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Military Retirement 101: 5 Tips to Prep for a Cruise Ship Retirement

Managing Your Finances

I'm not sure this would appeal to me, but let's face it, you worked hard throughout your military career and probably a second career. You may be in a position to spend all or a portion of your ultimate retirement living on a cruise ship, if you so desire. 

Is Retiring at Sea Right for You? 

Many cruise ships try to provide a very similar experience to a regular retirement, but instead of being on land, you are at sea! 

An example of this is Senior Living at Sea, a full-time travel program designed specifically for retirees.1 Some of the aspects of this program that make it so desirable are that they include spa services, fitness centers, social events, medical facilities and professionals and many other amenities. 

Retiring at sea can sound very appetizing to many pre-retirees especially because the lifestyle is completely maintenance-free with laundry, cleaning and meals all taken care of by the staff on board. 

How Much Does a Cruise Ship Retirement Cost on Average?

The average cost of retirement, based on the average time spent in retirement and average spending, is $828,000.2 The average cruise ship passenger spends around $213 per day, which would add up to $77,745 a year for someone living aboard a ship full-time.3 However, different cruise ships offer different opportunities and at various price points, so make sure you do your research ahead of time and properly budget.

5 Cruise Ship Retirement Preparation Tips

Tip #1:

 First things first, you need to figure out your retirement budget. Schedule a time to speak with your financial advisor and plan ahead for living expenses, taxes, etc. As mentioned above, it’s also a good idea to do your research and check out different cruise lines to see which one may provide the best value and experience for what you desire.

Tip #2: 

Sadly, many cruise ships don’t allow pets on board, so you may need to establish long-term care for your furry friend with a trusted family member or friend. 

Tip #3: 

When traveling abroad having adequate health coverage is incredibly important, especially for seniors. Tricare will likely cover you overseas, but Medicare probably won't. You might to look for a supplemental policy and you may need to add an expense line into your budget for additional health insurance coverage while at sea.

Tip #4: 

Give some serious thought to if you should sell or rent your home. Also, consider if you’ll need to rent a storage facility to store furniture and possessions. This is another recurring budget line item you’ll need to factor in. Lastly, don’t forget about any automobiles, you obviously won’t be needing these at sea. You may want to look into selling your car for some extra cash.  

Tip #5: 

This last tip is perhaps the most exciting and fun. Determine what destination suits you best. If you prefer to cruise in warm weather, opt for a cruise line traveling to the Caribbean, etc. This is important as you will be spending quite a long time here! 

Before packing your bags and saying bon voyage to your family and friends take these tips to heart before making the decision to retire at sea.


If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

Retired Military Finances 101: Where Will You Live for Your Ultimate Retirement?


Some High Tech Gadgets for Your Forever House


How to Simplify Your Financial Life Before Your Ultimate Retirement


  1. https://cruiseweb.com/senior-living-at-sea/benefit-comparison/
  2.        
  3. https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/03/18/retirement-will-cost-the-average-american-828000-a.aspx
  4.        
  5. https://cruisemarketwatch.com/financial-breakdown-of-typical-cruiser/

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