Monday, December 15, 2014

The close of 2014 brings to an end two years of radical change for both of us.  It all began in January of 2013, when Colin quit his J-O-B after doing his best to put up with the utter chaos and mismanagement in the geotechnical firm for which he had been working for just over three years.  His blood pressure dropped almost immediately from the high 180’s to the 140’s.
After the initial euphoria of being rid of the daily stress and grind, panic set in with the realization that the steady income had also ceased.  The resume was immediately updated and dozens were sent out, mostly to geotechnical firms, but also to anyone that might be willing to employ an aging geologist.  Little positive response was received due to the continuing economic downturn.  However, in March, 2013, one of the firms that received a resume telephoned and said that they did not have need for a full-time engineering geologist, but wanted to know if there was an interest in doing contract work.  The offer was accepted and, the very next day, a geotechnical engineer Colin had worked with in the 1980’s also called and asked for help with a litigation for which he was acting as an expert witness.  The writing seemed to be on the wall, so at the end of March, 2013, we formed Pacific Geological Services (PGS), with Colin serving as the Principal Engineering Geologist.
The income from our consulting practice was slow in building and it was apparent that  we needed a new game plan.  We made the decision that we should downsize and find a simpler life to live.  We had always wanted to live aboard a sailboat and, after much canoodling, calculating and discussion, we were able to chart a course that would carry us through until we could both tap into Social Security, live comfortably and cruise aboard a boat in retirement.  Our financial advisor used to adamantly discourage us from living aboard a boat, but after presenting our plan to both he and our CPA, both agreed that it was probably the best thing we could do.  We have been fortunate that all of the stressful hard work over the years allowed us to build moderate retirement funds to supplement our plan.
August of this year, we sold our house in Laguna Hills with enough equity to allow for the cash purchase of a boat, and moved temporarily into a rental home in Capistrano Beach.  After looking at numerous sailboats with a broker we have known for years, we found the ideal candidate in Wilmington, CA.  The boat was being sold by a broker that sold us our sailboat in the 1980’s.  It was listed at a bit higher price than we wanted to pay, so we made an offer at the price we were comfortable with.  The seller accepted our offer without a counter-offer, and even dropped the price a bit more after the marine survey found a few age-related issues.  We took possession of the boat in November and documented it under a new name. 
Our plan is to sell and/or donate as much of the rest of our “stuff” that will not fit on a boat as we can and store some of the other stuff we want to keep.  We have a six-month lease that ends in February, 2015, so the plan is to have the boat ready and move it down to San Diego Harbor the beginning of March to begin our new adventure.  We found an excellent marina in Chula Vista (Pier 32) that caters to liveaboards.  We will continue working as much as possible over the next few years and cruise the boat locally, with the idea of cruising internationally once we retire full-time. 
We ask for everyone to wish us well as we follow the sun!