Couple Plans to Spend Their Retirement Years on Cruise Ships Because It's Cheaper Than a Mortgage

Richard and Angelyn Burk of Seattle say they've spent the past year living on cruise ships, and have no intentions of ever returning to their land home.

Cruise Ship Becomes Home to Retired Couple, Cheaper than Seattle

Image via Getty/Michael Dunning

Cruise Ship Becomes Home to Retired Couple, Cheaper than Seattle

A retired couple intends to live the rest of their lives aboard cruise ships, after determining it was much cheaper than living on land.

As reported by the Washington Post, Angelyn and Richard Burk made the decision in May 2021, after taking nearly a dozen cruise vacations in recent years. Angelyn, a 53-year-old retired accountant, told the outlet she and her husband thoroughly enjoyed the at-sea trips, so much so they came up with the bold idea to live on a cruise ship permanently. 

They added up various expenses, including their mortgage, internet, electricity, property taxes, and insurance, which came out to around $3,500 a month. The Burks then determined living on a cruise ship would cost less than living at the Seattle home.

“We calculated that we can probably live reasonably well with about $100 a day together, with what we’ve saved up,” said Richard, a 51-year-old retired computer programmer.

A couple in their 50s live permanently on a cruise ship because it's cheaper than a mortgage. According to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. @Upworthy

— Michael O (@Mondomoog) May 12, 2022

The Post reports the couple’s $100-a-day budget does not include food, entertainment or other everyday life expenses; however, the Burks say it there are no surprise costs with living on a cruise ship: “The price is the price,” Angelyn said.

“By living on a cruise ship, you gain your room, you gain board, you’ve got entertainment that’s built in, you’re going to different locations,” Richard added. “It’s hard to beat that.”

The couple has reportedly spent the past year testing their retirement plan, taking cruises in the Bahamas, the Mexican Riviera, and the Panama Canal. In between their trips, the Burks will typically stay at hotels or Airbnbs. They say they plan to sell their Seattle home, which is currently occupied by three of their adult children, who are paying for the mortgage and other house-related expenses.

“We’re constantly going online and looking at the different cruise lines to see what cruises they have available, and what is the least-expensive way to travel someplace,” Richard said. “We don’t really care where we’re traveling.”

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