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Old 16-03-2014, 21:28   #31
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

$1300 per month is $15,600 a year. That's not a lot of money on land, and even less if you have to maintain a boat.

I feel like a lot of people aren't doing the math. Yes, it's possible. But is this really what you want to lock into at 43 years old - your peak earning years? It would be really easy to say yes, that's a great plan.

I'm sure it can be done, but you're setting yourself up for a pretty frugal lifestyle.

There are lots of feel-good answers here, but the truth is that while you can make this work, you should think carefully about it. You greatly increase your odds of success by working a few more years.

Oh, and you don't think I "get" your situation? I've flown space-A. Yes, the flights might cost $30 each. But the taxi to get to the air field will cost you that as well. You'll be buying a taxi on the other end as well, or calling someone to pick you up. Oh, how'd you call them? Not on your smart phone, since a $120 phone bill is quite the chuck of that $1300. And if you don't get on the flight, you'll be getting a room on base. Dinner will have to be fast food on that budget. What if there aren't any flights where and when you want to go? You'll be paying for a commercial flight. You get my drift.

If you're going to cruise long-term, you'll need to budget for fuel, rations, and boat maintenance. Think 10% of the boat cost yearly. Things on a boat will break, and when they do, you'll be paying for a slip or dry storage, as well as repairing or replacing equipment. All the while, your savings will be going down, not up.

Don't get me wrong. It can be done. You have a guaranteed income which takes some worries away, but it might not turn into the romantic care-free lifestyle of your dreams. You and your wife need to mentally prepare yourself for a fairly frugal lifestyle.

Your $1300/month and savings give you some control over your financial future. Do a budget and make sure you can live with it before you go this route. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, just to make sure you've considered all the angles.
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Old 17-03-2014, 03:43   #32
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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I'm a retired CW3, retired 12 yrs ago,
Civilian life is different, but 99% of that is because most are slobs that can't read a watch and do what they said they would do. You will adjust, but please take this advice. First and foremost make damn sure the wife is OK with this, I doubt she is,she may be allowing it because she feels she has no other choice.
Take all the cash you can get ahold of and stuff in a bank somewhere, but don't spend a nickel of it for one year, crew, be a dive bum whatever, but do not go out and spend your cash right after retirement, let you new life settle in. If nothing else you cannot know enough to possibly buy the right boat yet, and you have only one shot, buying and selling you lose money each time.
You may can tell from my screen name I wasn't a REMF either, you will adjust, probably a lot more easily that most expect you to be able to.
If you did what your name says you did then I have done a lot of work with some of your friends that may have stayed in after you left. I am an Air Force JTAC. Ran a couple of JAATs on my last deployment and LOBL'd quite a few bad guys.
I understand the getting out frustration. I spent 8 years in the army before getting out and going back to school. In my junior year, 9/11 happened and I decided to enlist in the Air Force as a JTAC. it has been a pretty amazing ride but my time has come. I am getting older, it is harder to keep up with the young guys (though they will never know that) and I just feel I have paid my dues and its time for something else.
I will have to see how the wife handles it. Like i said in another post, i know she can handle the frugal part but she has loads of energy and might not be able to stand being on a boat during long passages.
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Old 17-03-2014, 03:54   #33
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
$1300 per month is $15,600 a year. That's not a lot of money on land, and even less if you have to maintain a boat.

I feel like a lot of people aren't doing the math. Yes, it's possible. But is this really what you want to lock into at 43 years old - your peak earning years? It would be really easy to say yes, that's a great plan.

I'm sure it can be done, but you're setting yourself up for a pretty frugal lifestyle.

There are lots of feel-good answers here, but the truth is that while you can make this work, you should think carefully about it. You greatly increase your odds of success by working a few more years.

Oh, and you don't think I "get" your situation? I've flown space-A. Yes, the flights might cost $30 each. But the taxi to get to the air field will cost you that as well. You'll be buying a taxi on the other end as well, or calling someone to pick you up. Oh, how'd you call them? Not on your smart phone, since a $120 phone bill is quite the chuck of that $1300. And if you don't get on the flight, you'll be getting a room on base. Dinner will have to be fast food on that budget. What if there aren't any flights where and when you want to go? You'll be paying for a commercial flight. You get my drift.

