- Aging & Longevity
The Golden Guys and Girls 2016 and beyond
Growing Old is inevitable! Growing Up is Optionable
Alone and how to rectify your aloneness
After having a couple of bad experiences with a couple of really bad men, I didn't think I ever wanted to get involved again, especially with a man who needed my resources (or someone's) to survive. Unfortunately, I am not the only one who has experienced these painful situations. Some of the horror stories I have heard were: "he gave everything to his ex, lost his fortune in the stock market or retired to live entirely on Social Security, he/she was a gold digger, looking only to enhance his/her lifestyle . . . or worse, he was a "fake" man, a man who convinces you that he has these great attributes, but proves to be a crook."
As Baby Boomers, we also must realize that all of us have our own crosses to bear, scars that remind us of those horrible decisions, and many have problems still. However, closing the door completely was only allowing those mistakes of our past to continue hurting us. We must bury the past and look forward, not back, and live each day fully. We must look for the good in each person, not the worst, and devote the rest of our lives truly living! I am hoping I can spend a large part of my life helping others avoid making the same mistakes as I have made, through blogs, such as the ones I have written here at Hub Pages and through a book I have started. Hopefully, this will help us all get beyond the pain of our past.
If you, too, have had difficulty finding "Mr./Ms.Right" or getting over "Mr./Ms Wrong", you may need to do as I have done -- forget the past and start living today! Look for alternatives! I've watched the videos and read the stories about the New Golden Girls concept, which obviously has its pros and cons. A couple in Asheville did this several years ago and now there's an organization doing this all over the country. You can do an Internet search for new Golden Girls concept and find over 19 million links! I did not check that many links out, but I noticed one from PBS, so that one should be quite interesting.
I considered opening my home up to 2 or 3 other single Baby Boomers to share my four-bedroom, 3 1/2 bath house. The reason? I don't think anyone should live alone for safety reasons and for companionship. Read on for other reasons . . .
Another reason I'd love to share my home with two or three other Baby Boomers is to ensure my house is occupied year 'round. This would free me up to travel more and possibly one of these 'housemates' could also become a travel companion. And, the house-mates would be free to do the same, without worrying about leaving an empty house. There are other benefits for those considering downsizing to lower your expenses and/or to have someone to do things with. Four seniors sharing a house would be considerably less expensive than four living separately in their respective houses or apartments. If you have a large house that is just too big for you as well, you may want to consider doing the same thing. . . a modern day Golden Girls and Guys home. The key here is to require extensive references and a background check to insure the ones you allow to live in your home are who they say they are.
Before taking such an undertaking, you should write down what your monthly costs are as a single occupant, then decide if you'd rather continue doing that, with rising costs and decreasing income reducing your discretionary spending ability, or if you'd rather pay out a portion of your monthly expenditures to live with other seniors. I know, I know, it means giving up some of your privacy, but wouldn't peace of mind (less worry about falling and not being found for several days) outweigh that loss? And, with the money you will save by sharing a home with someone you'll be able to go on extended vacations, do things for your children and grandchildren that you haven't been able to do or just increase your nest egg for whatever you may need additional funds for down the road. And, if you find 2 or 3 like-minded individuals, you may even decide on purchasing a vacation home together. Obviously, before doing that, you should seek legal advice before proceeding, to avoid problems down the road.
Provided you take time to know your potential housemates well to ensure you find people who are compatible, there could be many other benefits to this arrangement. For example, someone to share meals with, someone to go out with, someone to play cards or games with, someone to keep the home fires burning while you are away, someone to share reading material with, someone to carpool with, someone to travel with, someone to share your life with. Who knows, once you are established in this new Golden Girls/Guys home, you may meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Isn't that the way it is?
And, with the Golden Girls concept, you are only obligated for the lease you sign, giving you a chance to be free of the burden of selling a house, combining households, and the economical setback if it doesn't work out! You carry an umbrella to keep the rain away. You carry insurance to cover the unexpected. So, why not do what you need to do now BEFORE your situation changes and you MUST make changes?!? Another option is purchasing a large home that would accommodate several seniors, both single and couples, who want to downsize and free themselves (and their cash) up to start enjoying their lives, fulfilling their dreams, traveling, etc.
Yes, I should be listening to my own advice! So, if any of you live in the Denver, NC area and are interested in pursuing the Golden Girls/Guys concept with me, please send me a message.
