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Old 16-11-2011, 19:59   #1
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pirate Creating the Plan . . .

I'm sitting in my Kitchen. In Maine. It's raining. It's 44'F. I have a cold. I'm 58 years old. I'm building the plan.
I've made repair priorities. I've identified training I require. I have the boat over 1/2 rebuilt. I've been watching the markets, boat and financial. I've been evaluating income and expenses. I've been watching boating related news. I watched Moxy Marinspike sail his junk 1971 Person 30 PESTILENCE through the Bahamas successfully. I've watched new expensive boats, piloted by men with thirty years experience, be abandoned. I question everything. I have no room for assumptions. I have confidence in myself. I have confidence in my boat and understand it's limitations. I have common sense. Like never ever let the schedule drive the sail/no sail decision, when it comes to the weather window. There all kinds of choices that remain. Life raft ? ERIB ? SSB radio license ? Front reading sonar ? Dingy davits ? Banking, communications, passport, and so many many more. I can make choices that minimize risk on the water. I can plan for the physical challenges, from being sure my teeth are in good shape to getting inoculated for those special things you might catch in foreign places. But the hardest thing to do is create the exit strategy. Who can read the future out eight years ? Four years ? Even two at this point ? There was a thread I lost, some guy, a financial planner type of guy, who had a great perspective on this. Wish I could find it. Sell my house, if I can in this market ? Rent the house and experience the landlord nightmare ? I'm smart enough to set sail with 20 lbs of silver coins if paper money looses it's value, but how do I create a way to preserve my landing spot when floating around in the islands comes to an end ? I'm not going to invest my assets into the boat. When I'm done with it, it probably won't be worth much. Stocks, bonds, you've got to be kidding. The last thing I need to do in the Bahamas is check the tickers tracking stocks every day. I believe the only market you should invest in is the market you understand. That market is taking a beating and is tracking all the others, ( off 20% over the last 5 years ). So I'm back to square one. I don't have enough raw net worth to take a 30% hit, and still have enough to secure a house when I get back. Who is going to give a 68 year old on SSI a loan ? I have to have it all set up before. Well. That's a problem, isn't it? It could be four years before I get that all done, if I have to sell my house and build a smaller retirement house. I'm beginning to think I need to brain storm some ideas up, and I'm all out of them. Perhaps not so much needing new ones as a clear vision of a schedule on how to get it all done. My thinking gets all kind of pear shaped when I try to juggle these many variables at once. I know I don't want to wait four more years before I'm set to go. I'm kind of stuck. At least I'm still working ! Perhaps these questions cannot be answered. Maybe someone wants to give it a shot. I kind of think a post like this might be pointless. I mean, who can know? But I KNOW I'm not the only one who has to sort this kind of thing out. Later !
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Old 16-11-2011, 20:13   #2
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Re: Creating the plan....

