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Old 04-03-2016, 06:32 AM
 
Location: NC
6,543 posts, read 7,956,796 times
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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.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:39 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
12,764 posts, read 7,817,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
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.

Any ideas?
That sounds a lot like where I live, about two miles from Princeton University.

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 Realtor.com, 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!
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:45 AM
 
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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)
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:08 AM
 
Location: NC
6,543 posts, read 7,956,796 times
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Thanks Fox Terrier! Princeton sounds nice. If only the property taxes were not so high, but maybe that can be tolerated. And Aqua Blue, I am sure it is a state of mind, but it is hard to achieve it without a starting point. What would you suggest?
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:27 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
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?

Any ideas?

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.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,334 posts, read 10,324,206 times
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Baby steps-doesn't happen over night.

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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Old 04-03-2016, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,068,748 times
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Find one of these:
The Bernard Osher Foundation | Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

This link will tell you where they are located in every state. This is the place that can open up friendships, learning, activities and good times for a single over 50 woman. (or man) Look at their catalog and see what interests you. Then move !!!
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,081 posts, read 22,914,959 times
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I am a single female, 60 years old. I have learned that I need to live where there are a lot of classes I can take. Doesn't have to be a university town. Recreation classes, craft classes, group hikes, group bus tours. Things I can do without being a couple and where being a couple is not expected or required or considered. A senior center that offers ballroom dancing and pinochle is not going to cut it for me, either. I want to learn new and fun and interesting things in a group of strangers who are there to have fun as a group of strangers, and who aren't ready to think of themselves as people who do ballroom dancing and play pinochle LOL.

For instance, somewhere where I can take a class on how to cook Asian food, or learn flower arranging or collage or mosaics, line dancing, tai chi, etc. I want a recreation catalog that excites me every time a new one comes out because I know it will have something new to do in it.

I want to be able to join a bus day trip that will be going to see a matinee or to go to a museum, etc., as a group, where the group stops for lunch or dinner together.

I love joining a group of strangers to do this. I'm great at chatting with strangers in a classroom or on a bus tour. But, doing things alone is lonely. Just having museums and a theater, or beautiful hiking trails, or a farmer's market - where you go alone - is lonely.

I wouldn't expect to find anywhere where a single woman is welcomed with open arms by a group of couples. But, you can get to see the same people at the group trips and classes, and eventually maybe see them outside of the classes for coffee, etc. But, when I lived where I had these things, it was enough for me. I love joining a group and chatting with people, and then I'm glad to go home alone. But, if everything I do is alone, then I feel lonely.

I live now in a gorgeous place. I can walk across the street with my dog and be looking at the ocean within a 10 minute walk. I can drive to the giant redwood forest and walk with my dog. I can go to a movie theater by myself. I can go to the farmer's market by myself. I enjoy all of those things. But, it's not enough.

So, I'm in the process of saving money and getting on apartment waiting lists in a couple of larger city areas where there are all of the classes and group things I love to do. There will be a trade-off in traffic, hotter weather, and an area that's not as beautiful. But I know I'll be happier

I'm not a joiner, as group politics drive me nuts. I did try volunteering here at several places, and I either found them unwelcoming (mainly couples - some gay, some straight), or I didn't like the group politics. I do volunteer now delivering food from a restaurant to the food bank. I chat a little on both ends of my delivery, but the food bank is mainly about ministering (Christian) and I'm agnostic. I really like and respect them, but I don't hang out there, as I don't want to discuss religion.

A university town is not needed. What is needed for you, in my opinion, is a place with great classes and group tours you can join. Look for a place with a recreation and/or adult education catalogs that get you excited. And look to see if there are any day trip bus tours in the area. Sometimes these are through the senior or community centers or rec departments, but sometimes they are through private bus tour companies.

I'm looking out my window at beautiful mountains, and I'll take my dog for a walk at the beach today. But, all I can think about are the classes I'll be able to take when I move. I'm turning into a hermit up here in my beautiful retreat. And that's not good for me.

I wish you all the happiness in the world, and I hope you find somewhere you really love.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:14 PM
 
Location: in the miseries
3,302 posts, read 3,577,100 times
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The villages Florida.

If a club doesn't exist for what you
want do, there can be!
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:16 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 6,527,506 times
Reputation: 10460
^^^^ for no more snow

This
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