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Old 10-11-2021, 02:34 PM   #21
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I learned two things when my wife and I sold EVERYTHING and moved onto our live aboard. 1. Not having a home base we could go back to was more difficult than we thought. Not that we wanted to alot but not having the option was a heavy anchor. 2. When we did decide to buy another home we found out how difficult it is to get a mortgage after retirement. Need steady income source regardless of how much cash you have in the bank.
A lot of the people we met along the way did the live aboard for part of the year then returned home to recharge.
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Old 10-11-2021, 02:58 PM   #22
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I learned two things when my wife and I sold EVERYTHING and moved onto our live aboard. 1. Not having a home base we could go back to was more difficult than we thought. Not that we wanted to alot but not having the option was a heavy anchor. 2. When we did decide to buy another home we found out how difficult it is to get a mortgage after retirement. Need steady income source regardless of how much cash you have in the bank.
A lot of the people we met along the way did the live aboard for part of the year then returned home to recharge.
Wifey B: Great share.

As to #1- We're flying home Saturday after the summer cruise of our lives. So many wonderful places. However, we're so anxious, dying to be home and see everyone and everything. And it's will have only been 109 days. It just hits you at some point and ours is 6 weeks to 2 months.

As to #2 - Hadn't heard that one but always wondered as I'm sure they send our stuff to elderly trying to get them to finance. I figured they'd be pushing 90 year olds into 30 year mortgages. That's not meant as disrespect to 90 year olds but to banks. I mean these are the people who cause people making $30,000 to accumulate $80,000 of credit card debt.
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:48 PM   #23
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I'm curious how others feel about this. I'm concerned that when its time to return to shore I can actually afford a roof over my head once the boat is sold. However, I'm equally concerned and focused on divesting myself of 90% of possessions and all real estate so I can be totally mobile and not waste many thousands on storing furniture that I might not like in 15 years.

I'm hedging my bets by selling my primary residence of the past 29 years (and its contents) but keeping a small Condo I also own and renting it to cover its costs and provide a little extra income.

What have others done? What are you worried most about?

We bought a Florida water front condo that we would want to retire in, and sold our family home in New England. That gives us a permanent dirt address for insurance purposes, where we can say we cruise the boat but live at the dirt address, so we can say we are not liveaboards. We also don't have the maintenance issues associated with a house. We are on the boat about 9 months a year, but return to the condo for various reasons. It also provides a place to keep our cars. When we eventually stop cruising the boat, we will still have our retirement dream home.
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:14 PM   #24
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A lot of the people we met along the way did the live aboard for part of the year then returned home to recharge.
I definitely fall in that category. In a perfect world, I would leave SWFL April 1st and return home middle of November.

The nice feature of a winter off is a chance to go through the boat, do preventative maintenance, maybe a few upgrades and not be time pressured to get everything done.

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Old 10-11-2021, 05:30 PM   #25
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Been out here over 5 years now

Still haven't managed to get back to do something with the dirt house, car, motorbike or other big project boat.
Bought this boat, moved on and ran away.

Bad us.
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:59 PM   #26
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I LOVE being on my boat while fishing and cruising the SF Bay and CA Delta. I also love being in my home of 31 years during recharge and reset periods. I use this at-home time to reprovision and prepare for the next adventure, whether it's fishing or cruising. It's a blessing to be able to boat year-round in NorCal but I need a permanent address for my home church, mailbox and workshop.

YMMV
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Old 10-11-2021, 06:24 PM   #27
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We started cruising in a GB42 around 2000 at ages 33 & 35, that lasted full time 2 years and on-and-off a few more. We kept our two rental townhomes, three commercial downtown buildings and our home in a nice historic district in a Southern City.

It was a PITA collecting rents, maintaining 6 properties while cruising and we almost never got our boating buddy to leave our house, although we did tell him 2-10 years and we were just closer to the 2 years while he was hoping on the 10 years. Ultra cheap rent with all our furnishings made this newly divorced guy have it made.

Now we are back to a home in San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, a small boutique hotel & restaurant and the three commercial renters. We wish we had kept the townhomes, they would be worth almost triple what we sold them for a decade ago...and possibly bring in more than the hotel or restaurant ...

Main idea for us is keeping low maintenance, low cost-of-ownership properties that bring in the most income.