If you're going to cruise long-term, you'll need to budget for fuel, rations, and boat maintenance. Think 10% of the boat cost yearly. Things on a boat will break, and when they do, you'll be paying for a slip or dry storage, as well as repairing or replacing equipment. All the while, your savings will be going down, not up.

Don't get me wrong. It can be done. You have a guaranteed income which takes some worries away, but it might not turn into the romantic care-free lifestyle of your dreams. You and your wife need to mentally prepare yourself for a fairly frugal lifestyle.

Your $1300/month and savings give you some control over your financial future. Do a budget and make sure you can live with it before you go this route. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, just to make sure you've considered all the angles.
Thanks for your straight forward, no bullsheet reply. That's exactly what I was looking for by posting here. I know it is possible but I wanted to know from the experienced just how difficult it may be.
Sounds like you have had some bad experiences flying space-A. I have too and I can totally relate to your description. My wife had flown solo on space-A a few times and is starting to understand why I don't currently use it. She is currently unemployed and has no time constraints so everything seems easy for her.
I am thinking more and more from reading all the posts here that I may just end up spending a few more years doing what I am doing and raise the pension up a bit. If I were to stay in the military an addition 2 years past my planned retirement date, i would be making $1800 a month instead of $1300. Its just hard being so close to the end and not being able to end it
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Old 17-03-2014, 05:03   #34
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

If it were me, I'd still get out and not stay in. Benefits at 20 are the same as at 30, pay goes up a little but it's not worth it in my opinion. Plus as I'm sure your finding out, it's a game. You spend so much time trying to stay in, jump through whatever hoops required etd., but around 20 the game changes, it goes from them trying to get you out, to them trying to keep you in by any means, like you coming down on orders for Europe a month or so before you can request retirement, Europe you wanna do that as an accompanied tour, right? Three years, plus try to find a job in the Us when you retire in Europe, You owe them at least 1 yr for a PCS when you get home.
Promotion, sounds great right? You owe them time for a promotion, ditto any schools.
No, get out, you eventually have to get out anyway, you can't stay in forever and the most pitiful thing is a Retired military that knows no other life, so they travel form one installation to another in a motorhome trying to hold onto that military life.
Get out and start another life, find another job and start working for another retirement, 401K whatever it takes. Civilians are a stupid, lazy, conceited bunch, some lie their way through. You'll adjust though and if you keep your work ethic your way ahead of the others when it comes time to seek employment, but many do not like ex-military, you'll learn that too.
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Old 17-03-2014, 05:20   #35
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

Yes, $50K for a ~35' cruise capable boat is definitely possible.
Something to consider is that there are significant on going operational and maintenance costs for any boat. There are other threads on this forum that can guide you.
A rule of thumb that gets tossed about is that you need to spend 5-10% of the boat's value anually. Seem like a lot, but after 12 years of ownership with our present boat, it think it might be OK. Obviously, the more you do yourself, the better.
Financially, you don't have much of a cushion. Assuming you spend 1/2 the $130K on a boat, you have $65K left to invest. Assuming a "real" rate of return of 3% (conservative) that's $162.50/month. You might want to think about building the cruising kitty some before you buy. Just saying. (Would Suzie O say "denied?" Probably.)
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Old 17-03-2014, 06:01   #36
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If it were me, I'd still get out and not stay in. Benefits at 20 are the same as at 30, pay goes up a little but it's not worth it in my opinion. Plus as I'm sure your finding out, it's a game. You spend so much time trying to stay in, jump through whatever hoops required etd., but around 20 the game changes, it goes from them trying to get you out, to them trying to keep you in by any means, like you coming down on orders for Europe a month or so before you can request retirement, Europe you wanna do that as an accompanied tour, right? Three years, plus try to find a job in the Us when you retire in Europe, You owe them at least 1 yr for a PCS when you get home.
Promotion, sounds great right? You owe them time for a promotion, ditto any schools.
No, get out, you eventually have to get out anyway, you can't stay in forever and the most pitiful thing is a Retired military that knows no other life, so they travel form one installation to another in a motorhome trying to hold onto that military life.
Get out and start another life, find another job and start working for another retirement, 401K whatever it takes. Civilians are a stupid, lazy, conceited bunch, some lie their way through. You'll adjust though and if you keep your work ethic your way ahead of the others when it comes time to seek employment, but many do not like ex-military, you'll learn that too.
I agree with getting out sooner too although I'm not quite there yet myself. I'm looking at first look for CW3 next year and I'll have 17 by then. I'm looking at not updating my paperwork so I can be sure to retire at 20. The lower stress level is really needed at this point. I'm getting married in a few weeks and for me, starting a family is mote important than my military career.
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Old 17-03-2014, 07:18   #37
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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...Civilians are a stupid, lazy, conceited bunch, some lie their way through....
No we're not! We are a bunch of people working hard to save for the boat and cruising kitty and pay the taxes to sustain the military... ...we just lie sometimes, and only as required.
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Old 17-03-2014, 07:29   #38
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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I agree with getting out sooner too although I'm not quite there yet myself. I'm looking at first look for CW3 next year and I'll have 17 by then. I'm looking at not updating my paperwork so I can be sure to retire at 20. The lower stress level is really needed at this point. I'm getting married in a few weeks and for me, starting a family is mote important than my military career.

