The Joys Of Retirement: How To Buy A Boat Without Drowning In Debt

Retirement is an exciting rite of passage. Just like teenagers gaining their licenses at the age of 16, retirees are able to explore life in an entirely new way, suddenly being free from the demands of a nine to five job opens up dozens of opportunities. Whether you want to learn a new language or take banjo lessons, the choice is up to you.

As a result of this major change in life, many retirees look into big purchases. Since you already have a home and a car, the next best thing is a boat. However, it is easy to go too far in this new way of living; it’s vital that you resist the impulse to buy the biggest and most expensive boat you can find in order to ensure you don’t slip into debt. By asking yourself the following questions, you can stay within your budget and still explore the thrills of life on the water.

What Will I Use My Boat For?

To avoid overspending on something that you don’t need or won’t use, you need to understand your own goals. The average age of retirement is 63; the most common reasons for buying a boat at that period in life is either leisure or fishing. If you get caught up in the adventure that speedboats offer when you simply want to sit on a lake and cast a line, you’re going to end up losing more than you’ve gained.

Do I Really Have Time To Enjoy My Boat?

When you’re considering your dream retirement filled with fishing rods and great catches, you need to think about the reality of such a situation. If you’re a workaholic (and have been your whole life), you may find yourself suddenly weighed down by the prospect of making time for nothing in your schedule. At the same time, if you’re constantly occupied with family matters and home repairs, your new boat will spend its life neglected in the garage. Do your best to be realistic about your goals.

Should I Buy New Or Used?

This has to do more with your budget than anything else. Pre-owned boats are far less expensive than their brand-new counterparts, which is a major factor if you’re worried about falling into debt. Think about the fact that maxed-out credit cards use 100% credit ratio while Fico recommends that only 30% be used; if you end up going all-out on your boat, you could end up seriously damaging your credit score — even if you have a high limit to begin with.

More than 87 million adults participate in recreational boating in this country; you’re absolutely not alone in your new retirement desires. As fun and exciting as it can be to bring such a big change into your life, it’s important that you’re financially prepared to take on such a burden. By doing your research and critically thinking about what you want, you won’t end up sinking into debt.

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