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Old 09-24-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
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What would you give for more time?

In a discussion of why people sell their boats we were talking about all the boats that don't get used because the owners just don't have time. For those of you who still work, would you sacrifice a little pay for more time off? Given a choice between a raise and more time off which would you choose.

I had a survey done some time back as I was trying to see if my feelings about people feeling they have so little time was right and how that ranked on their list of priorities. I was also trying to make a change to increase vacation time. I found out people seldom make choices that give them more time, but say given a choice they'd choose it.

Normally when you ask people about the bad things of their job 2/3 always say they're underpaid. But that was outranked by "I don't have enough time to spend with my family."

This is a US phenomena although some other countries join in. But the average US worker works 400 more hours per year than the average German worker. 299 more than France. 119 more than the UK. And if you go to specific jobs some are worse than others.

So, I posed this question. If you were given the choice between a 10% raise of 5 more weeks per year of vacation, which would you choose? Now, it's easy to answer that in a hypothetical situation but differently than you would if truly given that choice. Often when one says it's not about the money, it is. A huge majority said they'd choose the vacation. However, they raised one huge caveat and that was if their spouse got more too.

Companies equate hours worked to productivity when all studies and science show it doesn't relate and can even decrease productivity when pushed beyond a point. The average middle to upper level manager is physically and mentally exhausted. We don't get enough sleep.

In our small businesses we employee some incredible people who could get higher paying jobs if they went out into the marketplace and pushed for it. But none of them could have the lifestyle we afford them. Yet, all we're really doing is copying what most of Europe does. Most of Europe has laws requiring a minimum of 20 to 28 days off per year. The US stands alone requiring no vacation. In France, if you work more than 35 hours a week you get extra compensation or more time off. 39 hours is the limit. We found one major company that gave up to 9.5 weeks vacation plus 10 holidays. Most German employees get 30 days (some 25) plus 9-14 bank holidays.

I cut my hours back when I fell in love. I'd already limited the hours of those working for me, but I was personally working 55 hours a week, 50-52 weeks a year. I quickly changed to 40 hours per week and took my 3 weeks of vacation, before renegotiating it to 4 weeks a year later. Someone knocked sense into my head. But I was lucky to be in position to change.

I just think a huge percentage of the boats that never move, don't move because the owner doesn't have the time or energy. Then later when he gets that, health becomes an issue.

So curious to hear from those of you still working and if you're not then look back and say what you would have given for more time off to spend with family.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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For me, I'd take the time. This, in spite of the fact that I could really use the money. I'm just under 40, so mid-career, two young kids under 5, mortgaged and with some side debt (car loan, renovations, boat, etc...) and just finished up a Master's degree part-time. We are not well-off by any means, but we are doing ok, just able to make our payments and enjoy the good moments, when we can. But, life is too busy, kids activities like soccer and hockey, my wife is in the daycare's equivalent of a PTA I was studying part time and now am taking Power Squadron courses. It's quite hectic, really. And it will only become busier over the next 10-15 years for us.

This summer we took 2 weeks' vacation. Did some local travelling the first week and rented a cottage the second week. It was absolutely the best thing for us as a family, just to spend time together, without a real schedule. My current boat is a trailerable sailboat, so we had that with us and got to do alot of sailing and cruising as well as check out the local sights. The time was wonderful, but not long enough. The other issue is that the next vacation isn't until next summer and that is far too long.

So yes, additional vacation time would be my choice.

I think that no matter how much money you have, you're always a little bit short of whatever the next thing is that you'd like. Your lifestyle may improve, but you'll still want something that's just out of reach. It's not necesarily a bad thing, to a certain degree.

I'm working on moving up to a trawler, and while I'm trying to do all the calculations of costs and am no doubt short of actually being able to truly afford it, I also have to consider the time we have to use it. But when the heart wants something....
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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Different folks can make different life trades

When I was working the dock would be a ZOO on weekends , so I worked then.

