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Sailing is a lot like Financial Planning
Old 03-20-2012, 01:17 PM   #1
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Sailing is a lot like Financial Planning

OK I have run many of the RE calculators out there in search of the perfect bullet proof plan that can tell us we will have enough $$ to live the way we would like the rest of our lives and have come away with the following as we really do not know for sure :

Note: Know that Sailing is one of DW and I's passions.

I find financial planning for retirement is much like charting a long sailing trip. As we plan a sailing trip we chart the course. We make assumptions based past experiences, the study of historical data, charts, weather and tide forcasts, and other variables. Check the safety gear. We then pack the boat and cast off. Once we get out on the journey things change due to weather, our own tolerences to heavy weather, repairs, enjoying some ports more than others etc. etc. etc. . Thus we remain flexible and adjust the course as reality comes to us on our sailing journey so we safely reach our final destination .

So the take away for DW and I are

We need to remain flexible in our financial journey.

First we, prepare, understand our tolerences to volitility, chart the financial course and properly to the best we can pack the portfolio do a safety check and finally shove off on the journey as no calcutaor can tell us what the journey will actually bring us as there are too may variables.

To prepare we are packing the portfolio and checking the safety of our financial journey. We will have a 2 bucket nest egg. One with 4.5 years of cash to estimated expenses to ride out the market storms (2007 top then the crash 2009 and 2011 fully recovered plus) and take advantage of storm destruction by buying the good debris left behind. The second bucket is a balanced portfolio to our risk tolerance and financial goals with an estimated 4% wd rate of first year of our starting balance of bucket #2 to cover expenses. A 2.5% WD rate that would cover essential expenses and inflation is included . Might have cut expenses during rough markets and may increase expenses and replenish cash bucket in good markets. LTC and Medcial to be covered in expenses.

As we journey we will continue to make financial decisions and safety checks based upon where we are then and where we forecast the variables to be for the next leg of the journey and keep on the journey because it is all about making the journey and to the final destination safely.

The above anolgies areabout as simple as I can put such a complex project.

Done calculating . Need to shore up medical coverage and stow another 10% in the portfolio buckets and it will be time to cast off!!!

Hopefully Cast Off Jan 2013.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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Nice analogy! And remember that you can always use one of those buckets for bailing if the bilge pump quits on you!
Seriously, I think flexibility and awareness of external changes that will require adjustments is a critical feature in anyone's financial plan, regardless of whether they plan to retire early or work til they drop.
And we should all try very hard to enjoy the journey--good advice!

So where are you heading and what's your boat? We've got a '76 34 Marine Trader DC.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #3
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I think that the planning leading up to retirement is like the beginning of an ocean voyage, that culminates and continues in retirement. See my sig line, from Moby Dick. To me, retirement is like venturing into those unshored, harborless immensities. Exciting, adventuresome, a little scary, and fun.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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So where are you heading and what's your boat? We've got a '76 34 Marine Trader DC.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for the reply
We have a 1986 Catalina 34 MKI on Lake Erie. First summer we plan to live aboard and explore the North Channel and other areas of the Great Lakes.
If we enjoy living aboard we will go down the ICW and hang in the keys. If we still want to criuse we make the crossing to the Carribean or trade our boat and home for a larger boat already in Carribean for extended cruising.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Nice plan! We lived aboard for the summer of 2003 on our smaller sailboat (hence trading up to the trawler, lazy sailors that we are). Stayed in the Abacos islands of the Bahamas--a beautiful area. Hope to take the trawler down there next year for a few months.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #6
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Sailing & racing is/was a passion for DW and I as well. Though it's not sailing, you might like this (seriously)
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
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Great analogy. Think of it as a long beat windward. Sometimes the wind shifts in your favor and other times the wind shifts against you. You need to be cognizant of changing conditions and make mid-course corrections to get to the windward mark.

Plans change - "stuff" happens - that's life.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:06 PM   #8
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Great analogy. Think of it as a long beat windward. Sometimes the wind shifts in your favor and other times the wind shifts against you. You need to be cognizant of changing conditions and make mid-course corrections to get to the windward mark.

Plans change - "stuff" happens - that's life.
And some are oscillating shifts, some are persistent shifts...
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Brother-in-law is currently in MI looking for a Catalina 34 to buy. He crews in the Chicago to Mackinaw race every year. DW and I have discussed a decent sized boat, but we prefer the mountains. Maybe later in life.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:32 PM   #10
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To me investing is a lot like gardening and fishing. For everyday local dependable water transport I rely on a stinkpot. I'd consider sailing attractive if I could justify the cost of a sailboat with auxiliary diesel power.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:49 PM   #11
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Brother-in-law is currently in MI looking for a Catalina 34 to buy. He crews in the Chicago to Mackinaw race every year. DW and I have discussed a decent sized boat, but we prefer the mountains. Maybe later in life.
I sailed for 35 years, owned sailboats 26-35 feet for 22 years and loved it. Did 5 Chicago Race to Mackinacs, including 2 of the roughest (2002 & 2011). Sold our last boat just before Christmas 2010.

Buying a boat is only the beginning of the cost. It's amazing how much work and money goes into owning a decent sized boat. If you race, multiply by 2-3X.

There's a reason they say, 'the two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he buys his boat, and the day he sells his boat.'

And 'better than having a boat, is having a friend with a boat.'
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #12
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Brother-in-law is currently in MI looking for a Catalina 34 to buy. He crews in the Chicago to Mackinaw race every year. DW and I have discussed a decent sized boat, but we prefer the mountains. Maybe later in life.
Don't know how old you are, but a sailing requires some athletic ability and is not for the old. Now if you just going to get a trawler and motor about in inland waters, that you can do when you get older, but you don't see to many sailors who actively sail after 70.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #13
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After 10 years off sailing, if the markets have smiled on you, you can accept your inner evil twin and swap for a cigarette boat.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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.And 'better than having a boat, is having a friend with a boat.'
I know Steve crewed in the 2011 race - I think he has for the past three, total about 5 or 6. We tracked them on computer one year. The Sail La Vie: a Tartan 31 out of Charlevoix.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #15
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. Don't know how old you are, but a sailing requires some athletic ability and is not for the old. Now if you just going to get a trawler and motor about in inland waters, that you can do when you get older, but you don't see to many sailors who actively sail after 70.
We're not strangers to sailing lol, and not in our twilight years yet...

It's just never been a passion for us.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:38 PM   #16
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And some are oscillating shifts, some are persistent shifts...
The key is a light touch on the helm. I had a racing instructor who took us to sea and lashed the tiller amidships and made us sail her home without the rudder control. Now that was a light touch on the helm, he'd say.
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