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Old 22-01-2013, 17:26   #31
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post

I know alot of the sentiment here is just chuck it all and go, and if your that attached to something, how can you embrace the freedom of cruising, however it just seems to hit you smack in the face when you actually try to make decisions to get rid of it all...so, I agree with the statement..."It should be an easy decision, but it's not". One more step in the process of leaving the dock.
For us, we "unstuffed" in stages. The first time I went through my closet, I got rid of half my clothes. If it didn't feel right, I didn't let it go. The first time we went through our books, we took a third of them to half-price books. We kept the ones we wanted to keep, at that time. Then, we got closer to leaving - another third of the closet, more boxes of books, etc. I guess what I'm proposing is that you shouldn't be MEAN to yourself. You can let go gradually, and feel GOOD about it, every step of the way. If it doesn't feel good, don't let it go - but don't PAY to store it - find someone to keep it for you.

When the boat was purchased and our move aboard date set, we had packed several boxes away in my mom's closet, and the rest got sold at an estate sale. It felt GOOD. We learned from this - if we ever come back to live in the US, we will furnish our home with estate sale purchases. Man, we sold some fine furniture for very little money - but we can buy someone else's fine furniture if we go back!
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Old 22-01-2013, 17:47   #32
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Re: Re-entry Plan

Great topic. My two cents:

1) You don't own stuff; stuff owns you. It's incredibly freeing to stop thinking about stuff you don't regularly use. There's a rule for small-home owners: keep only what is beautiful or useful. the rest- get rid of it! If you've ever had to clean up after a relative has passed on, you already know how many things languish unused. Whether or not you're planning to sell up and sail, get rid of stuff now!

2) cruising and post cruising income: it so happens that both my wife and I have been actively planning to transition to occupations we love and could theoretically do well into seniority. My wife took advantage of a layoff settlement to go to chef school and now she's a professional cook. i don't see that job disappearing soon. Me, I'm pursuing marine services, particularly electrical/electronic, which lets me leverage my electronics background. If we ever make it to full-time cruising, we will have high-demand trades we can step back into when necessary, or when it's time to come ashore.

Come to think of it, whether or not you're going to go cruising, anything you can do now to pursue retirement dreams and to uncomplicate your life is probably useful.
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Old 22-01-2013, 18:08   #33
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Re: Re-entry Plan

You already have a boat, so surely the 1st step of the plan should be to live on that while you look for a job and reinsert yourself into the rat race? Once you find an area you like, probably with a marina and definitely with a job or some sort of income, then you take the 2nd step of perhaps moving ashore.

That is our super duper plan. Gotta keep it flexible.
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Old 22-01-2013, 18:29   #34
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Wow, great thread!

I don't have any answers, we don't have a re-entry plan other than we know that someday we will have to go back to land because we will physically be unable to get on and off the boat. We have sold the house but the money went into an investment account for when we have to come back. However, we are open to landing almost anywhere in the world if we can manage it financially. We don't have a lot of money, but if we are careful we should be fine for the rest of our lives. Of course, we are banking on the fact that we can cruise comfortably on $30K a year and we are rolling the dice on health insurance for a few years. We take everyday as a gift, as we have known many that have departed this world early, we know it could all be taken away very quickly. We don't worry too much about the future, it will take care of itself and we are optimistic and resourceful people.

The truly hard part was the downsizing. Until you start you have no idea how many sentimental items you have squirreled away in some nook or cranny over a lifetime. The big stuff was easy and 90% of the stuff was a snap to get rid of. When I was going through two rooms of book shelves last spring, it wasn't the books so much as the stuff wedged between them -- kids elementary school artwork, newspaper articles about kids achievements, stories they had written, the pedigree papers from my favorite dog (long gone). I was in tears! I got some really good advice from the CF members, I have three 30-gallon rubber maid bins stored in my sister-in-law's garage. Most of the stuff means nothing to anyone but me but I couldn't let it go.

We originally thought we would keep just enough stuff from the house to refurnish a new house and then realized there was no way in hell we were going back to Utah (or Wyoming where we would have stored it) that we may end up on another continent. My husband had a lot of tools and we brought most of them. We kept our Land Rover and it is stored in my sister-in-law's extra garage so we will have a way to get around when we go back home for visits. We are using her address as our permanent address, we will maintain our drivers licenses, voter registration, bank accounts, credit cards and (of course) car insurance for re-entry at some point in the future.

I am a planner by nature, but one of the things I have learned in this life is you cannot plan life. We would never have left the dock if we felt we had to have a plan in place first, there is just too much to plan -- it would have been overwhelming and frozen us in place. We haven't gotten far yet, but we have left the dock and life is even better than we imagined. Tomorrow will take care of itself -- somehow.
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Old 22-01-2013, 20:24   #35
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Re: Re-entry Plan

I'm having a hard time grasping the depth of this question.

