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Old 14-12-2019, 10:21   #31
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I think the biggest factor in the equation is sort of ego related. How do you define yourself? (to yourself and others) Do you think of yourself as a Lawyer or Investment Banker, and that is your self image? If that is the case, you will likely be uncomfortable retiring since you loose your identity in a way.

Kind of hand in hand is knowing whether you feel that you are above disassembling and cleaning a toilet by yourself. Everything breaks on a boat and most jobs are humbling and hard to do. You get dirty and will encounter many opportunities to gag. If you would rather buy a new bicycle than fix a flat tire, don't go cruising.

On the other hand, if you have hobbies, love to learn or really love being in touch with nature, and work was your "employment" which funded your activities and interests, then the loss of income is inconsequential, and the gain in free time to pursue your interests will be rewarding and beneficial.

Ditto on the marriage. If you work to be out of the house and evenings consist of pounding down some drinks, reading, watching TV and other solitary activities to avoid the spouse, I'd think the closeness and unstructured time to spend together would have you unhinged in no time. On the other hand if you and your spouse look forward to leaving work to dine together, respect each other, and share conversations before snuggling up in bed, the extra time will be delightful.

I also think that how you fight, as a couple, is the biggest determining factor of success on board. If either of you fight dirty or let things build up for later, the boat is just too small of a space to survive in. You need good communication, the ability to express how you feel, empathy, and the willingness to accept a difference of opinion.

Crucial is the ability to move on without harboring resentment. Lynn and Larry Pardey speak about their time on-board with honesty. To paraphrase what I think their core mantra was, I boil it down to the intention of making the other person look good. (and feel good)

Attitude and perception is everything. While you can't make someone else "happy" since being happy or not is each person's responsibility in my opinion, making such a life changing decision needs to be made jointly if you want to maintain the relationship.

The key to your original proposal is that you do have the ability to back off of the cruising dream and return to a land life without too many concerns. Given that, I'd evaluate how closely my perceptions of myself are tied to work and if I was willing to shift away from a work life, I'd ask my spouse if he/she is all-in, then go for it.

Try it. If it doesn't work out, return to life as you know it or try another plan. Life is what we make of it. It is your choice and there are no guarantees. Sometimes you just don't know until you test yourself.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 14-12-2019, 10:30   #32
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I retired at 59 this summer and took off ,,wondering why I didn’t do it 5 years earlier life is short so don’t wait until tommorow it may never come!!
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Old 14-12-2019, 10:41   #33
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

We hit some of your criteria, and found the biggest change is going from “0-60 in five minutes at work on Friday” to “Retired at 5 knots on Monday.” It was a little discombobulating and took a few months to transition into the new mindset. If you defined your life by what you did in the office, it might take longer. I now do a bit of consulting (on site) which fills the kitty and reminds me of why I retired.
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:06   #34
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Imho, the biggest deal is whether the wife is all in or not.

It's probably somewhere in the archives here, but a few years back, there was a catamaran for sale in Panama. As I recall, it was a situation where the couple bought their dream boat -- with little experience, as newbies often do. They lacked the desire to maintain it themselves, as well as the knowledge, and their practical experience was limited (white collar vs. blue collar work experience). They had been dismayed by how long it takes to have others service your boat, and waiting on others to finish jobs. Even minor jobs means being detained in marinas, waiting for people to arrive, to finish jobs. It is different if both of your are doing the work, then you're involved in the process, but if all you're doing is overseeing, with no real control over them, it can be very frustrating.

If this sort of thing happens repeatedly (and apparently it had for the couple in question) it erodes the pleasure of exploring new places. Particularly, if you're both essentially city folk, there is an adjustment period while values shift, or don't. In the case above, I believe they retained the marital relationship, but lost the boat and dream.

***

Somebody upstream wrote, be prepared to gag. Someone i know quite well, their boat was dismasted during a gale. That very morning, after their rig had been cut away, there was a toilet blockage, and they tried to force the pump, with the result that dilute fecal matter sprayed all over the toilet and surrounding area. Imagine the guts it took for the skipper to come out and tell his wife she couldn't use the area till he could get it clean for her? Did she offer to help? How would such a situation affect yourself and your wife? In a sense, it will be how the two of you negotiate difficult issues that will define the success of cruising for you.

I am among the people here on the forum who generally try to encourage people to go cruising, and recently have begun to think people should not be encouraged at all. You either have the gumption to make it happen or not. The unilateral decision to go can cost you your relationship and future relationships with grandchildren not yet born. Imho, both partners need to be flexible.

Good luck with it. It is not the financial details of the arrangement, but the interpersonal ones that are at the center of the success or not of the endeavour.

Ann
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:10   #35
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

My wife retired from the Army with 20yrs at 38 yrs of age. I stayed in for 35yrs and change. We saved her retirement for 15 years and also invested some of it. She went to school and got an electricians license, then went to trucking school and became an over the road trucker for a number of years. Long story short, we both get a nice retirement from Uncle Sam and we pay cash for everything - no dept what so ever. We made a goal for ourselves and never took our eyes off it.



Our present boat we paid cash for and the new Hunter we're getting will be payed for also. We've always loved sailing and traveling, so here we are now.
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:20   #36
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Read their book and call them
TwoCanSail, Couples Cruising, Buyers Brokers, Consultants and Surveyors
Their motto is take the drama out of the dream and they really know how
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:23   #37
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol1970 View Post
...or worse yet end up divorced...I can't imagine that being us, but I would imagine most people were like that starting out.
I couldn't imagine it either. Until it happened.
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:35   #38
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Here are some thoughts and experiences that may or may not help you.
I have “retired” many times… I work ships and mega yachts. Most of the time I really loved the work, pays well and can be a bunch of fun. Depending on the Yacht owner and the shipping company.

I would take a year or so off, go cruising on my own boat, and when opportunity or need came around I would go back to work.

In the off times I am a day trader. I have found day trading to be the easiest way to make money. It is also the easiest way to lose money. You are trading on other people’s emotions (fear and greed), and if you get fearful or greedy, other people take your money.

A couple of things about people retiring and sailing off into the sunset:

1. You hear stories all the time of someone who retired, had bought a boat, spent a ton of time and money outfitting her, then something happens to them, stroke or heart attack or some other debilitating illness. If you truly want to go cruising, go now.

2. You see news articles where people set off their epirb and the rescue photo of their boat shows she is sitting on her lines, sails furled, seas relatively flat. They get frightened and they see safety as just a button push away. And this happens to good sailors, look at Blondi Hasler’s Jester. More than a few times I have been rough weather and talked to people near (within 50 miles) either on the SSB or sometimes VHF) and they would pay ANYTHING to get off the boat. Fear can do you in (more than the ocean) if you let it.

Your partner has to love it as much or more than you do. Otherwise you are doomed. I have met a number of couples where the man and a few buddies sail the boat and when they arrive the wife flies in. You want someone who loves it, not puts up with it.

But you never know until you try.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Florida is full of people who wanted to do something exciting in their life but wanted to wait until they could afford it or it was ‘safe’.

Good luck!

M
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:56   #39
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I think in the end, it's more about the memories than the money. The richest things in life are free, so I try to keep that in mind.
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:01   #40
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Met my wife at 50 and we both owned our own successful companies. After three years together we both retired and bought a 40’ trawler. We’ve been on board over 100 days every year cruising the inside passage from Seattle to Skagway and we have no regrets. We still love our property and enjoy boating and being at home. Neither of us miss our jobs a bit!
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:19   #41
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

We did it a little differently. I walked away from a tenured teaching position at 45 and went cruising with my wife on a modest sailboat for five years. At 50, I went back to teaching, as an adjunct/contract lecturer for the next ten years and then properly retired.


Walking away from tenure was a serious hit as the pension disappeared, but no regrets. Ocean sailing is best when you're young and hungry for seeing the world. And strong, too. Now in my mid-sixties, we still own a boat and cruise in the summers, but no longer crave the sort of fulltime liveaboard world cruising that we did 20 years ago. Glad we did it then, wouldn't change a thing.


My advice to anyone contemplating going cruising would be to go once you have established yourself well enough in your career to be able to come back to it. The advantage of breaking it up is not only that you will enjoy cruising more at a younger age but that coming back again to your career, you will be revitalized and enjoy it much more than if you had not taken the mid-career break.


I'd guess that fear of not being able to come back to one's career is probably one of the biggest issues for folks who wait till retirement to go cruising.
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:21   #42
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

In reply to the OP:

We meet all of your bullet points except the per annum.

