Single People and Retirement Question

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Limoncello402
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Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Limoncello402 » 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.

thewizzer
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by thewizzer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:00 am

Why are you assuming you will stay single? Is that your desire or are you just resigned to it?

It’s never too late to find love.

mouses
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:17 am

I'm not sure why you think you need a partner. I've been single all my life, and I enjoy traveling by myself. It's a much better way to meet local people than if you're with someone or in a group. By meet people, I do not mean dating situations, but just getting to chat with folks. Plus you can do what you want, when you want.

gotester2000
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by gotester2000 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:29 am

Find a partner☺ - how were you passing time after work all those years?

My wife is nagging me all the time and kids constantly demanding, but without them my time wont pass at all.

ResearchMed
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:54 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.
As one idea (there are others), perhaps you might see if your university's Alumni Group has any travel groups.
If so, you'd have an automatic "connection" in many ways, and conversation would almost start itself, above and beyond the travel topics, which would also add opportunities.

You might also start to meet new friends that way, in addition.

If you enjoy that, then other affinity groups (e.g., Smithsonian, National Geographic, etc.) might be easier than just some commercial group tour, although those might also be enjoyable.

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

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midareff
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:55 am

I was "between" wives for 17 years and worked 60 -70 hour weeks most of the time. I like to travel and did organized group tours that catered to singles. I went to China 2X, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zululand, Swaziland, Scotland, Ireland, England, France and a few others out of country I'm probably missing at the moment. Made lots of friends on these trips. The China trips were very small group and great fun... about 12 people first trip 7 the second. Just Go man, Go.

Cyclesafe
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:13 am

When I retired I took multiple "times out" touring around the US and Canada solo on a bicycle for months at a time. Being alone enables contacts and associations that are simply unimaginable if one were with a partner. I think its a great way to transition into solo retirement. Adventure Cycling has organized group trips that will teach one the skills needed to eventually do it on their own. Alternatively, you might easily meet people on these trips who would be eager to set off with you on a future "independent" trip.

But the difference between me and you though, is that I had a spouse to return to if/when I wished. Not having that safety net might be tough. But depends on the person.

Society is certainly not kind to single people, especially as they get old. One learns that the average person one meets couldn't care less about you and is sure to assume that you are some variety of deviant or another. I think a thick skin is mandatory.

You are four years out, so its great that you are thinking this through. My brother is a professor and he claims that he will never retire. He seems to think that his younger colleagues will continue sucking up to him even as he gets older and older and that they will not envy and covet the senior slot he is taking up at his university. Knowing when to fade away is important.

Midlife: A Philosophical Guide by Kieran Setiya is a recent, useful book that emphasizes "atelic" activities over telic activities. IOW's do not dwell on activities that have a beginning, middle, and end, but instead focus on processes. For example, don't "remodel your kitchen". Instead, wake up in the morning to improve your physical environment - whatever which has priority in the moment. When one recognizes that these tasks need to be performed by somebody, sometime, then an overall orientation to doing something every day that improves ones condition is an atelic activity. No beginning, middle, and end.

Another example is health. Forget goals whatever they may be. Instead recognize that optimizing whatever level of health one was blessed with should be an objective for every human being on the planet. So again, don't resolve to lose X pounds by Y date, instead manage your food intake and exercise on the margin. Make the mindful choices throughout the day that are healthy - shun those that are harmful. Think atelic.

More to the point. Being single, by choice or by happenstance, requires a different mindset than what our couples-oriented society enshrines as "normal".

sergio
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by sergio » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:11 am

My uncle divorced when he was in this late 30s and never remarried. Retired in his mid 50s after a very successful career. Spends most of his time traveling and spending time with female "friends" around the world (China, Philippines, Peru etc.) Not that I condone his lifestyle, but I'd say he's by far the happiest person I know in our family.

fposte
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by fposte » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:22 am

I'm another single academic with an all-consuming job approaching retirement. Unlike you, I'm going to go on the early side (pre-60), which is somewhat heretical in academics where, as you intimate, you're supposed to publish until you're 90. I have some of the same concerns as you so I'm doing some of the same mental work.

I like travel and usually travel alone, but I have some physical challenges that can complicate it, so I'm going to start easy. Weekend driving trips, countries I've already enjoyed and wish to return to, visits to places with friends I haven't seen in a while. Maybe I'll go bigger later and maybe I won't; I've got nobody to please but myself, and while I don't worry a ton about the single female factor it matters more when you're in physical difficulty.

I'm also looking at local volunteer, continuing ed, and musical possibilities; even if I can't start them now, I can start to identify people who have that involvement or identify possible interesting classes so I'm not walking in cold. There's also a ton of house and garden stuff I want to do (everything on the "get around to it" list).

I'm also consciously noting and staying in touch with colleagues who have retired in ways that might work for me. It's easy only to see Professor Nevergone, who at 90 still totters into the office the department desperately wishes they could repurpose, but there are other people who, at my university, hit full pension and said that was enough, thank you.

I suspect the first few months to a year I will overplan out of the fear of underplanning, but then I'll revisit that approach.

CULater
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:46 am

Glad you started this thread. I am in your situation flashed forward. My background was academics and research also, so I'm the introverted cerebral type. Retired, getting old, and single. Had a long term relationship but she decided to demote me to "friend" status, while I desire to have a full-time companion and partner. I've done the snowbird thing and you're right -- you are by yourself and lonely in a different place. Things seem very superficial even when you do things with others. I dread getting old without a caring partner. Never was the outgoing, socially-participating type so it's harder. As I age, attractiveness to others is waning and their attractiveness to me is waning too. I look at women my age and they look like my grandmother. Of course, I'm only 40 in my mind's eye so I don't realize that I look like their grandfather to them. My mother is 100 and has been living in senior homes and assisted living for several years. I've seen them all and know my fate -- it's really unacceptable. Do everything in creation to meet people, get involved in meaningful pursuits, find a good companion while you have the time. It only gets more difficult and after awhile you just don't have the motivation to do it anymore.
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

HongKonger
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by HongKonger » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:09 am

Never married and don't plan on partnering. Retired early. Single the whole time. LOVE it! I don't have to consider anyone else in anything I do, or plans I make. I'm certainly never lonely.

truenorth418
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by truenorth418 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:10 pm

Interesting thread idea. I am happy to share some random thoughts as a 53 year old never married retired guy.

-While working, my work colleagues were basically a proxy "family" for me. After retiring 7 years ago, I missed those daily human interactions. I missed some of my work friends. But then I remembered that many of the people I worked with were douchebags, which was one of the reasons I wanted to retire in the first place! At least in retirement I can choose the people I want to spend my time with.

-Soon after retiring I found a new girlfriend. We dated for about 4 years. She is a very nice person, but she never completely accepted my early retirement status. I love to travel for weeks at a time, while she has to work and couldn't accompany me on some of my trips. This contributed to some friction between us. I have found the same dynamic with other women I have dated since retiring. In fact, I am happier without a girlfriend or wife at this stage of my retirement. I love to come and go as I please, travel for weeks or months at a time. I don't have to check in with anybody. One of my dreams has been to be a perpetual traveler for a couple of years, live for months at a time in the great cities of the world. I probably couldn't pull off something like that if I had a wife or girlfriend.

-If I did want to date more actively, there are plenty of online dating sites and apps. There are apps for short term hook-ups as well as the more traditional ones for long term relationships. And a retired person has the time to do as much online dating as they want.

-Having more free time has allowed me to meet lots of new people from many walks of life. Are you familiar with meetup.com? I have met several new friends via a couple a groups I found on meetup. I have taken classes and met people that way. I have taken cruises alone, and several cruise companies such as NCL have excellent solo cruiser programs where it's super easy to meet people. There are several travel companies that cater largely to singles. Even when I travel alone I take organized tours which is a great way to meet like-minded people.

-Being retired has allowed me to spend more quality time with my extended family and friends. So the quality of the relationships I already had has become even better. I recently completed a week in Mexico with some buddies, and I am now setting up 10 days in Colombia with another couple of friends. I could not have done these things were I still working at my old company because I wasn't allowed much vacation time.

-I have a few married friends who would like to retire but are hesitant to so so because of spouse issues. One hates his job but he feels compelled to keep working because his wife is not ready to retire yet. I have another friend who recently retired and he is finding it a difficult adjustment to be home all day alone with his wife. He said it has changed the dynamic of their relationship and that she is constantly making snarky comments about him lazing around the house all day. So just because someone is married doesn't make early retirement any easier.

-When I am older and unable to travel so much and have a more stationary lifestyle, I will look into retirement communities where there are a lot of activities and social interactions built-in, such as the Villages or something like that.

Now, don't get me wrong, being an single retired guy, yeah sometimes I get lonely, but I always remind myself that this is largely under my control - it's a function of my own decisions with what to do with my time and energy. I can choose to stay busy, join clubs, do online dating, travel, reach out to family, make an extra effort to meet up with friends. And with a little effort my social life has become better than ever.

mark4269
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mark4269 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:21 pm

I'm single guy in his 40s. No problem except in four out of five stories about retirement, the story approaches it from the perspective or a real or stylized married couple, and that doesn't translate to my situation at all.

