Not having a romantic partner as you age has been classically associated with loneliness, but relationship status is seemingly not so relevant anymore. On the contrary, recent studies have shown that single men and women tend to be more social and involved in their community and with their families than married couples. There are more Americans living alone now than ever, and they tend to be a caring, social bunch. For many, staying single as an older adult has become a lifestyle choice and often, the destination.
Navigating your 60s and beyond alone may seem daunting, but this is a time to embrace your goals for yourself. Retiring solo is all about choices and what you make of it. Single people often tend to turn outward and create a strong sense of community and giving back.
If you are nervous about ushering into retirement solo, here are some tips to enrich your life as a single person:
Cross something off your bucket list. What’s something you’ve always wanted to do that previous circumstances would have prevented you from doing so? As a single person, you have the freedom to do anything you want, whether it’s to see the Northern Lights, go skydiving, or travel somewhere you’ve never been.
Take a class. Retiring while you’re single provides a great opportunity to explore your interests and find new ones. Try something new—whether it’s an art class, yoga, jiu-jitsu, cooking or sewing, a new skill could grow into a hobby, and you will meet new people along the way.
Give back. Being single gives you the opportunity to create a greater sense of community. Selflessly doing something for others creates a sense of purpose and makes you feel good about yourself. Sign up for an ongoing commitment like working at the local library, or do one-off projects like helping the homeless or doing a trail cleanup.
Mentor someone. It can be fulfilling to pass your collected knowledge on to the leaders of tomorrow. Mentoring is a great way to challenge yourself cognitively while providing value to younger colleagues.
Adopt a pet. Caring for something else is a way to give your life meaning and provide a sense of responsibility. Pets can also establish routine and get you moving while providing vital companionship. Going out for walks also gives you a chance to meet other dogs and people in the neighborhood or at local dog park.
Take a solo trip. Solo trips can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life because you’re 100 percent on your own schedule, doing what you want to do when you want to do it. Take a tailored trip without the compromising or sacrificing to appease travel partners.
While studies have shown that partnership status becomes less predictive of loneliness with advancing age, retiring as a single person can still have its moments of isolation. Our caregivers
at Happier at Home provide companionship and reassurance to maintain a sense of connection while still promoting independence.