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Old 01-06-2005, 05:40   #16
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You seem to see yourself as the victim of large, impersonal forces which you are powerless to prevail against, among them "Corporate America" (several references), a "deteriorating" middle class, decreasing quality of goods, greedy corporate shareholders, and "rich families" which give their own a boost up, leaving you behind. Are you by chance a liberal?

You identify yourself as both middle class and poor, so it's unclear what your economic stratum actually is-- I'm guessing middle-class-but-feeling-poor.

It's not an improved economy (btw, it's growing now at about 3.5%, quite healthy, one might even say robust), a kinder "Corporate America" (which large corporation do you work for?) or a rich uncle that will solve your problems for you. It is you and your determination to get where you're going that will see you through.
Now, on to personal finances.

From what I"m able to piece together, you are doing much right: you are trimming your expenses to a minimun and banking 60% of your net? I wish I could do that. You are employing innovative solutions to achieve your goals, i.e., living out of a motorhome while the cash reserves grow: bravo!

You want to reject "mainstream" values? Try re-prioritizing your financial plan this way:

1. Establish an accessable, emergency cash fund of $1000, for car repairs and other unforseeable events. Restore the Emer. Fund as your first priority whenever you draw from it.

2. Use all existing cash reserves beyond the Emer. Fund and all disposable income to eliminate all your debt as fast as you can. It is keeping you a slave to whomever you owe the money. This includes car notes. (The only debt I have is my mortgage.) If you have savings earning 2% and credit card debt taking 15%, you're paying a premium for keeping that cash sitting around. Use your cash to stop the blood-sucking.

Once that's accomplished,

3. Invest 15% of your income toward your retirement. This will provide for a retirement income way down the road. IRAs or 401ks are good vehicles. If you're GenX, you will have a healthy nest egg decades from now.

4. Keep your lifestyle simple, & invest the "discrectionary" income, i.e., the surplus after living expenses and retirement contributions, in growth-oriented mutual funds with good track records. They have a long-haul average return on investment of about 12%, hard to beat.

The most powerful force to be bent to your goals is the power of compound interest. By following the "Rule of 72" you will be able to know how many years are required for any capital investment to double at any given interest rate. Simply divide the interest rate into 72. Example: $20,000 invested @ 12% becomes $40,000 in 6 years (72 divided by 12 = 6). At 9% it will take 8 years. That's with no additional installments: add those, and compound interest becomes even more powerful and the doubling time is reduced significantly.

You just gotta start investing your net surplus. That growing portfolio will encourage you like nothing else will.

It's up to you, but I've rejected the idea of putting myself in deep debt for my boat. I've been following the above advice for a while, and I'll be in a position to purchase my first (admittedly used) true coastal cruiser next year after eliminating debt, living simply, and investing heavily in funds with good track records for five years. If you must have it now, as you seem to express, you won't be able to do it without debt, and debt works against you.

But if you just have to have it now, other posters to this thread have suggested relocating to a place where living aboard is not so costly. Just be prepared to be a slave to your lender and pay double what the boat is worth by the time you make all those interest-laden installments.

Quit moaning about conditions you cannot change. Take control of your own destiny. Live under your means. Think long-term. Invest. Succeed.

s/y Elizabeth— Catalina 34 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." — G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 01-06-2005, 23:13   #17

Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,525

Great post.... wow. It's along the lines I was thinking, but my investment portion was not quite up to snuff.

Thank you for taking the time to write such a great response that will probably help countless people keep on the financial straight and narrow.

As for what class I'm from... it's hard to tell. I would guess it might be "lower middle?"

Anyway, thanks again. I'm looking into these options, but also have found a way to make our boat work for us... this might be another alternative, but I'm not finished analyzing it from a P/L perspective.


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Old 17-06-2005, 22:22   #18
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Location: Miami FL
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i lived in Nortons Marina in East Greenwhich RI for 2 years and one winter in Brewers Marina in Cowesett RI. I paid i think about $2K a year for summer mooring and Winter slip(34 foot). Plus about 500 for winter shrink wrap. Winter livaboard is not too tough. i had a 10,000btu dickenson lpg heater and a small space heater. I now live in Miami Beach and pay $650 amonth for the same boat. I think Florida is no place for a live aboard boater and I plan on leaving in the fall. Heading south . Another option could be stay in the New Englnd Boatworks marina in Portsmouth and then anchor for the summer in Newport Harbor. I bet that could be done for less than $1k a year. good luck

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