Are there unique factors to consider if you’re a single retiree? The
answer is yes. Even if you’re part of a couple now, remember that divorce, death, or the break-up with a significant other can change your status.
Since women live an average of seven years longer than men, if you’re female your chances of being single at some point are significant. So, whether male or female, let’s take a look at some areas you may want to consider if you’re single now, or may be single in the future:
On the plus side, if you’re single you only have yourself to
consider when making many life choices; on the down side, you don’t have the emotional support of a spouse or life partner.
A support group is particularly important if you’re single.
Options for developing ties with others include working, volunteering, starting or perfecting a hobby that involves being part of a group, signing up for classes, exercising at a gym, service vacations – in other words, join in!
Of course, be careful when starting an online relationship; you may want to “google” your new cyberspace friend, keep specific information private (such as your real name, address, and phone number), set up a separate e-mail address through a site such as Hotmail, look for inconsistencies in responses to ensure your new friend is truthful, take it slow, plan your first in-person meeting in a public setting, and be realistic in your expectations.
Since you don’t have monetary back up, it’s very important to
start planning as early as possible for your retirement. Since women are generally paid less than men, and may have been out of the workforce for years to raise a family, financial planning is particularly important for single women.
Whether you’re male or female, consider the advice of a
fee-based certified professional. In addition to word-of-mouth
recommendations, you can contact the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), which locates planners by zip code, at www.feeonly.org or 800-366-2732; for help in locating a CPA, contact the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) at 888-777-7077.
If you’ve built up a large support group, your best bet may be
to remain right where you are – there may be “no place like home.” If,
however, you want to relocate, some places are considered better for singles than others.
If you’re female, you could also think about
In general, more urban locations and college towns are also good locations for singles. Areas that are growing rapidly and developing communities tend to be more amenable to singles – people who are new to an area tend to be more receptive to making new acquaintances than those whose social circles have been firmly established.
Many singles also like the security of a gated community.
Another route for singles to consider is the active-adult community.
If you’re 55 or better, which is a common age requirement, you’ll have a built-in social support system available through the myriad clubs,
activities, and programs that are offered.
The “big guns” in active-adult living include:
• Del Webb (www.delwebb.com or 800-717-9777),
• Hovnanian Enterprises (www.khov.com or 877-HOV-HOME),
• Lennar Corporation (www.lennar.com or 305-559-4000).
• Arizona Traditions, 30 miles from
Forbes compiles an annual ranking of “
Singles.” Although not targeted specifically to Boomers, it does provide some food for thought.
The top five metro areas for 2005 are Denver-Boulder,
If you’ve chosen a town or city, and are looking at individual communities or neighborhoods, pay special attention to the way people are depicted in their ads. If the brochures show only couples, there may be a message there!
The Travel Industry Association reports that almost 25% of adults
have taken a solo vacation within the past three years, and that the Baby Boomer contingent has the highest travel volume of any age group. A few websites to explore: www.travelaloneandloveit.com,
www.singlestravelintl.com, and www.osolomio.com. <<