Being a single mom has its fair share of ups and downs, but have you ever given a thought to what you need to prepare for when you grow old alone?

That is a question worth answering considering that one third of all single Americans are above the age of 65. Rising divorce rates and wives outliving their husbands by about five to six years are two other facts that need facing as well.

The fact that a mere 16 percent of all single seniors are economically secure adds a sense of growing urgency here.1

So what should you worry about when you grow old? Well, there’s the standard bevy of concerns – establishing retirement income, mounting healthcare costs, covering housing expenses, food, utilities and transportation.

All these can easily be handled if you have managed to tuck away a decent saving while steadily investing in stuff that gets you money over a longer period of time. But what solutions are available for those of us who are less financially capable?

Well, communal living is fast becoming a financial opportunity for the ever-innovative boomers.

Some seniors are contacting the National Shared Housing Resources to look for potential tenants to occupy spare rooms in their houses. A co-occupant could bring in around $500 a month per room, and the extra help around the house is a nifty incentive for seniors willing to give discounts as well.

Single women banding together to pool their resources is another trend that is picking up steam around the country. Even small communities can do a lot for each other by trading stuff and generally helping each other out.

Or you could move in with your children – as long as you help pay the bills and don’t step into the role of evil mother-in-law. It’s probably not a fair trade considering the blood, sweat and tears you have shed for them, but it is still better than shouldering all the burdens of growing old alone.


  1. Source: A study by The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, Living Longer on Less: The New Economic (In) Security of Seniors []

Last updated: April 20, 2012 by & filed under Blog

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