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Mon Nov 28, 2022, 04:12 AM

NY Times: As Gen X and Boomers age they confront living alone (no paywall)

As Gen X and Boomers Age, They Confront Living Alone https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/27/us/living-alone-aging.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqYhlSVUZBCbIRp8jrwOHg_eKybg7gHK7JSeUTzkEz_gQB8LI3XbxUpdZRol52SWHFpgGOaUzRfd2w6hTNhFmFQP1896JlJ9eZng79t72Vz9o09ecA-5mrWPjPmK0eO41jKeysBOnHGruWq3a2HImIB804sc2MAH3hgFbg_vNAeV32dJh3f8-BZEcRDYIZCCCvPKAGAwpcZzdLUmasl9qLrkfDTLDntec6KYDcxFRCj_ERXB84GU867BMKZRQp1SHeVBmWGRxCnMuWSw

In 1960, just 13 percent of American households had a single occupant. But that figure has risen steadily, and today it is approaching 30 percent. For households headed by someone 50 or older, that figure is 36 percent.

Nearly 26 million Americans 50 or older now live alone, up from 15 million in 2000. Older people have always been more likely than others to live by themselves, and now that age group ó baby boomers and Gen Xers ó makes up a bigger share of the population than at any time in the nationís history.

In many ways, the nationís housing stock has grown out of sync with these shifting demographics. Many solo adults live in homes with at least three bedrooms, census data shows, but find that downsizing is not easy because of a shortage of smaller homes in their towns and neighborhoods.

Compounding the challenge of living solo, a growing share of older adults ó about 1 in 6 Americans 55 and older ó do not have children, raising questions about how elder care will be managed in the coming decades.

Part of the problem is the country no longer builds small houses.

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Reply NY Times: As Gen X and Boomers age they confront living alone (no paywall) (Original post)
Tomconroy Nov 2022 OP
Joinfortmill Nov 2022 #1
Sympthsical Nov 2022 #2
Joinfortmill Nov 2022 #5
Better Days Ahoy Nov 2022 #3
Joinfortmill Nov 2022 #7
Better Days Ahoy Nov 2022 #11
tavernier Nov 2022 #4
Joinfortmill Nov 2022 #6
msfiddlestix Nov 2022 #8
allegorical oracle Nov 2022 #16
msfiddlestix Nov 2022 #18
intheflow Nov 2022 #9
piddyprints Nov 2022 #12
allegorical oracle Nov 2022 #17
Victor_c3 Nov 2022 #10
MineralMan Nov 2022 #13
HeartachesNhangovers Nov 2022 #14
GoodRaisin Nov 2022 #15

Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 07:10 AM

1. Yup. I'm 73, relocated, living with my daughter...

while I wait two months to move into a 2 bedroom condo rental, which is 1 bedroom more than I need, that I finally found after 2 months of searching.. Can't buy a condo because there are so few on the market and very expensive.

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Response to Joinfortmill (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 07:40 AM

2. That's what my mom chose

After my father died, she really didn't need a three bedroom house and had zero interest in trying to keep up the property by herself. She now rents a two bedroom unit in a senior living complex not far from my brother's family. She doesn't need the second bedroom and largely uses it for storage and a computer desk.

She's very happy with the downsizing. The place she lives in has dinners and activities in a common room that she takes part in now and then (particularly Bingo), and the situation works for her (also, no stairs!)

As someone who just bought his first house a few years ago, it's seriously, "Oh my god, why didn't someone tell me about all the work?!" I'd rented for about twenty years. Now I spend inordinate amounts of time in the yard or doing some random project. It feels like my partner is forever lying in wait to spring some house-related horror. Just hearing the phrase, "What do you think about those base boards?" is enough to send a chill through my soul.

Mom has the right idea.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 08:25 AM

5. I hear you.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 08:10 AM

3. Little pink houses for you and me

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Response to Better Days Ahoy (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 08:27 AM

7. Love this dude!

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Response to Joinfortmill (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 11:38 AM

11. Me, too. Just the right messages.

Too cool.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 08:11 AM

4. I'm 76. The year hubby died, Hurricane Irma took

our small trailer and my car. We didnít own the property so I took a hard financial hit. My kids advised me not to look for anything permanent since it was too soon and I was a bit in shock, so I ended up spending four months with each of my kids.they all have room and Iím healthy and self sufficient and still work. I pay for groceries, utilities, fun stuffÖ bought them golf cart, bought another small boat, another a new bed and mattress, etc.
itís actually working out great. I cook for one daughter and husband since she has a very busy job. I house sit for another for two months when they go on yearly holiday.
So Iím really fortunate. Even though I miss having my own home, we have made it work.

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Response to tavernier (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 08:26 AM

6. Very creative!

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 09:01 AM

8. I'm surprised the percentage isn't higher.

I'm a "boomer" , which means now I'm a Senior. I do live alone, but I'm not isolated. I live in a rather beautifully designed village style complex by a British Architect. I like living alone. My space. I like being able to practice my music at any hour I choose.

Yet I'm not really alone. Every day, interactions with just about everyone in the village, sharing time, meals, gardening gossip, if and when we want which is often enough. We regularly gather at the clubhouse , or just anywhere as we stroll through and around the gardens, there's a creek that runs through the center, gazebo etc. We watch out for each other, give care and comfort when we can, see to it that those who have greater needs get the services or assistance they require and so forth.

I'm very grateful and feel quite blessed, particularly as a low-fixed-income Senior, I couldn't have asked for more.

I'm woefully aware too many people in my income bracket are not so fortunate, far too many are homeless. I could have easily been among them. It wasn't easy to get in this charming & idealic setting. It was only by chance I happened to watch it being built a little over twenty years ago. Small and tucked away but yet in the open at the same time. Got on the waiting list at the required age and waited for three years to get my invitation to apply. I count my blessings everyday, and try to help others the best I can, when I can.




