Live Free 2 Sail Fast

Reblogged: Want to Retire Early?

If this is where you want to be, solid finances will help, ALOT.

When I came across this post from the Aroused Blog post, I knew I had to reblog it.  This post feeds directly into another I’m working on in conjunction with an article I’ve read from the November 2018 issue of Kiplingers magazine.   Ever heard of the FIRE movement?  This is unique group of highly motivated individuals who save their money in large amounts with the express desire to retire early.  I wanted to retire early and have achieved this in my mid-40’s, but I had never even heard of this movement when I started toward retirement.  Read the interesting article below by the Aroused Blog and consider checking that blog out, then keep an eye out for my Weds or Fri post as I discuss the idea of retiring early in conjunction with going on an extended cruising trip.

via Want to Retire Early?

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Money for Cruising- Dividends and Less Debt

I started this post several days ago.  Most posts take me several days to write if I need to put some thought and application into them.  It’s been raining in San Diego  and cold.  But the good news is that the new float switches that we just put into our bilge pumps work like a charm.  Good News.  (more…)

How do we pay for this cruising thing- Loving the passive income

If you haven’t noticed the stock markets because you just don’t care or you’re too poor to even have stocks or bonds, I understand.  The Bull Market that came crashing into 2018 has cooled and started going into ups and downs,,,,,with lots of market reaction to politics and world events.  This is not a market I like very much,,,,because in my opinion it’s fed by emotion rather than solid financial backing right now.  So,,,I’ve re-balanced.  I’m now pretty clearly focused on buying up cheap stocks with high dividends and keeping them, especially if they pay quarterly or monthly dividends as possible income stocks.  To actually make any money on a dividend stock,,,,you’ve got to have a lot of those stocks and you have to make sure to set your account to reinvest those dividends automatically until you need them,,,,to allow the laws of compounding interest to take hold.  This is pretty cheeky and elegant coming from a blogger you don’t know, writing financial info into a sailing blog,,,,but the most important thing to remember is that there are fairly inexpensive high dividend stocks on the market right now.  This process may take a while,,,,,but you’ve got to become the patient turtle,,,,understanding that your money is slowly making you more money,,,,and not give up because you don’t see enough accruing.  It will, but you need to be patient over time and keep in mind your end state?

Below, you’ll find what was supposed to be the companion post to this one,,,but I’ve now written them fairly far apart.  I realized I had not done this one and now the market has gone a bit haywire,,,,,so I re-balanced and took stock of my stocks,,,,,determined to stay focused on my cruising investment stocks.   You can read the story below for more details on dividend stocks.

Small steps to lighten my financial load!

Some of the books I’ve read on achieving millionaire status discuss the habits of those who actually earn and keep that much money (aside from those who win it, inherit it or make it quickly through good stock deals).  The books talk about those who scrimp and save, watch every penny and eliminate things that are just unnecessary.   So last night while doing my best Cinderella impression at the pot shrubbery station called our kitchen sink,,,I thought a lot about material things that me and the family just didn’t need.  My wife had already cancelled several of the wine clubs months ago and last week she cancelled the kids magazines they had been getting (like National Geographic for Kids), but I knew I wanted to go further with simplifying our lives and downsizing bills.  Thinking through what I really needed as I scrubbed and scrubbed, I decided I really didn’t need or want most of the magazine subscriptions we had,,,,,and I’ve let them run out,,,,purposefully tearing up the renewal bills and celebrating every small victory.

The other thing I’ve stopped doing and asked my wife to stop doing is any sort of auto renewal on anything.  To do this, you need to put a credit card down on most things,,,,like AAA, some insurances, magazines and lots of other conveniences.  STOP.  Before you know it,,,,you’ll look at your bills and wonder where all your money is going and what’s getting paid.  I did this several months ago and finally found everything that’s on auto-renewal.  My wife jokes that I’m the last person in the world to write checks for all of our bills, but I like the simplicity of knowing what I’m paying and for what time period.  This is what those millionaire books made a point of,,,,,people who knew what they were paying and decided on every cent were more likely to save that money than those who paid without much thought.  The latest book I’m reading takes this to an extreme that I can’t do.  It’s whole premise is the “worth” of your time on this earth and how much of your time and effort you’re willing to trade for every single dollar you earn in any job.  Pretty neat premise that’s opened my eyes to several things.  I started with simply steps,,,,like the ones above: tearing up renewal bills, eliminating wine clubs and auto-pay bills where possible, closely monitoring our non-food shopping to decide if what we buy is worth my time, eliminating Sirius XM and looking closely at what can fit on the boat and what will be trashed in storage.

