How to Thrive in Retirement as a Single Older Adult
Adjusting to retirement can be challenging as a single older adult. You may be confronted with feelings of loneliness or isolation. However, there are many ways to make this phase of life more enjoyable. Take a look!
Three Great Ways to Enjoy Retirement
1: Stay in Touch with Loved Ones in Person
The best way to stay in touch with those you love is to see them in person. Yes, we are living through a global pandemic, and depending on where you live you may soon see a return to mandated mask-wearing, even if you are fully vaccinated.
However, if you and your friends and family are fully vaccinated, there is no reason not to welcome them to your home, or visit them in theirs. It’s safer than going out to public places where you risk being close to unvaccinated adults.
Schedule regular get-togethers, such as Sunday dinner, or movie night. If you don’t like to cook, try suggesting that everyone bring an item. Of course, there’s always DoorDash or Grub Hub who will deliver from your favorite local restaurants in less time than it takes to set a table!
2: Get Involved in Your Community
If you have been an active volunteer throughout your life, this is not the time to stop. The need for community support is endless. If you are new to volunteerism, you may want to explore the needs of your local community. The following organizations not only offer a wide variety of opportunities, but they all have excellent reputations.
● Help a struggling child: Senior Corps Foster Grandparents
● Help build homes for families in need: Habitat for Humanity
● Combine travel and volunteering: Road Scholar
● Shelter a dog or cat: The Humane Society
● Join the Peace Corps: The Peace Corp / Retiree Volunteers
● Help refugees and immigrant children and their families: Our BRIDGE for Kids
● Support local farmers and the community: Urban Farm
● Help first-generation students successfully navigate to and through college: GenOne
3: Stay (or Get) Active
If you want to preserve your health or adopt some good new habits, now is a great time to recommit yourself to regular activity. Most gyms and fitness centers have programs geared toward older adults. They are also a great environment to meet other single seniors.
Don’t be concerned if you haven’t been to a gym in ages. New members of any age are welcomed with tours of equipment, classes, and coaching options. Committing to a regular workout schedule will not only improve your physical and mental well-being, but it’s also a great way to create healthy, new friendships. Today’s fitness centers may surprise you with amenities that foster connection including cafes, coffee shops, cooking classes, and outdoor swimming pools.
Make the Most of Retirement Community Living
Be a little selfish! One of the advantages of being a single senior is that when you decide to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or a Life Plan Community, you will have endless opportunities to pursue your passions, enjoy a worry-free lifestyle, and be as social as you want to be.
Choices, choices, and more choices. The not-so-secret benefit of Life Plan Communities is their dedication to offering just about everything today’s active seniors need and want to create a fulfilling and independent retirement lifestyle. Consider amenities you truly want as you do your research.
You’ll be in good company. Single seniors might think married couples dominate the landscape in Life Plan Communities, but that is far from true. Today, 45 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are divorced, separated, or widowed. While married couples do enjoy retirement living, the majority of residents in Life Plan Communities are single.
As the social landscape changes and as healthy seniors can live well into their 80s, 90s, and beyond, retirement communities have become particularly adept at providing help and social opportunities for seniors who live alone. Retirement communities are some of the best places to meet other single seniors who are seeking new relationships, whether romantic or platonic.
Choose A Top Retirement Destination
When you choose to retire to a city or state that is not your hometown, “destination retirement communities” are particularly tempting for single seniors. They offer attractive environments, new people, and endless venues to discover, as well as a serious commitment to wellness.
If you have decided that a retirement destination is for you, be sure to consider the following criteria.
Location. Loving the setting you choose is incredibly important when choosing a destination CCRC. Does it comfort you and delight you? Choose where you’ll live because you love it. Not to please someone else or to entice others to visit.
Climate. Just because you have friends in Florida, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you enjoy four distinct seasons, choose accordingly. Make sure you know what each season is like and be sure to visit any destination retirement community you are considering.
Proximity to what matters: For many destination retirees, what matters most regarding
location is a nearby airport! Activities and fine dining are offered in abundance inside senior living communities, and many communities have salons, fitness centers, even tennis and golf. Maybe you really want to be near an NFL or NBA team. Whether you want to walk to the beach, or have an airport within a short drive, “What do I want to be close to?” is an important question to answer.
Consider Charlotte – A Top Retirement Destination
Thanks to its mild climate, accessible location, and dynamic cultural landscape, Charlotte, NC is considered one of the best places for single seniors to retire.
Boasting a rich history and a thriving economy, Charlotte is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the surrounding metro area. For sports lovers, Charlotte boasts nine professional and semi-professional sports teams including the Charlotte Knights (Triple A baseball), the NBA Charlotte Hornets, and the NFL Carolina Panthers.
Charlotte is home to several leading colleges and universities as well as top hospitals, medical centers, and several magnet hospitals, making it possible to find specialists for anything that you might need.
With a lower-than-average cost of living, and reasonable housing and real estate prices, Charlotte boasts six Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) – also called Life Plan Communities in the metro area, including Generations at Shalom Park.
Generations at Shalom Park, affiliated with Aldersgate Life Plan Services, a renowned senior living provider in the Charlotte region, will soon bring a new Life Plan Community to the area unlike any other. Opening in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park is a new vision in active Independent Living that is Jewish in spirit, making it open to all. To learn more, call 704-532-5400 and get a closer look at generationsatshalompark.com.