10 Months Later, the Dream is Still Alive
Its been a busy year and we’ve been absent from the blog for awhile. When I posted last in June of 2018, I was 7.5 months pregnant. The last 6 weeks were pretty rough, and any activities beyond showing up to work and helping my husband care for our then 1 year-old daughter fell by the wayside. Maddox James was born late July 2018, and with two babies to care for we’ve been kinda busy, but things are starting to get easier.
Oh, we also spent all of our would-be savings over the past 10 months on medical bills (high deductible medical plans are costly), so we are sitting close to where we left off. $15k in brokerage, $1k in a CD, $1k in Lending Club in actual cash liquid investments, with a $65k boost coming soon (see #1 below).
Here are some events that have taken place over the last 10 months:
ONE – We sold our house to Zillow! Yes, that’s right. Zillow bought our house, and paid us around $45k more for it than we bought it for 21 months ago. I’ll write a post on our experience and if we would recommend it to other home owners. Since we were unable to find another house we wanted to buy quickly enough, we ended up renting an apartment instead and are downsizing. This is a useful activity, since we plan to live on a boat within the next 30 months. Selling the house increases our cash by $65k. We will use the cash to 1. pay off a bit of credit card debt, 2. pay off the margin we are using in our brokerage, and the rest will be put into CDs at a rate of 2.75%. We are looking at other possible short-term investments, but want to keep it as liquid as possible for now.
TWO – I’m working on a side project called The Sail Away Journal, to be published over the summer. The Sail Away Journal is for those who, like us, are planning and saving towards quitting their jobs and buying a boat to live on. It helps users calculate how much is needed in savings, outline goals, track progress, and has other fun worksheets like boat name ideas, skills tracker, and more. The new job has distracted me from completing the final draft, but I will begin working on it again at the end of this month. When complete, we will send it to a company in China to produce a prototype. We might use Kickstarter to fund the production, and will provide a link to the Kickstarter page when its ready. After the journal is available, I will provide some information on how I created it, and how to get this type of project created/published/marketed.
THREE – We attended the Miami boat show in February and met Keith, Renee, and kids from the sailing vlog Sailing Zatara, and also met Riley Whiteblum from Sailing La Vagabonde. James asked Riley a couple of questions about the sailing life, and he was super chill and accommodating. Keith & Finn of Sailing Zatara with Shelley & Maddox We also toured some catamarans. Our original goal was to see how small we could go. Would 38′ be too cramped? What about 40′? What we walked away with was a new idea about what kind of boat we want. We really liked the Leopards vs. the Lagoons. The Fountain Pajot was nice, but had less headroom, which is no good for my husband who is 6’3. Our new idea that we are considering is buying a much newer, larger boat than originally planned, financing it, and then selling it after our mini-retirement is over. This will cost us in interest, but will significantly increase our standard of living while on the boat. If we decide we want to live on the boat indefinitely we will need to find a way to keep paying for it (like launching our own sailing vlog), or we will go back to landlubber life for a while and pay it off.
FOUR – I landed a new job! Its a demanding job requiring me to work more hours, but pays significantly better than the previous job and is a boon to my current career. A nice thing about selling the house is we were able to relocate to within 8 minutes of the new job. Commute – vanish!
That pretty much sums up the last 10 months. I look forward to sharing our thoughts on financing a catamaran, our updated countdown to sailing, and sharing our review on selling our house to Zillow. Check back soon!