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandAnitas34 View Post
I'm sitting in my Kitchen. In Maine. It's raining. It's 44'F. I have a cold. I'm 58 years old. I'm building the plan.
I've made repair priorities. I've identified training I require. I have the boat over 1/2 rebuilt. I've been watching the markets, boat and financial. I've been evaluating income and expenses. I've been watching boating related news. I watched Moxy Marinspike sail his junk 1971 Person 30 PESTILENCE through the Bahamas successfully. I've watched new expensive boats, piloted by men with thirty years experience, be abandoned. I question everything. I have no room for assumptions. I have confidence in myself. I have confidence in my boat and understand it's limitations. I have common sense. Like never ever let the schedule drive the sail/no sail decision, when it comes to the weather window. There all kinds of choices that remain. Life raft ? ERIB ? SSB radio license ? Front reading sonar ? Dingy davits ? Banking, communications, passport, and so many many more. I can make choices that minimize risk on the water. I can plan for the physical challenges, from being sure my teeth are in good shape to getting inoculated for those special things you might catch in foreign places. But the hardest thing to do is create the exit strategy. Who can read the future out eight years ? Four years ? Even two at this point ? There was a thread I lost, some guy, a financial planner type of guy, who had a great perspective on this. Wish I could find it. Sell my house, if I can in this market ? Rent the house and experience the landlord nightmare ? I'm smart enough to set sail with 20 lbs of silver coins if paper money looses it's value, but how do I create a way to preserve my landing spot when floating around in the islands comes to an end ? I'm not going to invest my assets into the boat. When I'm done with it, it probably won't be worth much. Stocks, bonds, you've got to be kidding. The last thing I need to do in the Bahamas is check the tickers tracking stocks every day. I believe the only market you should invest in is the market you understand. That market is taking a beating and is tracking all the others, ( off 20% over the last 5 years ). So I'm back to square one. I don't have enough raw net worth to take a 30% hit, and still have enough to secure a house when I get back. Who is going to give a 68 year old on SSI a loan ? I have to have it all set up before. Well. That's a problem, isn't it? It could be four years before I get that all done, if I have to sell my house and build a smaller retirement house. I'm beginning to think I need to brain storm some ideas up, and I'm all out of them. Perhaps not so much needing new ones as a clear vision of a schedule on how to get it all done. My thinking gets all kind of pear shaped when I try to juggle these many variables at once. I know I don't want to wait four more years before I'm set to go. I'm kind of stuck. At least I'm still working ! Perhaps these questions cannot be answered. Maybe someone wants to give it a shot. I kind of think a post like this might be pointless. I mean, who can know? But I KNOW I'm not the only one who has to sort this kind of thing out. Later !
Just a suggestion why not consider swap a house for a boat if you have some equity it may give you some cash. Both markets are depressed so i guess it's possible? Cheers
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Old 16-11-2011, 20:29   #3
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Re: Creating the plan....

I'm facing some of the same questions but fortunately think I'm in a little better spot than you describe for yourself.

I think the best plan for keeping a nest to come back to is to rent the house. If you aren't upside down on the payments you should be able to rent it at least the monthly loan payment. Of course if you can get a little more than that and bank it for maintenance and repairs all the better.

Renting can be a nightmare, believe me I know. My mother in law used to manage rental properties and has a few horror stories. But a friend who rents a couple of houses gave me a great idea. He puts ads up at the local medical school and only rents to married, med students. Figures they are responsible, hard working and too damn busy to party. So far he has batted a thousand. Offers a lower rent to qualified tenants. Makes less but he is paying for the houses and will own them in another ten years without paying a dime out of his pocket.

By the way, I'm 62 and won't be able to leave for another couple of years but am going if I have to crawl onto the boat. I was lucky enough to do a good bit of cruising when I was younger but gave full time cruising for 30 years to get my act together.
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Old 16-11-2011, 20:50   #4
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Re: Creating the plan....

Wow Skip ! I hadn't thought of that. I'm a little far from a Medical School, but I could try the same thing with new Doctors just getting established in the local hospitals. My house is very close to being paid for, only about $20 K left to go and each payment is about 65% on the principal now I will have it paid off before I go. It might be just the thing to rent it. I figure that 50% of the rent would go to upkeep, 25% taxes, 25% me. Maybe I could do OK. I just would have to be real sure of the renters. It would be a scarey thing for me. It would sweeten the trip about $200 a month. If I did better, gravy !
Hey Lagoon ! I thought of that. I'll tell you, I've been looking at boats for a bit. So many folks sold the farm to buy the boat, now want off the boat and can't get enough from the boat to buy a garden. If I was 40 I probably would, but I don't have enough time to fix a miss-step at this point in my life ! Thanks for replying guys !
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Old 16-11-2011, 21:24   #5
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Re: Creating the plan....

