A couple living on a cruise ship had a good reason behind their current living situation. They have always loved sailing so when they discovered that it is affordable to live on a cruise ship, they took on an exciting journey to live their retirement dreams.
Downsizing for Retirement
Like other retired couples, Nancy and Robert Houchens also thought of downsizing and living a simpler, more peaceful life. This was why they sold almost everything they had, including their house.
“Our goal was to sell everything we owned and pretty much live on cruise ships,” said Nancy. “We’ve done a pretty good job of it since we’ve retired.” Now, everything they had would fit in the back of a pickup truck.
“We sold all of our estates except for a little condominium we have in Florida, so when we get too old to cruise, we have somewhere to live,” Nancy added.
“And we did keep two vehicles, and what we kept is in half of (Robert’s mother’s storage unit), which is, I don’t know, 10×10 or something. We just walked away from everything.”
Cheaper than a Nursing Home
“When you get to our age. Living on a cruise ship there’s no stress and is much cheaper than a nursing home or assisted living,” Robert pointed out.
For a couple living on a cruise ship, sailing has a myriad of benefits. They do not just get to enjoy sailing and traveling to beautiful places but they also save some money.
According to Seaton Senior Living, the average monthly cost of assisted living in Virginia, where the couple is from, is $4,850. For the two of them, it will be nearly ten thousand a month.
The couple’s original budget was $4,000 a month, including gratuities. “Of course, things are more expensive now, so that budget has had to increase a little. Depending on where we go, we may or may not need the internet,” said Nancy.
“Our phone plan covers almost everywhere for 25 cents a minute to call with free internet and texting,” Nancy continued. They also have an annual travel insurance plan, and one of their credit cards also has travel insurance.
1000 Days at Sea
It’s not common to see a couple living on a cruise ship, let alone a couple that has also spent 1000 days at sea. Last year, Nancy and Robert were both recognized for meeting a 1,000-day milestone while on their favorite Fun Ship, the Spirit-Class Carnival Pride.
According to the Houches, they have been sailing for over 20 years since their children were young, and still living with them. Carnival cruise ships have always been their first option when sailing because of their great offers.
“Carnival has great perks for those that are loyal. They do our laundry and, of course, they cook your meals, clean your cabin, and we kind of put the pencil to the paper and I thought for the amount of money that we could spend, why do we need to drive somewhere?” explained Nancy.
Their current living situation is very convenient for the couple and allows them to enjoy their retirement as much as they can without the worries of everyday life on the land.
When asked if they find life on the ship monotonous, the couple said they have never been bored because of the great venues and activities that the cruise ship offers. Nancy said that they used to party a lot and stay up all night but now, they just like to relax.
As much as the couple enjoys all the activities on the cruise ship as well as the beautiful destinations, sailing now has a different impact on them.
“We cruise Carnival because of the people,” Richard said. “It isn’t the destinations for us anymore, it’s the journey—and the biggest part of the journey is the people.”
Like the Douches, another couple decided to live on a cruise ship after their retirement. Angelyn and Richard Burk both love cruising and traveling to different parts of the world.
Eventually, they embraced the cruise ship life completely and are now living on a cruise ship. They only spend an average of $43 a night, which is cheaper than paying off a mortgage.
What do you think of this retirement idea? Share your thoughts in the comment section and watch this video of the Houches’ sailing journey: