We have been planning this trip for many years and initially were prepared to leave the UK without keeping a property here. Fortunately, our career choices have enabled us to build up more cash than we expected and so we have now saved enough cash to fund us for several years, have a reserve fund invested in shares and also bought a flat to keep us in the property market and which will provide a rental income in 14 years time. The flat is ground floor, with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, so suitable for us to live in when we are much older, if necessary.
The boat has cost more than we originally planned, partly because we had more to spend. We started looking at smaller boats, such as the 42 and 44 foot Moody’s which were older but in the end bought Beyzano as we realised most of the time we would be sitting at anchor and socialising, so wanted a bigger cockpit. We have bought a lot of essentials, many more ‘nice-to-haves’ and a few total luxuries such as replacing the galley worktops and taps which were perfectly serviceable before.
We disagree on how much money we will need to live on. I am hoping 6K a year will be enough but Rob thinks double this. We recently attended a seminar and met a couple of people who had lived aboard in the Caribbean and they managed on £12 a day, so well within our 6K budget. If this does work out to be feasible, our cash reserves will last us well over a decade and Rob’s pensions will kick in before then. So I am feeling very positive at the moment that we will be OK. Any expensive unforeseen repairs can be covered by the shares but selling them will be a last resort.
Finally, if we ever return to the UK, we won’t be the richest of pensioners, financially, but we will still have a home and some interesting memories to keep us warm instead.
Well, how wrong can you be!
6K a year was a woefully optimistic hope and we hadn’t budgeted for several trips back to the UK for a wedding, 3 funerals and a graduation. Our costs are now detailed on another page on the website but I would say 20-30K would be a more realistic figure. Insurance for just the boat is 2.5K, hauling out and painting is another few thousand pounds. We are still socialising a great deal, far more often than in the UK and although the meals out are cheaper, they still all add up.
We have been trying to cut our costs since 2014 and have paid off the small mortgage on our flat. Having an actual income, however small, makes a psychological difference in that we are not just using up the savings. This year we are hoping to buy another small property to rent out and if we can then survive on our rental income for the monthly expenditure (food, gas, fuel, socialising & comms), then our savings will only have to fund insurance and major boat maintenance. That’s the hope anyway.