During the week I would go sailing , so someone in the weekend zoo would think my boat was never moved.

When off the most fun was the New Years Day sail (if the bay wasnt frozen).

The weekend folks would sadly realize they have another 3-4 months , before going out , should they happen to be there to check their boat.
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:29 PM   #4
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Speaking of soccer: my son was into it big time, by the time he finished high school it was soccer about 10 months of the year, including most weekends. I did all the traveling w/ him, never missed a game, and loved it. But, when he went off to Ole' Miss, I was lost; what to do w/ all that time? So, I bought Old School. Now, at least one day per weekend is boat related, and I'm wishing I had more time to spend on the boat. So, I'd take more time than more money. In fact I'm thinking of doing just that.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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Wifey B: I must say it didn't take me a lot of effort to get hubby to slow down...but...

It's a family decision. It's lifestyle for all involved. We, and I do mean we as we always considered it together, turned down job ops he had that could have meant lots of money but took us away from where we wanted to stay or an environment that wasn't like the one he was in. I was worried at first he was saying no to stuff for me. But then I realized it wasn't as altruistic. It was for him. For the life he wanted as much as I did. Maybe sometimes people think about doing things for the spouse or kids and don't find out that it's really not what they'd say do. My hubby grew up closer to their housekeeper/maid/nanny/whatever she was than either of his parents. They never got to know him. That's a freaking shame when kids and parents really don't know each other.

Time is our most valuable and precious asset. Do we waste it worrying about crap we can't change? Or cuddle instead? Do we force our kids to participate in so many things wanting to enrich their college application that we barely see them? Has the family vacation died? I knew a couple that could never get the same vacation weeks. So he always ended up doing his honey do list around the house and she always visited her mom.

I knew it before but retirement made us realize it even more. Everyone says we're insane with our business and other business owners are not happy with us, say they can't give benefits and vacation and we're creating unrest with their employees by treating our like we do. We say....well, I can't say here my response to that. Maybe that's why we have the resumes of most of their employees. Our corporate staff is like the best and the one thing you see if you're around them is they seem relaxed and not stressed. Full of energy.

Pleasure and happiness are important and underestimated in value. They don't teach how to get them in school. It's all about money and power. Parents want kids to grow up to be doctors or lawyers or such. Really all I want for the kids I've been around is they grow up happy.

Wonder if any of you walked into your bosses office and said, I want four more weeks vacation and you can reduce my salary 10% what the reaction would be. Heck, they'd think they were on Candid Camera.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:59 PM   #6
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For us, it never made any sense to own a boat unless we could use it all the time, year around. By all the time, I mean live on it, or use it the majority of the days of any week. Otherwise, rent.

The first boat of any substance I ever owned, a mid 60's 32' Tollycraft Sedan FB, was in Seattle in the late 70's. We were on that boat virtually every day, after work cruises, overnights, every spare moment. I was offered a big promotion to go to Chicago. The president of the company made this big pitch to me and asked me, well what do you think? I swear, the first words out of my mouth were : "I'm going to have to sell my boat!" He was a boater himself, and the boat had become fairly famous within the company. He immediately offered to move it as part of the deal.
My reaction was no, it's only a four or five month season, and I'd have to keep it a long way from the office (which was in the far western suburbs). Being young and ambitious, I took the job and sold the boat. Still question that now and then. Didn't buy another boat until 28 years later. Did a lot of boating though!
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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There's an awful lot of backgrounds that participate here with all kinds of financial situations and potentials to stop working or keep struggling just to pay boat expenses.

There are people here that may not even HAVE the ability to walk into the bosses office let alone regional vice president or even area supervisor without a long wait for an appointment for even the lowest level.

To some...a 10% increase in income would be barely noticeable... to others...more time off is immaterial without more income to visit kids, travel, vacation, etc...

