Safe port. It’s time to take care of the sailor’s retirement

For centuries sailors, when at sea, have been looking at the horizon. Beyond the horizon are unknown waters, challenges and circumstances that you must foresee to navigate safely. When assessing the contemporary realities of this profession, such looking should not end at the time you go down the gangway and set both feet on the quay. Because what lies beyond the reach of sight is the future and security – your own and your family’s, including financial one. The analysis of the industry shows that many seafarers, due to the lack of prospects for retirement, take action on their own to secure their future. And this is the right direction, as long as stable solutions are chosen.

Sailors have various investment ideas: starting from such a popular solution as buying an apartment for short- or long-term rental, through to quite risky ventures such as opening a restaurant, for example on Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street, popular place in Sopot. Investment Funds and Investment Certificates or the stock exchange are also a popular method of investing. In each case, the justification is the same – the desire to invest the capital accumulated from the sailor’s salary to secure a decent life for themselves and their relatives after their retirement. For some time, Insurance Capital Funds had been popular. For example, Łukasz Hnat, a second deck officer, has been persuaded to choose this solution many years ago. However, this was not the best idea. And more or less at the same time, his “adventure” with commercial real estate began. “I wanted a completely passive profit, i.e. one that I would achieve without any commitment on my part. Earlier, I had deposited my savings in ICF, but more or less 4 years ago I met Marcin Rudziński, who has always had reasonable advice for me. He showed me that investing in commercial real estate can be safer and more reliable than, for example, Investment Funds. So, I collected my capital located in various institutions and I have currently invested in a retail park under construction in Opatów,” says Łukasz Hnat.

The project that Łukasz is talking about is Higasa Club – a modern model of investing in retail parks, which will feature, among other things, grocery stores, cosmetics stores, and clothing stores. The first of them is already under construction in Opatów, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, another one in Debrzno in Pomerania. In the coming months, the time will come for Lower Silesia. The model is simple. An individual investor invests his or her funds for a maximum of two years, in exchange for 6-7% of profit per year. Interest is paid quarterly. What distinguishes Higasa Club from similar solutions is “tangibility of the investment”. “I am perfectly secured by a clear contract without tricks and I know what I have invested in. I can get in a car and drive to Opatów to see how the facility is growing. Shops will start operating there already in the autumn, so I can be sure that the investment is profitable. And thus, my money is safe,” emphasises Hnat.

Work at sea, as is well known, is a huge challenge in many respects. Stress, responsibility, separation from family, big health risk… Therefore, not everyone is able to pursue this career for many years. Łukasz Hnat “swam” for 14 years, but for personal reasons he has decided to stay ashore. In advance, he thought about an alternative source of income after he finishes his adventure with the sea. He also took care not to waste his current earnings. “High salaries in our industry allow us to live at a high level, that’s a fact. Some of my colleagues bought houses, expensive cars, went on vacation without thinking too much about what would happen next. Of course, the temptation to live a luxurious life is considerable, because there, at sea, we work in very difficult conditions. You must balance all of this sensibly. I am currently starting work on land, close to my family, but I know that I have invested wisely the effort of the last dozen or so years at sea,” admits Hnat and adds: “Most often we work for foreign shipowners. Therefore, our taxes are also paid there. We are excluded from the Polish pension system. Hence the need to invest capital. I wanted to take care of my retirement and future”.

The above approach to financial stabilisation is no longer a rarity. As Marcin Rudziński, a board member of Higasa Properties, admits, one of the most numerous groups among his clients are sailors. “We have been cooperating with Mr Łukasz for 4 years. At that time, I was still in private banking. There are more and more people thinking in a similar way to him, also in the maritime industry or running a sole proprietorship. After all, seafarers are our constant and growing group of clients. Higasa Club is a perfect solution because it brings a completely passive profit. What’s more, our clients are often amazed at the simple solution we offer them,” explains Rudziński.

Łukasz Hnat openly admits that after a period of “investment searches and experiments”, he staked everything on one card. “Of course, I am aware that to minimise investment risk, activities should be diversified. In this case, however, I did not hesitate to gather my savings and invest the capital in Opatów. And I already know that after completing this project, I will plan to participate in subsequent projects within Higasa Club. This is my safe port where I have stayed for longer.”


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