As a professional merchant marine officer or seaman you must prepare your retirement at a younger age. Because most of the ocean going seaman comes from third world countries where their governments are looking for their hard earned foreign currencies but they don't provide a monthly pension or retirement plan for the seaman and the officers in their older age.
It is time for you to act early and save substantial amount money for your future as most of the seaman are not caring for their future life and are looking for shore leave to spend their hard earned money and enjoying them for a short period. We agree that enjoying the life is part of the seaman life and you must see how many elderly seamen are still looking for jobs all over the world as they didn't save any money for their retirement. Their bank accounts are empty and their lives are very hard as most of the Governments don't support their elderly seaman except for the developed countries.
Most of the companies don't like to recruit the aged seaman for their ships as having them will not fruitful for their operations and these elderly seaman may have health problems while the ship is sailing and saving their lives ay cost the company a lot of money and troubles. The seaman life is limited for those who have healthy body by visible and medically as the ship owners don't like to have older persons on board the ships as there is a risk of facing the medical insurance coverage.
And as a seaman you too will have to pass many medical tests to be fit for the ship jobs. Matured seaman must pass more medical examinations than a younger seaman when passing medical examinations. And there are more chances for the matured seaman to be rejected at the medical examinations.
As a merchant vessel officer or crew member there are many ways to save for your future life plan for older ages. You can deposit a part of your salary in good banks where they will pay you a good return as monthly interest for your savings. This can be done in saving account or in fixed deposits. You can join some private companies who offer you a pension plan for older age.
Another important thing, if you want to build your own house, be present there and look after all the works yourself. If you stay onboard and send money to someone to build the house will cost you a lot of money and sometime it will never finish. There are many seamen who had lost their money for building their own house by someone else.
Also you can learn some jobs while you are onboard to do them in the older age. Many seaman started small business ventures together with the other seaman. Some are operating their own tour operation in their cities with newly purchased vehicles. Many merchant ship engineers are working in the boiler plants of tourist hotels and industrial companies. Some of them are working in garages, some work in companies that look after onboard ship repairs while others go to dry docks to work where there are many kinds of jobs are available for the ship officers and crew members. You can learn other professional jobs too to do in your home country. You can learn many kinds of jobs that can be done from your home with small investment.
Anyway don't forget to save some money for your future life. If you can't remit the money monthly to the bank then at the end of your ship contract go directly to the bank and deposit it yourself.