A Washington couple has spent the past year living aboard cruise ships after discovering that it’s cheaper than paying off a mortgage.
Angelyn Burk (53), fell in love with open seas when she took a Caribbean cruise in 1992. Richard Burk, her husband of 51 years, was also a lover of the ocean. They planned to take at most one year cruises around the globe.
“We really enjoy cruising and being able to visit different parts of the world without hopping on an airplane,” Angelyn, a former accountant, told 7Life.
After crunching the numbers, the couple realized that they could start their retirement lifestyle sooner than they had thought. The best part? They only need $86 per day on average!
“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 said. “We love to travel and we were searching for a way to continuously travel in our retirement that made financial sense.”
Thanks to a combination of their life savings and the expected sale of their home in Seattle—which is one of the most expensive urban areas in the U.S.—Angelyn and Richard could live the cruise life permanently.
They left their 9-5 jobs and the home they had yet to sell and set off on their journey across the open ocean with only one suitcase. They have been seafaring nomads from May 2021 and have adjusted well to their new life.
“We have been frugal all our lives to save and invest in order to achieve our goal,” Angelyn said. “We are not into materialistic things but experiences.”
Angelyn and Richard can secure their accommodation, food, and transport for an average of $43 per night.
The couple was able to keep their expenses within the budget by using loyalty members and taking advantage sales.
Angelyn & Richard have meticulously planned where each trip would end and begin since their departure.
“We don’t plan to permanently live on land in the future,” Angelyn said.
In fact, for the past year, the couple has slept on land less than five times, which happens when the ships’ timelines don’t match up. When they’re on terra firma, the couple often spends time with their family or friends.
Angelyn and Richard intend to visit every corner in the world. So far, they’ve taken a 50-day trip around the Adriatic Sea and seen the sights around Europe. They’ve also gone on a mega 51-day trip from Seattle to Sydney.
They love to travel to Italy, Canada and the Bahamas. Although they have been to many countries, they still consider Singapore their favorite.
“Currently, this year, we have secured 86 cruise days with an average all-in cost of $89 per day for both of us,” Angelyn told CNN. “Which includes room, food, entertainment, transportation, gratuity, port fees, and taxes. This is well within our retirement budget.”
Angelyn says that there is no downside to living at sea. However, she warns that anyone wanting to experience a similar adventure should first take long-term cruises before making it permanent.
“I believe this is achievable for the everyday cruiser, but it does take effort,” Angelyn explained. “It is leisurely travel without the complications of booking hotels, restaurants, and transportation while staying within our budget.”
Angelyn and Richard prove you don’t have to be a billionaire to live on a cruise—you just have to be smart with your financial decisions.
Is this the lifestyle for you? Here’s a video from someone who vlogs about cruise ships.
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