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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2002
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Stede is on a distinguished road
Message in a bottle

Thanks for your response Bob-M and your kind words concerning my wife.Only someone that has been there can understand.I''m glad that all is well with your wife now.It was very awakening to hear from someone that is doing the dream, and the sacrifices made to get there.Patience has never been a strong trait of mine, especially when it comes to wanting to go cruising.I know to be able to keep cruising, a good financial plan has to be in place. I''ve been working on that.I''m saving and investing what I can.In the mean time, I sail my 26ft boat in various locations every chance I get and am studying to obtain my Captains license.My wife used to sail with me but no longer can.We chartered several larger boats in the Carribean, and Greece.She understands how I must sail and encourages me to continue to do so.I recently single-handed my boat to the Bahamas,but missed her terribly during the trip.I don''t know what the future holds for us or when my dream will be fulfilled,but I know the Lord is with us no matter what happens.Thanks again for sharing your experience and we hope that you and your wife have many more wonder years cruising.
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  #12  
Old 12-01-2002
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Message in a bottle

Bob (and everyone else) -

Dumb question - but assuming you (and a majority of us) fall into the "need a plan" category - how do you know financially when you are ready to go....

I have done a lot of cruising and lived aboard my 36'' S2 for several years. I understand that the crusing budget itself is not very large (I''ve heard it can be in the neighborhood of about $15,000 per year). Establishing the means to generate this kind of income while crusing is - for someone in their late 30''s to 40''s - not outrageously difficult.

But what if you decide you want a land life after several years. I would think to have that kind of life, one would need $750K to $1 M stashed away. Or - one would need to return to a fairly lucrative career at an arbitrary point in the future (which I don''t think would be that easy to do after being away for several years and getting older still).

I''m not asking (nor do I expect) for you to put your actual numbers on the board - but if you think my numbers are even ball park correct) - how did those "on a plan" that you met cruising - to your knowledge - handle this.

I, too, want to get away. I have few commitments and fortunately I make a very good living and I don''t spend a lot on things that aren''t necessities - but I don''t see being able to retire in 5 years. I just don''t understand how others can do it!

Can you shed any light on this?

Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 12-01-2002
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Stormer,

The answer really depends on what you expect when you go back (IF you go back). My wife & I lived a rather "fat" life style before we made the commitment. New cars every 3-4 years, ski vacations, sailing E/O weekend, a 4000sf house, ate out 3-4 nights a week. It has been close to 20 years (4 planning, 1.5 living aboard & working, 12 cruising, 2 ashore of medical reasons). Once we rid ourselves of our material "things", we never missed them. Now that we have been back for 2 years, things like a big house, tv''s in every room, new cars, etc. seem almost decadent. In our 20s, 30s & early 40s be HAD to acheive and accumulate stuff. It proved how sucessful we were and we enjoyed it. Cruising has truely changed us. The only way I can think to say it is: we are simple people now and live a simple life style.

To be specific about finances, we had 2 rental houses that now net us $1500 mo. My wife receives $1100 a month in retirement. The money we received from the sale of my business was substantial. We earmarked $1000 per month towards cruising(We have never touched the principal or the additional interest). When we left, everything was paid for (boat, rental property, one car) and we had a little over $50,000 in the cruising account.

The last few years aboard, we probably spent $2000 - $2500 per month (excluding any refit expenses). We usually were able to save about $10,000 each year which usually went into the boat. We know lots of folks who spend closer to $2000 per month, INCLUDING boat upkeep, but they are in smaller/older boats or in some cases stop periodically and work.

There are a million different situations, but in general I thnk I would be correct in saying that folks don''t go back to their old life styles. Living afloat tends to slow you down and causes you to look at the world and life differently. Isn''t that why you want to go??? However, if you think that you will want to "pick-up where you left off", it will probably be difficult to do so without substantial reserves.

Regards
Bob-M
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2002
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Message in a bottle

Hello again to all,

We are engaging in some very important subjects. It seems that no matter where we all fall within the process, we''re on the same page. There are many reasons that have fueled our desires, but one primary reason I have relates to health, and the strong desire to travel and experience this lifestyle whilst healthly. While my parents were in the midst of their cruising, my dad was undergoing interferon treatments for Hep C, amongst other things and mom was in menopause. Ick! Sounds miserable!

