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Old 09-06-2012, 19:42   #76
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

Ok here it goes. A couple of sundowners and you get will get more than you wanted. Spelling is optional!

15 years and 3 boats later I am closing in on my 6th decade. Many friends and loved ones have gone ahead so I am not waiting until the magical 62.

We have gone in debt when normal people would be pleased to be debt free to buy our retirement condo. We are still able to save for retirement and make accelerated payments but it isn't logical to do what we do. We live conservatively in the midwest. We eat out 1-2 times a month. Our vices are our grandkids, dog, boat and beer/wine.

We have been planning the move to living aboard for many years. As the time grows closer my wife, who is seven years younger and I approach this differently. The most important thing is we are both committed to sailing away in the Spring of 2013. "If you wait until you are ready you will never leave". Take that to heart!

Our plan is to retire next year when I am 60+. Money wil be tight at first but getting better as we age.

We are avoiding that downsizing our lives the first year since we plan on waiting a year after we leave to, see if we like living aboard and the housing market to improve. We think it will be easier to downsize when the carrot is in front of us!

We have been summer vacationing on the Great Lakes for so many years only for the season to end in frustration. Our boats spend more time on the hard than in the water and just when you start feeling comfortable the season is over.

The most challenging aspect is not the sea, weather, boat, technology, etc., etc., but "us". This is not an RV where you can pull off and stop. Oh we are not sailing across oceans but there is a level of maturity that is different than on land. Life depends on larger things than on shore. Your life depends on your mate and their's is your responsibility. A bond in a small area. A great responsibility.

We already have much of the sailing stuff figured out. My wife is the helmsmans during docking and anchoring. I handle the lines. She is damn good and it throws the marina into a new level of attention!

As far as leaving our grand children I reassure my wife that the kids make more money than we do so they can send the grandkids to visit us! So far so good.

Get it close...sort it out on the way. Stay open to new inputs and don't live like you are on vacation. This is life in a more real sense than most of us have ever experienced. It is for me my chance to do something out of the ordinary. I am just a regular guy, living a regular life. I'm not a doctor, engineer or professional of any kind.

I have friends who have done what we are doing and those who have found their weaknesses. Both are encouraging of our plans. This forum is a great place for encouragement. This doesn't have to be a trip to the moon but it's not a trip to the corner market. Reach out and learn from others. It's not a competition!

Best wishes and hope to see you wherever your paradise is!
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Old 09-06-2012, 21:12   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnrdafoe
Ok here it goes. A couple of sundowners and you get will get more than you wanted. Spelling is optional!

15 years and 3 boats later I am closing in on my 6th decade. Many friends and loved ones have gone ahead so I am not waiting until the magical 62.

We have gone in debt when normal people would be pleased to be debt free to buy our retirement condo. We are still able to save for retirement and make accelerated payments but it isn't logical to do what we do. We live conservatively in the midwest. We eat out 1-2 times a month. Our vices are our grandkids, dog, boat and beer/wine.

We have been planning the move to living aboard for many years. As the time grows closer my wife, who is seven years younger and I approach this differently. The most important thing is we are both committed to sailing away in the Spring of 2013. "If you wait until you are ready you will never leave". Take that to heart!

Our plan is to retire next year when I am 60+. Money wil be tight at first but getting better as we age.

We are avoiding that downsizing our lives the first year since we plan on waiting a year after we leave to, see if we like living aboard and the housing market to improve. We think it will be easier to downsize when the carrot is in front of us!

We have been summer vacationing on the Great Lakes for so many years only for the season to end in frustration. Our boats spend more time on the hard than in the water and just when you start feeling comfortable the season is over.

The most challenging aspect is not the sea, weather, boat, technology, etc., etc., but "us". This is not an RV where you can pull off and stop. Oh we are not sailing across oceans but there is a level of maturity that is different than on land. Life depends on larger things than on shore. Your life depends on your mate and their's is your responsibility. A bond in a small area. A great responsibility.

