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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Cruising and financial planning
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Thread: Cruising and financial planning Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2006 09:27 PM
Michael201 All of our investments are being made to accommodate no time limit with regards to how much time we will be away. If we are having a great time, I expect at least 2 to 3 years. If not, well, I don't think that will be the case. I’m hoping it will be 5 years but my son who will be 4 at the time we leave might have other ideas….

We have investments in several areas of real estate including vacation rentals and commercial all of which are being and will be managed completely. Direct deposit is great. The return would be higher if we were here to manage and move the money around but that’s the price for the experience. All are fairly conservative and pay in the 7% to 9% cash on cash.

Credit cards with a high limits (paid off monthly) and AMEX will most likely allow us to do the things we want to. We will have the ability to access these accounts and our business dealings via the net or phone from the boat or shore. We are going to hide a safe on the boat (any suggestions where we tell the boat builders to put it???) to place emergency cash, papers and such. Any thoughts on that?

Other investments will be more liquid as to access and move them if needed. Our intent is to make it as easy to manage as possible so our only returns are for family issues, deals too good to pass up and some holidays.

My wife thinks we will find a lot of things (rugs, furniture, art work etc.) on our trip that she will want to purchase and have shipped back. We are going to set up a storage unit near a family member to ship things back to. Anyone with experience doing this? Is it fairly easy in larger areas?
09-07-2006 03:28 PM
ceberon
Bit of a late reply to Finances..

I liked this topic, so I thought I would reply even though it's a little old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCountry
1. An investment acount centered around mutual funds concentrating most of those investments on Mid-cap funds that have had good returns in the past.
Remember that past returns aren't necessarily an indicator for future returns. Mid-cap funds may have done well in the past, but the next big hitter might be small caps, international funds, large caps, etc. A well diversified portfolio is always the best plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCountry
we're definately staying away from investing in companies such as Wal-Mart which probably won't be seeing large percentage increases in their value as they are considered more 'mature" corporations.
Their growth may be slower, but their valuation is also lower. So each dollar of income Walmart makes is cheaper for you to purchase than a dollar that a small fast growing company makes. When it comes down to it, the market has already priced size into the cost of the stock. Everything goes through cycles, big companies may be the next big thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCountry
Our goal is to try and realize a 10% yearly return on any investment which by the time we "take off" should be enough income to sustain us from year to year.
Here's the big one. First, 10% yearly return is most likely a bit too ambitious. While the market has returned that historically, we are also at a historically high level valuation wise. If the stocks returned to their average valuation over the next 10 years, the stock prices wouldn't move a muscle. So you really want to be careful with your estimates. A 7.5% total (4% real return after inflation) is a lot more likely for the long term (though many like to go lower)

Along with that, be careful with how much you believe your portfolio will return to sustain you year after year. From many calculations, the generally accepted maximum amount you can withdraw is 4% (increased with inflation each year). So you start with 4% of your portfolio, increase by inflation (like 3.5% more this year), and keep going at that rate. It has a decent chance to sustain you for 30 years or more. Less than 4% is a lot safer.

That rate will help you through the bad years (when the stocks fall for a few years in a row), and will remove inflation from your income concerns.

That's about all I have for now, but I noticed a few things here I really had wanted to comment on.
07-09-2006 11:38 PM
Headingsouth NCountry - I haven't left solid ground yet, although my horizon is only about 360 days away (not that I'm countinig). I have found a very simple way of getting a better than average return, primarily because I've been the borrower as well. Find a small, private mortgage company in your area. These lenders typically lend to builders (that's me), developers and some home owners. All deals are secured with property, and the "broker" will assure that there's at least 30% equity from the borrower so you're not stuck with a worthless property. Interest rates paid to lenders are currently in the 11% range, with the borrower paying around 13% (the difference goes to the broker). Find onr you can talk to, explain your needs, risk factors and timeframes and I guarantee he will have borrowers that will want to pay you 11% all day long
06-25-2006 10:34 AM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer
I use the Visa check card through my bank, which has online banking, so I can keep a check on my account. It uses the PIN as a debit card, and also works as a credit card. Since I'm on a budget, I can't overspend, since I can only access my balance, and no monthly bill for charges. For me, it seems to combine the best of both.
A "Visa Check Card" is a DEBIT card, not just an ATM card...and is often subject to the issues I mention above. It uses your PIN for certain transactions on the DEBIT card network and for use as an ATM card, but it can be used like a credit card, without most of the protections of a credit card.

You'd be better off getting a no-fee credit card and then using on-line banking to pay the card off immediately. Credit cards give you a good deal more protection than DEBIT cards—especially if you're on a limited budget.
06-25-2006 09:37 AM
PBzeer I use the Visa check card through my bank, which has online banking, so I can keep a check on my account. It uses the PIN as a debit card, and also works as a credit card. Since I'm on a budget, I can't overspend, since I can only access my balance, and no monthly bill for charges. For me, it seems to combine the best of both.
06-25-2006 08:44 AM
sailingdog I'd recommend that you stay away from DEBIT cards if you're going to be travelling internationally. The laws protecting you, with regards to DEBIT cards, are not as strong as those protecting you regarding credit cards.