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Originally Posted by TomandAnitas34 View Post
Wow Skip ! I hadn't thought of that. I'm a little far from a Medical School, but I could try the same thing with new Doctors just getting established in the local hospitals. My house is very close to being paid for, only about $20 K left to go and each payment is about 65% on the principal now I will have it paid off before I go. It might be just the thing to rent it. I figure that 50% of the rent would go to upkeep, 25% taxes, 25% me. Maybe I could do OK. I just would have to be real sure of the renters. It would be a scarey thing for me. It would sweeten the trip about $200 a month. If I did better, gravy !
Hey Lagoon ! I thought of that. I'll tell you, I've been looking at boats for a bit. So many folks sold the farm to buy the boat, now want off the boat and can't get enough from the boat to buy a garden. If I was 40 I probably would, but I don't have enough time to fix a miss-step at this point in my life ! Thanks for replying guys !
Your thinking is in line and don't let anyone tell you different. I am looking at doing the same thing but the one thing is, I will have no debt. Not for the boat, house, nada and I will have a nice chunk of money saved to live off of. This from years of persistence and knowing when to say "I can't afford that new gadget". I have a second home that I have paid off that will be my boat fund. My personal residence, is going to be paid off in a few years. The thing is, it takes maturity and patience to have the self control to do it with your own money and not have a bunch of debt because "you wanted it now". At least you are being responsible and considering the question of "what next when I am done with this? Be careful. You might live to be 100
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Old 16-11-2011, 21:32   #6
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Re: Creating the plan....

TA34
When I turned 60 I cashed out my little 401K and paid off the house and then quit my job.

The freedom is bliss. The wife still wants to work (social life) so am able to keep the head above water. Other then that I'm pretty much in the same condition as you. But the boat is paid off too, just need a few more items installed and I'm off the the tropics.
Had a 60 y/o nephew suddenly die just recently that kinda puts ones brain in a spin. So who's next? Not going to waste too much more time! Damn the house and the making of money. Life's too short to start worrying now. A mans gota do what a mans gota do. Not going to spend the rest of my years waiting to die.
The ex boss called me back in for one more glorious project, which should pay for the rest of the upgrades. Then I'm off.
My blood work has greatly improved since I quit work, which goes to show ya what the common man has to deal with.

I squandered away my younger years, made some money. Now I'm going to squander away my older years!!!!! If I'm lucky I'll die on the boat.
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Old 16-11-2011, 22:27   #7
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

I love this kind of discussion, although it really is better done over a few beers (or perhaps many beers).

Like many others who peruse CF, I too am pondering these questions. To me, the core issue comes down to one's comfort with uncertainty. Perhaps more accurately, it comes down to what level of uncertainty one is comfortable with.

To choose a life on the water (be it living at the dock, or sailing around the world) is to step outside the prescribed path that is laid out for most of us who live in the developed world. Get an education, get a job, get a spouse, get a house, then kids, pension, investments, grandkids, and die comfortably and in most cases happy. The path is there in front of us all. Stepping off this path, even for a short time, is stepping into uncertainty.

Some step far off, into great uncertainty. Others only step a small way. There is no "right answer" to how far you should go. Only you can know the answer.

So yes, hang on to the property and rent it out to doctors if that is your answer. For others, the right answer is to sell everything and burn all the bridges behind them. It comes down to knowing one's self, and knowing what you need to be comfortable -- not physically comfortable, but emotionally and spiritually.

But as delmarrey says, freedom is a great counter-balance to uncertainty. Time waits for no one. This much is certain.
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Old 16-11-2011, 22:51   #8
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

Hey Dakota, You are right, you are in a better place. I chose to spend a quarter of a million dollars on my ex and her two kids. I don't regret a dime or a day I spent with them. It did set me back a bit financially. That's why I have a frail 34 foot Irwin and not a bullet proof 40 foot Tayana. My budget will be thinner, my ocean risk index will be higher so I'll have to be more cautious, but the adventure will go forward anyway.
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:21   #9
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

