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Are You Single? Tell Us Where You Plan to Retire – and Why

Category: Singles and Retirement

March 16, 2015 — Charlene and many other women members of Topretirements have asked us if we have any plans to post a question like: “Where did you retire as a single and why?” It seems like a great question, so here goes. We are hoping to hear from many single women (and men) who have either retired or are considering different places to retire. We think the answers are going to be fascinating.

As Charlene said: “Many of us become widows/or widowers before retirement age and that changes everything. Do you move away? Do you retire near family because your alone in case of health issues? Are you welcomed in strongly coupled communities, Etc.? In other words I’d love to read from other singles where they live and what’s their experience. I know you have had comments about this but not a complete column of just real life experience. I have read Jan’s (Cullinane) book,”The Single Women’s Guide to Retirement“, but this would be another great resource.”

Another suggestion along the same lines came from Vita: “I’ve been reading about retirement for “golden girls” which is a group of single women who usually do not have a support network. They get together and share a home. Sometimes it’s a owner sharing her home or it could the girls purchase a home together. This is usually for women who would be alone in their senior years without support. Finances may or may not be an issue. The main issue tends to be being alone in this world without support.”

Comments: Please share your experiences if you are single and have moved somewhere in retirement (or became single after you moved), or haven’t yet picked a place but are considering some places that might be good for a single retirement. We look forward to many interesting comments.

For further reading:
If you are single and looking for a place to retire that will make you comfortable, you might enjoy these resources.
Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey on Single Women
When Living with Strangers Makes Sense
Creating Your Own Retirement Community (Forbes)
The Best Places for Retirement for Single Women
Women and Retirement (Topretirements Forum topic)
Retirement Your Way – When Cohousing Might be the Answer

Posted by Admin on March 15th, 2015


  1. I live in Maryland, just to work only, and I want to explore states south of MD to get an idea of where to retire. No more snow shoveling and icy road conditions for me. I thought about North and South Carolina but I am open to other areas. I want some cultural activities and the beach not far away, low cost of living and I will be renting until I am sure. I would like to spend some vacations at these areas until I can definitely pick a place. Suggestions?

    by JoyceR — March 16, 2015

  2. We are going to post some comments here from single women who have written us in the past about this subject:

    I am not sure if others would be interested in my idea of finding a place to retire. I would like to move to a city for 6 mos to a year then move again for another 6 mos to a year so i could try out different cities. I am a single woman so I can’t move all my furniture that often. I would like to hear others opinions if they think it could work and what suggestions they could offer to accomplish my plan. Of course I would have to store some of my things and plan on moving without furniture until I find my permanent home. One idea I have is renting furniture for the places I intend to try out. Another is just renting a room in various cities but I have a cat and dog so this might be harder to do. I am thinking I could put most of my belongings in storage then arrange to get them once I make my decision. I know this sounds far fetched but I am just thinking could it work? Louann

    Florida sounds good for retirement. Three questions: (1) Gulf Coast vs. Space Coast advantages/disadvantages, (2) Where are the alligators? I’m not keen on living near those, and (3) Which coast is better for single women? Thanks, Diana

    I live in a Dallas suburb and am paying on a home that is worth less than what I bought it for 10 years ago. I’m 61 and when the current well-paying job I have ends in a couple of years I will be forced to try to sell or just walk away from a home that doesn’t have
    enough equity to do a reverse mortgage. I’ve been divorced from my husband for 25 years and I feel my only option with the small amount of money I have in my 401K, is to buy a used trailer home somewhere in the area. It’s a frightening thought to live in tornado alley in a metal box, but there aren’t many options other than winning the lottery. It will be a big step down from a very nice middle-class life I’m living now. I wish my life was different. I love to read about couples who will travel or get to retire in the mountains in NC or live on the CA shoreline in your weekly newsletters, but for many of us single, senior women, I fear retirement will not be a pretty thing. I have several single women friends my age and we joke about starting our own trailer park commune – maybe it’s no laughing matter any more. Pat

    I would like you to start a section on rentals for retirees who do not want to buy a home and don’t need assisted living. There are a lot of us single women who are retiring who do not have anyone to help them keep up a home and want to move to another location near their family or in my case near the ocean-any ocean in an area that never goes below freezing. We can rent an apartment, but then we would not have the community life afforded by a senior community. Linda

    by Admin — March 16, 2015

  3. I live in the house where my husband and I raised our children. When he passed 5 years ago, I renovated the house thinking that I’d “age in place”. My youngest moved out 6 months ago, and I experienced loneliness even though I volunteer, take classes, and have lunch with friends. I decided the house was too big for me and my dog and that I needed more interaction with people who live in one area. I’m now looking at 55+ communities where I can socialize with others my age. I’m having some conflicted feelings about where to move. I like So. California where I’ve settled and where my children are, but I’d like to be closer to my 3 siblings in No. California. My house is paid off, and I’m fine financially so I just need to make a decision. The 55+ communities in Mission Viejo and Laguna Woods, around since the 1960s, are pretty established. The Trilogy Brentwood homes in NorCal are brand new, and their new features, such as solar and efficient layouts, really appeal to me. I welcome suggestions from single women who are in the same boat as I am.

    by libran — March 16, 2015

  4. My husband and I retired to Mexico 6 years ago, and love (loved) it. We knew we would re-evaluate at 5 year mark. He passed away at that target date so now I am single and trying to figure it all out. As a couple we wanted to live in Ruidoso, NM, for a while. As a single person, while a beautiful area and I enjoyed the people, it may be a bit isolated. My first solo trip was to Santa Fe. Many activities and expensive. Am still drawn to New Mexico so am planning a driving trip for a couple weeks to explore.
    Any suggestions for locations would be appreciated.
    AND, if anyone can recommend an international mover?!

    by Nyla Cardenas-Alley — March 16, 2015

  5. I love the idea of “Golden Girls” style of living. I think this could become a more viable housing option in the coming years. Some home can be adapted to duel master suites to accomodate this style of living, and I suspect builders will follow suit if the demand is there. Although I am currently married, my sister and I joke about the eventuality of home sharing at some point in the future. I would the companionship and the cost sharing.

    by Pauline Martoche — March 16, 2015

  6. I’ve been single now for a long time. My kids have been off on their own for 20 some years. The idea of sharing a home with someone else doesn’t appeal. I’m used to my own space.

    I rented a duplex in Cape Coral for 6 months this winter to really get a feel for the area. I have spent many vacations here, but wanted to see what living here feels like. I was immediately invited to join a book club by my neighbor. Also got invited to parties where I met lots of other people. I find people here to be very friendly–everyone is from someplace else.

    Turns out the place I rented is sort of an incubator for people looking to move here permanently, and the former residents live up and down the Rubicon Canal. I love being on the canal. Would like to be on the ocean, but can’t afford that. This is a good compromise for me. I looked long and hard and finally found a condo about a block away from where I was renting. I’ve closed and moved in now (sublet my rental place for March) and am enjoying my new neighborhood. This condo is considerably smaller than my home in Minnesota. Now the question is: can I downsize to this size? And sell my place in Minnesota? That’s my long-term goal as the drive back and forth will get old pretty fast. I’m done with snow and cold.

    I travel a lot and like to cruise. This location is great for cruising. Not so much for flying, at least not as good as MSP was. Driving trips from here are going to be longer as well as it takes almost a day just to drive out of Florida! As far as friends from Minnesota go, many of them spend the winter or part of it in this area. My son lives in Arizona which just didn’t appeal to me–I like being on the water. My daughter is likely to move to Wisconsin, so my ties to the Twin Cities are loosening. I will try the commute for a while and see how it goes. But the idea of owning two places with all the attendant stuff really doesn’t appeal for the long term, so I need to start getting rid of stuff.

    So I think you just have to try things out and see how they feel. I don’t know if this is the perfect location, but for now it feels good. If, for some reason it doesn’t work out, I can always sell and try something or some place else.

    by Linda — March 16, 2015

  7. Are you the Linda from MN I addressed last week on the Florida page?
    Even though I am remarried, both DH and I were previously widowed in 2003. So I hope there isn’t a problem if I submit my two cents.
    Those of you that have experienced that, know that the probability of it happening again is always somewhere lurking in the recesses of our minds.
    Therefore, if it does happen when I am still healthy enough to go out and do things and meet people……. I am happy that we plan to purchase property within an easy distance of Tellico Village near Lenior City TN. There is a lot happening there compared to the other sleepy towns nearby. There were plenty of social activities and several single people as well.
    Hope that’s worth two cents!

    by Caps — March 16, 2015

  8. Libran – In almost the same boat. Had kids late, and obviously did not expect my spouse to pass around the same time that our kids launched. Either event could obviously trigger loneliness and depression, but both occurring at the same time is a double whammy. I like the idea of a 55+ community for the possible social network, and would prefer a larger community to both minimize the possible impacts of HOA politics and to expand social options. I’m looking for very large 55+ communities in NC, PA, DE or VA. I am viewing my retirement in 10-year increments. I figure my needs from 66 to 76 might be different from my needs when I hit 76-86.

    by Sharon — March 17, 2015

  9. Obviously a 55+ community provides the most opportunities to establish that social network often craved by singles. Whether it be art classes, continued learning, fitness classes, card games, or tennis/pickleball/golf. It is really a big reason why we choose to move into one, I was imagining that as I got older and stopped working that I would want many opportunities for engagement. My husband is older than me and I was trying to think about how my life might change if I was suddenly alone (we also have no children). So, today as a married couple we enjoy our community and if either of us were single we would still be able to enjoy everything here and have a vibrant social life with more to do than there is time or interest. Almost 25% of our community is now comprised of singles….some came here as such and others are now widows/widowers….and some found new love and married/remarried.

    by LJ — March 17, 2015

  10. I live in so Cal and itching to get out. I have two more yrs to retire. My kids and grand kids live close but I will not be able to enjoy retirement if I don’t sell and move. I’m set on the northwest and welcome the weather it has to offer. I like the Golden Girl idea, even though I like my space, I don’t want to make such a move by myself. I like the “Pocket Neighboorhoods” idea, but they are sparse. I like that idea as you are close to your neighbors for support. I like what one person said about a safe site for those who opt to be a part of a Golden Girl scenario. Any takers? Especially for those of us who find their social security not enough at the end of the day!

    by Vickie — March 17, 2015

  11. It is funny that this blog just started because next week I am moving to Arizona from the Chicago area. My niece lives in Cave Creek, AZ so I will use her place as a jumping off point to figure out where I want to land. Since I am from the Midwest I like trees and different kinds of weather (won’t miss 2 feet of snow though). For that reason I am going to look at Prescott, AZ and Cottonwood. I am also going to trek over to New Mexico in Rio Rancho to see if that is where I want to be. Unfortunately, because I divorced a man who didn’t like to work I will be needing to get at least a part time job. Hard to believe at 66 I am starting over but I am looking forward to it. At least I am healthy and come from a long line of strong women. Should be an interesting adventure!

