Single People and Retirement Question

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
mariezzz
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mariezzz » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:03 pm

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:53 am
I would really like to do significant travel but will either be doing it alone or joining travel groups of some type. I dream of being a snowbird for a couple months each year, but dread going to a place where I will know no one and just experiencing loneliness.
  • Have you experienced loneliness in your life thus far? If not, why do you think you'll find retirement lonely? There are lots of places people go to be 'snowbirds' - research what your options are in terms of places to go, and look for groups in those places that might share your interests. I'll be you'll be pleasantly surprised to find there are options.
    As for travel: when you're in another country, it's not all that difficult to find locals to chat with - it's a good way to learn about the country & how locals view things, etc., and many people love to chat. I don't mind travelling alone - that way I can do whatever I want. If you stay in a place for a longer time, you may get involved with local groups. You could snowbird to a warmer country, not just to the US south. There is also 'volunteer' tourism: go to another place & volunteer. Your volunteer work helps you have companionship, but you have time off to explore (perhaps with some of the people you meet) - but I'd be careful about where I did this, and with what organization (you can google to find out why people have concerns about this in the developing world). You can also do volunteer tourism in the developed world.
    You might know someone who would like to have a travel partner to some degree. You could agree to do things largely separately or together, depending on preferences - or just share an apartment (can be cheaper if 2 people split the cost) & each do their own thing.
I expect also to do some volunteer work, but am undecided right now where to start getting involved in that. Most of my hobbies were put on hold so long for my all-consuming academic work that I hardly know how to return to them.
  • Habitat will train volunteers from zero knowledge. It's a great organization, you're helping others attain homeownership, and you'll learn useful skills that can be applied in your own home (and save you money). Most organizations are fairly happy to get volunteers - everything from animal shelters to community centers to one day stints helping clean up your community or pull noxious weeds. As someone else mentioned, there are various online organizations (like Meetup) you can try, or a biking/hiking/book club - whatever you find interesting.

CULater
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 pm

I am really enjoying all the ideas being posted and hearing from others how they are going about meeting the challenge of being single, retired, growing older. It is especially encouraging to hear people say they are surviving and even thriving living alone. Hope that the posts will keep coming in.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

Mike Scott
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Mike Scott » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:50 pm

About half of all the married retirees will also become single retirees at some point and should think about this as well.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:10 pm

At the senior center in my city, they have trips, all one has to do is sign up. You might want to try your senior center. In my recent trip, I saw a few older retirees with canes travelling alone. I think it’s best to pick big hotel. I would be nervous to stay at the condo my husband and I stayed at alone. It was pretty dark to walk alone even though that place has little crime.

Kompass
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Kompass » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:32 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:42 pm
I am really enjoying all the ideas being posted and hearing from others how they are going about meeting the challenge of being single, retired, growing older. It is especially encouraging to hear people say they are surviving and even thriving living alone. Hope that the posts will keep coming in.
+1

Thanks to those who suggested Road Scholar, it sounds perfect for me. I had no idea where to begin looking for international travel as a beginner!
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

btenny
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by btenny » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:35 pm

Being single or widowed in old age is one of the key attractions of Sun City. Many people who move there love all the clubs and recreation centers and volunteer opportunities available. Plus all of your neighbors are older and many are in you same position. So you get to know each other and help each other.

http://suncityaz.org/2012/03/singles-so ... -sun-city/
http://suncityaz.org/recreation/clubs/

itiswhatitis
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by itiswhatitis » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:54 pm

deleted duplicate post
Last edited by itiswhatitis on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itiswhatitis
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by itiswhatitis » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:00 pm

Dear Limoncello402,

Thanks for starting this thread. I have been lurking on here since 2009, and save a very few posts, I have stayed mostly in the shadows. Thank you for prompting me. Roughly seven years ago I realized I needed to build a real life with more opportunity for connection and community. It took me two years to start. I offer this in case there is something helpful in here.

First I will say this: I fairly often feel lonely, but I don’t believe there is any SHAME in feeling lonely. I may continue to feel lonely a lot or a little of the time. Who knows? It is OKAY. Here is the point: Having community and connection (and things to do that matter to another creature or to myself) is completely unrelated to whether I feel lonely or not. Anyone who has been in a lonely marriage, or been hyper-busy while still lonely, or been gob-smacked with the shock of existential awareness (alone on a trail, in a country, in a storm, in the dead of night, or in a crises of faith -- for some) that each of us is utterly alone, knows this to be true.

It helped me a lot to separate my interest in “curing” loneliness from my interest in building community, being part of something, and making some kind of difference to someone.

My work is very isolating and in my head. I work alone from home in my own business with scientists and academics – mostly online, rarely even by telephone, and often while in entirely different time zones. For many years ALL I did was work in every moment I was not parenting. The stakes were high – for me, for my daughter, and for the people who worked for me and also had bills to pay. There was no back-up plan. It was up to me.

I lost all community (church, neighbors, married-ness, if you will) in my marriage/divorce, and live far from family. I am a blue dot in a red state, so already had some hurdles with building community. Daughter was in high school, and I anticipated that with her (and her friends!) out of the nest I would feel a void. I dated a lot once she left for college, and had a relationship for a couple of years. I’m a relationship person, and it is by far my preference to share a life – my life/his life/our life – but that appears not to be in the cards for me though I am still out there trying. I don’t mind travelling alone, or taking myself out to dinner, or to a concert or exhibit, but I do understand the pang of seeing others in pairs.

Bogleheads sometimes talk about the need to retire TO something, and to PLAN for that. Stories people shared on this site let me see that my need to build a life for myself was not all that unusual. Many of us have to do that, for many different reasons. For some the need to (re)build a life comes after a great loss – loss of career, identity, health, financial security, a partner…. Obviously it can be done. I decided to try.

For what it is worth, in order:

I started walking 45 minutes every single day, rain or shine, cold or hot, no matter where I was, no matter what other thing or person seemed more important at the time. I reduced obstacles and maximized opportunity – put appropriate clothing and shoes in the car, for example.

Second, I REJOINED things I had previously quit over time constraints. I rejoined two book clubs I had left years earlier.

Perhaps a year later I ASSIGNED myself two hours a week to write, paint, read, draw, listen to music, learn something, cook something – all things I enjoy very much, but had totally forgotten how to do. For me it was every Saturday morning 8-10. I guarded that time, and had learned from the walking how to do that.

My schedule started to look like this: work/daughter/walk/chores/two book club meetings a month/creative time every Saturday morning.

I decided to find two other things to do per month so I would be doing one thing each week for my community-building-self-help project. I selected two nonprofits doing work important to me, and volunteered one day a month to each. Fast forward to now, and I’m on the board of one of these. (Utter truth be told, neither was really all that important to me in the beginning, but I thought MIGHT be so.)

Another year or so later I began looking for a church, having left my church in the divorce. I figured that was an easy way to add four more things per month, doubling my efforts, in one move. I went to a Methodist church every Sunday for three months; then three months at a different Methodist church; then three months at a Lutheran church; then the Unitarian Universalist church. (I also went to a Muslim open house, a Temple, and a Baptist church, but as one-offs. It was partly about discovery and curiosity.) At first I simply went every week. Then I committed to staying for 10 minutes of the social. Then I committed to taking food to contribute and staying 30 minutes. Fast forward to now, and I’m a member of the UU, someone may notice when I am not there (highly recommend sitting in roughly the same spot every time!) and I’ve put myself in charge of calling two well-aged women if they did not show up. I’m on the personnel committee and social justice committee, and make a deliberate effort to cultivate friendships with both the older people and the young people. (There are very few like me, in the middle. And this note: early on I was asked to teach a Sunday school class, and in a premeditated and self-serving way, I declined. I wanted to build community with adults, not be in the annex.)

I decided to learn to sail, something I had always wanted to do. Rather than just take classes I committed up front to the whole thing, not having any idea whether I might like it or not -- after calculating my all-in cost if I dropped the entire thing after two years, as a boglehead will do! I found an opportunity to join the sailing club, spent 18 months as a provisional member, and became a formal member. I am not a good sailor by ANY stretch, but through service work and volunteering and showing up, I have some sailing friends, a place to go on a somewhat random basis, people who expect me, and I’m outside even more.

Social justice work is important to me, but I had dropped such things entirely in the years between my early 20s and my early 50s. (Again, re-joining!) Using the technique suggested in the other examples, I picked something and committed to attending once meeting a week for three months until I found the thing I liked. Fast forward to now: I’m a county delegate for my party, and a precinct chair.

At some point along the way I started dating, but I made sure to HOLD ON to the investments I was making in my own life.

Conclusions?
1. I stopped worrying about picking the perfect thing to do.
2. I made myself vulnerable by asking for ideas and admitting I was lonely. (smile)
3. I granted myself carte blanch to quit ANYTHING after three months; and in the meantime, permission to make mistakes, to feel uncomfortable, and to show up again ANYWAY.
4. I was VERY careful to set boundaries, and to say no. I often had to say, “I’m just here for a few months to check things out.” I was generous in many ways, but stingy with my yeses.
5. One-off (or even semester-long) classes did not work for me as after the class was over, while I may have made a potential friend, the sense of community and belonging was gone.
6. I figured this project would take at least half as long as it takes to raise a child.
7. I tried to be predictable -- sitting in the same area in meetings or church, parking in the same general place, showing up at predictable times and places. I even wore a sort of uniform – bright pink tops for all sailing things – rain or shine, regardless of temperature, for example.
8. I took notes – people’s names and interests. I asked people about themselves. I listened WAY more than I talked.
9. I assumed other newbies felt as vulnerable as I had felt, and made a point to welcome them, ask after them, and learn about them.
Whether I have a partner or not – I need a life.

And now? I am nearly too busy to keep working, let alone date! You have everything to gain by starting, and you have ALREADY started, by asking for ideas! Everything is going to be okay! Thank you for this opportunity -- composing this (long) note was a terrific exercise for me.

beingmybest
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by beingmybest » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:08 am

Thank you itiswhatitis for your post, I really appreciate your wisdom.
“Yesterday is but a dream, Tomorrow is only a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”― Kālidāsa

CULater
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:13 am

Dear itiswhatitis,

Thanks to you for your wonderful, thoughtful post. There's a lot of good information and advice there from someone who has obviously planned and made the effort to put themselves into the game. I especially like the fact that you really jumped right in there with some things, not waiting to "know" beforehand if you were really going to get something out of it, such as the sailing. You seem to be someone who is willing to take action. I'll read and reread your post to soak up mindfulness of it, and to take inspiration to get out there like you've been able to do. Thanks for taking the time to share. One of the most meaningful posts I've read and another gem to take away from the Bogleheads -- who are much more than all about investing and finance.
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, The foresight to know where you're going, And the insight to know when you've gone too far. ~ Irish Blessing

mouses
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:36 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:51 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also, single older men can do things single older women can't, like travel to areas where the latter are not safe.
I would think there are only a very few places that would be safe for an older man but not an older woman.
Many places in the Middle East.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:52 am

Mike Scott wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:50 pm
About half of all the married retirees will also become single retirees at some point and should think about this as well.
It is funny how this is lost on some folks. A few, I am sure well meaning folks, have told me I should hurry up and meet someone post divorce so I "don't die alone". The fact that couples don't normally checkout at the exact same time seems lost on some.
Last edited by THY4373 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 am

mouses wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:36 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:51 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also, single older men can do things single older women can't, like travel to areas where the latter are not safe.
I would think there are only a very few places that would be safe for an older man but not an older woman.
Many places in the Middle East.
I am curious which countries in particular? Or is this just a stereotype? I have been to Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Dubai and as I type this Abu Dhabi (the latter two both parts of UAE). These are all generally safe for women and men. Yes there are surely dangerous countries such as Iraq, Yemen, and Syria but they aren't exactly much better for men. I am curious as to what country is considered safe for men but not women in Middle East?

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:21 am

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:44 pm

Questions for some of you solo travelers and adventurers: if you own a house, who cares for it when you are gone? Do you worry about being alone outside the country and getting ill/incapacitated?
I am not retired yet so my trips are limited to 2-3 per year for a total of six weeks. I currently rent a house but my ex (we get along great) takes care of it and my cats. I also have IP cameras deployed around the house so I can keep an eye on things and see my cats. I return the favor when my ex travels for business. When I retire I will likely do what Victoria does and rent an apartment or buy a condo I can more easily leave for extended periods.

It is easy to get spun up on what could happen but I don't dwell on it. I have travelled way more than most Americans and the worst I have got while traveling has been a cold. That said I do always purchase travel medical and evacuation service.

Limoncello402
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Limoncello402 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:57 am

What a thoughtful post itiswhatitis! I very much appreciate it! As a matter of fact I have always loved sailing; even owned my own sailboat for awhile. I have not even thought of that prior passion in years. Your post made my heart leap when you mentioned it. :happy I think that's going on my bucket list.
I realize that a bad habit I need to break is the feeling of inadequacy in starting anything new, or rejoining something (like sailing) where I am decidedly an amateur.

travellight
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by travellight » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:59 am

thanks for your post, itiswhatitis.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:04 am

Agreed great post itiswhatitis I am pretty much where you started now so you are giving me some good guidance.

Lynette
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Lynette » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:49 am

travellight wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:59 am
thanks for your post, itiswhatitis.
Thanks for posting itiswhatitis.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 am

Limoncello402:

My hobby was sailing.

When I retired I obtained a U.S. Coast Guard license and began delivering sailboats to U.S. and foreign ports. I also taught sailing and became the American Sailing Association "Instructor of the Year." Even today, at age 94, I still race sailboats on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida.

If there is something you enjoy doing, retirement makes it easy to enjoy it more.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

mouses
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:35 am

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:36 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:51 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also, single older men can do things single older women can't, like travel to areas where the latter are not safe.
I would think there are only a very few places that would be safe for an older man but not an older woman.
Many places in the Middle East.
I am curious which countries in particular? Or is this just a stereotype? I have been to Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Dubai and as I type this Abu Dhabi (the latter two both parts of UAE). These are all generally safe for women and men. Yes there are surely dangerous countries such as Iraq, Yemen, and Syria but they aren't exactly much better for men. I am curious as to what country is considered safe for men but not women in Middle East?
Consider Egypt, for example. You don't hear reports of men being gang sexually assaulted in crowds, as happens there to women. Or good luck in Saudi Arabia.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:36 am

THY4373 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:07 am
I travel both alone and with my son and extended family and prior to my divorce with my ex-wife. I am currently traveling by myself and in fact as I submit this I am flying 39000 feet over the Mediterranean on a flight between Milan and Abu Dhabi.

I love traveling alone. I can see and do exactly what I want to do and I travel with a single 30liter bag that is small enough to fit under any airline seat. It had revolutionized the way I travel but most folks can't or rather won't do the same so traveling with others slows me down and is more complicated. Also unless your partner is paying their share with the exception of lodging most other costs increase linearly with the number of folks traveling so cost is greater. That said I do also enjoy traveling with others especially my son because sharing experiences is also a lot of fun. So I see it both ways. I have never done a tour group so cannot comment on that. Really not my thing as I prefer to be in control of my arrangements though I have hired private guide to take me around certain countries where the infrastructure is not so good.

Also it is hard to overstate how the internet and cell phones have changed travel. You can now research anything online, deal with navigation, translation, and keeping in touch with friends and family back home. My phone is so critical I now carry a backup (Project Fi gives you free data SIMs so perfect for this). Basically don't let your lack of a partner put you off traveling.

On the whole subject of partner you should investigate whether this is really something you want or you just think you want. As a society we tend in my opinion to overplay the benefits of marriage/long term relationships and downplay the costs. There is also a lot of incorrect stereotypes applied to single people. Dr. DePaulo's writings and Single at Heart blog outline many of these.

Not saying that single or romantically involved is superior to the other just different strokes for different folks. The best studies on marriage which are longitudinal in nature show that outside of the first few years of a realationship a person's happiness is the same whether married or single in other words outside of the honeymoon period your happiness is the same as before a relationship at least be on average. The reason married folks show as happier in studies is due to happier people are more likely to get married (they likely make more attractive partners) and the aforementioned honeymoon period. If you want a realationship go for it as it is never too late. My ex-wife's aunt who spent her adult life single found the love of her life at 90 in the retirement home.

Also one final piece of advice most personal development takes place when we are outside of our comfort zone be that travelling, relationship, whatever. Get out there and have some fun it really isn't that scary at all.
Wow! Excellent thoughts communicated in a clear, insightful manner. I agree with you on all your points — except for the one about undertaking long, international trips with only a carry-on bag. Can you elaborate on how you make that work?
Last edited by UpperNwGuy on Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:48 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:21 am
Unlike many Bogleheads, I favor retirement in a large metropolitan area rather than seeking low cost or low taxes. If you can afford it, retire into a center of action such as New York City, Boston, D.C., or San Francisco.
I agree! I pay a premium to live in a high-cost, high-tax urban setting, but for me, it is worth it.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:50 am

I feel fortunate. I've spent as many years coupled as I have solo (in alternating status! LOL) and have always engaged in all sorts of activities, without regard to status.

It may be more of a challenge to engage solo, but life is made the richer by reaching beyond our comfort zones. IMO, life is found beyond the comfort zone.

I've noticed that just as the coupled often view the solo with a raised eyebrow, singles also can feel discomfort at the thought of the potential compromises of couplehood.


It seems to me the only limitations in life are those that are self-imposed.

enjoy!
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

ResearchMed
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:58 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:50 am
I feel fortunate. I've spent as many years coupled as I have solo (in alternating status! LOL) and have always engaged in all sorts of activities, without regard to status.

It may be more of a challenge to engage solo, but life is made the richer by reaching beyond our comfort zones. IMO, life is found beyond the comfort zone.

I've noticed that just as the coupled often view the solo with a raised eyebrow, singles also can feel discomfort at the thought of the potential compromises of couplehood.


It seems to me the only limitations in life are those that are self-imposed.

enjoy!
"... the coupled often view the solo with a raised eyebrow..."

What does this mean? :confused

RM
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sperry8
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by sperry8 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:00 am

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:53 am
I'm not an early retiree--I like my job, it is low stress, etc--but will be retiring in about 4 years now. I've started to do some general planning, and the finances are in very good shape.
My work as an academic has been all consuming for about 40 years--graduate studies, then in this university for nearly 30 years. I moved here specifically for the job and hence the vast majority of friends were made at the workplace. I realize now that I am scared of retirement due to the question of what to do? I really envy those with partners who can plan for golden years of travel and fun together. I don't have that. I would really like to do significant travel but will either be doing it alone or joining travel groups of some type. I dream of being a snowbird for a couple months each year, but dread going to a place where I will know no one and just experiencing loneliness. I expect also to do some volunteer work, but am undecided right now where to start getting involved in that. Most of my hobbies were put on hold so long for my all-consuming academic work that I hardly know how to return to them.
My typical recreation now is: regular exercise in a club that I really like, reading, movies and dinners with friends. But those things will not sustain me in retirement. And once I'm done with working (unlike some academics) I have 0 desire to continue my academic work, like writing and publishing. Been there, done that.
Would love to hear from other singles about how that envisioned retirement and how it has worked out. I need inspiration.
I too am single and retired. Loneliness is a human state. It reaches both single and married humans. You need to sit with it loneliness and understand it better. You eventually come to a point where you can differentiate the difference between loneliness and being alone. I relish alone time. Like all humans, the loneliness feeling is undesired however a part of us. If you never deal with it you will choose things for the wrong reasons. Consider choosing a partner to mitigate loneliness may lead you to choosing the wrong partner.

"Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you". Carl Jung

"Being alone is scary but not as scary as feeling alone in a relationship" Amelia Earhart

"Loneliness is sad, aloneness is blissful" Osho

"To make the right choices in life you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you have to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions". Deepak Chopra
Humbling BH contest results: 2017: #516 of 647 | 2016: #121 of 610 | 2015: #18 of 552 | 2014: #225 of 503 | 2013: #383 of 433 | 2012: #366 of 410 | 2011: #113 of 369 | 2010: #53 of 282

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:15 am

mouses wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:35 am
THY4373 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:59 am
mouses wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:36 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:51 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also, single older men can do things single older women can't, like travel to areas where the latter are not safe.
I would think there are only a very few places that would be safe for an older man but not an older woman.
Many places in the Middle East.
I am curious which countries in particular? Or is this just a stereotype? I have been to Jordan, Qatar, Turkey, Dubai and as I type this Abu Dhabi (the latter two both parts of UAE). These are all generally safe for women and men. Yes there are surely dangerous countries such as Iraq, Yemen, and Syria but they aren't exactly much better for men. I am curious as to what country is considered safe for men but not women in Middle East?
Consider Egypt, for example. You don't hear reports of men being gang sexually assaulted in crowds, as happens there to women. Or good luck in Saudi Arabia.
Yes men are going to be sexually assulted a lot less (no different than in US) but as I recall those issues in Egypt happened to locals participating in protests. I am in no way defending what happened but i am not sure those events represent the risk a western female tourist would face. Also I think it is questionable whether Egypt is "safe" period. I am a man and I am not particularly risk averse but looking at the current situation I chose not to visit this year.

As for Saudi whatever your view of their policies (and I am not a fan) there is very little risk to a western visitor there. And the point is mostly moot because they don't issue tourist visas so unless you go on business or are Muslim on the Hajj it is not going to happen.

Basically don't base your views on other countries based on the worst that happens there. If you did that for the United States we'd be the country of mass shootings where you should never visit. The world for the most part is a lot safer than CNN would have you believe.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:22 am

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:15 am
As for Saudi whatever your view of their policies (and I am not a fan) there is very little risk to a western visitor there. And the point is mostly moot because they don't issue tourist visas so unless you go on business or are Muslim on the Hajj it is not going to happen.
I don't know anything about women traveling to Saudi Arabia, but when I was walking el Camino de Santiago, on separate occasions I've met three single Western women who were living or have lived in Dubai. Talking with the first woman was a matter of my surprise and curiosity; after taking with three women, living in Dubai became a trivial thing.

Victoria
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TXJeff
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by TXJeff » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:16 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:36 am
Wow! Excellent thoughts communicated in a clear, insightful manner. I agree with you on all your points — except for the one about undertaking long, international trips with only a carry-on bag. Can you elaborate on how you make that work?
I travel carry-on only a lot—usually long international trips. Here are some strategies I used for my upcoming 4.5 month trip to Europe and the UK.

Travel route: Carry-on only is easiest if you’ll mostly be in one climate for your trip. For example, I planned my Europe/UK route from south to north, and I’ll be hitting about the same daytime temp range the whole time. (It’s my personal favorite temp range, so my planning was actually around this—the packing ease is a bonus)

Luggage and personal item: If you are loyal to one airline or have just a couple of flights, look up the carry on baggage limits. A few airlines have unusual restrictions. If, like me, you fly lots of different airlines, you’ll need a suitcase labeled “international carry on.” Travelpro, Eagle Creek, Briggs and Riley, Tumi are all good brands. I also carry a stylish daypack as my personal item.

Airlines: especially for the European cheapies, recognize when a flight is a good deal—and when it isn’t. For example, I needed to book a flight Berlin to London. One option: $75 on a flight that landed at London’s distant and inconvenient Lutton airport ($25 to get into London by bus or train) and with strict baggage requirements that even my tiny case wouldn’t meet—requiring a $40 baggage fee. The other option: a flight on British Airways to London City airport--smack in the middle of the city, with a generous carry on policy—for $160. Hello British Air!

Laundry: I usually stay in comfortable full-apartment Airbnb’s, and can simply filter my search for ones with a washer/dryer. (Always plenty of laundry soap and instruction for the machines). It’s a simple matter to toss in a load while I’m home resting in between a day’s sightseeing and an evening out, or before bed.

Compression Sacks: these allow me to fit in an extra pair of pants and sweater. I prefer Eagle Creek.

Clothes: 3 sweaters, 4 long sleeve shirts, 3 short sleeve shirts, 2 sets workout gear, pj’s, socks/underware for a week, leather jacket, light down jacket, rain jacket, sport coat, 2 pair of shoes.
Other: toiletries, glasses and sunglasses, medication, passport and documents, camera, phone, small laptop
Note: when I fly, I’m wearing a good bit of the clothes above: shoes, pants, shirt, sweater, leather jacket. In my daypack are items listed as “Other”, plus rain jacket. All other items fit easily into my suitcase.

There is lots of advice out there on carry-on only packingn. The "grand daddy" of all sites is www.onebag.com

If you google "one bag packing" or "carry-on only packing," you'll find lots of resources.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:21 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:22 am
THY4373 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:15 am
As for Saudi whatever your view of their policies (and I am not a fan) there is very little risk to a western visitor there. And the point is mostly moot because they don't issue tourist visas so unless you go on business or are Muslim on the Hajj it is not going to happen.
I don't know anything about women traveling to Saudi Arabia, but when I was walking el Camino de Santiago, on separate occasions I've met three single Western women who were living or have lived in Dubai. Talking with the first woman was a matter of my surprise and curiosity; after taking with three women, living in Dubai became a trivial thing.

Victoria
Yeah I am in Abu Dhabi also part of UAE right now and for the most part for a tourist it is no different than any other city in a western country other than it is more "new" and Dubai is even more so. There are men and women around the pool at the hotel in swimsuits and drinking if they so choose. Many Europeans vacation in the UAE for sun and sand. No I wouldn't want to live and work here (I am more a western liberal democracy sort of person) but neither in Dubai last year or Abu Dhabi this year did I ever once feel even a little unsafe. If my mother now in her 70s wanted to travel to the UAE alone I would have zero concerns. Also the UAE like Qatar are former British Protectorates which means English is basically the second official language here and most signage is in both Arabic and English and most folks you will run into as a tourist speak at least a working amount of English so pretty easy countries from a language perspective to navigate.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:34 pm

... the coupled often view the solo with a raised eyebrow..."

What does this mean? :confused


Sorry for any confusion.

The coupled - people who are part of a couple

The solo - people who are not part of a couple
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

mouses
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:57 pm

THY4373 wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:15 am

Yes men are going to be sexually assulted a lot less (no different than in US) but as I recall those issues in Egypt happened to locals participating in protests. I am in no way defending what happened but i am not sure those events represent the risk a western female tourist would face.
You're misinformed. Women tourists and news media women were victims.
Last edited by mouses on Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:57 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:36 am
Wow! Excellent thoughts communicated in a clear, insightful manner. I agree with you on all your points — except for the one about undertaking long, international trips with only a carry-on bag. Can you elaborate on how you make that work?
Thank you for the kind words. Txjeff as already addressed most of the one bag things but I'll add a few details. One, I avoid wheeled bags as you lose space and they weigh more this is a personal decision of course. Another advantage is wheeled bags are much more likely to attract the attention of gate dragons particularly overseas where carryon is frequently more limited. I use the Tom Bihn 30L Aeronaut which is the international size they also have a 45l which is acceptable to US and some international carriers. There are plenty of bags out there many which are cheaper so do your own research. Note some international carriers also have a weight limit and often times a wheeled bag is half that limit empty. My bag full will exceed that limit but it never attracts their attention.

I purchase specific travel clothes. Merino wool and synthetics that is it no cotton at all (it doesn't dry well). I use merino wool for socks, base layer and some outerwear. Marino wool dries quickly, fights smells and is good at being both cool and warm as necessary. Synthetics are used for underwear, slacks and shirts. These can all be hand or machine washed and will air dry overnight. On my current trip I had three full changes of clothes (wear one, pack two). I only take one pair of cheapish hiking shoes.

This trip since I was traveling in southern Europe where it was in the 30s to 60s and Abu Dhabi up to 90s, I took some merino wool base layers and a travel down jacket. This kept me warm and allowed me to use pack the summer weight shirts and slacks that alone would be cool in Abu Dhabi.

There are many sources of clothes for travel. I have personally bought a lot at Rohan (wait for sales). They are expensive but well thought out. Costco you just have to watch their website my travel down jacket came from there as well as some slacks and I have bought a lot of my merino wool on Amazon. Again do your research to figure out what works for you.

I also dropped taking a laptop. I take a phone, backup phone and a tablet with me. I also got a relatively compact mirriorless camera with a decent telephoto lens.

My backpack allows me to move quickly. Due to my points and travel hacking I am usually towards the front of the plane and thanks to that, my overtaking the folks dragging their bags, and not waiting for checked bags to show up I can frequently clear customs and immigration in under 10 minutes.

I honestly thought folks who did one bag were nuts but I love it, it has changed the way I travel.

ResearchMed
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:09 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:34 pm
... the coupled often view the solo with a raised eyebrow..."

What does this mean? :confused


Sorry for any confusion.

The coupled - people who are part of a couple

The solo - people who are not part of a couple
Uh, yeah. I got that part...

But what's with the "raised eyebrow"??

:confused
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:26 pm

The cultural bias against being unpartnered.....anyone who lives differently than the majority is often the object of the projections of others. eg...."oh you came alone?"
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:38 pm

A happy single life is better than unhappy marriage. That's for sure. Of course, if one can find other half retire happy, that will be great.

ABQ4804
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by ABQ4804 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:42 pm

The challenge of traveling as a solo woman, especially in mideastern countries, is not as much about sexual harassment as cultural biases.
Last edited by ABQ4804 on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:51 pm

I think even married people don’t often travel together on business trip.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:50 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:26 pm
The cultural bias against being unpartnered.....anyone who lives differently than the majority is often the object of the projections of others. eg...."oh you came alone?"
Depending on how the numbers are sliced and diced adult singles (never married, widowed and divorced) either are the majority or soon will be in most western democracies. However these numbers likely include some number of partnered folks who haven't tied the knot. That said I agree that cultural expectations are still biased towards the fact that one should either be partnered or seeking a partner.