These are small steps, but lead to overall savings if you can eliminate more and more or just not renew things like Sirius and magazine subscriptions.  Try it, you might not notice what you’re missing!

What we’re doing now; to prep for cruising then

I’ve read a lot of cruising blogs.  Most of them start as folks are leaving for their trips and end when the trip is over.  Who wants to read about live back on the hard and how much those folks miss their boat and adventure lifestyle?

We’re not doing that kind of blog.  I started this blog three years ago with the idea to build a group of friends and followers now,,,like when me and my wife are still working full-time, have very young children, just bought a sailboat and have not germinated that be all do all cruising plan yet,,,,,cause we’re not there yet.  I’m not yet retired, my wife isn’t yet retired and my kids are still very young and very in school.  We’re literally still working toward our goals.   The blog will continue  in an effort to take you through our loooong preparation phase, our actual trip and probably continue after we get home,,,,simply because it’s a fun outlet to bring you info and advice on travel and sailing.

So what are we doing now, to prep for cruising then:

I read a lot of blogs and books on cruising, sailing, adventure travel etc.  They all have advice (like my blog does) about how to get started, keep going and how to reintegrate. I’ve taken it to heart and both me and my wife know we need to do some things now to get ready to go,,,,,but we’re also not the types off the deep end,,,like we don’t always have singular focus.   We like a bit of moderation so we can still have options?  Does that make sense?   So,,,what have we done already and what are we doing right now,,,at least two or three years from sailing away:

1.   We bought a boat,,,,three years ago.  We decided to put her up for sale a year ago,,,,she’s still for sale.

2.  Taking a promotion in her job,,,,my wife moved onto our boat, which is 3 hours away from where we live.  I stayed here with the house, dog and kids to give them a stable lifestyle (for now) and until I retire.

3.  Like most of the blogs and the books say,,,,,we’re trying to eliminate or reduce our debt load,,,,,quickly.  We’re paid off my wife’s car, we paid off all of our credit cards and reduced our credit card usage from 3 cards to 1.  And,,,,we’ve decided to only use the one card that gives us airline miles, to start saving those miles up for when we need them.

4.  In the vein of reducing our debt load,,,we’re putting our house up for sale 9 months before I retire to force ourselves to get it up to par for sale,,,,and because the area we live in is kind of remote and we have a better chance of selling if we can get it on the market during the right seasons.

5.  We’ve started looking at the boat for things to make it more livable,,,,like a new canvas dodger that doesn’t leak, new mattresses and clean water tanks.  It’s nice to have clean water that tastes good.

6. Lastly, I put a lot of effort into looking for high quality, inexpensive stocks that pay monthly or quarterly.  If we can keep buying them consistently and roll those dividends back into the purchase of more stock while we’re in the US and working, the snowball effect works.  I also look carefully at penny stocks in developing sectors that I can buy very cheaply,,,,then hold them until they go up.  There are several great developing areas in the US and Canada right now that are actually starting to pay dividends, go up quickly in value and may offer a great opportunity for someone like me to make more money.  But we’ll see.  I use 80% of my small amount of investment money for the dividend stocks that pay monthly or quarterly and the other 20% for developing industries.  I’ve also found that Peer to Peer Lending (like on Prosper) has potential for higher interest rates on earnings and you have monthly payments.  But,,,,like most people, I don’t have enough invested anywhere to actually live off,,,that’s a bit of a pipe dream right now.

I got bored with our current stickers and shirts and have redone them to become a bit more up to date and simpler, looking forward to getting those in soon.  Also get to get back onto the boat next weekend and see the new mattresses and see how the canvas project is going.  We’re getting new matching sunbrella dodger and updated cockpit cushions.  Boy,,,,,do we need them.  I’m convinced the cockpit cushions and dodger are originals to the boat,,,which means stuff is 17 years old.  I know the mattresses are original, cause they are the same spec as came from the Hunter Factory.  Time to update! Can’t Wait.

Droppin some knowledge- Dividends can help pay for cruising-

Wanna be here,,,,but can’t afford it? Read on-
Photo Credit to Pexels

Wanna be on a beach like this but you’re stuck in your own shitty existence somewhere,,,read on and maybe I can help.