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Response to msfiddlestix (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 06:39 PM

16. Sounds like my kind of place. I live alone and spent all day, today, with one "agent" after another

trying to get their monthly fees lowered -- property insurance, internet, Medicare part D. Exhausting and a waste of my limited time left on Earth.

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Response to allegorical oracle (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 10:59 PM

18. Living here has been the most affordable and economically stable and secure I have ever experienced

I am most grateful every day.









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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 09:17 AM

9. Not building small houses is a huge problem.

Last edited Mon Nov 28, 2022, 02:05 PM - Edit history (1)

Cities and towns pass zoning laws about minimum lot and building sizes for homes. Itís discriminatory as well as contributes to lack of available housing and limits who is deemed ďacceptableĒ to live there: families with lots of income. Old people on SSI need not apply, though of course they can stay alone in their McMansion as long as they can afford it. Verily, this country hates poor people.

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Response to intheflow (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 01:53 PM

12. I was just about to say this.

I live in Eastern TN. The people here are mostly poor, although no one wants to admit it. There are some very wealthy people as well, but they are so few that everyone knows exactly who they are.

One of my friends wants to buy property nearby and build a tiny house on it. We spent a good deal of time last summer looking for land. She found a few places she liked that were so much in the middle of nowhere and on steep, winding, unmaintained roads that I didn't feel comfortable driving there. But all these places had deed restrictions: Nothing smaller than 2,000 Sq Ft, no trailers, no metal roofs, etc. This is on property that is big enough so that it would be very easy to hide whatever house is built from neighbors. The neighboring homes on the same roads are pretty rough and poorly maintained. I found myself asking, "Where TF do these people think we are???" These properties are not in a swanky part of town or even a swanky part of the county, or anywhere near anything remotely nice. Likely the neighbors are wondering why the land doesn't sell.

I would seriously let her put something on our property. We have almost 8 acres and most of it is cleared. Unfortunately, we also have deed restrictions: No trailers, only 1 single family home allowed, and the same old size and metal roof crap. Our neighbors have the same restrictions and put up a metal roof, but we don't care and no one is complaining. Still, going against deed restrictions is risky.

So my friend continues to live in her large home in another state. She has roommates to help pay the bills. She had to evict the last set of roommates because they didn't pay anything for years. She still dreams of a tiny house, but has no idea where she can find a place to put one.


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Response to piddyprints (Reply #12)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 06:44 PM

17. No metal roofs?? That (and barrel tile like Mar-a-Lago) is all the property insurors want here in

Fla. I'm with one of the few that will still permit having a shingle roof. My late husband and I designed our small home at our kitchen table. Bought land, hired a contractor who liked our design -- a cottage -- and I love it. Just wish it could be moved someplace else since the properties around me have attracted the Confederate flag crowd.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 11:05 AM

10. I'm only 42, but this is something I have thought about.

Iíve been divorced for nearly 5 years now and I have no desire to ever be married again. Chances are, I will be living solo later in life.

Iíd love to one day build my dream house in the woods. One bedroom is really all Iíd ever need, but Iíd probably end up with a 3-4 bedroom house out of the desire to have room for when my kids (and maybe grandkids) visit and, planning ahead, making the house easier to sell. After reading that article, perhaps fear of not being able to sell a smaller house shouldnít be a factor? Also, realistically, how much time would I potentially have my kids/grandkids staying with me? 1-2 weeks a year for about a dozen years? Is it really worth the cost/hassle of a larger house?

My out-laws (theyíre my in-laws, but Iím not married to their daughter anymore) are quickly approaching 80. They bought a nicer house in The Villages, Florida a few years back. For those not in the know, The Villages is a giant and sprawling retirement community filled with people 55+. Every house in my out-lawís neighborhood is at least 3-4 bedrooms and sell for $800,000+. I donít know what most of these people are thinking about when they get a house of that size at their age. Theyíve got the money to maintain them, but why?

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 02:34 PM

13. What is being built, though, is massive senior living housing

projects. There are at least three huge ones going up in my Twin Cities suburb, and many more going up in the rest of the metro area. Depending on the building, you can rent apartments or buy a condo apartment. Most also have wings of the building for assisted living and even memory care. Interestingly, such facilities ae filling up quickly as soon as they're ready for occupancy. So more are being built.

It all sounds fine, until you realize that only those who can afford such a living arrangement can live in them. For elders who own a single family home outright, selling that home can easily buy you into such a development, with a good surplus for other needs. For those with excellent retirement planning, those developments are also an interesting option.

However, if you don't fit into either of those two groups, there's very little available in terms of living in later life. That is going to become more and more of a problem down the road. Not far down the road, either. The time is here already.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 02:42 PM

14. Thanks - very interesting.

I'm 61 and my wife is 53, living in a 1200 sq.ft., single story house. We live in WA state, and the rest of our families are in CA. We both lived in CA our whole lives until we retired. She likes it here, but I hope she will move back to CA to be near relatives once I pass away peacefully in my sleep.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Nov 28, 2022, 05:26 PM

15. I'm too old and tired and crippled to move me or anything around me.

I live alone in my 1800 square foot home with everything in it where Iíve lived in for 30+ years. I only use 2 of the rooms, one to sit in and the other to sleep in, not including the 3 bathrooms. Not sure whatís going to get me first, the grim reaper or my rising tax bill. I guess if itís the tax bill Iíll have no other option but to let a retirement community turn me up and shake me out. Theyíll have to carry me out too, to move me to my new 10 x 12 flat.

Getting old sucks.

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