Oiy! so many possibilities.
I've had the experience of helping an older gentleman who ended up in the boatyard I used to be at make the transition to life ashore, mostly i helped spiff his boat enough to get someone to buy it since it was in pretty rough shape when he got to that point.
His biggest issue was lack of funds, in general, including any type of retirement
money, he had no immediate family
and no funds at an advanced age, not a pretty picture at his age (mid 70's), his transition back to life ashore was not smooth. Some in the cruising community are lucky in that they can write or have a source of income
not reliant on their physical health
or ability, not all do, and none of us can predict the state of our health
that far in the future. Most of us think that will never happen to us, but eventually we all end up there.
If you think you want to do it for a lifetime then you better be creative and gain skills that will allow you to make a living that would carry over into your senior years, otherwise you are going to have to invest in retirement
funds during your productive years to cover you in your later life. The economy in the US is not kind to seniors these days, from the limited funds available from social security
to even trying to get a job if your over 50, no matter what your skills or ability is just getting uglier and I don't see it changing.
Going cruising is a very personal decision, I agree that if you want to do it then make a plan and make it happen, how you make that happen is as individual as why you want to do it, I wouldn't even begin to try to tell you how.
In my case, my wife and I make enough to qualify in the upper 2% income
range but you wouldn't know it from our appearance, I drive a car with 285,000 miles on it, it runs great and is paid for. We don't need status symbols, our life is simple, we own rental properties, we live in one of them, it allowed us to buy a solid boat within our means in cash, it allows us to save a great deal and invest in retirement. It's not for everyone, but living a simple life which does not require a great deal of cash to support allows us to do what we want in our cruising life. We also have two small children who will be going with us. Our plan is to leave in 4 years and keep going as long as we can, in the mean time we cruise
when we can and do what we need to do to make it happen.
Make a plan, stick to it, buy within your means, learn to fix it yourself or don't have it on your boat, don't think you need everything everyone else has they're probably trust fund babies so you'll never keep up with them, don't worry about it. I've had simple boats and I've had boats with every imaginable comfort and system on them, we own a boat that's somewhere in the middle of that range now and are quite happy with that. I'm lucky that I work in a technically oriented field so I can fix everything on the boat without having to pay someone else to do it but still, those systems will eventually need parts
, which are expensive, so pick wisely and go with the minimum systems you feel comfortable with to keep it cheap
, then you'll have more money for the cruising kitty.
A friend of mine just moved into a larger boat from dinghy
sailing, he was paranoid about doing some coastal cruising since his radar
was not working at the time, after spending two hours on the phone
with him trying to diagnose it I finally told him to just go without it. He was aghast, until I let him know that out of 35 years of sailing I had only had a radar
on a boat for the last 5 years and didn't feel it was a must have, it's really nice, it makes me feel better in the fog
, but if I didn't have it I wouldn't panic. Figure out what you really need and go from there, you might need a lot less than you think.