I mention Mexico, because we love it and the cost of ownership is cheaper than anywhere in the U.S. that property is going up fast so if the idea appeals to you, let me know. We have over a decade south of the border (SOB) and have learned a few hard lessons.

Now cruising PNW June-Oct and enjoying Mexico during the other 6 months. Best of both worlds.


Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide to do.
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Old 10-11-2021, 08:17 PM   #28
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I just sold or gave away everything. I had a boat, (many of you recall my adventures with southerly). She closed today. Before I sold her, I purchased a 55’ wide body Viking MY. I also had a 4000 sq. Foot house. Talk about a leap of faith. The dirt house closes on Thursday.

I’m writing this from my new home, Sunshine. I have been onboard for 2 weeks already getting to know her. I do most engine and general boat maintenance myself. I’m living on my hobby. I am an only child and my dad owns a beautiful home that is in a life estate so I have no worries for the future.

Of Course I worried that I wouldn’t like living onboard full time and maybe I won’t. But for now, it’s what I choose. I do not worry about tomorrow as there may not be one. I didn’t want to look back on my life and say, I wonder what it would have been like living aboard. I have no storage unit.

I still work, although a flex job. Some of you know what I do.

I have my coffee every morning with the dolphins, manatees, fish and birds before I start my day. I am so relaxed and the stress has melted away.

BTW, Southerly sold for way over what I purchased her for so take care of your boat and she will take care of you.

Good luck to all!
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Old 10-11-2021, 09:09 PM   #29
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We cut the cord May 2021. No dirt address except at St Brendan's Isle (mail forwarding service). Spend a small $80/mo for some self storage of only our best furniture. May 2022, we'll decide if we keep it another year or make our 28 year old son pay it if he wants it! LOL

Won't make sense to store this stuff for much longer than 1-2 years. Could not even get Goodwill and Salvation Army to come take a look!

Very liberating.

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Old 10-11-2021, 11:57 PM   #30
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I have been a "stay aboard" since 2018. What that means is that I have still had a house but chose to stay on my boat.

That phase of life is ending with my wife and I finally finishing up our married life.

Part of the reason I allowed this to drag on so long is that I was afraid. I have always had the fall back of real estate as a major asset and being without that is frankly scary.

I am almost 60 and figure that I have maybe 15 years of good health in which to explore by boat. After that my body is probably going to be getting long in the tooth to do things like crawl around the bilges, and medical issues might force me to be less nomadic.

What to do? In 15 years my boat that is worth in the range of a decent condo now will be worth some percentage of that, I'm guess ing 50-60%. While real estate will have risen 30-100% above what it is today.

If your boat represents a huge chunk of your net worth one might find themselves trapped living on a boat for life, at the mercy of liveaboard rules and quotas, making a prime location difficult or impossible to obtain.

A solution i am considering seriously is to take my cash and within the next year or two buy a condo or home somewhere and rent it out. My thoughts are to choose somewhere touristy enough to rent it out as a vacation rental Vs having long term tenants. That way I am not stuck in a declining neighborhood somewhere with a funky condo.

Where??? Well I'm starting my retirement cruising adventure as soon as the weather breaks for spring. That adventure will without a doubt expose me to places I never considered. Even countries that I never considered.

Another option is to keep it reasonably invested, but that has risk of course. Invest too conservativly and you do not keep up with inflation, and too aggressively and you might be in a market downturn right when you need the cash. At least with real estate even if it decreases in value you can live there.

Now... If one does not have that ability.... If their main asset is the money they have tied up in a boat with no option for simultaneous investment in real property then one must plan extremely carefully.

My opinion is that someone contemplating an active cruising lifestyle needs an exit plan at least for the cruising part. I see no problem growing old living on a boat but you need to at least plan on where to park it to live life post cruising.

That might be a condo slip with liveaboard rights. That might be buying a piece of property along a waterway where you could park your boat. That might mean paying rent in a slip full time that you are only using part of the year to get liveaboard rights. That might also mean being willing to finish out your years in a location with lax live.aboard rules and or no wait lists.

The big thing is to plan it out so that you do not find yourself 75 years old, in declining health and zero options.
You must be, or should kidding
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Old 10-12-2021, 12:06 AM   #31
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You must be, or should kidding
kidding about what?
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:11 AM   #32
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living aboard

I think its depend a lot of your personal situation. We live in Belgium -Europe
We (my wife and i) had worked together and lived in 3 city's in 2 country's in Europe. Always had a good home, We started late on boating with a 39f gallart
our latest home we purchaced was a appartment in the harbour all nice but het city concil had other plans and the sale could not be completed, luckely we did almost lose no money on this.

We started to stay on this boat for 2 years, we have a shared appartment where my grandmother lives. so we stay most onboard .
Im retiring next month and 2 years ago we where planning our future, the home market prizes had going up so fast so we decided to purchage a bigger boat then we have a nice living and just no financial problems. I have several banck accounts, so we have or savings, one for yearly cost of the boat (mooring fee, elektricity, water tax, small maintenance, and heating fuel) and a second account for running fuel cost it took a while to balance the saving to each account, but now we are better prepared and have less suprizes in cost. Whe purchaces a trader 54 (almost 60f) and lived on for 2 years (most of the year) it cost 1/3 of a 2 room appartment

Sometimes you have to make a dicision in live withs is not simpel

(sorry for the bad englisch)
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Old 10-12-2021, 06:02 AM   #33
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I just sold or gave away everything. I had a boat, (many of you recall my adventures with southerly). She closed today. Before I sold her, I purchased a 55í wide body Viking MY. I also had a 4000 sq. Foot house. Talk about a leap of faith. The dirt house closes on Thursday.

Iím writing this from my new home, Sunshine. I have been onboard for 2 weeks already getting to know her. I do most engine and general boat maintenance myself. Iím living on my hobby. I am an only child and my dad owns a beautiful home that is in a life estate so I have no worries for the future.

Of Course I worried that I wouldnít like living onboard full time and maybe I wonít. But for now, itís what I choose. I do not worry about tomorrow as there may not be one. I didnít want to look back on my life and say, I wonder what it would have been like living aboard. I have no storage unit.

I still work, although a flex job. Some of you know what I do.

I have my coffee every morning with the dolphins, manatees, fish and birds before I start my day. I am so relaxed and the stress has melted away.

BTW, Southerly sold for way over what I purchased her for so take care of your boat and she will take care of you.

Good luck to all!
That is refreshing to hear and matches many of our sentiments, except for the working part. My absolute favorite part of the day is early morning with a cup of good coffee on deck watching as the world comes alive. Every day where we are now, turtles, herons, kingfishers, cormorants, eagles, vultures and ospreys come around to say hi. Air is crisp, fog on the surface curls around the hull. Never gets old.
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:18 AM   #34
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Living aboard

So we did the leap...life without adventure was no in our cards. Sold the primary residence...boat our livaboard with a condo slip and all the privileges of staying staying aboard and enjoying the condo ďfeelĒ. On the waterfront with killer views and cruising potential. Also we are just a few miles from our grandkids. Thatís the summer camp. Our winter camp is a home in the desert where the hiking, biking, golf and other fun...getting our hands dirty plants and landscape...The price of living is much cheaper, housing, food and recreation. The admiral needs reboot time. Itís all individual according to your needs time cruising and getting dirty. That ratio will help you decide...good luck. So far it has worked for us but we do a 5 year plan at a time.
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Old 10-12-2021, 07:44 PM   #35
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This is a good option

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When we decided to be full time cruisers we looked at it as not just a new chapter in our lives but, a whole new book. We got rid of everything except for a few keepsakes. We dove right in, no handwringing and havenít regretted it. We sort of treat moving back to land as ďweíll cross that bridge when we get to it.Ē In reality we have enough in assets to acquire a home later when/if we need to. Because we might want to buy a house someday doesnít mean we have to invest in real estate. The idea of having some sense of security remaining anchored to land by retaining a home doesnít register. For us, one bad rental tenant experience would sour us on the landlord thing, even with a management company overseeing the property.

The home of our waning years would be modest but, neither of us have any desire for anything large. A one bedroom condo would work, other than having to endure a resident who made a retirement career of playing Mayor of Condoville. But for now, and at this for over nine years and in our 60-70ís, we donít stress about it.

