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Old 19-12-2008, 08:17   #1
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Using Poor Economy to Cruise More

It's kind of ironic that the poor economy may afford me an opportunity to cruise more if I choose it.

Where I work, we are cutting all operating budgets by 10%. Some positions lost through attrition will not be re-hired or will be consolidated. They are encouraging people to take early retirement offerings or find other ways to decrease the work force, but so far have made no plans to make any forced personnel cuts.

What this could open up is the possibility to work 3/4 time which never would have been previously considered. I live in the midwest and my job is the least demanding from mid Dec- March which is exactly when I'd prefer to be cruising the Bahamas. I'm eligible for a good chunk of unpaid leave anyways over the next two years, which is one reason they may go for it.

Living on 3/4 salary will of course require change, but I think they are changes I can live with. After tax, etc, it's more like a 1/8 cut in salary than 1/4. Still it would mean making some current cuts and saving less for retirement which might push that dream of early retirement and cruising back a few years. Is it worth it?

I'd be interested to hear from others who have been in situations where they had the option to cruise part time now, but at the expense of long-term cruising later and a tight budget. Which choice did you make and how do you feel about that choice looking back years later?

(I also have to consider potential political scenarios at work, but that's not anything I expect people here to be knowledgeable about.)
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Old 19-12-2008, 09:52   #2
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I applaud your attitude of turning a lemon (bad economy) into lemonade (cruising). Go for it NOW!!! It is unlikely that the required future changes in the ways of doing business are going to make it any easier on us that are in our "mature " years. I am presently winding-up my glass and aluminum company because it is just not worth the hassle with labor and taxes. I am going to have to make some major down-scale living adjustments, but guess what, I have recently attended the funerals of 3 close friends in my age bracket, who I know, never did many of the fun things we all talked about.
I guess my message is, this is not a practice run at life you are living, it is the one shot at it you're gonna get.
I am fixing up the boat, buying my '65 Cobra (eh, i2f) and I will take advantage of a better economy when it happens.
I view all of the above (except the loss of 3 mates) as positive reality checks.
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Old 19-12-2008, 10:34   #3
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Blue Stocking - Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I too have recently had a few people I've known pass away: One at the age of 50 of a heart attack and another in his 20s of cancer. It was a wake up call for me that one never knows for sure if one will live to enjoy the retirement years of what health issues or other issues may change one's dreams by that time.

In my earlier adult life I had a very low income job and it was extremly stressful worrying about a minor car repair, never being able to eat out, etc. Even living a dream of cruising isn't worth that to me, but I don't think this choice would put me anywhere near that. I'd have as much after tax income as I had about 4-5 years ago.
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Old 19-12-2008, 14:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
I applaud your attitude of turning a lemon (bad economy) into lemonade (cruising). Go for it NOW!!! ...
Seems its more like juicing the lemon and adding it with the following into order to make a bahama mama:

2 oz Orange Juice
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 oz rum
1 oz coconut rum
1/2 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Grenadine



Nautical...

Would you rather have stuff or experiences? Either one is the right choice and it's entirely personal but usually it's one at the expense of the other.
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Old 19-12-2008, 14:26   #5
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Would you rather have stuff or experiences? Either one is the right choice and it's entirely personal but usually it's one at the expense of the other.
"He who dies with most toys wins"
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Old 19-12-2008, 14:33   #6
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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
It's kind of ironic that the poor economy may afford me an opportunity to cruise more if I choose it.

Where I work, we are cutting all operating budgets by 10%. Some positions lost through attrition will not be re-hired or will be consolidated. They are encouraging people to take early retirement offerings or find other ways to decrease the work force, but so far have made no plans to make any forced personnel cuts.

What this could open up is the possibility to work 3/4 time which never would have been previously considered. I live in the midwest and my job is the least demanding from mid Dec- March which is exactly when I'd prefer to be cruising the Bahamas. I'm eligible for a good chunk of unpaid leave anyways over the next two years, which is one reason they may go for it.

Living on 3/4 salary will of course require change, but I think they are changes I can live with. After tax, etc, it's more like a 1/8 cut in salary than 1/4. Still it would mean making some current cuts and saving less for retirement which might push that dream of early retirement and cruising back a few years. Is it worth it?

I'd be interested to hear from others who have been in situations where they had the option to cruise part time now, but at the expense of long-term cruising later and a tight budget. Which choice did you make and how do you feel about that choice looking back years later?

