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Old 30-09-2013, 15:23   #31
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

Lots of great advice here, and as always, it depends. For us, we have a small rental that is my back up land house, when we are ready to go back to land. I personally need that for my peace of mind.

I used to be big on the living on $500 a month, but in the real world, FOR US, that is more like $500 per person per month. We have had $600 months, but that is not the norm and if you average it out, we have not achieved our $1000-$1400 monthly target, but are close enough. First year there are extra expenses fitting the boat out to your specs. Hoping to have less of that expense this year, as it is our second year on this boat.

We lived one season on an older 35 ft alberg, but it was never intended to be our forever boat, a little too small since they are narrow. Did help determine what we wanted/needed in a boat. We have a Tayana 37 and it is as small as I would go, works for us.

We spend summers in Cali, and this season bought an RV to stay in so I have a home there as well. We are still working out all the details, financially, physically and mentally.

This is our first year not to go back to work as we did some traveling, and it shows in the cruising kitty : ^( We will probably work next summer when we come back. Can you do your consulting work from a remote location?

Gosh, as I type, there is so much more I could say on these subjects.
I guess bottom line is figure out what works for you, be extra frugal, at least till you
know how it all works for you, and hedge your bets.

It is a challenge, but worth it!
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Old 30-09-2013, 15:54   #32
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

once you leave usa and gringoville, many prices drop a lot.
there is a high and low season in mainland mexico but not in golfo de california. makes a huge difference in summer living...my summers are pleasant and comfortable here in wetville, mexico, as i can afford marinas only in summer. they are unnecessary in winter, as air cond is unnecessary in anchorages.
you will find mexico charming and laid back yet technologiacally almost there....the closer one is to guadalajara or mexico city, the more tech advanced this country is.
you will learn a lot about these folks and their land and history as you sail here. come on down. is awesome here.
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Old 30-09-2013, 16:02   #33
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

"is it really that risky to NOT have insurance, I mean it seams to restrict you in your travels."

A mis-conception about insurance is that it restricts your travels.

You can travel anywhere you want - but if you are in the insurance companies "hurricane box" during the named storm season you will have no insurance for named storms.

You make the decision where to travel - the insurance company tells you what they insure.
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Old 30-09-2013, 16:34   #34
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

Any job you can do with a phone and computer you can do it from a live aboard boat in WA, or CA or better yet Mexico! I started up and ran my water maker company from aboard our boat while cruising in Mexico and now while we are living aboard in Morro Bay, CA.

The naysayers will come up with 100's or reasons why you cant do it...and TRUST ME...almost everyone of your friends and family will tell you just how nuts you are....ignore them all. Retirement is a myth...do what you love and enjoy adn do it from a boat as a bonus.

We lived VERY comfortably on about $1200/Mo for a family of 4 in Mexico. Once you are out of the USA your cost of living in comfort drops big time...so get out amigo.
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Old 30-09-2013, 17:37   #35
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

I'm somewhat in the same boat, but still working in my trade as a shipwright/marine installer. I have a beach house in Baja, an hour away from my boat in San Diego. My input is this: Why not take a couple months off and go to some beautiful, relatively remote place like Oaxaca? Don't automatically think a boat is the answer. First, simply having a boat is expensive. Look at Zeehag's experiences. She lives frugally and within her budget and has a relatively good time. But when something goes wrong with the boat, one's life is beset by decisions and costs that will complicate everything, and limit your immediate choices. If you get REALLY sick, you may need to return to the US. If not, you will be recovering best in a place when you don't have to climb out of a bunk at three in the morning, wrestle a slipped anchor, furl sails that have come adrift. At least look at non-sailing options to squeezing the most value out of limited dollars. Boats are more expensive than most of us are really willing to admit. Our problem is that of addiction to the life style, which, if you are experienced enough, isn't necessarily easy or cheap. Doodles may have found an ideal combination of being able to afford purchasing, building or renting a place where a dollar goes a long way. I think the challenge is finding a way that limited resources can be managed to provide the greatest number of options for the future. If a boat is in your future, you will have more time to assess your needs, learn what kind of boat and locale meets your requirements, and get the best deal possible by being on-site with cash in your hand.
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Old 30-09-2013, 17:41   #36
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

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We, actually, have our hearts set on a Hans Christian 33T, or something similar.
Some dear friends have cruised an HC 33 since 1991. I think the only trouble they've ever had to deal with was jettisoning the teak deck.

Check out this blog: Web Log of Sailing Vessel NAKIA
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Old 30-09-2013, 17:58   #37
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pirate Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

I have to smile when I read some of the posts regarding 'Living Abroad' and 'I can only afford $1500/mth'.... that's $300+ a week.. in St Martin FWI that would cover my tobacco/spirits on board and eating out every day... with change to spare...
Tip of the week... don't eat 'Dutch Side'... it costs more...
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Old 30-09-2013, 18:22   #38
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

As I said, boatman, it all depends . . .
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Old 30-09-2013, 18:58   #39
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

I would have to echo the sentiment that living on a boat is not the best way to reduce your cost-of-living. There are many places in the USA where you can live without rent
if you move around. Google 'workamping'.
Generally a 'sea-rv' is an expensive way to live and travel, but does have its charms.

Being older myself, I understand how age discrimination works, and it can be very tough to find a job. But it is possible, it just takes a lot longer. I suggest you keep looking.
Remember it isn't work if you enjoy it. And maybe consider using your time to build a boat.

Consider renting out your house, so someone else is covering those costs,
and find a lower cost housing situation not too far away to keep tabs on your renter,
but not giving up that asset, and have a place to return to in the future.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:16   #40
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

this is an old posting from last year and i am working on updating it for our crossing and in europe - but this is actual cost and like i said we keep soulmates is upgraded condition - and we did a lot of upgrades on her to be able to do what we want

always a popular subject so thought we would share

we sail a 2001 jeanneau ds40 that we bought new in 2003 - we try to keep her updated and great shape

below is what it cost us on average for 9 mons 2009, 12 mons 2011 & 2012 and 10 mons 2012
it includes all costs including boat insurance but we do not carry medical, trips back to usa and costs while in usa, mail service, wx routing, family emergenices - everything
we also try to do at least one major upgrade on the boat each year -

we try not to stay in marinas unless we feel it is not safe to not do so, our insurance tells us we have to, or we leave the boat to go to the usa

we do not live extravant nor do we skimp our on things -

2009 - $2,415/mo 12.5% boat, 10% dockage, 9% insurance, 8%food, 7% diesel, customs 1.6%, 1% cruising guides, transportation 6%

2010 - $3,441/mo 55%boat (lots of upgrades) dockage 3%,insurance 4%.food 6%,diesel 4%, customs 1%, crusing guides 3%, transportat 4%

2011 - $2,289/mo 18%boat, dockage 11%, insurance 6%,food 7%, diesel 5%,customs 6%, cruising guides 6%, medical 10%, transportat 7%

2012 - $2,461 23% boat, dockage 13% (marina trinidad), insurance 14% (2 handed person for possible crossing), food 12%, diesel 3%, customs 4%, cruising guides 2%, alcohol 7%, transportat 2%


and the link here in c&s forum Cruisers & Sailing Forums > The Fleet > General Sailing Forum What It Has Cost Us To Cruise - Last 4 Yrs
What It Has Cost Us To Cruise - Last 4 Yrs

we will be posting more when i get it finished

just our opinion and thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmats
in port yasmine tunisia
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:34   #41
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

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I Don't automatically think a boat is the answer. First, simply having a boat is expensive.
BINGO....
A nice apartment, furnished with all utilities included in La Paz Mexico will cost about $300/mo...easy living Amigo...without a pump HEAD!
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:49   #42
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

I lived on board with teh wife in Nice for 3 summers ( yes high season) average costs euro €25 a day ( for both) , with one single course meal out 4 days a week ( usually lunch) this was 2010-2012

Marina costs came to 1800 for three months on top , plus a bit for diesel.

That was maintaining a permanent summer berth in a marina. ( as well as cruising to other marinas from time to time ) . this was a 9.5m boat.

winter was quite cheap to stay aboard, but too cold for my liking.

I would have thought 1500-2000 dollars a month was quite doable for anywhere really averaged over 12 months
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Old 01-10-2013, 13:22   #43
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

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I retired when I was 52 and my wife was 43. We moved aboard our boat and spent almost four years in SoCal and the Sea of Cortez. We returned to the States and worked for a while and are now back on our boat, retired in San Diego, and heading for the Sea of Cortez.

We have many friends living aboard in Mexico who are retired on small budgets and big budgets. The boats range from 32’ to 47’.

I would be glad to share our experiences and financial information with you.

Here are some thoughts and observations:

Marinas in Mexico are expensive – the cheapest 40’ slip in LaPaz is $575/month
The only way to live cheaply in Mexico is to anchor out all the time.
We only spent 75 days out of three years in marinas in Mexico
Living on the hook in a 3rd world country is fun, hard work, tiring, and a challenge
After three years of full time life on the boat in Mexico we were ready for an easier life in the States

Very few Sea of Cortez live aboards spent the entire year on their boat – most would return to the States every six months where they would spent a month or two.

We spent (living only) about $1500 / month while in Mexico and lived very comfortably
Boat expenses (including insurance) were an additional $600 / month while in Mexico
Medical Insurance was $300/month for the two of us but required we spend 6 months a year outside the US.

