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Old 05-08-2017, 07:33   #46
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

Just realize please that a vacation in paradise learning how to sail is no more like cruising than a Honeymoon in a resort is like marriage.
Of course you guys will love it, if you didn't then those people whom you paid didn't do their jobs and if they don't then they don't get repeat business.

However if you can swing it, do it. You need a vacation
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Old 05-08-2017, 08:40   #47
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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You are one of those good old boys. Have really enjoyed your writing style and the way you think.

Insurance is always a big prickly issue for me and my wife. I would retire tomorrow even without the million dollars. But I'm stuck for another two years securing our life insurance. The long-term planning of your medical benefits is a serious concern for all people. How do you plan on making sure that your child has healthcare and your wife as you age?

A man who is good with tools can find many sorts of work. Is there a way for you to reinvent how you do your work and take some of the stress off of your body? Can you spend a little extra money on equipment to take some of the stress off of your body? I work in the healthcare business and I've seen so many young men with destroyed backs destroyed shoulders destroyed hands due to the heavy manual labor they are put through every day. I think you may be heading down the track and I think you know it's true.

Is there not a way for you to escape during the winter when business is slow for even several months? You need to recharge your soul and allow your family time to enjoy one another and feel the joy of life. You work so hard, don't you think that you and your wife and child deserves some of the fruits of that labor? I know that you feel that! I can sense it in your writing style.

So here is my formula for finding your groove. Next winter plan one month off during during the hard part of the winter. Go someplace and take sailing lessons in the British Virgin Islands or the Bahamas someplace warm in the water is blue and the margaritas are fantastic. You don't have to liquidate anything? You might spend a little money but see if you really like sailing and learn some skills. It will give your health time to recuperate. It will give you time to recharge your soul. He will bind your wife and your child tighter. It will allow your wife to stop worrying about your terrible work weeks. She will see a husband healthier and happier. I am sure she worries endlessly. You know that the path you are on will end badly if you keep up this work schedule. You are a good man. You worry about your wife and your child. Do what is right for yourself and that will be right for them also. There is nothing more important than your health! Nothing! Baby steps first. Then when you understand if it helps with my formula to take bigger steps. That way you don't blow up everything and then find out you screwed yourself
Thanks for the kind words, Alan. We have good life insurance, and would probably keep paying the premiums. Several have addressed my daughters education expenses, so here is the lowdown on that....So far, she has about $50k in her college fund. That said, I don't think going to university is all that important for 95% of the population. If she wants to go, she'll go. If not, it's just fine. Another valid bit of information is that she is the lone grandchild, and as far as I know, her name is first on everyone's will. The real life fact of the matter is, money for college should not be any kind of an issue, and since she's never brought home anything less than an A, I would suspect a few scholarships. As far as health insurance goes, right now we pay something ridiculous like $400/month and have a $12K deductible. How much good is that really doing us? I could see us keeping a nice cash reserve and maybe a major medical policy of some sort.
Reinventing the way I work.....I lost my last really good help about 5 years ago. Since then, I have built/collected/bought some of the most efficient equipment available. It's less labor intensive than it used to be, but it's still work. The big problem with cutting back a little is that the fixed overhead remains the same. That is where our line of thinking leads us to convert our assets to income generating.....even in our absence.....instead of mailing off $5k every month while we are gone.
By the tone of some of the responses, I gather that some folks have the impression that we want to retire tomorrow. We are talking about a few years, at the most, of adventure. Maybe we do it, maybe we don't. I want my kid to see every angle before she's all grown up and making these choices herself. My Dad never went anywhere, and never took us anywhere. Don't get me wrong, we had lots of fun. I have the greatest parents in the world, we just never went anywhere. I learned how to work, save, invest, and once in a while we floated down the river in a borrowed canoe because buying any kind of boat was a ridiculous notion.(They bought a ski boat right after I moved out) I think my kid should be doing more work on the farm than she does, but I don't want to spoil her childhood. Mine was not as fun as it should have been, but I made my own bed.
In the bed I've made currently, we have a herd of momma cows. There are no month long breaks as long as we have them, especially in the dead of winter.
Learning to sail.......I'd say that will happen on a trailer sailor at the lake, or with friends in FL for starters. My wife doesn't fly well, so the BVI's won't happen until we have our own boat. That's another of the reasons we'd like to do something like this. I don't want to see the world alone anymore. I'm sure I'll get roasted for this, but we will be the take baby steps kind of learners. Probably try to sail with friends where we can, and hire an instructor for some private lessons once we have a boat. I know some heads will explode, but It's how I learn.
Health....Two rebuilds on the right shoulder, one on the left, and I'm starting to feel my feet again for the first time in 3 years. My back is smoked, and my neck is worse.(three herniated discs) This may sound like an excuse, but everything feels good when I get on a boat for a few days. I like to paddleboard, and I think that is what makes me feel better....just balances things out. Could just be the beer or lack of cell service though?
I really appreciate all of the comments and opinions. If I come of as the devil's advocate, that's by design, and not just because I want to hear what I want to hear. Hopefully it will point us to the answer. Thanks again to you all.....or youins if you are from here.

