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Couple decide to live on cruise ship permanently after finding it's cheaper than paying mortgage

Jess Battison

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| Last updated 

Couple decide to live on cruise ship permanently after finding it's cheaper than paying mortgage

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/David Sacks/Getty Images

A couple have traded life on dry land for sailing the seven seas. And I’m not just talking living on a little sailing boat and fishing for lunch, but settling down on cruise ships.

Finding it to be cheaper than paying a mortgage, Seattle couple Angelyn and Richard Burk ditched their jobs for a new start.

With just one suitcase each and a unique choice of home, the pair aren’t too different to Zach and Cody on The Suite Life on Deck – probably just without the chaos and Debby Ryan.

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The Burk’s life at sea began in May 2021 and according to their research, this unusual method of living on cruise ships is much prettier on their pockets and bank accounts than paying off a mortgage.

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“We love to travel, and we were searching for a way to continuously travel in our retirement that made financial sense.” Angelyn, a former accountant, explained to Australia’s 7News a year after their adventure began.

Both Angelyn and Richard are in their 50s and realised they could continue their love of travelling for the rest of their lives, travelling for as little as $62 AUD ($40 USD, £32) a day.

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So far, they’ve hopped on and off various cruise ships around the world, including a 51-day trip from Seattle to Sydney. Some of their top spots have been Singapore, Italy, Canada and the Bahamas.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn explained.

“We love to travel and we were searching for a way to continuously travel in our retirement that made financial sense.”

The couple live a frugal life, and thanks to their loyalty memberships and by taking advantage of sales, they could retire right away.

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They don’t plan to return to living on dry land or doing nine-to-fives again.

Angelyn told CNN in April 2022 that the average cost per day was $89 USD, which included the price of their room, food, entertainment, transportation, tips, port fees and taxes. According to Zillow, the average price for home in Seattle is $834,501.

Angelyn and Richard live on cruise ships. Credit: Angelyn Burk.
Angelyn and Richard live on cruise ships. Credit: Angelyn Burk.

“This is well within our retirement budget,” she said, explaining that going on a bunch of cruises has helped their funds thanks to loyalty schemes.

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The couple's story was previously shared on Reddit, and people are obsessed.

“My godfather and his wife did this until they passed. Nearly 20 years living abroad,” one person replied.

Another user wrote: “There are older retired folks who do this cause there are doctors on board those ships and it costs less than nursing homes. They'll be on the same ship for months, then get onto another ship for months, just back and forth.

"Signing up for 3+ months like that the cruise lines give out large discounts, so it's much cheaper than a single week that most people would go on.”

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While a third also agreed living on cruise ships was a satisfactory retirement plan: “Food, medical care, cleaning services, laundry service, all for less than half of what a retirement home would cost. It's insane."

Topics: Community, Money, Travel, Reddit

Jess Battison
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