December 21, 2020 — The most helpful and valuable input we get on this site comes from you our Members. And when it comes to where single people should be looking to retire, and what they should be looking for, with your comments we hit the jackpot! There is really nothing better than detailed input about real places from real people. Special thanks to Moderator Flo for suggesting this.
In this article we will reprint some of the most practical and informative Member suggestions about retirement for singles from many different Blog articles on this site. There are many suggestions about specific places to retire where singles will be happy, what types of communities you should consider, organizations to join where you can meet folks, and strategies for meeting and making new friends. At the end we have provided a list of our previous articles about singles and retirement, with many tips, ideas, and dozens of Member comments.
Ideas from Members
In comments over the years about singles and retirement many people have asked others where the good places are. Others have responded with towns and communities where singles can be happy. And still a few more have provided resources and strategies. You will many great ideas in this section.
From Jan Cullinane (co-author of The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement). Libraries offer book clubs, poetry readings, entertainment, computer classes, guest speakers, and lots of clubs meet there (ours hosts an astronomy club, among many others). Many children’s programs are offered as well (meet other grandparents and strike up a conversation). Easy way to meet people with shared interests.
Join a club and start playing tennis. Tennis has been found to be the best sport – it’s social, and good for the mind and body. I’m part of a group of tennis women where I live – some of the women players are married and some are single, but we get together a lot as a group, both on and off the courts. Same could be said of pickleball.
I live in a large master-planned community. One suggestion if you’re thinking about one is to find a newer community – people are more open to meeting others. Once it’s established, you might find friendships are established as well, and it’s a little tougher to “break in.” This can be true if you’re part of a single or a couple.
Have a dog? Dog parks bring like-minded people (at least when it pertains to dogs) together.
Volunteer. Remember that most friendships start because of a shared interest. Help others while you’re widening your social circle.
Some singles love the RV lifestyle – I interviewed a few of them for our book, and was told that people are very friendly and helpful. And, if you don’t happen to like your neighbor, you can pick up and leave! There is even a site for single RVers, http://www.rvsingles.com.
From Mark: I am 62 y/o semi retired ER doc. I’ve spent the last two years looking in the south for warmth and to find “more fishes in the pond” to go out with.
Hoping to move back into a city and meet a variety of more sophisticated woman has not been very fruitful. Most interesting cities are full of young going nowhere kids working in bars, restaurants, etc.
The vast majority of people I met were men older than me. Women tend to flock together or go out as the third wheel. Men are loners. Enclave of conservative single men and women….haven’t discovered that pot of gold yet.
From Jim: While I am not single we live in Pinehurst NC and are members of the New Comers Club. There are about 500 members and I was surprised how many single people were members. We have a number of friends we do things with that are single. If you have an interest in a small town I suggest looking at some of the videos on youtube to get a feel for the area. The cost of living is reasonable. Hope this helps someone.
From Linda: I’ve been divorced forever. My last winter in Minnesota did me in as well. I decided my retirement wasn’t going to be much fun if I fell and broke my hip getting my mail. So I set out to find a better solution. I had already spent a lot of time in Florida and decided to focus on that since I like to cruise. Found a 6-month rental so I would have time to look around. Found a great condo on a canal just down the canal from where I was renting. I’ve never looked back. I have more friends and social life down here than I can handle–sometimes I just need a day off! Everyone down here is from someplace else and all are looking to make new friends.
From Jackie: I am not single and live in The Villages where there are many non Villages woman only clubs that I belong to such as Women’s Dine Out, Women’s Pool Party, Women’s Chick Flick, Women’s Lunch Club, plus several Villages clubs for women only. Some of these clubs have women only groups within the clubs such as golf groups, book club groups, card playing groups, etc. Nobody cares whether you are single or married, all women are included. Besides that there are many single clubs for women and men. You can participate in most every one of the 3,000 clubs except for a handful that are for couples only. On top of all this, I have many single woman friends who either moved here after a divorce or death of their husbands or who lost their husbands after their move here and they all stayed here because they feel safe and are included in so many activities. We have several single woman friends whom we ask to join us when we go to clubs, concerts, theatre and other activities. You can have a wonderful life as a single woman in The Villages.
From Huntley: Here in the Triangle NC (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) there is a lot to offer boomer gen’s and other age groups places to connect socially as singles. Here is one great option, http://www.silverconnections.org/ Silver Connections is only for singles and it is not a dating service, it is designed to help widows and/or singles above age 55 have a group to hang out with and do things together. Everything they do is optional, but they do activities regularly like eat out monthly, take tours and trips together, purposely providing a lot of activities to provide social gatherings to build friendships, foster relationships to support one another.
UNC and NC State have an awesome OSHA program as well. Comfortably located in the middle of the state with a little over 1.5 hrs to the beach and about 3 hrs to the mountains. RDU is an international airport with very good rates from here to wherever. Can you tell I LOVE this place!
From Fay: I’m an active single person with many interests …..favorite places must be a town/small city with diverse fitness activities (rec centers, pools, running and walking trains, must be pet-friendly, has to have a great library system, changeable seasons, close proximity to my favorite food sources …. I haven’t found my ‘perfect’ place as yet, but high on my list of places I love to spend time in (i.e. short time rentals) are Virginia Beach VA, Palm Springs CA, Charlottesville, VA and Tarpon Springs FL. I love the climate(s) in each of these places in specific times of the year and I find that each place has special features that are very energizing as well as close proximity to colleges and universities which provide continuous lecture series and life-long learning opportunities………I also love New York State (especially the Hudson Valley/Dutchess County along the Hudson River) as well as the Poconos in Pennsylvania around Lake Wallenpaupak/Hawley/Milford PA areas………….. Also recommend you read Melody Warnick’s book titled ‘This Is Where You Belong’ …. this book has been selected to be one of the BEST BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARDS in 2016 and I have found it to be a valuable resource……
From Stacey: Have you checked out Athens, GA? That’s where I’ll be headed eventually. You have the University of GA that has the OSHA program for seniors. A university town always has many options. If you live a few miles from the University, the environment should be more tranquil. The downtown is sweet with small shops and good restaurants. You are not that far so checking the place out should be fairly easy for you.
From Jean: Another hint is to check meetup.com for the area you are moving. people set up meetups for a variety of interests and demographic groups. And if there is t a meetup you find interesting, start one! In the area i live there are meetups for single senior, single golfers, crafters, walkers, transplants from different areas, vegetarians, the lists is extensive!
From Brenda: I live in Gulfport Florida which is right outside the Saint Petersburg city line. I am in the community of Town Shores which is 55+. You might like this area. There are so many activities at Town Shores, pickle ball is a big thing as is bocce. You are 6 miles from downtown Saint Petersburg. Town Shores has a book club, yoga classes, billiards, card playing groups; shuffleboard and art group. That’s just a few of the things available here.
It can be hard to be single and find a place where you can fit in and enjoy life. Without feeling like a fifth wheel. But the suggestions outlined above are proof that is possible to find happiness if you persist and follow the right strategies. If this is your situation, good luck. Sooner or later we will all be single, or leave someone in that status.
Comments? Do you have some better ideas on where single people can retire happily – if so please post them in the Comments section below.
For further reading: