The Gifts and Burdens of the Solo Journey
This is the fourth and final conversation in a series we’ve been having on modern retirement. The study entitled “8000 Days of Retirement”1 depicts today’s retirement as a dynamic period lasting 20 years or more. For those who become octogenarians, that’s one-quarter of their lives. There are shifts throughout this span of retirement, grouped into four phases.
The four phases according to MIT AgeLab are: the Honeymoon Phase, the Big Decision Phase, the Navigating Longevity Phase, and the Solo Journey Phase.
This month we will focus on the fourth phase, known as the Solo Journey phase.
Approximately 12 million Americans over age 65 live alone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The percentage of older adults who live alone quintupled from 6 percent in 1900 to a peak of 29 percent in 1990, and has slowly declined since then, to 26 percent in 2014.2
Whether from death, divorce, or personal choice, the “solo journey” phase of retired life includes both opportunities and challenges.