Barefoot Cane
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Barefoot Cane » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:27 pm

I suggest that you start looking for things to do now before you retire. I am single and always had a number of things I was interested in but had no time to do. For example, the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, art in Santa Fe, Monterey Car Week, Barrett Jackson and other car auctions, Ameila Island Concours, the Presidential Libraries, Osh Kosh air show and on and on. It is a lot of fun. There is always someone to talk to and as you are looking at something the conversation naturally develops. I fill in the gaps between trips with art shows, concerts, plays and an occasional book signing in the city where I live. There are discount web sites and a single ticket is often at a discount in a good location in the venue. I have lunch once or twice a week with professional friends and walk every morning at seven with another professional friend. I looked into volunteer work but orientation made it sound like it would not be fun and more like a job so I decided not to do it.
As far as having a companion, I have friends both male and female (but mostly men) that complain that there spouse does not want to go anywhere or do anything. Easier to make plans when the only person to consult is yourself. If you run across someone that is fun and easy to get along with by all means take her along.
I was a late retiree too, but I started with events I was interested in a few years before I became "unemployed". I was glad I did. If you have been successful in your career you can be successful with your retirement. You need to develop a plan and work it. Just like your work you will have successes and failures but you just keep going forward with the plan. Just like Bogleheads always do.

Dottie57
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:31 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:13 am
When I retired I took multiple "times out" touring around the US and Canada solo on a bicycle for months at a time. Being alone enables contacts and associations that are simply unimaginable if one were with a partner. I think its a great way to transition into solo retirement. Adventure Cycling has organized group trips that will teach one the skills needed to eventually do it on their own. Alternatively, you might easily meet people on these trips who would be eager to set off with you on a future "independent" trip.

But the difference between me and you though, is that I had a spouse to return to if/when I wished. Not having that safety net might be tough. But depends on the person.

Society is certainly not kind to single people, especially as they get old. One learns that the average person one meets couldn't care less about you and is sure to assume that you are some variety of deviant or another. I think a thick skin is mandatory.

You are four years out, so its great that you are thinking this through. My brother is a professor and he claims that he will never retire. He seems to think that his younger colleagues will continue sucking up to him even as he gets older and older and that they will not envy and covet the senior slot he is taking up at his university. Knowing when to fade away is important.

Midlife: A Philosophical Guide by Kieran Setiya is a recent, useful book that emphasizes "atelic" activities over telic activities. IOW's do not dwell on activities that have a beginning, middle, and end, but instead focus on processes. For example, don't "remodel your kitchen". Instead, wake up in the morning to improve your physical environment - whatever which has priority in the moment. When one recognizes that these tasks need to be performed by somebody, sometime, then an overall orientation to doing something every day that improves ones condition is an atelic activity. No beginning, middle, and end.

Another example is health. Forget goals whatever they may be. Instead recognize that optimizing whatever level of health one was blessed with should be an objective for every human being on the planet. So again, don't resolve to lose X pounds by Y date, instead manage your food intake and exercise on the margin. Make the mindful choices throughout the day that are healthy - shun those that are harmful. Think atelic.

More to the point. Being single, by choice or by happenstance, requires a different mindset than what our couples-oriented society enshrines as "normal".
I have always been single. Life is good. I have friends who are single and friends who are married. Both are good to have.

Pkans for rettirement include

- sewing clothes again - maybe some classes. I used to be excellent at this.
- using my handloom again.
- auditing college classes
- working on health issues
- CSA - cooking fresh food. Part of health"
- seriously thinking of taking h&r block class on taxes this summer. Extra money or volunteering at tax time.
- fix up sewing and weaving room.
- Get together with friends for breakfast.
- Continue with local Bogleheads meetings
- Library volunteer.
-learn IOS programming

Not a big traveller.

btenny
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by btenny » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:51 pm

I have a older single friend who is a retired academic. He moved to Lake Tahoe (from LA) to ski and play in retirement. He teaches snow skiing part time for fun and to keep busy. He meets lots of people that way so he is pretty plugged into the local area. He is a member of the summer sailing league and owns a small sail boat. He travels a lot as a single. He flies to visit his kids back east once or twice a year. He drives to visit his other kid/grand kids 2-3 times a year. He takes his grand kids to play golf and the beach. He is a long term volunteer at a disabled summer camp for kids. He goes there every year for two weeks. He also goes back to his old school and visits for 2-3 weeks every year. He sees his friends and goes to some events with them. Then he takes trips with those friends to Hawaii or some other location. He basically is on the go all the time.

So do not worry. Get involved. Enjoy and Good Luck.

Freefun
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Freefun » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:05 pm

Am in a similar situation. I found Meetup helpful to find folks with common interests. I've travelled and while I've done many trips alone, I've also used companies such as Backroads which have small groups ~20 or so. There's numerous other trip companies like REI, VBT, etc. and I plan on trying different ones. I understand the challenge as I'm also in my 50s and it's not as easy making friends as it was when growing up.... but I think if you get out there and do things you enjoy doing with other people then you increase your odds for success.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

Lynette
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Lynette » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:39 pm

There are so many, many things to do. At the moment I'm auditing a classes in photography and Spanish at a community college. I'm not really good at photography. My recent assignment was to take a photography and superimpose something on it not to size. It's snowing and despite this I discovered a lot of places close to my house that I did not know existed. There is a half mile trail close to me I did not know existed though I've been in the same house for over 25 years. The kids in the class take photos indoors so I decided to do the same. I've got to cut out an image in Photoshop. Try to get the light and shadows correct - mine had a gleaming streak of light through it. Then watch innumerable Youtube videos on how this is done. Of course, the presenters all cut the photo out with a clean background. Then I spent four hours trying to get a remote to trigger my DSLR so that it would take photos .. I won. Then spend hours and hours in trying to learn Photoshop.

Then there is learning the subjunctive in Spanish. I'm good at grammar but have arranged with two older members of the class to meet for conversation practice. The list goes on and on and on ...

quantAndHold
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:41 pm

I assume that now that you're close to retirement, your job could be less "all consuming" than it has been. How about taking half a step back from work and starting to put your retirement life into motion? Put some thought into what you might like to do, and then some effort into starting to accomplish those things.

The most fun I've had in retirement, which Lynette also alluded to, is in taking adult ed classes in things that I'm really bad at. Getting over the idea that I need to be good at stuff is really freeing.

MandyT
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by MandyT » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:18 am

I retired from a tenured faculty position at 55 last summer. It seems typical for tenured faculty to teach and do research well into their sixties and seventies, but that wasn't me--I may do some part-time teaching at some point, but I have no desire to continue to do research.

I was married for quite some time but have been happily divorced since 2002. At this point, I have no desire to share my living space with anyone, and I've really enjoyed traveling by myself. I hope it's not too morbid to point out that some couples plan to enjoy their golden years together until death or incapacity interferes with their plans. You may benefit from reframing your situation from "Look at all of those happy couples doing fun things together, I don't get to do that" to "I'll get to plan my retirement based on my own preferences, abilities, and limitations". And, who knows, maybe you'll meet someone who enjoys doing the same things you do!

I had originally planned to move to a nearby large city when I retired, but I'm keeping busy enough in the town of the campus where I worked, and the rent is low enough, that I haven't been in a hurry to move. Once the drive to the large city for cultural and sporting events gets to be annoying enough or problematic enough, I may move. For now, I'm happy to stay here and I love being retired!

I'm not sure if some people realize how all-consuming a faculty position can be; in some ways it's a cushy job, but one can spend literally all of one's waking hours on teaching, grading, advising, research/publishing, and committee work. You might need to allocate an hour or two a week to thinking about what you want your retirement to look like and researching different things you might want to do. That might ease the adjustment once it comes and convert some of the apprehension to excitement.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:16 am

My experience:
— divorced at age 47
— worked long hours with frequent business travel from age 47 through 60
— dated several people during those years, but never remarried
— retired 5 years ago at age 61
— gave up on dating
— travel to Europe twice a year for 2-3 weeks at a time, always alone
— only domestic travel is to visit family

I like my life. The only mystery is how long my good health will last and how fast I will decline once the decline begins. My father is still alive at age 96 and didn't move from independent living to assisted living until age 94, so I hope to follow his good example.

By the way, my father's transition from independent living to assisted living required only a slight upward bump in his monthly budget, and that was because he is single (widower). On the other hand, when my late mother transitioned from independent living to skilled nursing, the cost increase was considerable because my father had to pay for both his independent living apartment and her bed in skilled nursing. Fortunately Medicare and Blue Cross paid much of her costs.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by WhiteMaxima » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:54 am

Each individual situation is different. As long as you feel life is happy.

THY4373
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by THY4373 » 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.

Dottie57
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:46 am

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:55 am
I was "between" wives for 17 years and worked 60 -70 hour weeks most of the time. I like to travel and did organized group tours that catered to singles. I went to China 2X, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zululand, Swaziland, Scotland, Ireland, England, France and a few others out of country I'm probably missing at the moment. Made lots of friends on these trips. The China trips were very small group and great fun... about 12 people first trip 7 the second. Just Go man, Go.
How did you find the organized travel for singles? Names would be great.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:21 am

Limoncello402 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:53 am
I really envy those with partners who can plan for golden years of travel and fun together.
...
Would love to hear from other singles about how that envisioned retirement and how it has worked out. I need inspiration.
Some couples are very happy, many couples are content, many other couples can't stand each other and would have separated if it were not for financial, legal, or family reasons. Seeking a partner for the sake of having a partner can get you into disasterous situations. It's better to live your life in the ways that bring you purpose and happiness, and if along the way you encounter someone who can enrich your life, bring them into your life.

Well before I have retired, I engaged in several groups that are bound by the same interests rather than couple-based socialization. The Bogleheads is one of these groups: not just the online forum but also local D.C. meetings and annual conferences. After retiring, I joined several other groups including improvisation and standup comedy and writing and blogging related meetups.

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.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by miles monroe » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:32 am

i have no problem at all traveling solo but i know we are all different.

Road Scholar (which used to be Elderhostel) has many, many trips both here and internationally and at all levels of activity.

https://www.roadscholar.org

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by midareff » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:45 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:46 am
midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:55 am
I was "between" wives for 17 years and worked 60 -70 hour weeks most of the time. I like to travel and did organized group tours that catered to singles. I went to China 2X, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zululand, Swaziland, Scotland, Ireland, England, France and a few others out of country I'm probably missing at the moment. Made lots of friends on these trips. The China trips were very small group and great fun... about 12 people first trip 7 the second. Just Go man, Go.
How did you find the organized travel for singles? Names would be great.
First Dottie, so we are on the same page... there are companies trips cater to both couples and singles. By cater I mean they have rooms, be they cabins on a ship or hotel room, that are designated for singles and may a bit smaller as they have only one person handling the room's overhead. Generally there is a small supplement for single travel as again, only one person is paying the freight on the room. Since you asked.. I used ChinaSpree.com for China and found them excellent, Smartours.com for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam... GETours.com for Ireland, England, Egypt, France....... I have no business or referral interest in any of them. The advantages remain with ground transportation, guided tours, privileged entrance to sites, museums, etc., all lodging accommodations handled, etc. . I also did Cuba as a single while my wife was visiting her grandson in Thailand as she didn't hold US Passport at that time and could no go anyway. If you want more PM me. www.martindareff.com for photos
Last edited by midareff on Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:58 am

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.
"Snowbirding" implies having a permanent winter home in a warm climate. Instead, you can spend every winter in a different place. For example, you can go to Australia for a couple months during our winter/their summer. I like using travel books (paper versions) and engaging in activities they recommend. There is always more to do than I have time for, even when I spend long periods of time in different places. Every year you can try a different destination: Australia, New Zealand, Mediterranean coast, South America.

You can also consider places that are not warm in winter but offer cultural or other value. This January I have spent two weeks in Prague and then two weeks in Karlovy Vary, not because these places are particularly warm but because I wanted to do certain things there and escape the coldest time at home.

When you come to a place on your own you can still join groups for short term activities. This is much cheaper than booking tours from home and gives you flexibility to do what you really like. I remember traveling in Ecuador and buying in Quito a tour of the Galapagos. On the boat, most other passengers have booked the same tour from the U.S. and the U.K. and paid up to 3 times more than I did.

Traveling alone provides you with serendipitous encounters with local people and other independent travelers. When you come with a group you socialize within your group and are an outsider in a country you are visiting. Independence makes you more of a traveler than a tourist.

Victoria
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by cherijoh » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:06 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.
Research Med had a good suggestion with respect to an Alumni group that organizes trips. You should also look into Road Scholar trips.

I'm single and like to travel. I sometimes go with friends, but often join a group where I know no one. I have done several walking trips, a river cruise, and small group Road scholar trip on my own. I also did a week at a fitness spa. I have never had any issues being a solo traveler. I haven't stayed in touch with anyone I met on these trips but I certainly enjoyed meeting them (or at least most of them! :wink:). I do have another single friend who made a friend on one of her trips who she has subsequently traveled with several times.

