Many thanks to Millionaire Mommy Next Door and her post on 10 Ideas on How To Retire On Less. It's a great read and will give you some ideas of how to enhance your situation so that retirement is a little more comfortable.
One of the ideas was to 'Retire abroad'. This really struck a chord with me, as I've always been interested in what it would take and if it was possible for the average Joe? I had the perception that this was for those with big cash and resources. So, thanks to Mommy's initial research links I wanted to dive in and uncover the high level requirements for this goal. The bottom line is that for many Americans it will be impractical to retire on small savings and your social security check in the US.
OK, there's so much to research about this topic of retiring abroad, that I'm sure I'll be putting together a few more posts. For now I wanted to focus on a quaint retirement dream that I've had and perhaps others as well...
At EscapeArtist you'll find a plethora of information about every related topic to living and working overseas. They have 4 different ezines and all are free with tons of great content. I've always thought that a great way to retire is on a large sail boat and sail around the world. Although my expectations were that you'd probably have to be rich to do that realistically. There was a really interesting article at EscapeArtist called Sailing Around the World For Free. Wow, now we're talkin! There's a method to this mad goal, that you should prepare ahead of time getting some experience. Of course, that makes sense:
There are many different positions that crew can choose from on boats of all sizes. At the bottom of the crewing job pile (and the easiest to get) is a position on a cost-sharing boat. This is where the crew pitches in some money (usually $20 - $70 dollars a day) to help the owner cover food, fuel, and marina costs. Beware of the boat that advertises “cost-sharing” of $1000 or more for a week. In this case, the boat owner is usually trying to make money and calling it a cost-share instead of a charter. In a true cost-share arrangement, you are simply paying your own way and the owner makes no profit from you.
Ok, this is actually a pretty nice deal. Paying from $560 to $1900 a month for all expenses paid for living the life sailing the world is pretty tempting! But, it get's better. With some planning and learning you and your significant other can gain experience and certifications that will elevate you up to fully PAID living on the sea, without a lot of super hard work:
The next step up for crew would be a totally free ride, where the owner covers all costs. In this situation, the captain can sometimes be a professional skipper, or the owner. This free ride arrangement is frequently available when boats need repositioning or delivery. In exchange for your help moving his boat, the owner covers food, boat costs, and some will even pay your return airline ticket home.
OK, getting better. Definitely, but looks like you need a little experience to get to this point, right?
A delivery is a great way to gain experience and sea time, without having to pay for it. Sea time is needed if you wish to pursue any sort of a career on boats, racking up certifications such as the coveted Yachtmaster; which allows you to pilot a commercial vessel. In addition, after a delivery, you are no longer inexperienced!
Hey, looks like you might even be able to add some cash to your little nest-egg while enjoying the rolling sea:
Should you land a paying job, keep in mind that since many boats are registered offshore your wages may be tax-free. Since all your living expenses are covered, you can save almost all your paycheck. The top paid yacht captains on large private yachts over about 200 feet can make $1,000 per foot, per year, totally tax-free.
Stop by and check out the article in it's entirety. Perhaps it will be the seed to get your sailing research going :-).
Here's plenty of other links on living abroad that go all aspects of this endeavor. So far, I still seem to have an itch and there's so much information in these links that I'll be doing a few more posts on the topic.A Radical Retirement Plan