Hi Mike, This gets really metaphysical. The illusion of control is just that, as you suggest. We are taught to " take charge ", Drive the Bus, Work your Plan, and so forth. When we were 28, we were immortal. If we had a neighbor or acquaintance who died, it was because of bad life choices, the result of some obscure personality defect we were free of.
We are wiser now. We've discovered that there is a diffrence between a point of view and actual wisdom. That having a "take" on something is not understanding all the unintended consequences.
Now the options are complex. I'm not worried about dieing. That can't be changed. I'm more worried about accidentally living too long. LOL. I'm in a good place. I have my house 85% paid off. I own a building lot in the woods that is paid for. I will be putting up a garage to store my stuff in on that property so I won't have to pay storage. I can rent my house and cover taxes and insurance on both places, so they will not need financial maintenance while I wallow in the salt water. I have a pittance of retirement from two sources, and soon, SSI. I am still working and making an excess for my needs, which currently is going into tying up loose ends. So all is good. I think... I've gotten over "foot-itis". I will work with what I've got. I understand that a man who is happy with what he has, is already rich.
I'm thinking I'm stuck in an existential dilemma, as opposed to a " nuts and bolts " kind of place. I have a lot to do, and it will get done, or it won't, no matter. It's the end game and what shape will it take ? I plan to get off the water at 70. That's only 12 years from now. I plan to work three more years, so that's nine years on the water. So I'll be 61 or 62. It leaves a three or four year gap before SSI kicks in. Big gap. That's with the assumption that the SSI will actually be there and the amount will be enough to buy groceries and stuff. I mean, I could probably live off three bags of dog food a month, but it's not my first choice. See ? My mind always moves to tactical solutions. It's what we deal with all the time; fix this, buy that, call so-and-so, make a deal, learn morse code, and so on. Visualizing the strategic path, now this is something that transcends the ordinary spaces we move is every day. It's not problem solving I have an issue with, it's creating the future. That is accomplished with strategic policy that defines the nature of the choices and how they are processed. This is something much harder to access. These are decisions based on who we are, not what we can do. Given the mystery of Self, it may, in fact, be unknowable... and now it's back to the gritty day to day problem solving. My dream of cruising is not brown skinned young women and beer. It's "Ulysses" by Tennyson. Good poem. Hmmmm. Well, back to the accounting and figuring out how to hook up that pesky radar cable through the bulkhead. Chao.
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Old 17-11-2011, 08:52   #10
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

"Though we are not now, that which in old days moved Earth and heaven,
That which we are, we are, one equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will,
To strive, to seek, to find, but not to yield..."

Yes...

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Old 17-11-2011, 13:46   #11
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

I agree Tom, it is fundamentally a existential challenge. It's not about the specific circumstances you or I find ourselves in -- the physical challenges are different, and so are the solutions. These will be solved. It is the leap into the unknown -- into uncertainty -- that challenges us most.

Our culture teaches us to control uncertainty. We are trained to study the problem from all angles, map out a complete strategy, create a plan, execute and overcome. We have laws to protect us, social supports to catch us, and insurance to buy our way out of risk. Moving on board demands that we step away from some (or all) of this. Stepping off the beaten path means living with, and hopefully embracing, greater uncertainty. As the maps of old say, over this edge: here be dragons

So I fully agree with you. It is mostly a metaphysical challenge. Learning to live with uncertainty, or in my case, learning what level of uncertainty I can live with, is an ongoing challenge.

Good luck with the radar cable
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:33   #12
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

My Wife and I are working very hard these years to put things in place so we will not have to worry farther down the line, I am endeavoring to refit my vessel completely prior to my walking away from steady employment. Like some of the others, I am not worried about dying, I am worried about living too long. No matter how much we plan, there is always the fickle finger of fate that has a hand in. I am not going to wait until every thing is just right, cause, I'll never have every thing just right, sides I need something to work on when anchored up in a nice cove somewhere.
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:47   #13
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

So I'm not the only one that is working towards the goal of going to sea. I'm 43. 4 years left on the mortage, 3 years left on the kids college, 2 years left to finish AJ's refit then 2 years on fresh water to see if this is really for me.....then a lifetime to sail off into the sun sets.
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Old 17-11-2011, 14:50   #14
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

Amen Matt
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Old 17-11-2011, 15:14   #15
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Re: Creating the Plan . . .

Hey Captain58. I see you are in Holmer. Do you still have the (crazy) lady living on the spit that feeds the bald eagles?
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