More Good Reads for Solos
By Mary Young
Soon after we launched The Soloist newsletter, we posted a curated list of resources about aging solo. Here’s an update with additional books, articles, websites, tools, etc., culled from the growing body of Solos-content we’re tracking.
Books for Solo Agers
Sarah Zeff Geber and Carol Marak are the best-known experts in the field. Both are interviewed frequently, are popular speakers and webcast presenters, and produce a steady stream of articles, videos, and so on. Just Google their names and you’ll find pages of search results, addressing every aspect of Solos aging.
- Geber’s book, Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers (2018), is already a classic. Now Marak has also published a book, Solo and Smart (2022). If you want to read about the broad spectrum of issues and areas that Solo agers need to plan for, consider either one or both of these books for one-stop-shopping.
- Another book we recommend is Joy Loverde’s Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old? While written for all audiences―regardless whether they have a spouse and/or kids ―it addresses issues relevant to Solos and provides a variety of tools.
- Anthony S. Park’s The Solo Ager Estate Plan (2020) focuses more specifically on trusts and estates for Solos. It’s a gem: short, crystal clear, and thorough. For anyone who’s procrastinating, this book will help you get started. It’s also a bargain, available for $3 on Amazon and free to download from Park’s website.
Articles for Solo Agers
Maybe you don’t want to read an entire book. How about something shorter? There’s a lot out there.
If you don’t know NextAvenue.org, you should. Produced for a national audience by Twin Cities PBS, this website offers well-written, intelligent, non-fluffy articles on every other aspect of life after 50. The content is free, although paid subscriptions are strongly encouraged.
Another notable factor: Solos get a lot of visibility on the site; they’re not just an afterthought. For example:
- Carol Marak, “For Solo Agers, a Road May for a Secure Future” This article offers a checklist for assessing your satisfaction with key areas of your life: Money/Finances, Spirituality, Work/Purpose, Legal, Fun/Engagement, Community Support, Transportation, Family/Friends, Health/Fitness and Housing/Location. While it’s not specifically designed for Solos, it’s a great tool for identifying areas of vulnerability as your age so you can take steps to address them now.
- Catherine Couture, “How to Live Well While Aging Solo” Carol, a Solo woman living near Boston, methodically identified the steps she needed to take to age successfully and then took action.Her experiences might inspire you to get going, if you haven’t already.The article includes a gentle pitch for Hebrew Senior Living’s continuing care community, Orchard Cove, it’s not a flat-out advertisement. It’s a good resource for anyone considering where to live as they grow older. Eight diagnostic questions to help you decide where to focus first.
- Jackson Rainer, “How Men Adapt to Being Solo Agers” offers advice (make plans while you’re still healthy, strengthen social connections, keep physically active) that’s relevant to anyone, but in the context of men’s particular obstacles. As Rainer writes, “As men, we would rather stand naked in rush hour traffic than risk the exposure of not knowing, or worse, being seen as weak and culpable for perceived fragility.”
- Jackson Rainer, “A Solo Ager’s Traditions and Options” offers practical advice breaking away from old habits, like how you celebrate family holidays, when you don’t, or no longer, have a “family.” When you’re not tethered to tradition, you can consider many other options.You just need to unafraid to change and identify your own needs and what would satisfy them.
- Sara Zeff Geber, “How the Pandemic Has Inspired Solo Agers to Connect” Geber’s advice―connect with others via video and phone, create a buddy system with someone you can count and “be there” for each other―is sound with or without pandemic. So’s her recommendation that Solos reach out to elders who may be even more isolated and hungry for contact. Helping others, research shows, is a giant mood-booster for helpers.
NextAvenue.com is hardly the only source of Solo-related, online content. There’s been an explosion of it, as entire industries (senior housing, health care, home care), professions (financial planning, estate planning, accountants and fiduciaries), agencies and other organizations awaken to the Solo segment. Since much of this new content is repetitive, you can read selectively.
Here are a few articles related to financial planning and security for Solos:
Of course, we hope you’ll also peruse the dozens of articles from past issues of The Soloist. You can subscribe here on the Davis Financial website. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future article, we’d love to hear from you.
Securities and investment advisory services and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investor Services, LLC, member SIPC, Supervisory office: 300 Whitney Avenue, Suite 600, Holyoke, MA 01040, Tel: 413-539-2000. The Davis Financial Group, LLC is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC.