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Old 05-02-2019, 10:31   #1
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Researching - Retirement planning

My wife and I are both 46 and live in Canada. We have been fortunate with our jobs that we will both have healthy defined benefit pensions on retirement when we turn 60. So with that and our other savings we are confidant we will have options in our retirement, one of which is my dream to "Snowbird" from Canada to a Sailing Cat in Blue Waters for 7 months a year.

One issue most limiting is that I am required to physically reside in my Province a minimum 5 months in a 12 month period to maintain my Health Care coverage status. This means 5 months away from the vessel in some far away foreign land.

I assume I would schedule this period with the predicted weather patterns ie: hurricane season if I was to be in the Atlantic. I also assume it is common to "store" vessels like this? So logistically, what kid of risk does one accept when storing, this would be a major investment to protect. From weather, vandalism, shady or negligent marina storage owners ect ect, does insurance cover all this appropriately? What kind of "Off season" costs would you estimate there would be?

All that notwithstanding this may not even happen....just educating myself so I can make decisions today that will help tomorrow.

Cheers
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:05   #2
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Before you'll get a reasonable estimate of storage costs you'll need to pick the area. Then a lot depends on your insurance carrier. If you are thinking of the eastern Caribbean, then most will allow storage in Trinidad, some in Grenada or Curacao. In these places monthly storage is usualy reasonably priced, but reservations are required.

While in storage you have all the standard boat risks, plus mold, theft and leaks to add to it. Dont under estimate the amount of time and effort to ready the boat for storage and to unready the boat after storage,

Other places that are popular with cruisers who store their boats in the off season include Panama, Rio Dulce, Puerto Rico, Georgia, Raitea, New Zealand, Bundaberg Australia, Malaysia.
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:18   #3
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Yea, so one thing I am picking up is you better be quick on the uptake and learn all the little "Pro Tips" to navigate all the pitfalls... this to me is one area that should take a lot of attention.

At his stage that is where I am at, reading and absorbing all the chatter from guys like you here in this forum. Again this may not be for me after I do all the research but I am certainly quite eager to make this happen.

So just as a budgetary estimate, Eastern Caribbean Hurricane season 5 months... what would be the range of costs for lets say a 40' sailing cat? From haul out, storage prep, storage, relaunch prep (minus the periodic maintenance ie haul repaint which will be tracked in another category).

Also is there addition insurance requirements for storage? Are horror stories common or simply periodic?
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:30   #4
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

South Georgia and North Florida are good hurricane hole dockage on the East Coast. as far as boat sitters I am sure you could find one. Cats are usually more expensive to store on land and in water due to their beam. Maybe you should consider monohulls too. Cheers.
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:31   #5
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Who knows what will occur with your jobs 14 years out. Start saving now in case your benefits donít pan out.
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:36   #6
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthbob View Post
Yea, so one thing I am picking up is you better be quick on the uptake and learn all the little "Pro Tips" to navigate all the pitfalls... this to me is one area that should take a lot of attention.

At his stage that is where I am at, reading and absorbing all the chatter from guys like you here in this forum. Again this may not be for me after I do all the research but I am certainly quite eager to make this happen.

So just as a budgetary estimate, Eastern Caribbean Hurricane season 5 months... what would be the range of costs for lets say a 40' sailing cat? From haul out, storage prep, storage, relaunch prep (minus the periodic maintenance ie haul repaint which will be tracked in another category).

Also is there addition insurance requirements for storage? Are horror stories common or simply periodic?
Search the various yards for rates, such as
Visiting Yacht Rates – Power Boats Ltd. secure, customer friendly boatyard in Trinidad.
or
https://www.curacaomarine.com/rates/
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Old 05-02-2019, 15:43   #7
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Is supplemental health insurance not an option? That would allow you to minimize the restraints of your health care system. Then you could schedule your time on the hard when and where it is most advantageous to you. If you were hauled in a safe and reasonably expensive facility every couple years, as opposed to annually, you could return home for a few months to keep your health care active and use the unused cost of supplemental insurance to defray the storage costs.
One other thing to consider is not presuming you will both beat the odds and be healthy and financially secure that far in the future. Life itself is a big risk so take full advantage while you still can.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:32   #8
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Great information...thanks all will follow up on those links.

To start I totally understand and appreciate some of the comments towards the risks of plans not working out and that plans don't always go as planed. My approach is that having no plan guarantees that you will absolutely not get where you want to go. My work at this point is to simply sketch out what are the required resources to make this happen, how does that fit in with what I have and then is this actually something we as a family want to do.

The health care thing is tricky and options are limited for sure. To have 100% coverage for health care already bought and paid for through my taxes is something I want to protect. Also my wife is not eager to be away that long anyway and the season is in the summer in Canada so I suspect I will want to be home with extended family anyway. Rules change all the time so that decision can be made in real time them.

Current quality of life is also front of mind, my plan still includes ongoing hobbies and vacations with my wife and children.

Next summer I will be seeking some crew work on local in land water boats to get the experiences of Sailing...who knows where my head will be at after that.

