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Old 08-12-2014, 14:19   #136
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Two comments. First, most people get into a "comfort zone" regarding what they do and how much they spend, and most don't like to downsize. While it is possible to live on almost nothing while cruising, it will feel like torture unless that is what you are accustomed to. Before you can create a cruising budget, you need to decide on a lifestyle budget. As a first approximation, figure it will cost as much as you now spend on land.

Second comment. How much money you have in cash and retirement accounts is important, but how much you can earn on that money is far more important. If you want something relatively safe, you will earn 2-3% before inflation and close to a 0% rate of return after adjusting for inflation. If you put the money in stocks (risky) you will likely average around a 4-5% real (after inflation) rate of return over the long term, but may get between -25% to +25 in any year (or even wider swings). If you are retiring, you don't really have the long term to wait for the average rate to converge to the 4-5% number. Unless you are willing to gamble with your future, the safe solution is to assume you will not draw down any of your savings, which leaves you with your social security. Now, your budget is $2,600/month. Still, $2,600 will afford a comfortable cruising lifestyle if you are handy and can do many simple repairs.
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Old 09-12-2014, 00:33   #137
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sibley View Post
Two comments. First, most people get into a "comfort zone" regarding what they do and how much they spend, and most don't like to downsize. While it is possible to live on almost nothing while cruising, it will feel like torture unless that is what you are accustomed to. Before you can create a cruising budget, you need to decide on a lifestyle budget. As a first approximation, figure it will cost as much as you now spend on land.

Second comment. How much money you have in cash and retirement accounts is important, but how much you can earn on that money is far more important. If you want something relatively safe, you will earn 2-3% before inflation and close to a 0% rate of return after adjusting for inflation. If you put the money in stocks (risky) you will likely average around a 4-5% real (after inflation) rate of return over the long term, but may get between -25% to +25 in any year (or even wider swings). If you are retiring, you don't really have the long term to wait for the average rate to converge to the 4-5% number. Unless you are willing to gamble with your future, the safe solution is to assume you will not draw down any of your savings, which leaves you with your social security. Now, your budget is $2,600/month. Still, $2,600 will afford a comfortable cruising lifestyle if you are handy and can do many simple repairs.

There's some good sense here. If you can, live on your disposable monthly income and do not touch your savings (or the interest you earn on it). Then you don't have money hassles.

I've noted this before, but for most people, whatever they spend on land will be more or less the same they will spend while cruising. There are some differences

1- cheaper to rent cars ocassionally that to own one at home
2- Assuming boat is paid for, then this is cheaper than a mortgage (might still be cheaper since houses generally cost more than boats
3- Clothes - The tropics are warm, don't need coats and you do sort of get into the lifestyle - you won't need 30 pair of shoes (ok some have them anyway)
4- Food - if you make it yourself - it is probably cheaper than at home
5- going the other way - you'll have the opportunity to eat out more often than at home if this is what you want


If you like to drink champagne and eat lobster every day at home (yep tastes awfully good!), then you'll do this while cruising and it will cost more or less the same

If you eat beans 6 days a week and add a little meat on the seventh, then this is how you'll live while cruising.

Potentially big expenses: boat insurance and health insurance. Here you have to make up you mind how much risk you want to take
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:01   #138
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

I've put this out there before but our 5 years of cost data for every penny we spend from food to flights back to see family to you name it -

It is in the dollars and cents forum under 5 years of cost data.

we also keep the boat in good condition and try to do one upgrade a year. But unfortunately some times the nonsense hit the fan and we have to dig as we did this year when we blew out our main sail while sailing across the boot of Italy. Ouch --

It also depends on where you sail. It was very inexpensive in the western caribbean until we went to Cartagena Colombia and our insurance company made us take a marina.

In the Med there are a lot of places we have been where there is no place to anchor as we sailed down the east coast of Italy around the boot to Albania. Croatia was some anchoring but once one the east coast of Italy it became more of an issue.

