This couple is spending their dream retirement on a cruise ship
Here’s a retirement plan you may not have heard of: spend the rest of your life exploring the world by sea, hopping from cruise ship to cruise ship with just one suitcase. It sounds dreamy, and for couple Richard and Angelyn Burk of Seattle, Washington, it’s a reality they’ve worked hard to achieve. “We’ve been thrifty all our lives to save and invest to reach our goal,” says Angelyn. “We are not into materialistic things but experiences.”
Both in their 50s, the couple’s hard work and meticulous planning has paid off as they can now live their dream lifestyle, sailing, traveling, being able to visit places all over the world without jumping on a plane. “We love to travel and were looking for a way to travel continuously in retirement that made financial sense,” says Angelyn. While they had always hoped to spend their retirement traveling, their original plan was to live in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as they got older. But when Angelyn, an accountant, began calculating the exact age at which they could afford to retire for the cruise, the calculations yielded an exciting surprise: By using loyalty memberships and taking advantage of sales, the couple could set sail immediately! Wasting no time, they planned their first trip, retired from work, and put their house up for sale. In May 2021, they were definitely at sea, two suitcases between them. Angelyn says, “We don’t plan to live permanently on earth in the future.
All costs combined, the calculation makes sense. If it costs the couple $89 per night to live on a cruise ship, that’s $32,485 per year. The average home price in Seattle is around $900,000, with the average mortgage between $36,000 and $50,000. The pair always plan ahead and calculate carefully, ensuring they can continue to enjoy the full cruising lifestyle for years to come. “Currently this year we’ve secured 86 cruise days with an average all-inclusive cost of $89 per day for the two of us,” Angelyn told CNN. This includes their room, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuities, port charges and taxes. “It’s a hassle-free trip without the hassle of booking hotels, restaurants and transportation, all while staying within our budget,” she says.
By planning their back-to-back cruises, boarding the next one where the last ends, they can count the number of times they have slept ashore in the past year. In the rare cases where the timelines don’t match, they spend little time on land, usually visiting family or friends. And where did they go on their travels? So far they’ve sailed 50 days around the Adriatic Sea, visiting sights all over Europe, and another 51-day cruise took them from Seattle to Sydney. Some of their favorite destinations include Italy, Canada, Iceland and the Bahamas, but if they had to choose one, it would be Singapore.
A year into their new lifestyle, the couple love cruising just as much as they loved when saving and planning for this unique retirement. According to Angelyn, “Where else can you make your resort take you to different countries while relaxing by the pool or sleeping in a comfy bed?”
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