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Old 19-11-2012, 07:28   #706
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I disagree that becoming rich is one way out of becoming enslaved - if anything it generally enslaves you more. Stepping off the treadmill at some point is definitely the key though. This is unfortunately extremely hard to do (particularly if at the peak of career and earning capacity) - there always the allure of earning just that bit more, even if it is only for extra security. Before you know it, your life has slipped away and health issues suddenly rear their ugly head. How many CF members have waited until retirement to head off cruising only to find that totally unexpected problems with health (for them or their SO) suddenly curtail all their plans?

Embracing the idea of "enough" and as scary as it is, stepping off the treadmill before old age hits, is actually mind blowing liberating. The trick is finding just the right time of your life and the guts to do this.
I agree mostly but would add that both rich and poor can be enslaving. I think though that being rich gives you more choices, more options out of he enslavement, whereas being poor really reduces those options and that makes a big difference.
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Old 19-11-2012, 07:49   #707
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

One of issues involved with stepping off is what do you do when you get old? When you end up on the hard and not cruising. Unless you have paid massively into a personal retirement account, you'll almost certainly end up eating water soup and wrapped in blankets because you can't afford to pay for heat.

Government social security schemes are all going down the tubes. each year the benefits paid get closer to the pure subsistence level and in many countries will be below that.

Unless you live in a country with socialized medicine, paying for health insurance will ruin you. Today, we all live longer and longer.

So it is a trade-off. I you jump and cruise early and for most of your life - you'll end up paying a price at the other end.
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:03   #708
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

Being a minimalist, I'm guessing Thoreau must have settle for dial-up unlike the minimalists of today who usually go with high speed internet or Wifi!
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:26   #709
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

SL, As one of the 1%, I would have to agree with you. I recently went down to half time, and it could not have been better for me spiritually. Enslavement comes in many forms and cages are not all physical.
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:36   #710
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

Cb- what is wrong with being a productive member of society and building a nest egg? I love to work, but not all the time and not forever. Sailing, especially soloing is really a selfish activity, but I reserve a part of my life for it because it renews my soul.
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:50   #711
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

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I agree mostly but would add that both rich and poor can be enslaving. I think though that being rich gives you more choices, more options out of he enslavement, whereas being poor really reduces those options and that makes a big difference.
Yes, I agree, both wealth and poverty are enslaving, and poverty more so as the options usually just aren't there (particularly in third world countries). The wealthier people are though, the more ties often bind them and I think the harder it is to then break away and have worry free time to enjoy the the "simple" (and often these are the very best) things in life.
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Old 19-11-2012, 08:52   #712
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

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One of issues involved with stepping off is what do you do when you get old? When you end up on the hard and not cruising. Unless you have paid massively into a personal retirement account, you'll almost certainly end up eating water soup and wrapped in blankets because you can't afford to pay for heat.

Government social security schemes are all going down the tubes. each year the benefits paid get closer to the pure subsistence level and in many countries will be below that.

Unless you live in a country with socialized medicine, paying for health insurance will ruin you. Today, we all live longer and longer.

So it is a trade-off. I you jump and cruise early and for most of your life - you'll end up paying a price at the other end.
Yes, I agree it is a trade off. But I feel any healthy years 60+ are a bonus, not a certainty.

Life expectancy for males in Denmark is 76 (that is for males born now, not several decades ago). The "quality" of years post 70 on average is not wonderful (looking at health issues). And at 60-70 (the years many people are expecting to go cruising post retirement), good health is by no means a high probability.

I agree that penniless old age spent in a urine reeking nursing home or wrapped in blankets and eating gruel would be the absolute pits, but how many cruising people ever reach this stage? To spend your good years working and saving purely to safeguard some comfort in an old age (that may never come) at the expense of never fulfilling your dreams is, in my opinion not the sensible thing to do (note I say in my opinion).

So many of my friends and acquaintances have been struck by debilitating illnesses in their 50's (typically cancer, heart attacks, strokes), let alone their 60's, that this realisation truly hit home for me many years ago and is a big reason I am cruising now. Just several days ago with a great deal of sadness I wrote condolence letters to the family of a good friend (early 60's) who died while on vacation last week. We were both god-parents to my nephew. He had barely retired and had been full of enthusiasm for his plans for the years ahead. Apart from experiencing grief, it really reinforced that I have made the right choices, as hard as they were at the time.

This had nothing to to do with Murphy's law - s*** can happen at any age, but your odds start to alter dramatically post 60. I just feel that waiting until retirement before trying to fulfil dreams is not a realistic expectation.
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Old 19-11-2012, 10:12   #713
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

I won't quibble over who can easier step off of the "normal" path. Having high financial wealth certainly ties you tighter to the system, but it also provides more options compared to having little or no wealth. That said, I would guess that almost all CFers are already members of the global 1%. If you can afford, through income or wealth, more than $55USD/day, then you are already one of the top 1% on the planet (according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic). This underscores the need for the global rich -- that would be us -- to embrace the concept of enough.

