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Old 08-05-2008, 04:22   #1
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One more Month....

Next month I am retiring, at least for the next couple of years, we are both 54 years old, the house is on the market and we think we have a buyer. As soon as we close we will move onto the boat and hope to leave on our extended cruise in October 08... the biggest problem, and I never thought that it would be, but getting rid of stuff is hard, it is like I am doing somthing wrong.. We have divided up a lot of our belongings and are dividing much of it up between our 4 kids. But after 34 years we have accumulated a lot of stuff. Yesterday my wife had a group of auctioniers come in and pick up a ton of stuff to be auctioned off, we almost got into a fight over it. Until I sat back and realized this is what we have talked about for many years. Has anyone else had this terrible feeling about giving up stuff that really is not that important? Sometimes it seems irrational, Im giving up a 6 figure job, getting rid of most of my stuff...I know I am rambling here but I guess I just needed to get it off of my chest. Bottom line is that this is really what we want to do and are very excited about it...

I know this has probably been discussed adnausium (sp).... if it has I appoligize...
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:32   #2
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Dear Mike,
We were huge collectors of antiques and vintage, with thousands of items. We put the house up for sale in the fall of '05, but before that, I Ebayed thousands of our most "precious" items that took us years to collect. After a short time, the "precious" started to go away, and the thoughts of crusing took control. Needless to say, the house sold in '06, and most of it was gone. What was left got Ebayed over the last two years while we got the business ready to sell. At first, it was REALLY hard, but as time went on, the "incredible lightness of being" felt so much better. We now have a contract on our business and will be moving aboard this fall. Do I miss our "stuff"? Sometimes, just a little. We had been at it for years, so most of our friends thought it was impossible "What will you do with all of these beautiful things?" they would ask. I would show them the folder of thousands of photos of the items, there is my memory! What drives me is the portability of our new life. Sometimes I just can't believe that I had all that wonderful stuff to begin with! Now, I can't believe how good it feels to know I can travel about without a worry. There is always remorse AT THE BEGINNING, but now, it just feels GREAT to be so LIGHT. Really!
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:46   #3
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Originally Posted by Island Mike View Post
the biggest problem, ....getting rid of stuff is hard, it is like I am doing somthing wrong..


Holy Cow, batman, we have just done that and its devastating!!!

With the stuff we couldn’t sell or give away to family we had to offer up free for to our (close) friends. Some prized and treasured treasures can't even be given away!!! Then we offered the give away pile to acquaintances etc (anyone!) even then the remains of our stuff was picked over and rejected! One person - picked over too much and I had to go to my room and sulk.

It was all devastating until someone walked out with a pile of our treasures and, having a blank moment, I asked Nicolle: What did that person just take? She couldn’t remember either!!! 1 minute out the door and out of the memory!

After that it was much easier.

We just gave and gave and gave.

Then as the pile dwindled the weight of the pervious life came off the shoulders. All those stupid knick-knacks used once - gone! Those expensive artistic creations bought for some weird reason - gone! And the house looked better without junk!

We finally had to throw into the rubbish/Charity 13 garbage bags of clothes and junk no one wanted. 13 bags!

The only thing we regretted was a small box of repair kits/glues etc from my camping box that Nics Dad received - I've needed them! LOL
(Giving away the camping stuff was hardest! 3 beautiful fishing rods - one fly, 1 river and one game)

Sure it will cost us $10k (more!) when we get back home to start again, but Ces't la vie. There is nothing we really 'needed' to have stored for 10 years etc.

So, Mike, it will feel hard, but don't worry, you wont notice the stuff missing. And a junk-free boat is a grander way to start!

Mark

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Old 08-05-2008, 05:12   #4
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Mike, this is great news!

I'm very glad to hear the time is coming near to leave for you. It's been a lot of work and plenty of boat projects. I've followed your story the whole time on here and let me start with congrats!!

Now, as to your "stuff."

You are doing the right thing, even if it doesn't feel right. Get rid of it all, except items (like tools) that directly apply to the boat. (Ok, you might have to part with that drill press)

If you are having trouble ridding yourself of the last few things, put them in storage for a year. Make a pact with your wife. At the end of that year, if you haven't used any item in storage, it *must* be thrown/given away. We did that with the last of our last stuff, which only occupied a very small corner of the smallest storage space available.

I heard the "I'm giving up 6 figures" part too. You're getting cold feet is all. Just press on. Maybe move on the boat early, while you still have your house. You need some reminders of the good life you are about to change to. Get out on the boat for the summer, at least, even if you have your house still.

And Mark hit some things right on the nose. Most of your "stuff" is really "junk." Sorry to say, but it is. Much of it wouldn't even be taken if you piled it by the curb with a "free" sign. We tend to attach meaning to our junk, even though it's next to worthless because nobody would want it.

When we were finishing up our junk, we had a bunch left that we posted "free for the taking" on Craigslist. Like with Mark, some things were rejected even then and were thrown in a dumpster.

One thing that was hard on me was a solid oak, stainless steel topped kitchen piece my mother gave me for my wedding gift. It was a couple thousand dollars and was a wedding gift. Some guy bought it for I think $50. It was a couple years old in perfect shape.

