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Old 23-11-2020, 02:48   #391
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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I have a friend who is firefighter and is in her own element when running into the building on fire - comfortable with her skills, training and experience. I guess its similar to flying a wide body jet, or being a cardiac surgeon. You've gotta have an over abundance of confidence to do the job well. Which might just be enough to suppress any sense of stress.


I think that’s just right, that if someone is fortunate enough to have the proper training and has an aptitude for that sort of work, they gradually build confidence as they gain experience and become very comfortable in that environment. I note that all 3 of the jobs you mention have in common that when they go home at the end of the day there are no or few loose ends to worry about. But a businessman or an attorney and many other stressful jobs have multiple ongoing issues to worry about all the time so they really have no time off where they can avoid thinking about their responsibilities. Even when on vacation they know the issues they’re involved in at work are ongoing and they will soon be right back at it. A few lucky folks seem to have a switch to turn off the worry at the end of the day but lots of upper level managers seem to have a hard time with it and I know I would. I feel like I was lucky to work in an area where at the end of the day my job was done for better or worse (since I was still alive and the plane undamagrd, better) so there was nothing to be stressed about.

But it is a bit difficult to suddenly no longer be involved in an activity that you feel very comfortable with and have taken part in for almost as long as you can remember. But I always knew that mandatory retirement age was looming just ahead so I’d have to get used to it sometime. Covid just moved that date up a bit because the airline made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and also the job suddenly changed for the worse and is unlikely to recover completely until after covid is no longer a worry for the public. Even if I’m not worried about catching it myself, what fun is it to travel when nobody else is and most restaurants are closed so you can’t even go out to get a decent meal at the end of the day? So for me it felt like it was time to go and I am acutely aware that there are so many others whose livelihoods have been much more negatively impacted than my relatively trivial impact of retiring a year and a half earlier than I’d planned. All in all, I feel like I was VERY lucky, especially compared to so many others who this covid pandemic have made them unable to support their families or have lost loved ones due to it.
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Old 23-11-2020, 08:29   #392
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

This thread has been thought provoking. My wife and I retired 20 years ago, me at 53 and my wife at 50. I had been a mid-level corporate executive in oil and gas seismic exploration companies, then a partner in a start up seismic exploration company. We went bankrupt after 18 months. Career change to software development and started my own software company producing earth imaging software. In 2001 we were bought out by a giant multi-national and I signed a 6 year non-compete as part of the sale agreement. The non-compete was iron clad and without this, I don’t think that I could have retired. I loved the challenges and excitement of the exploration business. How do you go from 100 mph (no stress of course) to a dead zero, overnight? Under the terms of my non-compete, I couldn’t (for example) pump gas for a living or work as a greeter at Wal-Mart. When I read that Americans don’t know how to kick back and relax, I assume the writer (apologies if I am wrong) was not pulling a couple of hundred $Ks per year in a “no stress” job.

A familiar theme running through this thread has been the person who retired, bought a boat, wife hated it, sold the boat and went back to work. Or tried playing golf for two months before going back to work. Or fly-fishing for six weeks etc. Or simply dropped dead a couple of months after retirement, as did my grandfather. The point is that high achievers can’t expect to hit the brakes in a crash stop without finding the baggage and chickens in the front seat with you.

My wife of now 50 years marriage said, “Why don’t we buy a boat and go sailing”. We were living in the mountains of New Mexico at the time and had no sailing experience. We took a one week sailing course in the Grenadines, followed by a one week bare boat charter and a second one week navigation course out of Florida. We then bought a 2001 Amel Super Maramu and set off around the world on a six year circumnavigation. In the 18 months between our retirement date and our departure, we had gathered spare parts, tools, medical kits, installed an SSB radio, got Ham licensed, got scuba open water certification, researched, researched and researched food, visas, regulations, weather, pilot charts and so on. The next 6 years were a fantastic experience, never to be forgotten. My brilliant wife had determined that I needed to have a retirement project to occupy and exercise my brain. Goal oriented people need to have a goal. Just getting a boat and messing about on the Gulf Coast is the kiss of death. A lee shore with no real place to go is a guaranteed formula for boredom.

After 6 years of circumnavigating we sold the Amel, bought a used motor home in the USA and then a year or so later, sold it and spent ten months messing around in Australia in a well used airport shuttle bus that had been converted to a motor home. Next was an ex-charter power catamaran that we messed around in the Caribbean with. My latest project was to buy a Cape Dory 28 sloop last year and sail her 1,250 miles from Florida to Puerto Rico.

Do I regret retiring early? No way! With the exception of a couple of years of hard times, I had always enjoyed working in the Geophysical business, however my wife and I have had many truly awesome experiences during the past 20 years since we retired. My advice to anyone considering early retirement is to set yourself some long term challenging goals. Doesn’t have to be climbing Everest. Just something to stir up the brain cells. In the 1983 movie, “Never Cry Wolf”, the bush pilot played by Brian Dennehy proclaims that the problem with society today is “Boredom”. He poses the question, “How do you beat boredom?” -- and his answer, “Adventure!”
Ed
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Old 23-11-2020, 09:06   #393
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by edmundsteele View Post
This thread has been thought provoking. and his answer, “Adventure!”
Ed
Ed,
Great story. Two questions which play into my own thinking.
Did you sell off all land based possessions or maintain a house?
Do you have kids and how did you handle the family matters?
Lucky man.
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Old 23-11-2020, 11:14   #394
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

We were fortunate to be able to keep the house in New Mexico. The cruising season for a circumnavigation wherein you actually visit places - as opposed to say the Vendee non-stop race, is typically the six months opposite “hurricane season”. Except when you cross the equator and the seasons reverse. Then the “cruising season” may extend to 12 months. Most circumnavigations will involve two equator crossings but for all other years, you will need to decide on whether to camp out someplace on the boat for six months at a time, until the end of hurricane / cyclone season, or fly home and let the cat out. If you have sold everything then you can destroy all your relationships with friends and relatives by staying with them for weeks at a time or alternatively, if you are fortunate enough, to return to your own place.

Our three kids were all grown, two married and all into their careers when we left. The killer for circumnavigators are the grandkids, because the rear-admiral will typically lose all interest in sailing after the first baby shows up. This condition lasts about 4 years and then you can go sailing again. At the same time that the grandkids arrived, we had senior problems with my wife’s ageing parent. That’s really why we sold the Amel and went motor-homing for several years before buying another boat.
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Old 23-11-2020, 11:20   #395
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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I really wish you hadn't shared that, but I managed to shut it down inside 7 seconds. .... So I should be ok!
I could not turn it off....

In fact, I played the Bilbo Baggins song on the 65 inch TV for my wife's benefit. Cranked up the volume too.

Why, oh Why did Nimoy "sing" that song?

The real horror was not Bilbo Baggins but what YouTube showed me next...



Enjoy.



WHAT, WHAT, WHAT were they thinking? WHY? WHY? WHY?

Later,
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Old 24-11-2020, 09:55   #396
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by edmundsteele View Post
This thread has been thought provoking.

My wife of now 50 years marriage said, “Why don’t we buy a boat and go sailing”.

-- and his answer, “Adventure!”
Ed
Yes, yes and YES!!
Thanks for bringing an experienced (and honest/positive) voice to the thread and GOOD ON YOU!!!

I often wonder if much of the reason we've been having such a good time for the past 10years since retiring (and by "retiring" I mean running away with no financial plan whatsoever) is because it was all her idea.

I thought she was absolutely mad, crazy, insane and at one point I'm pretty sure I only agreed just to be able to have the "I told you so" conversation later on when the whole thing went down in flames.

Turns out she's a magical genius.

If I put my foot down and said no, I have zero doubt I would have died many years ago of a heart attack still sitting behind a desk at a job I hated every single day, but without ever having a single fear in terms of money/retirement (if I actually made it long enough for that to even matter).

Instead, I've spent every day for the past 10 years feeling like I'm on borrowed time, started life over implicitly happy and loving it all more than I ever thought was possible.

I am brutally aware that I could have spent the rest of my (likely short) life back home stressed out about whether I would have money left for a retirement I was never likely to see.

Now, we live each day to the fullest and could give a @%$# about money or what happens next because we couldn't possibly feel more alive or want for anything more than what we have today.

Oh... and the irony about that whole money fear - sure, it happens. We've run out of money a few times now... but we figured it out, and we made more and if it happens again we'll make more again.
Oddly, money is far less a concern now, 10 years since a paycheck than its ever been in our lives.

The captain (aka the magical genius of a wife) still repeats this to me every time we have a decision to make
"What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?"

And if anyone reading is making major life decisions, I'd strongly suggest you ask yourself the same question.
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Old 24-11-2020, 11:59   #397
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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I am brutally aware that I could have spent the rest of my (likely short) life back home stressed out about whether I would have money left for a retirement I was never likely to see.

Now, we live each day to the fullest and could give a @%$# about money or what happens next because we couldn't possibly feel more alive or want for anything more than what we have today.
It sounds like you didn't know how to handle the stress you say you were under at your desk job.

You have to learn ways to deal with the stress.

You are lucky though that all you have to support is yourself whereas many of us support family in need.

The nice thing though is that sometimes those of us still working get lucky and have jobs in areas where some cruisers long to be so it all evens out, and we get to sleep in an apartment or home rather than on a boat.

I would say just be careful with early retirement if you are used to being really busy and having lots of challenges to deal with on a daily basis.

I also think to stop your working life too early could possibly put a damper on your later years when you really are retired simply because you have gotten to a certain age where you can no longer perform as you once could.

This could be the age where you can better handle the slower, simpler lifestyle of cruising....
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Old 24-11-2020, 12:40   #398
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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It sounds like you didn't know how to handle the stress you say you were under at your desk job.

You have to learn ways to deal with the stress.
Thanks for your concern, but I don't actually... I already figured it out.

Instead of filling the 4 prescriptions the doctor handed me when he told me on was on my way to dying from a massive heart attack... I went home and committed to the wife that I was all-in for her crazy plan of leaving it all behind to chase our happiness.

Problem solved!

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You are lucky though that all you have to support is yourself whereas many of us support family in need.
Wow... I sincerely hope you don't tell your family that you're "unlucky" to have them.
It's not luck friend. We all make our choices and each choice comes with pros and cons... that's how this game of life works.

But... if what you're trying to say/hint at is that we are only able to be out here early because we don't have a family - that's just false.
I know because I'm looking across the bay at several families out here with us.

And I'm pretty sure they wouldn't blame that on luck either as I know most of their stories and they worked their asses off to get here the same as we did.

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The nice thing though is that sometimes we get lucky and have jobs in areas where some cruisers long to be so it all evens out and we get to sleep in an apartment rather than on a boat.
Again not luck.
You chose to live there... but again you misunderstand the term "cruisers".
Cruisers choose to not be in any one place even if you're home town happens to be on the water. We cruisers choose to live in a way that allows us to move from place to place.

Also... while you've been quite clear that sailing some days but returning to shore each night so you can sleep in an apartment is perfect/preferred for YOU... it's not perfect for others (like the OP and others here specifically asking/dreaming about cruising), which is why they choose to live on a boat and leave that shore behind - and take their bed with them.

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I would say just be careful with early retirement if you are used to being really busy and having lots of challenges to deal with on a daily basis.
There it is!
You just physically can't make it through a response on here without spreading negativity or wishing/hoping something negative on someone else even though you've physically never been out here to see for yourself.

You've admitted to having never been cruising and knowing nothing first-hand about what it takes to live and cruise on a boat, the amount of work to do and the number activities at your beck and call on a daily basis.

Instead, you constantly try to spread these fear warnings/rumors that everyone is going to retire early and be bored simply because you have a personal fear that you would be. I know, I know... you "met a cruiser once who..." but until you can speak from actual experience why not just let those who had those experiences share them?

