The cruise market offering has changed enormously in recent years, where once it was purely the domain of cabaret cheese and bad karaoke, now there’s something on offer for everyone (don’t worry, though, if you love cabaret and karaoke, that’s still an option). Whatever your tastes and priorities, you won’t be hard pressed to find a cruise to suit your needs.
Cruises have always been a popular choice for retirees but with the new potential for personalisation, they’re more popular than ever, with over 26 million passengers carried worldwide in 2018 alone. So what is it that makes taking to the seas such an attractive prospect?
Cruises have the potential to be a catch-all for whatever kind of holiday you’re looking for. Whether you’re after a romantic getaway, a family break over the school holidays, or a round-the-world trip that ticks off everything that’s left on your bucket list; it’s all possible when you’re on a cruise liner.
There really is a cruise out there for everyone. Some people want to lay on the deck and bathe in the sun, some people want to hone their rock-climbing skills, while others want to kayak alongside breaching whales. The possibilities are endless: if your priority is trying the food of critically acclaimed chefs, or even having a go at cooking the dishes yourself, fine dining can now be found onboard in some of the most remote corners of the world’s oceans.
3) Modern life can be stressful
Taking a cruise is not just about the food and entertainment available on board and the chance to see some fantastic locations. It’s also about taking the hassle of too much planning away from the holiday goer. Being able to relax and take a breather while you’re travelling the world is becoming a bigger priority for people and this has been reflected in the incredible attention and investment given to spa and wellness facilities on cruise ships. Plus it’s a great chance to unplug and really experience the world around you.
Despite historically being a pursuit of the highest luxury with the pricetag to match, there are plenty of choices available for more budget conscious passengers. All-inclusive cruise holidays are a smart way to enjoy all the bells and whistles whilst remaining price savvy. Pick the right vessel and you can experience entertainment of broadway quality included in your price.
If you want to enjoy your retirement to its fullest but can’t decide on the best way to do that, considering a cruise trip is a great place to start.
From 6 April 2019, minimum contributions from employers and staff increase. This applies to all employers with staff in a pension scheme for automatic enrolment. If you aren’t enrolled in an automatic pension scheme or you and your employer are already paying above the increased amounts, this increase doesn’t apply to you.
The old minimum rates were 2% of your pre-tax salary from your employer and 3% of your own pre-tax salary, a total of 5% of salary. This has risen to 3% from employers and 5% from staff, totalling 8% of overall salary. Your employer may already be contributing more than the minimum, meaning your own contributions won’t have to be upped so much to make the minimum 8% contribution.
While this will mean slightly less take-home pay, you are effectively getting a pay rise as your employer will be giving you more money than you would otherwise have got. This said, you won’t be able to use this money until you are 55, in most cases.
By doing nothing, you’ll automatically be saving towards your pension. You’ll be making a long-term decision to improve your financial security in later life without actually doing a thing. This is great for those of us guilty of sacrificing the future for more money in the short term. Usually, remaining in such schemes is the best financial decision as many of us face a future where the state pension won’t be enough to live off alone.
Of course, you can opt out…
In most cases, it makes sense not to opt out of the auto-enrolment scheme. However, there can be exceptions. If you already have a large pension, there’s a risk that auto-enrolment could push you over the lifetime allowance, which currently stands at £1,055,000 as of April 2019. If this sounds like it could affect you in this way, it’s best to talk to an independent financial adviser to decide what the best course of action is for you.