I'm not yet retired, but will be soon. I plan to up my volunteering to keep some structure in my life. I do have a number of friends who have retired in the last few years who are getting together on a regular basis during the workday, so I expect I'll have more opportunity for socializing than I currently do now while I'm working.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by njay73 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:46 am

Good timely post! I have also wondered how other single bogleheads think about non-financial aspects of ER.

my story : I am single will be 49 in few months. I am planning to retire early in 2 to 5 year.
I envisioned my retirement focusing on:
- Art - I want to become a full time artist. This was my childhood dream, which i gave up. I've already started working 10-15 hours on art now, staring the transitions to dry run the new life style.
- Health - maintain a more healthy life style, cooking, eating better, working out.
- Help Others - have not figured this how part yet.
- Travel - have already traveled a lot, I use small group travel, where I am usually the only single male, loved it. But I want to do more longer duration travel may be going to same places again and again staying for a month or 2.

But, I also have same fears, uncertainties and insecurities, I know I can't figure out every thing, e.g. I don’t know if working as professional artist will be more stressful and limiting as my current stressful job. I am hoping, however, I will be able to navigate those challenges if I have clear values and purpose.

Love the conclusion by other poster
"You may benefit from reframing your situation from "Look at all of those happy couples doing fun things together, I don't get to do that" to "I'll get to plan my retirement based on my own preferences, abilities, and limitations". And, who knows, maybe you'll meet someone who enjoys doing the same things you do!"

good luck

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:53 am

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:45 am
Dottie57 wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:46 am
midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:55 am
I was "between" wives for 17 years and worked 60 -70 hour weeks most of the time. I like to travel and did organized group tours that catered to singles. I went to China 2X, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, South Africa, Victoria Falls, Botswana, Zululand, Swaziland, Scotland, Ireland, England, France and a few others out of country I'm probably missing at the moment. Made lots of friends on these trips. The China trips were very small group and great fun... about 12 people first trip 7 the second. Just Go man, Go.
How did you find the organized travel for singles? Names would be great.
First Dottie, so we are on the same page... there are companies trips cater to both couples and singles. By cater I mean they have rooms, be they cabins on a ship or hotel room, that are designated for singles and may a bit smaller as they have only one person handling the room's overhead. Generally there is a small supplement for single travel as again, only one person is paying the freight on the room. Since you asked.. I used ChinaSpree.com for China and found them excellent, Smartours.com for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam... GETours.com for Ireland, England, Egypt, France....... I have no business or referral interest in any of them. The advantages remain with ground transportation, guided tours, privileged entrance to sites, museums, etc., all lodging accommodations handled, etc. . I also did Cuba as a single while my wife was visiting her grandson in Thailand as she didn't hold US Passport at that time and could no go anyway. If you want more PM me. www.martindareff.com for photos
Thank you so much.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » 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. Another idea is Victoria's idea of retiring in a major metro area. I once lived in Toronto and loved it, but now I think I'd find it much to lonely and daunting to start up in that setting. I think it's just tough for senior singles anywhere you go. Not enough cohorts and you are pretty much marginalized except in senior retirement communities, which I find unrewarding.
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

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:45 am

CULater wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:29 am
Another idea is Victoria's idea of retiring in a major metro area. I once lived in Toronto and loved it, but now I think I'd find it much to lonely and daunting to start up in that setting. I think it's just tough for senior singles anywhere you go. Not enough cohorts and you are pretty much marginalized except in senior retirement communities, which I find unrewarding.
I don't seek senior singles, I seek activities I want to do. And there are plenty of activities in major cities. As an experiment, Google for Toronto meetups and see if you could find several that would interest you. I was in Toronto in November as an invited speaker at a local conference on the Camino de Santiago. I've met several wonderful people whom I would have liked to see more if I lived there.

Socializing solely in your age group is very limiting. Seniors frequently discuss diseases and lament about their deteriorating physical ability, which become self-fulfilling prophecies. By contrast, when you engage in interest-based groups and activities you are stimulated to keep up with younger members and you meet older members in excellent physical and cognitive shape who serve as role models.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:58 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. Another idea is Victoria's idea of retiring in a major metro area. I once lived in Toronto and loved it, but now I think I'd find it much to lonely and daunting to start up in that setting. I think it's just tough for senior singles anywhere you go. Not enough cohorts and you are pretty much marginalized except in senior retirement communities, which I find unrewarding.
I have relatives in the Villages. That seems to exactly fit your description. I would go crazy if I lived there.

If I weren't somewhat constrained by living near family, I would look at either a university area or some place, as Tomato said in another thread, where I could have chickens :-)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:01 pm

I am 54, never married, and retired for the last 9 years. I have had a steady ladyfriend since 2004. She lives a few blocks away and works full-time.

Before I retired 9 years ago at age 45, I worked 16 years full-time then 7 years part-time. It was in those 7 part-time years where I regained control over my personal life. I resurrected some old hobbies and began a new one. So, when I went from working PT to not working at all, there wasn't any big transition. I was simply going from working 2 days a week to working no days a week. I was able to expand some of my hobbies thanks to the two newly freed-up days not working, and avoid the frequent scheduling conflicts trying to fit my hobbies, some of the midday on weekdays, into the 3 weekdays I was not working.