    by Christine — March 17, 2015

  12. Here is a link to an article I have kept about “golden girls” living. The Bag Ladies of the World seem to have started testing this arrangement. I am interested in this too and have talked about it with my female friends. The article is dated and I don’t know if the contact information is valid currently. One thing that is necessary is to work with a lawyer to spell out exactly what everyone’s responsibilities are BEFORE taking any steps beyond discussions.

    by mardav2 — March 17, 2015

  13. @Caps: Don’t recall if we interacted on another page or not, but yes, I am from Minnesota.

    by Linda — March 17, 2015

  14. I have 2-3 years left before I retire. I have narrowed it down to St. Augustine in FL or Athens, GA. I haven’t checked out Athens yet but will the end of May. The plus about GA to me is my nephew and his wife plus friends of theirs that I know since they were kids live around that area while I know no one in St. Augustine. BUT I do love St. Augustine. So….. I don’t think I want a 55+ community bUt will keep an open mind. Anyone have any information/opinion on these places? Anything would be appreciated

    by Stacey — March 17, 2015

  15. I lost my husband a number of years ago, and it took me a while to figure things out…I had known him pretty much my whole life. I made the decision to move out of Southern California to Phoenix, Arizona four years ago, even though I did not know a soul. My daughter still lives back there so I visit often. Sold the big home and purchased a lovely new home in a neighborhood with lots of amenities. Moving out to Arizona was the best decision I ever made. My new life is great… have met many nice people and lots of things for me to do. I also have a boyfriend and we are talking about getting married. Life does go on and we have to figure out what works for each of us! Good luck ladies!

    by Loralee — March 18, 2015

  16. As you approach retirement, you may find that the home you’ve lived in all these years just isn’t as suitable as it once was. It’s for this reason that many retirees decide to sell their old homes, using the funds to purchase new ones that will accommodate their new lifestyle.Middlebury,VT has a small population, making it a quiet, low-key retreat that is perfect for those who need serenity, all that just makes it perfect for my retirement.

    by Henry — March 18, 2015

  17. I will soon be losing my husband to pancreatic cancer. We have only been married for 7 years and I lost my previous husband to colon cancer. I am an active 65 year old. I lived in a Del Webb community in Surprise, Arizona and I am considering returning there for the affordability and because there are still friends there and I enjoyed living there in the past. However, I will have no family left once my husband passes away, so nothing is keeping me here in southeastern Pennsylvania. On the other hand, I am scared to death of not making the right decision. I do not plan on marrying again. I wish you the best, Loralee!

    I am also considering Boise, Idaho. They get less snow than Pennsylvania, have 4 beautiful seasons and are located in a semi-arid climate. The people there are extremely friendly and come from all over the country to live there. There are a couple of nice active adult communities out there and more are being built.

    On the top of my retirement bucket list is making new friends, staying fit by golfing, playing tennis and riding my bike, and being able to afford a simple lifestyle. Affordability is a big concern in the northeast, but leaving the familiarity and conveniences of my present home as a single woman is frightening. The “Golden Girls” arrangement sounds very nice, but it has not been tested yet and I am used to being on my own and having my own space. Florida is a possibility as well. To the person who asked, “Where are the alligators?” They are everywhere near water. You are safe as long as you don’t appear to threaten them or their environment. If you golf and hit your ball out of bounds, be sure to look before you enter an area where there are bushes near water. Alligators occasionally seek the shade and love to sun themselves on land. I know this because there was eying a golf ball I wanted to hit. Fortunately, my partner saw him before I went any further. I did not know he was there.

    Both coasts are crowded, especially during the winter months. I prefer the Treasure and Space Coasts to the Gulf for this reason. My brother lives in inland at The Villages. He and his wife love it, but there are over 75,000 people just in this one community. I want to make friends, but I don’t want them living on top of me.

    Can someone please suggest something in the “middle”, where friends are easily made, the crowds are manageable (or there are highways built to handle the traffic) and there are more seniors than not?? Also, I am healthy NOW, but what about when I’m 75? Good nearby medical care is important, too. This will be my year-round home. Unfortunately, I cannot afford the 6 and 6 lifestyle unless one of the homes is a phone booth. This may sound strange, but I fear not being accepted in Georgia or South Carolina because I talk like a “yankee.” The Philadelphia accent reverberates everywhere south of Maryland.

    Finally, Del Webb, now Pulte, is building retirement communities outside of Cleveland and Indianapolis–very affordable, but the winters are long and bone-chilling cold! Given my situation, any and all suggestions for either staying put in familiar surroundings with some of the best medical care in the country, together with being kind of lonely, returning to Arizona, or starting “over” in a totally new environment, would be much appreciated. The new and unknown never scared me 20 years ago, but it does now! My present home has been upgraded and could easily be paid off. Thanks to all!

    by Joanne — March 18, 2015

  18. alligators: can be found as far north as Virginia. i have seen several in SC when competing there. Not usually a big problem…but take Joanne’s advice and find out enough about them…seems they like the same weather we do.

    by elaine — March 18, 2015

  19. Joanne–I’m so sorry that you will be losing a husband for the second time to cancer. I recommend that you take some time to think about your next steps. Right now your life is in a turmoil, and making these life-changing decisions shouldn’t be a priority. It sounds like you have various places in mind, so when you are able to visit them spend some time in each place and talk to the residents. They can tell you the pros and cons. One of the commenters said she thinks in increments of 10 years, and I think it’s very wise. Your life from 75-85 will have different needs, so it’s important to consider whether you want to choose a place that will accommodate the physical needs of aging residents. If you’re still close to your friends in Surprise, AZ, give them a call and ask about their lives at the Del Webb community. I’ve found that in widowhood it’s so important to have a good support network. Although I’m living a good life in my large home, I want more friends that I can relate to so I’m looking into moving into a 55+ community.

    by Libran — March 18, 2015

  20. Hello I have been trying to figure this out for a while now! I am leaning towards Kings Point at Sun City Center for a number of reasons. At first I thought I would prefer the single family home section so that I would have a private yard and much lower fees but I have changed my mind because at Kings Point I would not have to worry about a lot of maintenance and a lot is included in the monthly fee. Also, I have a disabled adult 45 year old daughter that would live with me. I sent an email asking if she would be allowed to live there and participate in the amenities but they have not answered the email. I like the size of the community because larger communities such as this have more amenities. And because this community started back in the 60’s. homes can be more affordable there.

    Honestly, I have not looked at a lot of communities and there may be others that might be more appropriate for myself and my daughter so any input would be appreciated. I also like the golden girls idea.

    by Gloria — March 18, 2015

  21. Before you commit to a 55+ for the activities and potential community check out in various cities. In Orlando we have lots of groups of widows, widowers, single boomers, etc. We golf, bowl, cycle, dine, walk, take trips. So easy to make new friends and do as many activities as you like without committing to a fixed community. Outside of the cities it is harder to find a lot of groups but there are still some and meetup is growing all the time.

    Check it out as part of your research. Widowed 4 years ago and it has been the driving force in making a new life for myself.

    by Pam — March 18, 2015

  22. I live in Texas, but plan to retire to the Florida panhandle, i.e., Panama City, where properties are very reasonably priced. I’m single and plan to purchase property on a few acres close to town. I have several single women pals who would love to live close to the beach and away from the snow and cold, but can’t afford it. I have offered them a place to live once I get settled. Our plan is to build several cabins or small homes of about 800 square feet each on this acreage so that we can live together on the same land and care for and check on each other, but each have our own home. This communal living is practical, efficient and each of us will have a much better retirement than if we were going it alone. This works for me!

    by Cory Blum — March 18, 2015

  23. I too, would like info on apartment communities with planned activities in Florida. I’m finding a lot of apartments for seniors are income restricted or more geared to assisted living.

    by Jaye — March 18, 2015

  24. Dear All,
    I love receiving mail from John Brady, I am looking for any helpful suggestion on my mom. My dad passed 16 years ago. My mom lives alone in the house her & my dad shared. I am single and have my own home. My brother lives in NV. My mom who is 65 does not want to down size as the current home is too much for her needs and upkeep. She is fairly healthy , all of the responsibility falls on me .At some point I will be moving to some place warmer, assuming my mom will follow. I am looking at NC. Any suggestion on 55+ over community? I love the Golden Girls living arrangements. Housing is very costly as I am looking into something somewhat affordable. Any suggestion would be welcome.

    by Anita — March 18, 2015

  25. The Golden Girls? PLEASE–that was a television show, not reality. Show me just ONE instance of REAL people living like the Golden Girls. The complications of such a setup in real life are more numerous than I can count. First, where do you find other women with whom you want to live full time and who can and will pay their fair share of the bills each and every month (and do their fair share of the chores)? How do you get a mortgage (or even a lease) for three unrelated women? What if one of the Golden Girls dies (or, less likely, marries) and two are left to carry on financially and otherwise? THE GOLDEN GIRLS WAS A WORK OF FICTION ON TELEVISION. It has NOTHING to do with real life. I read somewhere, “If you want a friend, get a dog.” That’s my advice for someone who is thinking that she might be able to create a real-life “Golden Girls” arrangement. It’s a FANTASY, people! Give it up!

    by Charlotte — March 18, 2015

  26. I am a single person trying to find a “golden girls” type situation to join with for retirement. At this time, I have no
    area of the country that I am drawn toward, but the areas that might suit my interests (warm winters, hiking club, mineral / rockhound club, plenty of other singles to make friends with, and especially a safe environment with a very low cost of living, as I have never been able to afford a house and with the amount of savings having to go for living the everyday life, there isn’t much hope of being able to live in one of the large retirement centers in Florida or Phoenix as they do not seem to allow cohousing or house sharing arrangements between non-family members in these retirement villages, at least if one reads through their bylaws. Does anyone know of any situations where groups of seniors can live together in a house in one of the large communities that cater to 55+? Is there any sort of roommate organization set up in areas of the country through which registered participants can find new roommates, sort of set up like the current roommate finding websites that are available? I have no friends or family members anywhere, so a move to an unfamiliar place without someone already there that I would know would be a very scary thing to do. It would need to be a place where seniors can also find jobs, at least part time jobs, also.

    by Kary — March 18, 2015

  27. I will be retiring in a little over 2 years. I am retiring with minor children, they will just be turning 14 when I retire. So to get their buy in at that age for major changes I have been ‘grooming’ them for these changes.

    We currently live in southern CA and when I retire we will be moving to TN. Initially I thought that we would build a house on a river, but after visiting last year with the kids, we changed that plan and bought a home on a lake. We now visit the lake for vacations a few times a year, staying a few weeks at a time. So they now look forward to moving and living on the lake with a dock and kayaks in their backyard.

    I am not considering a golden girls type of living a arrangement. I have always been single. (Kids are adopted.) So I do not think I would like roommates. I may, however, take in foster kids once retired. I enjoy the kids and will be 57 years old when I retire.

    Financially I will not need to have roommates. I am very fortunate to have a pension as well as social security and a retirement plan like a 401-k. By moving to TN I can retire after 30 years with my job and be ok. Staying in CA I would have to work longer.

    I do have family in CA, two older adopted kids in their 30’s, but they are on their own (one likely will move to TN eventually), and grandkids that will visit during the Summers.

    by Lynnette — March 18, 2015

  28. I am a single (many years divorced) woman who retired last April. I decided that I would not make a major decision for a year and I almost made it. Next month I’ll be moving from a small town in North Georgia to a small town in Western North Carolina. I have moved many times over the years to places where I knew not a soul. I found it to be fairly easy to meet people though my public job. I have a little fear that it might not be as easy to meet people without a job that puts me out among the public. The main reason that I am moving is to be around people working in the arts. I worked as a potter for a few years, but I was afraid that on my own I couldn’t support myself. I went back to school and got degrees and began a conservative career. This is my chance to do what I really love and hopefully make some like-minded friends. My philosophy about moving and change is nothing is forever and if you decide you don’t like where you are or what you’re doing, you have the power to change it.

    by Georgia — March 18, 2015

  29. I decided the last thing I wanted was to retire in place isolated in the middle of my development.
    Since my sons are not married, and other family is spread out coast to coast, I could go anywhere.
    I started thinking about moving to a lake, and decided I would quickly get bored sitting on the dock, and most lakes are far from everything. That got me thinking about where I could go where there was lots of action and things to do.

    I decided to go on vacation year round in Myrtle Beach SC. Low taxes, low cost of living and plenty to do both as a tourist and as a resident. Just closed on a house and moving soon.

    With this location close to the beach, I am sure I will have lots of guests. I am also sure I will make lots of new friends. Can’t wait to start walking on the beach, going to shows, dances, meeting new people, and more. And if I do get bored there is always a cruise or a road trip.

    by Doug — March 18, 2015

  30. From a single man’s point of view my plan after retirement a few years ago was to work my way down to various places on the SE part of US. My idea is to move to an area and rent in a single family home. If that’s not the ideal place will move again. The place isn’t so important to me as are the people and activities. Want to live out in the country yet near a larger city to have a social network. After NC my next place may be the Ft. Myers/Lehigh Acres/Cape Coral area. Any views about the single life in the Ft. Myers/Lehigh Acres/Cape Coral area?

    by Dale — March 18, 2015

  31. I retired two years ago and moved last June from Northern Virginia to The Villages, FL. I sold my home, gave away all my furniture, packed up a small POD which was sent to a storage facility in Orlando and moved to Florida on the auto-train. I’m renting a home for a year to see if I like it here.

    The Villages (TV) has a lot to offer singles but it is a massive community with over 100,000 homeowners. There are many singles clubs that you can join and meet people. Most of the residents are very happy here. I believe the average age is around 68. It’s been a bit difficult for me to adjust to seeing only older people as I have always lived in a metro area with a lot of diversification.

    Although I haven’t made any final decision about staying or leaving TV, I have decided that I will not go back north after this past frigid winter. I’m beginning to explore other areas in Florida and next week I will be visiting Sarasota.

    I am also interested in the Golden Girls living arrangement. This is a wonderful idea that I think will begin to become more popular. I have been researching the idea and here is some of the info I have found. You will find them in google. I was not able to add the links.

    Golden Girls Network
    Women Living in Community
    Living in Community Network Sarasota meetup
    My House Our House
    National Shared Housing Resource Center

    by Maggie — March 18, 2015

  32. This article is a great idea. I am single, divorced many years & live in New Jersey w/ my dog & 3 cats. I don’t think i can handle another winter in the North East… I really want to relocate to a warm, sunny state.Perhaps because i have lived on the east coast all my life, i don’t think i would relocate to the west coast or even mid-west. What holds me back is making this move alone. I have many friends & have an active life where i live now, but i think its the right time to move. I am open to suggestions

    by Barbara — March 18, 2015

  33. I currently live north of Philly. I am having trouble figuring out where I want to land. I am basing many of my decisions on taxes, although I am drawn to Western NC and TN around Chattanooga area. I am taking a road trip this summer to explore these areas. I fell in love with Asheville NC a few years ago, but it is nearly as expensive as where I currently live (major disappointment). I have friends in Savannah, GA, so that is another possibility.

    My other idea is to sell it all and buy a travel trailer and a truck and explore the U.S. until I find a place where I want to land…if I do.

    I don’t like having it all up in the air, but having a lot of options is not always a bad thing.

    by Sandy — March 18, 2015

  34. I will retire at the end of 2015 and am intent on moving from Summerville, SC to Boulder, Co. Why? Because my online research persuades me that Boulder is a near-ideal venue point for me to fulfill a life-long dream of glorying in the natural splendors of the American West! The Rocky Mountains are a particularly irresistible attraction, but so are so many of the National Parks–Rocky Mtn N.P., Glacier, Arches, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite . . . it is a
    very long Bucket List, but I’m ecstatic about FINALLY making it happen!

    by Weldon Barker — March 18, 2015

  35. I am 61 and still working and will be doing so for a while. I have been trying to figure out where I may relocate to that’s affordable, things to do outdoors — enjoy road biking and hiking, and to be near cultural activities. I could not live in an isolated area…and not sure I want to be in a community where everyone is older. I live in Connecticut which is a very beautiful state but it very expensive and will be difficult to live comfortably when I am no longer working. I visited Tucson, AZ in October and liked my first visit (checked out Saddlebrook) and have a couple of friends that live there but want to check out other areas…like NC, SC….not sure I am a Florida girl. Any good suggestions?

    by Cheryl — March 18, 2015

  36. I am recently retired and widowed for six year. I just sold my home in NY and did not know where to go next. I decided to rent in D.C. for a year since I have one sister who lives in the area. The city of D.C. is half singles – those singles are all ages. If anyone knows more about resources and meeting people in this city for older single women, I would appreciate all feedback. I hope to make a few trips while I am in D.C. to explore Florida and North and South Carolina.

    by Marcie — March 18, 2015

  37. I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments. I’ll be 63 this year and am thinking of relocating to a warmer climate. My three sons currently live with me, but one by one they will be moving out. I’ve been divorced almost 9 years now. Have read about the golden girls idea with great interest, yet I don’t know whether I could live with someone other than a family member. Although I would ultimately like to downsize, I also love gardening and doing yard work, so an apartment or condo might be a good choice, but only temporarily. I’m thinking of a small cottage. In fact, when I read Cory’s comments, my heart leaped! What a fabulous idea to buy a few acres and build a number of small homes or cabins on the property! This would be right up my alley! Also, I’ve lived in the country for the last 22 years and have grown to love the peace and quiet. This would be an absolute requirement as I make my choice.

    by Barbara P — March 18, 2015

  38. Weldon: Funny – Summerville is on my list of possible destinations, to get closer to the coast and perhaps live in one of the 55+ communities there. Can you give me some pros and cons about Summerville?

    by Sharon — March 19, 2015

  39. great responses. I am selling my house. Just me and my car left. I plan on renting and seeing what I like. I will probable lean heavily towards no income tax states with lower cost of living.

    by geoff boston — March 19, 2015

  40. I am single boomer, never married. Have checked out Del Webb communities in Illinois, Indiana, the one in Mt. Juliet, TN and am planning on going out to the Phoenix area to see a number of communities out there. I also visited Tellico Village in Loudon, TN outside Knoxville. Although I thought that Tellico was a beautiful community, I did not like that it had a state 2 lane highway running right through the middle of it. Any nut could drive right into the dark, winding, tree covered streets at any time. Having been the victim of a peeping Tom in my small town, I am more sensitive to safety issues than some might be. They have golfing, a library, a couple stores, a beautiful gym with indoor pool, churches and a clubhouse or two. Beautiful and reasonably priced. Even have an assisted living section if you get older and need help but want to stay there in Tellico. Can’t wait to check out some Arizona communites though.

    by Bonnie — March 19, 2015

  41. @Charlotte: The Golden Girls community idea is alive and well. Perhaps you should do a little research.

    by Linda — March 19, 2015

  42. What A great read. I am a widow for two years and just came back from Phoenix visiting my son. The son and the sun were great. I live in Houston right now but am downsizing the house as it is just too big to do it alone. I am seriously thinking of moving to Phoenix when I put up the house, probably the beginning of next year. I did look at Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. I am 66 and I agree with the comment above about living my life in 10-year increments, 66-76, 76-86. Does anyone have any advice about these areas? I will try to move with the least amount of baggage as possible, so I will be able to live somewhere for about 6 months to a year; and if it suits me, stay there longer. This will be an adventure for me.

    by SharonA — March 19, 2015

  43. I think it is more important to determine what you want to do in retirement first. What is on your “Bucket List”?

    I state this because any place you choose for retirement living is going to be a trade-off on what you have on your bucket list, retirement income, and requirements for a happy and productive retirement.

    For me, for example, my number #1 item on my bucket list is completing my undergraduate degree and going on through graduate school. At some point, I anticipate returning to the workforce with new and updated skills, and either starting my own consulting business or being employed in an area that interests me: full or part-time.

    I am not a big fan of college or professional sports, so I am looking at smaller colleges and universities in more rural areas.

    Living in a more rural area has the downside of not having a lot of entertainment activities. But living in a college community has the upside of access to the Arts activities at the college.

    Almost all communities now have internet access though it might cost more because of a lack of competition. Still, internet access is available and I can keep in touch with friends and family on Facebook or via email.

    Another upside is the cost of living: most rural areas outside major cities have a lower cost of living often reflected in housing costs.

    A downside is that I may feel more isolated from things I normally participate when in the larger city.

