Expect change

Even without the plans for going sailing and spending (quite possibly) more time on board a boat than you may ever have done before, retirement will bring earth-shattering changes to your life. All the things they warn you about – the loss of a purpose in life, the loss of imposed structure to the day, the reduction in income, separation from work friends and colleagues – can sneak up on you to catch you unawares even long after the big day has come and gone. You should try to limit the extent of any additional changes as much as you can or, if you can’t do that, try spreading them out so that they don’t occur all at once.

For this reason we would say that retirement may be too late to take up sailing and living aboard a boat. This sounds very negative but all we are really trying to say is that if your retirement plans involve becoming a liveaboard then it might be a good idea to start doing it now so that you are better prepared and know what to expect. Coping with life aboard a boat might be too much on top of all the other changes going on when you retire.

Change can be stimulating and beneficial but don’t assume all change will be for the good, either for you or for your partner. We all have different ways of coping with change in our lives and our living environment, most people finding it very hard to adapt to big changes even if they are planned for and considered well in advance. This is well known and is very much part of human nature. So consider making the changes smaller ones and make them early, allowing time for adjustment before taking the next step.

You also need to recognise that no matter how carefully and thoroughly you plan, things will always turn out differently in some way. Flexibility and open-mindedness are real virtues when big changes are happening to your life.

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