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Old 03-12-2010, 21:37   #136
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Cheers all!
Found this thread quite interesting - as I intending an early retirement (five years out) and figure will have enough to live frugally. I was owner of small graphic design firm for nearly 20 years - and still do side work to supplement. I'm planning to restart the business while cruising - all I would need is two or three steady clients. Billing at $50/hr is way less than my $150 for overhead, but more fun while afloat!

I'm wondering though - how much should I plan to budget per month? I aim to hang around the Caribbean from Belize to the Windwards cruising the months of November to May for the first few years. Will have a 30-40' mono. Any thoughts?

P.S. This is very first post of many more to come!
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:02   #137
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La Raven,

That is a very broad question and depends on your life-style and skill set. Do you go to Marinas? Do you eat out? Do you pay other people to work on your boat?

I have cruisied on as little as a few hundred bucks a month. I make my own wine, beer, bread, pasta, yoghurt, sprots, and hunt on the reef about 15 hours a week. I careen my boat (in the Pacific) for bottom jobs. In the carib there isint enough tide.

I think the magic number that most American cruisers like is $800 - $1000 a month. You need to be frugel, anchor out, and watch money but it may be a good starting point. Its a tough question and really is differant for everyone

Alex
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Old 04-12-2010, 21:53   #138
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Thanks OsirisSail, I think you are spot on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - That leaves only one legal source of income for active cruisers, the new opportunities afforded by the world wide web to do business "without borders." There is supposedly some significant amounts of money to be made in that arena. Everything from managing porn sites, Nigerian scams, to FOREX and equity trading, etc. - not sure if there is a moral distinction amongst those. And then consulting, data mining, and other intellectual services. I believe this whole field will allow many more younger cruisers to head out cruising rather than waiting until they have "retired" and accumulated their nest egg over 40 years or so.
Perhaps this should branch to another thread, but I think OsirisSail's point needs further exploration. Within the field of knowledge work, each of us has specific experience and expertise. So the search for a silver bullet that will work for everyone is fruitless. That being said, if we can find examples of people remotely providing "intellectual services", as he put it, it can inspire our imaginations. Additionally, while the particular services may differ, the supporting issues of marketing, sales, retention, responsiveness requirements, may be common across varied endeavors.

It would seem there is a spectrum of types of work, from those that require significant training or experience (e.g. a Radiologist reviewing xrays, Patent work), and those which you might be able to learn with a small amount of concerted effort, e.g. doing medical/court transcriptions. Somewhere in the middle might be medical claims review, financial auditing.

Any other ideas?

I started out as an engineer/software guy, but have been in management for 12 years. I'm sure I could find a niche doing some programming stuff, but not sure it really leverages my full value.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:51   #139
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Thanks OsirisSail, I think you are spot on.



Perhaps this should branch to another thread, but I think OsirisSail's point needs further exploration. Within the field of knowledge work, each of us has specific experience and expertise. So the search for a silver bullet that will work for everyone is fruitless. That being said, if we can find examples of people remotely providing "intellectual services", as he put it, it can inspire our imaginations. Additionally, while the particular services may differ, the supporting issues of marketing, sales, retention, responsiveness requirements, may be common across varied endeavors.

It would seem there is a spectrum of types of work, from those that require significant training or experience (e.g. a Radiologist reviewing xrays, Patent work), and those which you might be able to learn with a small amount of concerted effort, e.g. doing medical/court transcriptions. Somewhere in the middle might be medical claims review, financial auditing.

Any other ideas?

I started out as an engineer/software guy, but have been in management for 12 years. I'm sure I could find a niche doing some programming stuff, but not sure it really leverages my full value.
Your full value is what someone will pay you to do something at a particular point in time... no more, no less.

Any other percieved value is irrelevant. At best it is potential value, but that means nothing in practical terms unless you can turn potential into real revenue.
Nobody pays for potential unless it is an investment in the expectation of future returns... Hard to sell that with a cruising lifestyle
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:37   #140
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... I started out as an engineer/software guy, but have been in management for 12 years. I'm sure I could find a niche doing some programming stuff, but not sure it really leverages my full value.
As I understand it [pun intended], a project manager doesn’t do much/any actual code writing/de-bugging.
How difficult would it be to return to programming, from management? Twelve years seems a long time to have been out of the trenches.
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Old 05-12-2010, 13:25   #141
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Your full value is what someone will pay you to do something at a particular point in time... no more, no less.
Agreed, but I was attempting to make a slightly different point. Say you were a really good diesel mechanic and also had a hookah for cleaning your boat's bottom. In choosing how best to turn your time into $, you are probably better off looking for work as a mechanic, than in cleaning boat bottoms. You'll leverage more of your potential for turning time->$.

More generically, each of us has a whole bunch of ways we can provide value to others to earn money. But you have to cross the value of those skills with the time to sell those services to find an optimum for yourself. If it takes you 10 hours to sell 30 minutes of high value work, you might be better of taking work that is consistent and repeatable that doesn't pay quite as much. I have friends that are consultants, some make pretty high $/hour, but are only billing 10-20 hours per week and the rest of the time is marketing, traveling to meetings and clients, etc. Then they have dry spells where there is no work.