    However, as I said, it’s a trade-off on what I want and need to fulfill items on my bucket list.



    by TheGunslinger95842 — March 19, 2015

  44. It is so inspiring to see so many women stepping outside of their comfort zone to forge the unknown to find that socially and environmentally perfect retirement fit. In my two years of retirement, I have been researching various walkable cities close to water (kayaking), walking and biking paths, and safe. Sandy, with that in mind, I will be visiting Chattanooga and Brevard, NC this spring. The city of Chatanooga has put together a morning, afternoon and evening three day itinerary of places to see, things to do and where to eat, so that the visitor can get a complete experience of the city.
    I have visited The Villages and Punta Gorda; they both seem like ideal communities. With that said, I am not yet sure that Florida is for me. I would like to check out some western areas including Austin, Texas. I am from beautiful northern Michigan and love the seasons but not the cold temps. Like Sharon A, I think that I would like to rent here and there for six month stints until I find a place that fits. Still so uncommitted and yet it is so exciting to think that you can pick up and move to a location of choice. As someone once said “the path is the goal” and it has been fun researching and soon getting out there to experience various places along the path. 🙂 I am getting my house ready to sell!

    by Bernadette — March 19, 2015

  45. Maybe the Golden Girls “IDEA” is alive and well, but if it works so well, why has NOBODY written to describe their glorious Golden Girls retirement? Where are the testimonials if it’s such a great lifestyle and so popular? By the way, I checked out the “co-housing movement,” and such communities are VERY expensive, for the upper, upper, upper middle class, and not necessarily designed for single women (or single men, for that matter).

    by Charlotte — March 19, 2015

  46. Is there anyone who has put their belongings in storage and rented places in various locations. If so,would you share your experience in what to look for in a storage company and furnished rentals.

    by Rachelle — March 19, 2015

  47. Here’s the link for the Golden Girls Network


    by Jan Culllinane — March 19, 2015

  48. Bernadette- I am from Central Michigan and live in a condo in downtown Chattanooga. Although, I am not single their are several single women and men who live in my building. We all love it here and their is so much to do! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you enjoy your visit to Chattanooga!

    by LisaJ — March 19, 2015

  49. wow! I am heartened and somewhat frightened by the number of folks that have the same concerns as I do! As a single baby boomer, highly educated, traveled and of European background I am looking for a community that caters to professionals. I am not a high roller and many of these types of communities are very pricey.
    I’m also a classical musician…. piano and would much appreciate a congenial group of fellow residents. A Supportive 55+community that also would provide extended care should that eventually become necessary since I do not have any living family. I am unusually active, healthy and love to hike in the mountains, backpack, backcountry ski cross country ski etc. etc.
    thus I’m looking for a community of very active 60+ people
    prefer the Rockies or other western mountain terrain. Anybody know anything about Bend Oregon, Utah, or Bozeman Montana. I am also considering Boulder Colorado but very pricey. anybody know anything about Southeast Alaska?

    by ingrid004 — March 19, 2015

  50. I am currently reading The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (published 2012 by AARP) byJan Cullinane. It is mentioned in the body of this blog, and I went to my local library to borrow it. I have just gotten to chapter 5 about exploring options for living. It has really great information about staying or relocating, figuring what you want, renting or purchasing, and how to try out communities. Chapter 6, which I haven’t read yet, is about the many choices available, e.g., 55+ communities! new-urbanism places, university-linked retirement communities, living abroad, and much more. It covers the issues that single women face in retirement, including dating and social connections and the financial side of retirement. My husband shared our financial information with me, but when he passed I was thoroughly confused because I was unused to managing money. I just barely paid the bills on time. I wish that I had this book to refer to when faced with all the financial questions I had, and how to find a financial advisor when it became too overwhelming. I’ll probably end up buying this book because the information is excellent.

    by Libran — March 19, 2015

  51. Joanne, I agree with you relative to the comfort level of a ‘yankee’ living South of MD. It is my experience that NC would be OK particularly the larger cities as they seem to be more ‘outward’ thinking. But SC particularly the Charleston area would have some of the same attitude as places in Central VA where I currently live and have yet to distinguish whether the ‘polite’ Southern society is for real or just for show. My friends are like myself, transplants from up North. Northeast FL, the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area seem to offer a lot in terms of good climate — still four seasons but not the snow, great medical care with the Mayo Clinic there and cultural activities being a large city, large airport, beaches, etc. And while Florida is South, it is not Southern. There are several 55+ communities there, Del Webb in Ponte Vedra and JAX, and Cascades in St. Augustine. Also several master planned golf course communities that continue to build and have full clubhouses, fitness centers, walking trails, etc. etc. It seems to be packed with developments. But it also seems to offer me most of what I am looking for as I am widowed and moving solo and know not a soul down there. But that won’t be for a few years yet. First I will try condo living on the OBX splitting my time between living inland on large acreage to living in a much smaller space with neighbors above, below and beside me. It will give me more time to figure out if downsizing is really what I can handle. And if the dog can handle losing his freedom to run and chase all sorts of critters. We shall see.

    by susan — March 20, 2015

  52. LisaJ- It was great to receive a response from Chatanooga. I am in touch with a realtor, via the web, who has been sending me listings so that I can get a feel for what I could expect to get for my money. I have asked her to narrow down the neighborhoods that would be, above all,safe and walkable to the city . She really hasn’t done that for me (could be a legal issue) so I am trying to surmise from the descriptions, where these properties are located. I believe that the North Shore, maybe St.Elmo’s, and Manufacturer’s Row are a few of those that I should be considering. Am I on the right track? If you could list some of your favorite areas, that would be great. It might give me a bit more direction.

    Do they have safe walking / biking trails in the area? I believe they have a river walk. Anything you could tell me about the area would be
    very much appreciated. Thank you

    by Bernadette — March 20, 2015

  53. Susan – Telling a native Floridian that Florida is not “Southern” will not make you many friends down there. The culture of Alabama and Northern Florida pretty much inter mix.

    by Bubbajog — March 20, 2015

  54. Bernadette-we live on the Northshore and love it! You are correct in the areas you selected. We can walk to the grocery store, bank, pharmacy, hair salon, restaurants. In fact we are going to walk to our favorite coffee shop/restaurant today for lunch via the river walk. If you have any questions I’m happy to help. When are you coming to Chattanooga? What type of property/ price range are you looking for?

    by LisaJ — March 21, 2015

  55. LisaJ- I hope to get down to check out the city in April or May. I would like to continue on to a couple of other city possibilities while I am in the southern area. There are a few in the Carolinas; but I hesitate due to the unfriendly tax laws. When I do identify a location where I think I can see myself, I will most likely look for a six month rental in order to get my bearings, and to see if it is indeed the right fit. When in Chatanooga, my plan is to follow the Chamber’s three day itinerary in order to cover the most territory.
    I would be interested to know, as a retiree and Michigan transplant, what it is that you enjoy so much about living in Chatanooga ????.
    Thank you for offering such friendly help. Bernadette

    by Bernadette — March 22, 2015

  56. Bernette and Lisa-I would love to get that feedback re Chatanooga as well. Thank you!

    Cheryl from Connecticut

    by Cheryl — March 22, 2015

  57. Bernadette and Cheryl-
    What I love about Chattanooga in comparison to Michigan, is the beauty of the city. Northern Michigan is gorgeous (in my opinion). However, the winters are brutal and when you live near the water, you tend to have to drive to restaurants and shopping.I love the mild winters of TN and the gorgeous colors in the fall and spring as well as being in the city.Their are a lot of transplants in Chattanooga and the people are friendly, smart, fun and accepting to others. I belong to the book club in my building, we also have third Thursday’s of the month which is a meet and great, and various other social functions. We had a Thanksgiving dinner a week before Thanksgiving where the management company provided the Turkeys and we all brought a dish to pass. Also, I love the great healthcare and walk ability especially when their are so many months to enjoy it. If either of you would like to have coffee, please let me know.

    by LisaJ — March 23, 2015

  58. Lisa: Would you mind giving the exact name of the community in Chattanooga you live in. It sounds great and I would like to research further. Thanks.

    by judy — March 23, 2015

  59. LisaJ and Cheryl- Lisa, your description of Chattanooga is everything I had hoped to hear. I am looking forward to getting down there during the beautiful springtime, as you mentioned. It is great to know that Chattanooga can rival the beautiful fall that Michigan offers. When I do arrive, I would certainly enjoy meeting for coffee. Thank you for your kind offer; I’m sure I’ll have many more questions once I am in the heart of things. The camaraderie shared by all in your building sounds ideal. I would hope, as a newcomer, to find a similar environment :). Now to get the house on the market and start the exciting adventure ahead. Thank you!

    Cheryl, are you considering cities other than Chattanooga in your search? I would be interested to hear of those you thought promising and any that may have fallen short of you expectations. Good luck to you.

    by Bernadette — March 23, 2015

  60. I was thinking of Ocala Florida On Top of The World Any comments Visited there but only for a day.I’m also hearing about Bears and lots of homes are near the forest. So there’s allligators Bears and Sink holes.OH MY!

    by Lillian — March 23, 2015

  61. Judy-the name of my complex is called One Northshore, here is a link: .com I forgot to mention we have a club room on the top floor (7th floor) that you can reserve for private parties (at no cost) for bridal luncheons, baby showers, rehearsal dinners, women’s groups, bridge, etc. it has a full kitchen, couches, tables, restrooms, etc the room overlooks the city, with gorgeous river and mountain views. This room is also used for social events among the owners. Many times we will meet up there for drinks or morning coffee and read the newspaper. Friends that we have met (that live elsewhere) always want to come here. In addition, we have a cabana room which is off of the pool, has a modified kitchen with fridge, to put your drinks in while enjoying the pool. This room is complete with tables and seating, restrooms etc to enjoy friends. We also have a fitness room (I don’t use as much as I should) but, I do walk to my yoga class.

    Bernadette- I would LOVE to meet you for coffee! Oh by the way, if you like the beauty of Michigan’s fall, you will LOVE the fall in CHATTANOOGA! The colors are prettier than Michigan (in my opinion).

    by LisaJ — March 24, 2015

  62. Lisa: Thanks for your reply; I went on the website and it looks very nice; I was just curious as to whether this is a 55 plus community only? The pictures imply it is an all ages community. Thanks again.

    by judy — March 24, 2015

  63. Judy- it is an all ages community consisting of mostly professionals or empty nesters. Hope that helps.

    by LisaJ — March 24, 2015

  64. I don’t know if this blog is still taking posts, but I wanted to thank everyone for their comments. I now have new places to explore, including Chattanooga. Making new friends is very important to me, and the morning coffee walks sound wonderful. Also, thank you, Susan, for your honest opinion on southern attitudes. Being from Philadelphia makes me a Yankee, even though I love people from all walks of life. The last thing I want for retirement is being an outcast because of where I grew up!!

    by Joanne — March 25, 2015

  65. I’ll be at the full retirement age in a little over a year, but plan to work for two more years. I am not sure when to retire, or where to retire, and have other questions. I know what I want to do, but not where I want to do it, so will continue working until I decide. I am an academic librarian and love my job. For almost two years, I have been working toward retirement by downsizing and decluttering, reading, writing and thinking, reworking finances, and talking with friends, family and professionals. I have lived all over the U.S., and have narrowed my retirement location to three places: Puget Sound area, Tucson (where I now live) and Fayetteville, AR. I have family in each location, which is a primary requirement for me. I want to live in a semi-rural area that is close to a university. I hope to work part-time or as a consultant in retirement. I’ve worked since I was 11 years old, and I love earning money, and plan to do it as long as possible. I have other skills beyond being a librarian, and hope to employ those.