Also...the best laid plan may be irrelevant tomorrow....so what's the answer? I doubt there ever will be one till medicine can keep us healthy forever and money becomes a thing of the past....till then...it's all a gamble and for some a struggle.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:47 PM   #8
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You go through phases in life. I was in partnership with a very good friend for a sportfish boat that we also used for diving. When my kids were 5, and his a few years older we sold the boat. Reason? It had gone a year without moving apart from more antifoul as we were too busy with out kids to use it.

I only bought a boat again when the kids were 19. Yes, there was some boating in the interim including with the family. But with long work hours and lots of work travel there just wasn't time. The time I had was more important to use for family and the kids activities, and I've no regrets. We're close. Now, as the twins are often busy making their own lives there is time for me to be boating again.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:47 PM   #9
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In terms of years I am currently trading them for my boating hobby.

I was going to retire at 49, and be able to live a pretty good but modest life.

My wife was nervous so we made a deal. I bought my current boat and agreed to work until I am 58 and have the boat paid off. Thats what I'm doing now.

I'm 3 years into that deal with less than 6 years left to go.

But... I work less than 1/2 the year so I'm semi retired as it is.

Actually I've spent most of my career working only 5 1/2 months a year.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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There's an awful lot of backgrounds that participate here with all kinds of financial situations and potentials to stop working or keep struggling just to pay boat expenses.

There are people here that may not even HAVE the ability to walk into the bosses office let alone regional vice president or even area supervisor without a long wait for an appointment for even the lowest level.

To some...a 10% increase in income would be barely noticeable... to others...more time off is immaterial without more income to visit kids, travel, vacation, etc...

Also...the best laid plan may be irrelevant tomorrow....so what's the answer? I doubt there ever will be one till medicine can keep us healthy forever and money becomes a thing of the past....till then...it's all a gamble and for some a struggle.
You are right, there are many people in many different situations and I'm not suggesting anyone does anything. I certainly never would have thought of walking in or calling and asking for more time off in exchange for a pay cut. Don't think they would have believed I was serious anyway. Just more an observation as it really does play a big role in the number of boaters. We each make what we feel are the best choices. I do, however, think sometimes we get caught up in things without really considering what it's doing to us or the options.

And it's not all brilliance or skill, some of life is just plain luck.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:11 PM   #11
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I currently have the time, being that I became permanently disabled back in 2007.My girlfriend,whom I have been with the last 13 years,is dedicated to her job like no one I have ever met.The only thing that prevents us from having a trawler is income and distance.We are working on the money issue that prevents us from owning the more expensive toys.Hopefully,we can figure out a way to replace her income with something that will allow us to break away from the anchor that we call a job.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:42 PM   #12
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One alternative that I think sometimes gets overlooked is Chartering. You can charter trawlers for anything from $2500 to $6000 per week. Now the impression immediately is that is a lot of money and it is. However, for the person who only gets to use a boat 2 weeks or even 4 weeks a year it's less than the cost of ownership. The cost of owning an equivalent boat that sits at a marina, when you include depreciation, bottom painting, maintenance on top of slip rental and insurance is $15,000 to $30,000 a year. Plus the charter will be in good condition and ready to go while the owned boat will need attention and may not be ready to go. Depending on where you are, I've figured the break even point between chartering and owning is 3 to 6 weeks. Plus chartering, you can boat in different areas.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:25 PM   #13
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I guess what works for one.. doesn't for someone else. My kids feel they grew up on boats.. and for the most part they did. Big boats have been a way to share a lifestyle with our kids that we lived prior to starting the family.. is shorter time spans. The trade off for us is how much boat we have owned vs. the time it takes to pay for it.
The Admiral and I typically average 5-6 weeks a year off.. some years more/less than others. We have for the last few years started taking some separate time off apart.. me either moving boats around somewhere or adventure touring .. and the Admiral running a Marathon someplace special in the world (Mt Everest for her last year.. Mexico,Costa Rica, Panama on boats for me).
We have always spent at least a couple weeks aboard in the summers as a family and numerous long weekends throughout the year. We are in the last year of the kid years as one is at a US Military Academy and the other is trying to choose which university she will attend next year. Our plan has always been to sell the house, close the business and take off cruising after #2 headed to college.. but business is good.. I am too young to quit.. and my other hobbies are too costly!.

