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Old 05-09-2016, 16:27   #1
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8 year countdown--how to prepare?

My husband and I plan to semi-retire in 8 years and live aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean. I'm a tax preparer, so I can probably work on a contract basis from anywhere with reliable internet. DH isn't sure what he wants to do part-time, maybe move boats.

I have come up with a list of things for us to help ourselves prepare. Does anyone have any additions?

[*]Take sailing classes, rent and charter boats on vacations[*]Start downsizing household items[*]Pay off debt and save for retirement [*]Strengthen swimming skills[*]Learn Spanish[*]Take diesel mechanics class[*]Read magazines, books, blogs about sailing and living aboard
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Old 05-09-2016, 17:00   #2
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

First thing to do is cut 2 years off the 8.
Then next year cut 1 year off,
Continue doing so until you leave

I am not being stupid. 8 years is a lifetime. With good goal setting you can hack that down. It's more important than any sailing course
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Old 05-09-2016, 18:16   #3
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

LOL, thanks for the advice, Mark. Eight years is not set in stone, I have aging parents to think about, and my husband needs to get vested in his company's pension plan...it could be more or less. But you are right, if we focus, we may be able to cut some time off. Hubby will need to figure out a source of income though.

The Beneteau Oceanis is our top choice right now, around 40 foot. Good choice?
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Old 05-09-2016, 19:38   #4
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Serious suggestion:

1. dont get rid of any household goods until 6 months before you leave. otherwise you may find yourself replacing it. Just wear out what you have.

2. make yourself a board with images and words to motivate you to stick with your goals. 8 years is a long way out and its very easy to lose sight of the end goal when life "in the here and now" is beckoning.

3. get small boat and sail often. you will learn more sailing a small boat every week than you will on a once a year charter. sail sail sail. learn to hove to, anchor and reef.

4. If you want to go sooner,look at your needs vs wants. reduce your current life style to needs. i know all too well that when the goal is a ways off you can fool yourself into thinking wants are needs. The more you indulge wants now, the longer you work.
drive your car until its dead. only buy new clothes if it makes sense but consider if thrift store clothes wont give you what you need.

5. cars - Im serious about driving your car until its dead. We had a 10 year plan and since my car was 17 years old, I decided that a new (albeit economy car) would suit my needs. 2 years later, the old car is still on the road and I have a newish car with payments and life changed, we bought our boat and will move aboard before January.
And this is what I mean about wants becoming "needs". My old car lacked new safetey features but only had 70,000 miles on it. I dont regret the new car, I had never had one new before. But $400 in snow tires would have served me well enough for the short time I have to drive. I wanted a new car, but I did not need it!
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Old 05-09-2016, 23:48   #5
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

a few thoughts as we were on the 7 year plan and that 16 years ago. a ran my car until it was worthless and gave it away - did not buy anything for the house except to keep it up -
took sailing lessons and bought my first and only boat a Jeanneau DS40 5 years out and bought her new and used her as a 2nd home for tax purposes - I find the buy a small boat and learn to sail then sell it and buy a big boat is a waste of money as you will take a big hit on it - know a couple of people who did that and almost had to give the small boat away and lost a lot of money between the appreciation and higher boat prices in the future years and lose on getting rid of the small boat
sailed almost every weekend I could
at 1 year got rid of everything and I do mean almost everything when I sold the house and moved on board

goal was to sail the east coast of the usa and Bahamas - well it kinda got out of hand as did that then the west coast of the Caribbean followed by the east coast then a 2 person atlantic crossing 3 years in the med and now in the Black Sea to be followed by more Med -
as for cost save save save but we do this on our social security - we publish our cost on this forum in the dollars and cents area under 7 years of cost data

and why the swimming lessons? for snorkeling? or what?
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:58   #6
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Lisa.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:04   #7
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
a few thoughts as we were on the 7 year plan and that 16 years ago. a ran my car until it was worthless and gave it away - did not buy anything for the house except to keep it up -
took sailing lessons and bought my first and only boat a Jeanneau DS40 5 years out and bought her new and used her as a 2nd home for tax purposes - I find the buy a small boat and learn to sail then sell it and buy a big boat is a waste of money as you will take a big hit on it - know a couple of people who did that and almost had to give the small boat away and lost a lot of money between the appreciation and higher boat prices in the future years and lose on getting rid of the small boat
sailed almost every weekend I could
at 1 year got rid of everything and I do mean almost everything when I sold the house and moved on board

goal was to sail the east coast of the usa and Bahamas - well it kinda got out of hand as did that then the west coast of the Caribbean followed by the east coast then a 2 person atlantic crossing 3 years in the med and now in the Black Sea to be followed by more Med -
as for cost save save save but we do this on our social security - we publish our cost on this forum in the dollars and cents area under 7 years of cost data

and why the swimming lessons? for snorkeling? or what?
Re small boat: unless you have the means and space to keep your cruising boat, a small boat will keep you sailing. Regarding costs, 2,000 bucks spent will not break the bank even if you give it away. A 18 foot 'day will cost even less and you will be sailing instead of dreaming.
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:39   #8
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaLaw425 View Post
My husband and I plan to semi-retire in 8 years and live aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean. I'm a tax preparer, so I can probably work on a contract basis from anywhere with reliable internet. DH isn't sure what he wants to do part-time, maybe move boats.

