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19th Jun 2024

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

‘This is well within our retirement budget.’

A couple has traded their home for a life on the water, living permanently on cruise ships – and it’s cheaper than paying a mortgage.

Angelyn and Richard Burk, who are originally from Seattle and both in their 50s, packed one suitcase each and left their jobs, to spend the rest of their lives doing what they love most – travelling.

The couple’s life at sea started in May 2021 after they realised living on board a boat was a cheaper option.

“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.

For as little as 41 a day, Angelyn and Richard realised they could spend the rest of their lives travelling.

So far, they’ve hopped on and off various cruise ships around the world, including a 51-day trip from Seattle to Sydney. Favourite stops so far have included 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.”

Thanks to living a frugal life, loyalty memberships and taking advantage of sales, the pair can already retire and don’t plan to return to living on dry land or nine-to-fives ever again.

In April 2022, Angelyn told CNN, that the average cost per day was $89 (85), which included their room, food, entertainment, transportation, tips, port fees and taxes.

“Currently, this year, we have secured 86 cruise days with an average all-in cost of $89/day for both of us which includes room, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuity, port fees and taxes.”

“This is well within our retirement budget,” she says, adding that taking frequent cruises has led to the couple being offered deep discounts on future sailings through loyalty programs.

According to Zillow, the average price for home in Seattle is $913,416 (87,8415).

The couple’s story was shared on Reddit this week 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.”