Living as a solo senior can have different implications than spending your days as a couple. Whether you’ve always been on your own, went through a divorce or lost a spouse in retirement, being single can have its advantages and drawbacks.
Use the following tips as you navigate through retirement alone.
Structure Your Finances
If you have a strong handle on money matters, it can reduce stress during retirement. Clearly identify your wants and needs. Needs include expenses such as housing, utilities, transportation, medical care and groceries. If you don’t have enough for basic costs, you can adjust your standard of living or look for ways to earn additional funds. Then consider your wants, which might range from golf to travel to eating out with friends.
Consider a Single-Friendly Retirement Community
Some housing options are designed especially for those who are 50 and older. As a solo senior, this could be a great way to stay socially engaged.
Set Up a Health Care Plan
If you are retiring alone, it might be stressful to think about what will happen if you get sick. You can certainly take advantage of telehealth options and pharmacies that deliver. However, it can still be wise to have friends to call on if you need to be driven somewhere, such as home from the hospital. Doing your research and having a plan in place can ease tension.
Make New Friends
If most of your friends are couples, you might decide to expand your social circle. Film clubs, language clubs, dining clubs, ski clubs, parks and gyms in your area are natural spots to find like-minded friends.
Choose Your Region
When retiring solo, you have the flexibility to think about what fits you best in terms of cost, lifestyle, people in the region and amenities. Residents of cities with a high cost of living might evaluate communities with lower costs.
Find a Travel Companion
In retirement, you’ll likely have time to explore interesting places, such as new cities or National Parks. While you could take trips on your own, joining up with others might be a fun way to connect and bond.
Look for Volunteer Opportunities
If you’re interested in giving back in your community, ask local organizations for the opportunity to volunteer. You may feel a sense of purpose by helping others in your area. You’ll also have the chance to meet new people, avoid being isolated and stay active.
Plan for Long-Term Needs
While you may be active and healthy now, there could come a time when you have extra expenses related to medical care. Research costs for assisted living or nursing homes in your area to see what you may have to pay if you move into a care facility. Talk to family and friends, along with your financial advisor, to think through budgeting for healthcare in the future.
Bring a Pet Into Your Life
Having a cat or dog can give you a sense of companionship and ease loneliness. Think about the costs involved before you adopt an animal and whether you travel frequently.
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