The start of any career is an exciting prospect, more so with cruise ship jobs as these have a lot of advantages. Not many consider, however, a long-term plan after retirement.
Cruise ship jobs afford many opportunities and benefits, but many of the disadvantages such as long hours and having to stay away from family for many months can take its toll. Planning ahead for retirement offers goals to work towards and a strategy to take on life ashore.
Moving back to land-based life requires lots of patience and a small amount of determination. Even being around family 24×7 can take getting used to.
The first way to prepare for retirement is to plan for it. Knowing when you would like to retire – give or take a few contracts – will help you chalk out a post-retirement plan of what you will keep yourself occupied with.
Owing to the relatively high compensation on board – particularly for those in Asian countries – early retirement is possible. This will allow you to return home and spend time with your family, start your own business or take care of aging parents.
For this, you will need to begin saving early. Thanks to cruise ship jobs offering free meals and board to employees, a major chunk of your salary can be saved for the future. It could help you save for courses you may like to do after you quit, or even invest for your children’s education for the future. This will also provide you with sufficient capital to begin a new business, if this is your plan.
Before you retire, work out what type of business you would like to engage in after you leave shipping. It is important to remember that administration, government and management often do not function to the high standards on board a ship. So preparing to set up a business shortly before you retire – perhaps during the period between contracts – will help you save some time.
If you have a cruise ship chef job on board, you could consider opening a restaurant, quirky food service such as a food truck or even joining high-end hotels in their food and beverage ventures. Your time on board will stand you in good stead, and post retirement from your cruise ship job, you will have more than enough experience to take you through interviews for shore-based F&B jobs.
You could also pursue your passions, by turning hobbies into careers. Many cruise ship crew have become professional musicians, authors, financial consultants and entrepreneurs after retirement. Another option is to clear exams for civil services and join high-profile government posts, or complete MBA programmes which can get you into shipping companies and other private organisations as CEOs or managing directors.
To stay with the shipping line, you can do specialised courses in many places around the world and take up well-paying jobs as a surveyor, vetting inspector, agent, broker or other similar post in the industry. You could even join an institute to teach and share the knowledge you have gained over the years.
Read motivational and self-help books to assist you in dealing with land-based realities such as dishonesty in work, cut-throat business, reading markets and trends, etc. If you do not plan to work after leaving your job at sea, you will still need to think about how you will occupy yourself at home. Rediscover hobbies or find new ones so you have something to look forward to when you make the change.
Always remember that mental preparation is the first step towards a successful retirement.