I was a chemical engineer, my wife an insurance agent. We have owned sail and motor boats since we married in 1973. We were both retired at age 53 in 2004. Neither of us have had any regrets nor have we made any effort to find paid employment since. In the fall of 2004 my wife developed an infection in her neck, and we dealt with hospitals and DNR orders. With surgery and antibiotics she recovered completely, and we immediately bought a cruising sailboat with thoughts of long distance travel. Our two daughter's weddings, the births of grandchildren, and deaths of parents all interfered, and we revised that plan. We have made twelve trips from North Carolina to the Bahamas in the boat (Irish Eyes to the Bahamas ). Away from the boat, I have taken the time to section hike the entire Appalachian Trail, and my wife has seriously spoiled the five grandchildren. We both do charity work. We still have our house, the cars, and other toys, but we spend five or six continuous months a year aboard the boat. My wife is my best friend, she was my high school girlfriend, and this life of half ashore and half afloat is one we both want to have and both enjoy. As long as it remains fun we will continue.

Bill
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:25   #43
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

My husband got bored with cruising after three years, and went back to a previous job. I wish we'd never left the boat. He'll retire for the last time in about three years, but now he doesn't want to be on the boat full-time. So we'll stay in Europe and sail during the summer.

Maje
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:49   #44
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ol1970 View Post
Just curious if there are any people out there in this camp with wisdom to provide:

- Retired 55 or earlier - meaning zero paid work, only living on investments
- Highly compensated in their profession (arbitrarily picking $250k or higher)
- Enjoyed their career, loved their work/people
- Substantial assets that allow for a comfortable life at sea
- Paid for boat, no other debt
- Meaning $100k or much greater budget that is not a stretch
- Means to transition back to land life no problem
- Ability to park the boat and take a 3 month break or greater
- Married happily with no underlying issues (basically extremely happy already)

We aren't planning on leaving in the next year or two, just enjoying life right now at what I'd call a very low stress pace. I do read about couples who've gone and failed, or worse yet end up divorced...I can't imagine that being us, but I would imagine most people were like that starting out.

So with that, anybody regret going, regret walking away from a gig that you enjoyed. Any marital tips for the cruisers to be?

Also, I understand this is the internet and people like to say shitty things, but I've interacted with some great people on this forum and legitimately looking for people who have blazed the trail before us and what they might be able to share.
To be frank I don't think you are going to find many who have truly regretted their cruising on this forum...if they gave up cruising they will most likely not follow this forum.

Regarding cruising couples, your not going to find out how compatible you are at sea until you get there. There are as many reasons couples don't work out at sea as there are couples. Get started small to find out.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:59   #45
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Re: Any early retirees turnerd cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneCrab View Post
I think the biggest factor in the equation is sort of ego related. How do you define yourself? (to yourself and others) Do you think of yourself as a Lawyer or Investment Banker, and that is your self image? If that is the case, you will likely be uncomfortable retiring since you loose your identity in a way.

Kind of hand in hand is knowing whether you feel that you are above disassembling and cleaning a toilet by yourself. Everything breaks on a boat and most jobs are humbling and hard to do. You get dirty and will encounter many opportunities to gag. If you would rather buy a new bicycle than fix a flat tire, don't go cruising.

On the other hand, if you have hobbies, love to learn or really love being in touch with nature, and work was your "employment" which funded your activities and interests, then the loss of income is inconsequential, and the gain in free time to pursue your interests will be rewarding and beneficial.

Ditto on the marriage. If you work to be out of the house and evenings consist of pounding down some drinks, reading, watching TV and other solitary activities to avoid the spouse, I'd think the closeness and unstructured time to spend together would have you unhinged in no time. On the other hand if you and your spouse look forward to leaving work to dine together, respect each other, and share conversations before snuggling up in bed, the extra time will be delightful.

I also think that how you fight, as a couple, is the biggest determining factor of success on board. If either of you fight dirty or let things build up for later, the boat is just too small of a space to survive in. You need good communication, the ability to express how you feel, empathy, and the willingness to accept a difference of opinion.

Crucial is the ability to move on without harboring resentment. Lynn and Larry Pardey speak about their time on-board with honesty. To paraphrase what I think their core mantra was, I boil it down to the intention of making the other person look good. (and feel good)

Attitude and perception is everything. While you can't make someone else "happy" since being happy or not is each person's responsibility in my opinion, making such a life changing decision needs to be made jointly if you want to maintain the relationship.

The key to your original proposal is that you do have the ability to back off of the cruising dream and return to a land life without too many concerns. Given that, I'd evaluate how closely my perceptions of myself are tied to work and if I was willing to shift away from a work life, I'd ask my spouse if he/she is all-in, then go for it.

Try it. If it doesn't work out, return to life as you know it or try another plan. Life is what we make of it. It is your choice and there are no guarantees. Sometimes you just don't know until you test yourself.

Best of luck to you.

StoneCrab - this is a great post. Really captures the bottom line...
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