    What I want to do in retirement: write and publish; join the Slow Food movement; keep my paint mare and my dogs; produce marketable art (I have some ideas); travel on my own or with family, and through RoadScholar; earn my MFA in Creative Writing; hike, bike, swim, fish, and dance; have roommates who are graduate students from other countries; cook fresh and local foods; hang out with family and friends; keep a minimalist lifestyle. And then after lunch…. I see retirement as a refinement of my life, to include only what I love or find to be useful. So these preparation years are about editing not ony the physical and financial, but also how I view my place in this world. The last thing I’m interested in is living in a 55+ golfing community. No judgment on anyone who wants that, but I would be bored to tears. I would rather save my tears for adventures.

    Libran, I also read and will reread The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (published 2012 by AARP) by Jan Cullinane. It’s excellent information, and it actually relieved me of some of the worry I had about retiring as a single woman who never had children. Anyone who is a librarian may also want to read Pre- and Post-Retirement Tips for Librarians (2011) by Carol Smallwood. I found this helpful, although not everything applied.

    by Elaine — March 25, 2015

  66. Elaine–your list of what you want to do in retirement makes me want to pump my fists and yell, “Yes!” I love that you have been preparing for a few years for retirement and that you’ve given so much thought to where you want to be and what you want to do. I wish I has as much forethought, but the city in which I was employed offered a “golden handshake” to employees of a certain age in order to save money, and I took the offer without thinking much about what retirement would mean for me. My financial advisor did the numbers and said I would be fine financially, and I felt I was ready toenter another chapter in my life. I am a retired librarian, not a Libra, so I thank you for your recommendation of Carol Smallwood’s book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    by Libran — March 25, 2015

  67. Lisa: you are terrific for answering all these questions about chattanooga; I wonder if you would mind a few more; What are the yearly property taxes and HOA fee for your community, plus, since you are familiar with the area, are there any 55 plus communities nearby that you could recommend? Thanks so much for your time.

    by judy — March 25, 2015

  68. Judy- I a happy to assist. Your property taxes are based on whether you live in the city or not. I live in the city and my taxes are approximately $3000 for the year. If I did not live in the city my taxes would be about half. My HOA fees are $225 a month however, you could buy a smaller condo and your taxes and HOA fees would be less. 55 plus developments have not really taken off in Tennessee however, their is a lovely development called Greenbriar Cove which is located in Collegedale (5 -8 miles from Chattanooga and no city taxes). Another community that is very nice is called Tellico Village (outside of Knoxville). It is not a 55 plus community however, everyone I know that lives there is over 55.

    by LisaJ — March 26, 2015

  69. Hi all. I’m from Austin, Tx, but originally from Chicago, then to the Rio Grande, Corpus Christi now north of Austin. I retired from teaching history at 50 and spent 10 wonderful years on 5 acres out in the country south of Austin messin’ with 5 horses, dogs, cats and chickens while I wrote a historical novel. I was in heaven! The great thing about Austin is that even from the city you can be in the country in ten minutes. Even now when I go to the nearest grocery store I pass a field of cows on the way. Luv it!

    So I was happily married with my husband and critters until 2009 when my DH was diagnosed with lung cancer. I lost him in 2011. I had to sell that place because we were pretty far out and by that time I had some major medical issues so I moved close to my son and DIL just north of Austin because they were an hour away and it would make it too hard on them if I needed help. So I did move fast but I found and bought a place that was laid out well just in case I wanted to rent some of the rooms.

    So this isn’t exactly a Golden Girl experience but it’s a little similar. I had been single in my 30’s and had bought a 4/2 repo cottage and I would get renters in because even teaching I was pretty poor. While I lived there with my son for 8 years with one woman staying the whole time and paying rent, I practically rebuilt the darn place and sold it for twice what I paid.

    I also started renting the home I’m in now. First to a friend who was divorced. She stayed for a year and paid me $700 a month (bills included). When she moved to Houston I took a home share online class to keep from making mistakes that I had made before. I was very slow deciding who to rent to but since mid-February have been renting to a 52 year old retired army vet who is now working for the school district. He pays me $650 a month and helps with the chores and heavy lifting. It is also a fantastic tax break because I have a home office and can take of 40% off everything I use to keep the house going and 100% on things just for his living areas. I have a small living room in the front of the house that I don’t use and then he has his room and own bath, all at the front of the house and I live at the back. He walks my dog and gets the mail and takes out the trash and cleans up better than I do myself. Talk about a great way to save money!

    It took me a few weeks to get used to having someone around again, but now that I’m finally getting my health back, I will be so busy that I’ll probably only see him at dinner time or coming and going. He’s also a great cook. Too bad I have to lose the weight I gained over Xmas. Bummer!

    A lot of people love Austin. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. for the last 20 years, (a reason I left Chicago, sigh). I did so much traveling when I was younger I don’t know what I want to do now or where I want to go, so this will hold me for a while. I just turned 64 and I have only one son and finally got a grandson so I’m staying put for a while. The only thing is that Austin is a very bad place for allergies and I’ve had a 14 year headache that I’ve had to deal with ever since I moved here. And Texas is hot, hot, hot! Supposed to by 90 next Friday. So much for spring.

    There is a town just north of Austin, Georgetown, that has a Sun City neighborhood and Georgetown has a small college and retired people can take classes free. And of course they are just a half hour from Austin, 1 ½ hours from San Antone, 2 hours from Houston and Dallas.
    About 3 hours from the coast, fishing villages and Corpus Christi. Lots of places to go and people to see! Austin is very central to a lot of things. And even though I’m not a ‘born an’ raised Texan’, I taught Texas history for 10 years and came to love it. So much to see and do and so many different types of regions from forrest, to swamp to desert to mountains!

    Anyway, hope I helped with a bit of useful info!

    by Pat P — March 27, 2015

  70. Hi this is Gloria again. Any first hand experience with Sun City Center Florida?

    by Gloria — March 28, 2015

  71. I’ve really found this discussion helpful. Thanks for all the comments.

    I’m interested in 55 plus communities yet hesitate. My background is single, retired, 68 and very active with more specialized involvement in music, both Jazz and classical, piano and guitar and singing–some professional work–and also volunteer hospital musician work. Other interests in golf, hiking etc.

    Have lived in the pricey SF Bay Area for 20 plus years and think it’s appealing for social reasons to move to a 55 plus community somewhere more affordable. After researching and visiting some of these communities in areas around CA and beyond, I find myself hesitating. It could be the challenges of just starting over in general at 68 and also because re-establishing especially music connections somewhere new could be tough. Also, I ask myself if there would likely be other like-minded souls in these communities…perhaps it’s unrealistic.

    So I wonder if anyone reading this has these types of concerns…specific interests being available or not when considering moving to a 55 plus community in a new area? I’d be interested in your thoughts and/or what you’re doing to find out if a community of interest is a good “fit”?

    by Beverly — March 28, 2015

  72. Beverly, I don’t think that you should expect the 55+ community to deliver all of your needs. I considered the 55+ community first and what it had to offer for sport (golf & hiking), learning & continuing education, entertainment & dining, social (clubs/travel/sport). Then I wanted to make sure the city provided what I was looking for beyond that – such as theatre, music venues, shopping, dining, easy to travel from, etc… I did not want a community too far from city so rejected 55+ communities that were large, isolated and somewhat self contained. We chose the Tucson, AZ region…liked the college town, liked a progressive city, liked the size of city. Although I am married our community is about 25% singles and that was important too…if I were single would I fit in? We were also nervous about starting over…funny thing was everyone in the community seemed to be in the same boat so we were all eager to find those friendships and social relationships. You might consider a 1-3 month furnished rental in a 55+ community to get a better feel for the lifestyle.

    by LJ — March 29, 2015

  73. Thanks for sharing your process for sorting out what was important to you about The 55 plus community and Tuscon. It’s good to hear that your choice worked out so well. Much appreciated your comments!

    by Beverly — March 29, 2015

  74. I am 58, single, more involved in the dog world than most, and decided upon canta mia in Goodyear arizona.

    by Nancy — March 31, 2015

  75. I’m planning to sell my 4BR colonial in NJ in late summer/early fall; am very interested in researching college university towns. I took to heart the advice at top of this blog to avoid suburbs even if it’s whet your’re used to: very isolating and lonely.. I’m thinking about Greenville, SC, Elkins WV, Peterborough NH ,Oberlin OH, Annapolis MD and Richmond IN among other places. Also Madison WI. I’d welcomecomments on any of these places, or other college/university towns. I’mopen to Northeast, southeastor Midwest.Not FL because it’s where EVERYBODY goes,and not southwest because I’ve lived all my life in the east or midwest and just do’t think I could get used to the climate. Portland OR or ME are options too..

    by Leslie — March 31, 2015

  76. Nancy,
    I, too, am involved in the dog world and that makes a difference in where I am considering for retirement. I did SAR, but that will not be part of my future. any more. I still like agility, obedience and would like to do get involved with rally, nosework, barn huniting etc in retirement as well. I did some conformation, but that just wasn’t me. What do you do with your dogs and what makes Goodyear AZ a good place for dog owners? Like Lesie above, I am more inclined to stick to the east coast, but dog stuff sounds good!

    by elaine — April 1, 2015

  77. Leslie – Your post caught my eye and I wanted to respond. I am single and am doing some pre-early retirement planning. I wondered about your comment on living in the suburbs, and it seems to me that it would depend on your individual situation (ie: ability to drive, willingness to be outgoing). Most of my friends have come from going to classes, joining a quilt guild, volunteering and stuff like that. There are always churches, meetup groups, gyms, online meetups, lots of opportunities if one only takes the initiative.

    Also, I wanted to comment on Portland Oregon, where I have lived for 25 years in the west side suburbs, since it was a place that you were considering. There seems to be very few postings on Northwest retirement. I have come to the conclusion that there is no nirvana, so you have to just look at the pros and cons and see what you can live with. It is different for everyone. I have only lived on the West coast, so exploring other parts of the country sounds interesting. I love Portland, but there are definitely some things that may be more of a consideration later in life.