There is a strong chance I will be able to Retire early as well so when that happens I want to be a prepared to take on what I decide to do and not sit around the house and wonder what I could be doing.

Again thanks for the responses...its appreciated.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:40   #9
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

FWIW, we have done/are doing something very close to what you describe. We have a lake home in MN, and that's where we prefer to spend the summers. We (now) currently keep our 43-monohull on the hard at Puerto Del Rey Marina, Puerto Rico from midMay to midNov, resplash, repair as needed, and go sailing. Then we've returned to Puerto Del Rey, put her up on the hard, and go back home. We're in our 5th yr now, but before that we sailed the Medd. It's good, but the latitude is the same as home, so it was summer sailing and winters in MN. Up until this year insurance was readily available to support either plan, but now we''re considering sailing south to Trinidad for the summer-unless we can find reasonable ins that includes named storm damage. We were there, on the hard, for both Irma and Maria-with no damage. But there is a cost to it! Costs were cheaper in the Medd, but it meant winters at home. The marinas we used (Turkey, Greece, Italy) were fully competent and safe-no worries. On the other hand, if you prefer a little more adventure, consider sailing in Asia. By far the best, most enjoyable cruising we've done....and the cheapest...if you like Asian cultures and food. We spent 10+years there And there are several good marinas where where you can safely leave your boat. It's just a long way over and back! But it is very doable!
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:21   #10
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Note at the bottom of this page are links to sister forums. One is call Early Retirement. Through that I found the FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early) Calculator. It’s widely praised as being the very best retirement calculator out there, and it’s free. Takes some work and thinking to understand all it can do, which is a lot.

https://www.firecalc.com

As to health insurance, we have Medicare which has no residence requirement, just need to be in the USA. But we are out of the USA 10 months a year. So we bought a very good plan from IMG, $2m limits, for $3,500/year. Only stipulation is you must be out of the USA 10 months a year.

I think a similar plan might work for you, you just have to be outside the USA. It’s bound to be cheaper than 5 months yard storage and lift fees.

Carribean is way better anyhow.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:24   #11
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

I am thinking being from Canada you would want to be on the boat during your cold season. That might overlap some of the hurricane season, something to consider in your location planning.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:25   #12
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

We are in 10th season on the boat and store in Puerto del Rey for the summer like "sailcrazy". We found, in our first season , that being on the boat during the summer in the Eastern Caribbean can be tough: trade winds die down and the humidity climbs. Great for scuba diving , though.
For us, we discovered that these summer months are ideal for returning to Montana and N. Idaho. We return to the boat either early November or wait until after the holidays.
For your research, you might also seek out a seminar on the liveaboard cruising lifestyle. We attended one offered by John and Amanda Neal/Mahina Expeditions. They also offer offshore cruising training. I'm sure there are numerous other quality offerings available.
In your preparation, I'll offer John Neal's advice to us: Buy the least expensive boat that meets your needs, ensuring you have a budget to own and operate the boat after your purchase.
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Old 06-02-2019, 11:41   #13
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthbob View Post
My wife and I are both 46 and live in Canada...
...One issue most limiting is that I am required to physically reside in my Province a minimum 5 months in a 12 month period to maintain my Health Care coverage status....
...All that notwithstanding this may not even happen....just educating myself so I can make decisions today that will help tomorrow.
Another approach might be to eat right, get lots of exercise, brush and floss every day...and maybe you won't need all that medical coverage.

Sorry if I sound so negative, but I've viewed too many boats for sale where the sellers tell the same sad tale....20 years planning followed by some bad news from the doctor.

I keep seeing this phrase over and over.... go small and go now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Also, on a more positive note...can't you just BUY additional health coverage? I would not let OHIP guide my life and sailing plans.
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:06   #14
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

We're Yanks who live in Canada (Nova Scotia) 5-6 months each year and only visit our US residence a few weeks each year. Any longer and we'd need a visa and have to pay Canadian taxes. We're fortunate that our US health insurer reimburses us for out of country medical bills, but only for emergencies. Orion Jim's advice to look into supplemental heath insurance while you're out of Canada is a good idea.

There seems to be hurricane holes in most places. One thing to consider is having the right type of anchors for the area your sail in.

Do note that bills for US medical can be very high if you pay out of pocket. An example was an overnight hospital admission for my wife in Canada a few years back. Total cost was $670 CDN, including tests. The same admission to a US hospital would be thousands. You really don't want to get sick in the US without medical coverage.

Good luck
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Old 06-02-2019, 13:22   #15
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Re: Researching - Retirement planning

There are many, many people who spend 4-7 months (winter) on their boats and the rest of the year on land. There is a lot of infrastructure to support this in the Caribbean, boat yards, caretakers, etc., etc. Many opinions on the best place to park, and the best yards, frankly I think some personal experience will lead you to an acceptable solution in a year or two. For what it's worth, we have chosen to store our boat in Grenada which is almost out of the hurricane zone.

Insurance companies do have opinions on where to be, but our approach is to define where we want to be, and then go looking for an insurer who will cover that at a reasonable cost. Brokers are out there to help.
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