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Old 09-30-2007, 02:31 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,910 posts, read 6,238,329 times
Reputation: 2616


As some of you know from following my posts, I am planning on retiring alone, but in a different area from where I am now (California) due to the costs.

I am curious if there are other single/divorced/widowed women out there considering relocating to another area by themselves, and if so to where, and why that location?

I am very torn about where to go. I love the sunshine and dry weather -- factors in my choices. I also want a social network, and am an eastcoaster, originally, and am wondering if I should reconsider the eastcoast because it seems more social. It will also just be my retirement income (it's just me!), and so lower costs, rather than higher, are important.

I'm not really old enough for the senior centers, as I've noticed they seem to be more filled with the 70 and over crowd. Therefore, since I am still lively and young at heart, I am looking for a place where older singles still mingle. I am searching out places that may work for a single retired woman. (I am 59 right now, but plan to try to stick it out here a few more years, if possible.)

I have diverse interests, moderate politics (Independent), and write, play a little piano for myself, draw, and teach art. I'm a social worker by trade, but would like to be involved in more activities and volunteering that would be "fun" oriented. I love hiking -- that is one of my favorite pursuits. I also adore cooking. I have a dog and three cats. I am also not religious, although I guess the term "Spiritual" would apply. My daughter will be in college, but also studying abroad, so she and I will not be in the same city.

I'd love to hear what others think about this situation. Thanks!

Old 09-30-2007, 03:09 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,884,536 times
Reputation: 1525
I'm on my own and very happy in Knoxville, TN. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and spent my working life in Washington, D.C. and some in south Georgia.
Knoxville has great people, agreeable climate, beautiful mountain setting and the University of Tennessee. I'm active in several volunteer groups and I'm thinking about getting a masters degree. UT has special fees for those 65+ -- $7 a credit hour and a maximum of $75 a semester and you can work toward a graduate degree. I've loved the courses I've taken. No pressure, no worry about utility in earning a living, just learning to learn. Wonderful.
I would recommend looking at towns around large universities or state colleges. They'll be more diverse and they seem to have more older single women. Medical services are usually excellent and there's more going on.
Asheville, N.C. might be a good fit for you. Athens, GA, is nice, too.
An added benefit of a college town is that there are probably college-aged males living nearby who can be bribed with food to do things like haul trash, help with heavy lifting, etc. It's amazing what you can get for a meatloaf!
Old 09-30-2007, 05:27 PM
13 posts, read 105,242 times
Reputation: 25
Wow! I had picked both Knoxville and Asheville though Asheville is getting a little too costly housing wise. Was the summer as brutal as the weather forecasters depicted it? I have some respiratory problems sometimes. I live in Seattle and can't afford to buy a home here - even smaller towns like Olympia are getting too costly and the rain and cold is starting to get to me. 222 days of clouds is too much. I agree that the east coast is more friendly as Wisteria said - I lived in Marietta, GA for fifteen years. Safety is one thing I am very aware of. I am ready to give notice at work after reading both of your messages! I too want to go back to school. I have studied the tax situation for retirees and Tennessee is one of the lowest cost of living states for retirees - there is much said about sales tax but it is not much different than the 8.9% we pay here and property taxes are much less. Is it easy to make friends? What part of Knoxville did you decide to live in? I have looked at houses in the Maryville area and they are beautiful!

Just some thoughts I have had in this exciting journey to decide were to go for the next part of my life.
Old 09-30-2007, 06:56 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
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I've got a condo in West Knoxville. There are some really wonderful condo developments in the Knoxville area. They design them well here. I'm in an older development that has a great mix of people.
Maryville is a lovely area about 30 minutes south of downtown Knoxville. Small but lively downtown on a river. Nice college there.
I'd like to live in downtown Knoxville but it was out of my price range. Wonderful lofts, lots of action, free trolley to UT, museums, hospitals.
Property taxes are very low. Tennessee has one of the lowest electric costs in the nation at 7 cents a KWH. My highest electric bill this summer -- with a new heat pump financed through TVA -- was $65. And that was keeping the condo so cold the cats griped. Electric cost matters a lot when you're home all day. East Tennessee has a lot of hydroelectric power which keeps the cost down.
Summer was hot but not that bad. It usually cools down at night. Biggest problem was the drought. We usually have 2-3 thunderstorms a week which keep the air relatively clean.
Car insurance is cheap. Car registration is a flat $65 a year. Great restaurants are plentiful and cheap.
What I like most about East Tennessee is the people. Strangers smile at you on the street, chat in line at the grocery store. Everyone is very respectful and courteous. There's no graffiti to speak of, nobody honks, cars let you cross the street. It's nice.
Old 09-30-2007, 07:20 PM
20 posts, read 146,500 times
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Hi Knoxgarden, I have thought about relocating to Tennessee. I Live in a small town of N.W. Florida now.. Not much of a social life for a very young widow of 60yrs old. More women then men.. Your post has inspired me to relocating to west Knotsville, Tenn. Could you post a comfortable price for a one--one villa or condo.
Thank you so very much.. HGSgold..
PS--I enjoy the fine arts, eating out and ect. and perhaps dating a fine gentleman. Not looking to get married, but if a special someone comes along I might consider..
Old 10-01-2007, 02:14 AM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,884,536 times
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You can find a condo anywhere from $90,000 for an older one bedroom to $500,000. There are quite a few in the $125,000-$175,000 range.
Old 10-01-2007, 02:45 AM
109 posts, read 413,636 times
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This is a great thread because I too am looking for something to retire in.......Right now TN and KY are in the running. I am also in my 50's single/no children. I am also for the social connectedness, and wouldn't mind the abundance of single men either.......lol

