Originally Posted by unlimited
While I agree with denverd0n that you don't have to step away from the middle class to be able to cruise, I would certainly like to make the shift. The whole point of this post is to see how/what paths different people took to cruise.
Sea Dreaming, speaking of making a mental shift (I immediately thought of Robert Kiyosaki), would you care to share your story? I'd love to hear and learn how you've stepped out of your comfort zone into another "reality". Honestly, I am growing impatient of where I am today, but have no idea (yet) where to dive right in.
Again, thanks for all of your responses!
It's very interesting to me that this thread has taken this particular drift at this particular time as just this past weekend my husband and I decided to accelerate our retirement
date to June 2016 and are now dealing with figuring out what compromises will have to be made to make this happen.
We had originally planned to retire in 2018 when both our grandchildren were done with high school
(we help our daughter who is a single
mother and has significant health
issues) and when my husband had reached a certain seniority point. Then the school
that he was principal of closed in 2014 and he suffered a stall in his career so we decided to make some adjustments and do it in 2017. Another turn of events
just happened with my job and now we'd like to do it next June. This will require more adjustments, both in budget
and in expectations for the boat.
At each one of these decision points we had to look at what concessions we were willing to make to buy that extra year of freedom.
in 2018 would have basically been without any financial liability, no debt, a very
comfortable retirement income
, and a boat that was fit out exactly the way we wanted with no expense needing to be spared and plenty of time to complete every project
to our liking. Even with occasional assistance to the kids
we would be very comfortable and able to do pretty much whatever we chose.
Moving it up to 2017 meant a slightly less comfortable income
with further budgeting necessary to make sure we would still be able to help our daughter and grandchildren for at least one more year and after that when the need arose. In real terms this wouldn't mean any hardship per se, but maybe less nights in expensive marinas
, or fewer "side vacations." There still wouldn't be any compromises on the boat and little, if any, debt.
Going this June will probably mean we take a little debt with us, we still have 2 more years to help with the kids
, our pensions will be even smaller, and there are a few things we would like for the boat that might have to wait awhile. There are some things that we had planned to do to the boat that are time and labor intensive that I probably won't get to in time to head
south in the fall of next year. Maybe now that first winter in Florida
will be spent finishing up some of the projects we didn't have time for and less cruising the islands or travel away from the boat.
For us it is a matter of determining the exchange value of our time at each point in the process. When life was completely comfortable and enjoyable here ashore and with our jobs, hanging here for 3 more years and just enjoying our boat in the off time seemed perfectly fine and was a small price
to pay with all we were accomplishing and the security
we were establishing for our future. But with each undesirable or uncomfortable development that occurred here, the sacrifices on the other side of the equation became much less significant in comparison.
It's a weighing and measuring game
for every individual. Each person comes to it from a different perspective, financially and in terms of life experience and expectations. And an individual can have a different outlook at different stages of life. Things that would have been fun and exciting at 25 may seem like an unreasonable sacrifice at 55 or 65. A job that was a challenge and a passion at 50 may have become a ball and chain by 60. And then there's that health
thing. Once you come face to face, in the form of illness or just the aches, pains, and limitations of growing older, with the fact that you aren't going to be strong enough to do this forever you can start to put a higher value on the decreasing window of time you have and a lesser value on the material wealth you might miss by grabbing the opportunity while it is still there.
Of course that only applies to some people. Others have the means to have it all without compromise. We are not them.
There is truly no "one size fits all."