We already have much of the sailing stuff figured out. My wife is the helmsmans during docking and anchoring. I handle the lines. She is damn good and it throws the marina into a new level of attention!

As far as leaving our grand children I reassure my wife that the kids make more money than we do so they can send the grandkids to visit us! So far so good.

Get it close...sort it out on the way. Stay open to new inputs and don't live like you are on vacation. This is life in a more real sense than most of us have ever experienced. It is for me my chance to do something out of the ordinary. I am just a regular guy, living a regular life. I'm not a doctor, engineer or professional of any kind.

I have friends who have done what we are doing and those who have found their weaknesses. Both are encouraging of our plans. This forum is a great place for encouragement. This doesn't have to be a trip to the moon but it's not a trip to the corner market. Reach out and learn from others. It's not a competition!

Best wishes and hope to see you wherever your paradise is!
Well said! Good luck and fair winds.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:42   #78
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My wife and I are in a similar phase. However, we turned it around a little: first we went off on a 2200 mile, 18 day delivery from Oahu to Tuvalu, followed by a couple of weeks in Fiji and a month sofa surfing with friends in Hawaii. Just to remind us of our youth, and to get us out of the workaday world we have been mostly living in. Soon we will return to get rid of stuff. By first getting our heads and hearts into our future, it's a lot easier to reduce our perceived attachment to stuff, and to regain perspective on what really matters: the network of people and relationships that are actually the source of self esteem and therefore the foundation of happiness.

When at home, being programmed by Madison Avenue into the faith of materialism and capitalism, you are being strapped down with thousands of tiny, almost invisible ties that bind you to essentially worthless entities.

It's not the stuff! That is by far the trivial aspect of this transition. The boat basically does not matter. The equipment on the boat basically does not matter. The stuff you are leaving behind does not matter.

It's those connections to people that matter. Period.

When our kids moved out, the sense of loss was enormous because those relationships were so central to our lives: we made all sorts of excuses due to those relationships, the perceived need to live in one place, work so hard, buy all sorts of stuff, and so on. Well, going cruising is a much more pervasive change than having the kids move out! Getting rid of the old profession, and the daily connection to the fabric of your entire value, support, learning, and reward system is radical beyond compare.

However, what we knew when we lived and worked on yachts long ago, we have discovered still applies today. The cruising community is really a globally distributed village. As in village culture, each one of us do what we can, and thereby we gain our sense of self value, and hence happiness. It's not that old relationships disappear, but they are rapidly -- suddenly -- replaced by an entirely new network of people who adhere to a totally foreign set of values, a different way of showing support, totally different expects of life to be learned, with the rewards coming only from within.

From my experience, very few people can happily make this transition. Those that do tended to have a rather different way of looking at the world from their youths.

The number of fantastically equipped, but essentially abandoned boats for sale at the ends of some milk run or another is the evidence of this.

The number of people who absolutely love the cruising life is large too, and includes people just like you, who left behind businesses, families, friends, social structures, vast material collections, and graciously made the transition to being seafarers.

But again, this step of getting rid of stuff is absolutely the most trivial part of the transition.

The real challenge is falling in love with your mate in this very different, very new world of cruising. That is what we are concentrating on.

I suggest you might want to stop, and just go sailing for awhile. I'm sure someone you know would be happy to live in your house with all your stuff for awhile. That is also what we are doing. If it turns out that you don't like it, then it's easy to go back to retirement in Utah.
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Old 11-06-2012, 13:45   #79
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

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The hardest thing for me will be letting go of my books, the ones unavailable on Kindle.
Same here. I cheated for the first decade of living aboard because I could keep my books in my office, but once I retire.....
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Old 20-06-2012, 05:44   #80
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