A Debit card withdraws money directly from your account and does not require any verification of the funds transfer generally. If your DEBIT card is stolen, they can pretty easily clean your account out. If you have an ATM card instead, then the PIN is also required to take money out of the account.

A credit card has similar verification processes to a DEBIT card, but you can review your statement and dispute charges far more easily, as the current laws allow you this protection. You do not have this same level of protection under federal law for debit cards IIRC.
06-25-2006 03:27 AM
Omatako
Managing money

The best way I have found to access funds is to have a credit balance in a Visa or Mastercard. That way you can draw virtually any amount up to the balance you have.
I have sailed all around the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Indonesia and stopped in some really dodgy places (financially speaking) and never ever had a problem drawing local cash.
06-23-2006 08:30 AM
PBzeer Another thing to be looking into, now that you mention 3 kids, is home schooling options. Ancedotal evidence is that most children do better home schooled on a boat. I would guess that has a lot to do with the real life experience they gain as part of a cruising family.

I did forget to mention, that what ever you plan for a budget, you should add in a fudge factor. No matter how well planned, you will, most likely, exceed your budget. Particularly in the beginning as you figure things out.

I can't really speak to insurance, as I retired, and so was able to continue my health coverage as part of my annuity. As well as life insurance. At this point in time, I only have libality on the boat of 300K. That seems to be what marinas require. A lot of boat insurance will depend on your cruising area. Going offshore, it can become a big cost, if even available. Another thing to start checking into now.

You won't be able to think of everything, not sure anyone can, but the more thought you put in upfront, the better.

Regards,
06-23-2006 01:43 AM
camaraderie NCountry...good topic. We started out hoping for a 5% ROI to keep us going and afloat on what we thought was a pretty liberal budget, but over the last 5 years both the % and the budget difficult to achieve. Now, of course you can get 5% due to rising inflation and interest rates but 10% may prove elusive over the long term as there tends to be a lot more volatility as you increase your risk.
2. Cutting down and simplifying your lifestyle now can certainly help extend your cruising life but I wouldn't expect 5 years of luxury denial to get you a whole bunch of time unless you take a lot of plane trips and drive a mercedes! The way we did it mostly was to bank one salary while living off the other and trying to bank as much of that one as possible. Budgets did not even consider the second salary. We also were frugal and bought used cars and took family vacations on the boat. One of the big surprises for me was how much maintenance and repairs will cost you when you are out cruising....and in talking to fellow cruisers that seems to be a common theme. Assuming a boat in the 40' range for a family of 5...you really do need to budget at least 10% of the boat vallue (or at least $10K/year) for repairs and maintenance. Some years you will be lucky...others you won't but over the long term you'll spend it assuming the boat has normal systems and you are not trying to emulate the Pardees!
Lot's of cruising nurses in the US where work is easy to find wherever you drop the hook for a while...very difficult elsewhere to be allowed to get work.
Lastly...you'll find an internet banking connection and an ATM card will get you by just fine anywhere in the States/ Europe or the Caribe. You donn't need to carry a lot of cash or traveller's checks. The South Pacific and less developed areas might require a diferent strategy.
Good luck...I look forward to the continuing discussion.
06-22-2006 05:59 PM
NCountry I can see by the number of views this thread has gotten in 3 hours that there are a number of people with the same questions on their mindso I thought I'd lay out a short version of our plan.
1. An investment acount centered around mutual funds concentrating most of those investments on Mid-cap funds that have had good returns in the past. We'll stay away from investing in individual stocks and we're definately staying away from investing in companies such as Wal-Mart which probably won't be seeing large percentage increases in their value as they are considered more 'mature" corporations. Our goal is to try and realize a 10% yearly return on any investment which by the time we "take off" should be enough income to sustain us from year to year.
2. At home we're reviewing all our monthly expenditures in order to be able to put more money into our "cruising" account. Areas to look at include the satellite TV dish, cell phone service, utilities and anything else where we recieve monthly bills.

3. On the banking end.......we believe that a debit card tied to our bank account is probably the best way to obtain cash for purchases. Having very little experience abroad we are still wondering if this is the best approach. Any comments or tips on this one?
Boat wise, we are getting all the time in that we can on our Islander 30 to increase our experience. We'll sell "Fiasco" in favor of a little larger boat before we leave as we have 3 boys and will just need a bit more room.
There are other things we are doing but these are some of the highlights.
What about health insurance while cruising? I've read of several companies that offer major medical policies for cruisers that seem fairly reasonable but am wondering about the treatment of the various cuts, bruises and illnesses that are sure to occur. The Mrs's is an RN so that will help but does anyone know how she'll be treated as a medical professional while abroad?
I know there's lots more but every now and then I have to work.
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