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Old 27-02-2009, 16:29   #46
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Another friend and his wife have taken up residence in Nevis and are happy with that and the relatively inexpensive life-style there. It seems there are many land’s of opportunity relatively close at hand.
s/v HyLyte's reference would be me and my wife, Lynne. We saw our living costs reduced by 40% our first year here, and more after that (I need to run the numbers again for this past year). Life is good in the eastern Caribbean!

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Old 27-02-2009, 16:50   #47
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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
As to where, friends of ours recently returned from 8 months on the Rio Dulce where they were able to live comfortably on a fraction of what they spend here and are now preparing to return. Another friend and his wife have taken up residence in Nevis and are happy with that and the relatively inexpensive life-style there. It seems there are many land’s of opportunity relatively close at hand.


s/v HyLyte
I am actually mostly in cash now (too scared to go ahead and buy gold last year, dang it!!) but making it South for months at a time is something I think I can't afford still.

I am thinking of smaller boat which would burn most of my life savings with the "I am almost too old to do this and can't wait" attitude and doing local cruising while continuing to work.

If I do that I guess I will see you one day SvH.

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Old 27-02-2009, 17:09   #48
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'He who speaks does not know' is a truism, isn't it. None of us "know" because if we all "knew" then we would all say the same thing.

I am led to the words of that great orator Donald Rumsfeld:

"...because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."

It would seem, that there is a majority view that this reccession is different; that we have not seen it bottom out yet; and that we cannot predict how long it will last.

There is not a concensus however, on the effect it will have on Cruising. On the one hand, there is the view that lower money supply will mean less people will be able to afford to Cruise, while, on the other hand, there is a view that liveaboard cruising can be achieved at lower cost than our normal life-styles ashore, so could be a path that more people will take to achieve a happier lifestyle.

The thread drift however, is interesting to the point of fascination. As it isn't really drift at all, just further proof that everything is relative to something else - just like Einstien said. While blame may need to be apportioned to establish fault and thus learn from the history, it doesn't put the money back in our pockets. What we need to know is how long it will al last, and to what values will it return?

Several posters have indicated views that general values will not return to the pre-existing conditions. I take this to mean that lifestyles (as a generalisation) will fall, perhaps for a long period. It would be interesting to hear views on the length of time for recovery, and the level that GDPs will fall to.

Based upon an age of 55, if the recession is to last ten years or more, then we would be best off setting sail, as we would be able to live a lower life-style than we might ashore, but probably be happier doing it.

However, this might be construed as dumping. Instead of consumer- leading the economy out of recession by spending our money as the Govt wants, we are off on our boats and leaving those at home to sort the mess.

Do we have a moral dilema here?
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Old 27-02-2009, 19:14   #49
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I own a heating business. In 2005 we peaked but I felt a twinge in September. It was the first month in 4 years that we didn't have growth compared to the year before. At the time we where 55% residential new construction. Well, we went down 7% in '06, 12% in '07, and 15% more last year. January and Febuary of this year are going to be down another 15%. It's been tough to see a business I spend 20 years building tumbling down.

BUT - I think we have hit the bottom. Incoming orders in the last couple months have risen steadily. We have sold twice as much commercial work this year as all of last year combined. It was a cold winter and people are now worried about their utility bills so they are replacing equipment. And just the feel of my business is better. ok, maybe its the prozac.

My first point is the sky is not falling in completely. There are a lot of people with their heads above water, and debt free. Many are waiting to start buying up things. Some have started. I feel by the end of this year, the United States economy will have stabilized and a long recover will begin. At least I'm confident for myself.

How does this effect cruising? I've been keenly interested in prices of used catamarans. It's my hope that by years end, I'll be able to find a decent boat at a price I can afford. I can't be the only one who couldn't either afford or justify a big boat before but may be able to soon. Perhaps a whole new crowd of cruisers will take to the water. There are a lot of boats tied to docks not moving.
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Old 27-02-2009, 20:48   #50
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It is important to make sure that all of ones tangible assets are moveable, for those which aren't will taken by force, by the masses in the end, at least in this country. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
"Love My Country, Fear My Government"
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Old 28-02-2009, 02:01   #51
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I've been buying stocks for months. Lots and lots of them. You can't time a recovery anymore than you can time a recession.
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Old 28-02-2009, 05:15   #52
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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

Mine is rent from realestate so I am fine... except for the currency rate where $A has gone down 30 cents in the dollar to the US$
Same Same, and looking better by the minute with falling interest rates in Oz.

Hopefully things will really be "different here" as vacancy rates are down in the 2% bracket compared to the US at around 8 to 10% and we haven't had the massive overbuilding either, so that should keep things looking good as well.

Saying that, I have put the big spends on the build on hold and am keeping the cash reserves until I start to see some "sign" that things are on the up.

"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
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Old 28-02-2009, 05:17   #53
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In response to Jimking, I think that cheap cruising can still exist.

In my lifetime, I have been both well off and exceedingly poor. In the past, I lost one business completely, became a lone parent, and had very little to live on for a period of years not just months. The hardest bits, were, the transitions - Not the periods of being relatively poor. I say relatively, as I never did drop down to the $5 or $9 a day as a previous poster mentioned was the World's average. I think I managed to average an income of $20 a day - although, there were periods when I had nothing at all. This is going to sound really trite, but apart from the transitionary period of becoming poor, I was happy. When I ask the kids about those times, they look back on them with fondness, remembering some really good times.

The transitions are the hard bits. From being Ok to suddenly not being able to afford your previous lifestyle, hurts. But you get used to it fairly quickly.

What we are considering however, is different. We are considering going cruising on a limited budget. Well, first off, I think many of us already appreciate, that when we retire, we must alter our budgets, as our income will reduce somewhat. But, now, instead of being forced into it, we are making a positive choice. To retire and go cruising on a more limited budget. Doing it from choice, makes it easier.

We can choose whether we spend $50 overnighting in a Marina, or $0 hanging on our hook in a secluded bay. Do we go ashore for a meal in an expensive restuarant, or do we cook something ourselves? Do we anti-foul up against some posts between tides, or do we get lifted out or slipped in an expensive yard? At the end of the day, the choices are ours.

As I said previously, I am trying to capitalise a lot of my revenue costs. Do I make an allowance from revenue to visit a Marina for a tub bath, or do I fit one on the boat. Do I anti-foul every year, or do I use a more expensive copper-coat that will last ten years? I am spending a lot on my boat. Fitting it with everything I concieve will reduce my running costs, while I am at work and can still afford it. The more I can achieve towards self-sufficiency the better. That way, If I'm short of cash in later years, it won't hurt as much. All I will need, is food, fuel, and spares. That's my theory. If I need to top up my cruising reserves - then I may find a berth in a Country where I know I can get some work. Most things are possible.

Pay your insurance premium, but don't be surprised if you can never claim on it. That's my theory (figuratively speaking).

At least, cruising around, whether with plenty or only just enough, I will meet some of the finest, friendliest, and most interesting people on earth. I will be doing what I want to do most. I guess I will just be... errrr... happy?
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Old 28-02-2009, 08:37   #54
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Great post Tao
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Old 28-02-2009, 08:45   #55
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As a non US born individual and being a citizen of the biggest economic and strategic allied of the US on this region for the last 30 years I sadly need to admit that we feel we were leaded by the wrong we will all pay our dues...
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Old 28-02-2009, 12:08   #56
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The biggest problem is the Govt forcing banks to write down assets that have really not declined in value due to the small amount of shares that are traded daily at below the companies asset value. Example General Electric GE on an average day, 15% of the companies shares are traded. The other 85% are not. If I paid $20 a share for 85% them and did not sell them they are still worth $20 to me. The 15% that are traded for $10 a share mean nothing to me. The companies assets are woth more than 100% of the shares @ $10. If you could buy 100% of the shares @ $10 you could shut down the company and sell off the assets for a profit. That will never happen because I have the other 85% and will not sell them @ $10 a share. If demand for the shares go up so does the price. Remember there is no less money in circulation, everyone is just holding on to it.
7.25 years until the Carib
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:53   #57
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MoonlightShadow...Nice response. I guess my early response was moot. My financial situation is such that I will go to the Carib and assume a cruising lifestyle regardless. I will make it work on a tight budget. The truth is I may end up one of those derilect sailors that people will make fun of but as you stated, "I will meet some of the finest, friendliest, and most interesting people" and, I suspect, have a peaceful existence. The whole idea is frightening but one only goes around once...right?
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:12   #58
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The economic instability is a huge motivator for my wife and I to retire to the sailing world. When I was younger and "wiser" I lived aboard a sailboat with the dreams of cruising somewhere. I knew it to be cheaper aboard than on land but never fully realised the potential of reduced expenses to go anywhere. Then came the wife and kids and the expenses of that lifestyle. Now as the kids grow and I've matured towards the concept of retirement (fading away instead of burning out), I've come to appreciate the savings of living on the hook, where the weather is warmer and coming ashore for the evil necessities, and enjoying the community of those whose homes float. I've used the current costs of the more expensive places to live tied to the pier as a benchmark for future costs of the more reasonable places to live. With this idea, I've tried to tailor my investment and retirement strategy to fix future costs against current market ideals. The biggest factor for my thinking has been to recognize what the level of lifestyle I want to live. And in that thought, where in the world will I be able to do that. Jim is right, you make it work with what you have, so will it be a 65' monel, sail it into a tsunami and live, or a 32' fiberglass gunkholer. My limitations will be on how much water and food I can hold. And where can I go that I could easily, cheaply acquire what I cannot make for myself. Political and language barriers aside ultimately that choice is an individual one
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:21   #59
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My thoughts