Yes, I am used to being very busy. I still am.
Most of us out here are (very few got here by sitting in a lazy-boy trolling forums) and you know what... most of us would tell that were in fact far busier, far more challenged and FAR HAPPIER than we've ever been!!!
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Old 24-11-2020, 12:45   #399
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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The nice thing though is that sometimes those of us still working get lucky and have jobs in areas where some cruisers long to be so it all evens out, and we get to sleep in an apartment or home rather than on a boat.
Sigh...

You just don't get it, Thomm... we MUCH prefer to be sleeping (and cooking and reading and internetting and problem solving and learning and...) on a boat. That's why we are where we are. We don't long to be ashore, and generally dislike it when the forces of evil cause us to be stuck there.

You keep judging our activities by your own desires, and it is abundantly clear that you do not desire to be a full time cruiser. Some of us really, really do... and early retirement has allowed us to do so.

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Old 24-11-2020, 12:48   #400
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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On my regular sail across the lower 20 miles of Chesapeake Bay, I'm out of site of land.

Also when I raced beach cats, we sailed to islands about 15 miles off shore and again out of site of land.

The thing is though, I have VHF so out of site of land doesn't really mean much these days.

In the 70's I didn't have a radio, charts, or a compass on my 14' V boat aluminum boat so when I would be out near Tangier which is 15 miles offshore I/we were totally on our own and had to depend on the old 25 HP Evinrude to get us home ......but at 17 years old you are fearless anyway so it was no big dea



200 miles offshore is when you join the big boy cruiser's club I'd say but as a non-cruiser I haven't done that yet.

My first goal though will be the Dry Tortugas. Not 200 miles offshore but offshore never the less. A friend of mine sailed down there and said he enjoyed it. He sailed from our dock in Pensacola on his Cape Dory 30C in the late 1990's.

Anyone here think that the Chesapeake is "offshore", other than Thom? Same question regarding beach cats.



As someone who started sailing and cruisingin the early days of technology (my autopilot was a piece of string leading from the wheel to my big toe), I enjoyed adding the new devices as they came out. I enjoyed the technology and the way it made sailing safer, and, yes, easier. But, to this day, I still believe the most fun I had sailing was when I had very few devices, and that piece of string. However, all those devices made sailing offshore, most of it singlehanded, a much safer proposition. That I learned...OFFSHORE! Outside the sight or smell of land.
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Old 24-11-2020, 12:50   #401
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

“But back in my beach cat days long ago i was a real cruiser. Now days I still go out 20 miles once in a while on the weekend. I know what cruising is, and what are doing isn’t a cruising. ”

Just figured I would summarize.
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Old 24-11-2020, 13:23   #402
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

So another quote for going...
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

By John O’Donohue
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Old 24-11-2020, 13:24   #403
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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“But back in my beach cat days long ago i was a real cruiser. Now days I still go out 20 miles once in a while on the weekend. I know what cruising is, and what are doing isn’t a cruising. ”

Just figured I would summarize.
Yeah... I used to jog around town when I was younger.
I was the best in the neighborhood... and trust me, back then running was running. Always uphill and always barefoot... like running was meant to be.

I've been thinking recently maybe I'll join a forum for long-distance runners and tell people why they shouldn't train for marathons based upon the shin splints I once heard somebody else got one time when they ran past my neighborhood.

I mean... I really hate the way running shoes feel on my feet, so I figure somebody has to get out there and save all those poor people who have always dreamed of running the Boston Marathon because clearly they're all gonna hate it, even if they finish - which they clearly won't.

Besides even if I decided I wanted to jog again someday, all these fitbits and heart monitors and newfangled shoes have basically made marathons boring and anybody can do them... so what's the use, I'll probably just keep working instead - but I'm definitely joining that forum!
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Old 24-11-2020, 14:40   #404
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Yeah... I used to jog around town when I was younger.
I was the best in the neighborhood... and trust me, back then running was running. Always uphill and always barefoot... like running was meant to be.
Sounds to me like you needed an onion on your belt, it was the style at the time dontcha know.
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Old 24-11-2020, 15:15   #405
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Sounds to me like you needed an onion on your belt, it was the style at the time dontcha know.

And garlic cloves to keep the vampires off. Also works for cougars when doing a Hash and arriving at a pub where they’re on the prowl.
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