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Old 20-06-2014, 09:51   #31
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

Everyone - I am overwhelmed at the thoughtful and caring responses I received. I have been minimally involved in the boating community (meaning visits to marinas, staying on boyfriend's boat, meeting boating couples and singles, etc.) and have found those in this community just a top notch group of people. Your responses prove this. I will consider and contemplate each response I got over the weekend - both for and against. All responses are well appreciated!
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Old 20-06-2014, 09:55   #32
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

Looking back, and considering what I've seen in others... I think to some extent you are abandoning them. It's a terribly difficult time until their mid 20's. They are trying to learn how to cope in the world, and sometimes it isn't easy.
Of course it depends on how independent they are by nature and how well they cope. I've seen many an honor student do terrible at life. You say the 20 year old is out of the house, so maybe they have learned how to cope well as you raised them...?
Me? I was out on my ear at 19 and never looked back. But things were different then.
If one of them gets "lost"... is your partner willing to take him aboard?
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Old 20-06-2014, 09:57   #33
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

Rent your house out and have a place to fall back to. Enjoy sailing.

My 17 year old is being prepped to move in with her older sister in a few years....
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Old 20-06-2014, 10:06   #34
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Looking back, and considering what I've seen in others... I think to some extent you are abandoning them. It's a terribly difficult time until their mid 20's. They are trying to learn how to cope in the world, and sometimes it isn't easy.
I think the fact that in this case their dad passed two years ago also complicates it.

It's easy for us to say "Just go for it", and that's certainly the fun answer, but I think there are some serious issues here to consider. The responsibility to the kids is one, but having a good financial plan is another. How committed is the relationship with the boyfriend is another.

I don't think we have sufficient information to actually give advice. All we can do is point out the considerations that occur to us.
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Old 20-06-2014, 10:07   #35
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

I'm having a really difficult time with this thread. Not with the OP's question, but with many of the responses.

Perhaps I'm cold hearted, Perhaps I raised my sone differently than most parents, I do not know.

What bothers me is the very concept that we, as empty nesters even have to consider what our adult children want from us.

We love our son who is now 30 and has a family of his own. We talk almost daily, and we visit in person when possible.

When he moved out to join the US Coast Guard at 18, that terminated our responsibility for him, both in our eyes and in his. He crossed the threshold from dependent into an equal in this world, and our relationship changed from one of "life trainer" to one of friend and to a certain extent mentor. He was ready for this jump from the nest because we as parents help train him to become ready. That was our job as parents and we took it seriously.

We, as a society, and as demonstrated by many of the posters here have created in my opinion an unnecessary dependance of our children on us as older adults. This dependance affects, and has sometimes eliminated our ability to retire and enjoy our "golden years".

I feel sorry for all the parents out there that have raised kids that at a ""normal" maturity age cannot function on their own as adults. Very sad, but we did it to ourselves, and we are going to pay the price for the rest of our lives.

In my opinion the OP should not even consider her adult children's wishes for her future plans. Its her life, she should live it.
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Old 20-06-2014, 10:08   #36
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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Originally Posted by mbwoman View Post
Everyone - I am overwhelmed at the thoughtful and caring responses I received. I have been minimally involved in the boating community (meaning visits to marinas, staying on boyfriend's boat, meeting boating couples and singles, etc.) and have found those in this community just a top notch group of people. Your responses prove this. I will consider and contemplate each response I got over the weekend - both for and against. All responses are well appreciated!
You're right, and that's one of the great things about cruising. Something about everybody knowing we are all just one random, crazy event away from cascading failures that put our respective butts on the line. While we have our occasional spats, and opinions are often firmly defended, all that gets puts aside when one of us needs the others. You'll never find another community quite like sailors.

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Old 20-06-2014, 10:27   #37
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I'm having a really difficult time with this thread. Not with the OP's question, but with many of the responses.

Perhaps I'm cold hearted, Perhaps I raised my sone differently than most parents, I do not know.

What bothers me is the very concept that we, as empty nesters even have to consider what our adult children want from us.

We love our son who is now 30 and has a family of his own. We talk almost daily, and we visit in person when possible.

When he moved out to join the US Coast Guard at 18, that terminated our responsibility for him, both in our eyes and in his. He crossed the threshold from dependent into an equal in this world, and our relationship changed from one of "life trainer" to one of friend and to a certain extent mentor. He was ready for this jump from the nest because we as parents help train him to become ready. That was our job as parents and we took it seriously.

We, as a society, and as demonstrated by many of the posters here have created in my opinion an unnecessary dependance of our children on us as older adults. This dependance affects, and has sometimes eliminated our ability to retire and enjoy our "golden years".

