Frugal Living in Retirement – How About Living Aboard a Sailboat

Retirement living cheaply can lead to thoughts of not eating dog food…or other undesirable thoughts. This does not have to happen. Anyone sailing?

All of us are being forced to rethink our future plans, especially for those who are retired or considering retirement. Some are saying “I cannot afford to retire “…really” because of the huge losses to their investment accounts.

Are you open to lifestyles that are more affordable but still enjoyable? We lived on a sailboat for eight years straight. This was not only one of the most enjoyable experiences we’ve ever had, but it was also a very affordable way to live.

It is easy to make it cheap or frugal. Our boat, a 35-foot Island Packet, was our home. It was located in the Caribbean. We traveled from the Virgin Islands in the north to Venezuela and Trinidad to the south. While we were on the boat, we spent approximately $1,000 per month. We lived like royalty, but spent almost nothing. How can you spend any money at anchor? A fisherman selling a lobster, fish for drinking water or toothpaste is the closest thing to commerce.

It’s fun ?… I don’t have the time to write everything down…I don’t have enough time for it all. At every island, we had fun with other cruisers. We hiked all over the island, and met amazing locals that tourists don’t see. All this without spending a lot of money.

What did we really know about sailing ?… Not much. This lifestyle doesn’t require you to be a Magellan. The longest distance you can sail or drive is approximately 90 miles, or 16-18 hours. Once you reach the islands (Windward’s or Leeward’s), it’s easy to get lost. Except for Anguilla or Anegada islands, the islands are mostly very mountainous. This makes it easy to see where you’re going. The rest is taken care of by your GPS, God’s gift for sailors IMHO.

Living on a sailboat is a way to live frugally in retirement. We did, and we had the best time of our lives. Enjoy.

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