We sold beautiful Manhattan-loft style furniture (we lived in a loft in Manhattan when I lived there). Stuff designed in NY that was one-of-a-kind. Many momentos from my travels around the world for work, so many things... We even got rid of a Mini Cooper - one of the first 100 of them in the USA that we bought.

But in the end, living on a boat, I couldn't have used any of it anyway. It was all junk that I attached meaning to. So heave it all away and stay strong. It's a very emotional and difficult time breaking yourself free.

And... BTW: Free is what you are after you get rid of it all. You'll be amazed at this feeling you get... of utter freedom when you don't have to worry about all your "stuff" anymore. It's very liberating.
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:25   #5
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Mike,

Retiring was a difficult transition for me--it took about six months for me to get "used to it". And the more money you made in your job, the more worried you'll probably be about whether you made the right decision to walk away from it.

On the other hand, when we moved to Nevis, getting rid of two thirds of our "worldly treasures" was easy for me. It felt like a burden was being lifted from my shoulders.

You're doing both at the same time. That could be very stressful, but have faith that you'll get over it
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Old 08-05-2008, 05:27   #6
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Thanks... it really is reassuring reading your posts. Everything you said is true, and I know it. We will just keep plugging along, thanks again for the posts, I will keep everyone aprised of our progress.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:00   #7
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When we left the S.F. Bay Area for St. Maarten to move aboard Imagine. I put a dumpster in the driveway, and threw everything away that wasn't worth several hundred dollars. Everything else including my sports car I donated to a children's fund, and got a WHOPPING tax credit.

I have moved all my life, so possessions don't own me. I have kept artwork that hung on the walls, and photos. Everything else is disposable, except for my boats. They both have been my homes at one time, or another. My ex referred to me as a snail, because I take my home with me all the time.........

BEST WISHES in your adjustment away from a house. Living, and travelling on a boat let's our free spirit that lives within us thrive!
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:43   #8
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Hi Mike:

Not trying to steal your thread but I've got to ask you and everyone else who has replied. "What are you going to do when you are finished cruising?" I think of Kai Nui's post on "Saving Cecilia B" and how Scott equated the breaking of the boat's back with the ending of the fisherman's life. I'm not pointing this directly at you Mike but since you posted your age, Island Mike 54 years old, assuming good health there is somewhere between 10 and 25 years of good cruising. But then what?

Don't get me wrong. I am just now, with the help of this thread, starting to understand the courage it takes to sell everything. The freedom must be . . . blissful. I mean America is so much of a consumer society and it is insidous (sp) the kids want a WII, the admiral wants new furniture, I want the latest tool. . . I guess it is good that I know that it is a want and not a need. So you've sold it all you love cruising but at sometime in the future its time to stop. I assume that the cruising life teaches you that you don't "need" all the stuff that you had given away when you started but the basics . . . A roof over your head, a bed to lay your pillow on, a fireplace to warm yourself in front of while you show your grandkids the charts of Rapa Nui and describe how the wind changes there constantly and you have to be ready to slip anchor or some other such story. I don't want to end up being a greeter at Wal Mart. I'd rather be working in my shop or writing or monitoring Cruisers Forum.

Just so I'm clear congrats on having the courage to sell it all. I think it is great. Good Luck on the cruising. I can really understand how a big weight will be lifted when you get rid of all this stuff we have. I'm sorry if this throws a damper on the positive posts from other people but I really felt like I had to ask. What do you do when you are finished?
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:50   #9
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Don't get me wrong. I am just now, with the help of this thread, starting to understand the courage it takes to sell everything. The freedom must be . . . blissful. I mean America is so much of a consumer society and it is insidous (sp) the kids want a WII, the admiral wants new furniture, I want the latest tool. . . I guess it is good that I know that it is a want and not a need. So you've sold it all you love cruising but at sometime in the future its time to stop. I assume that the cruising life teaches you that you don't "need" all the stuff that you had given away when you started but the basics . . . A roof over your head, a bed to lay your pillow on, a fireplace to warm yourself in front of while you show your grandkids the charts of Rapa Nui and describe how the wind changes there constantly and you have to be ready to slip anchor or some other such story. I don't want to end up being a greeter at Wal Mart. I'd rather be working in my shop or writing or monitoring Cruisers Forum.

What do you do when you are finished?

You can do whatever you want when you are with all the gobs of money you didn't spend on the Wii, new furniture, property taxes, and other land expenses over all the years you were cruising.

That is the most simple answer.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:20   #10
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Charlie,

I think the Cecilia B. was an unusual story. This was this man's complete life. Kind of like an older couple when one passes on the other just let's life slip from their body.

For most of us we can sell the boat, and downsize in life. We usually have no children living with us, and there is at least social security, and a small part time job available. Living in Florida there are tons of retired people with part time jobs.

I myself plan on moving to the Philippines soon. To take my wife home to her family. The living there is inexpensive, and the weather can be very moderate. I will sail 7,100 islands within a small area until I can't sail anymore.

