March 4, 2008 — Here’s a different approach to selecting a retirement community – don’t bother. Instead, why not travel the world. It can be cheaper, and it certainly will be more interesting than staying in one place. Topretirements came across 3 such recommendations this week, so there must be something to it.
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the dynamic former President of George Washington University, proposed on his higher education blog that one might consider taking up Cunard Lines on its offer of a continuing cruise around the world.
Trachtenberg suggests that living aboard a ship and traveling around the world is certainly “less expensive and more satisfying” than living in an assisted living facility. Plus, the cruise comes with extensive staff like stewards, housekeepers, cooks, activity directors, non-stop entertainment, and endless cultural opportunities. Not to mention an infirmary and medical staff for primary health care. The jokes are better on the ship too!
Cunard’s 105-day cruise, Exploration of Distant Horizons, does cost a lot, approximately $22,000; more if you need an ocean view. But on a daily basis that’s about $210 a day, less than just about any New York hotel or assisted living facility. With the cruise you get first rate cuisine and a look at many of the world’s most interesting sites (Papua, New Guinea anyone?) As Trachtenberg points out, that’s a lot more interesting than a weekly visit to the strip mall. Unfortunately, the Cunard Cruise does end after 105 days. But for others who are interested in permanent cruising, there are various cruising condominium alternatives, where you never have to go ashore.
Having got the travel bug with the Cunard cruise, the AARP hit us with an article about Stan and Marcia Klein’s Adventures, who struck out even further. Initially this adventurous couple went through a few years going on foreign home stays and taking other tourist explorations. Then they got really serious – they sold their home in Connecticut and just about all their belongings. Now they explore the world interspersed with stints making more meaningful contributions. Part of the year they volunteer in various parts of the globe (e.g.; in Zimbabwe with the American Jewish World Service), while the rest of the year they find themselves in great demand as house sitters at different locations across the globe. Theirs is an interesting and charming tale, we highly recommend it.
Finally we just read about a couple that was determined to set a record for most days at sea – 1000 days at sea! The husband seems to be still at it, but the woman had to bail at just over the 300 mark. Not bad, and about 299 more than the Topretirements’ significant other would stand for.
All of these adventures sound great for the newly retired. As long as you are active and in good health, what fun! But are suspicion is that even these adventurers will eventually modify their rolling stone approach to life. But oh the tales they’ll have to tell!