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Old 30-06-2014, 08:22   #721
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
The implication that all poor are drinking or smoking crack or have other vices is insulting. What about the person who got sick, had surgery, and can't return to their job? Or what about when both spouses worked for the same company and it closed with no notice? Bad things can happen to good people. What about the mom with two kids and the father just leaves with no warning and no support? There are many things that can lead to problems.
Or fired when you're 50 for turning the boss in for fraud. I got no vices - heck, I don't even drink - but I can never again work in my small, specialized field despite 2 degrees and 20+ years experience. Crap happens. You deal and move on.
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Old 30-06-2014, 08:48   #722
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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If you view work as solely a means to make money, you will never be happy.

If you do not enjoy your job, and view all those niggly things about it that are required to let you do it as a burden, then no amount of money will make you happy with it.

If you love your job, then the money it gives you will make you very happy indeed. And the more the better. For a good part of my career, I thought I was stealing the company blind, while they thought they had me working for peanuts.

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You need to come to the oilfields of Alaska for a wake up call on work vs happiness. There are something over 10,000 men and women up there that make 6 figure incomes and do not like being there. You'll hear no ra-ra-ra go company in Prudhoe Bay.

What you'll see are people with a job to do. Many of them work outside in the arctic cold. They earn a great living, and they get half a year off to be home living their lives.

You do not need to love your job. If you can thats nice, but its not necessary for happiness. Personally I think thats part of what is wrong with the "modern" world.

We teach our kids to "go find themselves" then we give up our retirements so we can pay for their 4 years of party life at a university. They "find themselves" with after 4 years a degree in underwater yoga and wonder why they cant find a job.

All the while we have jobs like a power lineman or plumber that go unfilled, yet pay over a hundred grand a year.

I live on a lake in Alaska. Right on the water. Nice home, dock in the yard, big boat in the harbor. My neighbor to the right retired in his early 50's. He was a roofer. He has five airplanes at his house. Hes now building a second home in Arizona.

My neighbor accross the lake had two homes and two planes. He retired early and was a plumber. The guy to the left of me is a building contractor.

I have frozen my ass off 200' up on a tower at fifty below. I have pulled stiff frozen cable in the arctic cold. Thats what the job required. I paid my dues, and have had a good life.

None of us loved our jobs. We did them, we made good money, and we raised our families. We found our happiness and defined who we are not by what we do to earn money, but by what we do in life.
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Old 30-06-2014, 09:01   #723
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Mark

You need to come to the oilfields of Alaska for a wake up call on work vs happiness. There are something over 10,000 men and women up there that make 6 figure incomes and do not like being there. You'' hear no ra-ra-ra go company in Prudhoe Bay.

What you'll see are people with a job to do. Many of them work outside in the arctic cold. They earn a great living, and they get half a year off to be home living their lives.
I think we are in agreement. Your post reinforces both my points in this thread that money does buy a lot of happiness and if you enjoy your job, you are happy the full year.

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Old 30-06-2014, 10:38   #724
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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Notwithstanding individual anecdotes, I guess my point is that most people don't have a lot of choices around their work and employment. Most work to have the resources so they can thrive, and hopefully create joy in some places of their lives.

....... snip .....

This doesn't mean most people actively hate their jobs. Most people can find ways to be satisfied and content. Humans have a great ability to adapt, and an equal one for self-delusion.

Survey results: Most Americans Not Happy at Work
I think these guys would certainly agree with you if they could

http://www.newschinamag.com/magazine/worked-to-death



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Old 30-06-2014, 12:43   #725
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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LNot only that they've sold us on "name brands" have value - What? That's ridiculous but Prada, Louis Vitton, Gucci etc. have proven people will drop big money for a name.
I'll take an opposing viewpoint on this.

I believe that what we (Americans) have been sold on is "discounting". We have been sold on the notion that we can get ahead, save more money, and be equally happy by constantly insisting on deeper and deeper disounts, even to the point that the big companies who provide us products and services are losing money.

And that has been crushing to the US economy. The fallacy of this approach is further demonstrated in the Chinese economy, where frugality is considered a core value. It's based on the notion that nobody should ever make a profit, especially big companies, but disregards the reality that profit is what drives prosperity and forgets that those big companies hold the life savings of most Americans.

The name brands you mention, you might notice, are all European - specifically the Latin coast of the Mediterranean. Brand names represent reliable value. They represent the dollar value of known quality over uncertainty.

