A Seattle couple is making the most of their retirement by living on a cruise ship rather than paying for a home.
Angelyn Burk fell in love with cruise ships on her first trip in 1992. After meeting her husband Richard, the couple would set sail on around-the-world cruises once, sometimes twice a year.
They started thinking of ways to retire and permanently live on the sea as they approached their 50s. Angelyn, an accountant, discovered that living on a boat made more sense and was more affordable than living on land. The couple, who previously took 50-day cruises, found that they could cruise for as little as $42 a day.
“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn tells 7 News in Australia.
The Burks say they are relatively frugal and are not materialistic. After assessing their savings, investments, and the pending sale of their home in Seattle, they decided they would rather spend their money enjoying travel experiences. Angelyn says they plan carefully, hopping from cruise to cruise and taking advantage of loyalty rewards and deals to live the cruising lifestyle.
“We love to travel, and we were searching for a way to travel in our retirement that made financial sense continuously,” says Angelyn.
Since the Burks have decided to live on the water, they say they do not plan on returning to land anytime soon. They only sleep on land when cruise schedules do not line up, and they have to book a hotel room until their following cruise sets sail.
As for which destinations they like the best, Angelyn says Italy, Canada, Iceland, the Bahamas, and their ultimate favorite, Singapore, rank at the top of the list.
Although living on a cruise takes some careful planning, Angelyn says it “is achievable for the everyday cruiser.”
So what tips do the Burks have for being a permanent cruiser?
“Make sure you enjoy being at sea,” says Angelyn. “Cruising is not for everyone. Try different cruise lines to see what appeals to you.”
Angeln says the key is to budget and keep expenses low; you are not financing a vacation but a lifestyle. A few more tips she suggests include:
• Sign up for loyalty programs and look for sales across multiple cruise lines to save money.
• Be flexible.
• Be creative with travel dates and stay in a location for extended periods to cut down on expenses between cruises.
• Booking inside cabins is usually more cost-effective, but keep an eye out because balcony rooms can sometimes be the same price as inside cabins.
• Don’t purchase the beverage packages and travel light.