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Who says your retirement home needs to be on land? For many sea-loving seniors, retirement houseboats are an option. In fact, statistics show that as many as 9,000 people in the United States and Canada have chosen retirement houseboats. You still eat, sleep, and shower there. Instead of a lawn, you have water all around you.

If you’re considering houseboat living in your retirement years you should know there are two types of houseboats, motorized and moored. If you want to move about then a motorized boat is your speed. If you prefer to stay in one place on the boat, then you should choose a moored houseboat.

Why Choose a Retirement Houseboat?

Besides the enjoyment of living on the water, there are other reasons why seniors choose retirement houseboats.

  • Less expensive. Although there is still upkeep of the boat, the cost of maintaining a houseboat is far less than regular home maintenance. It’s estimated to cost about $6,000 a year to live on a houseboat. That’s far less than a year’s rent or mortgage payments. Granted, the living space is smaller at an average of 500 square feet, depending on the size of the boat.
  • Freedom to travel. If you’re in good health, retirement houseboats give you the freedom to travel on a whim.
  • Simple life. Houseboats are not very large so you won’t find places to clutter. You basically just need the essentials to survive. This cuts down on frivolous spending and allows you to enjoy the simple life. Of course, there’s always the option to go large if you opt for one of the bigger boats that are near the 110 foot mark!
  • Plentiful activities. Seniors who have retired on a houseboat often comment about the number of activities. Besides spending time out on the water, many socialize at the marina with fellow boaters. There seems to always be something around to do and someone to talk to.

How Much Will a Houseboat Cost?

Just with a home on land, the cost of a houseboat varies. You can get a used boat for yourself and significant other and have room for guests from anywhere between 50 and 250 thousand dollars. If you want that boat brand new, the price tag skyrockets to $200,000 to one million dollars! As mentioned above, the monthly cost of houseboat living is far cheaper than other alternatives. Some of the biggest expenses you’ll face include insurance and docking fees.

Things to Consider About Houseboat Living

Although the idea may be appealing to a lot of seniors, houseboat living is not for everyone. Houseboat living should only be considered by the most active seniors; even then there are some things to keep in mind. You should think twice if any of the following pertain to you:

  • Fall easily
  • Take medications that can lead to dizziness
  • Sensitive to the sun
  • Easily become sea sick

If you are going to live on a houseboat you want to enjoy it to the fullest. Living on a houseboat under any of those conditions won’t exactly be home sweet home.

Do I Need to Commit Right Away?

If you think a retirement houseboat is for you but you’re not completely sold, you don’t have to jump ship so to speak. There are plenty of houseboat rental options out there that will allow you to try out a houseboat for a few weeks to a few months. During this time you can decide if houseboat living is right for you or if you should limit it to vacations.

When it comes to retirement living don’t rule anything out. Keep all options open until you find the one that best suits your needs.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt

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