Colin Rae of Newcastle, Tyne and Wear GBR asks:
Have you kept records of your living expenses during your time
on board? It would be interesting for those of us who hope to follow in
your footsteps to know what it cost per month, all in. The good, bad and
the ugly! Everything from slip fees to car hire to maintenance. Many
thanks, best wishes for Christmas to all on Egret. Colin
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Colin, We gave quite a lot of thought - as you are - about finances prior
to retiring. It was a BIG first step in Egret's case selling all and going
cruising. The best information after a lot of research is what we were told
by a sailboater in Scotland while we were chartering. "You spend what you
have". This is very good advice as well as being true.
Early on we tried to keep a list of expenses. After a relatively short time
we gave that up and simply live a relatively conservative lifestyle. We
have found to be true what we were told in a retirement seminar that
compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. We are spending less
than our investment income.
Egret's major expenses are dockage during our previous Med winters at about
$5600/winter. Fuel is not a major expense unless you are traveling as we
are now but we have no wintering expense, therefore offsetting fuel costs.
Boat insurance is a fixed cost, Egret uses Al Golden's Jackline Program at
IMIS Insurance, as is health insurance. We use an international health
insurance company with a large deductible for catastrophic illnesses only.
For normal doctor/dentist expenses we pay out of pocket. Flights home are
part of cruising expenses as are the unexpected 'tings' that pop up. If you
can do most of your own work yard costs are not much at all. All in all
expenses are what you make them. By staying out of marinas and not eating
out a lot make major differences in expenses.
Probably the biggest single hidden expense over your cruising life is the
cost of your boat, cost of maintenance and resale. The difference is the
single largest expense you will have. Choose wisely.