Living alone challenges

Living alone has its challenges, just like living with one or more other people. 

The first challenge is financial.  To live alone comfortably, you need to have a fairly good income from your work or retirement.  I think that changes with each person’s needs and geography.  Some areas of the country have a lower cost of living than others.  Maybe you were a millionaire by the age of 40 and invested wisely and didn’t lose money in the stock market, etc.  That scenario is not in my experience.   If you have a spouse or a partner and they are working or receiving retirement money, it can be easier.  Two can live cheaper than one?  I’ve heard that said many times.  But, what if your partner or spouse becomes ill or (we hope not) dies?  Then you are back to one income. 

Living on a fixed income as a senior is my experience.  I think I am lucky, because I have Social Security, a state teacher’s pension and a very small Federal retirement that pays for my health insurance.  I have been retired for thirteen years and have had good months and bad months, financially.  In that time I have bought and sold three homes.  Each sale was to finance moving to a different community.  On the first two houses I made a good profit.  On the third house I took on more debt than I could really afford, and/or the bank should have loaned me.  Then the recession hit.  Oops!!!   Not a pretty sight and very stressful.  At one point it looked like I would have to go through foreclosure/bankruptcy, but at the last minute we received a good offer on the house, and I escaped foreclosure.  Whew!  There was no profit in this last sale, but the bank got paid off and I decided to rent anyway.  Luckily, I had a little savings that went into all the moving expenses.  At nearly 80, it made no sense at all to me to do anything else except rent.  I found a wonderful place and am very happy here.  Now I am working on building up my savings and paying off my credit cards.  I am SO happy to be out from under that high mortgage/tax payment and now I leave the fixing of plumbing, etc to the landlord. 

House at the OR coast

This is my house at the OR coast at Xmas ready for a progressive dinner in  2004

More tomorrow!


About alonegwen

Retired educator interested in living life fully. Will write about aging wisely, good reads, food, travel, dance reviews, and other items as they interest me.
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