The whole "what happens when I'm old and feeble" question is one that haunts me as well carstenb. I'm gearing up to leave in a little over a year. I am 45. I will have a small nest egg (less than 100K), a good boat that is well set up, decent skills, but no guaranteed income and no pension beyond what the Canadian Pension Plan offers (assuming it is still around when I hit 65).

Canada, like every other developed country outside of the US, has some form of socialized medicine. Most countries also have better social welfare supports (although Canada's are getting weaker all the time). Regardless, living on what Canada offers its poor is not something I aspire to. My only real answer is that I never expect to stop working. I may be able to achieve this b/c I'm a writer, but I don't know for sure ... It's a risk. But then, life's a risk. The only thing I know for sure is that I am alive and healthy now. Who knows what I'll be like in 10 years, or even 10 minutes.

Now, I'm not one of those who say you must only live in the present moment. But neither do I accept that I must chain myself to the capitalist wheel for 45 years before I'm allowed to be free. Living simply (be it on the water or on land) gives me far greater freedom than most of my fellow citizens. Sailing simply also lets me achieve some important (for me) aspirations (see post #101).

Simplicity is a means to this end.
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Old 19-11-2012, 11:42   #714
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

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I won't quibble over who can easier step off of the "normal" path. Having high financial wealth certainly ties you tighter to the system, but it also provides more options compared to having little or no wealth. That said, I would guess that almost all CFers are already members of the global 1%. If you can afford, through income or wealth, more than $55USD/day, then you are already one of the top 1% on the planet (according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic). This underscores the need for the global rich -- that would be us -- to embrace the concept of enough.

The whole "what happens when I'm old and feeble" question is one that haunts me as well carstenb. I'm gearing up to leave in a little over a year. I am 45. I will have a small nest egg (less than 100K), a good boat that is well set up, decent skills, but no guaranteed income and no pension beyond what the Canadian Pension Plan offers (assuming it is still around when I hit 65).

Canada, like every other developed country outside of the US, has some form of socialized medicine. Most countries also have better social welfare supports (although Canada's are getting weaker all the time). Regardless, living on what Canada offers its poor is not something I aspire to. My only real answer is that I never expect to stop working. I may be able to achieve this b/c I'm a writer, but I don't know for sure ... It's a risk. But then, life's a risk. The only thing I know for sure is that I am alive and healthy now. Who knows what I'll be like in 10 years, or even 10 minutes.

Now, I'm not one of those who say you must only live in the present moment. But neither do I accept that I must chain myself to the capitalist wheel for 45 years before I'm allowed to be free. Living simply (be it on the water or on land) gives me far greater freedom than most of my fellow citizens. Sailing simply also lets me achieve some important (for me) aspirations (see post #101).

Simplicity is a means to this end.
+1
Not only can "cessation" allow the realisation of dreams, but living without the clutter (and without spending time working to pay for and maintain stuff and an oversized home to store it in) is hugely liberating.

It is not all or nothing though. How many creature comforts we choose to have is a very personal thing - I enjoy a few small luxuries on board still, it is just a tiny fraction of what I lived with back home and what most of my friends would consider the norm. Good quality items were bought, are used with pleasure and will definitely not be replaced for the sake of change as they may have been once. Living without many amenities (I have little water, little power, no hot water or heating, intermittent refrigeration, I take transom showers, do all our laundry by hand etc etc) I find I can do quite easily, but the odd luxuries do sweeten life for me. I am certainly not into pure minimalism.

Choices also apply with the selection of boat. The longer you work the larger/newer/better the purchase can be (no matter how much you earn). Work too long though and you may no longer have the health to cruise. Balancing these two factors is by no means easy.

I have not ignored the "what happens when I'm old and feeble" question, (if I had done so we would have been cruising much earlier), but I've not placed this as the number one priority. As it stands I would gladly live a more frugal old age (if I am lucky enough to achieve this) in exchange for just the last five wonderful years.
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Old 19-11-2012, 13:14   #715
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

It is such a pleasure to re-read the posts in this thread when all one hears through the media are jarring reminders of the coming consumer holiday and the ever-earlier beginning of the dread "Black Friday"phenomenon.

My reaction to all of that stuff parallels much of what is being put out here - not more stuff! We already have way too much junk! We are trying to simplify and slim down our possessions, and the push to buy, buy, buy is just grotesque in our ears.

Although there are one or two little items that everyone's boat might be able to use....