One such report on US: https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-14/ ... good-thing
Last edited by THY4373 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

fposte
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by fposte » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:06 am

CULater wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:29 am
I've spent many years coming to Sun City, AZ as a snowbird and have seriously looked into full-time living here. But, I've found senior retirement communities like this to be enormously vacuous for someone like me. Most of the population seems to be attracted to the American lifestyle of material, superficial things. Houses, cars, entertainment, socializing, cocktail parties, golfing, idle conversation and smalltalk seem to be the norm. I've tried to discover some intellectual activities, learning opportunities, classes on something intellectually stimulating, and come up with nothing. I'm sure there must be some retired academics, artists, others out here but I don't know where they are. Without straying into politics, one of the problems is that politically liberal seniors are rare birds, especially in conservative states. I'm thinking that my best bet is to find a college town that is friendly to senior singles and move there.
There definitely are communities with a different slant—my dad retired to one of the Kendal communities, which are each connected to a neighboring college or university; while they haven’t landed west of the Mississippi yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a similar enterprise out west.

Zonian59
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Zonian59 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:33 am

Thanks to Limoncello402 for a most timely and relevant thread. Also thanks to all who responded with their wise, thoughtful and inspiring advice.

I'm in the same boat, i.e., recently retired (not by choice) 58 years old, never married single, but with no siblings, no relatives (other than my mother), children, close and trusted friends and no personal involvement in the community.

Have had some outside interests and hobbies including membership in some work-related, hobby-related and social associations in the past. Not certain whether I want to resurrect those past activities now. Not particularly religious but do help in my mother's church. After she passes, that involvement will not continue as I do not really feel any camaraderie with them. Also admit to being a red dot in a blue city and state, so no real feeling of community camaraderie in the HICOL city and state currently living in.

Now in retirement, I am the fulltime caregiver for my 92 year old mother and trying to make her remaining years happy.

Most responses on how to fulfill retirement seem to center on three common items: 1) the love and warmth of family and friends; 2) security of your faith; and 3) the pursuit and enjoyment of hobbies and interests and endeavors that gives purpose and meaning to one's retirement life.

All good things to consider and I have a lot of inventory and rethinking to do along those lines.

Most people have siblings, relatives, children, close friends and community involvement to help occupy their retirement. But for the single person in retirement without any of these contacts or doesn't care to be involved, who is going to take care of them in their advanced years or incapacitated condition, Living Trust and Will issues (i.e, no Trustee, Beneficiary in mind), disposing of assets before death and who will take care of final exit burial details. I really don't want to leave everything to the State but am struggling with how to deal with this train wreck in the making. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:30 am

WhiteMaxima wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:38 pm
A happy single life is better than unhappy marriage. That's for sure. Of course, if one can find other half retire happy, that will be great.
If I am reading what you are saying correctly you are implying that a good romantic relationship "other half" is still the superior option over singlehood and I would argue that is not the case at all. For some folks for sure but not everyone. Also I wonder why we put romantic relationships on such pedestals as compared to close platonic friendships and even other non-romantic familial relationships? In fact I think the fact we place such expectations on romantic relationships is to their detriment because many will fall short of these inflated expectations.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Limoncello402 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:01 am

Zonian, thanks for your post. I just went through this, so I have the solution for me at least. I created a trust and pour over will, and except for some bequests going to family members, the bulk of everything is being left to a legacy bequest in a Community Foundation in my area. I researched local Foundations, met with them, and found one that works for me, shares my values, and that is well established. I created a fund in my name (e.g. "The Limoncello402 Legacy Fund" :happy ), designated a handful of charities within it of my choice, and retitled my assets into it. I feel good about this choice and would recommend it. You might see what Foundations are available in your area. For example, there's a very large and active local Community Foundation--not religious oriented--in my fair city, and a handful of religious-oriented ones (Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, etc) although there's no need to be of that particular religion to join. You can typically designate any charity within the Fund you create, local, national, or international.

Txsman
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Txsman » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:37 am

Thank you for this thread. I am 65 and will be single in 2 weeks. Living alone was scary to me but now that I am alone, its ok. I am still working because I like my job and the people. I am ready to take a trip and would love to find someone to go with me but after reading this thread maybe I will try it by myself. Life has many turns.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:02 am

@txsman

I assume you are getting divorced. If so congratulations! Sorry as a recent divorcee I get so sick of folks telling me how sorry they are to hear about my divorce. I know they mean well but honestly it is has been both a positive and negative experience for me and I don't really need any sympathy.

My advice is embrace the change and realize now that you have been given a gift to totally remake your life. Start working on improving yourself mentally and physically. The one thing I have noticed since my ex's and my separation is how we have both started growing again. We had been just gliding along for years but the divorce was a real kick in the backside we needed to reassess and change where we were going individually. Find your passions to get you out of bed in the morning. Your divorce is an opportunity to change just about anything you want with your life.

