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Can You Actually Retire And Live On A Cruise Ship

March 26, 2020

Data from the Cruise Lines International Association shows that one-third of the people who board cruise ships are aged 60 or older. Given enough retirement income and savings, could a couple of weeks at sea turn into a couple of months, years, or decades? While the New York Times and Forbes have published features spotlighting retirees who have pulled off such a lifestyle, such stories are rare… but not unheard of. Some sailings, after all, last weeks, and taking things a few nautical miles farther, there is also The World, a 165-unit, 644-foot cruise ship, that sails around the globe with permanent residents in tow.  

As the Washington Post notes, a cheap cabin on a relatively inexpensive sailing may run as little as $50 a day, and many cruise lines offer discounts for passengers up for repeat business. Retirees with enough income, stable health, and a passion for travel might want to investigate the lifestyle. One last note: back in 2004, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society calculated that the cost of a year aboard a mid-priced cruise ship was just about 15% more than the cost of a year of assisted living. Today, given the rise of assisted living costs, perhaps the cruise ship is even more competitively priced.4