Apology: long post, based on my own opinions and life strategy

General thoughts:
The root of all this financial mess: greed
What happens in every financial disaster: wealth transferred to an elite few from EVERYONE else (notice how the "bailout funds" resulted in huge bonuses for corporate chief executives?). The stage is now set for a massive transfer of wealth which will likely dwarf anything in recent memory. All of the "money" in this mess is actually debt: it was created out of thin air, and will disappear in a similar way, but you may, if you watch carefully, see who harvests actual wealth from the "money" as it disappears.
The "dollar" does NOT have intrinsic value: it is a "promise to pay", but its actual supply floats, and massive amounts of dollars are created through debt. Since the abandonment of the gold standard, the dollar has had no intrinsic backing. It appears and disappears by government fiat.
The promised government ""bailout funds" will be generated out of thin air, but this will have a substantial impact: inflation. I predict that a generalized substantial drop in the standard of living will result.
My situation:
I was wiped out financially about a decade ago. I have clawed my way partially back with the help of a faithful and loving wife. I have a boat, not a perfect one, but adequate, should it end up being my last one.
My strategy:
A couple of years ago, I bought a foreclosed home for one half of what it had previously sold for. I'm hoping to retrieve something from it when it sells. Then I'm getting out of real estate ownership. I understand that I cannot predict the future value of a home in today's market.
Retirement age looms on the near horizon. I will repair my boat, invest in tools, equipment and spares. Any cash I may have will be put in gold. When I make my decision, I will cast off the lines to shore and set out. We will plan to stay in climate zones which are most comfortable and require the least expenditure of money. Nations, and national politics and economics do not strike me as stable or predictable: I look forward to being an ocean-based citizen of the earth. Self-reliance and independence are my basic plans, and as to the rest, we'll see.
I hope I meet some of you out there!
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Old 01-03-2009, 13:33   #60
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Spammy, I echo your last sentence. Truth is, the World never has been stable, but in both your Country and mine, we have enjoyed "relative" stability. I am not a doomsday merchant, but do feel things will stay a bit "wobbly" for a while. There are just too many issues right now. Recession, Terrorism, Global Warming, Government debt, and so on... I agree that for many people, a falling standard of living will become more and more apparent for a while. Yes, It's cyclical, but we don't seem to be able to predict the curve with any certainty. Even the "experts" are giving us longer time frames on this recession, some suggesting ten years or so. Rex is right, it's a motivator. One more reason to do it!

However, I think we are in a more positive position than many. When you look at the costs of being a liveaboard, you can still have a good lifestyle on a much lower budget than living ashore with all its peer pressures. The big bills are berthing and maintenance - yet both of these can be controlled. There are many cheaper berths available, and if you have a bit of DIY skill, there are not too many jobs you cannot handle on your own. Health insurance is another subject to consider, so we need to be a bit careful of some of our DIY.

I have also found that local knowledge is a valuable asset for budgets. An example; a Marina on the South Coast of the UK can cost a fortune, come around to the East coast and the price falls substantially. Go in a Marina at the mouth of the River and my boat would cost $4,500 a year. Sail up river, to where tidal access is reduced to a couple of hours each side of high water, and I can have just as good a berth, for half the price. Or, I can find a sheltered anchorage for free.

Also, we perhaps need to plan a bit more. Find out where good anchorages, low-cost chandlers are etc, in advance. Some marinas do really good rates out of season too. These forums are a cracking place to get good information like that - so it well justifies the cost of a broadband or Wi-Fi connection.

And, the major added advantage we possess, is that we can move. C.Y.Tung the Hong Kong shipping magnate, once said that he hated investing in anything that wouldn't move (no-doubt a frame of mind brought on by the Communist China of the day). If the situation in any given location deteriorates (or just becomes boring!), then we can just sail somewhere better!!!

With all the advantages involved, I do not think of cruising on a budget as a negative thing. In this climate, I think just the opposite - it's totally positive.

There are people out there cruising on budgets far less than ours, and doing it from choice, long before the recession took a grip.

And, Jim, if people want to make fun of us when we are older, rafted up alongside, sipping rum, eating a nice meal, on a hook by a white sand beach off some Caribbean island, telling each other our old sailing yarns and of the experiences they never had, as the warm evening sun sets over the horizon...

...then good luck to em. Like I will care?

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