I have come up with a list of things for us to help ourselves prepare. Does anyone have any additions?

[*]Take sailing classes, rent and charter boats on vacations[*]Start downsizing household items[*]Pay off debt and save for retirement [*]Strengthen swimming skills[*]Learn Spanish[*]Take diesel mechanics class[*]Read magazines, books, blogs about sailing and living aboard
go sailing
go sailing
go sailing
go sailing
go sailing

after you have done a while you can start thinking of the other stuff
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:43   #9
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaLaw425 View Post
I have come up with a list of things for us to help ourselves prepare. Does anyone have any additions?
[*]Take sailing classes, rent and charter boats on vacations[*]Start downsizing household items[*]Pay off debt and save for retirement [*]Strengthen swimming skills[*]Learn Spanish[*]Take diesel mechanics class[*]Read magazines, books, blogs about sailing and living aboard

And/or French.

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Old 06-09-2016, 05:51   #10
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Thank you all for your suggestions! We do plan to keep our same cars. At this point, we are just clearing clutter, not anything that may be useful on a boat. We figured the 28' extension ladder will do us no good, sold it to a friend, so we can still borrow it.

We are debating buying a small boat now versus waiting. My husband found a small Catalina for $1100, we may buy it. We'll be stuck sailing on small lakes for the next several years, it has a trailer and my car can pull it, and we can store it in our backyard without our neighbors noticing!

The swimming lessons/practice are to get in shape now by tricking myself into thinking I am working towards our goal. But I do plan to do lots of snorkeling and keeping up with future grandkids when they come visit.

Thanks for the info on the Dollar and Cents board. We'll only be in our 50s when we semi-retire, so we'll need income until we can collect SS. Hopefully, we can make enough to live on without touching our savings until we are in our 60s or so. Will definitely need info on where our money will stretch the most in the Caribbean.

Thanks again everyone. Looking forward to being a part of your community.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:02   #11
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaLaw425 View Post
I have aging parents to think about,
Its a difficult point. We thought my mum would be dead within 6 months of her third stroke. But 10 years later she is still ticking away in the nursing home. They don't let them die while the account is being paid.

My point is, if i had waited till mum died I would have never come away. And at this rate she could have another 10 years.


Yes, Beneteaus are good.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:08   #12
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

Our house closes next week and we move to the boat, ending our 8 year journey to it.

So let me add to my "go sailing" suggestion:

Go sailing in a cruiser type mode.

You need to determine if the living on a cruising sailboat is acceptable enough to you so that the rewards out weigh the negatives. Even though forums focus on the good times and things, there are lots and lots of negatives.

You didn't post why you want to do this or what you want to accomplish/do by doing it. If expecting it to be all pleasant sails and sundowners in the cockpit, well it isn't.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:23   #13
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

[QUOTE=sailorboy1;2206823
You didn't post why you want to do this or what you want to accomplish/do by doing it. If expecting it to be all pleasant sails and sundowners in the cockpit, well it isn't.[/QUOTE]

Understood. That is why we are trying to learn as much as we can. We are looking for a more active lifestyle. Sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day is taking its toll on our health. Politics stresses me out. I want to get away from it. I hate winter. I'd be happy if I was never cold again.

We are thinking that when we retire, we will spend 3-4 months cruising up the East Coast. Then we'll decide if we think we can liveaboard and sell the house. If we don't think we can do it, we'll just find new jobs and work another 10-15 years.
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Old 06-09-2016, 06:48   #14
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

So, it sounds like you've never actually lived on a smallish boat for any length of time. My opinion is that you get yourself an inexpensive livable cruising boat (26 to 32 feet), and actually go cruising for a while. Courses and chartering are fine as vacations, but they won't really tell you much about how you will take to the life. Sailing is the easiest part. It's all the other stuff that makes living and cruising on a boat an interesting challenge. And actually owning your own boat for a while will teach you what is really important to you when you go to buy THE boat.

You can still proceed with all the other stuff: downsizing, getting debt free, take some course or charter if you want. But get out there and really give it a try. Reading books, blogs and forums are useful, but really don't tell you much about what it's really like.
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:28   #15
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Re: 8 year countdown--how to prepare?

I read a lot about getting a smaller boat, whilst waiting, and usually think 'why'? More expense and not typical to where you want to be. It can actually drive you away from your goal - getting wet and miserable, squashed up etc.
For us, we simply stopped buying anything that would not eventually be taken on board and started selling that which we owned but which would not be taken with.
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