As retirement approaches, we may wonder about downsizing our living space, or even moving to a new area entirely. The perfect retirement has many elements, and is more than just having enough money to make work an option instead of a requirement. One of the hardest things is realizing that you are the leader of your own retirement, and therefore you need to take charge of structuring all your new-found time during each day. For some, that may mean family, new hobbies, or travel (If someone you know is going to retire soon, you might consider helping them with that unstructured time with one of our retirement gift ideas).
One might even consider living on sea to be able to travel all the time and provide the stimulus needed to keep life exciting as travel destinations open back up again. An idea that once may have seemed far-fetched, living on the water may be a growing trend for the moderately wealthy. The recent WSJ article, “Why Buy a Multimillion-Dollar Home When you Can Live Aboard a Yacht?” states there has been a three year growth trend according to Boat International in yachts. These yachts may give new meaning to the term houseboat, as some of them have built-in spas and pools. They can range between just a couple million and a hundred million dollars, just like mansions, except that you’ll get to change the location so that won’t determine the price.
Living on the seas is not just for the ultra-rich. In fact, the idea that one would want to spend their retirement traveling from place to place has been around for a while, and the lower cost and more accessible option is to consider a cruise ship. The average spend for a cruise ship passenger including lodging and food is $214.25 per day according to Cruise Market Watch, or $78,201.25 annually. Still considerably higher than the average projected retirement cost, but that cost might come down further if one considered buying a cruise condo rather than booking consecutive cruises. That becomes more comparable to the average senior living cost. Some cruise ships cater to seniors, and have more medical options as well as accessibility and wheelchair options.
Where can this cruise retirement formula go wrong?
The first and largest issue is healthcare. Even if a cruise ship has more healthcare options, that doesn’t mean that it is setup to have assisted living or full-time nursing care. Most often one would need to be dropped off at the next port if health issues become severe, and how is that going to be paid for? Conventional insurance may not be accepted during international travel, whether on the boat or in port, so additional insurance costs may be needed and treatment options may vary considerably depending on where you are in the world.
The cruising life doesn’t have to be forever, and could still be considered for early retirement when one is healthier and more adventurous. That may have a hidden con as well, though. As we grow older, it becomes harder to create new lasting friendships. Being on a cruise ship with passengers that are constantly changing may place an additional barrier to creating the new relationships that could be steadier in an independent senior living facility.
There are the ordinary barriers to going on a cruise ship as well, from a small living space, to the novelty of the same cruise entertainment and ports wearing off. You may have possible interruptions between booking cruises and need to stay in hotels, or be forced to stay on the boat if there is an outbreak.
Some interruptions could be more inconvenient than others, too. There could be times when you are inaccessible to the internet or family. In terms of financial management, that is where Garden State Trust Company could step in, providing continuous financial management in the background in accordance with your wishes.
For most retirees, the desire and goal are to stay in their home as long as possible. However, for those that have been looking forward to more travel throughout their careers, it may be worth considering living on the seas for the early part of retirement and crossing off those bucket list places you’ve always wanted to see.