Maybe we could find a builder and live in our own subdivision!
Old 10-01-2007, 09:13 AM
13,312 posts, read 25,542,533 times
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Great idea to discuss.
I own (rather, pay the bank) for my small dream house in the woods near a lake 45 minutes from Boston. The weather suits me fine, except for the humid summers. I would never want to live anywhere more humid, or more family-oriented, or, for that matter, more heavily Christian, although I am no knee-jerk liberal either, and find the Cambridge politics and all pretty silly.
Cost of living, in every area of course is high. Taxes on a two-bedroom house are $4200!
I'd consider staying here. Certainly anything one could want for study, volunteer, side job, church/temple/Buddhist, city restaurants and all, nothing is missing.
But I have thought of being somewhere smaller, more community-like, that is, a community where not everyone is associated by being from the town or having kids in schools. Most friends I've known over the past many years have passed on through the area and left, for career, for real estate, for having finished with some opportunity. I do wonder if I have the skills to meet new people regardless of where I am, but fear that moving somewhere new would only make things more lonely.
I am very drawn to the Mountain West. I love the weather/dryness, the high mountains (southwest Colorado) and would love to live near good horseback riding. I've given thought to Durango, CO, or maybe summers anywhere high up. Have given up on living out there while working- it's just the wrong way to go. (Saw a perfect job for me in Durango, and could have squeaked into an OK house, and decided I don't want to be out there to work and worry about money. I can do that right here).
I'd also like to be closer to the Western places that I like- Best Friends in Utah, Santa Fe's art, wide open spaces and so forth. However, it gets old being alone and being in these places alone. I seem to do "alone" pretty well here in my dream house, working nights, living in the woods near the city, with (currently) five dogs. I venture to say there's no place that is good for women over 50 or so to find male company. It's tough.
I always wonder how one can plop into a community without connections or ties and feel part of things. Maybe it's a skill of a person, not the nature of the community.
Looking forward to others' ideas.
Old 10-01-2007, 10:03 AM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,910 posts, read 6,238,329 times
Reputation: 2616
Good posts!

Brightdoglover, I'm in the same boat as you. I don't want to move to the south either. I'm living out west right now, but because of costs, I will have to relocate when I retire...in a couple of years or so. It is very expensive in California, and I just slip by on my shoestring budget. But I DO enjoy the lack of humidity, the sunshine, and the scenery of the west!

I also love the Colorado mountains, and recently took a trip out west to check it out with my daughter, Celene, who will be going to college next year. I posted these on another thread, but it's easier just to repost here. I checked out Las Cruces, New Mexico; Truth or Consequences, NM; Albuquerque; Colorado Springs, CO; Boulder, and Grand Junction, CO. This will give you some idea of the terrain.


Slide Show ONE

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I wonder if enough people reply, if we can mix and match, and maybe find women going to similar places so that we know someone in those places. I find that I have friends scattered all over the country, but not in a specific place that I might be.

I did go to some senior centers while traveling around, and was disappointed that there were no younger "seniors." We are caught in a corner at this age of not being really old, but no longer really young....and trying to figure out where to go to enjoy life, but also to not be isolated.

I wonder if there IS any place that is set up --- which I doubt -- for women retiring but still active, wanting a social life, and in a place that has enough to do? (Hear us, builders??? )

Old 10-01-2007, 12:48 PM
Location: Knoxville, TN
2,172 posts, read 6,884,536 times
Reputation: 1525
A local Red Hat Society club would be a good place to start meeting other women in their late 50s. I was involved in one for awhile but got tired of it. It was a good way to meet 50+ women, though.
Churches, at least in the South, are also very good. I use the term "church" loosely. We have everything in Knoxville from the big Baptist churches to Jewish Temples, Seventh Day Adventists, Wiccans and Pagans (large group!), Korean, Quakers, Mennonites, etc. All are very active in the community. People are respectful of others beliefs.
Libraries are good, too. So are classes in things like quilting, pottery throwing, etc.
I've read somewhere about commune-type living arrangements being designed for aging baby-boomers, where everyone has their own house/apartment but shares meals and chores.
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