I feel sorry for all the parents out there that have raised kids that at a ""normal" maturity age cannot function on their own as adults. Very sad, but we did it to ourselves, and we are going to pay the price for the rest of our lives.

In my opinion the OP should not even consider her adult children's wishes for her future plans. Its her life, she should live it.
I agree that we as a society have slipped into over protection of our children and don't expect as much as we should from them. They usually can step up and do what ever is actually necessary. On the other hand 17 is pretty young for some folks while others would be fine.
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Old 20-06-2014, 11:48   #38
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

There is a huge difference between a child who is going into the military (wage earning, plenty of mentors around, three squares provided for, and a certain independent mindset that takes a person in that direction to start with), and a child who is entering college and is still dependent financially on parents, and loans for subsistence.

I work in the education field and deal with high school seniors regulary, and MOST of the 17 year old graduating seniors I meet are not adults on so many levels. There are exceptions of course. Only the OP knows which camp her son fits into. But for those whose maturity level hasn't reached that point by graduation day, walking out the door in June with a degree does not make that magically happen. It will happen, but it's a process and it takes a little time. Not a lot, hopefully, but a little.

This young man's situation is complicated further by having just lost his father. Support of loved ones during grief is extremely important. Losing a parent at that age is a major traumatic loss.

Trying to make some comparison between what we did at 18 and what can be expected of today's kids isn't really fair either. This is a very different world. Jobs are not easy to come by, jobs that provide a livable wage even rarer, even with a college degree. (I know a number of people personally who have been out of work for 1-2 years, with advanced college degrees or technical training....) The OP may want to consider that fact as she is assessing her own financial situation and options for returning to the working world when this adventure is over.

What it takes to survive in today's world is much more complex than in the 60's, 70's or even 80's. I began adulthood (at 17) working in a little diner, living in a $35 a month apartment, riding the bus or walking everywhere (no car), and no phone, no TV, and obviously no computer, alone with a newborn baby. I made it on my own and have never been back. Going back wasn't an option for me. But.....I suspect that the standard of living I had then would not even be considered livable by most people in today's world. And to be honest, we teetered on the edge more times than I would like to remember (no government assistance either, I am very proud to say.) I am one tough old broad because of it....but no way in hell would I want a child of mine to go through what I did if there was anything I could do to prevent it.

The cruising dream can be a powerful driving force for some people. The fact that the OP came here to a cruising forum to ask her question, instead of to a forum geared toward parenting, tells you the answer she was hoping to get. And most respondents did not disappoint.

Eighteen is not a magic number. Our kids are kids until they aren't anymore. Granted sometimes we have to give them a little push to make that happen. Lots of kids fail to launch these days just because it's easier not to. But there are also lots of legitimate reasons why a boy of 17-18 might not be quite ready to be a fully functioning adult just yet. If he needs the cushion of a small window of time to make that transition while still having a safety net of the support of family and a place to call home, it is (my personal opinion of course) a parent's responsibility to see that he gets it.

Of course he might just be the kind of kid that once he gets out the door rarely ever calls home and would rather spend his breaks with friends than coming home at all. Unless I knew for certain that's the kind of kid he is, I think personally rather than packing my bags and hitting the high seas as soon as he is out the door I would give it a semester or two to see which was he is going to go and how he is going to cope.
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Old 20-06-2014, 12:43   #39
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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There is a huge difference between a child who is going into the military (wage earning, plenty of mentors around, three squares provided for, and a certain independent mindset that takes a person in that direction to start with), and a child who is entering college and is still dependent financially on parents, and loans for subsistence.

I work in the education field and deal with high school seniors regulary, and MOST of the 17 year old graduating seniors I meet are not adults on so many levels. There are exceptions of course. Only the OP knows which camp her son fits into. But for those whose maturity level hasn't reached that point by graduation day, walking out the door in June with a degree does not make that magically happen. It will happen, but it's a process and it takes a little time. Not a lot, hopefully, but a little.

This young man's situation is complicated further by having just lost his father. Support of loved ones during grief is extremely important. Losing a parent at that age is a major traumatic loss.

Trying to make some comparison between what we did at 18 and what can be expected of today's kids isn't really fair either. This is a very different world. Jobs are not easy to come by, jobs that provide a livable wage even rarer, even with a college degree. (I know a number of people personally who have been out of work for 1-2 years, with advanced college degrees or technical training....) The OP may want to consider that fact as she is assessing her own financial situation and options for returning to the working world when this adventure is over.

