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  1. #1

    Best places for single women over 65 to retire?

    Many senior women are living alone, either far from their children or they never had children. Some of us are highly educated in specialized fields but only minimally engaged after retirement. Some of us are not exactly joiners but like to interact with others with interesting, well-thought out ideas and talents. So where are the best places for us to retire to? I'm betting most of the responses will say university towns, but how hard is it to break into social circles there as an outsider?

    In particular, I would be interested in a town where older single people are not only accepted but they don't feel awkward dining and going to events when alone, and where couples might be willing to include singles in activities, or where couples are not dismissive of those living alone. A place where older single women are not just expected to hole up in apartments or condos or tiny townhouses, but where they might live among other singles with single family homes that are not necessarily part of a huge 55+ community. A place where people are still as interested in nature as in crowded festivals and huge city-organized events.

  2. #2
    There are many things that might interest someone who is highly educated at the University. One does not even have to drive there; just take the Dinky from the Princeton Junction train station.

    Since I'm not particularly social, I can't speak much about how accepting people are, but if I'm out in my front yard and people walk by (young or old), we usually wave to each other. If I'm walking around and see someone on their porch I say hello and get a return greeting.

    There are quite a few older women in town; men, too. There's a place called the Bagel Hole where I noticed older people sit around and socialize in the mornings. I've gone to restaurants in the area and never felt 'funny' or that I was being judged.

    Each weekend in the summer there is a farmer's market at the train station. Believe it or not, I've never been there even though I could walk to it! (I really have to go sometime!) I believe it gets quite a bit of traffic since it's been going on for about 10 years.

    It is an expensive area, though. Right now the least expensive house for sale is listed for $260k, and it is a semi-detached house and needs extensive renovation. (Semis are rare, most are single family)
    If you use, search for zip code 08550. West Windsor is a pretty big township; I live in a section called Berrien City, which also hosts the train station.

    The 'average' cost of a home is probably $600k, but from time to time older houses come on the market for less.

    There is a senior center within walking distance which I've never been to.

    There is an Arts center around the corner. Near the senior center is a pretty good library.

    EDIT to add: There are also a couple of riding places within five miles, also!

  3. #3
    Everywhere I have lived as a single person has been that place. I don't think it is the place, I think it is a state of mind. I regularly go to events, movies, travel etc by myself and feel accepted(actually I don't really care whether I am accepted or not)

    I have found as I have gotten older more acceptance, probably because there are many more widowers and widows in this group. (I'm 63 by the way, single for 20 years and basically single tho married for 19 years before that)

  4. #4
    There are any number of 55+ communities that fit the bill. In fact, that is the selling point of most communities. Personally, where I live in Green Valley, AZ, fits that bill.

    Since 80-90% of the people originate out of state, people are more open to making friends from people they did not know before. You don't get the "y'all aren't from around here" that you would get if you retired to NC. It is easy to break into a lot of social circles IF you are willing to interact with your neighbors or you volunteer or you join a club or two.

    In our area, even though we are 20 miles south of Tucson and the University of Arizona, there are any number of cultural opportunities including live performances, cinema, concerts, and quite a few lectures from speakers all around Arizona. All of that is local. if you are able and willing to head up to Tucson, the number of things increases greatly.

    As for education, there is an OLLI program sponsored by the University of Arizona. In this area, the classes gerrnerally run 4-8 weeks at a time as they are serving a community with a lot of snowbirds who aren't here for 12-16 week programs.

    As for interacting with younger people, there are plenty of opportunities in the community. Some people must assume that all 55+ communities are built with a "Berlin-type" wall that keeps us away from younger folks. However, we see plenty of children in the community at church as well as when we volunteer at schools in the general vicinity.

    Yes, we do have some older neighbors who isolate themselves. We do try to reach out and occasionally invite them over for a meal. However, you have to respect that there are often times reasons why they prefer to be alone.

  5. #5
    go to a movie (matinees are cheaper and you don't have to drive at night)
    gallery/museum where you can wander around and look at the displays. Ditto local fairs, carnivals, craft shows.
    fast food place. I know, not the healthiest but occasionally won't hurt and there will be a lot of people eating alone there. You can dawdle if you like and feel comfortable, then move on to a better place.


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