(I also have to consider potential political scenarios at work, but that's not anything I expect people here to be knowledgeable about.)

A chance to go cruising sounds great. Dec thru March seems like a great time. I am trying to figure how I can do that too.



Its all in the marketing. If you can sell it to your boss in the correct marketing package it should work out great. I wouldn't mentio the cruising part though.

Things to consider:

Where to keep the boat when not in the Bahamas? Tax implications of keeping the boat there. How accessible do you want/have to be to work. Can you collect unemployment during those months off? Would it be better to collect 12 months of paychecks for 9 months of work (like teachers). If the company has the potential to go tits up this might not be such a good idea.

BTW if you are looking for sensible advice on whether to do it or not you have posted at the wrong forum. OTH if you want people to agree with you > > > LOL
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Old 19-12-2008, 15:51   #7
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Interesting thread.

I was doing some mental processing a while back while my older son was ill.

Dreaming of winning the lottery. Once I imagined the various vehicles in my fleet, the new house the water etc etc., the more I convinced myself that I really don't value all the stuff. In fact it becomes a burden. So my lottery fantasy actually evolved to getting rid of all the stuff except for a boat and a few possessions and taking the time to go cruising with my family.

And then I did some more mental processing. I explored the other extreme. What if things go badly wrong and the jobs and house are lost? Well I guess we'd go aboard the boat and go cruising. In a warm climate where the cost of living is low.

And so it is that at the two ends of the spectrum, I find myself in the same place. I think it might be a different boat and in one case I would be fishing for fun and in the other I would be fishing for a good protein source to go with the rice and beans, but they are more or less the same thing.

Why is it if I'm rich or poor I would go cruising, but stuck here in the middle I feel paralyzed by jobs and imaginary obligations? I think its time to live before some 'ologist starts to dictate what is possible.

Now my younger son is ten. A robust kid, the perfect age for cruising. And things at work are about to change. And with change is opportunity. And so it is that we are doing a bit of refitting and getting ready to go to Mexico for a year.

20 years from now we will not look back fondly and remember how much we enjoyed working in '09 & '10.

Life is too short and you can't take the toys with you.
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Old 19-12-2008, 16:08   #8
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Dreaming of winning the lottery. ....

Life is too short and you can't take the toys with you.
Yes, you are spot on.

Weirdly enough since we have been cruising (and especially since being back in Aus) I have not bought a lottery ticket. But before we went I often did. Since we left we have been happier with what we have. Being more content with our lack of "toys" makes us healthier. Not having to dream about the impossable lottery win is a relief.

So, as usual, just go! It doesn't matter how, just do it


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Old 19-12-2008, 17:09   #9
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Sounds like,

Quote:
Originally Posted by OfficeSpace
Peter: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.
Peter: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter: Good point.
Lawrence: Well, what about you now? what would you do?
Peter: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well, yeah.
Peter: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter: I would relax... I would sit on my a$$ all day... I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do sh!t.
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Old 19-12-2008, 18:11   #10
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The above joke reminds me of the mexican fisherman joke. that Ex Cal posted a long time bak

A Fishing Story
Maybe this is what Rangiroo is talking about...

A Simple Life Well Lived

A Little Story

The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal
Mexican village when a small boat with just one
fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several
large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the
Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long
it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a
little while.

The businessman then asked why he didn't stay out
longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said selling these
was enough to support his family's immediate needs. The
businessman then asked, but what do you do with the
rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, "I
sleep late, fish a little, have fun with my family,
stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine
and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy
life, señor."

The businessman scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I
could help you. You should spend more time fishing and
with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds
from the bigger boat you could buy several boats;
eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.
Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you
would sell directly to the processor and eventually
open your own cannery. You would control the product,
processing and distribution. You would need to leave
this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City
then LA and eventually New York City where you
would run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But señor, how long will
this all take?" To which the businessman replied,
"15-20 years." "But what then, señor?" The businessman
laughed and said, "That's the best part! When the time
is right you would announce an IPO and sell your
company stock to the public and become very rich. You
would make millions."

"Millions, señor? Then what?"

The businessman said, "Then you would retire. Move to
a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep
late, fish a little, have fun with my family, take
stroll to the village in the evenings where you could
sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
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Old 20-12-2008, 02:24   #11
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Sounds like,
That's good
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Old 20-12-2008, 08:06   #12
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Charlie...That's a Great Story!
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Old 20-12-2008, 09:34   #13
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Thanks for the input everyone. For me it's not about stuff now versus cruising. I am already very frugal that way. I'm also very fortunate to have more time to go cruising, even as things are than most anyone with a corporate job. (I work in education.) The question is: Is cruising even more worth the future trade off due to less retirement money.

