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Old 02-23-2011, 10:51 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by las200 View Post
  • Restarting work - I know we won't be anywhere close to our quitting salaries, but will we be down to an entry level position after a 5 year haitus?
you can check out Sail Whisper. The couple(in their 40's maybe?) quit their IT jobs in the Bay area, sailed the South pacific then down to Aussie/NZ, did some contract jobs there. several years later, they sold the boat, flew back to where they started off and re-started their corporate life.

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Old 02-24-2011, 06:19 AM   #42
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No, I would NOT do it especially since you've got kids. I'd crank up my and my SO's careers and attempt to retire early. OTOH, I'm not as adventurous or spontaneous as I used to be before we had our kids. Now I'm a big planner and thinker because we wish to give them good roots for life until they reach the majority's age and start planning their own lives.

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Old 02-24-2011, 01:36 PM   #43
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I did it, something very close to what you are considering. At 35, my wife, two kids and I left San Diego, CA and moved to rural Brazil. Financially, we were in similar shape.

There, we bought a farm and lived the slow life, for almost five years. We were in a town of about 10,000 people, near where my wife was born.

It was an amazing experience, wouldn't trade it for anything, BUT.......

Originally Posted by las200 View Post

What I'm worried about:
  • Health insurance while we're on the trip - I haven't investigated at all. How much is a plan for an unemployed family?

    Non issue for us, Brazilian system was decent for the basics, we paid cash for anything needed beyond that. Practice a preventative lifestyle and you should be fine. I think American's have been sold healthcare and health insurance, too much of it, for too long. In most countries the doctor patient relationship still drives the med business. If you pull into port and need something, pay cash.
  • Overspending on the trip - But, we've always been good at living modestly and well below our means. I hope we can stick to a budget.

    We didn't stick to our budget. The excitement of the experience will have you wanting to adventure more, this usually costs money. Budget high, if you are going to do this, enjoy it.
  • Restarting work - I know we won't be anywhere close to our quitting salaries, but will we be down to an entry level position after a 5 year haitus?

    This part sucks, period. I don't know what your professions are, but for me, tech Business Development and project management, clawing back into the rat race has been an awful experience. I'm almost two years into it, have had to make a total career change, because that is what pays the bills. I am making less than half of what I used to and have very little job security. Getting back into tech, at a level anywhere near where I left off, has proven to be impossible. The industry has changed and it's flooded with younger, unemployed, but employable blood. There are some things I could do differently, guess I really haven't played all of my cards, but I have changed. My priorities are different.
  • When will we be able to retire? - I can't get a grasp on this because I don't have a clue how much this will de-rail our careers and our salary. But maybe getting used to a lower salary will be beneficial and we won't be that bad.

    If we had stayed on course, pun intended , I think we could have worked towards an early 50s retirement. We're now looking at 60s plus, unless one of my schemes works out*.

All that said. I say do it, you can never go back, and you will always wonder, what if?.

*I am now putting together a business that takes us back to Brazil, back to a lifestyle more similar to that which we enjoyed down there, for four years. The experience changed all of us, for ever, and I believe, for the better. I'm going back.

Edit - I think the kids will end up being better people. Mine are 9 and 6 and watching them adjust back to US mass media, poor quality public education society has been tough. Another reason I am starting the new Brazil based business. I think they will be better off with what I plan on doing, there.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #44
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Billy and I read this thread right before we walked down the street here at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala to the volcano-heated hot springs. We both remarked that had we read something like this (in a respected financial forum) before we retired 20+ years ago, our courage to press forward to early retirement might have been fractured. Then again, the mainstream fears expressed here might have been exactly the motivation we needed to say “we’re outta here!”

In our opinion, wanderlust is not a disease from which to be cured. (“Oh Lord, grant me a vaccine which will allow me to be happy spending the next 20 years of my life in a gray cubicle, Amen.”) Not everyone has the desire to see history, anthropology, biology, financial management, geology, mechanics and language studies come alive through first-hand world travel and that’s ok. Everyone is made differently.

The children we have met on the road and in foreign countries who are being home-schooled have astonished us with their ability to engage in conversation with humans of all ages and cultures. They don’t draw the same self-limiting lines of distinction (“These people are cool, these people are not”) that seem so obvious when we return to the States and meet kids in suburbia. And most amazingly, they speak respectfully and in full sentences.

Many of these world savvy children and young adults speak 2 and 3 languages now and have interacted in life adventures on various levels, so their skill sets are different than those who grew up in what is considered to be a ‘stable environment.’

It seems to us that parents who choose to home school their children enjoy spending time with their families. The children themselves become invigorated by the creativity that the classroom-sans-walls offers. Everyday offers a topic of learning. Want to know about how weather works? Look outside – you have every example available when you travel. Want to learn about fixing a motor? Help dad do it. Geography? Geology? Map reading? Mathematics? Economics? What better way than to live it. Write a blog aboutthe native peoples you are meeting and send it to your school back home. This is far more interesting for everyone than just reading a book about them.