    So…the pros: It is beautiful, lush and green around here (easy to have a garden if you are so inclined). Waterfalls, mountains and beaches are all within 1.5 hour’s drive away. The high desert in Bend is 3.5 hours away. Tons of cultural stuff going on year round. Many festivals and farmer’s markets in the summer. Plenty of colleges, outdoor activities, fantastic library system and great medical care. Lots of shopping and volunteer opportunities. Huge mecca for foodies (particularly downtown and on the east side). No sales tax. Snow is minimal (but the town shuts down when we have 1/4″…we just don’t have the equipment available to deal with it effectively).

    Now the cons: It is expensive, but I guess it is relative to where you come from. State, property and estate taxes are high. If you tend to have allergies to molds and pollens, you will suffer. It is cloudy and rainy for a significant part of the year, although the four seasons are great and the temps are relatively mild. Very few 55+ communities.

    I would suggest checking out Summerfield in King City/Tigard, which is 55+. They have apts, houses, duplexes and assisted living. Basic needs (grocery, pharmacy, chain restaurants, banks, dentists) all within walking distance. There is a public (I think) golf course in the community. Pets seem to be allowed. I work in the area, so these are just observations. Hope this helps, but if you have any other questions please let me know. Sorry for the lengthy post.

    by Shauna — April 5, 2015

  78. I am planning to retire in Mexico where I live now helping other single women seeking to preserve their nest egg while living in a beautiful, interesting setting. Healthcare costs are projected to take most of people’s social security checks by the time they retire, housing shortages are already occurring for middle income Baby boomers and food costs are rising consistently (see WSJ article). These problems won’t be solved in the next 10 years and I plan on living with dignity in gentle surroundings.

    by Kerry Baker — April 8, 2015

  79. Kerry, I currently live in Mexico-where are you?

    by Nyla Cardenas-Alley — April 9, 2015

  80. Admin: I love this blog, BUT
    this is the second day in a row that i cannot get to the these topics:

    Admin Note: Sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately it is an occasional and recurring problem that has defied any solution from this end. It is not you, it has to do with WordPress (our Blog platform). Once someone has been on the site many times the pileup of cookies causes some kind of gridlock. The solution is for you to clear your cookies. That is of course a pain in the neck, but one that everyone should do occasionally anyway. Once you clear your cookies/history you should go to the correct page. Let us know if not.

    by ella — April 10, 2015

  81. I’ve also had this problem on a few occaissons. Sometimes I have been able to go on to the next article, read the posts, then go back to the one that had the problem and then it would connect. I’ve also used the “Recent Blogs” index on the right side to find the article or the “Post Archives” index also. It takes a little manipulating but It works for me.

    by BRFGolfNut — April 10, 2015

  82. Something I do when I have this problem is go to the previous days e-mail of the blog updates and click on the link in that e-mail.

    by Tessa — April 10, 2015

  83. Admin: Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll see how it works!
    My thanks to you, BRFGolfNut and Tessa, as well.

    by ella — April 11, 2015

  84. Now that we hopefully sorted out this annoying problem, or at least given a bandaid to fix, we welcome more comments on retiring as a single! BTW, today we published the followup article which summarizes and categorizes the amazing diversity of comments we received here. Thanks to all for that.

    by Admin — April 28, 2015

  85. I have attempted the international route living now in Hua Hin, Thailand. I miss snowboarding and cycling as my Treks are in storage in Alabama. Not many Americans here, mostly expats from Europe.
    I will fly in the summer to Arizona and travel through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana looking for a placid serene area with outdoor amenities.

    by Ric — April 29, 2015

  86. Lest anyone thinks that Boise, Idaho is the ideal location to retire, I can advise that you think it over carefully. I am a widow aged 68, and have lived here for 24 years. Boise does have 4 seasons, but summer is brutally hot with terrible air quality that’s made worse with smoke from both nearby wildfires, and as far away as California. The winters, while there’s not a lot of deep snow, are PLAGUED with inversions…and the air quality is even worse than summer. These inversions can continue for weeks on end – foggy, gloomy, no sunshine – and the desire to swallow poison and jump off a bridge is real. Spring and Fall are lovely, and the rest of the year sucks. Go to “Sperling’s Best Places” and enter “Boise City” and read the 12/14/2014 by the person who sums up Boise perfectly. I am eagerly looking for a way out of here. While I like the city itself, the state is an embarrassment at every level. The average retiree can’t afford to live in the city where it’s nice, and will be forced to find a home in the burbs where the traffic is horrible. There are no retirement communities here.

    by Toni — May 28, 2015

  87. What about us single men?

    by Roger Stevens — December 30, 2015

  88. Roger – The same tips for finding friendships and a good retirement community would seem to apply to men. I’ve been browsing the Villages and some of the other communities to see what kind of stuff is available for solos. I’ve noticed that many of the communities have clubs and events like men’s morning coffee meet-ups at restaurants, poker clubs, golf outings, etc. Someone recommended that I take a look at, since I’m temporarily in a new community for work. I’m getting notices of events, and some of them are just for 55+ men. One of my kids has mentioned that a retired widower volunteers at his place of employment (a charitable foundation). I’d say the majority of the suggestions for activities, finding friendships and communities for solo women are going to apply to solo men. There are fewer of you, so you probably only have to worry about being outnumbered and being chased by women who miss male companionship. will make a t-shirt that asks them to leave you alone, if that becomes a problem :-).

    by Kate — December 31, 2015

  89. Need ideas! I’m a widower planning on retirement in a year or so. I’ll leave my present work-related home, but not sure where I want to go. I’ve always been a bit of a recluse, more so since wife’s death, and am OK with being alone, at least for now. I’d like to live in a blue state near a natural feature (forest, wilderness, desert, mountain or water). I have a dog – he’s about my age (adjusted). We want to be able to play on the beach or in the forest. A good friend lives in the UP of Michigan and loves it. It’s a pretty remote area. I asked what he would do if he had a heart attack or something – he said “I might die, but with a smile on my face.” I’m considering that, the Olympic Peninsula, and maybe the Outer Banks. The more I Google the more confused I become. Any tips welcomed!!

    by Kjorge — January 1, 2016

  90. In almost the same boat as Kjorge, and I’ll be interested in reading any suggestions that are provided to him. I also have reclusive tendencies. I’m really struggling with the threshhold decision of 55+ community, home or condo. I can see pros and cons for each choice. I should try to be less of an introvert, to avoid spending the next 20 years alone now that spouse is deceased. My kids who are now launched in starter-careers in other states tease me that Mom has to make some little friends, and schedule play dates. Grrrrr – grown kids can be so obnoxious LOL.

    55+ communities seem to be the best option for having activities and perks in exchange for a larger HOA fee. However, if I don’t participate in activities, I’ll just be funding them for others. I also don’t want to put myself in a situation where I feel forced to socialize because of cliques. Being a recluse in a home in a family neighborhood might be even more isolating. I’d love to hear from some other introverted solo’s – what are you deciding to do?

    I don’t want to give up finding large public library, good hospitals, lawn care, handyman, cleaning lady etc. by moving to a remote cabin in the woods, as tempting as it is. I’m narrowing down states by weather and cost of living (SC, FL and certain parts of PA are still on the list), but making the threshhold decision on going 55+ or not is a hangup on making further progress.

    by Kate — January 2, 2016

  91. Hi Kate.
    As an introvert, I need the downtime away from people. My plan is to rent a condo near a city where there are lots of things to do and see where that takes me. Then I’ll decide if I want to nettle down based upon my experiences. I hope you embrace your quiet time. There’s a website called quiet rev that you might enjoy.

    by Nancy G — January 2, 2016

  92. Kate, If you can afford the HOA fees why don’t you rent at a 55+ community you think you might like. That way you won’t be locked in if you find it isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe after 6 months or a year you will hate it or love it. During the year you could scout for the perfect unit. Maybe you could find one that is a bit more secluded that would fit your reclusive tendencies. Try out the clubs and activities. Some people are very welcoming and others not so much.

    What I suggest is:
    1, Find a 55+ place that you love in a state you listed above
    2. Rent a unit for 6 months to a year
    3. Join clubs that appeal to you
    4. Visit other 55+ places during the year
    5. If you find another 55+ place you like better; move and rent again
    6. After you have tested the waters of a 55+ lifestyle and if you don’t like it; move into a traditional home

    Moving is no fun, maybe you could find a fully furnished unit to rent! Put your stuff in storage or sell it all!

    You will not know if you like the 55+ lifestyle till you try it. My biggest hang up is the HOA costs. Depending on how much HOA you are comfortable paying that might be a starting point for you. Of coarse, HOA’s like taxes, go up each year.

    I am an introvert but not solo. We live in a traditional home that we built in 1975. I am ready for a new adventure but also not sure what we want to do yet. Hub retired in April last year. Good luck on whatever you decide to do!

    by Louise — January 2, 2016

  93. I remember an article about co-housing on this website, which could be an option for single retiree’s. Anyone could try it, in the area that you wish to live, storing most of your things, until you find somewhere more to your liking. Sort of a stepping stone, before a final decision.

    by DeyErmand — January 2, 2016

  94. It is interesting to stumble upon this discussion. I’m recently retired, left the north (hated the cold and snow) and am currently residing with my sister in the midatlantic until I figure out what is next. I have several dogs, which makes me much less mobile. I would prefer to be renting a place further south (NC, SC, FL) but no one wants to rent to a single woman with 5 dogs. I bought an RV, thinking that was my next step, but my elderly Lab can’t tolerate it. So that plan is on hold for now.

    I’m looking for an active community – don’t really care if it’s 55+ or not – wanting to live an outdoor life. I am also an introvert, so am not really a joiner, and need to live alone. I am middle-income at best, so a lot of the ‘nicer’ communities are out of my reach. I also don’t know if I ever want to own a house again.

    What I really would like to find is a midsized walkable town, where I’m not so car dependent. I think I’m looking for something that doesn’t really exist – a lovely, small, walkable, affordable town, warm, close to water. I know I need to explore, but right now all I can do is explore via internet.

