How to go about affording big ticket toys during a tough economy.
Well hardly. For those who are paying the slightest bit of attention to the economy, the end appears a long way away. So what does one do, if a luxury such as a boat or RV is still on the wishlist in the mean time? Smart money would quickly say do without it, at least until things begin to improve.
But what if you don’t have to do without and can easily afford that plane or jet ski right now. I am talking about shared ownership. This is really nothing new and as far back as I can remember, I was always taught to stay away from fractional ownerships when it came to toys because it always involved friends and never ended on a good note. I would agree to a large extent, but there are partnerships that work and work well when it comes to luxury items. I set out to find why some work, and work well, while others fail miserably.
I use to fly private airplanes in my mid 20’s and I was astounded to learn that over 80% of all privately owned planes had multiple owners. Now these weren’t silent partners who needed a tax cut, they were pilots and they used these planes just as their partners did. I know several individuals who are currently in a partnership with an aircraft and have yet to find anyone who has anything bad to say about it. Now granted, planes are slightly more expensive than other toys, but not so outrageous that an individual couldn’t own one.
I found that the flying community learned early on that fractional ownership was the way to go; you get more for your money and so does your partner(s) and when it comes time for service the bill is split equally. I thought this was a anomaly until I learned that most large sport fishing boats and yachts had multiple partners also. Boats with partners, I couldn’t believe it either when I first heard it, but yes a large percentage of these toys too have multiple owners using them and sharing in the cost just like the aircraft. So what makes a good partnership and why are some more successful than others. I really dug into this trying to find the common denominator to that very question.
Let’s begin with the planes; first when you’re talking about a pilot you are dealing with an individual that is smart and usually very competent. Pilots are traditionally not weak when it comes to finances and for the most part very conservative when it comes to risk over reward.
Next are the rules and guidelines associated with any aircraft, every year the plane must go through an annual inspection by a certified A & P mechanic where any deficiencies are noted and repaired to receive an airworthy certificate for another 12 months. In addition to the annuals, routine maintenance is performed after each flight assuring the plane is always in top notch condition.
The larger boats, although not as strictly regulated, are arranged much the same way. Regular maintenance is scheduled to keep all systems up and running so no partner is left with a nonfunctioning toy. Another facet of a healthy partnership is a joint account, just for the shared luxury. This account should be equally funded by both parties and kept fit so no issues or payments are every untimely. Could the same program be used for an RV or a smaller boat or Jet Ski? I believe it could, if you just follow the routine of other successful partnerships.
If you’re one of those who are longing for a play pretty, but you’re finding them just a little out of financial reach, consider taking on a partner. You’ll get more for your money and it places the unaffordable in the affordable column.