard, or reflect a bit more on your priorities...but don''t buy a boat based principally on how much ''stuff'' it can swallow.
To get some good suggestions, you need to offer some more information. Based on where you think you''ll be financially, 4 years out, what is your budget for purchasing & prepping the boat? (Telling us a hoped-for starting salary doesn''t suggest anything about your lifestyle or how expensive it will be where you live). And equally important, what are your cruising plans? The Bahamas or, a bit further afield, the Caribbean are easily accessed and not terribly demanding. Crossing an ocean is a different matter...while staying in USA coastal waters is easy-peasy. Draft requirements (for now or later)? Where would you place yourself on the continuum between superb sailing capability at one end and great load-carrying/housekeeping capacity at the other?