Those of us Retired

Most of the posters on this forum appear to be retired though there are some younger mariners still following. Let’s share what retirement is like and how we got here with the younger folks still trying to make it in this depressed job market. It is tough. We all went thru this so perhaps we can give them some hope or advice on how to move on to other fields or what it takes to survive in the marine industry. Many can’t take the feast or famine the marine business is for mariners.


Great topic! I don’t know anyone who retired happily by accident. Learning from those who made it across the finish line in good health should increase us working saps possibility of doing the same.

Concerning the feast or famine of our industry. After about my 3rd famine I was broken & expect it all the time. Recently after having my hitch drastically cut short due to Covid19 many of my coworkers took it pretty hard at the airport before the flight home. My response, “Where have you guys been for the last 20+ years?”. Contract dispute, reduced funding, oil crunch, warm winter, cheap foreign competition etc. It’s always something for the American Mariner. The below song comes to mind when I think of my maritime career. Even the part about being the weary traveler which describes many of us perfectly going to and fro.

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I retired from the USCG. I work even time and will until I can’t get a license.

I don’t like sitting around so after 21 days I am going stir crazy. That being said, I love being able to do nothing except hang out with family, play with the dogs, sit by the pool, work on cars or whatever until I get on everyone’s nerves and it is time to leave again.

Come to think of it,this is what I have done for the last 40 years…

I used to think I’d go nuts too but found I am busier than ever. I would especially dread traveling again under the current circumstances. I am a bit concerned though for those in the maritime schools currently. The dream they may have had of going to sea may be possible but the jobs will be fewer. In the USA for the last 20 years most worked in the oil business one way or another due to the money being paid. The exploration end of that is dead along with the support jobs and I don’t see this as just another temporary downturn. With the massive layoffs in that business it put a lot of qualified people into the job market. The engineers should be able to find some sort of employment but the deck guys will have a harder time of it. None will make the money that was previously paid.
That being said I had some fun and met some good people while working on FOC vessels such as bulkers in the Caribbean and South American trade. Even worked on a converted supply boat once but I was desperate. Didn’t make much money at any of those jobs but if I behaved myself I could still bank a little each month. Did that for quite awhile during a few downturns. It may be an unsavory option to those who dreamed of big money but it’s an option. Builds character too!

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I was forced to retire (heart condition) so i ended up retired from NOAA and the US Army.
I have no idea when i’d of ever quit had the health issues arose. Though I could of continued sailing for others it started turning into ‘work’ after NOAA !! ha ha.
I have a couple hundred acres here with miles of fence on it and irrigation systems and all the rest. It takes more work than I can do,I can never catch up but i can drop it all and go fishing. I work harder now than i ever did at sea but i guess it keeps one young.


As a friend and tug owner once told me, It’s not the work I miss… It’s the money!

I thought so too. But as it turns out I don’t miss the money from working at all, I just don’t piss away as much. I do indulge in hobbies that are not cheap but what the hell? Life is to be enjoyed after decades of working.

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I know exactly what you mean. Down here they call a piece of land a life sentence block a.k.a a life style block. With my old bones the thing I notice is with the loss of some flexibility it is harder to see what is happening behind the tractor. I also suffer a bit if I jump on and off the tractor frequently during the day. I don’t miss the sea view.

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