My hobbies and interests are local, including spending time with my ladyfriend. She no longer owns a car so I have to drive her around a lot and do some errands for her. But that's okay, I have the time and willingness to do that for her.

I had some medical issues 3 years ago which required a 12-day hospital stay. Along with another ailment which has been fixed, I was diagnosed with Diabetes. But being retired allowed me to focus all of my time and effort on getting myself well, something which would have been much more difficult had I been working even part-time.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:48 pm

Not intending to be sexist, and there are plenty of exceptions to this. My observation has been that senior single women have a gigantic advantage over senior single men. In my experience, the women I know socialize with one another constantly, they are joiners and doers. They are able to share feelings with one another and provide mutual support. Senior men on the other hand, certainly me, are lone wolves for the most part. Old males are driven off by the herd, and they mostly roam alone. If we have anyone to spend time with and talk with, it is most likely a woman. Garrison Keillor had a funny monologue about this once, in which he described the solo male who mentioned he was "feeling down" to a male acquaintance. The result was that the male acquaintance, chatting with other guys, told them to be a little careful around "Dave," something seemed to be a little off about him.... Guys don't talk about things with guys. Guys need a woman to talk about things. But women don't need guys; they have other women. Most women I know are far better adapted to senior singlehood than guys are. Comes from years of making sacrifices caring for others.
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

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:01 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:48 pm
Not intending to be sexist, and there are plenty of exceptions to this. My observation has been that senior single women have a gigantic advantage over senior single men. In my experience, the women I know socialize with one another constantly, they are joiners and doers. They are able to share feelings with one another and provide mutual support. Senior men on the other hand, certainly me, are lone wolves for the most part. Old males are driven off by the herd, and they mostly roam alone. If we have anyone to spend time with and talk with, it is most likely a woman. Garrison Keillor had a funny monologue about this once, in which he described the solo male who mentioned he was "feeling down" to a male acquaintance. The result was that the male acquaintance, chatting with other guys, told them to be a little careful around "Dave," something seemed to be a little off about him.... Guys don't talk about things with guys. Guys need a woman to talk about things. But women don't need guys; they have other women. Most women I know are far better adapted to senior singlehood than guys are. Comes from years of making sacrifices caring for others.
I acknowledge that you are generalizing, but there are too many exceptions to your observations to use them as a guide to or a restriction on retirement pursuits. For example, I avoid characterizing myself as a "joiner," "doer," "loner," or any other marketing category. Instead, I focus on what I join, do, and do not do, i.e., I emphasize my actions rather than statistical pigeon holes.

As a single man, you can go on a hike with a hiking club, attend a lecture at the Smithsonian, go on a docent led tour in a museum, come to a panel discussion at a thinktank, take an improv class, and alike. It does not mean that you join something or that you have to share your feelings with other attendees of the event. It means that you are doing what you are sincerely interested in. And, sometimes, a side benefit is meeting people whom you genuinely like and they like you. Take Bogleheads Conferences. People come to Philadelphia to learn more about investing, to share their knowledge, and to "visit their money" at Vanguard. They are not seeking companionship but sometimes BH unions happen.

Furthermore, if single men need women to share their inner-most thoughts with, they are in luck. There are many older women who would be happy to play the role. You don't need to marry a woman to be able to confide in her as a friend.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by mouses » 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.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by tibbitts » 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.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Limoncello402 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:44 pm

OP here. I thank everyone for their discussion: lots of stuff for reflection here. I know well that it is far, far better to be single and "free" than unhappily married, and I'm grateful that I didn't marry one or two guys I dated seriously at one time! Still, I seem to be favored with some married folks in my family and friend circle that are very happy together and having a ball as empty nesters in retirement. I can't help but think, that looks so nice!
To be honest, as an academic (and like many academics) I'm an introvert who would really rather spend a quiet evening at home with a book instead of making the effort to attend something like a meetup. That's half (or more) of my problem. It is hard now when still working to make the effort, but I need to really try harder in retirement.
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? Also, for those who do nature-type touring, what tours or touring companies do you recommend?
I have always loved nature and always regretted I've not done more to engage it--hiking, bird watching, etc.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by CULater » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:59 pm

