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Old 13-02-2008, 05:45   #1
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Any active duty or retired military cruisers??

Hello all! This is my first post in the forum...I've spent the past several years reading every cruising book I can get my hands on and I'm happy to find this great network of like minded folks!

Currently I am stationed in Germany with the Air Force but will be retiring within 10 years. The only sailing I do now is through our sailing club on 420s, lasers, ect.

I was wondering if there any other military retirees out there cruising and how well the retirement paycheck goes to cover cruising costs. I know the saying: "You spend what you have"...I've been saving for years to eventually pay cash for the boat, but banking on the pension to take the place of most of the cruising kitty.

Thanks for any feedback!
John
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Old 13-02-2008, 06:22   #2
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It's not exactly what you asked for, but in the 50s-60s my grandfather was in the navy. Served on the USS Lexington. When they weren't out cruising, he had a approx. 25 foot cabin cruiser motor boat he would live on in the marina. He would take it out cruising locally when he had enough time. After he retired though, he ended up swallowing the anchor and building a house. Eventually lost the boat to a hurricane.
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Old 13-02-2008, 07:54   #3
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Your retirement can cover alot. There are programs to project what your retirement pay will be in 10 years. So depending on what what rank and staus is in 10 yrs is the amount of $. Also use your TSP contributions to help.
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Old 13-02-2008, 10:20   #4
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Another "it depends" answer here....

How well do you need to live? Will you have a boat payment? How long do you plan to cruise? What is your plan for after you're done cruising?

IMO by far the BIGGEST advantage of my military retirement is the medical coverage. Sure the cost of even that will go up over time along with everything else, but it is a HUGE advantage from day 1 of retirement.

For me the plan was (maybe still is....) to spend 2 years cruising. I saved away 2 + years of boat payments so wouldn't have to worry about that. Estimate annual maintenance expense and multiply times 2 and save that aside also. Will you carry insurance? If so sock away the premium payments for the time you'll be cruising.

Basically use the time while working to sock away the funds needed to cover all recurring expenses for the amount of time you plan to cruise. Use your own comfort factor here... the point is to NOT have to worry about any monthly payments while cruising. There will be enough unexpected expenses to keep you up at night....

This way when you leave your pension is truly the amount you have to cruise on. So now ask yourself if that amount is sufficient for what you want to do and the lifestyle you imagine. Do you expect marina slips and restaurants every night, or will swinging on the hook suit you? Etc, etc...

Someone else mentioned to project for inflation as best you can. Since your pension is already indexed for that you can assume that a $30K pension today will buy you roughly the same standard of living 10 years from now.. minus the amount that inflation out-paces the pension increases (you know we never get the full CPI amount...). Stated another way, your standard of living on $30K today will be roughly the same at any point in the future.

So if you decide you hate it after 6 months then you can come back and start the career search again w/o worry about covering monthly expenses. If you love it and want to continue, then you may have to come back to build the cruising kitty to cover those monthly expenses for the next cruise period.

If you plan to retire in 10 years, start saving the money NOW and you'll have no worries at all. Wait until the last year or so before buying the boat, then get the refit done while you are still working. If financing a boat do that before you retire - for some reason the banks like you to have a steady job when they write the loan....

Hope it all comes together for ya!

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Old 13-02-2008, 11:33   #5
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Aloha John,
Welcome aboard! The answer to your question is yes. See what Mark said. You must learn frugality.
Mark's medical comments might work where he is but here on an island without services and few doctors it doesn't count for much.
I spent some time at Patch Barracks near Stuttgart in the early 70s. Where are you? You mentioned a club that sails 420s and such. Where?
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 13-02-2008, 15:26   #6
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Hey John,
The medical coverage through Champus/Tricare is dodgy at best when it comes to overseas care. I'll have to plan for that. We are trying to live a simple life now, so it will be easier to scale back spending when the time comes. Our boat saving started a few years ago so I think we're on the right track with that.

Yea, I'm stationed at a NATO base in Geilenkirchen, Germany...near the point where Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium all intersect. The sailing club is run through a neighboring NATO facility and has an international membership. We are currently still doing pre-season maintenance on the boats, but by April we'll be out on the Maas River in Roermond, Netherlands. There are many harbors that branch off the river.

It's not cruising per-se, but it lets me and my familly get on the water and improve our skills.

Anyway, thanks for the info!
John
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Old 13-02-2008, 15:31   #7
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Welcome John..it;s always great to have another service man here...420s and Lasers can be great rides!!

Lt. Wahoo USNR
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Old 13-02-2008, 16:20   #8
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Aloha again John,
A long time ago the MWR used to have a Learn to Sail package that gave you the basic sailing course with Red Cross Sailing Instructors. I took that training at Chiemsee, Germany in 72. That's way down South. Sounds like your club has a lot to offer. Since the 70s I've been up in your area a couple of times with the Navy and still have some very distant cousins of the ancestral background near Hamburg.
Hope you enjoy your tour there. I stayed 4 years in Germany and did a lot of camping and touring to other countries (western side). It was a highlight of my career. The area was wonderful but the job was in a large vault and not very much fun.
Keep the cruising dream alive.
Regards, JohnL
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Old 13-02-2008, 16:22   #9
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P.S. I remember the tulip festivals and Madurodam (sp), the miniature city in the Netherlands. Fun trips.
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Old 14-02-2008, 02:40   #10
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Chiemsee

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Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Aloha again John,
A long time ago the MWR used to have a Learn to Sail package that gave you the basic sailing course with Red Cross Sailing Instructors. I took that training at Chiemsee, Germany in 72. That's way down South. Sounds like your club has a lot to offer.
JohnL-
Chiemsee is/was a great place. The MWR facility was still there back in 99 when I went down once for Oktoberfest. Sadly, the American Gov't gave this place back to the Germans a few years ago. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the only MWR left in southern Germany for us.

Take Care,
John
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