Quote:
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As I understand it [pun intended], a project manager doesn’t do much/any actual code writing/de-bugging.
How difficult would it be to return to programming, from management? Twelve years seems a long time to have been out of the trenches.
Yes and no. In tech management you still are solving problems and developing software (in a sense), it's just at the product/system/conceptual level, rather than at the line of code level. That kind of work requires a lot more day to day interaction with all kinds of people from sales/marketing, to UI designers, to integration/support folks. So it's much harder to do remote and in batch mode. The big challenge with programming is that every niche requires knowledge of thousands of details of how a particular language or system works, that expertise takes total immersion and focus. Within the software field there are varying levels of complexity. Doing web page programming is less technically complex that say being an Oracle database guru. You generally have to put your chip on the table and choose an area of expertise if you want to get outsourced project work.

Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I think (hope) that given enough focus I could come up to speed in some niche and be reasonable productive in a couple months.

The other things that's crossed my mind is whether I could get some work helping out a patent attorney. I've written a few patents at various companies and could do some technical analysis of prior art or rejections from the patent office.

All of it is possible, but it's a business not a job, so I have to think about what I could actually sell and keep a steady stream of work going. I don't have the experience of going out there and selling the work.

I talked to Eric Grab who did a 2 year circumnavigation on a trawler (he's a programmer) and he said that he was just two busy between exploring and boat work. However, they were on a finite trip, not trying to earn a living in perpetuity.

Lastly, more than figuring out how to pay the current bills, I'm concerned about the lack of continued retirement savings contributions. There will come a time when my earning potential will diminish, whether on land or sea.
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Old 05-12-2010, 13:42   #142
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A big part of this equation is being there for the client. Going to meetings, hand holding, site surveys, etc. Many clients just want a face to face exchange to feel comfortable. If you can overcome that, then you are way ahead
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Old 05-12-2010, 15:02   #143
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Well one idea is to paint residential houses, low start up cost for the tools, can usually get paid half up front, only hassle would be the ladder situation, but you could always rent or borrow from the home owner or neighbor. All you really need is a few paint trays, cut cans, a few good brushes, roller cage and extension pole, and maybe a 2 or 3 step (milk crate). You may work for a week or two and make a few grand and then live off that for a while.
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Old 05-12-2010, 17:51   #144

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Yah mon, dey no competition fo housepainters.

ROFLMAO. They have sailboats on that planet too?
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Old 05-12-2010, 17:54   #145
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Yah mon, dey no competition fo housepainters.

ROFLMAO. They have sailboats on that planet too?
The guy puts forward and idea and you belittle him for it? Do you have an actual contribution to the thread?
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:11   #146

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hummingway, I've spoke up on the topic before. Bottom line is that there are always cash economy jobs for vagrants and unskilled labor, and they're not boat-specific. The problems with those "solutions" have also been beaten to death online here and elsewhere many times before. First, there's the local competition. Second, you're doing something fairly high-visibility that may bring you afoul of labor laws, licensing laws (are you a licensed, bonded, insured contractor?), in a field FULL OF COMPETITION. And whoever hires you is going to laugh louder than I did, if a "painter" suggests you borrow a ladder from the neighbor. Most "neighbors" don't have the tall extension ladder needed to paint their own house either.

Belittle him? No. Laugh at the suggestion? Yeah, naivete can be funny sometimes.

Positive suggestions? They've pretty much all been made too. If you're already a self-employed businessperson, or a highly skilled professional in some unlicensed field like programming, or travel photography, or authoring...You can take the job with you. If you don't already HAVE those skills, if you don't already know how to RUN A BUSINESS, which is a skill in itself...

You're looking at a huge task, unless you risk being the off-the-books manual labor minimum wage vagrant, with the boat being co-incidental to the rest. Reality's a bi***. There's no easy way to be a vagrant, comply with or dodge varying local and regional labor laws, and still just be able to pick up and learn to do it when yo've got no experience at it. And for those who have experience--they probabaly already know their own skill sets. And have their own ladders.

BORROW THE LADDER was the really funny part.
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:21   #147
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I appreciate yoy explaining your point and suspect your right that it wouldn't work outside of ones home cruising grounds, and would be difficult there I suspect. I also think your second post serves everyone better then suggesting he's from another planet
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Old 10-12-2010, 11:36   #148
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what can i say, life just sorta comes my way. Its an easy concept walk down the street, see a house with peeling paint, knock on the door and tell them your just passing threw on your boat trying to make a few bucks and youll paint they're house for a steal of a deal cash. any labour board officials come asking questions just tell them your helping out a friend for free, no harm in that. Things tend to have a way to work themselfs out, you just have to put the effort forward.

"you cant win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket"
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Old 10-12-2010, 13:52   #149
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It will depend on the nation you're in. In some nations you may stand out as non-resident and you may not find the wages to be suitable. In Mexico you can get someone to paint your house for $6 a day. Would you do it for $4 and risk losing your boat (I don't know that they would take your boat but it is possible)?
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Old 10-12-2010, 15:45   #150
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It will depend on the nation you're in. In some nations you may stand out as non-resident and you may not find the wages to be suitable. In Mexico you can get someone to paint your house for $6 a day. Would you do it for $4 and risk losing your boat (I don't know that they would take your boat but it is possible)?
And add to the above - the least of your worries are the "officials." The locals in these countries have a very "direct" way of dealing with people who they perceive are taking what they consider as their work/money. Be sure to have good International Medical Insurance to cover your stay in the hospital if you should be lucky enough to survive.
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