A while ago, the New York Times estimated that the cost of a 20-year retirement is just about the same as the cost of 20 years of continuous cruising. Since then, more people have been trying out the cruise ship lifestyle fulltime as a way to enjoy retirement.
Cruise ships come with room and board, social activities, restaurants, pools, housekeeping, entertainment, exercise options, an emergency infirmary, new people to meet, and new places to see. While they do not have nursing care or help with day-to-day living like in a nursing home, they are still comparable to many assisted living communities and may be an option for numerous healthy retirees who aren’t quite ready to settle down in one spot.
One woman, Mama Lee Wachstetter, has been living the lifestyle for nine years now. She spoke to Forbes about her experiences:
“I don't know how I got so lucky. I don't have any monthly bills, no house payments, and nothing to worry about… Nothing's required of me—the crew on Crystal is magnificent. If I need anything, they'll go off the ship and get it for me... All 650 of the crew members look after me, and I'm never left alone for a minute—and I've never been safer.”
Cruises also come on a budget. The Motley Fool discovered some cruises that cost approximately $100 per day. Annually, that could be a savings of several thousand dollars when compared to assisted living options.
How much you spend may vary based on the size of the cabin you would like, where in the world you are going, the length of the trip, and any extras you would like to include. Don’t forget that you will also need a health policy that covers travel and somewhere to store your belongings on shore.
It’s not just us. The cruise industry is also taking notice of the trend. They are offering longer cruises for the retirement generation. Oceania Cruises now has an option called "Snowbird in Residence" that allows passengers to spend two or more months of the winter taking a slow trip around the Caribbean.
Is it time to set sail?
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