These people are actually saving money by living on cruise ships

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For most people, a cruise is a thrilling vacation that you consider every few years, if you’re lucky. But for some creative minds, a cruise can be an affordable and awesome long-term living solution. Two major age groups are setting sail for weeks or months at a time: millennials who have figured out how to work from anywhere, and seniors who have realized cruises can actually be financially comparable to retirement living, but a lot more fun.

The Young

An increasing trend among millennials is to become a digital nomad, meaning find a job that can be done anywhere in the world. That includes working on a cruise ship, either instead of paying for an apartment, or while renting out their home to recoup that money.

“When I’m at sea, it’s similar to when I’m at the office. I call into a conference call, and a client won’t know I’m thousands of miles away,” publicist Samantha Martin told the New York Post. Compared to the cost of living in Manhattan, Martin and her husband find weeks-long or months-long cruises very affordable.” A luxury cruise costs $142 a day, with food and entertainment included,” writes the Post. Once they add income from renting out their own home during their around-the-world cruise, finances will balance out just fine, they tell the Post.

The New York Times reports companies are now forming that help people navigate the digital nomad life, like cruises that combine work and play.

The only concern cited by many digital nomads was the sometimes spotty internet service when a cruise ship is at sea.

The Young At Heart

Moving into a retirement home or assisted living facility is ridiculously expensive. And at thousands per month, some savvy retirees are looking into upgrading to a better option. In an extravagant example, Buzzfeed profiled an 86-year-old woman who lived on luxury cruise ships for seven years! “Lee spends about $164,000 a year to live her cruise-ship lifestyle, which includes a single-occupancy seventh deck stateroom, all her meals, and nightly ballroom dancing,” Buzzfeed explains. “Lee also attends frequent cocktail parties, movies, lectures, and the other regular free entertainment offered on the ship.” We could get on board with this life.

Many people can’t spend $164,000 per year. However, the average annual cost for assisted living in Lee’s home state of Florida is close to $40,000 (and a nursing home could be double). Since Lee’s one-time cost is all-inclusive for all the meals and entertainment she can handle, it doesn’t sound too bad for a whole year on the ocean with room service and an attentive crew.

For those wanting something a little closer to everyday prices, CNBC reports snowbirds will have a new 74-day cruising option with Oceania Cruises that costs $240 per day and includes extras like airfare or a huge shipboard credit.

About the Author
Haley Otman

Haley Otman is a news and features writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she roots for the University of Michigan Wolverines. A former broadcast news producer, Haley has 10 years of writing experience and has worked in both journalism and public relations. More.