65 single woman heading into retirement without a clue of what to do

by Mikki
(Cody, WY)

About 4 years ago

About 4 years ago

I'm 65 and will be retiring by the end of the year. I've been alone for the past 19 years and will most likely be single through retirement as well.

I've always thought of myself as a confident person but the idea of retiring without a clue of what I want to do with my time scares the hell out of me.

Sadly I do not have a lot of friends that live near me so I spend a lot (too much) of time alone. Yes I realize I can travel to visit some friends but that really won't fill too much time.

Part of me wants to take a trip to Florida along the gulf to explore retirement communities there to see if I think I might like something like that. This might be a place where I could make new friends in general. It would be far more enjoyable if I had someone to do that with.

If I were to find an area there that I would want to spend real time, I'd like it to be an investment condo that I can just be a snowbird there. Rent it out the rest of the year to help recoup and possibly gain some income from it.

I currently live in a very small town where there really isn't much to do, but small isn't always bad. Seldom is there any traffic nor do you have to wait in long lines anywhere you go. It is really kind of stress free. The drawback being that the selection of men my age in this town is less than desirable.

Call me picky but I'm not interested in dating someone that has no job or income/revenue of their own and silly me, I also like them to have their own teeth or most of them anyway. I'm also not a fan of sitting in a bar all day or night. Along with that, there isn't much culture here either. I don't mean for that to sound snobbish, there's just not a lot to do here. So you see now why I spend so much time alone.

I've just recently lost my father, he was 98. He and my mother (still married-75 years) were both living in a nursing home due to dementia. My sister lives near them and has basically been their caregiver for the past 13 years. My mother is currently 95. Yes, good long genes, but not entirely convinced that's a good thing considering the dementia aspect.

Being close with my sister (although I live 1300 miles away), I committed to her 5 years ago that I would no longer take any real vacations. In the past, I've done some traveling, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Galapagos. Sure do miss that. But I promised that I would be there as often as I possibly could to help take some of the burden off her.

I've lived up to that promise, as I go there 4-5 times a year, usually for 2+ weeks at at pop. Fortunately my current employment status allows for this. So for now I'll continue to forego any real vacation or even the search of a retirement community until such a time as my mother passes.

My sister is 3 years younger so she has about 4 years before retiring. She too is alone. So now you have some background on me, lucky you:)...So coming full circle here, what scares me, knowing that I will probably live some 30 years in retirement and really highly doubt that my investments will hold out.

I've been pretty responsible about that but the fear of not knowing if it will last is frightening. I know I'm not the first to ever have this fear, I'm sure it's quite common. So I'm trying to accomplish a couple of things here.

(1) I'm hoping to meet new friends,
(2) share some ideas,
(3) possibly learn how others are making additional income in retirement. I'm not extremely techie and investing in some of the online opportunities out there also scares me.
(4) I'm curious how other retirees motivate themselves to get out there and meet new people and basically what they do to keep themselves busy, active and happy.

I'll admit in the past 19 years of being alone I've developed a bit of social anxiety. I'd like to overcome that but just don't know where or how to start. I'm a very healthy and somewhat fit adult. I love the outdoors, walking, camping, hiking, canoeing, golf and lest I forget... the beach. Of course one thing I know I can do in retirement is get into better shape. While being in visually good shape I just feel like I could certainly tighten things up a bit, so hitting the gym will hopefully be what will drive me to get of bed in the mornings of retirement.

I know, I know, why don't I start that now you ask. Cuz I'm just not a morning person at this point.

My current job isn't at all exciting or rewarding, actually I'm quite bored with it. So jumping out of bed, rushing to the gym and then rushing to get ready for work just hasn't seemed to be of much interest to me. Hopefully, that will change.

OK, I've bored you enough, that you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you, I'd like to hear your comments on my ramblings.

Until we meet again, best wishes for a happy retirement life. Mikki

Comments for 65 single woman heading into retirement without a clue of what to do

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Retirement Community
by: Anonymous

I understand your situation. My wife and I were in a similar situation. We decided to take a chance and move to a 55+ active retirement community. While nothing is perfect, it has been a great move.

There are so many amenities and activities you always have something to do. The people are very diverse and always friendly. You will certainly find lots of like minded friends.

I know these communities can get a bad rap with all there restrictions but they have a great deal to offer for retirees that want to be active and engaged.

Check some out!

My story which I hope will help you
by: Nancy

I am 69, soon to turn 70. I've been retired 7 years. A couple of things in your story (thanks for sharing) struck a responsive chord.

My mother was 94 when she died, blind and very hard of hearing. She chose to stay in her own home, and receive 24 hour care which my younger sister arranged and supplement by staying there herself some. This caused resentment, which thankfully we overcame, (I think, LOL).

Also, I met my husband through a personal ad. We dated 5 years. I was in therapy at the time and would have bolted the relationship if it weren't for my therapist, because hubby and I didn't seem to have much in common. We have been married happily for 24 years. I, too have social anxiety.

Since I have acclimated to retirement, I see that I choose to be alone most of the time. I have made some women friends through church.

65 Single Woman
by: Carol/Canada

My sister lived in Maine and she retired to a community in Nevada. A retirement community. Her husband had died a few years before and she was very lonely.

Anyway she loves it there and all ready met someone and is having the time of her life. I can't say the same for me.

Retired at age 69, been retired for only 2 months and been sick the whole time. And I'm a person who rarely gets sick, never missed a day of work. I'm kind of bored but it's winter here. So I just walk the dog, eat and nap a lot. That's it.

Waiting for spring and summer when there will be more to do. I have lots of gardening to catch up on, I also pick my own berries so will have more time for that. I used to go to the gym but lately walking the dog for 2 hours is enough exercise for me as I get older. My husband still works part time only.

Heading into Retirement
by: Elna Nugent, Massachusetts.

Mikki: Is there any other engaging kind of work you could do when you are in retirement that you might find fascinating?

For at least three years--until your sister is retired, you could find a kind of work that inspires you and others.

It might also be useful for you and your sister to sit down and discuss possible plans for retirement. Deep In all of us , somewhere there is this need to be needed and to be useful. Each of you have a different perspective that can help the other.

Finding something interesting or creative to do that you can share with others can take you into a completely new life where you meet the kind of men and women you enjoy.
God Bless.

Hang in there Mikki
by: Elisa in Arizona

Hi Mikki. The one thing that came through in your post is that you're an excellent writer! Have you thought about writing a book about your life experiences, feelings or ideas? Today many novice authors self-publish their books and some of them do surprisingly well. Doing so will take up some of your "alone" time and also may add some income to help alleviate your financial concerns. It could happen!

I've spent quite a bit of time in Cody, WY - on vacations throughout the years. Its a lovely town, but I fully understand the lack of eligible prospects.

Good luck to you - you're gonna be great!

A novice retiree
by: Sherry/ NC

Hey Mikki,

Please read the book, The Single Woman's Guide to Retirement by Jan Cullinane. It is excellent with great ideas and suggestions!

Good luck to you!

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