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Old 06-11-2016, 12:08 PM   #1
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A Reminder To Do It Now

My wife and I started seriously boating in the PNW six years ago and we've averaged about 200 hours per year on our engines. This while still both working full time. We have lots of friends planning to start boating when they retire. Just this year I have three friends in our yacht club whose plans got derailed. One former CEO of a Fortune 500 company had to give up boating after just a couple of years as his wife couldn't handle docking lines or captaining and his kids/grandkids aren't close enough to come boating. Had they started ten years earlier I know she would be comfortable in the role.

A good friend, owner of a successful business, sold for good money and he and his wife bought a beautiful trawler and loved using it. About a year later his wife started repeating herself constantly, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and now she is in a memory-care place. Incredibly sudden downward spiral. She was fine just before Christmas. Now their lives are upended, and the boat is for sale. I don't know if he'll get over losing her.

A past Commodore of our club had an aching hip that was nagging him. He went to the doctor early this year and found out he was riddled with cancer. Bones, organs, the works. Two months later he was gone.

So buy the boat and use the boat. Tell your friends you love them. Take that trip to Europe you've always wanted to go on. Whatever distant dream you have, try to make it happen now. Our time here is short.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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I'm sitting here in my mom's hospital room right now, pondering exactly the same things. She may still pull out of this, but for the moment she's got a respirator tube down her throat so we can only play a maddening game of 20 Questions, all yes/no. Normally she can talk my ear off for hours at a stretch (usually about politics, rabid Trumper).

Carpe diem.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:20 PM   #3
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A great reminder.

Carpe Diem
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:23 PM   #4
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Of course...the other side of the coin...

Once retired, boating doesn't necessarily fill the void of what they left after a loop, a year, a couple trips...etc....

It's always a tough decision with no right answer till you have done it....but in my experience...it seems most boaters really never make it as cruisers for anything but a short while.

Which goes to anything in retirement...if you love your job...it may be a hard thing to replace. If you grow to hate it,what do you have to lose by going cruising?
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:05 PM   #5
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Robster, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:09 PM   #6
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As a medic my self, I can only say, how true the above experiences are. I am entirely glad we took the plunge and got out various boats way back, right from when the kids were under 10, (actually, even before we could easily afford them, but hey, it was worth it), and they, and we, grew older boating together, accumulating those precious memories.

Waiting until retirement never made really good sense to me, because health issues can develop so unexpectedly, limiting what one can do. In fact often, during my years of refurbishment of our current, and last boat, over the last 14 years, (aged 55 -->), I have often heard myself say (well, yell actually), "why does everything have to be so ******* hard..!?"

I am reminded of how getting older makes nothing easier, as I struggle, (thankfully, helped with advice by our marine sanitation expert, Peggie), in trying to sort out a wretched marine toilet issue in cramped conditions, rather poor light, and where nothing goes quite as it should. The words that keep coming to mind, (immortalised in 'Lethal Weapon' film by Danny Glover, after being blown by a bomb, out of a toilet & into a swimming pool, as it happens, coincidentally..."I'm getting too old for this sh*t!". So, yes, if at all possible, get into it any way you can, and as soon as you can..!
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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Robster, so true. If within reason you have the time and money for something you want to do, get on and do it. Something can intervene without warning.
A marina neighbour aged 80, and his wife of similar years with leukemia currently in remission, just upgraded from a Riv 35 to a much newer Riv 39. Sounds odd at first, but when you think about it, makes sense. Enjoy while you can.
Got to move on with my proposed upgrade.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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We bought the Eagle 21 years and been a live aboard 19 years ago. We retired two years ago and been land yatching in the winter and back on the boat for the summer. We are getting to the point that getting on off the boat us becoming difficult. As for docking being the eagle is 38 tons its been my responsibility to get close enough to step off.

The last few years we been asking for dock assistants which most Marianas offer if you ask. The last few years we been upgrading and maintenance change from a dock queen to long range cruising. My point is you do not have to quit boating because you are getting old.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:02 PM   #9
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Coworker about a year ago started to get unreliable without remorse. Nothing huge just details being missed, loose ends left untied totally out of character. His wife called in after about a week of this asking if I had noticed anything odd from him recently as there was a noticeable change at home. Wandered off without explanation and such.

A week later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at 52 years of age and hasn't worked since. Pretty sure that wasn't in their plans.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:22 PM   #10
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Two points...

Live now
Live within your means
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:34 PM   #11
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My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have this conversation all the time. Ever since we bought our boat some 5 years ago, they just cannot understand spending the money, or understand the plans to take off. They have 2 daughters, 32 and 35, both married, well established in t heir careers with husbands equally well established. Yet, they are petrified "something" may happen and they won't have the resources to make all things right for their kids. At age 71, he still writes software on a contract basis and she still maintains a full time practice as a psychologist. They have a joint estate somewhere in the $5-7M range, so they definitely are not wanting. According to them, they cannot "afford" to quit working and spend time or $$ on themselves. So they spend very little on themselves, do not travel much, but also just do not seem very happy with their lives. They think we are absolutely nuts for having the boat, for spending the time and money on it that we do. We might be forfeiting our future {(my brother-in law's exact words!) and worse-forfeiting our children's futures! My reply has always been "The future is now!" And my kids, one son 37, firmly established in his career, and a rising HS senior, are perfectly fine with us doing it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 11:59 AM   #12
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There's a couple in our club with a boat named "Yacht 2 B". When they bought it, one of their mothers kept telling them "you ought to be saving for this" and "you ought to be saving for that" instead of buying a boat. Well, they raised two great kids, own a lake house, and just retired. They still have the boat and are still enjoying it. Like Robster, we have also put more than 200 hours a year on our boats for the last 12 years while still working full time. We have both just retired and are looking forward to spending even more time on the water. Our theory has always been have fun while you can because you never know what the future brings (while still saving something for the future, just in case).
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:48 PM   #13
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For the last couple years... Linda and my activities on boat and actually anywhere away from town has been hobbled by family sickness and other items in our lives we must tend to. She and I often chat about time slipping away, such as discussed in this thread. We luckily seem to be able to maintain our own health and can see light at the end of the tunnel regarding obligations currently chaining us... as eventually disappearing. We plan to go to boat for a few days this coming week; hope that comes to fruition. Haven't been aboard in months.... that's way too long - IMO!

Happy "Let's-Keep-Boating" Daze - Art & Linda
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by THD View Post
My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have this conversation all the time. Ever since we bought our boat some 5 years ago, they just cannot understand spending the money, or understand the plans to take off. They have 2 daughters, 32 and 35, both married, well established in t heir careers with husbands equally well established. Yet, they are petrified "something" may happen and they won't have the resources to make all things right for their kids. At age 71, he still writes software on a contract basis and she still maintains a full time practice as a psychologist. They have a joint estate somewhere in the $5-7M range, so they definitely are not wanting. According to them, they cannot "afford" to quit working and spend time or $$ on themselves. So they spend very little on themselves, do not travel much, but also just do not seem very happy with their lives. They think we are absolutely nuts for having the boat, for spending the time and money on it that we do. We might be forfeiting our future {(my brother-in law's exact words!) and worse-forfeiting our children's futures! My reply has always been "The future is now!" And my kids, one son 37, firmly established in his career, and a rising HS senior, are perfectly fine with us doing it.
I think we are seeing more and more of that. Our son is in his 30's. He owns two homes and is currently in Iceland, and is going to scottland today, on a several week vacation.

He can take care of himself just fine. We're enjoying life along the way!

My theory is that money left over when I die is just poor planning on my part, unless we pass earlier than anticipated of course.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:56 PM   #15
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This is a hard topic for me to post about. It's a bit of a crusade with me, that in the US business world, we don't have time for family, for recreation, for proper vacations. People treasure their jobs since many don't have them, but they in turn try to do the work of two people. This isn't just retirement in the discussion, it's living every day, every week, every month. If your life doesn't allow time with your spouse and kids then please, I beg you, find a way to change it. Yes, we own bigger houses that people elsewhere in similar positions and nicer cars, but we have the least leisure time. I see boats sitting unused and I know why. It's not lack of interest. It's lack of time and it's exhaustion and lack of energy. That's not how life should be. I was blessed with a wife who taught me otherwise as prior to her I didn't let people who worked for me do it, but I did. I was blessed to work for a company that accepted doing things a different way. We boated, even if just for an hour in the afternoon, 110 days or so a year when we were both working and lived on the lake. We had time together to enjoy. We planned toward retirement and saved, but not to the detriment of what we enjoyed. We just didn't spend money on a bigger, more expensive house at that time, or a beach vacation home. Then one day an event in our lives made it possible for us to retire and we didn't hesitate. Not that we now do no work. We do what we want, when we want, plus we are able to do volunteer and free work.

If you're in this cycle, find a way out. Don't set this example for your kids. Encourage happiness as a good goal. Get to know all of your family. Develop hobbies. A reason retired people can't find things to do is they never had free time before, didn't have the time to really find things they enjoyed.

I realize many face financial pressures I don't and don't want anyone to think I'm not aware of that. I just know that there is a better way than many I see daily are living. And along the way we passed on major financial opportunities to maintain our life as it was. We turned down jobs offered to me that would have paid a staggering amount for two years of total misery. We weren't willing to give up two years of our lives. Now, most on this site have found the better way.

There's a couple I admire very much. They have three daughters, all now college age. They weren't highly educated and had very manual low paid jobs. They always did other work too but the mother would do laundry for others and sewing at home with her daughters. Then they did the janitorial work at their church. They'd load up the car with the three kids and all go and turn it into fun plus reward the kids with ice cream or their choice of fast food or something. It was time together. The three girls are incredible. I'd say too, they know the girls much better than the girls realize. They don't think they're all innocent princesses every moment out of their sight.

Quality of life isn't based on average income and I think in the US we've gotten lost in that sometimes. It's family and friends. It's sharing. It's happiness. It's health.

Grab every ounce of life you can while you can. There's no fuel gauge telling you or anyone else how much is in the can. No expiration stickers on our behinds. It's precious. Robster's warning can't be given too often, but it's not just retirement, it's every day of your life. Live each day as if it's the last day of your life. (Well, not too drastic).
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #16
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While I wont quote the post above because of its length, I agree completely!

To the suprise of co-workers and my managment chain, I have always taken the approach that time off, and quality of life is much more important than career. I've had managers call me a "free spirit" and similar, sometimes not so nice terms over my 35 working years, but in the end it has been my life to live.

Some live to work, and seem to put great emphasis in their career status. I am ther opposite. I work only to support my life goals.

As was posted previously, I only wish that more would see that life isn't what you do for money, life is what you do with your life.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:18 PM   #17
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Guess it depends on how much you love your job....and how much the job allows you to enjoy other things.
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #18
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Guess it depends on how much you love your job....and how much the job allows you to enjoy other things.
But then the job isn't interfering with life. Balance is great. Just so few people today seem to have it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:03 PM   #19
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I think many of us here are old enough to remember the "good old days"-the days when you left work each day and did not hear from work until you showed up the next morning; the weekends you left late on Friday and did not hear from work until 9 AM Monday morning; the vacations where you left on Friday and did not hear a word from work until you returned two weeks later. And somehow, the world kept on spinning, the company did not fail. Well, particularly in the white collar and especially the high tech world, those days are long gone. Most high tech companies fully expect their work to be your life. And they are quite open about it. There is at least one well-known high tech company here in Seattle that requires employees to install a company "app" on their phone so the company knows where they are. Since I am the curious type, I have asked a lot of friends and acquaintances and almost invariably they are never out of contact with their employers. And they always respond when contacted on off hours. Most of them would not think of simply saying "I am on vacation, deal with it." While many companies believe that it is that important to make an employee feel "indispensable", to me, that is a massive failure of management to foster the idea that a company with multi-thousands of employees cannot function effectively without any individual person. It simply makes employees surrounding that employee lazy. Rather than figure it out while one is gone, it is easier to just call or text, even while on vacation.
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Old 06-12-2016, 04:17 PM   #20
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My last job I was on call 24x7x8 months.

I loved the job when out on the water....and the freedom to work on my boat when not called out was great.

But being on a short leash for 8 months straight prevented me from doing a lot of things that I also wanted to do.....it took 5 years of dealing with it, and the rewards were getting off for 4 months to cruise to FL every year in my boat.

But it finally got to me so I quit and am piecing together work to fit my schedule.

All my hobbies and fun things I do still never are as much fun as a challenging, adrenaline pumping days work on the water....so I keep going along those lines no matter what offersl I get to go do something more lucrative...because it just won't satisfy me at the end of the day.

So I guess my input is it is not so much about stopping work or needing more time to do the things you love....it's about doing what you love whether it is work or not.
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