In this blog post that goes into my “Financing your cruising” category, I’m going to have a straightforward discussion with you about one easy way to make money for cruising, without doing much.   Yep,,,,,that statement alone should take this post viral but it won’t,,,,so if just 2-3 of you read this and apply the easy knowledge I’m going to pass, it’s a win,,,,,cause you’ll make some money for cruising without doing much.  Disclaimer:  Before you read the rest,,,you gotta know that I’m NOT a Certified Financial Planner, millionaire, stock broker, financial savant and I don’t have any professional financial certifications.  I have never lost money doing what I’m about to discuss in this blog,,,,but it doesn’t mean you might not.  

Ok, my disclaimer might have put you in a trance, but it’s time to wake up and realize this might be decent advice.  I’ve got some tried and true ways to start making money for your boat trip, but today I’m discussing “dividends”.  Don’t go all bored and stop reading at this point,,,,cause this is big boy and girl stuff and not boring,,,,,especially if I can make you some money:

Photo Credit to Pexels


To some, dividends are boring old things that your parents or grandpa talked about while they threw around words like blue chip and annual percentage rate,,,but dividends that are frequent and large enough to possibly give you some extra cash for your boat trip should snap you out of that trance.  I’m a proponent of Warren Buffett and his advice,,,”like buying stock in things that you know about” and I’ve done that.  As I continued to buy stocks in things I knew about; the blue chip kind of stocks, I noticed that I wasn’t making a lot of money with their lower dividends but those stocks also didn’t move around a lot (stable).  I don’t really care how much stocks move around on the market, but I’m a huge proponent of their dividends.  I look for stable stocks with high paying dividends from strong companies with proven track records.  This is the same kind of drivel you’ll get from thousands of websites and books out there today,,,,except I actually literally put my money where my mouth is and do the buying and selling,,,,,with my own money.  This is different from most of the others I’ve read,,,,,cause they’re not working with their own money and they’re not working on that level of risk,,,but I am.  I don’t have a lot of money to lose,,,,so I want stocks that pay high dividends and have stability.  If I’m putting money into something, I want it to work for me,,,,without doing much.  That’s the focus of today’s blog post,,,,how I can I buy stock that will work for me, stay pretty stable and give continually high dividends?  The key is finding stable stocks that pay high dividends and you’ve set up your account so that those dividends roll back into your account, continually compounding what you already own.  As your account compounds,,,,you make more and more money.  Then,,,,,,when you’re ready to cruise or take your extended trip  or retire, you change your account so those same dividends start dropping into your checking account,,,,,meaning you’re paying yourself!!  At this point,,,,some of you are ready to stop reading,,,,,you’re all like,,,,,,”this guy thinks we’re all rich” when I can hardly pay my bills and can’t afford this stock thing.   Read on-

Most of us don’t know how much money we actually make or what we spend it on! Most of us CAN afford to start investing at an entry-level cost,,,but are scared to try, especially since you think you’re not too smart on the “stock market” so you might lose that money.  And honestly,,,,you might lose that money,,,,it’s true.  But you’ve got a MUCH better chance to make money and not lose it than if you go to Vegas; and entry into the stock market for a dividend bearing stock can be had for the cost of that “12-pack” that you just picked up from 7-11.  So why not give it a try?

One of the best kinds of stocks I’ve found to pull off the equation of a stable stock with high dividends and monthly, quarterly or bi-annual payments is in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) stock portion of the market.  You can find REITs for most any section of the economy but some are better than others.  If you think about REIT’s, please be careful to research the industry the REIT supports,,,,so that you can make sure the overall industry is solid and strong.  I have found REITS that have done better than others, but there’s a trick to this.  REIT’s that are more stable and pay more often tend to have higher stock prices (look at Reality Income) while others that are younger, less stable or pay less often may be a less expensive stock but have a riskier overall health.  I won’t get into a stock by stock discussion, but you get the point.

Lots of other stocks besides REITS pay dividends quarterly or on a bi-annual basis, but I like to look at stocks that pay monthly, try to never decrease their payout and are low enough in price I can buy lots of them,,,,,so the dividends can accrue faster.  I also look at developing industries with low-priced stocks and newly established dividends, because I can scoop up penny stocks at low prices and hope they grow without risking too much money.

The key idea to this whole post is to get low risk, high dividend paying stocks and let them work for you.  Set your stock account online so the dividends roll back into buying more of the same stock,,,,so it accrues without you doing a thing.  Let it drip back into your stock account and don’t touch it,,,,making sure it’s NOT in an investment type account if you’re going to use it prior to turning age 63 or if you’re going to use it in the next 5-10 years.  When you get ready for that big trip around the Great Loop or into parts unknown,,,,,turn the dividends around and let them start dropping into your checking account.  “Viola” you now have a small drip of continued funding into your checking or savings account that you don’t have to work for,,,,,cause you’ve let it accrue as you worked your butt off for this trip.