My wife pulled some strings, and we will be front row for Jack Johnson at the St. Augustine Amphitheater the first week of October. We will stay a night or two at the Navy lodge in Jacksonville, and then on to St. Augustine. We will stay at a friends marina if the house is empty, or at the Conch House if not. We are planning on driving down to Ft. Lauderdale to look at boats, unless any of you kind folks that are closer wouldn't mind letting my wife drink a glass of wine on yours. Like I've said, it ain't her. I'm the one holding up the show.

My parts are in. Back to work.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:22   #48
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

We will be in Brunswick Ga if you want to see our boat, it is not a Cat though.
Some like Cats, some don't
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Old 05-08-2017, 22:04   #49
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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We will be in Brunswick Ga if you want to see our boat, it is not a Cat though.
Some like Cats, some don't
We'd love to stop in for a visit. I'm not going to lie.....I like all boats. I even loaded up the other version of a blow boat and went to the river for a couple of hours tonight. My blood pressure is temporarily under control.
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Old 06-08-2017, 00:39   #50
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

Walking away from land life right now.

Having sold some furniture and other household items you get surprisingly little money, and when you have worked for everything, including the million USD, that hurts a bit.
We kept valuable items, especially tools. They all sit in low cost secure storage.
We don't have a child but have factored a what if for that, which is homeschooling.
Life insurance wasn't worth the cost and unnecessary. Policy cancelled. Médical insurance is minimal but we are UK citizens, not US.
Wound up the business.
Life is much more simple and better for it.
A million isn't enough to live like royalty, but it is enough to live.
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:41   #51
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

From the thread, it sounds like there are three major issues that are leading to the all or nothing mentality:
1) lack of a cash cushion; e.g. three years of living expenses in liquid assets
2) $5k/mo fixed overhead
3) Hobby farm: the cows need milking!

It sounds like the answer to all of these is to downsize your current existence. Sell/eat the herd, sell the property and enjoy the appreciation in value, stick the cash in some appreciating asset that spins off some cash. Keep the tools and equipment in a workshop without all the land so you can re-engage in the business when you get back. Is the fixed overhead mortgage costs? That would seem directly tied to the size of the property. Is it employee salaries? Then it may be necessary to switch to a contractor model, recognizing that you may have to pay more/have worse help in season.

All these steps seem to be the same whether you want to pursue a halfway strategy or an all-in strategy. The problem with life is there's never enough time to do everything we may want to do, so at some point it's compromise and sacrifice. I know nothing of your business or its fundamentals, so my experience may not be relevant, but I've had to do something of the same. When I work, I'm fully booked up, and friends always ask why I don't hire people, expand my team, make more money. They often don't understand when I tell them I'm making enough, and don't want to deal with constraints that come with having employees and consequently giving up my flexible lifestyle. So we assemble a new team of contractors for every project, and sometimes it's super frustrating and you have to fire bad workers rapidly, but it lets me live without a lot of 'musts'.

Many others on the board have undertaken the same transition: selling the 6 bedroom house and downsizing to a condo, etc. It's all a bunch of little steps until you find what works for you, and I definitely think you're right to do it slowly over a period of a few years to make sure it works for you!
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:42   #52
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

P.s. love the house boat! I'm considering a river cruise at some point in something similar, so great to see the photos!
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:17   #53
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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Originally Posted by Fence Man View Post
We'd love to stop in for a visit. I'm not going to lie.....I like all boats. I even loaded up the other version of a blow boat and went to the river for a couple of hours tonight. My blood pressure is temporarily under control.


We should be there in a month, boats name is Stargazer, I'm sure the office will know where we are.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:39   #54
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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P.s. love the house boat! I'm considering a river cruise at some point in something similar, so great to see the photos!
Thanks for the comments and thoughts, brownoarsman. I had a long response nearly typed out, but had a knock on the front door this morning and had to show a guy every kind of fence we have available. Lost what I had typed out. He spent zero dollars.

The long and short of it is, we will probably land somewhere in the middle of staying put and all the way gone. Every bit of this conversation has been helpful in our thought process, and I hope the conversation continues.

