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Old 01-10-2015, 18:30   #1
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Lightbulb How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Hi everyone,

Glad to be here in the community! I am sure you have been asked many times, "How do you afford the cruising lifestlye?" I'd love to hear your story of how you accomplished your dream.

Why? Well, let me tell you a bit about myself- I am a 22 year old in-between drop out student who studies electrical engineering. It used to be my passion and all I wanted to do was start a company that designs innovative consumer electronic products. For the past 5 years I have been trying to launch my dream, while juggling school AND work. Even though I have saved up my first 6 digit sum, pouring all my heart and soul and all the constant working really took its toll on me, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I got so fed up with life + toxic family relationships (which sank me into depression & PTSD), that I decided to do something crazy, something out of the "norm" that I had never done before - to go island hopping in the Caribbean on a sailboat (cat). After a month in paradise, I fell in love with sailing and now want to create that worry-free, being-in-the-present lifestyle for my future (hopefully on a gunboat cat). I am tired of constantly working so hard. I am tired of saving money. I am tired of working for money. Saving money is too slow. I want to make money instead of work for it. And I know there's gotta be another way.

So what's your story? How did you make it?
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:09   #2
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, unlimited.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:32   #3
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

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Originally Posted by unlimited View Post
.........................
.................... I am tired of constantly working so hard. I am tired of saving money. I am tired of working for money. Saving money is too slow. I want to make money instead of work for it. And I know there's gotta be another way.

So what's your story? How did you make it?
Hmmm,- When I was 22 I began constantly working hard at a job I loved. I was pleased with working for money, slowly saving money and spending less than my income for 32 years. There may be other ways, but this way works if your work is a pleasure. My work still allowed for cruising at times and living aboard my boat was an economical advantage.

Many successful cruisers are not cruising to escape, but are cruising in harmony with their vocation. 'best of luck with your plans!
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:21   #4
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

I work at a job that I enjoy, and that I am very good at. Those two, by the way, are not a coincidence. There is a great deal of joy that comes from knowing you are really quite good at what you do.

Over the years my family and I have enjoyed owning boats and using them on weekends and vacations. We have also enjoyed bareboat chartering in places far and wide (though mostly the Caribbean).

We have lived within our means, enjoyed life, been diligent about saving, and been careful with our investments. At this point I am 4-5 years away from retirement and have seven figures in IRA/401k accounts. My wife and I also have modest defined-benefit pensions coming to us, as well as Social Security. Upon retirement we will have the means to live comfortably, and will decide at that time if we want to go to full-time cruising and living aboard, or continue enjoy weekends on our own boat and bareboating when we want to get away.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:43   #5
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unlimited View Post
Hi everyone,

Glad to be here in the community! I am sure you have been asked many times, "How do you afford the cruising lifestlye?" I'd love to hear your story of how you accomplished your dream.

Why? Well, let me tell you a bit about myself- I am a 22 year old in-between drop out student who studies electrical engineering. It used to be my passion and all I wanted to do was start a company that designs innovative consumer electronic products. For the past 5 years I have been trying to launch my dream, while juggling school AND work. Even though I have saved up my first 6 digit sum, pouring all my heart and soul and all the constant working really took its toll on me, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I got so fed up with life + toxic family relationships (which sank me into depression & PTSD), that I decided to do something crazy, something out of the "norm" that I had never done before - to go island hopping in the Caribbean on a sailboat (cat). After a month in paradise, I fell in love with sailing and now want to create that worry-free, being-in-the-present lifestyle for my future (hopefully on a gunboat cat). I am tired of constantly working so hard. I am tired of saving money. I am tired of working for money. Saving money is too slow. I want to make money instead of work for it. And I know there's gotta be another way.

So what's your story? How did you make it?

It really sucks when one is working so hard and it just seems to be taking so much effort without much return, but at age 22 to be in your 'first 6 digit saved' you really ought to be proud because you are achieving so much more than most people your age. I know we all hear of the computer boffins who make gazillions during their young years, but in the greater scheme of things they are very few and far between - we do not hear about the majority who live from 'hand to mouth' - so - you have done well and by the sound of it you deserve to have done so too. It may be an 'older guys saying', but I would really encourage you to sit back and look at what you have actually achieved here - 'count your blessings'.

