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The Solo Ager’s Checklist

How you want to live in retirement is entirely up to you. If you’re single, you have a unique set of opportunities and challenges ahead of you, and taking steps to prepare now can set you up for a successful solo retirement. Plus, you can take advantage of the total freedom of choosing your own path based on what’s best for you. Whether you’re aging solo by choice or by circumstance, you have the power to make these next years the best years of your life.

Who is a solo ager? Anyone who lives on their own without a partner or spouse, whether they’re widowed, divorced or single by choice. Aging solo is a common experience as an increasing number of older adults report living alone in their retirement years. According to the Pew Research Center, 27% of adults age 60 and older in the U.S. live alone, and this number is expected to rise.

Retirement Planning Steps for Single Seniors

Living alone presents some unique challenges. Retirement planning for single seniors often requires some extra financial planning, and making the right moves now can help you stay on track to reach your goals. With some careful planning, solo agers can look forward to a retirement that’s both fun and fulfilling.

We’ve put together the following checklist for solo agers to help you create a smart plan for your future:

Review your financial plan. Consider your potential sources of income in retirement, whether from the sale of your home, pensions and other retirement accounts, savings and/or Social Security. A lot of questions may come up as you plan for retirement, and it’s helpful to have a good understanding of your total financial picture when making decisions about where you want to live in retirement and how to budget for your expenses in retirement.

Consider the benefits of downsizing. When you think about the next exciting chapter in life, think about how much you have to gain from downsizing your stuff and moving to a smaller space. Downsizing is a positive change that can lead to new opportunities and experiences, and it’s a smart move for single seniors who are ready to start their next adventure without being tied down to the responsibilities of taking care of a home. You may also find that downsizing and reducing clutter can simplify your life and make more room for what matters most to you.

Visualize your life in retirement. Think about the activities that will fill your hours. Do you plan to do volunteer work, enjoy hobbies or travel? Planning how you’ll spend your time can also provide important clues to how much money you’ll need to support your desired lifestyle. Mapping out your future can also help you decide where to move in retirement. For example, moving to a senior living community provides a setting where you can thrive as a solo ager and pursue your passions for years to come.

Plan for health care. Your health is the most valuable asset you have, and it’s important to plan for your current and future health care needs. How would your plans change if you experienced a health issue or needed help with daily activities in the next 5, 10 or 20 years? Choosing Independent Living at a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) like The Chesapeake provides peace of mind with guaranteed access to a continuum of care on the same campus.

Cultivate a support network. Having people you can count on through the ups and downs of life is important for your well-being, and this holds true in every stage of life — even if you intend to be self-sufficient well into your 90s! Loneliness can take a toll on a person’s health and well-being, which is why cultivating a support network becomes even more important as we age. For solo agers, moving to a senior living community is one of the best ways to gain a wonderful new circle of friends. 

Why Choose The Chesapeake for Solo Aging

The Chesapeake provides single seniors with an array of activities to expand your talents and knowledge through classes in our creative studio or hobby shop, as well as lecture series, day trips, and more opportunities for social interaction. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to fly solo here — forming meaningful relationships is easy when you can connect with neighbors and friends who share your interests and zest for life.

We invite you to come and see why our community is the perfect place to start your next chapter in solo aging. Find out what The Chesapeake has to offer and contact us to see how we can help you navigate the next steps in your planning.