How many pairs of Walmart shoes, purchased for under $30, have you thrown out? Or suffered foot pain with? How often has that happened with a properly fit pair of Guccis? How many times have you stood in a Target store, flipping through the cheap handbags, jewlery, or tools and thinking "I wonder how long this will hold together", or "Just how tacky will this look after a few uses"? How about "I wonder how much it will cost me in broken parts to own these cheap tools?" or "How much will it cost me in doctor's visits to walk around for a year in these poorly made shoes?"

These super-premium brands are not the only brand names. Hilfiger, Lauren, Cole, and Haan are also quality brand names that represent solid middle class value with an emphasis on durability and servicability. What's more they, can sometimes be gotten at a discount, though it is not necessary.

Americans have been taught to believe in getting "More for Less".
Latin people are taught to believe in "Getting less, and enjoying it more".

The cruising crowd will have more to learn from the Europeans than the Americans, due merely to space limitations and rigors of liveaboard life. A higher quality shirt will survive more days on deck, and hold it's colors through more sea-water washings. A quality watch will provide greater accuracy and reliability at sea when it comes from a maker with a 100 years experience making nautical timepieces. Things like this are, and remain a pleasure to own for a very long time, rather than starting as merely serviceable and rapidly degrading to inconvenient and unpleasant as would a cheaply made substitute designed primarily for disposability.

You're more likely to be welcomed at foreign ports as a neat, clean, and reasonably well groomed seafarer than a grubby, faded American vagabond when wearing well made, properly fit, and neatly cut clothing, jewelery, shoes, and hats. The same is true for the appearance of your boat, it's accessories, and anything that comes up on deck for the whole port to see.
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Old 30-06-2014, 13:02   #726
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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The other thing is we've all been sold the Madison avenue, "Gotta have things to be successful" BS. Not only that they've sold us on "name brands" have value - What? That's ridiculous but Prada, Louis Vitton, Gucci etc. have proven people will drop big money for a name.
The funny part it they don't even make/design their products, some of them are designed and built in the same shop...

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Old 30-06-2014, 15:03   #727
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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These super-premium brands are not the only brand names. Hilfiger, Lauren, Cole, and Haan are also quality brand names that represent solid middle class value with an emphasis on durability and servicability. What's more they, can sometimes be gotten at a discount, though it is not necessary.

Americans have been taught to believe in getting "More for Less".
Latin people are taught to believe in "Getting less, and enjoying it more".

A quality watch will provide greater accuracy and reliability at sea when it comes from a maker with a 100 years experience making nautical timepieces.
Dear me, I'll have to take your word on the Gucchi's fitting better. Mind you shoes are sort of optional on a boat. I run around in bare feet more times then not. Sad that even Tar'jae (how the neuvo-poor pronounce Target) is a bit pricy. I'd not get caught dead with handbags from Target .

Watch's, hum, in 32 years working, I never wore a watch once. After living on boats for many a year, my main concern is what day is it anyway.

But it's all good. Glad there are some keeping the Gucci's of the world employed and profitable. Me I'm doing all I can to raise the image of the vagabond. Or is it lower, I get that confused sometimes...
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:48   #728
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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But let's not be dismissive of other problems people encounter.

Now while money doesn't guarantee happiness, let's also not pretend that economic issues don't lead to a tremendous amount of stress and unhappiness. Finances are one of the leading causes of fights between spouses. When you're struggling to provide for your family, to feed and provide shelter for your kids, then life is very difficult. I can't imagine what it feels like to go through what many do and I don't ever want to diminish the struggle many face. And when you lost your job, your car is being repossessed and your house is being foreclosed, then there is no attitude that can suddenly make you happy. It's one thing when it's only you, but when it's those impacted that you feel a responsibility toward, that's far worse.

There are many people not as lucky as any of us here. Not as lucky as the wealthy cruiser or the $500/month cruiser.
Exactly!
Thank you for saying that.
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Old 30-06-2014, 17:28   #729
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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I think these guys would certainly agree with you if they could

Worked to Death | NewsChina Magazine
I wonder if anyone is tracking the rates of karoshi* in the US and Canada? Going from memory here, but I think Americans now work more hours per year than any other developed county. Canada is better, but only by a little bit. I bet our rates of karoshi are high here ... it's just that no one charts it.

As for the brand name = quality argument, I suspect that used to be the case But these days brands are mostly about image, story, and lifestyle. Most of these companies openly say they are not in the business of selling (certainly not producing) products, they are in the business of making "relationships."

