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Old 28-11-2015, 14:06   #1
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Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Hi Folks, Lifelong cruisersforum lurker here. I've seen the "should I stay or should I go" questions a bergillion times, so I'll spare you that. Decision hath been decided upon by the decider....me. I'm going to buy a boat (of appropriate size, simplicity, and fit for purpose). I've been out and about enough to know I do actually enjoy the life. Blah blah blah.



The crossroads Iím at is dealing with retirement and whether I should go *now*. Iím in a peculiar situation of being able to enter ďsemi retirement in 1.5 years at age 37Ē. Since age 22 I have literally lived on half my income and invested the other half, so have significant investments to leech from. It has been a painful road, and Iíve sacrificed a lot in life to save this much


Option A) If I enter semi retirement, I could work 2-4 days in Houston TX. This would put me living in a marina in/around seabrook, clear lake, etc. It would tether me there so my actual sailing time between work would be limited to 2-3 weeks at a time. I figure 2-3 weeks is plenty time to have a loose schedule of getting somewhere in the gulf rim, hanging around and meeting people, and then sailing back for work. (in addition to sailing, I have PLENTY of other hobbies I want to indulge in during semi retirement, not least of which is spending quality time with family)


If I do this, Iíll be on a modest budget. (~2000-2500 a month). I do have a kitty in reserve to pay for major repairs, a new car in a few years, blah blah blah. But I'll have to be careful with that budget. very careful. It has to last until age 60.



With this modest budget, I donít want to waste it on an apartment. So I plan to live on the boat. Novel idea here, I know! lol. I have the luxury of simply amazing parents, who are 2 hours away from Houston TX who are the most awesome people ever. I can actually live part time there and store all my stuff (all my earthly goods fit into a truck, seriously. Except for crappy craigslist furniture.



As a side note, since Iím single, Iím certain that living on a boat and sometimes sleeping at my parents house will make me a TOTALLY eligible bachelor. I know. Lol. But hey itís the life I want.


Anyway. Option B)


Slave away for 7 more years. Full retirement at age 43. Money will be no object at that point. With my investments, still growing for 6 more years and full active duty retirement I will be able to buy a house, indulge in a few nice things (though my wants are very limited) and critically, I wonít be tethered to Houston TX. So the world is my oyster. Which would you choose? Oh....the catch....



Catch: I hate my job. Doní misread me Ė I LOVE serving my country. I love Soldiers. I love doing good things and making the Army better every day. HoweverÖ.itís crazy stressful. Iím a senior officer, and Iím justÖ.burned out. The work is 24/7 I push myself to excel in my job. I could do it for another 7 years. I could. But I move every 2-3 years, I work through weekends, I deal with red tape constantly, and I just get the life sucked out of me where itís no longer fulfilling most of the time. Summary: My blackberry is the anchor to my soul. Sigh.

I'm just tired of waiting. Life and health are promised to no man. Or woman.

Should I drop the full time work shenanigans, give up a "plussed up" retirement, or cut back to one weekend a month, live off dividends and that modest paycheck on the boat. Time or money. My life or my mental anguish.



(final note: Yes, I know there are those of you that may think "7 years is nothing!" But again, i've been "putting off" my life and sacrificing everything forever now. 7 years is a long time to keep doing all the the army requires me to do. )
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:15   #2
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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If I do this, Iíll be on a modest budget. (~2000-2500 a month). I do have a kitty in reserve to pay for major repairs, a new car in a few years, blah blah blah. But I'll have to be careful with that budget. very careful. It has to last until age 60.
I'm single too and do more than fine living aboard on about half that budget But marina's are a LOT cheaper here, so not a fair comparison.

In general: if you're a big spender now, you'll be a big spendor when living aboard. If you can be frugal now, you can be frugal when living aboard.

It's a very personal decision. Only you know what you really want, deep down.

But from personal experience: yes, 7 years can 'fly by'. But -- later may never come. Learned that the hard way ...

So my advice is simple: don't wait if you don't absolutely have to for some reason. There's no guarantees in life (except for death and taxes ).
If you can do it now, go for it, don't wait for later, more, better, bigger
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:21   #3
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

I would choose option "A", but my choice has little meaning. It seems to me that you will be deciding with more personal input than what you find here.

It seems to me that option "A" leaves you with more options on the table and that would influence me the most.
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Old 28-11-2015, 14:31   #4
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Hello, Army Sailor,

FWIW, stress and burnout aren't real good for you physically. That's only a comment: I'm sure you already know it.

Both Jim and I used to work, only had a couple of weeks off per year for longer trips in the boat. Returning from the Channel Is. off Santa Barbara, we stopped in Santa Cruz to visit Jim's former workmate and wife, unannounced, as we had done the year before.