Taking time out to sail is a great call given the fact you have worked so hard at it, but sailing and cruising has its challenges too, and I would imagine it really sucks to be on a boat when your budget cannot be met. I don't know your thoughts for the future, but I picture myself at age 22 - where I come from I had been to the army (conscripted at age 17 and just out of school), did and apprenticeship with Caterpillar as a diesel mechanic, studied Civil Engineering and started doing business on the side and in-between. It was really hard work - I was married at age 23, had kids soon after and just as my business got off the ground the world imposed economic sanctions against SA for 'Apartheid / racism policies' (and correctly so). By age 25 I had moved to the USA shipping 3 machines across the water, arrived with not enough money to move the machines off the dock - went to church and the pastor suggested I tell my story to the congregation. An American businessman heard my story - said he liked young people who work at things like this and rented my machines paying me upfront for the hire. His staff later told me he did not actually have use for those particular machines so I have much to be thankful for when it comes to US generosity.
Not to bore you though - basically - I ended up back in SA some years later (we missed our family) - worked my butt off through a political change (Mandela was now president and then Black Economic Empowerment policies were enforced). As many as 800 people (in total working 3 shifts) were working for me at one time scattered across the country and the government all the meanwhile made it more difficult for white folks to do business - we felt to be in an apartheid scenario but in reverse. Slowly but surely they kept tightening the noose - and of course the world now does not see this so what are we to do?
So - - - what IS a man to do - GO SAILING - yes, we literally shut shop and decided to scout out opportunities with a global flavour by sailing around the world and see what plans we can make along the way.
I share this with you, because, if you read between he lines, for me, at age 22 there was at least another 22 years of hard work and struggle ahead before I could afford to go cruising. There is a woman and marriage, children and schooling and university - that takes a large chunk of cash but is worth every cent! You refer to family issues - your wife and children will become your new family
Whilst I realise that for someone who is 22 we seem old - but we started cruising in our mid 40's - it feels YOUNG to us now in our early 50's to be cruising day in and day out - honestly - we feel young and so will you!
I am pretty sure this lousy cycle you find yourself in will change for the better - take your time before buying a boat - there is nothing wrong with having a dream and a goal - if anything it brings purpose and meaning to what otherwise is a slog. The great thing for us is every new day - every new day brings along with it new possibilities and hey, we never know when there is a 'big break' for us ... so, I answered your question as to 'whats your story?' and to answer your question 'How did we do it?' - we did it by working hard, having a dream and a goal, hoping for that 'big break' in life - for us it came in our 40's, but for you it may come sooner ... to achieve that dream the trick is - to keep on working at it.
I hope this provides some encouragement and in the meanwhile, I am sure you will keep taking time out to sail, perhaps get a boat of your own - learn, understand the systems, build knowledge and so on!
For one - I hope to see your dreams come true
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:49   #6
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

If you are 22 and have $100 000 why do you need a sustainable plan. Buy a boat for $20k, go sailing for 4 years with the other $80k, then come up with a plan.

I worked a proper career type job I didn't like (I did at first) for my 20's and early 30's, by 34 the only thing I had to show for it was a divorce and a lot of stress, no real money in the bank and the house went to the ex.

You have to find something that doesn't stress you out, but at 22, you don't have to look for it, you might just happen across it as you go play.

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Old 02-10-2015, 08:20   #7
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Pretty simple, stop fixating on money. Get off the treadmill now! focus on life. I figure there's 2 ways to enjoy financial security 1 is too earn a lot of money the others to spend only a little You can spend the rest of your life worrying about having enough money or get on with your life and enjoy
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:01   #8
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Check out http://www.sailloot.com.
Podcast based interviews with cruisers and how they make it work.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:01   #9
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

I work full time in a fairly lucrative business that I can perform while cruising and my wife works full time when she can. In reality, we are not yet financially independent. If we stopped working right now we could go many years but eventually run out of money, be unemployable, and be in real trouble. So in that sense, we are not cruising in as much as we are living on a boat and moving around and saving up for the time when we can set off with the expectation that our "money will outlast us".

I would not encourage you to seek escape at this juncture - you will only find yourself sinking deeper. Going cruising is a reward not an escape.

If you leave the workforce now for even a short period, you will quickly find yourself unemployable and whatever skills you have in electronics be obsolete in a year. Most of the entrepreneurs I work with make it between 25 and 32, struggle between 32 and 52, and then their businesses take off between 52 and 60. There abouts...

IMO - you need to get your head straight first.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:15   #10
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Burnt out at 22. You have a long hard road ahead of you. A working student at 22 who has saved 100K. This whole post sounds a little phishy.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:19   #11
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Like many others here the answer is simple...work hard and do well in a career you love, raise a family, pay taxes, etc...and then with your family raised, your obligations to your country satisfied, and a nest egg in the bank...go and enjoy cruising. At 22 I wasn't ready to "check out"...I wanted to start my career, raise a family, and build for my future. Now at 52 I am ready to do something different. But to each his own...
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:21   #12
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

I work hard and save every dime I can. I don't work just to blow it on $6 coffees or fancy label clothes. While my friends drove new cars, I drove cheap used cars, and then no car at all. I stretch every dollar to the limit. This gave me the dollars to buy (and sell) sailboats, with lots of sailing time in between the buying and the selling. This lifestyle of frugality also gave me some great adventures and cherished experiences. I own almost nothing...some tools, some ratty clothes, a couple bikes. I'm constantly broke. But I am rich in happiness, adventures, skills, and the love of my children.

There are two parts to the equation...you are only thinking about money earned. Think about where the money is going as well. Life is less expensive than you think.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:25   #13
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

Christ, $100,000 at 22? At that age I was mired in student debt (I'm only FINALLY gonna pay everything off in a years time, wooohoo!). Congrats!

Buy a boat now, spend the next few years living on it, refitting it and learning to sail while still working and earning money, and then **** off in your mid 20's and have an amazing time being young free and exploring.

Your 20's and 30's are some of the best times of your life, don't waste it working till you drop, stuck in some place, making money for someone else.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:26   #14
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

FamilyVan said it best I think. Just do it! Now if you perhaps want to buy a bigger boat, live aboard and keep working some of that talent in design into things related to the marine industry so be it.

The world is a much smaller place for talented workers now. I do work all over the world via the Internet. There's no good reason for not being able to have your cake and eat it too.

What we don't know is where you are currently location wise so this might limit some of the suggestions. Welcome to the group, now go put some more info into your profile

Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:41   #15
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Re: How Do You Afford the Cruising Lifestyle? What's Your Story?

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