I plan to build a small home with a huge shaded porch facing the tradewinds on Mt. Apo. I will overlook the bay, and the ocean. I will let the small ones from the family sit with me, and tell extremely embellished stories of sailing, and daring do. Anyway that's my plan. I was once told that man makes plans, and the gods laugh. It has never stopped me from planning though......
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:35   #11
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Charlie,

We (Paula, my wife) and I have discussed this at lenght, and we have come to this conclusion. Our orignal plans are to take about two years and go down the ICW, around the Caribbean and back to New England. At the end of that aprox two years we will be faced with two options... 1) We had our fill of that lifestyle and it is time to move on to something else. What? We have no idea, maybe something we found along are travels, who knows. 2) We find that it was the greatest thing we have ever done and make plans to expand our travels, the Med, South Pacific, or maybe back to El Carib? And when we really get old, I have 4 kids who are doing well, one of the whippersnappers better let us live with them
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:57   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
You can do whatever you want when you are with all the gobs of money you didn't spend on the Wii, new furniture, property taxes, and other land expenses over all the years you were cruising.

That is the most simple answer.

Sulli:

I agree with the you can do whatever you want to part but the gobs of money are tied to land and work. I really don't want to be destitute. I don't mind living with less but don't want to be dead broke.



Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
Charlie,

I think the Cecilia B. was an unusual story. This was this man's complete life. Kind of like an older couple when one passes on the other just let's life slip from their body.

For most of us we can sell the boat, and downsize in life. We usually have no children living with us, and there is at least social security, and a small part time job available. Living in Florida there are tons of retired people with part time jobs.

I myself plan on moving to the Philippines soon. To take my wife home to her family. The living there is inexpensive, and the weather can be very moderate. I will sail 7,100 islands within a small area until I can't sail anymore.

I plan to build a small home with a huge shaded porch facing the tradewinds on Mt. Apo. I will overlook the bay, and the ocean. I will let the small ones from the family sit with me, and tell extremely embellished stories of sailing, and daring do. Anyway that's my plan. I was once told that man makes plans, and the gods laugh. It has never stopped me from planning though......

I2F:

Yeah money will stretch further in a foriegn country. Seems like the close countries will be snapped up and expensive by the time I retire (i'm 44) but we'll have to see. Maybe it is time to buy some land in El Salvador or Costa Rica.


Quote:
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Charlie,

We (Paula, my wife) and I have discussed this at lenght, and we have come to this conclusion. Our orignal plans are to take about two years and go down the ICW, around the Caribbean and back to New England. At the end of that aprox two years we will be faced with two options... 1) We had our fill of that lifestyle and it is time to move on to something else. What? We have no idea, maybe something we found along are travels, who knows. 2) We find that it was the greatest thing we have ever done and make plans to expand our travels, the Med, South Pacific, or maybe back to El Carib? And when we really get old, I have 4 kids who are doing well, one of the whippersnappers better let us live with them
Mike:

Sounds like a good plan. Two years should give you enough time to sort things out.

Well I've been planning on cruising since 1988. My plan was to save money so that I could buy a boat with cash. Then when I got married to Beth she said that she would like to go cruising but that we'd not sell the house to do it. I have the boat paid for but the house . . . well that is a different story. I think that if I work hard over the next 5 to 10 years I could pay the house off. I'd have to get the family to agree that we won't spend money frivously(sp). That mixed with some commuter cruising and a good dose of wage inflation and I could have the house paid for by the time I'm 49 but more realistically 54. Credit card is paid other than the house the only debt I have is $119 car payment that will be paid off in two years. Its at <6% so I just let it go rather than pay it off.

Thanks Mike, Sulli and I2F:
great thread. It helps as I live this landlocked life. Good luck on your adventures. I'll just read here and live vicarously (in between commuter cruises)
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Old 08-05-2008, 09:08   #13
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Life After Cruising

When Lynne and I retired (she in 2000 and I in 2001) we decided to come up with a "Five Year Plan". The simple reason for that is we didn't want to just go from day to day and suddenly realize at some point down the line that we were "too old" to do what we wanted to do.

We decided our first Five Year Plan would be "Cruising". So we bought an Island Packet and began cruising, working our way up from the Chesapeake, to Bermuda, and then to the Caribbean for two years.

When we discovered Nevis, we weren't even thinking about moving to the Caribbean, but all of a sudden the idea overwhelmed us, so we just did it. Sold our home in Virginia and bought one on Nevis over a two month timeframe.

Now we're in our second Five Year Plan--"Living on a Tropical Island". For some reason, we haven't been cruising on our boat very much, although I certainly intended to when we moved here. It's surprising how busy you can stay on a small island!

So now I'm thinking about selling The Belle, sad but true! I'll have to get something small to sail--can't do without! So for us, Life After Cruising just kinda happened to work out in a very unplanned way.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:34   #14
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Hud,

You never know what the future may bring......Sounds like you are living the dream to me.
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:38   #15
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As Robby Burns says (paraphrased) in “To a Mouse”:
"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."
Robert Burns Country: To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough:

Or John Lennon, in "Beautiful Boy":
"Life is just what happens to you, While your busy making other plans.”
JOHN LENNON lyrics - Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
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