*death from overwork
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Old 30-06-2014, 17:46   #730
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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IAs for the brand name = quality argument, I suspect that used to be the case But these days brands are mostly about image, story, and lifestyle. Most of these companies openly say they are not in the business of selling (certainly not producing) products, they are in the business of making "relationships."
I've found the opposite to be true. I consistently find value in the quality of higher priced brands. While this is not true 100% of the time, I absolutely find it true of at least these brands that I use whenever possible.

- Toyota (Not a premium brand, but higher than many)
- Woolite
- Kirkland - Perry Ellis
- Cole Haan
- Land O Lakes
- Victoria's Secret
- Carolina Herrera, Prada, Tom Ford, Burberry colognes and fragrances

Brands I would use more often, if I had reason and opportunity to:
- Mercedes
- Armani
- Gucci
- Coach for men (this is hard to find, but they have some amazing items)

Some brands seem to be purely about style, though, and don't always provide value for the money. For example, I have not found a lot of value in these brands, though I'm sure many others have or they would not be around:
- BEBE
- Coach handbags
- Airstream camping trailers
- Lincoln and Cadillac
- Dom Perignon (possibly is riding on past glories)

Some premium brands I would like to try
- Rolex
- Rolls Royce or Bentley
- Gulfstream
- Gunboat
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:08   #731
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

Well this conversation is definitely in the divergent mode...

Here are selected thoughts in reply -

Chinese frugality - About 300m "middle class" now and still 1 billion "slaves." The Chinese middle class are definitely not "frugal" and are some of the most brand conscious folks around. Think Japan in the 90's.

Quality vs. Brand - I didn't mean to imply I am not about quality. It is a wrong assumption to think all "brand" names have high quality. We are somewhat a disposable society. All my power tools are Bosch or Makita. Some of the stuff I am not going to use a lot is harbor freight. At one point when I was living in the US I would buy a $12 tool set to change the oil on my car. Afterwards throw it in the dumpster still cheaper than Jiffy Lube. Does anyone change bulbs in Christmas tree lights? At $8 a string I don't - I used to spend a couple hours getting them to work.

Discount society - I am a total free market capitalist. We used to "complain" about Japanese cars. Detroit imploded. Cheap Chinese goods? That's what the consumer wants. The alternative is protectionism.

Opportunity - I am a glass half full guy. I get there are circumstances that overwhelm people but the USA is still the land of opportunity. Unless you are actually dibilitated one can always get back on the bottom rung of the ladder and start climbing again - if one chooses to.

To the poster who has been blacklisted from his career. This happened to my brother his partner did something wrong in the financial world. It turned sour, licenses were lost. For 3 years now my brother has been trying to get back into this world. He has mad math skills and I have counselled him to switch to analysis, data mining or some other field where those skills can be utilized. "No way! I can't let the bastards win." Hey the bastards always win. You just need to learn how to play a different game.

Oh and for ArtM - Name brands I use regularly... Victoria's Secret? You in a teddy is a visual I didn't need - LOL. But hey if it makes showing up in port not looking like a vagabond I say go for it!
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:09   #732
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

I have a client (and friend) who has the best outlook on his own wealth of anyone I have ever met. He had a great idea, started a company and got it going and sold out to a big tech company for well into the 8 figures. He turned down the chance to join the new company as a Sr VP and Board Member. He still lives in the same modest house, drives the same Toyota. He did acquire a boat, used, and enjoys it extensively. Once we were having a drink and talking about it and he explained that having the wealth meant three things to him (1) He could do the things he wanted to do, (2) he did not have to do the things he didn't want to do, and (3) he could give enough to make a difference to the charitable causes he believed in. I have a always thought that a reasonably healthy attitude.
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:17   #733
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

When I think of the $500/month cruiser, I think of these scenarios:

1) Someone who is on welfare, social security retirement or other fixed income, and who is truly NOT cruising on $500/mo because their income is tax free and supplemented by various other forms of welfare and government benefits such as Medicaid.
These people have little or no insurance on their vessels. They are likely to have secondary sources of funds that they don't talk about. They may be receiving non-cash gifts from others, or else they simply live a life of poverty.
There is nothing wrong with a life of poverty, but there is something wrong with misrepresenting who and what you really are.

2) Someone who actually lives on this small amount of money, independently. Their boats receive minimal maintenance. Their clothing is ancient and probably ragged. They have no insurance of any kind. Though they may be kind, decent, and honest people, the fact is that they live on the edge of existence. Whether now or in the future, they will eventually become a public burden unless they change their lifestyle.
These people, though, take misplaced pride in barely pulling their own weight. They find virtue in contributing the very smallest amount that society will permit. They believe that they ask nothing and give nothing, which is fine, except that, eventually, someday, they will be required to take more than they can give, and they will not have that history of having given in the past to account for it.

3) Someone who has established a secure lifestyle as a result of their own past accomplishments. This person has financial and lifestyle assets on which he can draw in times of need. He maintains a reserve. He has adequate insurance, though it is not counted in his $500/month profile. This person has cash or physical assets on the ready, and is also prepared to return to work whenever the need should arise and if he is able to do so.

On the opposite end is the 5000+/month cruiser.

This person has substantial assets, whether created by himself or others.

Unless a trust-fund baby, this person has created and served others in his life, and that creation and service is now serving him.

Along the way, he had to fight progressive taxation, increasing burdens of care for his other family members who felt they deserved to be supported by him by mere virtue of association, lawsuits, competition, jealousy, back-biting, and disrespect from those for whom he provided housing, employment, and security.

Along the way, he himself was personally at risk for the failure of all his own ventures - a prospect made even more burdensome by the distasteful possibility that any failure might reduce his ability to provide for the ungrateful, support the unwilling, and to pay the employees who bore no responsibility or concern for the success or failure of the business at all.

Now, here on the cruiser's forum, he is accused of being an elite egalitarian - someone who has never known financial difficulty, is disconnected from reality, and has no concern for the plight of the poor or disadvantaged who, due to some terrible calamity not of their own choosing, are no longer able to go back to the job they used to do, and instead choose to return to no occupation at all - except, apparently, maintenance and operation of a sailing vessel, which is somehow within their physical capabilities so long as there is no associated compensation in doing it.

$5000/ month? In today's dollars? That is barely covering the nut. It's just keeping you in the green. It's barely enough to ensure that you can support yourself today, and that you will not easily fall to public support any time soon. There is no way that $5000 is coming to you without taxation. Even in your retirement, you are maintaining public responsibility.

The poor have money problems? What problem? They have no money - they merely choose what bills will not be paid - a process that requires nothing more than understanding who will listen to a sob story, or who they can sponge off next. A brother or sister who will put you up in their home? Skip the rent payment till next month! Almost ready to qualify for public medical care and food stamps? No need to pay the insurance bill, or the hospital!

I've lived both ways, and believe me the financial "problems" of the poor are nothing compared to the problems of the so-called "well heeled".
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:32   #734
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

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<snip>

Now, here on the cruiser's forum, he is accused of being an elite egalitarian - someone who has never known financial difficulty, is disconnected from reality, and has no concern for the plight of the poor or disadvantaged who, due to some terrible calamity not of their own choosing, are no longer able to go back to the job they used to do, and instead choose to return to no occupation at all - except, apparently, maintenance and operation of a sailing vessel, which is somehow within their physical capabilities so long as there is no associated compensation in doing it.
I don't think there is any vicious attack going on towards the $5k crowd.

Different courses.

This conversation is getting way "social issues" and less boating issues. Hope we can real it back in...

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$5000/ month? In today's dollars? That is barely covering the nut. It's just keeping you in the green. It's barely enough to ensure that you can support yourself today, and that you will not easily fall to public support any time soon. There is no way that $5000 is coming to you without taxation. Even in your retirement, you are maintaining public responsibility.
That sounds remarkably like my ex-wife. Who gets more than that from me and still can't make ends meet - I have no sympathy for that devil!

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I've lived both ways, and believe me the financial "problems" of the poor are nothing compared to the problems of the so-called "well heeled".
[/quote]

I definitely think this thread needs to "alter course to starboard"...
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Old 30-06-2014, 18:38   #735
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Re: Cruising on $5,000 / Month

By well heeled, of course, I was referring to the monohull sailors.

Well if you're ex-wife is getting that from you, then you are not only keeping yourself in the green, but her as well. It will be difficult for her to make ends meet on that kind of income if she is not accepting any kind of public assistance, tax credits, or family aid unless she is living with no comforts at all.

Remember, unless she is getting Head of Household status, she is in one of the highest tax brackets in the country. Her taxation on your income is keeping the $500 cruisers afloat.
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