The real issue for me is more likely to be determined by the politics of the decision, not the finances of it. It affects other people's goals. Cutting down to 3/4 time may also have other consequences down the road in terms of less credit for benefits, and potentially less stability. I know nobody here can really address those things.

Please feel free to continue to make comments about the trade-offs in cruising, v.s. work in general.

Also - yes I may import the boat to the Bahamas and am aware to the tax consequence. It's one of the reasons I'm looking for an inexpensive boat as well as a boat over 30 ft. Thanks for the point about that though - it's a good one.
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Old 20-12-2008, 11:25   #14
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It's kind of ironic that the poor economy may afford me an opportunity to cruise more if I choose it.

Where I work, we are cutting all operating budgets by 10%. Some positions lost through attrition will not be re-hired or will be consolidated. They are encouraging people to take early retirement offerings or find other ways to decrease the work force, but so far have made no plans to make any forced personnel cuts.
In my trade it's quite the opposite! The more the fuel prices go up and the transportation and energy products increase, I have more work to do. In my trade (repair service for power plants & petro co's) they demand more rebuilds and repairs to keep the demands running because of the high returns. Every minute they are shut down because of a break-down they loose profits. I have recently hired more employees in this branch then at any other time. And we have grown to 7 branches from just one in the past 10 years.

They don't want to build more plants or replace with new due to the enviro restrictions and/or high costs. They now will not buy new unless the rebuild cost is over 80% of replacement cost. Which is good for us, I guess. If you don't mind the overtime and last minute emergencies.

Which was fine in the older days when people were willing to work hard and long. BUT nowadays it's hard to find people that are willing to work, really work. They'd rather complain about having to work long hours then no work at all.

Maybe I'm old fashion but I don't really like what the modern world (Western/Euro) has become. Even mass destruction is more common in the modern world, the high tech world of killing people. I seen it almost 40 years ago and even more so now!

The good thing about the "modern world" is it has granted me the opportunity to become a private sailor!

And this is why I take every opportunity to go sailing, especially now that the rebuild of this boat is fairly complete and ready for a TransPac. But as my saying at work goes, "I'm only a phone call away from chaos!".
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Old 20-12-2008, 12:28   #15
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N62:

Having been an HR Director during one merger, one acquisition, one divestiture, and eventually one sale, I'd encourage you to be more comprehensive in your considerations before letting colleagues & management know what you're thinking. Areas I would focus on in your shoes include:

1. What are the short-term financial and other consequences? (what benefit cost increases will you see, how will this affect contributions to your 401K, how will this affect access to other benefit programs, and so forth). As one of your posts acknowledges, there are several layers of $$ consequences to this choice - not just salary reduction. Knowing them will help you test your cruising plans from a financial standpoint thoughtfully.
2. Be savvy about seeing your plans from your employer's viewpoint, as it will influence how & how successfully you sell your plan. E.g. your employer sees little financial benefit in losing your productivity while also paying you for comp time. Think about the ripple effects that are going to occur in your area as contractors are let go and a few early retirement packages are accepted, as your employer may be viewing you as part of their 'solution' in a workload sense vs. as a cost reduction. Consider what your status in your work group and department is, as asking to be released part-time may give them ideas about it being for a longer period...or may injure your rep if they consider you one of the more committed contributors. There's a lot of thinking to be done in this area...
3. We've been looking at short-term risks. What are the longer-term ones? E.g. I keep hearing the recovery - generally - is not going to happen before 2010. There are probably other shoes to drop for your employer. Does it make sense to be away when they do? How current and in demand are your skill sets, should you end up being terminated? How would this be viewed in your profession? (In some cases, it wouldn't matter at all...).

I've walked away from rock-solid careers three times in my life and in each case both my family and I ended up better off - personally & financially - when the dust settled, so it's easy for me to be an advocate of taking risks to find a better balance in one's life. And some folks make these choices in a fairly relaxed manner; perhaps you might be one of them. But my advice is to not underestimate the complexity of the issues involved. And as you note, many of them are wrapped around local issues, which means commentary on boards like this one - from outsiders like me - isn't where the answers lie.

Jack
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