She Was Probably Right

Don’t you hate it when you have to admit you were wrong and she was right?

Well probably right, because we never steered that course, and will never know what we would have encountered on that journey.

I’ll get to what she thought we should do in a moment.

What I’m talking about is an opportunity we had when I completed 20 years of service in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The Navy had a generous Superannuation scheme, with multiple options on how you could draw down the funds.

If I had educated myself about money, how it works and how it can work for you, I would no doubt have done things differently.

Instead I focussed on my passion. An idealism that revolved around cruising far off distant places on our family yacht, exploring the world, taking our home with us. My thoughts were consistently focussed on getting the right yacht at the right price and visualising the dream. This went on for years, all the time we were saving hard, sacrificing many of the lifestyle pleasures others were indulging in. I had a very clear picture of the goal.

For several years before the superannuation money was in the bank we looked at dozens of yachts. Monohulls, multihulls, steel, wood or fibreglass. We even contemplated a concrete boat at one stage. No stone was left unturned. The pros and cons of each design and construction method where carefully considered. My knowledge grew along with the thick folder of information and ideas. I listened to everyone who was willing to give me their opinion. Boating experts like John Lidgard, Lin Pardy, Steve and Linda Dashew and Ron Given. They and many other people who I highly respect, with their own slant on things, helped form my opinion on what was the right yacht for us.

Some may say I had become quite an authority on boat options for cruising. If you spend enough time focussed on one thing, others tend to see you as the go-to-guy for information.

Now everything in life is a compromise, right? We may know what is best but having the funds to get the best is another matter.

Eventually my 20 years of service was complete and the money was in the bank. We had already decided on the yacht we were going to buy, the ‘Blue Heron’. A large chunk of money left the bank, soon after it was deposited, and a new phase in our life began.

We now had the right boat for the job, just a few mods to do, then we were off. Well so we thought. A whole new learning curve presented itself before us as we got to know the boat and improved things to the point where we were comfortable to go ocean cruising.

Eight years later we slipped the lines on a blustery day in Whangarei. We had lived aboard for five years prior to our departure, cruising our favourite places on the North East coast of New Zealand. Now we were living the dream of life as an ocean cruising family, collecting some very special life experiences along the way. By the time we arrived at our fourth country though, Australia, we had to take stock of our finances. With no money coming in, the cruising life becomes less enjoyable as time passes.

Now here is the thing.

She said, “We should buy investment properties with the superannuation lump sum payout.”

Because I was focussed on my passion, I completely missed the opportunity to finance the passion. She didn’t push the issue, no doubt thinking I could become mentally ill if I didn’t get a yacht.

The property market was about to boom when we purchased the mighty yacht. Four years down the track I began to see what I should have done before buying the yacht. We invested in a year of mentoring, learning how to create income through property investment. Thankfully our mentor was a conservative accountant who encouraged us to do the math. The numbers didn’t work for us at this stage of the property cycle. We were competing against every man and his dog. Plus we had tied up our capital in the yacht.

If I had learnt the skills to buy, rent and sell property prior to buying the yacht, we would probably still be out cruising.

Now I’m not one to get all teary about how things turned out – for more than a few minutes anyway. Instead, I started to educate myself about how to create a portable business.

What an eye opener. There are hundreds of ways to set up portable income streams, many of which can run for extended periods unattended. The options are growing fast as the information age gains momentum. My passion for boats is on a different tack now and the future is looking bright.

Thank goodness the world is changing fast. The fact that it is gives us the opportunity to take another bite of the apple. You must keep up to date or be left behind.

If you don’t believe me, check out what’s happening on

So if you are planning on doing something big for extended period of time, away from a normal job, create other income streams first. Doing this one thing is a key part of succeeding and maximising the enjoyment of it all.

Ask me how.