We really do enjoy the houseboat/lake, and have kicked around the river idea. We are less than 100 miles from the Ohio river, and could actually boat from the back of our property all the way to the Gulf. It'd have to be a small boat, but it could be done. Our houseboat wouldn't be suitable for the rivers, as it's a bit underpowered for current, but the Tenn Tom would be a blast to explore. We are on Dale Hollow now, so no access by water to the river system.
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Old 06-08-2017, 10:43   #55
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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We should be there in a month, boats name is Stargazer, I'm sure the office will know where we are.

Sounds good. When the time gets closer and I have a better idea of our travel schedule, I'll check back with you to make sure it's a convenient time. Thanks again!
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:10   #56
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

I think of step one as spending more time on the houseboat but a quick step two of moving the houseboat to the Cumberland River so you have access to the world. From there you can do the Cumberland, the Tennessee and the Ohio. That's over 2000 miles of possible river cruising and all within a relatively short distance of home. Boat could start near you, then perhaps dock on Kentucky Lake or Barkley. Then east to Knoxville and back. Then perhaps the Ohio. That will teach you so much about the lifestyle and what you both want. Now keep in mind the houseboat is larger than what you'll end up with but a great way to start.

I would think where you live and are that getting the houseboat moved is relatively inexpensive.
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Old 06-08-2017, 13:08   #57
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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I think of step one as spending more time on the houseboat but a quick step two of moving the houseboat to the Cumberland River so you have access to the world. From there you can do the Cumberland, the Tennessee and the Ohio. That's over 2000 miles of possible river cruising and all within a relatively short distance of home. Boat could start near you, then perhaps dock on Kentucky Lake or Barkley. Then east to Knoxville and back. Then perhaps the Ohio. That will teach you so much about the lifestyle and what you both want. Now keep in mind the houseboat is larger than what you'll end up with but a great way to start.

I would think where you live and are that getting the houseboat moved is relatively inexpensive.
Great thoughts BandB, but there is quite a bit of difference in a river houseboat and a lake houseboat. You see river boats on the lake once in a while, but not the other way around. Most river boats are twin screw and high horse power on a much smaller boat with a V hull. We are rocking a 90 horse Mercury with no compression on one cylinder on a displacement hull. 3.5 knots max, and in the wind it's out of the question. I've just finished going through a 150 horse V6 with a big lower unit for an engine swap. Bigger prop and more power will help, but I think our boat would be an accident waiting to happen on a river. I'm guessing it'll hit 10 knots with the upgrade, but that style of boat is like having a sailboat that you can't take the sails down on. Wind is not friendly, and no thrusters. It would cost a few thousand to move it, but much of the value of it is it's location. Boats are in demand on that lake, especially if they come with a slip. There really is plenty on that lake to explore for a year. The upside of the location for us is the bulk of our wire sales are near there, so it wouldn't be out of the question to maintain some appearance of normalcy....if we wanted.
I did buy an old 1960's cabin cruiser with no motor last year that could make a neat little river explorer. Riveted aluminum number that has been totally updated inside, and has a kick ass camo paintjob. lol I've got an outboard to hang on it, but haven't had the time yet. It wouldn't be the kind of boat to live on, but could be fun a week at a time? Click image for larger version

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Old 06-08-2017, 13:12   #58
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

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Walking away from land life right now.

Having sold some furniture and other household items you get surprisingly little money, and when you have worked for everything, including the million USD, that hurts a bit.
We kept valuable items, especially tools. They all sit in low cost secure storage.
We don't have a child but have factored a what if for that, which is homeschooling.
Life insurance wasn't worth the cost and unnecessary. Policy cancelled. Médical insurance is minimal but we are UK citizens, not US.
Wound up the business.
Life is much more simple and better for it.
A million isn't enough to live like royalty, but it is enough to live.
Evidently we go back to royals on my Mom's side, but we don't get invited for dinner. The good news is, we don't need to live like royalty! Going by your screen name, have you lived in Indiana?
Cheers
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Old 06-08-2017, 13:23   #59
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

I do understand the handling issues of houseboats. In many ways they are like a pontoon on steroids and even a small one is a challenge in the wind. I can only imagine one the size of yours. You also make an excellent point on resale value. I've never been to Dale Hollow in the center of the houseboat universe.
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Old 06-08-2017, 13:30   #60
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Re: If you had a million dollars.....

It's a beautiful lake, and not nearly as crowed as Lake Cumberland. Cumberland does have some ridiculous boats on it, though. One houseboat at the state dock or Grider Hill....can't remember for sure....has room for three helicopters to land on top. What a waste. Why would you ever need more than two? lol If any of you are ever in the neighborhood, give us a shout. I'll buy the beers if we are on the boat.
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