The latest version of "The Plan" is to reduce the work year to 3mo. on 3mo. off cycles and cruise the boat on the off cycle.

I do subscribe to the "just do it" mentality.. I had a best friend die of Cancer at the ripe age of 37 and I learned a invaluable lesson.. I figure if there is something we want to do.. do it now if at all feasible.

One of the things I am most pleased about is that we gave both kids a start in this amazing world of boats.. and both profess that they cannot see themselves without their own boats in the future.

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Old 09-25-2014, 01:19 PM   #14
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A happy middle ground for me is working an equal time on/off cycle. I've turned down a number of high offers which couldn't guarantee I'd have 6 months off a year.

I tried a Monday to Friday job for a few years, but 2 day weekends are far too short.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:32 PM   #15
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A happy middle ground for me is working an equal time on/off cycle. I've turned down a number of high offers which couldn't guarantee I'd have 6 months off a year.

I tried a Monday to Friday job for a few years, but 2 day weekends are far too short.
I'm surprised rotations haven't become more prevalent.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:45 PM   #16
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A happy middle ground for me is working an equal time on/off cycle. I've turned down a number of high offers which couldn't guarantee I'd have 6 months off a year.

I tried a Monday to Friday job for a few years, but 2 day weekends are far too short.
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I'm surprised rotations haven't become more prevalent.
I've spent most of a long career working a rotational shift.

10 two week vacations and two three week vacations a year.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:28 PM   #17
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For me I would like more time off .But then again I usually work when I'm off and when I'm off I'm on the boat . The last time I took a full week off and went crusing I sold more lumber that week than I have ever sold while at work . Maybe being on the boat gave me a better attitude and I worked better with customers .Too bad the boss didn't take notice and give me more time off
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:10 PM   #18
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Retiring when you can and earlier than required has tradeoffs. Whatever the original income level, it is usually less when you are retired, but you have time and thus the ability to do things that you were not able to do before. In my case I cannot afford (or won't spend on) items my working friends freely spend on. No expensive car, but then we have traveled extensively and are able to rent cars in multiple countries. No or many fewer first class Chicago restaurant meals, but many many meals with friends both at home and abroad. I have the same boat I had 16 years ago, have seen many finer and more expensive boats, but then we use Bay Pelican extensively and my working friends boats are in the marina. Our home is a third the value of the home we had when we worked, but for many reasons we love this house more than the one before. The tradeoffs go on and on, and from my view I am the winner.
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:22 PM   #19
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The tradeoffs go on and on, and from my view I am the winner.
And ultimately your viewpoint is the only one that matters. Too many lead their lives as they believe others expect them to.

And it is all a tradeoff.

People we worked with were amazed that our vacations were always just staying home and enjoying the lake and visiting family about 4 hours away. But that's what we enjoyed and we had no desire for the extravagant European vacation. We always returned to work from vacation relaxed and rested. Others seemed to return more exhausted than when they left and with huge credit card debt.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:30 AM   #20
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Nobody ever lay on their death bed saying "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

As I approach the end of a long corporate career, I think - for me - I've kept the right perspective. Very early on, I asked myself: Do I want the boss's job?

It didn't take long to reach a point where the answer was "no". It was actually my boss's boss. Nice guy. He drove a nicer car than mine. He had a nicer house than mine. He had a much nicer boat than mine. He could afford to pay other people to maintain them all. He never had to work on them like I did.

But he never got to enjoy any of them. He worked 60-80 hour weeks. His stress level was sky-high. He rarely spent time with his family, or on his boat.

I asked myself: is THAT what I aspire to? For me, the answer was clear. Besides, I sort of enjoy working on the house or the boat. More than working late dealing with budgets, schedules, personnel issues, long drawn-out meetings and all the rest.
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