Picture this: Your golden years spent basking under the sun, cocktail in hand, surrounded by the tranquil embrace of the ocean.
That’s not just a dream, but the reality for Marty and Jess Ansen, a retired Australian couple who found that booking 51 consecutive cruises is not only an adventurous way to spend their retirement but also more cost-effective than residing in a pricey retirement home. Jess passionately shared, “It’s a lifestyle. Where else can you go? You go for dinner; you go to a show; you go dancing. Through the day, you have all these activities, and I love the hula dancing and the ballroom dancing.”
The cruise lifestyle, with its hassle-free daily room service and delectable meals, has its perks. However, Marty humorously pointed out a slight hitch. “Now we don’t know how to wash up anymore; we don’t know how to make a bed,” he quipped. “Of course, we haven’t done it for so long; now we’ve got to stay on board just to stay alive.”
This couple isn’t alone in this seafaring trend. With housing costs skyrocketing, many individuals are setting their sights on cruise ships as a home alternative. An adventurous 28-year-old even shelled out US$300,000 for a 12-year studio lease on a cruise vessel.
Their choice might seem unconventional, but with the average home price in Canada lingering around $650,140 and the looming housing affordability crisis, this maritime lifestyle is becoming increasingly appealing. To put it into perspective, many Canadian retirees face monthly retirement community rents ranging from $1,600 to over $6,270.
For the Ansens, the benefits are clear-cut. As they revealed to People, they are freed from typical household concerns such as rent, mortgages, and even groceries. “We’re not young people,” they remarked. “Cruising is much cheaper than going to a nursing home and means we can continue to travel the world.”
Their journey is far from over. With nearly eight more months on the Coral Princess and an ensuing year on the Crown Princess, their adventure continues.
Family? While one might wonder if they miss their kin, Jess’s response is a testament to their zest for life: “No.” She continued, “They’re busy. You know, I talked to them. I emailed them; they email us. They’re busy people. And we’re at a stage of our lives where we just want to enjoy ourselves.”
In the end, for those willing to think outside the box, there are always ways to sail around life’s obstacles – quite literally in the Ansens’ case.
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