What it takes to survive in today's world is much more complex than in the 60's, 70's or even 80's. I began adulthood (at 17) working in a little diner, living in a $35 a month apartment, riding the bus or walking everywhere (no car), and no phone, no TV, and obviously no computer, alone with a newborn baby. I made it on my own and have never been back. Going back wasn't an option for me. But.....I suspect that the standard of living I had then would not even be considered livable by most people in today's world. And to be honest, we teetered on the edge more times than I would like to remember (no government assistance either, I am very proud to say.) I am one tough old broad because of it....but no way in hell would I want a child of mine to go through what I did if there was anything I could do to prevent it.

The cruising dream can be a powerful driving force for some people. The fact that the OP came here to a cruising forum to ask her question, instead of to a forum geared toward parenting, tells you the answer she was hoping to get. And most respondents did not disappoint.

Eighteen is not a magic number. Our kids are kids until they aren't anymore. Granted sometimes we have to give them a little push to make that happen. Lots of kids fail to launch these days just because it's easier not to. But there are also lots of legitimate reasons why a boy of 17-18 might not be quite ready to be a fully functioning adult just yet. If he needs the cushion of a small window of time to make that transition while still having a safety net of the support of family and a place to call home, it is (my personal opinion of course) a parent's responsibility to see that he gets it.

Of course he might just be the kind of kid that once he gets out the door rarely ever calls home and would rather spend his breaks with friends than coming home at all. Unless I knew for certain that's the kind of kid he is, I think personally rather than packing my bags and hitting the high seas as soon as he is out the door I would give it a semester or two to see which was he is going to go and how he is going to cope.
Becky

Your post while being accurate represents a major problem our generation has regarding our children's lives.

You had it tough as a young adult. So did I. So did my parents, and so did their parents, and so it has been since the beginning of time.

We as a generation worked hard and vowed that our kids would have an easier time of it than we had. This is the root cause of the entire problem.

Our generation failed to adequately train our offspring to be fully functional adults at 18 years of age. Our generation has also through our own doing decided that every kid needs a four year college education, and we have accepted the financial burden of that education. Many of us decided our kids should not work during their teen years. We bought them cars, and provided for their every need.

This has created a generation of children that cannot function on their own at 18 years old, and often well into their 20's. This has also created a situation where we as parents mortgage our golden years paying for our kids education, an education that as you put it often does not result in our kids even being able to get a job out of college.

This is entirely our fault. We think our kids are happier, but in reality our kids are dependent, which in my opinion makes them unhappier, both with us, and with life.
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Old 20-06-2014, 13:21   #40
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

I agree that, as others have said, whether or not the 17yr old can handle the independence has to be evaluated separately for the individual in question. (I was taking care of my mother by my 19th b-day; my former father-in-law was on his own and taking care of his little sister at 14; others don't leave the nest until 30).

We would like to head out for long term cruising once our youngest graduates HS -- but I suspect we'll be tied to land a few more years in order to pay their college tuition bills.

No one knows what can happen -- if we'll be alive and healthy enough to cruise at some point in the future. That argues to go ASAP. On the other hand, a year of postponement it can make a big difference to child who one year from graduation.
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Old 20-06-2014, 13:47   #41
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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MBWoman,

"Boyfriend"? "Unable to afford to retire now?" Chances of being able to work again after a 5 yr. or ??? hiatus? Don't kid yourself. I know it's hard for over 50's men, but I believe it's harder for the women. I don't know how practical you are, but have you considered some kind of a quid pro quo deal with your boyfriend? Would it help you to run the numbers? It seems to me that there are at least 3 issues here: 1, relationship with son; 2, not happy with present job, may lack funding, and relationship with boyfriend. Maybe considering each separately might help you. Write your thoughts down, helps to clarify.

That you have brought this to a forum is interesting in itself. Why have you not yet worked out a solution without involving strangers? What you propose, is like jumping off the cliff without a parachute, to me. If the man is not a keeper (if he turns down the bargain offered above), then why do you wish to prolong the relationship?

Please, I am not meaning to be overly hard on you, but I am thinking that you will be benefitted by doing some deep thinking on the whole situation. Some of the decisions are yours alone to make, but in terms of having a good future relationship with your son, he should be included in what will have the most effect on him.

Ann
Wifey B: I 100% have to echo what Ann said. The "Boyfriend" part scared me the most. Today, you're in a position if things get bad to tell him to get lost. Take off on a boat with him, without source of income, you're totally dependent on him. In a way that boat can turn into a prison. The worst situations in the world are when one stays in a bad relationship because of finances.

I can't agree with "take this job and shove it" approach. I love the part about taking off sailing but you don't appear able to afford it on your own. And this will be "boyfriend's boat", you living in "boyfriend's home". I mean like you son isn't the only one who won't have a home to go back to. You won't.

Ann is right, three issues. Tackle them one at a time. Boyfriend. Do you consider yourselves like a married couple but just no paper? Or is it really just gf/bf? There's a reason it's still "boyfriend", not even "fiancee".

Then son. And a reason I think that's even more complicated is he can't come home to visit you on "your" boat either. It's your boyfriend's boat and home. He's homeless or may feel that way. And I'm sorry, but I don't agree with the once they're in college they're adults and on their own. 19 year olds are still kids. They're facing so many things new. Sometimes they're scared. Sure he can go on without you. But omg what I would have given to have a parent to turn to when I was 19. Not trying to give you guilt as you know your son better than we do. Just consider it all. Talk to him. Maybe delay one year as freshman year is tough. As to him being an adult. I was at 16, but doesn't mean it's right. To me when you're on your own, earning your own living, self sufficient, you are. But college isn't.

Your job and finances. I'm not so sure you're running to sailing or whether you're just running from a bad job. Much like boyfriend this just leaves me concerned. I mean I know lots of jobs suck. But maybe answer is another job. Maybe it's continue where you are but with a goal in mind. Maybe it's if I stay one more year I'll be better able to do this and not have to reverse course later. Health insurance is a pretty big thing to be concerned about. I don't know your health but you are 54 and you're 11 years from medicare.

Frankly, if you were convinced this move was the right thing, you would be here telling us about it, not asking. It's easy for us to say, cast away and go live your dream. But I can't say give up everything. No home. No job. Away from your kids. And go off with a boyfriend. Many boyfriends feel that girlfriends are disposable. Yours may not. But you're hitching your wagon to a post that worries me.

Now if you do this anyway, I'd suggest you make a deal that at least for a year you sail just the coast, centering it on SC and returning frequently. Maybe a month south and back, then a couple local. Then a month north and back. Find out how things go on a boat with bf. Find out how you feel about being just a little away from son. Find out how it feels having no job and income.
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Old 20-06-2014, 14:04   #42
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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Becky

Your post while being accurate represents a major problem our generation has regarding our children's lives.

You had it tough as a young adult. So did I. So did my parents, and so did their parents, and so it has been since the beginning of time.

We as a generation worked hard and vowed that our kids would have an easier time of it than we had. This is the root cause of the entire problem.

Our generation failed to adequately train our offspring to be fully functional adults at 18 years of age. Our generation has also through our own doing decided that every kid needs a four year college education, and we have accepted the financial burden of that education. Many of us decided our kids should not work during their teen years. We bought them cars, and provided for their every need.

This has created a generation of children that cannot function on their own at 18 years old, and often well into their 20's. This has also created a situation where we as parents mortgage our golden years paying for our kids education, an education that as you put it often does not result in our kids even being able to get a job out of college.

This is entirely our fault. We think our kids are happier, but in reality our kids are dependent, which in my opinion makes them unhappier, both with us, and with life.
Wifey B: I don't believe in them being functional self sufficient at 18. They are still getting their education and I think that is very important. That's not some bad dependence. It's reality that they can't support themselves and get an education they need at 18. I went back to school but most don't.

Look, we sort of have an 18 year old. Hard to explain but she lives in our guest house and we embrace her as we would our child. We do pay for her college and other things. But we do require her to work afternoons and weekends and then through the summer. We're teaching her responsibility but we're going to assure she can get her education too. She meets her responsibilities, follows our rules, and we're so glad we're able to help her. She and her parents had a divorce so to speak. She wouldn't be going to college without us. Hadn't planned on it. She's so wonderful and we love her so much. But she's not fully a self supporting adult and she won't be until she graduates. And I don't consider being here for her during this time to be a problem of our generation. Our generation has plenty of problems but I don't think this is it. Yes, if you don't teach responsibility that is a problem. Being here for her during these years is one of the greatest joys of my life. Now we still cruise, two thirds of the time. We're in Alaska right now. She's working on the boat as a "stew/deckhand" for the summer.

While I respect your opinion, one last thing. My hubby and I both skipped years. I swear he was never a child or teen, in college too young. I was on my own at 16. I'm for letting kids have each year and that includes the college years. I started college at the age of 22 and I saw freshmen and they weren't adults.

Now I'm not saying the OP can't be a good mother and cruise both. She doesn't have to live right there. Many kids go away to school. As long as she's available on the phone and if he really needs her she'll get there to him then all is ok. But he does still have growing up to do. And he will still need mommy. I heard Kevin Durant's MVP speech and it's obvious he's a mommy's boy. It was so beautiful.
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Old 20-06-2014, 14:56   #43
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

MBWoman,

I did not respond in my first post to you relative to it being almost the two year anniversary of your husband's death.

People continue to have moments of grieving losses of significant others (and both your children may be doing this). So, pulling back and having a look at the situation as if it were your best friend in your position, how would you advise her to handle the situation?

Combining households is never without strife. And cruising is NOT all mai tais in the sunset. It is an easy thing to do to let an adult child live with you giving him low rent and minimal responsibility, but it keeps him dependent on a strong woman, and that can have grievous consequences for him later on.

If you are having doubts about your son's ability to cope, you're going to have to look inside and see how much of that is that it is being hard for you to let go of the young man, and how much is real. Both sides of the issue have already been discussed. Kids' reasons for keeping their parents around if possible vary from the lad who wants the caretaker around to care-take him, to the one who wants to make sure Mom's okay for him to leave her!

Intentional Drifter may have more to say on this subject. As someone else commented: I think you were given professional advice there.

Ann
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Old 20-06-2014, 15:31   #44
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

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MBWoman,

I did not respond in my first post to you relative to it being almost the two year anniversary of your husband's death.

As someone else commented: I think you were given professional advice there.

Ann
Hubby B: (Just so everyone is sure which of us). I'm a believer in professional counseling. They don't tell you what to do but help you figure out your own feelings and what is right for you. You're dealing with a lot. Your ex husband died and it doesn't matter how long you were apart he was the father of your children and I'm sure it was still a loss. Add to that kids growing up and moving on. Then a job you don't like. It's a lot. I think it could be very difficult to separate the feelings on all the different issues. When we're feeling a lot of pressure in our lives we become very dissatisfied in jobs or we want to change our lives. Sometimes we enter relationships as a response. We get overwhelmed and take rather extreme actions sometimes. Maybe his death even brought some sense of our own mortality, a feeling of time running short or out. I don't know but I'd just be careful that one issue isn't leading to decisions in other areas. You're talking about five relationships. The one with each son. The one with your ex husband. The one with your boyfriend. The one with yourself.

Just try to figure out what is right for you in each area. And if you need support or assistance in doing so, don't hesitate to see a professional counselor. Even if it just helps you make the decision without feeling regrets or guilt or continuing to question yourself. If you go sailing thinking in your mind maybe you did wrong by your son, even if you didn't, the pleasure won't be there. If you stay home for your son and then feel like you gave up something great and a little angry, you won't be happy. Leaving a job is a huge decision. Leaving a home is a huge decision. Leaving a son is a huge decision. Moving on a boat with a boyfriend is a huge decision. Handling all those at once could be extremely challenging.
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Old 21-06-2014, 06:04   #45
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Re: Am I Deserting My Young Adults?

<sigh> Jump in the water's freezing

I am a cut to the chase kinda guy so - hearts & flowers, hearts & flowers, hearts & flowers.

Now tough message - You can't possibly do this now. This is crazy. Do not do this.

Your finances - You are not ready to retire. Life is long. You have 30 years to go if you live well. You cannot survive on odd jobs or the equity from your home. The best advice way, way back was "if you do this don't sell your house," set it up as a rental and live on the income. I don't know what your job is but you will not likely re-enter a "professional" workforce. My sister checked out and has been trying to get back inn for 2 years. You can likely get a waitressing job or Walmart job but that's it.

Your kid - You aren't done yet. Yes it has been a long struggle and you are tired but don't quit early. See you kid through year 1 of college - then decide. My nephew stayed plugged in to parents through freshman year - he cut the cord not them.

Your boyfriend - If he loves you he will wait - not only that he will support your decision fully and participate in your life - including your kids for the next coupla years. I don't know him but make sure he isn't lonely influencing you to meet his desires.

The boat - Sure it sounds romantic and stress free and easy and fun. Have you lived with this guy? Do you know this guy like you think you do? Would you trust your life and your future to him?

I am not saying don't do it -ever. I am saying wait for your son to finish freshman. If the boyfriend and boat fall apart it probably wouldn't have worked anyway.

I have a 16 y/o and wouldn't even consider tossing the docklines until he is properly launched. And for those down on the current generation, you need to meet more kids. They aren't all living at home at 30 - yes many are but indict the parents not the kids. I have 5 college grads in their 20's working for me - smart, educated, together, eager, confident, self sufficient.
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