Is a cruise ship suitable for a retirement home? For some, this is a romantic idea that is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Even more affordable than some options on land.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concluded that 20 years in a retirement home for someone entering at age 65 would cost an average of $228,075, as opposed to $230,497 for the same amount of time aboard a cruise ship. Within the last couple of years, thanks mainly to an article in a professional medical journal, the notion has started to gain some traction. As of now, there are no “retirement cruise ships,” but it is possible to book cruises back to back to create a floating retirement for slightly more than it costs to reside in an average assisted
As of now, there are no “retirement cruise ships,” but it is possible to book cruises back to back to create a floating retirement for slightly more than it costs to reside in an average assisted living community. But retirement on a ship isn’t the right choice for everyone.
Here are 5 things to consider if you are entertaining thoughts of calling a cruise ship “home”.
Pricing can be deceiving
The prices you see on cruise ship ads are only a fraction of what you will end up paying. On most cruises, you have to pay extra for many services such as internet (which can be very expensive), cell phone roaming, laundry, guided tours, and even alcoholic beverages and sodas Also, please be careful with the rates. The prices that cruise lines quote are often per person for double occupancy. If you’re single, there’s a significant surcharge, so single seniors will pay 200% of the listed price. Hence, it helps to retire with a companion.
Less contact with family
Unless your relatives are close to a coastline where the ship docks, for example, Florida or the Caribbean, you would not be able to spend much time with your children and grandchildren.
Small rooms without a view
The only affordable accommodations for many are the small, inside rooms each line offers, which may be too small and too inside for some people. Living for months without a window could make some people claustrophobic, even though there are plenty of open, public spaces on a ship.
Medical care is limited, without geriatric specialists on board
If you rely on specialists for ongoing health care, you won’t receive that level of expertise on a cruise ship. Most seniors who live on cruise ships can do so only as long as they are healthy.
Also, there could be a cost associated with medical attention on board. The cost of shipboard medical care would be a very big question mark for anyone. And furthermore, the quality of the medical care could be questionable. Apparently, there is virtually no regulation of medical care on ships and no assurance that the doctor is a trained M.D. from a reputable school.
No tax deduction for cruise ship living
If you sell your primary home to move onto a cruise ship, you won’t enjoy the benefits of interest deductions from your mortgage and you won’t garner additional tax deductions, either.
Assisted living services not available if needed
Just as you won’t get specialized medical care, you won’t get care for Activities of Daily Life (ADLs), either. While the myth circulated for several years as an urban legend, the idea of replacing your assisted living community or nursing home with a cruise ship isn’t really a viable option.