WHAT,,,,you don’t have a lot of money????  Today,,,you can buy a piece of a mid-size mortgage company at the top portion of its 52 week range for $17.22 per share that pays a 10.84% yield,,,,or you could buy a piece of a REIT for $11.81 per share that pays 9% monthly,,,,or you could buy a VERY secure stock in a more expensive REIT for about $56 dollars per share and a 5% dividend,,,,also paid monthly.  My point is that you can gain entry into the stock market and the world of dividends for less than that “12-pack” you may have bought for the weekend,,,,it’s your decision.

And,,this dividend advice may be the difference between where you are now,,,,,and where I want to be:

Photo credit to Pexels

Lastly, my advice is backed up by an article in Kiplingers Magazine, September 2017 issue entitled “How to make a Million“.   Within the article, on page 29 of the magazine, it details “Channeling Warren Buffett” and two of his ideas for building wealth.  One of them is buying stock long-term and “plowing every penny of dividend income and capital gains back into the market”.

Another Disclaimer: I have no financial interest of mentioning the names of the companies in this magazine and get nothing out of it but hopefully you do.

Financing the Dream: Sailboat and Cruising Cash

Have you thought through how you’re going to actually finance the dream,,,,the actual cash for that sailboat and then the cash for bluewater cruising?

Or,,,,are you one of the folks who are sure that you can do it on a shoestring,,,,nearly no money,,,,make friends as you go, find work,,,,not much more than a vagrant?   Lest you think I’m joking,,,I’m not,,,those folks are out there and I know some folks who would love to live this way.   WAIT,,,,,sailboats are EXPENSIVE and you do need to eat and buy fuel somehow,,,,,but you’re probably rolling in money,,,,,or you’re a diesel engine mechanic,,,,or you’ve learned to live on bread and water and don’t really have a need for much along the way.   Except,,,,,THE HORROR:  Ganja and booze costs money and none of us are Jimmy Buffett, so how will you really finance your dreams?  Read on:

I am not a finance expert.  I am not rich.  I don’t have much money.  I do own a boat,,,,therefore I don’t have much money.  I have children and a wife,,,,therefore I don’t have much money.  I am not a certified financial planner.  I prefer riskier investments which may mean you will lose all your money if you choose to ever follow any of my advice!  – There, that’s my disclaimer and if you choose to read on,,,you do it at your own risk and possible reward.

I’m working on investing with an eye toward going bluewater cruising with my family in the next few years and want to start writing about how I’m doing that.  However, aside from my disclaimer above,,,,my methods are pretty boring and may not earn you much money,,,,cause you often need to invest large amounts of money to make large amounts of money,,,,,herein lies my problem,,,,cause I invest small amounts of money,,,,trying to make money as I go.  So, far,,,,,it’s working.  I read a lot of investment books,,,,mainly about Warren Buffet and his ways of doing business.  Here’s a few basic principles you’ll see as a theme throughout my writing:

  1. Debt sucks:  Debt sucks and I have a lot of debt but I’ve paid off one credit card in the family and am working on paying off the rest.  We’re keeping the one since it earns airline miles and paying consistently .
  2. Pay yourself first:  Every paycheck,,,,,take some out and pay yourself somehow.  Make sure you pay yourself in some way you’ll recognize and value.  Whether it’s into a savings account, a IRA or you get to buy more stocks,,,,pay yourself a little bit every paycheck so you build,,,,build and more.
  3. Love the compound interest:  Compound Interest is pretty boring,,,,till it isn’t.  Let something percolate long enough on compound interest and you’ll build something slowly,,,,,but you gotta let it ride!
  4. You can’t earn if you don’t invest in something:  You’ve probably heard about investing in yourself,,,,,I’ve done that and it’s great,,,,but now I’m investing in a bluewater sailing trip,,,,every paycheck.  Stay with us,,,,this is the fun one!

As we go through this series,,,,I’ll talk you through some things I’m working on and perhaps you may get some ideas for your own cruising money.  I’ve heard the term “cruising kitty” and hate that,,,not sure what it means,,,,I like money for cruising instead,,,cause I’m frugal but not cheap.  Stick with us,,,,,I’ll post more on this as we go!