As for travel just do it.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:50 am

Limoncello402 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:01 am
Zonian, thanks for your post. I just went through this, so I have the solution for me at least. I created a trust and pour over will, and except for some bequests going to family members, the bulk of everything is being left to a legacy bequest in a Community Foundation in my area.
Limoncello402:

You appear to have a substantial amount of money going to family and charity when you die. Consider giving it away before you go. You will have complete control, you will enjoy the pleasure of giving and you will enjoy the appreciation of those who receive your bounty. Check with a probate attorney and qualified accountant first.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

gretah
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by gretah » Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:30 pm

itiswhatitis -

Thank you for the terrific post about how you have and still are creating a mindful life!

I've copied it to my computer so I can review it over time.

Limoncello402
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Limoncello402 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:16 pm

You appear to have a substantial amount of money going to family and charity when you die. Consider giving it away before you go. You will have complete control, you will enjoy the pleasure of giving and you will enjoy the appreciation of those who receive your bounty. Check with a probate attorney and qualified accountant first.

Best wishes.
Taylo]


Thanks for the advice, Taylor. Of course I considered this option but chose not to do it.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by tibbitts » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:20 am

Zonian59 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:33 am
Most people have siblings, relatives, children, close friends and community involvement to help occupy their retirement. But for the single person in retirement without any of these contacts or doesn't care to be involved, who is going to take care of them in their advanced years or incapacitated condition, Living Trust and Will issues (i.e, no Trustee, Beneficiary in mind), disposing of assets before death and who will take care of final exit burial details. I really don't want to leave everything to the State but am struggling with how to deal with this train wreck in the making. Any thoughts?

Thanks.
It would be difficult to be in the situation you describe and I don't think most of the replies have addressed that. It seems like what you've pointed out are the really critical elements, as opposed to the not-having-a-travel-buddy problem, which is trivial in comparison.

halfnine
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by halfnine » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:08 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:29 pm
halfnine wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:19 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:51 pm
mouses wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also, single older men can do things single older women can't, like travel to areas where the latter are not safe.
I would think there are only a very few places that would be safe for an older man but not an older woman.
I think in general it is easier for a woman but also potentially more dangerous. Neither should prohibit either sex from traveling.
I think there is much more perception of danger than real danger. It's true that traveling in Columbia or Pakistan can be dangerous, but that would be equally true for men and women. On the other hand, I've seen some Bogleheads discussions about dangers of Europe after terrorism events, which I thought were greatly exaggerated.

Victoria
While I don't agree with your assessment of Colombia, I do agree with the context of both statements. But, both of those statements lie on the extreme ends of the spectrum. My point is simply that there are inherent dangers of being a woman that have to be considered when traveling solo. Considerations that men often do not have to make. Certainly there are times for a woman's safety she is best served by abandoning the "solo" aspect and joining up with other travelers or locals.

I am not mentioning this to be alarmist as contrary to perception there are very very few places in the world where women can not travel as independently as men. They just often have to more prudent sometimes in their choices. This is simply a case of there being many routes up the mountain but the view on the top being the same once you get there.

Finally, woman travelers have many advantages that men do not. Foreign woman are more easily invited into family homes. Locals are often willling to look out for foreign woman and help keep them from danger. And, in many places of the world, foreign women are allowed into both the "womans" and "mens" world of the culture. Solo men are often not given these same lattitudes.

My travel style is typically independent travel overland via public transport across a continent and over many months. There are many solo travelers that make this type of journey with both sexes well represented. It isn't uncommon for solo travelers to pair up with another solo traveler of the opposite sex for portions of these journeys as it can open up doors (for men) and provide extra security (for women). In fact, this is actually how I met my spouse. And we went on to spend the next 6 months traveling together overland across a chunk of Asia.

gretah
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by gretah » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:43 am

OP -

Terrific thread! Thank you for starting it.

I’ve always been single and found friends through volunteer work and special interest groups.

“Friends of” groups are great. Friends of the museum, ballet, symphony, aquarium, etc.

My gardening friends have enjoyed helping Community Supported Agriculture and working in public gardens benefiting food banks.

My Alumnae Association has been great for volunteer work, events, and socializing. When I last prepared to move to a new state, I contacted a few alumnae and asked to take them to lunch to ask about life in the town. Very helpful.

You might be interested in travel discussion groups. These are usually show and tell discussions with the group members taking turns. It’s not required that you travel much to participate. People are usually happy to share information on group trips, hotels, etc. Sometimes these groups use library meeting rooms so you could ask there. Also alumnae/alumni groups often have this subgroup.

The Eyewitness travel guide books are the best.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c ... UAODDV015E

There are lots of volunteer opportunities available. Smaller organizations are easier to investigate and join or avoid. Large ones (like Red Cross) sometimes require commitments, meetings, orientation, and training. I’ve served on several boards over the years. Now I prefer project work with minimal meetings such as giving workshops or leading discussions at the library. This keeps my schedule more open for travel, too.

I’ve found conversation at senior centers to be about sports, grand babies, and medical problems.

You mentioned choosing a college town. I’ve lived in several and some college workers mingle with other town residents and some don’t. Reaching out to an alum or friend of colleague to learn about this is important.

You might be interested in Ashland, OR, where they have Shakespeare festivals. Lots of retired literature lovers / professors there. My friend moved there and loves it.

Best of luck to you!

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