Keep it going - this is a philosophically useful and thoughtful exchange of views, IMHO.

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Old 19-11-2012, 17:09   #716
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I won't quibble over who can easier step off of the "normal" path. Having high financial wealth certainly ties you tighter to the system, but it also provides more options compared to having little or no wealth. That said, I would guess that almost all CFers are already members of the global 1%. If you can afford, through income or wealth, more than $55USD/day, then you are already one of the top 1% on the planet (according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic). This underscores the need for the global rich -- that would be us -- to embrace the concept of enough.

Yea, I know I am richer than almost everyone else but those articles always only uses dollar equivalents. If you made only the few bucks a day in the US then you would starve to death. Literally. "Those other people" are still alive some how. How do they do it? Even if they only have rice. How much is rice there? Is welfare dollars counted for the US? They don't earn it. It is I that earn it. Then it is taken from me and given to them. Some of it (a lot?) is sent overseas too.

This is a little off topic I guess but since it is always said here on CF by those "out there" that things are a lot cheaper out there then it stands to reason that even if you don't make as much you can still have a lot of stuff, no?

Where is that chart of what stuff you can buy at the end of a day of toiling on a hot roof? I think that is a more honest comparison.

Of course the US standard would still be higher but would it be that glaring?
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Old 19-11-2012, 17:12   #717
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

There seems to be an assumption here that "sailing simply and cheaply" is a permanent, cut-all-the-strings and don't come back, and cruise as long as we can endeavor. Sort of all or nothing. But I have noticed it has become popular in Europe to take a one or two year sabbatical from work with most cruising to the Caribbean and back or if they can afford a couple more years a RTW. They are often doing it with small children and obviously at a time of prime earning capacity. Obviously, not everyone can do this but I think the idea can fit into the "sailing simply and cheaply" scenario and it takes away the anxiety of retirement planning, long-term health issues and all that.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:03   #718
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

Lassie,

I am a BIG proponent of going cruising at an early age. It seems that these days I regularly get letters from my old school friends about another of our classmates who has died. They would all be my age - 60. SO yeah - that can be a bit scary.

I've been extremely fortunate in that I've had a couple of great jobs and been able to save massively. I won't be sitting in chair eating water soup. SO on that score I'm not worried.

Were I in my 30's, I probably would worry about my old age. Let's face it. There won't be any government social security schemes for them - Hell, there won't be any for me!

In the long run, it's a personal decision. What are you willing to risk?

The only reason we're not out there full time cruising right now is that my wife is still doing a career trip. And she wants another couple of years.
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Old 20-11-2012, 02:35   #719
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

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Lassie,

I am a BIG proponent of going cruising at an early age. It seems that these days I regularly get letters from my old school friends about another of our classmates who has died. They would all be my age - 60. SO yeah - that can be a bit scary.

I've been extremely fortunate in that I've had a couple of great jobs and been able to save massively. I won't be sitting in chair eating water soup. SO on that score I'm not worried.

Were I in my 30's, I probably would worry about my old age. Let's face it. There won't be any government social security schemes for them - Hell, there won't be any for me!

In the long run, it's a personal decision. What are you willing to risk?

The only reason we're not out there full time cruising right now is that my wife is still doing a career trip. And she wants another couple of years.
My original post in this thread (post #700) was not made with the thought of "dropping out" and going sailing without any regard for future security or of partner's wishes (or before someone chimes in, of abandoning children's needs). I was just pointing out that spending the best years of your life simply pursuing "more" is not always the best thing to do, as "more" can often be a huge millstone (I am thinking of the 1%ers here, not of people living near the poverty line).

Friends thought we were absolutely mad stopping our careers at their peak (and at peak earning capacity). I had, however, reached a point where I felt I had all I needed except the time to enjoy it. Sure, I could have eventually had "more" (thinking new aluminium Bestevaer or Dashew design ), but this is where Mike OReilley's concept of "cessation" came into play.

Gaining that appreciation of "enough" (whatever you personally decide that is) before old age or ill health kick in was my main point.

My second point in that original post is that doing with less particularly when you can actually afford more is actually very liberating - there can be a real sense of freedom of letting go of stuff and living a life that minimises time wasted with maintenance/ repair/replacement.

PS Perhaps remind me of that when I have to pull the hot water bottle out for the first time this year or have a shower outside the next time it hails
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Old 20-11-2012, 03:07   #720
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Re: The Philosophy Behind Sailing Simply and Cheaply

Couldn't agree more! The water in the Baltic is usually VERY cold, even in the middle of summer. A jump off the stern for your morning bath is, shall we say, invigorating?

Sometimes it is so cold that I can understand how Jesus managed to walk on water

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