Cost is a big factor for us seniors; however, it is not the most important factor to consider. No, the most important factor is our safety and well-being. After being part of a couple for more than half of my adult life, I do miss having someone in-house, someone to do things with and knowing that I have someone to do things for. I love cooking, but not for one!
If you are in the same proverbial boat, please contact me here through the Hub Pages. Thanks for your interest.
A Profile of Older Americans: 2013 (Per the Department of Health and Human Resources)
The Older Population The population age 65 years or older numbered 44.7 million in 2013 (the most recent year for which data are available). They represented 14.1% of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans. The number of older Americans increased by 8.8 million or 24.7% since 2003, compared to an increase of 6.8% for the under-65 population.
Between 2003 and 2013, the number of Americans aged 45-64 (who will reach age 65 over the next two decades) increased by 20.7% and the number of Americans age 60 and over increased by 30.7% from 48.1 million to 62.8 million.
In 2013, there were 25.1 million older women and 19.6 million older men, or a sex ratio of 128.1 women for every 100 men. At age 85 and over, this ratio increases to 195.9 women for every 100 men.
Since 1900, the percentage of Americans 65+ has more than tripled (from 4.1% in 1900 to 14.1% in 2013), and the number has increased over thirteen times (from 3.1 million to 44.7 million). The older population itself is increasingly older. In 2013, the 65-74 age group (25.2 million) was more than 10 times larger than in 1900; the 75-84 group (13.4 million) increased by 70 percent and the 85+ group (6 million) was 49 times larger.
In 2013, persons reaching age 65 had an average life expectancy of an additional 19.3 years (20.5 years for females and 17.9 years for males). A child born in 2013 could expect to live 78.8 years, about 30 years longer than a child born in 1900. Much of this increase occurred because of reduced death rates for children and young adults. However, the period of 1990-2007 also has seen reduced death rates for the population aged 65-84, especially for men – by 41.6% for men aged 65-74 and by 29.5% for men aged 75-84. Life expectancy at age 65 increased by only 2.5 years between 1900 and 1960, but has increased by 4.2 years from 1960 to 2007. Nonetheless, some research has raised concerns about future increases in life expectancy in the US compared to other high-income countries, primarily due to past smoking and current obesity levels, especially for women age 50 and over.
About 3.4 million persons celebrated their 65th birthday in 2013. Census estimates showed an annual net increase between 2012 and 2013 of 1.6 million in the number of persons age 65 and over. Between 1980 and 2013, the centenarian population experienced a larger percentage increase than did the total population. There were 67,347 persons aged 100 or more in 2013 (0.15% of the total 65+ population). This is more than double the 1980 figure of 32,194.
----- Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division, Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Selected Age Groups by Sex for the United States, States, Counties, and Puerto Rico Commonwealth and Municipios: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013. Release Date: June 2014; 2010 Census Special Reports, Centenarians: 2010, C2010SR-03, 2012; and Table 5. Population by Age and Sex for the United States: 1900 to 2000, Part A. Hobbs, Frank and Nicole Stoops, Census 2000 Special Reports, Series CENSR-4, Demographic Trends in the 20th Century. Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS data brief, no 178. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2014. National Research Council, Crimmins EM, Preston SH, Cohen B, editors. Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries. Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries, 2011.
Now from me:
Can you imagine how devastating it will be for the elderly if (maybe the more operative word is "when") the Social Security system fails? It's scary, but as I'm sure you have been hearing for years -- that is a fact no one can deny.
So, instead of waiting for that to happen, start planning now for your future livelihood. When we were paying in those Social Security payments we really thought that the money would be there when we needed it; however, our elected officials have not been very prudent with our money. And, they did not read (or heed) their own reports on the huge increases they have predicted for the next two decades! When the Social Security system was put into place the average longevity was so much lower. In fact, only a small percentage actually lived to be old enough to retire and start receiving Social Security. And, the retirement age continues to rise to receive Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, in many corporations the mandatory age of retirement is lower! That leaves a huge gap of older people out of work with no income -- what will those falling in that gap do?
So, please start planning for those "Golden Years" -- even if you are only in your twenties and just starting your work history! Time will fly by, believe me this is experience talking, so don't be caught in that hamster wheel called life without putting aside what you will need to enjoy those Golden years. Good luck to you!