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Old 02-01-2021, 12:37   #631
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
The list is a guess of why people who failed at cruising, ie, did not like it.

People who bought a boat, took it out, got into a storm, or one passage, returned to a marina and put the boat up for sale. The list is for those who failed and thus would be negative. If it was positive, they would still be out there.

The list is not for people who cruised and accomplished their goals.

Later,
Dan
I think that storm thing could be a reason for some, but for many, that would have been motivation and a learning experience to continue.

I think its more along the lines, for those of us that are used to being totally active, of all the slow time at anchor or a marina that's involved in full time cruising unless you are really set to sail RTW or continually sailing as much as possible.

The CF "cruising" posters are another good example. You can see some of them prep to cruise with lots of posts then actually retire, sail or motor a few miles, then end up at a marina for months on end doing very little but posting on CF.

My plan was to retire way early but after spending years on the Gulf Coast observing cruisers, I realized that I can do all that at a much later age but still enjoy sailing/cruising locally now as long as I lived closed to a good sailing area which has actually happened.

Another problem is folks have very little knowledge of what living or being on a sailboat is like before they actually start doing it. There are even some cruiser that have been known to complain about things like big wakes and halyard noise.

These are things those of us that grew up around and have spent lots of time on the water already know. It's such a common occurrence most folks don't even bring it up.

So to retire early ready to cruise the world only to end up at a marina for 6 months after only sailing 3 could be a problem for some that thought cruising was going to be totally exhilarating all the time as compared to life onshore.

The slowness of it could be a problem for some.
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Old 02-01-2021, 13:40   #632
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I “retired” early at age 53 or so. I read some and talked to others about it. I could never have imagined the change in my lifestyle. It is more “difficult “ than I would have ever imagined. Many of us get conditioned to a very active ret race type of life, highly focused and efficient. Now while I can chill better than many, it’s a major transition to lose that structure. It takes real discipline to adjust well. If sailing was not already a passion it might be very difficult to adjust to the pace. It is also hard to truly cut the bonds of a land existence regardless. Our complex lives aren’t easy to drop.

I don’t regret early retirement for a minute. No one ever died saying they wished that they had spent more time at work.
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Old 02-01-2021, 16:16   #633
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Having talked to several people that tried “ cruising “ ( however you determine what that means ) , and given up, the reasons are myriad. Often they’ll blame money , when it’s all personal relations issues etc. I don’t it’s easily analyzed

From my conversations I’d say the Most common one is the women , whose is typically following the dream , rather then promoting it , tends to simply get fed up living on a boat, after that it’s where they got a “ fright “ , once or twice it was because collectively they had a very bad experience.

It’s very varied

But I have to say, I’ve never heard anyone say they gave up sailing because they preferred to Go back to work
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:45   #634
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by dannc View Post
What would be very interesting to know is WHY cruisers were not successful.

My guesses would be some combination of:
  • Not enough sailing skills
  • Not enough skills repairing things that break
  • Running out of money, aka, not budgeting correctly
  • Maybe not giving it enough time to adjust to living on a boat
  • Finding out they can't tolerate living in a small space
  • Finding out they can't tolerate spending 24 hours with their spouse
  • Finding out they can't tolerate spending 24 hours with their spouse while living in a small space

Later,
Dan
To add to these
1. Getting tired of the amount of work to keep a cruising boat running in areas without easy access to parts. I'm fine fixing something that breaks. Not bad at fixing again when it breaks. Get pretty fussy the third time it gives way.
2. Tired of getting soaked in the dingy on the way back from lugging groceries through the midday heat.
3. Family and grandkids are calling.
4. Health and physical issues
5. Tired of having your life ruled by the weather.

I don't any cruisers who got into weather and then decided to quit. They often change goals and maybe limit future passages. It is more the day to day hardships that get people out of cruising.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:06   #635
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Having talked to several people that tried “ cruising “ ( however you determine what that means ) , and given up, the reasons are myriad. Often they’ll blame money , when it’s all personal relations issues etc. I don’t it’s easily analyzed

From my conversations I’d say the Most common one is the women , whose is typically following the dream , rather then promoting it , tends to simply get fed up living on a boat, after that it’s where they got a “ fright “ , once or twice it was because collectively they had a very bad experience.

It’s very varied

But I have to say, I’ve never heard anyone say they gave up sailing because they preferred to Go back to work
A big one I have seen for reasons to stop cruising, is simply health. I've seen it close up now. A lot of people wait until the very end of their lives to actually do it, and then find that they simply aren't physically capable of the rigors that go along with it, or due to old age, or illness that simply overtakes them.

When I think about how much money I wasted anyway in my twenties, I wish I had done what so many of these kids are doing now. Go cruising on a poverty budget, at an age where you don't mind living like that, have that fun and adventure, and then just get on the gerbil wheel at thirty or so.