For those who wonder I did finish the spreadsheet on our costs and just waiting for the end of the year then i did a bo bo and managed to erase it all so i have to start all over again.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:19   #139
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Context matters. These kinds of "how much does it cost?" threads are meaningless unless you can compare apples to apples.
  • Boat type, size, age.
  • Crew size, age.
  • Lifestyle norms.
  • Cruising location.
  • Risk tolerance.
  • Cruising goals.
  • Family needs/demands.
  • Other life costs; land home, boat loan, education costs, etc.
... and probably a dozen other factors all contribute to the question "how much does it cost?"

This is why we get such a wide range of responses. It's why the only general answer that makes any sense is: it costs what you have. For those who need a meaningful answer, why not start a thread where you clearly define your personal context. That way you can get info from people with comparable situations.
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:56   #140
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Mike,
Your correct of course, although I await chuckr's spreadsheet.
Looking at others cost, you can get an idea as to what it may cost you.
For instance if they have a cost of $2,000 a yr flying home, and you don't plan to, deduct the 2 grand.
I guess my main interest is what does it cost parts wise to keep an older 40 ft sailboat going long term, one that is moderately used, as in continuously cruising at a leisurely rate.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:31   #141
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
There's some good sense here. If you can, live on your disposable monthly income and do not touch your savings (or the interest you earn on it). Then you don't have moey hasles.

I've noted this before, but for most people, whatever they spend on land will be more or less the same they will spend while cruising. There are some differences

1- cheaper to rent cars ocassionally that to own one at home
2- Assuming boat is paid for, then this is cheaper than a mortgage (might still be cheaper since houses generally cost more than boats
3- Clothes - The tropics are warm, don't need coats and you do sort of get into the lifestyle - you won't need 30 pair of shoes (ok some have them anyway)
4- Food - if you make it yourself - it is probably cheaper than at home
5- going the other way - you'll ave the opportunity to eat out more often than at home if this is what you want


If you like to drink champagne and eat lobster every day at home (yep tastes awfully good!), then you'll do this while cruising and it will cost more or less the same

If you eat beans 6 days a week and add a little meat on the seventh, then this is how you'll live while cruising.

Potentially big expenses: boat insurance and health insurance. Here you have to make up you mind how much risk you want to take
Carsten, lots of people have commented that people generally want to maintain their usual lifestyle when cruising, so associated costs will be similar. This is not necessarily the case and not just because of the examples you have listed.

When working full time, stress levels can be high and free time is extremely precious. With money flowing in, it is common to indulge in high cost activities that maximise the pleasure of the free moments. This alters dramatically when cruising (or at least it did for me ).

Eating out can put a big dint in the budget whether living ashore or on the boat. For those that don't mind cooking it is suddenly not an issue to spend some time each day preparing meals, whereas while working this was not the best way of making use of available time. Also, when cruising, although eating out is still pleasurable, it no longer sharply contrasts to the pleasure in other day to day activities and for this reason becomes less important.

Also, if the thought of cruising appeals to you dramatically more than the rat race, then eating in more and not lashing out on expensive treats can suddenly becomes a minor price to pay.

Happiness is not dependent on champagne and lobster (although I never refuse either ).
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:37   #142
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

You know, the best Lobster is the one you caught, not real Maine Lobster maybe, but not too shabby.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:38   #143
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Carsten, lots of people have commented that people generally want to maintain their usual lifestyle when cruising, so associated costs will be similar. This is not necessarily the case and not just because of the examples you have listed.

When working full time, stress levels can be high and free time is extremely precious. With money flowing in, it is common to indulge in high cost activities that maximise the pleasure of the free moments. This alters dramatically when cruising (or at least it did for me ).

Eating out can put a big dint in the budget whether living ashore or on the boat. For those that don't mind cooking it is suddenly not an issue to spend some time each day preparing meals, whereas while working this was not the best way of making use of available time. Also, when cruising, although eating out is still pleasurable, it no longer sharply contrasts to the pleasure in other day to day activities and for this reason becomes less important.

Also, if the thought of cruising appeals to you dramatically more than the rat race, then eating in more and not lashing out on expensive treats can suddenly becomes a minor price to pay.

