Save Money Sailing the World, No Experience Necessary—

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Cruising the world in a sailboat sounds like it would take lots of money and experience. But a recent report from reveals how Meri Faulkner and her family of four started sailing the world — and saved money.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

During their first year on board, Meri kept a spreadsheet of all their expenses and discovered that they’d actually lived on much less than they had back in Colorado ...

Meri Faulkner and her husband, Jim, dreamed of sailing to exotic places in search of the perfect retirement spot. But they lived in land-locked Colorado. So after learning to sail small boats on mountain lakes, they began researching blue-water cruising boats with one goal: Find an offshore cruiser, under $50,000, that could accommodate two adults and two children, ages eight and 13.

Their plan to travel to different lands wasn’t just about sailing into retirement. No matter how hard they tried to save money in Colorado, they couldn’t seem to cut their costs below $4,000 each month. Insurance, utilities, groceries, and taxes devoured their income.

So with zero offshore sailing experience, Meri and Jim sold their house and business. In June 2008 they moved aboard Windfall, a 35-foot sloop they’d bought in California. To avoid paying California’s high taxes, the previous owner helped them sail down to Ensenada, Mexico, where the taxes didn’t apply and the marina fees were cheaper.

During the day, they took Windfall out to practice sailing and fishing. They studied weather patterns and spoke to other cruisers in the marina who had done it all before.

In the fall of 2008, the market crashed, and Meri and Jim lost their investments, meaning they’d have to sail on their savings instead of their dividends.

During their first year on board, Meri kept a spreadsheet of all their expenses and discovered that they’d actually lived on much less than they had back in Colorado…from November 2008 through October 2009, they spent less than $18,000.

Meri’s report in the latest issue of International Living magazine details her family’s adventures and the many ways they found to save money while cruising the world. Her report also contains a first-timer’s checklist for buying a boat and starting the sailing lifestyle. Find her International Living report at: Sailing Across the World in Search of the Perfect Retirement Spot.

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For information about content republishing, source material or to book an interview with one of our experts, contact Associate Editor Carol Barron, 772-678-0287 (US), CBarron(at)InternationalLiving(dot)com or visit the Media Center.

For 36 years, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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