Re-entry is the simplest possible thing, in it's simplest form - you come back, you find a place to live that costs less than your income (whatever it's source), and you move in, taking into account your other costs, including the cost of storing your boat until it is sold.

So after reading and reflection on the thread, I feel like the real question is "how do I justify my unwillingness to release attachment to objects" and you've hit on the answer "I'll need them for my complicated and carefully planned 're-entry'".

If you are at a major life junction, such as empty-nesters or entering your golden years for example, then you will not need them, or even want them. You will come back in several years (or more) with a different perspective on life, different lifestyle goals, and different wants and needs than you had when you left. Your old junk will not be a major help to you in that new lifestyle.

If you're just taking a hiatus, put all the junk into controlled environment storage, packed and stored by professional movers, and put your house up for rent, managed and operated by a professional rental agent, and go!

When you return, there will be a few months or so that you need to wait for your renters to clear out of your house, then a few weeks after that you will have all your belongings restored to their original places as though you had never left!

I've done it both ways. The difference for me was the presence of school-age children.
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Old 23-01-2013, 05:36   #36
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
One thing you will find when you go out cruising is that you learn a lot about the world and your preferences and thoughts about what you like may change. I have been very surprised by where some folks I know have ended up settling after they retired from cruising. A very New England couple we know ended up on a big farm in Virginia. Another New England couple ended up on the east coast of Florida. I met a guy from California who said he was never going back to the U.S. I think he's now settled in Panama. One family from California went back to California as did another from Colorado. A family from England we met in the Caribbean sailed to New Zealand and settled there. A guy we met from Florida sailed to Samoa, met a girl, and stayed there. Another couple from Massachusetts sailed back and forth to the Bahamas for several years, bought some land there, built a house, then sold it, and then got rid of the boat and went RVing.
I agree with that yet I do tend to think it is less than the norm. I didn't include that in hopes of not making an already wordy post more so.

While what you say is true I had in mind something a GF told me years ago. Basically, like prefers like, that to which they are accustomed. There is not only the cultural distinctive to consider but society and rules and regs.

I was also thinking of where the OP mentioned, "...returning to...". To that end I was thinking of one who desires to return to a familiar place. The best I can say of that is to strive to keep your skills marketable, to not let them lapse into antiquity.
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Old 23-01-2013, 05:51   #37
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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I sped read a lot of this thread so far as I didn't see any real experience answers to want I understood the question to be.

I only have barely considered the original question, but it does close my mind and it kind of scares me!

The way I see it is that for my wife and I the situation probably becomes: one of us has died, we don't have much cash anymore as it has gone to the cruising kitty, the survivor now has less social security income, the survivor is their late 60s+, physically can not sail/handle boat alone.

Where does that leave one? Is that time to bite a bullet?
That eventuality by it's very definition is not a question of if but of when. It is highly obvious that planning for the event is key. But only partially so because the best laid plans.... I recall a widowed man to whom this fate had befallen. He was successful only through grit and determination, even when govt agencies presented seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He even raised a fine son and daughter on his boat. Having a network of trusted friends was partially responsible for his success. That is not to say he took more than he gave, No! In fact, his relationships could best be described as symbiotic.

Even for the wanderers, those who roam the world, there exists a real potential to create a satisfying life in the aftermath.
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Old 23-01-2013, 06:03   #38
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Re: Re-entry Plan

I think that is the problem, Is this a short term hiatus or a complete change in lifestyle that is permanent? How could I know that answer from where I am today?

So I'm still looking at two paths, rent the current house to pay for health insurance or buy a much smaller one and use the cash diffference to help pay for health insurance. I think we need to maintain some minimum health insurance as one health event in the US can result in bankruptcy. Secondly, my wife will likely outlive me and I want a house somewhere for her. I could care less where I live.

If health insurance were free in the US, or I were single, I'd sell the current house, buy a smaller one and rent it and that would be it. No big deal. I've watched ageing parents and realized you've got to take your best shot at a plan because of some of the extreme costs that can happen in the US system. That being said, there is no way to plan very well at all for the future. The best weather forecasters in the world with the best computer systems can only predict 3 days in advance.

So I'm going to do my best and leave the results up to the Universe.

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Old 23-01-2013, 06:17   #39
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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Originally Posted by sweetsailing View Post
We have all seen hundreds of threads on laying out the plan to buy the boat and go cruising, however as we are getting closer to our departure date, I find myself increasingly thinking about my re-etry plan AFTER my cruising is done. I would like to hear from folks who have "re-entered" the land life after cruising, did you plan for it? Would you have made different decision prior to cruising that impacted you when you stopped cruising?