Yes, I'm an introvert also. Have lived all my life solo and been pretty happy doing it -- at least the living alone part. But I have to warn you that it could change as you age. It has for me. Being an introvert, I never put myself out to make friends. Had a few here and there. Now I find that life is getting pretty lonely, and I still have the introvert trait of not really wanting to get out there to meet people. Looking back, I wish I'd done more to build a community of friends to sail with me into elderhood. Now it seems like a pretty big mountain to climb, to mix my metaphors. When your friends and family members start getting old, sick, and passing away the journey begins to look pretty glum. So -- I'd advise getting out there as much as you introverts can manage to do and try to build some lasting, meaningful relationships.
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

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by rgs92 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:15 pm

Interesting thread. I hope it stays active.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by halfnine » 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.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by GerryL » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:24 pm

Never married female here. Age 69 and retired almost 4 years now.
I am not a highly sociable person and love my solitude. Not worried about loneliness. I call myself a gregarious hermit. In fact, I have to motivate myself to extend and build my social network so that I don't find myself someday decrepit and isolated. I have been doing that by volunteering.
I have not expanded my volunteering as much as I thought I might in retirement, but one newish endeavor is getting involved with the Village Movement, a network of local volunteer organizations that aim to help people age in place. (Neighbors helping neighbors stay neighbors.) I also work with Financial Beginnings to do personal finance presentations in schools.
And lots of travel, with Road Scholar and independently.

One thing I did as I prepared to retire was interview single friends who had retired to ask about what works for them, what they might have done differently. (Nothing about finances.)

I would reiterate a comment above about starting now to engage with organizations where you might want to get involved (e.g., clubs) or give of yourself (e.g., volunteer). Start making a list of all the things -- big and small -- that you could do if you only had more time: a local attraction to visit, a day trip, a class, organize the garage, study/relearn a foreign language (or cooking or geology). Look forward to this next phase with the excitement with which you approached your first job!

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by F150HD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:45 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.
you mean like Walmart late at night? :P

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:20 pm

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? Also, for those who do nature-type touring, what tours or touring companies do you recommend?
I have always loved nature and always regretted I've not done more to engage it--hiking, bird watching, etc.
I rent and have an excellent apartment manager. When I am away for a couple months, she keeps an eye on my apartment.

I don't want to think about possible illnesses and accidents when I am traveling. Problems may or may not happen, but if I were worrying I would have missed many excellent experiences.

I don't use touring companies, but an annual event I attend in Europe in August frequently offers a post-event country tour. This year it will be in Serbia. In previous years, I went on these tours of the Czech Republic (twice), Slovakia, Switzerland, and Sweden. French, Spanish, and German organizing teams have not offered tours and after the event I traveled in these countries on my own.

One of my best hiking experiences was walking el Camino de Santiago. I went there two times, each time for two months, of which I spent six weeks walking with a backpack about 800 kilometers (500 miles). I highly recommend it.

Victoria
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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:23 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:59 pm
When your friends and family members start getting old, sick, and passing away the journey begins to look pretty glum. So -- I'd advise getting out there as much as you introverts can manage to do and try to build some lasting, meaningful relationships.
This is another reason to socialize and have friends of all ages. You want many your friends to outlive you naturally.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by squirm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:27 pm

I couldn't imagine traveling alone, or even being alone. However a friend sorta of travels and is single. I guess some folks are okay with that.

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by VictoriaF » 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
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Single People and Retirement Question

Post by Lynette » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:03 pm

There is so much to do in life - just do it. My Health Club is unusually sociable and I go there every morning - free bagel and coffee. There is a group of older guys - likely in their eighties who come each morning - socialize and exercise. There are also a few guys in the yoga and Pilates class. Some of them are chatty - others are not. But there are groups of married and single people who drink coffee, watch a big screen TV and chat. I have made many friends there.

I also belong to a large church and they have many activities, volunteer opportunities throughout the week and weekend. Last night there was a performance by a Big Band. Today I attended a series of lectures that are being presented by Great Courses. We watch and discuss one video each week. Today it was by a historian on Witchcraft!

I have traveled to many places both with tours and by myself. I have a basic knowledge of several European languages so feel comfortable roaming around cities on my own. It just takes a guide book and ticket to the metro. When I go on my own this is my Rule No 1 - hotel can be out of town but must be close to a metro. I agree with Victoria that fears of danger in travel are exaggerated. Maybe I am a little insensitive but I do not really care what people think of me. Some will like me and others will not. So when one travels with a group, if I do not fit in with most, I have my own room and read a book. I think one should do what interests one and not bother about what people think about you.

As I mentioned previously I am finding that by taking photography lessons and Spanish whole new worlds are opening up to me. I am also going to take classes at the Community College in Web Design and maybe Video. Its amazing what one sees when one has to take photograph. I could go on and on and on.

Enjoy life!

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