In the United States many adults enter their retirement years alone. Estimates are that more than 27% of seniors 65 and older (or more than 20 million people) are living alone. But not having a partner in retirement doesn’t mean that you can’t have a rewarding and fulfilling third act. There are lots of ways that seniors who are retiring can have active and happy retirement years.
More seniors are choosing to age in place as well. That means seniors who have retired can spend their time enjoying the home they worked hard for, engaging with friends and family, and pursuing things that they never had to time to do before. Seniors who are entering retirement without a partner can create fulfilling lives by:
Building a Strong Social Network
Loneliness and social isolation can cause physical and mental health problems for older adults. Maintaining relationships with friends and family and building a strong social network will help seniors get the socialization they need to stay healthy and be happy.
Volunteering and Giving Back
When seniors retire, they often find themselves at loose ends after working for decades. Volunteer work is a great way for older people to find a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of the house. Volunteering is a fun way for older adults to use the skills and wisdom they have acquired throughout their careers.
Pursuing Lifelong Learning
After retirement many older adults have the chance to learn about topics that have always interested them but that they never had time to learn about before. Seniors can take online courses or take classes at a local university.
Exploring Hobbies and Passions
Retirement is the perfect time for seniors to dive into their hobbies and interests. Making things, writing, traveling, and other hobbies give seniors satisfaction and joy. Creative hobbies can also help seniors fight age-related cognitive decline.
Many older adults take advantage of their retirement time to travel. Traveling alone is a wonderful way for seniors to take advantage of special deals. And it gives seniors the chance to make decisions on the fly about where they want to go and for how long.
Staying Active and Healthy
Staying physically active is important for good physical and mental health. Most seniors don’t get enough physical activity. Retired adults should consider taking advantage of their free time to try new activities and sports like golf, pickleball, or hiking.
Financial Planning and Budgeting
Seniors should spend some of their retirement time working with a good financial planner so they can manage their retirement funds effectively. That will allow them the financial freedom to pursue their goals.
Technology can help seniors stay connected to friends and family, make new friends, and learn more about topics that interest them. Embracing technology can help seniors pursue their goals.
Downsizing and Simplifying
Seniors aging in place should take advantage of retirement to downsize and get rid of things that they don’t need any longer. Decluttering the home will help seniors figure out what they want their next chapter to look like.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is often recommended for seniors because it can help seniors manage stress, focus their attention, and improve their physical and mental health.
Exploring Cultural Experiences
Seniors who retired can enjoy cultural events, museums, and theater performances that they wouldn’t have been able to attend while they were working. Make sure to ask about senior discounts too.
Building a Personal Legacy
Older adults may want to spend time working on a legacy project like creating a curated collection of family photos, writing a book, or creating a charity organization in the family name.
Health and Long-term Care Planning
Long-term care planning is something all older adults should do. Planning ahead will ensure that their wishes are known and carried out by family and medical staff.
Adopting a Pet
Adopting a pet is a fantastic way for seniors to enjoy companionship and stay active. Seniors that don’t feel they can take on the day-to-day care of a pet can volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue to enjoy the love and companionship pets provide.
Engaging in Intergenerational Activities
Older adults can also find fulfillment by taking care of grandchildren or volunteering to work with children.
Solo Culinary Adventures
Cooking is a fun hobby for seniors to try when they retire. Many seniors enjoy eating out, learning about new cuisines, and experiencing other cultures through food.
Expanding Spiritual Well-being
Spiritual practices like meditation, prayer, or joining discussion groups about spiritual topics can be rewarding for older adults.
Adopting a sustainable and environmentally conscious lifestyle is something many seniors enjoy. Gardening, keeping chickens or other livestock, and learning more about sustainable living can make seniors happier and healthier.
Establishing a Support System
Seniors living alone need to have a strong support system. Making new friends, re-establishing relationships with neighbors, and improving family relationships can all help seniors living alone get the support they need.
Embracing Change and New Beginnings
One of the best things that seniors can do as they enter this new phase of life is keep a positive attitude. Embracing all of the new opportunities they have instead of focusing on the past will make it possible for older adults to enjoy their retirement and do the things they always dreamed about.
Just because older adults don’t have a partner doesn’t mean that they can’t have exciting, fulfilling, and enriching lives in their later years. There is a wide variety of ways that older adults can pursue their passions and achieve their goals as they get older. Not having a partner isn’t a barrier to a fulfilling third act.
Seniors that are getting ready to retire or who have recently retired should focus on the opportunities that they have and make a plan to pursue activities and interests that will give them a sense of purpose and happiness.
Get more information about free things and tips to live a happily and responsibly in retirement: 8 Free Things Retirees Should Utilize for Frugal Living
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- Older people are more likely to live alone in the U.S. than elsewhere in the world – Pew Research Center
- Older Americans Month: May 2023 – U.S. Census Bureau
- Single in Retirement? 20 Ways To Live a Richer Life on Your Own – GoBankingRates via Yahoo! Finance
- 17 Powerful Tips for Retiring Alone (Or, If You Become a Solo Senior or Elder Orphan During Retirement) – New Retirement