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Old 03-10-2021, 16:01   #1
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Critique My Plan

Trying to look at the pessimist side (or maybe confirmation? hah) of our plans.

I am able to work remote, and have been doing so for the last 6+ years - it is not a covid employer shifting event. My team is also remote and spread all over the United States, this is also the norm for other teams within my Director's organization. I guess i am trying to say, that the 'work from home' for me - is pretty much as permanent as it can be. My wife is stay at home mom/property manager for our recently growing real estate investments. I have already worked from counties outside of US - month(s) long remote work/vacation with family.

We are 34M & 31F - 2 kids. Before jumping into the numbres, Yes I know we are extremely lucky to be were we are now - especially coming from a family that grew up in poverty and on food stamps.

All figures are in USD $.
  • My Salary: $450k/year. My employment is very safe. if anything I might get a promotion in 1-2 years and potentially jump up to 500-750k/year.
  • Real Estate Net: $30k/year. This is with all costs already removed, including a conservative maintenance and vacancy fund. We currently net a bit more than this, but using this number to account for potential property management fees.
  • Current Investments not counting home nor real estate property equity is roughly $1.5 Million in stock funds.
  • We currently save 14k/month from my salary, mostly into investments.
  • We do not touch our real estate income. We use it to roll it into another real estate purchase every 1-3 years. In this plan's case, we will not seek additional real estate and bank this instead as the 1st line of yearly maintenance capital.
  • My plan is to retire (FIRE) before 50, realistically the only reason for delaying it so long is a mix feeling about retiring with the kids still going through in person high school - what the hell do we do? cant travel, might as well make the cruise kitty obese. We want them to have the option to go onsite for high school; to experience the social and friendship bonding aspects. This fact will come up later on in the plan.
  • Cost of living: We are in a Low/Middle cost of living area. We are not located around main cities nor in high taxing states.
  • We have already fully funded both kids 529/College savings.

Experience:
  • I am ASA101, 103, 104, 114 Certified. The Mrs is 101 & 103 as of this year.
  • As a family, we have already done two catamaran bareboots - not inclusive of any classes. The Mrs will NOT, like absolutely NOT do monohulls...
  • During one of the bareboot week long trips, the oldest kid had to do schooling and homeowrk - So a good trial run of it all.
  • Wife is onboard with the plan, which is usually the hardest part; am i right?! .
  • I am generally very handy. Engineering background with a diy/fixing mindset. Have had a year of electrical, a year of telecommunications and tend to most minor/handy man task in our home or real estate investments. I do woodworking as a hobby/home improvement passion. I am a study alcoholic and have absorbed a few recommended sailboat maintenance books by now.
  • The Mrs is by all merits not a diva nor posh. She grew up in a 3rd world country tending to her families farm, cattle and deep in **** (literally) - in a tom boyish capacity, she is not afraid to get dirty.

The Plan:
  • Within the next 1-2 years buy a Used catamaran ($450k ish), but not one too old - maybe 1-4yrs old. Currently looking at the 40ft size range (Lagoon, FP, Leopard, Nautitech, Seawind etc.). The cash for the 25% payment would be covered before this years end and will not be removed from existing investment funds.
  • Refit; (let's say..$60k). Will be mostly focused on self-sustainability, if it already does not presently have the equipment. Water maker, solar(1300w+), lithium(900ah+), wifi/4g extender, washing machine, folding props, netted lifelines, as well as your normal offshore safety components.
  • We would plan for a week+ captain to come aboard our own vessel and go through docking endorsements and insurance sign off.
  • Spend 6 months on the boat (Nov-May) in the Caribbean. First year will be mostly FL/Bahamas while we potentially fine tune the vessel to our liking and gain more experience. The second season will be heading down to Turks as well as Dominican Republic for example.
  • We will be moving slow and not be working against a specific schedule. Partly because I will still plan on working my normal 40hrs throughout the week. Yes, this would mean that our travel areas Mon-Fri will be planned around signal areas. I would use weekend/vacation days off for the not so frequent multi-day passages here and there.
  • The other 6 months (June-Oct), we will plan for the boat to be hauled out and stored in the dry. We will spend this half of the year in our home state within USA. Enjoying the summer time and spending some extended family time. This does mean that we will be floating both expenses (boat loan, mortgage) year round - but the numbers seem to make it possible.
  • We will aim to live this lifestyle for 4-6 years until the oldest child enters high school. At which point we will re-evaluate virtual schooling vs on-site High schooling; but for now, lets assume we head back on land and put the boat for sale.
  • During these years of floating both a catamaran and a house, our monthly savings will drop from 15k/month to 7k/month to conservatively account for floating both 'homes' year round.
  • Budgeting wise, this also includes about 15% of hull value in yearly maintenance, $800-1000 in misc marina fees a month, as well as elevated groceries, internet plans and entertainment funds. While we plan to anchor most of the time, we have included this marina fee into our plans so as to not make the decision a point of stress if the need arises. The monthly marina fee also goes year round to cover while the boat is in the hard.
  • No..we are not going to be YouTubers Lol. No offense to anybody whom does it of course - as it can be a great financial component.

Looking at just the numbers, this seems to make sense to me. Our savings will slow down for a few years. But if we return to land in 6 yrs after selling the boat, we can pick it right back up on full steam. Reggardless, we will still be in a financial position to retire by:
  • Age 40-42: If we decide to go 100% cruising family by then and sell the primary residence.
  • Age 45: 50% land/50% cruising and we decide to not go to an in person high school. Additional savings years to pay off mortgage/float additional spending capital.
  • Age 50: Living on Land & girls graduated from traditional highschool and we transition to just couple cruisers.

Some Risks:
  • After the first year, we hate it. Sell boat, loose out on $xx,0000 in transaction fees.
  • Even after considering my employment secure, lets say I loose my job. My specific skillsets and domain is about the hottest and on demand sector, should not be hard to conservatively obtain another 250+ year job. Might have to sell boat, and shift back to land until the numbers @ 42/45/50 make sense for us to retire and pick it back up. This is only if the company is not remote friendly.

Not asking from a place of hostility - but genuinely speaking, this is my family so i want to make sure i am not blind to any additional risk or recommendation from the members of this board.

Would you pull the trigger on this plan given the personal and financial situation at hand? or how would you alter it? What am I being blind to?

Apologies for the long wall of text, but as you can tell we have been pondering this for awhile and are extremely excited about the idea of it.
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Old 03-10-2021, 17:40   #2
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Re: Critique My Plan

The only thing I can say is that being financially ready to retire and psychologically ready are two different things.

I hit my bug out number a couple of years ago, yet here I am working late on a Sunday

Maybe a good question to ask yourself.
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Old 03-10-2021, 17:55   #3
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Re: Critique My Plan

You earn approximately 10 X the mean average yearly income of the US population and wondering if you have enough? This is very much a 1st World set of considerations to my thinking. Best of luck.
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Old 03-10-2021, 18:15   #4
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Re: Critique My Plan

I know virtually nothing about sailing or liveaboard lifestyle, but with that being said I still think this is an absolutely fantastic plan. I think certainly financially where I have some knowledge it makes sense and is sound (may want to consider how this lifestyle affects focus at work though, it would for me).

I hope to take a few years off work in the near future and liveaboard for a few years, I considered working remote but figured the internet challenge would be a huge hurdle. Just curious what kind of costs you have found associated with sufficient connection to work and still have freedom to move around?

Cheers
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Old 03-10-2021, 18:21   #5
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Re: Critique My Plan

I love this first time posters....I am a millionaire and will be making almost a 3/4 of a million of year can you help me with my plans and you do not even own a boat yet? Yes we know exactly what you should do.
Good luck to you...
LOL
Abe
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Old 03-10-2021, 18:52   #6
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Re: Critique My Plan

Sell or lease your main house right now, buy a duplex for your next property then rent out one side and live in the other half. Figure out what boat you want to buy and buy it, only way to do that is get on the water. Take your kids cruising & make arrangements for them to continue their current schooling remotely. They can video conference with their class once a week, everyone will thinks that's cool. Do all your cruising coastal, if you have an issue of any sort pull into a harbor and whip out the checkbook, then rent a car and bring everyone home for however long you want.



With all the resources you have listed, the rest will be a piece of cake. Best of luck!
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Old 03-10-2021, 19:14   #7
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Re: Critique My Plan

Respectfully, I find it hard to comment due to my fundamental difficulty reconciling how an individual with these financial means and professional resources asks for this type of input on this type of forum. More simply put, I am so dumbfounded, flabbergasted, and gobsmacked by your reflective situation I am quite literally speechless.
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Old 03-10-2021, 22:38   #8
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Re: Critique My Plan

I've consulted with Prof. Veblen economics at Stanford regarding your recent inquiry and apparently you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 03-10-2021, 23:03   #9
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Re: Critique My Plan

Welcome to CF.
That croaking sound you hear in the background is just a few tree frogs green with envy

Your success and intelligence has given you lots of options over the way you manage it, but, by definition, a lifestyle change is more of a Gut Feeling, than a set of Sums.

Have you family binge watch Zatara together from the beginning then make this a family decision as to timing and goals.

When you, as a team, decide to go..
....you soon learn to appreciate that the dynamics of crew and weather, will guide you more than any preconceived plan
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Old 03-10-2021, 23:06   #10
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Re: Critique My Plan

When you stop making 10 to 20 year plans (hey, even the Soviets maxed out at 5 and look how that worked out for them) and start sailing it'll all fall into place.

The biggest mistake anyone who wants to go cruising is to put it off beyond one year's timetable. Stuff happens, people get sick, often in a bad way, only to realize that they never get back the years they wasted on planning instead of sailing.

A close friend of mine, who was my boat's "official diver and lobster catcher" for the past 15+ years that I owned boats, dreamed of early retirement, moving to the Keys, opening a dive shop and spending his twilight years in paradise. He could even consult from home as his IT skills were highly in demand.

Since about 8-10 years ago I would periodically prod him to start making his dream happen. But he always had excuses - work, non-nautical wife and daughter, a frail parent, etc.

But 10 months ago, at midday, while working from home, he had a heart attack and couldn't be saved by an ambulance which came in 5 minutes and took him to the top ranked hospital in the country. He died doing the job he detested but did for the very good income it provided. He was in his late 50s.
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Old 04-10-2021, 03:25   #11
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Re: Critique My Plan

Go go now it’s later than you think ,go now it doesn’t matter as long as it feels right ,go.⛵️⚓️
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:54   #12
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Re: Critique My Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by new-to-sailing View Post
(may want to consider how this lifestyle affects focus at work though, it would for me).
Cheers
This is a very interesting point. Kind of hard to focus and keep motivated when anchored out in paradise. Auxiliary noise from the kids or otherwise might also be something i need to plan around for the infrequent voice calls.
Quote:
Originally Posted by new-to-sailing View Post
Just curious what kind of costs you have found associated with sufficient connection to work and still have freedom to move around?
It'll really be dependent on the sailing destination. But using Bahamas as the first season I can see this as a reasonable option; https://www.bealiv.com/store/plans/

Specifically the broadband mifi plans, 125-200gb of data a month for $75-140 seems reasonable.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:58   #13
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Re: Critique My Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Have you family binge watch Zatara together from the beginning then make this a family decision as to timing and goals.
Thanks, that's a great recommendation. I've seen some of their random videos regarding monthly cost examples. But its a good point that the family should immerse itself in their daily living videos to see our initial gut reactions to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
but, by definition, a lifestyle change is more of a Gut Feeling, than a set of Sums.
You are 100% correct. But for someone who is a spreadsheet nut - Easier said than done!
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Old 05-10-2021, 19:42   #14
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Re: Critique My Plan

[QUOTE=Beneath;3495770.

You are 100% correct. But for someone who is a spreadsheet nut - Easier said than done![/QUOTE]
Lol ....Spreadsheets are great and I use them for everything on the boat, to buy/inventory/locate / Budget and maintain

You can even use them to chart your families reaction to Zatara and then do an executive summary of each family member's pros and cons.

.. if nothing else, they will hope a change in lifestyle, might help you to chill out....
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Old 10-10-2021, 15:33   #15
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Re: Critique My Plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
But 10 months ago, at midday, while working from home, he had a heart attack and couldn't be saved by an ambulance which came in 5 minutes and took him to the top ranked hospital in the country. He died doing the job he detested but did for the very good income it provided. He was in his late 50s.
Sobering thought. Gives one pause.
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