    I am really not adding anything to this discussion, so sorry about that. But I’m enjoying reading it. I just hope I find an answer – and a place – within the next few years.

    by Judy — January 2, 2016

  95. Kjorge/Kate; Look into the area just south of Carson City, Reno Nevada. Mindin, Garrdnerville. And east is Dayton, and the small town I moved to Fallon. You have desert, if you want. Lakes Tahoe and Pyramid. Lots of pine trees. All in about an hours drive. Lots of new housing going up. Their are not many 55+ communities. Lots open space if that’s your thing. I believe this area is going to become a place where many retire’s are going to settle.

    by marr — January 2, 2016

  96. Here’s what I went through–looked at those big complexes with lots of fees, guards at the gate, etc., and decided that was too much for me. Frankly, I think gated communities are nonsense–it’s very expensive to pay somebody to sit in that gatehouse and if somebody is determined to get in, they will find a way. I just found those communities too big. I thought of a single house, but didn’t really want to take on the upkeep and expense of a private pool. A pool is really a necessity in Florida. Finally found a small condo association (16 units) on a lovely wide canal. We have a pool and that’s all. No paying for amenities I may or may not use. The people here are very friendly and I can be as social or not social as I wish. The city has plenty of opportunities for socializing, exercise, clubs, etc. should I wish to partake. So far I’ve been happy with my choice.

    by Linda — January 2, 2016

  97. Marr, can you please say more about Fallon? I can’t believe someone actually mentioned it because it is so isolated. But being that we are retired military, it is a place my husband and I have discussed checking out. Would appreciate any information you can give. Thanks.

    by Alice — January 3, 2016

  98. Hi Judy. I suggest looking into New Bern, North Carolina. I’m pretty much looking for the same things as you, and New Bern seems to be my answer. A friend of mine visited New Bern and loved it so much that he bought some land on which he plans to build a house.

    by Amy — January 3, 2016

  99. Marr – thanks for the idea about western NV. Looks really interesting after a quick search on the web. That’s exactly the sort of fresh, new ideas I hoped to find. Thank you!!

    by Kjorge — January 3, 2016

  100. Linda, your report on your Florida community sounds nice as I am also leaning towards Florida. What city do you live in? Thanks!!!

    by Kathy — January 3, 2016

  101. Amy – thanks! It is one of the areas I was recently reading about.

    by Judy — January 3, 2016

  102. Alice; Fallon is very friendly to military and retirees. The Top Gun training base for the navy is on the east side of Fallon. Many businesses offer discounts to all the sailors, and veterans. Fallon is known as The Oasis of Nevada. Lots of ranching and farming going on here. Yes farming. Before I came out here thought Nevada was mostly desert. I retired 3 years ago, bought an RV and sold my house in Wisconsin. I basically toured the southwest for a couple of years. Visited many places, Fallon reminds me a little bit of Wisconsin. That’s why I stopped here. You don’t have to go far outside the city, to be in the desert. It snows a lot, just west of Reno, in the mountains, but the snow doesn’t make here. Google Fallon and check city-data to find out more. I think you have visit, and live around a place for several weeks before you know if its for you. Kjorge; I used to live close to the UP. Do you know that parts of the area get well over 200 inches of snow. Do you really want shovel snow for 5 months. Hope you find what you want.

    by marr — January 4, 2016

  103. Kathy, I’m in Cape Coral on the Gulf side of Florida. I’m in the SE section on the Rubicon Canal.

    by Linda — January 4, 2016

  104. Thanks for the good information Marr. We’ll definitely keep Fallon on our list.

    by Alice — January 5, 2016

  105. Hi, looking for advise on how to search communities. Looking at sw Flo. And gone down by myself to look. So scary being alone. Wasn’t sure where to look, how to look. Just drove around feeling lost. How does one connect with a community. Being an introvert and niave I really need suggestions. I love nature and would love to sit and watch birds, fish or any living creatures. . Thanks jeanne

    by Jeanne — January 10, 2016

  106. This comment came in from mzboomer:

    Really need information about where single/widowed vibrant and youthful (although chronologically “up there” in years) women are going. May be hitting 70 but look and feel like 55!! HELP US PLEASE!!!! Not ready for the senior citizen lifestyle, but need a new environment with peers of my age. Seriously speaking–really and truly need advice. Don’t want to go live with kids.

    by Admin — April 6, 2016

  107. Thank you all. I’m not alone in this retirement deliima. I’m in so Cali and want out. I will be 66 next year and looking at north Idaho or Washington. I’m alone. It’s a bit scary doing it alone. I’m not rich but hopefully comfortable and would like to find a roommate(s) to perhaps rent a place with before actually committing to buy, but have not found a safe website that caters to this idea. I would like to find a small town feel with cottage-like homes. We don’t need much anymore, just want to enjoy nature. I like cool weather, especially in summer. Tired of so cal’s hot summers, for that matter, it’s hot winters, springs and falls. Like the ocean and like the woods. I’m a cat and dog person. Just want to enjoy a martini, or glass of wine with friends and chat while gazing at the sun setting over the sea or a beautiful lake in the mtns. Any suggestions or takers are welcomed.

    by Vickie — April 7, 2016

  108. Vickie, I am totally on your page. I want out of LA, but have limited income and note your areas of interest are pretty snowbound in winter.

    by Pam — April 7, 2016

  109. Hi Pam and Vickie, I am single now after being a widow for a few years. I was in S. California.. L.A for many years, and needed to get out of there. I choose the Phoenix area, and love it. Yes it get really hot here in July, Aug, Sept. but you find ways around that. Even though I love the beauty of the NW, I can’t take the cold winters, or the gloom anymore. I moved out here not knowing anyone, and I found it very each to meet really nice people. I have been here 5 years now with no regrets. I would suggest go explore, and take to people in a place for a couple of months first before making the move. Hope this helps. Loralee

    by Loralee — April 8, 2016

  110. I’m in Tucson, and yes we have hot summers, but the rest of the year is beautiful. I lived in Tacoma WA for 3 years and you have to like it pretty cold and very gloomy to like that climate. Not my cup of tea. I like upstate NY better. Summers not too hot, and winter is snowy but sunny. I don’t like gloom.

    by Ginger — April 8, 2016

  111. Pam, Ginger, and Loralee, thanks foe your input. I prefer the colder climate and I’m an indoorsy type so I don’t think snow will bother me that much if prepared for it. But I will continue researching to make sure the place I choose does not get 12 feet of snow, a few inches is good for me. But if anyone hears of a site for us to find safe and reliable roommates please post. I still haven’t ruled out Prescott, as it is close to my kids in so Cal…

    by Vickie — April 8, 2016

  112. I plan to retire in 2 years – I’ll be 70 but in reasonably good health and active. I currently live in Chicago but plan on retiring in the Phoenix area. I hate the cold and will welcome even the hot weather in summer. I rent now and plan on renting in Phoenix but my research has turned up very few rental communities for active, mature adults. In this blog and other blogs I have read suggestions that one should rent in an 55+ active community before buying. An active adult 55+ community is very appealing to me, but how do I find an active adult 55+ community that has rental units? I’ve checked many, many 55+ websites but have found less than 10 that rent units, none at all in the Phoenix area. Help, please!!

    by Edna — April 8, 2016

  113. Edna, you might try this online strategy. Locate and write down the zip codes of 1 or more 55+ communities that you think you might like to rent in. Then go to and/or Zillow/Rentals and search each zip code, one at a time. See what rental units are advertised for each 55+ community, or rental community/area. There should be a few active rentals in each 55+ community, as a number of 55+ units typically are bought for investment and renting only. Good luck with your research! Write if you have any questions.

    by Ann C — April 9, 2016

  114. Edna, a lot of real estate agents here in Phoenix from large compainies like Coldwell Bankers can search rentals for you.

    by Loralee — April 9, 2016

  115. Edna. I’m in Tucson and renters find units in our development a couple of ways… or our community monthly Newsletter which we put online. I know that our main office gets calls from people wanting to rent but the rentals are covered directly by the homeowners. And, as Loralee said often rental assistance will come from a local realtor…we occasionally have a rental home on MLS handled by a realtor. So you need to reach the homeowners who are renting their home the HOA or community is not the renting agent most often.

    by ljtucson — April 9, 2016

  116. I am single, divorced, age 64.
    I am looking for a place to retire to, moving from CT with its high, high taxes, snowy winters, though I’ll definitely miss the shoreline. I am considering NC, northern CA, and AZ.
    But I hate bugs, esp. roaches. Many years ago, I was traveling on business in Phoenix and Tucson, and the roaches there fly! What I want to know is if it is possible to find sections of AZ that are nice in winter, tolerable in summer, and not so “buggy.” I am trying to avoid places that are very hot and very humid in the summer, because I am highly sensitive to the sun.
    Does such a place exist (and with reasonable taxes) for a 64 year old single man who needs more social contact than he’s found here in Hartford, CT?

    by Johnara — April 9, 2016

  117. Edna – checkout the Fountain Hills AZ area – it’s safe, quiet and a small walking community where your rental dollar goes a lot further.

    by KATHY — April 9, 2016

  118. I’m a widower, I’m living in Southern Pa. The area is nice, but for families and not singles. I’m willing to drive up to an hour to meet. However, single women around here view anyone outside of a 15 minute drive as a long distance romance. The 15-30 minute Maryland population, look at Pennsylvania as a foreign country. I don’t know if it is the Amish influence or the Mason-Dixon line, either way it is what it is.

    I am starting after this winter to view the snow/ice as more of an enemy as towards a pleasant change to the seasons. Last year, I spent a month in the Tampa/Port Charlotte area checking out the 55+ retirement areas.

    I’m looking at relocation towards having a personal reset. The area up here does have many memories and good ones of me and my late wife. I prefer to think of it as when I was in the military…another place and another place to discover, enjoy, savor and learn about. I don’t know about the heat and humidity during that 6 or 8 month long summer, but that’s why there is A/C.

    Personally, if I can meet someone to enjoy what’s left of this existence with. Make some good friends along the way, and friends good enough to wonder where I’m at, when I’m supposed to be somewhere aka “folks that give a crap about one another” but aren’t in the ‘busy body’ category.

    If you have any experiences or ideas, I’m open. Likewise, yes, female companionship would be great! I’m not looking for booty calls, and my doctor up here warned me last March, when I told him that I was going to Florida to check out 55+ communities gave me a pamphlet of the rising rates of STDs/HIV within our age group.

    I’ve looked online at other states (NC, SC, TV, TX, AZ) but all I see are places that I couldn’t afford even if I were saving for 12 reincarnations! I have a good retirement plan, probably average by most. So where and what works for you?

    Thanks and sorry for the long email.

    by Mark — April 10, 2016

  119. Mark, I am not in your situation and am married. However, this information might be helpful to afford to buy a home.

    One thing I would encourage you to look into is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). Here is a link that explains how it works:

    You have to be age 62 or older to qualify. You still have to put approximately half down on the house you buy and I believe it is determined by age the percentage you have to put down. It has its pro’s and cons. The article will explain.

    I personally have not used this but if you currently have a home and sell it, you could sell your current home for lets say $150,000, buy a new home for $150,000 elsewhere with the HECM mortgage and put $75,000 down then put the other $75,000 in the bank to spend as you like.

    If/when I move, I will definitely look into this more. We have no children to leave our money to so we might as well use this program.