One of the great things about cruising is also one of its greatest challenges. You end up spending a hell of a lot of time alone with your mate. You'll find out pretty quickly if you still have what it takes to be together or if you should get a divorce. When the only person you talk to 24/7 for a couple three weeks is your mate - you'll either love or hate em.

good luck
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Old 20-06-2012, 07:11   #81
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

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One of the great things about cruising is also one of its greatest challenges. You end up spending a hell of a lot of time alone with your mate. You'll find out pretty quickly if you still have what it takes to be together or if you should get a divorce. When the only person you talk to 24/7 for a couple three weeks is your mate - you'll either love or hate em.

good luck
which is why i love single handed sailing.
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Old 20-06-2012, 07:37   #82
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Lucky for us we know we can do it. We have been doing the 24/7 thing together for the last 15 years -- running a successful architecture firm.
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Old 14-10-2012, 17:43   #83
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I hope it gets easier for you. I am finding the biggest problem is when to start getting rid of it. I am ready now but hubbie is still collecting stuff...tools and such that I think won't be needed. (Only since I think he has 2 of everything) I am ready to start collecting things needed for the boat we don't have yet and sell everything we don't need. But worry about getting rid of it too early and then find I need to replace it. But of all the things to worry about in the world I guess I am doing ok.....my brother and sister are willing to take grams stuff and my kids are more than willing to take some of the valuables.. I am just ready to star shedding the rest of this stuff we have gathered over the last 25 years.
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Old 21-10-2012, 21:56   #84
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I hope it gets easier for you. I am finding the biggest problem is when to start getting rid of it. I am ready now but hubbie is still collecting stuff...tools and such that I think won't be needed. (Only since I think he has 2 of everything) I am ready to start collecting things needed for the boat we don't have yet and sell everything we don't need. But worry about getting rid of it too early and then find I need to replace it. But of all the things to worry about in the world I guess I am doing ok.....my brother and sister are willing to take grams stuff and my kids are more than willing to take some of the valuables.. I am just ready to star shedding the rest of this stuff we have gathered over the last 25 years.
I totally understand where you are at, the only difference we already had our boat - had bought it 3 years before at that time. Once we decided it was time to start working toward moving on board, I was all about getting rid of stuff, organizing, and getting what I thought we needed for our boat (emphasis on the homemaking side). At the beginning, I jumped right in and started purging, it ended up being mostly clothes. My husband also had 2 (maybe 3) of everything (tools and such). While I was trying to purge he was buying things for the boat. Meanwhile we were transitioning our architecture firm to our daughter, working 60-70 hours a week to make sure the firm would still be viable after we were gone.

When I posted this thread we were nine months into the process that took us thirteen months to execute. Six months after the first purge, I got going again and started clearing out rooms in our house and trying to get my husband to start organizing his stuff, which amounted to his cars (three of them), all of their spare parts, the house projects he had accumulated over the last twelve years, and everything in the garage (including all of his tools). I got three of our four bedrooms, closets and storage areas cleaned out -- my husband did nothing. At nine months in, I had gotten through all of the easy stuff and was then faced with all of the little personal things that were stuffed between books and tucked into drawers that had been forgotten about over the years. I ended up with a couple of rubbermaid bins of stuff that will mean nothing to anyone but me, but I just couldn't get rid of it. Thank goodness I have the best sister-in-law ever and she gave me a place to keep this stuff.

In the end, I found it was really very hard for my husband to let go of anything. It made me question whether we were both on the same page about 'Our Dream'. After a lot of late night heart to hearts, I realized we were both on the same path but because of things in his childhood it was hard for him to let go of things. Because of this very many things were left to do in the last six weeks and I won't lie, it wasn't easy. Thank goodness for a wonderful daughter and son-in-law and great friends who stepped in and helped us with the last of the stuff!

We departed for Fajardo, Puerto Rico on September 1, after mailing 39 boxes which contained everything we believed we needed to live on the boat. With the pile of boxes around me at the Cheyenne post office I started thinking I had taken too much. Picking up the boxes as they arrived in Fajardo, I thought there would not be enough room in the boat. In the end, the boat swallowed up all of the stuff and I still have enough room for provisions!

