To me, it would partly depend on what the first 2 or 3 yrs. cruising plans were...
If you're heading off on a multi-year circumnavigation
during which you're going to take time to smell the roses, then a $40k emergency
fund won't handle a dismasting
with loss of sails
event, most likely. If you're staying coastal in the US, such an event is probably less likely because there's more shelter, so it might well be enough.
I'm assuming you have medical
coverage with either cruising plan. If you have to pay out of pocket for any event requiring hospitalization in Australia
, the costs are very similar to US. Traveler's insurance
is available here.
I am not speaking for Jim at all here, but I think I would gamble on short term good health
, and work the extra year for the better financial position, but that's really a personal weakness of mine, I think, that fear of a destitute old age. It is only a fantasy.
The other side of the question are the guys who say go now, because we don't know what the future holds, and some of us die young with never tasting our dreams.
Good luck with it, whatever you choose.