Vieux Malin (and others)
I also am an airline pilot. In my early forties I sold my house, paid off the boat and took an 18 month sabbatical. I lost
all my seniority of course, but was lucky enough to find a left-seat job on my return to the UK. With hindsight, I would have been better off to have rented out my house, but that's the UK housing market, it may be different elsewhere. I was also financially attempting to recover from a divorce, but that's another story.
I went to the Caribbean
, knowing that after 18 months I needed to work, but flying jobs are not that easily come by (I won't bore others with why, but you know what I'm talking about). I ran out of money
, sold the boat came back and started again. Next May, when I'm 55 I'm off sailing again, so the first experience can't have been that bad.
So my advice to anybody thinking about taking a career break.......do it.... but make sure that either you are debt free when you go OR in the case of a house, make sure the rental income
covers the mortgage repayment. You may or may not pick up your career where you left it, but you'll be 'richer' for the experience. How much you need to cruise
for a couple of years really depends on lifestyle, it is possible to live very cheaply (depending on where you are, of course). How much you need to go off 'full time' is another matter. I would suggest that you need a property to come back to, you will (eventually) leave the boat. I'm budgeting on £1000 (sterling) per month, which incidentally is a reasonably comfortable retirement income
in the UK (provided everything else [ car, house] is paid for). This will give me a modest lifestyle, maybe eating out once a week, in cafes rather than restaurants and drinking beer
rather than rum
cocktails. I'm prepared to lower my lifestyle-standards and go off round the world
, but that's me. Others might react with horror at not being able to eat out 5 days a week.
So, yes take a career break. Give yourself a time-scale and decide how much money
you have to spend. Don't go with any debts that aren't covered by income (you can't rely on working en route). Consider working for a few months each year to top up the cruising kitty, but make sure that you are actually making money on the deal. If you have to pay to have the boat laid up whilst you're working, pay for temporary accomadation and transport etc whilst away from the boat, are you actually ahead on the deal?