Barb and I like cruises, but I’m not sure we like them this much:
When Angelyn Burk, a recently retired Seattle accountant, decided to crunch some numbers one evening last year, she made a stunning discovery: It would be cheaper for her and her husband to spend their retirement perpetually aboard cruise ships than to continue living on land.
“This is how I want to retire,” Angelyn, 53, decided in that moment. “Life is too short.”
She turned to her husband, Richard Burk, and said: “We can do this. Let’s make cruise ships our home.”
To her delight, he was onboard. The couple had thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 cruises they had been on together in the past, and they have a mutual love for travel as well as a shared disdain for airports.
They looked online and determined that, on average, they could string together voyages on various cruise ships for markedly less money than their collective cost of living on land. All they had to do was hop from ship to ship with some small breaks in between.
“We calculated that we can probably live reasonably well with about $100 a day together, with what we’ve saved up,” said Richard, 51, who retired as a computer programmer last month.
$100/day per person? At first thought that seems high but after some estimates and crunching my own numbers including infrequent things like home maintenance, vacations, and car purchases that probably isn’t far off. But looking at the cabin type and cruise lines we prefer the cost would be significantly more than $100/day per person. I did find cabins in that price range. So, if you didn’t mind having a tiny interior cabin with no view you could live your life like that.
The risk of being a victim of violent crime would be much lower. You would get maid service and great food with no time investment in shopping, cooking, washing dishes, etc.. My gun activities such as competition and reloading would be left behind. And we would not see our long time friends nearly as often.
I’m thinking the answer is no. But it is an interesting idea…
I’ve heard this sort of story before. Retiring is expensive, and cruise ships hire a lot of very low-wage non-Americans to keep costs down. I’d expect that (baring the world economy totally imploding) some cruise lines will market to this demographic deliberately with purpose-built ships in the not too distant future.
How would this compare to retiring to an expatriot retirement community in some place like Belize or Costa Rica or the Philippines?
Barb and I have visited Belize and Costa Rica with that sort of thought in the back of our mind. We were completely convinced those locations were not for us. No idea about the Philippines. We have some friends with a place in Panama they may move to. We have no personal experience with that either, but after visiting Belize and Costa Rica we don’t give it serious consideration.
Today, you can retire even in Washington state on $100/day if you are careful, already own property, and don’t have large out of pocket medical bills. We retired 10 years ago and have managed to save money while living on social security. However, in the current environment the cost of living is accelerating. Almost everything has doubled since we retired, and the end is not in sight.
It seems that the government does not understand that they are a major contributor to homelessness and poverty.
I met the cruiser named “Super Mario” on Royal Caribbean and this is basically how he lives. Really nice guy and came to the same conclusions. He did all his business on a laptop and went ashore every few months for checkups.
We looked into the costs. There are retiree options to do this. Decided against it at this point in our lives but it wasn’t bad if you can live in a small space and frugally.
Such a lifestyle would work for a tiny minority of people. Just not for most. And
that’s ok. Life should be about choice. It’s when criminal leftists seek to take away our choices and impose THEIR choices on us that things start going to hell.
Ten years ago I found myself stuck on a cruise. At lunch one day I dined with a retired woman in a wheelchair. That was her retirement. For two months she disembarked to spend much of the summer with grandkids in Florida and the rest of the time she was cruising the Caribbean on Royal Norwegian.
I would rather put a bullet in my brain before doing this, but for her , it made sense and she enjoyed interacting with different people every day.