Granted, the discussion was about very young children accompanying their parents – when or if these parents decide to sail with their children will depend on many factors, but I hope it is not because they fear their children’s education will suffer.

Regarding the issue of being able to find work in the field with which you are familiar and making that same amount of income after years away traveling we would say this. Five years of continuous travel will change and enrich your life completely. You will have met people, seen places, observed great needs in different societies, and will probably come into contact with very different business ideas and models. If you have any sort of communication skills, any bit of organizational ability, or any other talents that you could develop, you will surely find yourselves in any number of opportunities around the world.

We know a man who bought a macadamia nut farm in Antigua, Guatemala, helped the indigenous bring protein into their diets and income into their homes. He sells his anti-aging macadamia nut oil product to Lancôme.

A couple here at Lake Atitlan home schools their children. The whole family partakes in the family run coffee roasting business – complete from buying, roasting and grinding the beans to baking the carrot cake, cheese cakes and making the cappuccinos. The father has taught his daughters the business first hand. It’s hard for me to believe that his tri-lingual children do not have a head’s up on life.

Why not organize mechanical engineers to come to your paradise and have them help provide the local people with clean, reliable water sources? Or what about fundraising to bring computers to impoverished schools and teaching computer skills to any of the hundreds of locations where students need them? Become a worldwide organization that provides. You won’t have to look for a need- there are so many.

I agree with the man with the Brazilian wife – Affordable Medical Tourism is found all over the world – Costa Rica, Mexico, Thailand, Guatemala and other countries.

I think a large challenge you will face after years of being away, will be if you want to re-integrate back into American society. Billy and I love the United States. We are proud to be Americans. The U.S. gave us our opportunity to retire early and we are truly grateful. It’s just that after 2+ decades of world travel, we have seen so many different ways of living and our perspectives have changed and opened.

You might find that the same will happen with you.

Was it worth it? Absolutely yes!

Author, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. They have lived over 2 decades of this financially independent lifestyle, traveling the globe.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #45
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Akaisha, thanks so much for weighing in again with your unique perspective borne of many years as a PT.
I agree, and although we'll try to hold out for ER and not returning to rat race jobs when we pull the trigger, I figure that I can humble myself to do what needs doing if it comes to that.

I can tell you, as a nod to the OP, we took off sailing for a summer to see if we liked it enough to do it fulltime. We bought a small economical old cruiser for the experiment. What a wonderful trip it was, but as it turns out, the cruising full-time life was not for us. Good to know with a $13k boat instead of a $75k boat! And we were able to pick up mostly where we left off, jobwise after just 3 months away.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. But I'm going to join the chorus of GO GO GO from the sailing forum.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 04-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #46
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Sounds to me like you aren't exactly looking for advice about whether or not sailing with the kids for a few years would be a good idea. Instead you are trying to figure out if financially it is a smart idea.

First, could you save enough for the trip? This is something you would need to figure out as you are the expert in sailing. I am assuming this is something you could do otherwise you wouldn't even be proposing the idea.

You currently have about $600,000 in investments. During the 5 years if it compounded at 7%, you would have roughly $840K. You also have $105K saved for the kids college which would be about $127K after the 5 years if compounded at 4%. That is about $64K per child and the oldest will be 12 or 13 with about 5 years until that cash is needed.

Analysis: The biggest issue I believe for you and your family is reconstitution into the work place after the trip. There can never be an exact idea of what the job market may look like at that time. HOWEVER, if we make a few assumptions we can come to a reasonable conclusion.

Let's assume upon returning you and your wife will only be able to make 70% of your current income ($133K). You currently use 60% of your income ($114K) (which you stated based on the fact that you save 40%). You need to determine if you can live off of about 45% ($85.5K) of your current income soley for expenses. This would allow you in this worst case scenario to still save approx. $47.5K/year toward retirement.

End result? You could retire at 52 assuming a 4 SWR with approx $3.0M, with $120K a year. In my opinion, the kid's tuition should be OK as long as they go to a college that is not too over the top. Maybe they can get some scholarships or help pay their own way like people used to do.

Of course this all assumes you and your wife will only recieved 70% of current salaries for 13 years upon returning from your trip. I made up this scenario completely. You need to determine the type of numbers you want (ie retirement age, income, etc.) and then I could come up with a more accurate estimate of where this trip will put you in the long term.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:22 PM   #47
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Thanks, Sarah, for your kindness.

Sounds like you are resourceful, authentic and creative - perfect for problem solving and figuring out whatever you might face in the future.

In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. They have lived over 2 decades of this financially independent lifestyle, traveling the globe.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:39 AM   #48
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I would say work and save until 45, then ER and do it at your leisure. I think your kids would get way more out of it at that point as well.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:35 AM   #49
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When OP is 45 the kids will be 15+13. Transplantation of teens might be a challenge that could kill parents' plans.

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