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Old 04-06-2018, 11:45   #1
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When is the right time

Good afternoon everyone. I have been reading this forum for several years now and decided to finally join so I could participate. My wife and I plan on retiring in about 10 years so we have initiated our 10 year plan. Our goal is to retire at 55 (52 for her) sale the house, cars and "stuff" and live aboard and cruise a Cat for a few years while we find our perfect beach. We just passed our first certification last weekend (101 keelboat) so the first step has officially been taken. I grew up sailing but my wife is new to it. So we joined the local sailing club so we would have some access to smaller boats to really start practicing. Next year we will take our coastal cruising cert then our bareboat. Our youngest, as of today, is schedule to finish college in 9 years so hopefully we will be done with that just in time. We plan on getting these certs so we can get Insurance most of all, but then we also plan on moving to FL. for the 10th year and buy and live aboard a boat while spending a year refitting and getting to know her on coastal weekend type trips. So I have a couple of questions. First, will these certs be enough or do I need to go up the chain of courses some more (I don't desire a captain's license at this time)? Second, and I know its asked all the time, is 55 too old or do you think I should try and speed up plans? I really only think about speeding it up for the kids. I see tons of people saying don't wait, find a way to make it happen sooner. We have worked hard over the years to save anything we could but I am by no means a millionaire. Plus, my wife is a teacher and once she hits her 30 years we qualify for group insurance for retirement as well. So you can see we have planned this very well and the timing and insurance and money should, SHOULD, all work out right if we stick to the plan, but this is my real ask.... Our children REALLY love the life as much as we do (my 16 year old got certified as well) and they always get mad when we talk about our plans and the fact that they won't be able to do it with us. I can't help but to think they would be so much better off if they had that experience. If they could disconnect and actually look at the world and visit foreign places. With online school and my wife being a teacher its possible... but the money may not last. We may screw with her retirement if after 5 years we can't find jobs. I think you all know where I am going with this because I bet every single person here has gone through similar quandaries. So what say you all? Speak to me. And be honest, I'm not going to take anything personally, I truly need insight here and sometimes it's harsh. In today's world I can't help but to feel that we need to stop putting off "until". I have this gut feeling I need to just take the step and land where I may. Thanks in advance and thank you all for all the years of advice I have received from you. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2018, 12:06   #2
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Re: When is the right time

First you don't need ANY certs!

55 is fine to start cruising. I left at 56. But I'm unsure from your post if age gets you the retirement benefits.

Far as you kids and school go, most time spend in school is just "being here" and they can do the school work in half the time on the boat.
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:07   #3
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Re: When is the right time

Buy a boat, sail it on the weekends and during vacations. There is no point spending your life waiting to live your life.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:34   #4
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Re: When is the right time

I'll second Shrew's point. While it certainly can be an all or nothing decision, it doesn't have to be. You are a more experienced parent than I, but we try to expose our daughter to as much as possible. I would like to think that she will have an advantage over her peers, because of what she's been able to see and do.
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:57   #5
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Re: When is the right time

Sounds like you are at the same point with kids and timing as my wife and I. Shrew is correct. We bought a boat two years ago and love it. Can't live on it yet, but it is there and waiting. Also, very happy we did it before kids college payments started. I would have talked myself right out of it now that we are sending checks to the school.
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Old 04-06-2018, 13:08   #6
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Re: When is the right time

Hello,, and welcome aboard CF.

Jim and I have seen a lot of kids who grew up on cruising boats over the years (all monohulls, so far) and they have been wonderful. If you and they want to go with you, you'll want to find a way to make that work. ....and deal with the rest of your commitments to them, because you wouldn't want to short them on formal education--if that's what they decide they want. Seeing and being part of cultures that are different from the USA is extremely broadening, as long as you pay attention. It is an interactive process: you and they will be changed and change each other.

The retirement issue is a real issue to deal with. Possibly your wife would be able to take care of her continuing education credits, and maybe even get work credits for home schooling your children. One way home schooling can fall down is when a child refuses to learn a particular subject. That can set them back quite a bit, but life is long, and recovery can be made.

If you've started out in monohulls, why not continue with one, the initial costs will be less, and you could be on the water sooner.

If you can see a way to streamline your plans so that things can happen sooner, it would be well for you to do so. It can be disheartening to live your life in waiting for your future, even if the adjustment to the plans is small, the more time you all spend on the water, the better.

Realize that landlubbers will think you are doing an antisocial thing, opting out of the mainstream, and you will experience resistance to your plan from many other souls.

My Jim had to wait to take off and cruise till after his daughter finished her MBA; needed the income stream for her college, and we have never regretted waiting for her to finish school.

Good luck with it, these are big decisions, and keep your wife happy, or it will all fall apart. What you will be building is a little like a pioneer family, where everybody needs to learn how to do everything, and become competent in a new, occasionally threatening environment.

Finally, it is all do-able. It takes will power, dedication, and perseverance....and a level of funding you can live with.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:46   #7
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Re: When is the right time

Add “sell the kids” to your list and you’ll be off in no time.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:59   #8
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Re: When is the right time

Do it now and take the kids with you.
ASA cert will not reduce insurance costs.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:19   #9
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Re: When is the right time

Originally Posted by Sailshabby View Post
Add “sell the kids” to your list and you’ll be off in no time.
Sailshabby, Are you in the market for some gently used kids? lol.

I agree with others Certs are not needed for anything. If you want the knowledge the classes can be very beneficial with a good instructor. The rest of the decisions are highly personal and only you and your family can decide what is the best choice. Welcome aboard
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:30   #10
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Re: When is the right time

Maybe there's a middle ground? What if your wife was able to take a year sabbatical from her teaching? Head over to the bahamas for a few months and perhaps the NW carib before either turning back around or deciding to keep going.

In your case, maybe that gives you and your family a healthy serving of the lifestyle, and then you guys can regroup and reestablish your priorities down the road with more experience and wisdom at your backs.

Your kids will have had the experience you want to give them, and you and your wife will be in a very good position to know if sailing off into the sunset after retirement is what you truly want.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:40   #11
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Re: When is the right time

Some great suggestions out here everybody. I can't thank you enough for your input around such a big thing. The reoccurring thing that keeps coming up is the certs though. I thought you had to have some sort of certification to be insured. Not the case? So with that in mind I could do my actual purchase now and then spend a year or so sailing and getting used to the boat and then go? I certainly don't want to end up like the people that sank the boat with $70 life savings... you know the ones. Even though I know what I am doing, at my age I fear something happening and my wife having to sail alone. I need to know she can do it without me. is that better with practical than classes you think? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2018, 10:41   #12
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Re: When is the right time

Live your life today and let tomorrow take care of itself. Evaluate your public pension fund, they are notoriously underfunded all across the country and at some point somebody is going to get a haircut whether they like it or not. Your pension may not be what you plan. As far as kids, college is way overvalued. Unless you study a specific high earning career, consider the trades. The burdensome student loan debt will do more damage than the educational programming. And finally, your health may be a factor sometime in the future preventing you from even leaving the dock. All that said, its good to have a plan A, but don't forget plan B,C,D..etc... Life is fluid.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:57   #13
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Re: When is the right time

Is 55 to old? Well, I just passed 80 and am still reachin. But I did promise my mother I would not go out where the water is deep.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:13   #14
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Re: When is the right time

Is 55 too old – hmmm, if you and your wife’s family have a history of staying active well into later life, it probably is not too old at all; I see 60 year olds who seem to have the stamina many 20-year olds used to dream about, but statistically the longer you wait, well you know how this works... My wife and I were very active in our 60s, motorcycling, travel, chasing great-grand kids, bicycling and both of us had shops that keep us busy, but we all have our threshold – ours appears to have been the 70-71 range where suddenly we acquired several meddlesome health issues that have certainly slowed us (nothing devastating, for that we are grateful, but certainly a nuisance…). We have our boat, and are working on it – but our long-distance voyaging dreams have certainly become a bit tempered. I’d recommend to get a boat, sail the heck out of it with your family and I’ll bet the rest of the inquiry will take care of itself.
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Old 05-06-2018, 14:56   #15
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Re: When is the right time

What is the date on your lifetime guarantee card, or when does it expire???? Go sailing, dont know about courses , courses are under sail in this or that boat, seat of the pants thinking, my opinion, just know your boat, thats time and situations, sometimes a little or big failure will disprove what you have been led to believe as the gosple, or truth in someones instructionional fashion. Do it ... relax make you mistskes small, and fix the big ones....Another grog for the capt.n GO FOR IT. 🤯😫😀😏🍸🍸🍸🍸
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