I heard the phone call from Jim's side, only, standing outside the phone booth. It went:
J: Hi, may I talk to Kermit?
J: Why not?
J: Who is this?
J: Oh.

The missing bits are:
"No"
"He's dying."
"The nurse."

Kermit died around 41, from lung cancer. He was a non-smoker, and retired physicist, who was into restoring Victorian houses, work he enjoyed.

The effect on Jim was profound, and we chose "now" over the wealth for working longer.

It has meant that we live a lot lower on the hog than many newbie cruisers now do. We have fortunately had mainly good health--I've been the drag, not Jim--and we've been full time cruising since March of '89, having been out for a year prior to that.

This is all a very personal choice, and I would not presume to tell you what you should do, but I would seek non-military health information in order to evaluate the stress level and the burnout. Sometimes counseling can help burnout. Sometimes burnout drives your brain chemistry loco, and successful treatment requires chemical intervention, which is time consuming. If you think it is making you depressed or over-reacting, I would very strongly recommend this approach. If the latter is your situation, then I would seek it BEFORE making the decision, either way. You don't want something temporary to drive you over the top.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 28-11-2015, 15:21   #5
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Hmmm, walk away from full retirement in 7 years and be able to cut the cord completely or stay tethered to the reserves in Houston.

Tough choice.

But, if the job is sucking the life out of you..

(Is reassignment to a less stressful job a possibility?)
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:08   #6
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Yes it sucks, ask me how I know, but I have been getting half pay since 02 and that has financed a lot for me, plus the benefits.
I am now working in that second job that really sucks, but should enable me to live the rest of my life not in luxury, but not in dire straits either when I leave in a year and a half, I have other family reasons that keep me until then.
Your plan A while it sounds good will leave you short I bet and will have you returning to work, this time without the promise of half pay in 7 yrs. You say it has to last until 60, what happens then?


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Old 28-11-2015, 16:10   #7
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

As someone with a similar savings rate and age I think you are good. Looking at your cruising budget I'd say you are fine to quit in 1.5 years. Most cruising couples do it on $2k per month. Some do it on $8k per year. You are single for now and you have extra savings for boat maintenance.

What is your health care situation with the Army if you retire before 20 years? This isn't a deal breaker. Living on a frugal budget you will still get great ACA subsidies as long as it remains intact.

"You can always recover from early retirement. You can't recover from late retirement."

"The problem with money is that it is often costs too much."
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:12   #8
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

How about a third option... semi-retire now and find a less stressful job. Maybe something in a marina where you could also live or a nearby marine store (West Marine?) I would think an experienced officer would have some easily transferable skills. I am considering making something like that my step down move to full retirement in a couple of years. Trying to go the rest of life from 37 on investments from officer pay sounds like a stretch anyway. No need to trade one stress (job) for another (tight money).
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:15   #9
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

I should have added I doubt very much you are spoiled and thank you for your service!
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:22   #10
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Ben thinking about this. Go see a professional retirement planner, or call USAA or someone before you do anything based on what you read off the internet.
Is there a RIF or something or you just want out?


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Old 28-11-2015, 16:30   #11
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

OK I have a couple things to say specificly. Thank you for your service and now to the meat of it as a navy man I say you should do the last 7 years and retire out. Think of the fact you will have full medical world wide. A guaranteed retirement check each month for life. The ability to use marinas at us military basses world wide.there are also many other bennifits I am not mentioning right now. But in the end it will be a deeply personal decision.
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:33   #12
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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Ben thinking about this. Go see a professional retirement planner, or call USAA or someone before you do anything based on what you read off the internet.
Is there a RIF or something or you just want out?
Actually stay away from a retirement planner. No offense to a64. These people work on commission and will put you in high cost funds which will lag the market and have high turn over then they get commission. The military/gov't funds are low cost and very efficient.

For investments look at bogleheads and early-retirement as well as firecalc

Unless you go with a fee only planner. Maybe $500
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:33   #13
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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Originally Posted by Lizzy Belle View Post
In general: if you're a big spender now, you'll be a big spendor when living aboard. If you can be frugal now, you can be frugal when living aboard.
Could you describe "frugal"? What's the monthly outflow when living aboard? And I know, it depends on the person and their spending.. But You can generalize and base it on your experience..
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Old 28-11-2015, 16:50   #14
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

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Could you describe "frugal"? What's the monthly outflow when living aboard? And I know, it depends on the person and their spending.. But You can generalize and base it on your experience..
Here is a pretty good measure....

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/costofcruising.pdf
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Old 28-11-2015, 17:24   #15
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Re: Am I spoiled or truly burned out?

Although it doesn't have the Clear Lake party life, Baytown has a nice live aboard community.
Less expensive, maybe better commute.


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