My way out was to get passed over. Course that takes two years. Not updating your records sends a clear message but going to the CW4 board with a years old CW2 photo seals the deal. No way are they going to promote someone who does not even take a DA photo. I did 20 yrs 6 months 5 day I was in the middle of a divorce, wife had had enough. I retired and we were able to put it back together. Military life is not compatible with family life
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Old 17-03-2014, 07:31   #39
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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No we're not! We are a bunch of people working hard to save for the boat and cruising kitty and pay the taxes to sustain the military... ...we just lie sometimes, and only as required.
I quite agree.
It has been know for stupid, lazy,conceited liars to be in the armed forces too.
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Old 17-03-2014, 07:35   #40
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

Guys not every civilian is a lier. But many successful ones are. Look at Politicians for example, civilian life tolerates cheating on your wife and lieing about it under oath. Military does not.
Fact is honor is held In much higher regard than in civilian life
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Old 17-03-2014, 07:37   #41
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

Again - I think it can be done. Sure things will be kinda tight but the western Carib is the place to cruise.

My thoughts looking back from my 57 years of living. Your 40's are much better than your 50's. Your body can still do a lot and sometimes feels like a 20 year old.
What I would give to be your age. At 50 your joins just start to ache a little. When I worked out when I was younger I worked the muscles. Now when I work out I feel I am working the joints and muscles. It actually hurts the 1st set or two until the joints loosen up.

So, I would not give the military too much of your 40's. They are the last years you will feel young.



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Old 17-03-2014, 08:17   #42
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

Wind Dreamer....you are still Young.....don't let 43 make you feel old.....you have the Dream still and what appears with determination......you have received some good advise by many......I believe you have made your decision....go for it and enjoy what you have warned....the right of Freedom of the Winds.....you will succeed.

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Old 17-03-2014, 08:20   #43
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

" ....go for it and enjoy what you have warned...." sure can't spell can I....You have "Earned" this Freedom....now time to Enjoy it......
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Old 17-03-2014, 08:34   #44
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

I think Wind_Dreamer has done his homework and cruising on his budget may be doable ... for a while. Ann touched on the issue of inflation, but I suggest you have a closer look at that unless your pension is indexed. As a young man inflation is going to be one of your biggest enemies. Bear in mind that in 33 years your pension will be worth the equivalent of $650 today.

Having said that, I'd hate to see a young man staying in a job he really disliked. Get your years in, take your pension & either utilize your existing skills in a civilian environment, or get training in a new field. Then build your kitty, experiences, and sail part time for a while. That would give both yourself & your lady time to acclimatize. My thoughts, FWIW.

You are fortunate that you have international experience and can continue to travel on military transport. Use those advantages to shop for your boat and start your cruising adventures from wherever you find the right one.
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Old 17-03-2014, 10:31   #45
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Re: My dream retirement-Is this possible?

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Military life is not compatible with family life
I'm going to disagree with that one. The moves, deployments, and demands are tough, but there are also challenges in the civilian world. I think the military divorce rate is lower than the civilian one.

That said, every case is unique, and if getting out saves the marriage, then do get out.
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