Baby boomers and elderly people have several choices for where to spend their retirement years.

People who are relatively active but need some help with a few of their activities of daily living might want to consider retiring on a cruise ship. An increasing number of seniors are choosing to live on cruise ships for part of the year or on a full-time basis. The cruise lines have taken notice and have started offering longer cruises to appeal to people who are wanting to retire on cruise ships.

This new trend has popped up where savvy retirees are taking full advantage of the amenities, food, activities, and travel opportunities of cruise ships. Read more about how people are doing this for about the same price as living in a retirement community

What Is This Trend?

Over the past couple of decades, more and more seniors are choosing to spend part or most of the year living on cruise ships instead of living in assisted living facilities or senior citizens’ communities. Some of these retirees go on many shorter cruises each year while others opt for long cruises. Cruise lines have started to offer long cruises to appeal to these retirees, and one cruise line, Crystal Cruises, is planning to offer 40-year leases on their ships that can pass to heirs.

Why Is This Trend Catching On?

People are choosing to retire on cruise ships for multiple reasons. One major reason that people choose to retire on cruise ships is that doing so allows them to enjoy many more amenities than they might find in a senior living community or an assisted-living facility. When people retire on cruise ships, they can eat their meals each day in the dining room and enjoy all the entertainment options that are available on board. Many cruises also offer educational programs for seniors, and there are plenty of opportunities to socialize with others.

Many retirees on cruise ships find that choosing to live on board does not cost any more than they would spend to live at an assisted-living facility. One study that was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that living on a cruise ship provides seniors with better qualities of life while costing about the same as living in assisted living facilities. If you choose to live on board a cruise ship, you will also be able to benefit from the discounts that cruise lines offer through their rewards programs.

People are also choosing to retire on cruise ships because they want to see the world. When they live on cruise ships, they have the opportunity to explore the world. There are many cruises that explore Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East, allowing retirees who live on board to visit destinations that are on their bucket lists.

Some people choose to retire on cruise ships to get away from the drudgery of daily life. Instead of the monotony that comes with daily cleaning, watching television, and cooking, living on a cruise ship allows the retirees to leave those tasks to others while they can instead do activities that they enjoy.

Finally, people are choosing to live on cruise ships because they have the ability to form relationships with the staff. Staff members get to know long-term cruisers, and they tend to treat them very well. On cruises that cater to older adults, there are also many opportunities to meet other seniors with whom you might share interests.

Retiring on a Cruise vs. Retiring on Land

There are both pros and cons to retiring on a cruise ship as well as to retiring on land. The pros of retiring on a cruise ship include your ability to enjoy high-quality amenities and all-inclusive meals. You will also be able to enjoy nearly limitless activities and options for entertainment. You also will not need to worry about transportation because most cruises provide transportation to people on board into town. Living on a cruise ship can also help you to stay active while you travel the world.

Retiring on a cruise ship also has some potential cons. If you have grandchildren, you might not be able to see them as frequently as you would if you lived on land. You also will not be able to claim any tax deductions for living on a cruise ship. While there are medical facilities on cruise ships, they may not be appropriate for you if you need specialized care.

The pros of choosing to retire on land include having the ability to see your loved ones more often. If you need specialized medical care, retiring on land is likely a more appropriate option. There are several different retirement options available to older people such as assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, nursing homes, and aging in place with family support.

Some drawbacks of choosing to retire on land instead of on a cruise ship include the cost. Nursing homes, CCRCs, and assisted-living facilities may be more expensive than living on cruise ships. They also do not offer the same types of amenities that you will find on a cruise ship.

Some active older adults who want to explore the world find that living on cruise ships is the right choice for them. If you would like to learn more about this potential option, you should conduct your own research and take several shorter cruises to learn what you like about different cruise lines before you sign up for a lengthy cruise.