Four of my friends and I took a short two week cruise to the Bahamas, when I was 29. I didn't want to come back. But, I was firmly on the gerbil wheel. I had just bought a house two years before. Had two new cars (and they payments that went with them) had a good job as an assistant district attorney, and I had a Cape Dory 25D tied up at the local marina (that I had bought the day I was hired).

Like another guy here, I had convinced myself that my weekend and occasional week long sails in it, were the apex of sailing. That two week trip, sailing in the ocean, seeing islands with beautiful beaches, where no one else was around, meeting people who lived on the other islands. Catching 21 lobsters in two weeks, and tons of other fish. Having to navigate through all this pre-GPS, and enjoying the heck out of the challenge. Getting in some serious weather coming over (we crossed the gulf stream in a norther because we were short for time and didn't want to wait) and finding out what real bad weather was.

All of that made me realize I was doing the wrong kind of sailing for me back home. I knew I needed to be out there. And, then worse, realizing that I was firmly concreted in place in the working world already. I still pitched it to my wife (she and the other wives had declined to make the trip in the first place), though, several times, and she just wasn't ready to give it all up to go do that. We had lived like paupers through college, and law school, and she was really enjoying our new decadent lifestyle and the stuff that two Yuppie incomes bought. And, who could blame her?

We ended up getting divorced ten years after that and it wasn't a big fight, it was just the realization that we were two people who had married young, and had found out that we both had very different, but neither one wrong, ideas on what life should be like. We had been unable to have children, so they didn't factor in at all.

So, free, but now working on a good pension payoff, and not willing to give up the time I already had in, I tucked that desire under my hat and went on at on it until I was 52. Again, trapped not by the lack of money, but the lure of more of it.

Oh, in the meantime, I sailed a lot. I lived in Annapolis from 1995 through 2004 and explored a lot of the Chesapeake, which is an interesting place to boat (when it's not too damn cold, which is a lot of the time!), and I moved fromm there to south Florida, which is a lot more interesting place (and always warm!) and was able to make several boating trips to the Bahamas from there. But, it still wasn't the cruising lifestyle I wanted.

Finally, at 52, the pension was mine. I'd be leaving at the height of my earning potential, and giving up the highest salary I had ever earned. There was an equal division of horror and admiration among my friends and family. One of my closest friends (who had sailed with me in the Bahamas, and was just a year older than me), strongly counseled me to wait until I reached , mandatory retirement at 57, and make another 3/4 million dollars. He died at 60 of a massive heart attack, sitting by his boat, beside his house, a couple of years ago. At his funeral, his wife confided to me that he had always wanted to go cruising (they had taken several week and two weeks trips down to the Keys and even to the Bahamas, but they owned a hardware sales business that just would not allow them to abandon it for more than a few short weeks at a time.

I had advantages. I was single and I was able to a check for the boat I wanted out of my savings. Got it exactly the way I wanted it by working on it for six months, found a kindred spirit. Put in my retirement papers and left.

And, it was everything I thought it would be. We had intended to blow through the Bahamas and keep heading south. I wanted to recreate the voyage of Carlton Mitchell and his yawl Finnistere, fifty years before, whose voyage I had read of and dreamed of since being a child. But, once we got to the Bahamas, we enjoyed it so much, we just never left. Two years later, we had to stop and come home, not because we wanted to, but because of a family issue that absolutely required our personal attention. The kind that come up and that that you can't predict.

As soon as that situation was done, we took off again, and it was even better this time, again for two years, again in the Bahamas, and then unexpected health problems with my wife forced us to come back again. We're dealing with those right now, and trying to figure out at the young age of 62, if we are going to be able to return to the life. Her doctor says no. Her disease, which will not kill her, will make it almost impossible for her to walk as it progresses. The boat awaits, sitting at the dock, ready to go again. We have plenty of money. Our IRA is brimming full. What we ran out of, was time.

I want to go again so bad that I think of it daily. My wife and I talk about it as the best times of our lives. I thank God, we didn't wait until 62 or later to decide to do it.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:46   #636
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Health problems of our loved ones have a way of popping up when we least expect them to.

This happened to us in 2014, and we have been dealing with it ever since which is one of the reasons I have an apartment and a house. (and an old cruising sailboat)

The "lucky" ? thing was I hadn't already bought my newer, bigger boat before this happened.

As far as massive heart attacks and health problems of age, you/we have to try to stay as healthy as possible especially for those age 50 and Up. I'm mid 60's.

If you cannot run, walk. If you have trouble walking, ride your bike. If you cannot lift heavy weights, lift light ones. Also stretch. Watch your diet choices.

I haven't done my 2-3 mile jog lately but did hike 4 miles on Saturday with a pack, cycled through the woods on Wednesday for about an hour, and walked 3 miles on Thursday.

