Why You Should Never Buy a Boat for Your Retirement

You’ve spent decades hard at work. Stocking piling those paychecks and pinching your pennies, so that come retirement, you have the funds needed to treat yourself. And maybe, just maybe, the treat that’s been on your mind is a boat. And why not? Buying a boat for your retirement probably sounds like a dream come true. But is it actually a good idea to buy a boat for your retirement? As it turns out, maybe not.

A boat on the water during sunset
A boat on the water during sunset. | Vladimir SmirnovTASS via Getty Images

Buying a boat has the potential to sink your budget 

There’s no getting around it. Buying a boat is expensive. And, unfortunately, according to Financial Service Directory, buying a boat is actually the cheapest part of the process. Financial Service Directory explains that the real costs are incurred once you’ve been handed the keys. Not only will you have to fork out funds for boat registration, tax payments, licensing, and boat insurance, but you’ll also find yourself dealing with marina and maintenance fees. 

Those aren’t the only costs to consider when buying a boat for your retirement, either. Unless you plan on towing your boat each time that you use it, you’ll need to find a marina to dock it at, which is obviously going to cost you a decent amount of money. And during months when you’re not using your boat at all? Odds are, you’re going to need somewhere safe to store it.

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Don’t count on being able to use your boat year-round

The wonderful thing about owning a boat is being able to get out and enjoy the open water. But unfortunately, depending on where you live, you might not actually be able to enjoy your boat year-round. In fact, Egard reports that using your boat in the winter could even lead to significant damage.

“Depending on where you live, a boat is only usable in warm weather. This means that if you live in a region where the temperatures are always low then your boat can be useless. If you cruise over icy water there are always chances of breakdown and this can be dangerous if you are far from the shore,” Egard explains.

A pontoon boat and a Couple walking on a dock on the Mississippi River MN in summer.
A pontoon boat on the water. | Donovan Reese Photography via Getty Images

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Buying a boat for your retirement means making a significant commitment 

Now, say you still want to buy a boat for your retirement. If that’s the case, then consider this – buying a boat means making a pretty significant commitment. Not only will you be spending a fair amount of money on that boat that you’ve been dreaming of, but you’ll also have to spend a decent amount of time maintaining it. And according to Discover Boating, boats essentially require constant maintenance. While the most basic maintenance tasks will likely include keeping your boat clean, other more timely and expensive maintenance tasks will revolve around winterizing your boat and taking care of its engine.

Men in a powerboat on the Intracoastal Waterway at Edisto
Men in a powerboat on the Intracoastal Waterway at Edisto Island in South Carolina, USA. | Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Don’t buy a boat for your retirement; rent one instead

If you’ve spent the last few years picturing yourself at the helm of a boat, you should know that buying a boat for your retirement isn’t the only option. So rather than spending all that hard-earned cash on a boat? We recommend renting one instead. It’ll not only save you money but a fair amount of time too.