We originally planned to stay in Puerto Rico until November 1 outfitting the boat. LIfe definitely moves at a slower pace here and we are now planning to be here until December 15 as we complete all of the outfitting, maintenance, and upgrades to the boat we had planned. I will admit that we pretty much frittered away the first three weeks celebrating retirement. We worked on the boat for a week then went to Annapolis for a week and attended the boat show. At this point, we are still taking things apart and have not completed one project, but we are loving it!

Hang in there and be patient. You may find that the dynamics of the process (between you and your husband) are different than you had envisioned -- don't let it stop you. Talk about it! Review, re-evaluate each of your strengths and weaknesses, compromise, and readjust -- you will make it!

Good luck,
Robyn
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Old 22-10-2012, 01:55   #85
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

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I hope it gets easier for you. I am finding the biggest problem is when to start getting rid of it. I am ready now but hubbie is still collecting stuff.............
Collecting can still be a viable hobby for the liveaboard cruiser, but some care needs to be taken when deciding what to collect. We've never downsized,- only because we didn't have anything when we moved aboard, but I do have one huge collection of pizza delivery numbers at every port from Bar Harbor, Maine and down the US East Coast into the Bahamas. My entire collection resides in my cell phone!
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Old 22-10-2012, 05:50   #86
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I know many people get rid of everything. I can't and I know I can't. I worked overseas for periods of five years and always had a storage unit. Sometimes it had a vehicle on stands. I don't recommend that. The most valuable stuff to me is the old photo albums and the stuff I have collected from overseas.

I had my house sell and had to be out in 40 days. Yikes??!!! It was very hard.

Make a pile for the boat, a memory pile, and buy a small trailer that it all has to fit in. Sell all you can and leave the rest. Sure, you have to pay storage. But you have those items you cherish. After 5 years, I loved to see my items and the memories. I know the photos can be scanned, but after losing computer photos to degradation of hard drive, I am happy to have hard copies.

After a few years, you might be able to let more of it go. Is it worth $600 a year for a small unit (climate controlled in Florida)?
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Old 22-10-2012, 09:13   #87
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

Smartmove, so happy to hear you were finally able to make your transition successfully.

I can't wait for the day it is time for us to make ours.

Best of luck to you in your adventures.
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Old 22-10-2012, 09:46   #88
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

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I know many people get rid of everything. I can't and I know I can't. I worked overseas for periods of five years and always had a storage unit. Sometimes it had a vehicle on stands. I don't recommend that. The most valuable stuff to me is the old photo albums and the stuff I have collected from overseas.

I had my house sell and had to be out in 40 days. Yikes??!!! It was very hard.

Make a pile for the boat, a memory pile, and buy a small trailer that it all has to fit in. Sell all you can and leave the rest. Sure, you have to pay storage. But you have those items you cherish. After 5 years, I loved to see my items and the memories. I know the photos can be scanned, but after losing computer photos to degradation of hard drive, I am happy to have hard copies.

After a few years, you might be able to let more of it go. Is it worth $600 a year for a small unit (climate controlled in Florida)?
Photos and over seas purchases! Me too!..
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Old 22-10-2012, 12:57   #89
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

We are the caretakers of our childrens' personal museum. Baby photos, childhood memories, school reports and story's they've written etc. Some of their teenage property held while they're overseas. A few pieces of period furniture and grandads' cabin trunk.
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Old 22-10-2012, 13:10   #90
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Re: Is This Normal? Getting Rid of Our Life

I know I'm late to the thread here, but just speaking in general: the transition for us has been crazy. So much to do, it's all new, it's either expensive or time consuming or hard, and you're wondering where all the fun is in that.

Hard to explain how it's worth it, but it really is.

Back to work I go.
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