In the darkness, I stir from my dreams and my thoughts begin to sneak in. Like a bully, they force themselves into my slumber and I awake. Before I know it, my mind is racing with the same thoughts that I've contemplated time and time again. When I've worn myself down to exhaustion, I begin to flirt with sleep. My routine thoughts are slowly replaced with things so random and so unreal ... it jolts me to reality once again. Damn it! I had almost succumbed to sleep, but recognizing that my arrival at work without any shoes wasn't really happening has me awake again!
Our minds are like computers, always processing our thoughts and experiences. It seems that since we finally sold our two houses, my mind is constantly calculating our next move. Selling everything and moving onto a boat to sail away and "live the dream" requires a strategy when you're not financially independent. At almost 50 years old, Ken and I don't want to sail through our entire life savings while cruising. It wouldn't be hard to do.
While I lay in bed, I constantly run the numbers. Okay let's go through this again ... we'll budget $1500 per month, which will mostly come from rental income. We'll have a small amount of savings for rental repairs and those times when our rental is vacant (we have a vacant rental as I write this, and working on repairs). We'll use a portion of the money from the house sales to get our sailboat ready for cruising (solar panels, generator, ground tackle, etc.). How much will that cost?! Is our budget realistic? The remainder of the house money ... we can't touch it! That money has to be around for later years. Is that possible? Surely not. What if the boat engine needs replacing or we need new rigging? How long will our sails last? What if our rudder falls off? What if our boat becomes a money pit?!
Okay, well maybe we'll have to dip into that money every now and then ... but first we'll try to pick up income along the way. After all, Ken and I are both smart and he can build a house for God's sake! We've got some ideas that we're keeping to ourselves for now. Yeah, we'll be okay .... right? Okay, well maybe if we just dip into that money just a LITTLE bit every year. We'll invest the money, so we should be able to make as much as we take out. So taking a little bit every now and then to fill in the gaps won't be so bad ... if we make the right investment. Where do we invest?
The stock market is volatile, but if we're patient and stay in for the long haul we may be okay. But another "correction" is sure to be overdue. So perhaps a CD ... that's a joke these days. Okay, but if we keep our rentals they'll eventually be worth more and provide more income. We could sell those someday ... but then we'd have to add all those years of depreciation to the profit for the tax man.
Are you exhausted yet? Are you keeping up? Oh, my mind! These are the thoughts that torment me every night.
One thing is certain ... we don't want to work the rest of our lives. We're ready to travel and break through the mental barriers that our society has placed on us. We're planning our next move ... just hope it's the right one. Wait, what am I saying? The "right" move is going for adventure and having the courage to leave the comforts of work and routine. After all, it's not "comfortable" at all.
I'm sure that many cruisers-in-the-making have these same fears and thoughts, except for those financially fortunate. I tell myself this is all part of the crossroads we've finally reached. If we didn't have these thoughts and doubts then we're probably not feeling anything. We just wanna make the right moves today, so our tomorrows are ones we want to live ... just like Suze Orman said.
Have you had these thoughts? What have you chosen to do to make sure you're not penniless someday? We'd love to hear from you!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!