    This program has been around a while but not that many people seem to know about it. Not sure if banks do this loan or the Realtor you hire has to arrange this loan. It might be smart to ask the Realtor about this program from the get go and if they aren’t familiar, find one that is. Good Luck on your new adventures!

    by Louise — April 10, 2016

  120. Hi Louise,

    Thanks for the information. I was trying to think of a way to explain what I was thinking, but to best way is to just say it like I saw them. For some of these places, the starting range was beyond $500,000 and the top end was $5 million.

    I was thinking “This is retirement?” Obviously out of my league, why is this even a retirement community? When I think of areas like this, I think of the Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Outer Banks, etc. very exclusive areas.

    Anyway, thanks for the info Louise. I’ll definitely look into it.

    by Mark — April 10, 2016

  121. I keep going back and forth on 55+ communities, as an introvert with career and family experiences that are somewhat unique (caregiver for early onset Alz spouse while raising family on my own – no other family; high pressure career). I was either meeting famiy needs or career needs, and am hesitant about starting all over again. I can’t really see myself hanging out with the girls LOL. On the other hand, I think a 55+ community offers the chances of finding interesting interactions with others to keep myself from being isolated for th 20+ years of retirement. I have spotted communities in all price ranges on, and am focusing on the larger communities in belief that they wll have the largest number of clubs and opportunities.

    I agree with Mark on the upward range. I was just looking at the award winners for clubhouses in the new Where to Retire magazine, and one of the is located at one of those upward-end 55+ communities. If I’m going to spend $750K or so for a home in a 55+ community, I’d expect a nice clubhouse (roll eyes). I’m more interested in retirement communities in safe lower-cost-of-living locations, where a widowed middle class retiree can be comfortable on a fixed income.

    by Kate — April 11, 2016

  122. Hi Mark and Kate
    A nice area to check out is South Pasadena in Florida, The Islands, Harbourside, and look on South Shore Dr. there’s more. Price ranges from $80,000 and up, just depends on location, condo size and what floor. Very walkable area, about 5 min to St Pete Beach.

    by Carolyn — April 11, 2016

  123. Hi, I am single, retired and currently living in Virginia Beach, VA. I am looking to buy a place in Northern California, at a place called Rio Vista, 55 & over community.
    I am in the process of selling my home and plan on going out to California as soon as I can.
    I am looking to rent a room, so if anyone is interested stay in contact with me.
    Also, if anyone knows anything about Rio Vista, let me know.
    The place sounds wonderful. San Francisco is 60 miles away, wine country is close and Lake Tahoe is a few hours away. Lots to do!
    I use to live in SF years ago and I love the area.
    Rio Vista is far enough away from the big city, a small, quaint, community, yet both worlds.
    My name is Maryann, and my email is
    All the best everyone!

    by Maryann Barnes — April 11, 2016

  124. Thanks, Carolyn! Great practical, affordable suggestions!

    by Ann — April 11, 2016

  125. By the way I might not have made myself clear, but I am buying a home and looking to rent out a room!
    Contact me if you are interested.

    by Maryann Barnes — April 11, 2016

  126. I have just committed to a 55+ community in Los Lunas New Mexico.
    My husband passed away 2 and a half years ago and and also looking for a place to create new memories-am currently living in Mexico, so this will be quite an ordeal.
    Prices are reasonable, 20 minutes to the airport, 60-80 minutes to Santa Fe (and it has a commuter train that costs $8)-have loved the landscape for many years.

    by Nyla — April 11, 2016

  127. Hi Maryann, my name is Vickie. I have looked into Rio Vista and their other communities, especially in WA. CA taxes are high coupled with the HOA fees. It was too much for me as a single. I currently live in So Cal. Plan to retire in 2017. Good luck.

    by Vickie — April 11, 2016

  128. To: Kathy, ljtucson, Loralee, and Ann C: My thanks to all of you for your suggestions! I feel much more optimistic about finding a rental in a 55+ community now. I will start my research now, maybe next year fly out to visit possible communities, and relocate sometime in 2018. Thanks!

    by Edna — April 11, 2016

  129. Mark:
    I agree with you. I, too, live in So Central PA – outside Chambersburg. Frankly, I’ve had enough of snow, and winter in general, along with the high property taxes. I have also looked and looked as well as explore various websites and Zillow and I’m about ready to pull my hair out. I have visited The Villages (too crowded, getting expensive…not for me). Last year I visited Sarasota (stayed in So Sarasota which I liked). I liked the area but was only there for a week – a lot to do. It was hot but, like you said, that is what A/C is for. I did drive through Venice but my “guide” just gave me a quick drive-through which wasn’t of much help. I would like to try and see that area again and possibly Cape Coral but that is one large city. Not sure where all the singles retire – I’m beginning to think such a place doesn’t exist. Since I’m on the back half of my life, I’d like to get this ball rolling so that I can settle down and enjoy it. Don’t know if you’d have an interest in communicating off this site, but, if so, contact me at: Maybe if we put out heads together, we might be able to come up with something.

    by K L Fulford — April 11, 2016

  130. Johnara,

    I have lived in the Phoenix area (east valley: Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee) for over 20 years, and I have NEVER had a problem with roaches. In my experience, roaches come when there is food waste to eat. As long as you keep your kitchen clean, you shouldn’t have a problem.

    I was born and raised in Ohio and lived in the Washington, DC suburbs before moving to Arizona, and we have far fewer bugs of all types here than anywhere else I have lived or visited.

    Dave Hughes

    by Dave Hughes — April 12, 2016

  131. Last year we spent some time in Florida looking for the perfect retirement community. We went to the Villages, Del Webb properties, Top of the World, and many others in and around Ocala. We found them all to be pretty expensive for a retirement budget. Looking now in the Spring Hill area and really like what we see. Planning on another “retirement site-seeing” trip soon.

    by Pat — April 12, 2016

  132. I looked at relocating to a warm climate but decided starting over was not for me. I am single and bought a home in an active adult community in the northern suburbs of Chicago where I have lived all my life. It is near my children and many long time friends, doctors and family. I love the easy lifestyle. No yard maintenance yet I still have a small yard. Lots of activities and trips if I choose to participate. The neighborhood watch program makes me comfortable leaving for a vacation. It is quiet and peaceful here with small lakes, bike and walking trails. Still have to deal with the winter but since I do not have to shovel let it snow!

    by Linda — April 12, 2016

  133. Hi Carolyn, K L, and all,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts. It is tough looking and such.

    Has anyone (single) in their experiences rented for 1-3 months at a 55+ community, then bought there? Is so, were there any surprises that you still had? Or things that you didn’t anticipate regarding your relocation? Or possibly things/costs that you may not have seen coming and wished you knew about during your “rental trial” ?

    If you’re single, how was the single life? Easy to fit in to the area?


    by Mark — April 12, 2016

  134. Hi Mark, after looking at other states/cities Florida just felt right to me, had everything I have been looking for. I was looking to move to Venice, but after some search Venice was to isolated for me, I ended up in South Pasadena Florida, a very walkable area that I am in, St Pete Beach has a laid back feeling, old beach charm.
    Most places to lease are for 3 months which remember the snow birds are doing the same, you can sign up for different activities, some cost to do others are free. Meeting people and making new friends take time, and finding out whom are the ones living there full time.
    It is also nice to go to the beach and seeing other single older adults enjoying the Gulf just as much as I do, or eating out at a restaurants, to me everyone blends nicely.
    I did a lot of online research for most of the cost, others take living there to find out, it is cheaper gas, food, dining out, travel, doctors, list goes on for me.
    For now I am truly love the area I live in, just the beauty one makes me smile.

    by carolyn — April 13, 2016

  135. Hi, Carolyn. Thanks for the information on So. Pasedena. I was also looking at Bradenton for a long term rental to start and wondered how walkable that community was; and also interested in a place to take art classes.

    by Elaine — April 20, 2016

  136. I have been living single in Panama for the last 3 years. From a financial standpoint, I could not be retired now if I was still living in the states. Living here however has afforded me a wonderful lifestyle on a limited budget. More than the surprising cost of living is the expat community that seems to form where ever there are expats in numbers. Personally, I have never had such support in my life as I have here. So many of the concerns that retirees have when thinking about moving to a new country can be easily cushioned by moving to expat communities. We literally take care of each other and look out for each other. I can not say that would have happened if I had stayed in the large city I was a part of for over 20 years. Healthcare is top notch and affordable, not cheap but affordable. I live comfortably on around $800 a month and I own a home. Rents here run from $500 on up depending on the situation you want. For me it is very sad to see how many people continue to struggle single and alone in the US when there is such a great opportunity to be part of a group of supportive people elsewhere where you can learn new things, experience a good life and feel financially okay. I wish more single women would look into retiring abroad as an opportunity to rethink possibilities.

    by Nanette Witmer — June 14, 2016

  137. Where are the most popular places for single seniors to retire other than the villages in Florida? Most these develpments are mainly for couples. (from Susan)

    by Admin — June 14, 2018

  138. Mark sent in this comment asking for recommendations for communities that are more single-friendly:

    I’m a widower and would like to know what communities have things for singles or some discussion on whether singles are welcomed or not. Unfortunately, in a few social settings that I’ve been to the married couples aren’t very welcoming to those that are single.

    by Jane at Topretirements — March 5, 2019

  139. Great question. I saw huge numbers of widows in every one of the larger 55+ communities I visited. Some of them had breakfast clubs for men, that I thought was a really good idea.

    I ultimately retired in a non-55+ community of cluster homes with 1st floor bedrooms, lawn care, snow plowing etc. (it turned out to be a 55+ community anyway, since the neighborhood was so attractive to retirees.) The neighborhood doesn’t have organized clubs but I’ve discovered very active senior groups in the local library, community center, community college, political party meetings and more (including golf and other clubs for men). Volunteering during weekday hours attracts retirees too.

    One of the largest social groups that I’ve discovered for seniors is apparently an informal event at the grocery stores in the morning LOL. I’m meeting so many widowed and single seniors (men and women) while shopping!!!

    by Kate — March 6, 2019

  140. Green valley Arizona is great for singles, and there are many here. I started with the weekly singles club on Mondays, which has activities almost daily, from breakfast to lunches to happy hours and outings to museums and parks and special events. Very single friendly area! There is also a women’s group and a men’s group and even LGBTQ club. Add to that all the activity driven groups and it is hard not to find friends here.

    by Pat Reynolds — March 6, 2019

  141. I wonder if any of the singles on the thread from 2016 are still participating in the discussion here in 2019. If so, I would love to hear their words of wisdom now and any thoughts about where they did indeed finally end up and why. I hope we also get some updated ideas from singles too.

    by Jennifer — March 6, 2019

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