6 Reasons to Consider Retirement on a Cruise Ship

A life at sea could cost considerably less than many retirement communities.

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My wife and I just got back from our first cruise. We took a 5-day cruise from Charleston, S.C. to the Bahamas. A significant percentage of the 2,200 guests on the cruise were retired. A cruise generally offers many benefits to retirees at a compelling value. Here are six reasons to consider spending a significant portion of your retirement years on the water.

[See The 10 Best Places for Single Seniors to Retire.]

Socialization. For all the folks on a cruise, there is a large amount of socialization and camaraderie with your fellow guests and the cruise staff. You’ll also associate with a bit more of a diverse age group on a cruise ship than you would at a retirement community.

Travel. While a retirement community may have some local outings, the primary advantage of a cruise ship is retirees get to travel to nearly anywhere in the world they want to go.

[See 5 Tips for Affordable Travel in Retirement.]

Entertainment. A cruise has a well-planned itinerary and hosts many events on the ship to entertain the guests. Every day is planned out and may include excursions, bingo tournaments, stage shows, comedians, and a number of other fun activities.

Food. You don’t have to shop or prepare meals while on board. There are a wide range of dining options on the ship to enjoy.

Service. The service on a cruise ship is very accommodating. Retirees could benefit from the extra attention that the cruise staff is willing to make to ensure they are enjoying their trip.

[See Retire Overseas Success Stories.]

The price. Our cruise cost us roughly $76 a day per person for the cruise ticket, port fees, taxes, and an automatic gratuity. You may want to add in an additional $10 to $15 per day for miscellaneous expenses. That cost is significantly less than some full-service retirement communities, which can easily cost more than $100 per day. Extreme cruisers might be able to live on board for less than $30,000 per year. This could be a compelling retirement alternative for some retirees who do not need significant assistance and love to travel.

Brian Jaeger is the author of 2million's Personal Finance Blog. For the past 5 years Brian has chronicled his journey to reach his financial freedom goal of a $2 million net worth.