Other folks lived on well less than $1000/month total but didn’t eat out, visit as much, and travel as much as most of us did. They did not have boat or medical insurance.

Living on a boat in the tropics demands a lot of boat maintenance – long term we averaged about 12 hours a WEEK working on the boat
- bottom cleaning
- keeping the deck clean – lots of dust and sand
- water maker filter cleaning
- refrigerator maintenance

A watermaker is essential for “on the hook” living in Mexico

We fished a great deal and hardly ever purchased protein from the store

If you are going to live aboard in Mexico year 'round you will need to move to the north Sea of Cortez and live in that incredible heat for the mid-July - mid-October timeframe in order to avoid most hurricanes. Even doing that, we were touched by the edges of three hurricanes in three years.

My brother lived aboard in Mexico for a year on a Tartan 42 – it is a beautiful boat and currently for sale for about $98,000. Here is a link to the current ad 1982 Tartan 42 Staysail sloop sailboat for sale in Outside United States

My brother sold the boat to these folks in 2002 – it is an example of a older boat that you could buy cheaply and is well equipped and ready to head to Mexico.

Our boat, Caliber 40, was originally built as a 38 and then had a swim step installed. It is about as small as I would want to live on with my spouse.

We had several friends living on Tayana and Pacific Seacraft 37s. We spent a lot of time with them and those boats were quite liveable for a couple IF you kept them neat and tidy.

Another set of close friends lived on a 32' Mariner and it was close and tight - way too small for a 6' 1" man and 5' 8" women. Several other couples lived on 34' boats which seemed awful small to me.

I'd highly recommend a 38' - 42' boat for a liveaboard couple who plan to use the boat full time.

San Diego to the Sea of Cortez and anywhere in the Sea and Mexican Rivera, down to Zihuatenejo, is OK for any production boat - given good judgement and close attention to the weather.

Choosing a boat for Western Mexican cruising is 95% about liveablilty and 5% about sailing ability. You are looking for a comfortable living situation - not the ability to cross difficult blue water.

If you want to spend some more time talking about this kind of stuff – send me a private message.

We currently live on our boat – Harbor Island – San Diego
TacomaSailor: Thanks for the information. We are still very much up in the air and both excited and scared to death. We will be coming down your way to speak with the yacht broker we have attached ourselves to at this point, who happens to also be on Harbor Island. We are supposed to come down and look at some example boats maybe next week. Perhaps we could get together and chat some at that time? PM me if interested and we can exchange some info. Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2013, 13:45   #44
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Re: Retiring Aboard -- Ways & Means?

Wow...never expected such a great turnout on the replies. I guess this is somewhat of a hot topic for quite a few people. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded thus far. We appreciate both the positive and negative, as long as it is based on first-hand, real experience/knowledge and not just gloom and doom statisitics or second-hand information.

At this point, as I pointed out in a previous quick response, my wife and I are both excited and scared to death about the future. Our most pressing issue right now is finding work so that we don't continue dipping into our retirement funds. My wife is doing some office admin contracting work for a holistic verterinarian in San Diego as well as participating in a coop arts & crafts store, but these are bringing in only a few hundred dollars a month. I started out with my own engineering geologic consulting business being very optimistic and, while not replacing my former salary, things were looking up between April and the end of August, however, September brought in zero contracts for me and I have been spending money doing marketing as much as possible. The biggest problem is that we see no way to boost our retirement funds up much higher than they are right now and, until some SS retirement benefits kick in, it would be almost impossible to live in the US. The idea of living/cruising aboard a boat is both an excape mechanism and fulfillment of a dream, so emotion plays a big part here, knowing that cruising is not free and that a boat requires much maintenance. However, renting our house out while cruising is not an option, since we would require the funds from the sale to buy a boat. We realize that this is a one-way deal, but we probably would never want to own again in southern California anyway.

Someone inquired about doing contract work in another country. I have considered this and did some research. I am an engineering geologist who deals with civil engineers from the standpoint of the effects of geologic hazards/constraints on buildings and infrastructure. Most developing countries have no building codes or standards requiring compliance with geologic/seismic issues and engineering geologists don't really exist in these places, and I don't have the necessary experience in mining. Even with no work coming in, I am paying out to maintain both general and professional liability insurance as well as both California and Arizona licensing board fees, amongst other expenses.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that others are benefitting from the advice being giving in this thread and hope to see more posts from those actually living this lifestyle.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:15   #45
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BINGO....
A nice apartment, furnished with all utilities included in La Paz Mexico will cost about $300/mo...easy living Amigo...without a pump HEAD!
This was my point earlier. Find a place to live on land cheaply ... then think about the boat, because eventually you're going need/want to move back on land.
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