Also, if you are lucky enough to live near a large lake, Bay, or the ocean you can enjoy sailing/ cruising locally there. You don't need to go to the "islands" to enjoy it.

I think a person needs maybe 3-5 years to really get used to a place then it becomes same ole same.

When I got to the Florida Gulf Coast in the mid-90's with it's beautiful white beaches, Caribbean blue/green water, and great sailing weather for almost 9 months out of the year, I thought I'd never want to leave. (I was 39 years old when I arrived there ......with two beach cats!)

Later though you realize that you miss the seasons, the beauty of Fall and Winter, and then of seeing the rebirth of Spring.

Also, it gets hot as hell in July and August along the Gulf Coast. I was there a little over 12 years and got to have an early view of what my retirement plan was. I got to see those that were older cruising which taught me a lot.

Because of this, there is no hurry to retire early. You have to live now where you are not wait and you don't need to retire to live life to it's fullest.

Btw before moving to the Gulf Coast I sailed/raced on several different lakes land locked in Tennessee and Northern Mississippi and it was very enjoyable even though I grew up along the Atlantic/Chesapeake Bay Coasts.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:24   #637
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
To add to these
1. Getting tired of the amount of work to keep a cruising boat running in areas without easy access to parts. I'm fine fixing something that breaks. Not bad at fixing again when it breaks. Get pretty fussy the third time it gives way.
2. Tired of getting soaked in the dingy on the way back from lugging groceries through the midday heat.
3. Family and grandkids are calling.
4. Health and physical issues
5. Tired of having your life ruled by the weather.

I don't any cruisers who got into weather and then decided to quit. They often change goals and maybe limit future passages. It is more the day to day hardships that get people out of cruising.
I think those are many reasons why people have to leave cruising but I would not view those issues as making their attempt at cruising unsuccessful. Number 3 and 4 I would think are the big issues that end cruising, or at least the ones with the most weight when making the decision to return to land, and that would be the end of a successful cruising lifestyle.

We know two women who ended their cruising life due to issues with the partners on the boat. But does that count as a successful or unsuccessful end to the lifestyle? One of the women is still traveling and "cruising" but on land. She travels around the world house sitting, so in effect, she is still "cruising," just not by boat.

Later,
Dan
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:44   #638
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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I “retired” early at age 53 or so. I read some and talked to others about it. I could never have imagined the change in my lifestyle. It is more “difficult “ than I would have ever imagined. Many of us get conditioned to a very active ret race type of life, highly focused and efficient. Now while I can chill better than many, it’s a major transition to lose that structure. It takes real discipline to adjust well.

... Our complex lives aren’t easy to drop.
Once upon a time, well in the last century, (I love to say that. ) I worked for a very well regarded company while I was in college. At the time, if you were hired into the company, one had a job for life. For many employees, life was the company and their identity was closely aligned with the company. There was loyalty to the company and loyalty from the company to the employee. That does not exist in many/any places anymore....

The company was full of old people. I say that with respect. They could retire but often stayed well past a point when they could retire because the loved the work, the company and their coworkers were a work family. Leaving was very difficult. I worked with retirees who came back to work for a short time to help the company because the company needed them. Can't image that happening in today's business world...

At the time, one could bank unused vacation time. There were many employees who had many months of unused vacation time saved up. One guy had remarried and his wife wanted him to retire. He did not want to retire even though he could do so without any money problems. He simply liked going to work and being with his work family....

What to do?

He was advised to use up some of his banked vacation time to see if he would like retirement. He had a practice vacation that lasted several months and he decided to retire...

Six or so months later, he was asking for his job back since he could not handle retirement. Unlike what would happen today, the company rehired him.

I knew people who could barely walk, but whose mind was still in great shape, who were well past retirement age, that were still working. One guy was in his 80's.

The average time between retirement and death for retirees was 18 months....

For many people, retiring and decompressing from the work world, yet having something to do and live for, is very difficult. I won't have that problem.

Later,
Dan
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:15   #639
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Change is scary. No doubt about it.

I don't really understand people who don't want to quit working, and who have no other goal or desire, in life but to work until they die, but I appreciate that there are people like that, and that it's their unalienable right to be like that. Maybe, they even have a deep seated need to be like that.

And, I've known more than one person like that. We called them "Boomerangs" at work. They would hit mandatory retirement on Friday, and walk out the door, and walk in Monday, as a contractor, and go back to their old desk, happy to be back where they needed to be.

But, that wasn't me.
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Old 03-01-2021, 13:34   #640
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Later though you realize that you miss the seasons, the beauty of Fall and Winter, and then of seeing the rebirth of Spring.
No, not everyone is like that, Thom... and I'm one that is not. Forced by Covid to remain in Tasmania the past winter I renewed my earlier conviction that I hate cold, wet and dark days, find no beauty in them and longed for the end of the season.

It was the first winter in 34 years that I had not been in or very near the tropics. The way things look now, next winter may well be the second...

Damn.

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Old 03-01-2021, 13:46   #641
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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No, not everyone is like that, Thom... and I'm one that is not. Forced by Covid to remain in Tasmania the past winter I renewed my earlier conviction that I hate cold, wet and dark days, find no beauty in them and longed for the end of the season.

It was the first winter in 34 years that I had not been in or very near the tropics. The way things look now, next winter may well be the second...

Damn.

Jim
That's very understandable Jim.

When I first got back up here from Florida (near the place where I grew up and used to hunt when it was 25 degrees, -3.88 c) I was amazed to see folks out waiting for the bus in 44 degree temps.

Last week it was 30 degrees one day when I went to work, and I hiked 3 miles at lunch time in a balmy 45 degrees!

The woods were really beautiful!

Of course by now having been back up here for 11 years, I have adjusted and have the right clothes and boots etc.

My office many days rarely gets above 65 degrees with many days starting at 58 degrees......

As the saying goes, you can always put on more clothes when it gets cold but when it's too hot there is only so much you can do.

The thing up here this time of year though is the glow of the setting Sun. The sunsets can be really beautiful and they remind me of coming home from hunting near dark after school when I was young.

The Sunny days in Winter must be enjoyed as best as is possible. When I hiked 4 miles/with pack Saturday it was damp and cloudy the whole time but was a comfortable 46 degrees F. (7.77 c)

Btw it took most of a lifetime of artist girlfriends, an ex-wife and son that are artists to teach me, a tech nerd, about understanding the beauty I was seeing
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Old 03-01-2021, 13:58   #642
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

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Change is scary. No doubt about it.

I don't really understand people who don't want to quit working, and who have no other goal or desire, in life but to work until they die, but I appreciate that there are people like that, and that it's their unalienable right to be like that. Maybe, they even have a deep seated need to be like that.

And, I've known more than one person like that. We called them "Boomerangs" at work. They would hit mandatory retirement on Friday, and walk out the door, and walk in Monday, as a contractor, and go back to their old desk, happy to be back where they needed to be.

But, that wasn't me.
I don't believe anyone wants to work until they die.

The job also has a lot to do with how long you can or would want to work and your position at your job.

Here lately we at work have been forced to requalify as computer techs whether we were ever an actual computer tech or not. (I was trained as an electronics tech and learned computers via OJT starting in the early 80's) This involved reading a 900 page book ( I read it twice) and completing various online courses to pass two exams. I had 30 year old techs failing and having to do retakes. We had to get the certs in 90 days.

One of my techs, age 70, had to take his Security + Exam 3X before he passed but that was quite a feat I believe for a 70 year old to pass a Cyber Security exam like that while also being a top electronics and computer tech as well.

It was an interesting experience getting this Comptia A+ Computer Cert, Sec + Cert, or Network + Cert. I got mine in 10 weeks of almost constant studying when not running the project.

It was quite interesting.

Here is one of several sites where you can practice questions that supposedly could be on the exams. Most of us learned at least 700 questions or so.

https://passcomptia.com/comptia-a-220-1001/

My plan is to retire at 69-70. I'm hoping that since I do tons of exercise my parents and grandparents never did it will give me a few years of active retirement.

You do remember I sail/cruise all the time now during the good seasons....almost every weekend so it's not like I can't spend time on the boat any time I want to.

I recently had my second and hopefully last colonoscopy (geez terrible!) and did the doctor thing last week. Everyone should have a physical my doc says once per year. I might actually start doing that.

I'm thinking I might need a bow for the Winter for some hunting when I retire. My home is in a very rural area ..........
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Old 03-01-2021, 14:02   #643
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Cruisers I know feel it is winter season if they experience 60 degree F. Some get so cold they put on long pants even.
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Old 03-01-2021, 14:59   #644
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

Couple years ago maybe 3 years now Sean D' was camped out on his Bristol 27 in the lower Dismal Swamp Canal. I think he was maybe headed South.

There is even a thread about it here on CF where folks were checking on him. Temps were near zero degrees (-17.7 C) I believe.

He was heating the boat with pine combs that he gathered in the nearby woods in some kind of stove he built.

He and his boat were stuck in the ice.

We had a polar vortex event.

They mention it here a few paragraphs down.

He's a real cruiser I'd say having sailed that old boat 3/4 the way around the world in hot and cold temps.

https://towndock.net/shippingnews/se...-and-alexandra
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Old 03-01-2021, 15:11   #645
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Re: Any early retirees turned cruisers with big careers have regrets?

I can’t imagine why people would work till 70, I mean there’s a big world out there folks.
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