This is a very interesting thread, and one that I can relate to in many ways, and also with several comments that are, in my opinion pretty hostile and aggressive towards my generation.
I'll start from the top and explain where I'm at, keeping in mind, this is a case study and doesn't necessarily reflect my generation as a whole.
I'm 33, I have a bachelors degree with no school
debt (I worked 20-40hrs every week while going to college). and I am now 8 years into a career in research
and development for a fortune 50 chemical company. I make a decent amount of money for my area and with a bachelors, but at my company I'll never be six figure without an advanced degree.
My wife is a registered nurse and carries a small debt (got it below $8k now) for her schooling. She brings in an average amount of money for being an RN.
A year ago, we got the opportunity to buy an apartment complex, knowing that both of our jobs (her's only exists as long as a certain gov program gets funding
each year, and my job is on the whim of the economy) we jumped at it. We sold
our house to get the equity out and took a small ($25k) loan from my 401k to get the downpayment for the apartment complex.
Best case each month, The apartment complex after servicing the loan (15 year total), expenses, capital and taxes
, gives us about $3-3.5k each month in profit. We also bought and live on the 1st floor of a 4plex house that we own (w/mortgage) and currently AirBnB 1 upstairs unit and are in the process of rehabbing the other 2 upstairs apartments.
EVERYTHING together, we might make $110k after tax this year. I assure you, this is far more than the average for my generation cohort for my area, but it is far from making us "rich".
On top of this, we also have 3 kids
(1, 4 & 6). They come with all the time commitments, and costs that it takes to raise a kid (Last year, we spent $21k in childcare/daycare expenses alone, not to mention medical
, clothes, etc)
our butts off to have what we have. Between 2 full time jobs, managing a 17 unit low income
apartment complex, running an airbnb that averages 30% occupancy, rehabbing 2 apartments and raising 3 kids
, we have Zero time, none. I assure you, we (and most of my generation) are NOT lazy, we are not slackers. What we are, is a group of people with absolutely no trust in the future or our long term financial security
. Neither my wife or I have pensions, or secure jobs, so we try our best to set up a few other revenue streams "just in case".
Now, to tie this back into sailing...
My wife and I long to leave this ratrace as we are both very burned out (yes, I know, we are only 33, but we've been going 100% for years) on everything and not getting enough time with our kids. We love watching the youtubers, reading these forums
, and dreaming about someday casting off and enjoying our time instead of just working through it all.
However, there are complications of course...
A boat that can hold my family
of 5, is generally in the 45-55' range. These boats are listed on yatchworld and craigslist for $100-200k (minimum, for a 1980's boat in ok shape) and that doesn't include whatever refit
it would need.
, if we both quit our jobs, we lose health insurance
, obviously. But with 1 kid with severe allergies (has been to the ER 2x in the last year for anaphlactic reactions) we either need to buy super expensive non employer subsidized healthcare, or have a huge emergency
, Best case scenario, We find a fantastic property manager who is able to manage our properties as effectively as we do ourselves and takes 10%. That would leave us with about $4-5k /month income which, from my research is enough to get by on cruising with a family
of 5, but doesn't leave tons left over to continue building any kind of savings.
All in all, we'd need probably $300k to buy a boat, outfit it, and retain enough to have a comfortable emergency
fund/kitty. And that represents another ~3ish years of hard savings, cutting our lifestyles down to the financial bone.
This past June, we purchased a nice Catalina 30
. It's big enough to give us a feel for sailing around as a family, with enough space for everyone to sleep, but small enough to still be cheap
and relatively easy to maintain. it has been fun, and we've enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we'd like to. With the apartments taking up a lot of our weekends, we were only able to get out 1-2x each month, and never for more than 1 night. It was frustrating as this was supposed to be our barometer in how our family took to the water
, and we never really even got to test that.
Without actually casting off, we can only really say that we "THINK" we'd like cruising and that is sounds like a great way to bond as a family while getting away from all that hectic stuff. However, we don't really KNOW if it's for us and there seems to be only 1 way to find out, actually doing it.
But how can we make that decision? Quiet our jobs, take the kids out of school
, move 2000 miles away, and risk >$100k, to hope that this lifestyle works for us? That's a huge huge HUGE risk. And maybe someday we'll try it, but if I'm being honest, realistically we probably wont, there are too many hurtles. I'll continue to read the forums
, watch the youtubers and browse yatchworld, if nothing else that to vicariously enjoy the momentary escape it gives. Again, we hope one day to join those blue water
fleets.... but who knows...
Lastly, My wife and I are both very handy, I've enjoyed doing my own car work
(from changing brakes, to replacing the clutch), we cook as much of our own meals
that we can, we make decent money and STILL live in an apartment just so that we can set ourselves up better for the future. However, we will still eat out when we are working so much we can make a meal at home, I will hire someone to fix my brakes because otherwise I'ds have to do it on my weekend and sacrifice more of the limited time I have with my kids, We hired someone to paint
some rooms in our house for the same reason.
In my experience, millennials DO like doing stuff with their hands (they started the whole craft/artisan movement), They try to be fiscally responsible (they started the AirBNB, Turo, kickstarter, etc movements to try and make some extra side money), and often, if young kid has to hire something out, it's generally either time restricted (like me) or knowledge restricted (few of my peers grew up with fathers that taught them the basics of home & car maintenance
like mine did). I see now reason to fault them for that.
And don't get so down on them for having high college debts. These kids were pushed by thier parents and high school counselors to 1. go to college, everyone has to go to college, and 2. study what you love/like. We all know that those are the best reasons to go to school or choose a major... But how does a young 18 year old know that when it's what everyone told them to do?
Be nice to these folks, they were taken advantage of by cheap government
loans and ridiculously expensive costs, when they were too young to know better. If you can tell me you didn't make stupid mistakes
between the years 17 and 25, I'll be the first to call you liar.
That turned into much more of a ramble than I anticipated when I first started typing, haha. Thanks for reading!