- - There appears to be a perceptual split here on what "living costs" include. For the young 20-something person in perfect health
and no kids
or a female crewmate - he only needs to eat (yeah - beer
is in the basic food
group), buy potable water
, and pay entry/exit fees
. He has "no baggage." [God, those were great years!] I love Jeff Foxworthy's speil on being "single" - stay intoxicated nightly, get laid everyday - and his follow up - If during a party, your friends trash all your furniture - you're out maybe 15 bucks.
- - So the young cruiser can live on $1K/mo (although I bet half of that cost is in beer) quite nicely because he has "no baggage." Add a female crewmate and maybe a baby or two and all of a sudden "baggage" arrives in your life and the cost of living starts rapidly escalating. More food
, more modifications to the boat
to fit the female and/or the kids
. Add maybe a dog. Medical insurance
and/or cash for doctors and that $1K doubles. Then you start to age, as do the kids and wife, more health maintenance
costs, and suddenly educational costs.
- - Those young folks with kids now have to drop out of cruising and return to land to get a job to pay for raising the kids. Those without kids can stay on the boat
, but now annual recurring costs for boat repair and upgrading and clothes costs start to escalate. (No clothes is how those young cruisers ended up with all the kids). More interest in seeing the sites and cultures means more costs.
- - As the cruisers' ages further increase, mortality starts rearing its ugly head
and now various insurance
requirements start really adding up. It is in this late middle age, after the kids are gone, that the young cruisers who had to return to land can now rejoin their live on the water
. But they bring with them "fixed costs" or "more baggage" in such things as investment management, significant taxes
(I am retired and my US taxes
are still $1.5K per month), medical
costs, copays, Medicare premiums, Supplemental, Medicare Drug plans, med-evac insurance, etc. That adds huge amounts to the "baggage" - (for me and my wife about $300/month). Again a larger boat is needed especially after living on land and working your way up the "ladder" with cars, a comfortable home, and lots of convenience appliances
, long time friends and relatives - the children
how have their own children
. All this new baggage bumps you up into the $3K/month arena.
- - Finally, old age - 60+ - and serious medical baggage develops and you had better have been paying all those years for the insurance policies/coverage. If not, the first serious medical "incident" will likely be your last one. I have several ex-pat friends who were "running naked" in the insurance coverage area. When a accident
and or typical old age cancer occurred that the local clinics could not handle that was the end! Losing your life-long friend/mate/best buddy who is still "too young" because you cannot pay for medical care is a heavy trip.
- - So let's not say or even think that "everybody" can cruise
the world for $1K or less just because you are young and carry no "baggage" . . . now. You will acquire significant "baggage" as your life proceeds and all of that takes more and more money
. Oh! I forget the worst of it - that storage
unit back home you are paying $200/month for that contains all the "stuff" that you cannot bear to part with even though you haven't seen or used any of it for the last decade.