The questions or issues I have been thinking about center on the following:

1) Planning financially for re-entry - Will I have enough money to rent or purchase a place to live with or without selling the boat?

2) Any re-entry plan will significantly change how I think about liquidating my current possessions. This one still has me thinking. I have some nice things that I don't want to sell for a fraction of what I purchased it for and then 5 years after cruising will need to buy all over again. Seems like a loosing proposition. But perhaps storing those possessions for 5 years might be a loosing proposition as well. What to do?

3) Where to come back to? Will definitely sell the house when we leave, however when we are ready to come back, not sure where we will come back to?

I would be interested in perspectives and discussion about leaving cruising. I think this phase is just important to plan as going cruising, however it doesn't seem to get a lot of discussion here.
excellent question.
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Old 23-01-2013, 07:14   #40
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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I've gone and come back numerous times since I was in my 20's and I never had a plan in place--just did it when I needed more money, or an opportunity came along, or some major medical issues in the family had to be taken care of. Frankly, to me a plan is a burden that hangs over my head. I prefer to wing it as I'm a nomad at heart. In my ideal world I will fall over dead some day on passage and fall overboard to be recycled, and hopefully some lucky person will find my boat in good shape and be able to use it. Probably won't happen that way, but I see too many people who plan out the end of their lives perfectly and then just sit and vegitate for their last 10 years watching TV or something, or something comes along completely unexpected like a stroke and ruins all their carefully laid plans. Don't worry, tomorrow will come and bring something--hopefully an adventure.
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Old 23-01-2013, 07:27   #41
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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I have gone for as long as five years or so without a car and never had a problem getting insurance when I came back, though I have heard this rumor about high rates.
I lived in India, NYC, Hong Kong and Bangkok over a 13-year period and never had a car during that time. Six years ago, I bought a car again and insurance was no trouble. If anything, it was probably easier, as I had no blemish on my driving record in all that time!
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Old 23-01-2013, 08:29   #42
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Re: Re-entry Plan

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sweetsailing, since we are back into sailing after 30 years of working, raising a family, and all the plethora of things you do while on dry ground, I have given this much thought.

Back in the 70s when we were really hot to go cruising, we had very little in material possessions and could easily have "dumped" everything we owned. However, now that we are in our 60s and are at a place in our lives when we really can go, we have a life-time of things we don't really want to get rid of. Also, instead of being young and indestructible, we are facing our winter years. There would be a time when we would have to return to living on the dirt. And there are a few possessions that could never be replaced, for example, very old family antiques and Tiffany lamps (yes, that Tiffany).

My suggestion to you is to start with those things that you never could replace if you have to come back to living on the hard again. In fact, start a list or pile of those things. Then work backward from there, toward the things that could be replaced. Then shave that premium pile down to those things you absolutely love. Plan on storing them. Believe me, it will give you a lot of relief to have those items safely stored (in your mind) and out of the equation. It will free you guys up to let the other stuff go.

I think this gives you a mental anchor just in case you want to/have to come back to ground living. I hope this helps.
Time will trash your treasures. If they aren't destroyed or forgotten in your lifetime, they likely will be by your heirs. I've been living aboard for six years and made enough international moves in the past 20 or so to have shed most of the crap.

When I left for India two decades ago, I put several boxes of irreplaceble stuff - mind you, really important things - in a friend's basement. That friend and I lost touch and I cannot remember now what was in the boxes - and, furthermore, I don't care what was in them. I don't miss that stuff, therefore it wasn't as valuable as I first thought. In other words, it was unrecognized junk.

As a liveaboard now, I have a very high threshold for what needs to be kept. George Carlin was right:

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Old 23-01-2013, 12:37   #43
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Re: Re-entry Plan

This has been a good discussion. I think I have learned a few things in the process.

Quote:
I feel like the real question is "how do I justify my unwillingness to release attachment to objects" and you've hit on the answer "I'll need them for my complicated and carefully planned 're-entry'".
Art, I think you may be on to something here with your comments and I appreciate your candor. Yes, I am a planner. The primary motivation for my planning in this case is to never return to the workforce once I leave. I want to retire and that's it.

I also think I am experiencing a bit of transition that I am sure all cruisers go through to some degree, and that is letting go of my land based life and the attachments to objects that seems to come with a land based life. It's easy to say I want to do that, perhaps a bit harder to actually do it. That being said my desire for adventure, sailing and boat living will certainly overcome my attachments to "stuff". I did notice a common thread that most boxed up what they deemed to be important, only to find out later that it wasn't so important. I no doubt will follow those footsteps because it seems that you need let the experience change you how it will and only then can I discover what I don't know now.
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