The Baltic Cruise that we were on in June was an interesting experience for us as we contemplate early retirement next year. While it was a great 12 day getaway, we felt a bit like fish out of water all week, as we were likely 12-15 years younger than the average cruiser on the ship, with most people in their 60s.
We weren’t expecting it to be this way, but the ship (Royal Caribbean) turned out to be a bit of a “retirement haven”, with older folks from England, the US, and Mexico. There were very few families aboard and even fewer young couples. We have been on quite a few cruises before, but the mix of passengers on this ship was decidedly older. Perhaps because it is a more expensive cruise and not a warm weather destination (Scandinavia), it attracts an older clientele.
It reminded me of earlier this year when we went to Florida over spring break and visited Naples. We were staying about an hour north in Cape Coral and took a day trip to Naples – which we understood to be a beautiful and luxurious stop. We weren’t surprised to see a lot of older, retired folks – just surprised how relatively out of place we felt. The whole city felt 15-20 years older than any other place that I have been.
I wonder if this is what early retirement (FIRE by Fifty) will feel like? Will my DW and I feel out of place as our friends continue to go to work for five, ten or fifteen more years? Or will it be enough to just steer clear of places that are clearly retirement havens? My parents have been retired for 20+ years, but my Mom has never wanted to move to a place like Naples because she said it would make her feel older to live there.
This will be an interesting element of early retirement – with a 5-10 year head start on people “our age”, how will we fit in? Should be an interesting experiment!
Image Credit: Pixabay