Personal Finance

Retire on a cruise ship? Believe it or not, it’s a trend

Perhaps one of the more unexpected trends of late is the move to retire on a cruise ship.

One woman came forth about turning her love for cruises into a lifestyle after her kids moved out and her husband died, and suddenly cruise ship retirement became a contender for retiring folks everywhere.

The motivating factors for choosing life on the sea versus in a relaxed gated community are emotional, practical and financial.

Often after a lifetime of being surrounded by family and friends, the transition to a quiet retirement is challenging. Cruise ship life provides an exciting alternative. By nature of the industry, people retiring on cruise ships are surrounded by vivacious people and adventure.

Not to mention that a cruise ship is essentially its own independently existing and functioning community. Residents, temporary and permanent, enjoy amenities like meals, shopping, fitness centers, spa services and most importantly, medical facilities. None of which requires a car.

While the rooms may not be cheaper than a room in a land-based retirement community, many speculate that thanks to socialization, fresh air and hospitality services like daily meals and housekeeping, better health for those at retirement age could potentially save on healthcare costs.

Most ships in the cruise industry keep no record of who lives on board full-time vs. those who join for a singular adventure, meaning it’s hard to know how many retirees are taking advantage of this alternative option.

However, there are some cruise lines jumping aboard the fad — pun intended — adding options for “Snowbird” residences seasonally or permanent residency cabins.

Before you pack your sunscreen and floppy hats to leave the world of yardwork and post office lines behind, check with a financial adviser to see if it’s a feasible option.

But if you’re ready to only settle down from work and not yet from all the world has to offer, an adventure in cruise ship retirement could be just the ticket.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit