+
upworthy
Joy

Couple retires to live on cruise ships because it's 'cheaper than a nursing home'

It's actually a lot cheaper than assisted living.

cruise ship retirement, living on cruise ship, cruise costs

A couple is spending their retirement stress-free on cruise ships.

The cost of living in the United States has gone up so much in recent years that living on a cruise ship has become a reasonable idea for some retirees. When Nancy and Robert Houchens of Charlottesville, Virginia, retired, they decided to sell almost everything they had and live out their golden years hopping from cruise ship to cruise ship.

"We had a 3,000-square-foot home full of furniture...and everything we own now would fit in the back of a pickup truck," Robert told USA Today.

“We sold all of our estates except for a little condominium we have in Florida, so when we get too old to cruise, we have somewhere to live,” Nancy added. “And we did keep two vehicles, and what we kept is in half of (Robert's mother's storage unit), which is, I don't know, 10x10 or something. We just walked away from everything.”


Life on a cruise ship is stress-free for the couple because their needs are taken care of on the ship. "It's been great. I don't cook. I don't clean," Nancy told the Miami Herald.

The couple has found that living on a cruise ship isn’t as expensive as some may assume. Even though inflation has driven up the cost of travel in the U.S., it hasn’t significantly impacted the cruise industry.

“It's much cheaper than a nursing home or assisted living. It was just a good fit for us. It's a good fit for a lot of people,” Robert told the Miami Herald.

The couple plans their trips differently than someone who is going on vacation. “We look for the best deal, not the destination,” Nancy told Cruise Passenger.

The couple initially planned to spend $4,000 a month living on the ships. “Our original budget was $4,000 a month. This included gratuities. Of course, things are more expensive now, so that budget has had to increase a little. Depending on where we go, we may or may not need the internet,” she told Cruise Passenger.

“Our phone plan covers most everywhere for 25 cents a minute to call with free internet and texting,” Nancy continued. “We have an annual travel insurance plan, and one of our credit cards also has travel insurance.”

For the Houchens, living on board a cruise ship is definitely cheaper than assisted living. According to the 2020 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the average monthly cost per person to live in assisted living in Virginia is $5,250 a month, which would cost Houchens over $10,000 a month as a couple.

Further, the roughly $4,000 the couple spends a month includes food, and they don’t have to bother paying for a car. They also try to book their cruises consecutively so they don’t waste money paying for expensive hotels when transferring between cruise lines.

Last July, the Houchens celebrated their 1,000th day sailing with Carnival Cruise Line since the 1980s, and they look forward to countless more days at sea with each other and the new friends they’ve made on their never-ending cruise.

“We cruise Carnival because of the people,” Richard told Travel Pulse. “It isn’t the destinations for us anymore, it’s the journey—and the biggest part of the journey is the people.”


This article originally appeared on 7.19.23

This could be the guest house.


Inequality has gotten worse than you think.

An investigation by former "Daily Show" correspondent Hasan Minhaj is still perfectly apt and shows that the problem isn't just your classic case of "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

Keep ReadingShow less
Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

Keep ReadingShow less

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

Keep ReadingShow less
OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

Keep ReadingShow less