I agree with your thinking and we are doing the same. Age is relative and while there is no guarantee of long life, I think if you've had a good life from a health perspective being unsure of your future years can cause issues in letting go concerning land based worries. There are a lot of options once your cruising days are over...not just dirt. It's all about being comfortable with whatever makes that happen. We have or are in the process of selling all things not needed for cruising and we are not concerned about it. One advantage we have over first time larger boat cruisers is we've been on the water in larger boats for years. That experience gives us the confidence to stay out there way beyond our 70's. If I had a spouse that didn't want to live aboard I would work hard to develop a compromising plan if possible that worked for all parties. Good luck to all no matter your situation.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:58 PM   #36
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I think you are on the right track. I think there is definitely value in maintaining at least a thin tether to terra firma. I lived aboard for over two years while also having a home about a thousand miles away and am now back home. But not a day goes by I don't think about untying the lines and heading back out, albeit in the opposite direction. Living aboard is a great experience that you can't really appreciate until you've done it, both good and bad experiences. I wish you luck, fair winds and following seas.
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Old 10-12-2021, 09:00 PM   #37
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9 years ago had a boat built for us. It was finished 8 years ago. We sold our house and gave to charity most of our possessions. However, between ourselves deceased parents and sister had a host of valuables. Held an auction which generated cruising kitty but still had museum quality pieces we didn’t want to part with so climate controlled storage. While this was going on bought a knockdown inside a park with waterfront on a stocked trout pond. Struggled with permitting for a year. Finally while we were off cruising it was knocked down and had a zero footprint house built. Then new house was totally self sufficient and actually generated a small income. House was monitored and we could change any setting via the internet. It sat empty during our travels except for a rare visit by my kids to enjoy a weekend. However, it was a home to come home to for holidays, births or other important family and when necessary business reasons.
Houses only get more expensive. Great places to live only get harder to find. There are times you just need a break from the boat. Stuff happens. We were able to take the second to last flight out of St. Lucia and just leave the boat. Possible without difficulties as we had a house to come home to. Having a house and a boat gives you great freedom. We left friends scatttered through early Caribbean stuck there for the duration due to Covid. Couldn’t leave a major asset and having no easy alternative place to live. Couldn’t sale home as no crew and no good way to prep for voyaging. Due to inter island travel restrictions stuck on their boats in virtual incarceration.
There’s so many ways having a dirt dwelling as a fallback improves quality of life. Simple things like dealing with governmental agencies, mail (st brendons is excellent) and legal stuff.
If you can keep a house. If you can don’t rent it or lease it. Even a in-law is a good fallback. But although the boat was our home to the rest of the world we would have been homeless without our house.
PS-running rentals is a PIA and if you are an active cruiser you’ll probably need a management company. Risk /benefit, income/hassle, on so many ways just a ball and chain. Sold off all the business properties, turned control of investments over to a excellent financial advisor. Didn’t think about money or other encumbrances spf our pre cruising life. Another important freedom and stress reducing move. Sure we were in frequent contact with our advisor but the tenure of life was different.
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Old 10-13-2021, 04:33 AM   #38
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The only times we need a break from the boat are when it gets hauled for bottom paint. Then we stay in a hotel for a couple nights. The dog likes jumping on the bed and thinks it’s a grand adventure.

Recently, something unexpected came up and we will be spending this winter in the northeast rather than heading south. It does violate one of our two rules for being full time cruisers: No winter coats. I offered to put the boat to bed and get a furnished apartment for the winter but my wife said she’d rather remain on the boat. Even with the living adjustments that entails, moving to land even temporarily doesn’t interest her.
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Old 10-13-2021, 04:58 PM   #39
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I would never sell my dirt to fund my boating existence. I have no problem converting a primary residence into an apartment building or a REIT. At least this would give me options in the future.

RIGHT ON Tiltrider!!!

Houses are hard to come by. And no docking fees to contend with while living in it. But to each his own, I prefer our boat to be a summer camp on the water.
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Old 10-13-2021, 06:29 PM   #40
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I have lived on my boat for 25 years. In that time I have seen hundreds of liveaboards. Only one never returned to dirt. I have not yet met a liveaboard who went straight from their boat to a retirement center all but one went either back to a house or condo. Some went back as owners, some went back as renters. Those who had a plan from the beginning generally returned as owners. Those who had no plan or sold a house to fund their boating experience generally returned as renters. The one who never returned. You guessed it, he passed in his sleep. We all would like to think we are going to be that guy but he was less than one in a hundred.
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