Happiness is not dependent on expensive alcohol and lobster (although I never refuse either ).
Lassie, you're right of course. My point was that most people will continue their lifestyle unless forced to change. Sure everyone says they really wish they had the time to cook wonderful meals from scratch, but they don't. My assertion is that most of them will not cook wonderful meals from scratch if they go cruising.

Why? Because if it meant that much to them they would have found a way on land, maybe not every day - but at least one or wo days per week.

I guess I'm just a cynic.

I never turn down lobster or bubbly either - just don't get it enough to be tired of it
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:20   #144
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

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Lassie, you're right of course. My point was that most people will continue their lifestyle unless forced to change. ... I guess I'm just a cynic.
You're not a cynic carstenb. All human behavioural research supports this perspective. In general, people don't change their behaviours easily, and it gets harder with age. The longer you've lived a certain lifestyle, the harder change becomes.

Of course, it is possible to voluntarily change a lifestyle, and clearly some people do. But mostly we go along doing the same things until we can't. This is why a brush with death (heart attack, stroke, accident, etc) can lead to big life changes. Nothing like facing the reality of a limited life to shake people out of their status quo.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:25   #145
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

When I was much younger, my Father told me there is nothing wrong with living in a trailer, but it's hard when you get older to have to move back into a trailer.
When I first got married, we had my old welding truck, and old VW, mattress was on blocks and an old couch, a few months later and I was un-employeed. We existed for several months on meager savings until my enlistment date came up for me to go into the Army, we have lived off of almost nothing, we can do it, but we don't want to go back to that if we can help it. One small emergency would have sunk us.
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:36   #146
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Best lobster and champagne one can have are the ones your kids buy you (with their money) ........................ Or so I've heard


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Old 09-12-2014, 15:25   #147
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Carsten, lots of people have commented that people generally want to maintain their usual lifestyle when cruising, so associated costs will be similar. This is not necessarily the case and not just because of the examples you have listed.

When working full time, stress levels can be high and free time is extremely precious. With money flowing in, it is common to indulge in high cost activities that maximise the pleasure of the free moments. This alters dramatically when cruising (or at least it did for me ).

Eating out can put a big dint in the budget whether living ashore or on the boat. For those that don't mind cooking it is suddenly not an issue to spend some time each day preparing meals, whereas while working this was not the best way of making use of available time. Also, when cruising, although eating out is still pleasurable, it no longer sharply contrasts to the pleasure in other day to day activities and for this reason becomes less important.

Also, if the thought of cruising appeals to you dramatically more than the rat race, then eating in more and not lashing out on expensive treats can suddenly becomes a minor price to pay.

Happiness is not dependent on champagne and lobster (although I never refuse either ).
Nice post SWL, and I certainly agree with your thesis.

And in particular, your comments about "if the thought of cruising appeals to you dramatically more than the rat race" ring true. I have to question the motivation of all those who say they want to go cruising, but won't consider giving up this or that facet of their shore life. If your desire to cruise is deep, you will willingly make these sacrifices... that's what most of us did back when we first started out.

And to be frank, I don't worry too much about these sorts not joining in the community... There are perhaps too many of us out here already!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 09-12-2014, 18:19   #148
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

you can always smuggle some drugs or immigrants if things get tough, what is your problem.......
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Old 09-12-2014, 19:40   #149
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

I don't want to appear too cautious, but after you settle on a budget, perhaps you should think about Plan B. I suspect that everyone who has posted a reply to this thread knows someone who planned for years to go cruising but then found out that the reality is different from the fantasy. Cruising is great for some but not for all. My wife and I bought our boat from a couple that sold their house and business and put all of their remaining belongings in storage and set out cruising. In well less than a year they were back on the hard and their boat up for sale. It would be really interesting to know what proportion of people that set out to go full-time cruising are still at it after a year. I suspect that all the comments here are from "survivors" and that we have heart nothing from those who are now driving motor homes.
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Old 09-12-2014, 20:14   #150
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Re: $3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Why does cruising during retirement have to be an all or nothing choice? We travel and cruise 4-5 months per year and hope to increase to 6-8 months, then hopefully 10-12 months... Take it in steps. Many others we know do the same. Why make it an either or choice?
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