Financially ready for a Safari?

I am not wealthy nor do I make a huge annual salary. But I am financially disciplined and waited very late in life to take my first safari.

1.) No credit card debt for 30 years, I buy new vehicles and drive them into the ground (usually 160-250k miles) but I finance them because the finance rates are usually a half to a third of the return I'm making on investments so I usually have one car payment for either my wife or I.
2.) Nope - living in a house my wife and I paid off.
3.) 5-7%
4.) Nope
5.) Way more than 15%
6.) Nope - I might be one-and-done but I have other travel to hunt plans.
7.) See #6 above.
 
You guys are raining on my parade! I've been going back and forth on which was the better plan! I already quit my job, so I'm halfway there on the 1st method....

As another that's still in the planning phase of safari #1, some of the questions aren't applicable. Haven't had a mortgage or debt for more than a decade, and don't like paying interest, so financing a trip is not likely. Not sure what % will be spent, as that's a variable yet to be determined. No longer contributing to retirement funding, but haven't had a need to include any of those funds to maintain my active recluse, err, retiree lifestyle so far.
Being an active diver, finding a way to redirect finite resources is one of the challenges. I've found a way to reduce the cost of diving; I got my brother to move to Bonaire so I don't have to pay for a resort there, lol. Not sure if that's an option for Africa.
I doubt one trip will scratch the itch as a bunch of you enablers have indicated, certainly didn't for diving, so I'm working through a long term plan to enable that. My son knows my plan is to spend his inheritance before I'm gone, so it's my duty to keep that promise to him; multiple safaris should make it easier.
I'm a Diver, 2nd favorite sport behind Hunting, thinking about going back to Bonaire next winter.
 
Future is not guaranteed. YOLO!
Truth in that!

AND I hear you can't take it with you either...

Although I did hear a story of a businessman on his death bed calling his three sons in and giving them each $100,000 cash and told them that right before they sealed up the coffin, he was entrusting each of them to slip the cash in under the mattress, just in case you could take it with you on that final journey. Well they all three slowly approached the casket one by one, spent a final minute alone with their dear departed father and sure enough, each one slipped an envelope in. After the old gentleman was laid to his final rest and the 3 brothers were alone, the eldest, who had taken over the family business, said to the other two... My conscience is really bothering me... I have to confess, I only put in half the money. The middle brother, a doctor, said oh that's good of you! I'm more guilty than you. I only put in $10,000. I mean I'm a professional and it's just a waste to bury that money. The youngest, an attorney, proclaimed that he was shocked by their lack of loyalty to their dearly departed father. He said "I really am ashamed to call you my brothers!" The other two hung their heads a minute then thinking this was just out of character for his youngest brother, the eldest asked "so you are saying you put the entire amount in?" "Yes i did. I put in a personal check for the entire $100,000!"
 
A 100lb elephant would require the following:

Infinite money
Infinite time
Infinite luck

I'm sure there are more, but I know two PHs with 15+ years experience that hit the lotto for a client. One had a 101/99 pounder, the other found a 113lb one-tusker where the other side root wasn't visible and weighed about 50lbs. Both in Zimbabwe. The latter elephant the client didn't want to take it because it wasn't symmetrical, but was persuaded by the PH.

So in my circle, two elephants that marginally meet @Nyati requirements. That would be 1500 days in the bush or more to find the elusive 100 pounder. I know of no modern human that has the resources as a client to achieve that goal with force of will and determination.
Do you know of Corey Knowlton? He’s the guy that paid $400k to hunt a black rhino in Namibia and he does three or four elephant hunts a year. He’s taken some big bulls but don’t know if he has taken a 100 pounder yet. My father did some business with his father by sourcing investors for their oil projects but after a while, they were so successful that they didn’t need outside investors any longer. Corey and a friend hunted mountain goat with my outfit a few years ago. A good family. Corey definitely loves hunting elephants. My Botswana hunt was fun but even if I had that kind of cash, it’s not something I would do at Corey’s pace. To each his own.
 
1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari? No.
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari? No.
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari? 5%
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari? No.
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari? At least.
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook? Yes still going.
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook. No I will only go if investments doing well. That’s my deal with my wife!

To the young guys out there: While working your regular career, try to buy some real estate on the side if you can. It almost never goes down in value in decent areas of the country and it’s pretty safe.
 
I'm a Diver, 2nd favorite sport behind Hunting, thinking about going back to Bonaire next winter.
I'll be headed for Bonaire in 20 days. Be there for almost a month this trip. Good thing I get along with my brother, lol.
 
I get a lot of calls and conversations asking about safaris, generally from people that have already decided they are going to do it in the near term. In all of planning and cost threads I've read so far, nobody has yet discussed how they knew they were financially ready for a safari beyond paying for it. I thought a survey might create insights as to when a hunter is indeed "ready" based upon real-world feedback.

Based upon the feedback, I might be able to create some charts and graphs showing "when the average AH member decided they were ready".

1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari?
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari?
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari?
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari?
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari?
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook?
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook.

Very interesting. For overseas hunting….

1. No
2. No
3. About 5%
4. No
5. Yes
6. Yes
7. Impossible to say
 
To the young guys out there: While working your regular career, try to buy some real estate on the side if you can. It almost never goes down in value in decent areas of the country and it’s pretty safe.

Especially, buy your house! Unless you are moving too often to allow time for it to appreciate enough to generate a profit over and above all the costs associated with selling. And know the tax laws so you don't pay capital gains unnecessarily.

Land over and above what you live or work on... Scott I agree it is an excellent long term investment. But it can be a very low to negative cash flow item to own prior to selling it. Versus for example, rental property, housing or commercial.

My strategy has been to invest in productive assets that produce ROA's that are two to three times interst costs. If you leverage correctly, you can generate some really good ROE's.

I look back at land i could have bought so much cheaper than it is now.... But have to remember how much greater my returns were on investments that cash flowed and generated re-investible profits.

And for any investments, learn the tax advantages and leverage them. Pay tax, don't spend money foolishly just to avoid taxes. But strive to "release income (as my tax CPA says)" at as low a rates as you can. Look at lifetime tax. Don't do such a good job avoiding taxes (legally) that you give up opportunities to utilize deductions you will wish you had later in life.

Probably the best advise I received as a younger man was to write down goals. Make them achievable but have some that seem out of reach and work on attaining them. Monitor them, modify them.... but have them and work towards them. Achieve many of them. It is doable, with a plan.

My pet peive, Lottery Tickets are not an achievable plan....
 

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