Stede, you and your wife are in my prayers!

As far as developing and undertaking a plan, since we are sharing some specifcs. Here''s our plan. Maybe some further ideas can be suggested and/or someone might be able to apply some of our plans in their own situation. that''s what this dialogue is all about right?

My husband and I have been boat centered for several years now. We purchased our Fairweather Mariner/ Westsail 39 about 2 years ago. Since we live close to the marina, we spend nearly every weekend at the boat either maintaining, upgrading, or playing. My husband knows the mechanical systems very well, and I am learning. We do all the regular maintenance, brightwork, enginework, everything ourselves (except cleaning the bottom),which creates a stronger knowledge base with each project. In fact the cruising upgrades have begun with the intention that by the time we cut the lines we will know how to run and have the bugs mostly worked out of the various systems. Yes, I can sew and I am a very good whipper and seizer!

Our financial plan is this.

We own an apartment building which nets $2-3000/month after expences, vacancy reserve, mortgage, etc. We feel relatively comfortable that a reasonable level of positive income can be produced even with a drop in rents, increase in interest rates, or change in market conditions. This is our crusing income.

Neither of us will receive retirement income from our careers, and because we do not want to have to jump back into the system afer cruise life, Our future land plan would be with the assumption that we will live somewhere other than US. It is just too expensive to live in the US near the ocean which is important to us.

We will maintain our current health insurance "Blue Shield" which will cover emergency situations outside of US and full coverage otherwise.

Savings wise, not including IRA''s etc. which are stuck in the fluctuating mutual fund market, & not that huge anyway after losing most of their value, our goal is to have a minimum of $250,000 cash, plus the equity in our home which we still might consider selling (apx $200K equity). This principal will sit untouched til life after cruising.

We rarely eat out (maybe 1-2X/month), don''t spend money on any new home stuff, drive well maintained 8 yr old cars, rarely buy new clothes. Yet to look at us, we do not appear lacking- just a matter of choices and priorities.

Relating back to Stormer''s message... Does this plan seem realistic and for life after cruising in "work optional" mode, outside of the US , do these reserves seem adequate.

I''ve figured that worst case if we had to come back to US we could reinvest our principal into multi-family property and create some additional income.

Our plan is to move aboard next summer after we sell our house and one of us quits work. As long as we both continue to work, it just too hard to have our big dog without a big yard!

So, I feel like I''ve seriously rambled here. But I guess I''m hoping that someone will say Yes, your plan is sound. GO FOR IT!

Thanks to all, i appreciate all of your input and great thoughts!

Pamela
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2002
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Message in a bottle

Pamela,

I''m truely excited for you. It is obvious that you and your husband have done what is necessary from the financial end to live out your dream. From what you have outlined, you are more than ready. A budget of $2500 per mo. is more than enough. Barring any unforseen events, you should have enough for some extras (ocassional car rentals, movies, restaurants, etc.) I''m even more excited for your husband. He is lucky enough to be married to you. A spouse who shares the dream equally; this is rarely the case and makes your chances of success much greater.

If you intend to cruise for an extended period of time, why are you going to keep the house? Unless you are emotionally attached, more investment property = more $ to put away for when you do return.

Regards
bob-m
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2002
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Stede is on a distinguished road
Message in a bottle

Pamela, Congratulations to you and your husband! It sounds like you and him are about ready to untie the lines and sail away.I have to echo Bob''s comments about your husband being a lucky man to have someone like you that shares the dream.It''s always good to hear of someone making the dream come true.Your financial picture sounds a whole lot better than mine will be when I go.But as a friend of mine use to say,"Poor folks, have poor ways." I won''t exactly be poor,but I should have enough to live a modest cruising lifestyle. I have some skills that I can fall back on if needed.Thanks for the comments concerning my wife. Bon voyage!
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2002
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Message in a bottle

Stede,
You have a whole family of sailors keeping you and your wife in our thoughts. Remember that when you need a little extra support.
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2002
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Message in a bottle

Hey, thanks Kokopelli9! It does feel like family here, with only an occasional squabble noticed between the inlaws. ;^)
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2002
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Message in a bottle

Hey Stede,
Check your personal message center...
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2002
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Stede is on a distinguished road
Message in a bottle

Thanks Bobbi...right back at you!
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