Best Places to Live When You’re Over 50

2014 Update to Best Places to Live, here.

Two years back, I did a little research on the best places to live if you’re starting out – or starting over. I covered various ages and stages. But what if you’re at midlife, 50 or older? What if you’re in full-blown “reinvention” mode?

Let’s face it, many of us are in the “starting over” category, and more than once. We don’t necessarily have buckets of cash at our disposal or a partner ready to share and support our adventures. You could say that starting out at 22 or 25 puts you squarely in the same situation, but there’s a significant difference – life is generally all about you.

And that’s as is it should be – you’re young, strong, flying the nest or finishing college. You may be plenty scared but you’re taking off all the same, about to gain experience and discover what works for you.

And, as the saying goes, “you have your whole life ahead of you.” It’s frightening – and thrilling!

Starting over after age 50 offers its own set of considerations – advantages, yes – and realistically, constraints.

It’s not better or worse, but it’s certainly different. It’s about letting go as much as diving in. It’s more than relocation; it’s the best part of reinvention – rediscovering yourself.

Why Start Over at 50 or 60?

So why are people starting over at 50 or 55 or 60?

  • You might find yourself “free” and somewhat aimless, starting over after a marriage ends. We all know that Gray Divorce is increasingly prevalent, and widowhood may strike at any time.
  • Your kids may have moved on with their lives – and single or partnered – you long for something new, without necessarily crossing a continent or an ocean to see your children, or possibly grandchildren.
  • You may be starting over in a career or job – no longer unusual at midlife. But you will be competing with those younger than yourself, and you want to locate to a market with appropriate opportunities.
  • Whatever the reason for starting over, with your additional wisdom often comes aches and pains, the expense of doctors or medications, the need for a certain climate and also, affordability and accessibility to what you need for physical health.
  • You may be willing to admit that while you’ve always wanted to live on the West Coast or the East Coast – or London or Paris – you have less energy or emotional resilience than you had 25 years earlier. Or even five years earlier!

I’ve been surprised at how often my two-year old research continues to provide some sort of service. Recently, one or two Empty Nesters have popped by to read, so I thought I would update those findings specifically for the 50+ crowd, pull together whatever I could find on the web, and add a few thoughts of my own.

I’m no longer contemplating Empty Nest. I’m there.

Unsettled at Empty Nest

Facing those “starting over” questions is tough at any age and in all sorts of circumstances. If you’re married, you have two individuals to consider – most likely two jobs, two sets of preferences in what you envision as the next chapter, and ideally you also have someone with whom to share the stresses of any relocation.

It’s less frightening to start over when you’re not alone.

But it’s still frightening!

Single at Empty Nest?

It’s another ballgame. Theoretically, you have only yourself to depend on financially, but also only yourself to please when it comes to the future. At least, that’s what we think a few years earlier. Let me say, it doesn’t necessarily work out that way in reality.

In fact, a recent comment on “Starting Out and Starting Over” states:

I’m… struggling to feel comfortable with this next life chapter without my children… I feel so unsettled and torn.

Adding to this Empty Nester’s understandable indecision?

Young adult children spread across the US, and a strong desire to live her own life more fully, having survived a bout of cancer.

Resources on Starting Over After 50

Speaking purely of the women I know, we seem to carry the familial care-taking role with us well beyond our active care-taking years. Ceasing to do so – even provisionally – is a challenge. We find ourselves seeking compromise scenarios in which we gain additional measures of whatever we want for ourselves, without feeling as though we’re straining critical connections to those we love.

We hope to settle on reasonable geographic access to family if at all possible. For them, as well as for us.

So where do we pluck our possible locations from? If we know what the considerations are, how do we choose a place to start over while hedging our bets?

  • AARP provides a nice summary of options on Starting Over After 50. It offers its Top 10 Places to Live on $100/Day including Spokane (WA), San Antonio (TX), Roanoke (VA), and Pittsburgh (PA).

Might I also suggest that if you’re searching for potential partners, you find demographic data on available men or women in your age range? Google, for example, “Best Places for Meeting Single Men Over 50.” You get the idea.

But keep in mind that you should be focusing on this next chapter in your life – not just a year or two. Think big, or at least, “bigger.” Reinvention may be an overused term, but it’s appropriate for millions of us. This Huff Post piece, hot off the online press, mentions an upcoming PBS Special focused on exactly that!

What’s Next?

I may have mused on what’s next for Hillary Clinton not long ago (and had some fun doing it), and we may have to wait a bit to see what’s next for her in 2016. Hillary aside, most of us are not flush with funds and, simply put, a “misstep” made at 50 or 60 provides less recovery time than the same experience at 30 or 40 – financially as well as emotionally.

The bottom line? When you’re 50 years old and starting over, knowing where to turn, much less where to begin, involves a complex set of decisions.

When you’re considering how far and wide to cast your net for potential relocation, I would certainly factor in your:

  • Propensity for risk and your ability to be flexible
  • Financial situation (not just now, but 5 years out, 10 years out, etc. – run the numbers!)
  • Comfort with travel (if children and grandchildren will be far away)
  • Need to make friends quickly; how sociable you are
  • Romantic interests (looking to date?)
  • Career / profession – whether newly starting or taking it on the road
  • Health / medical needs – not just today, but in 5 or more years’ time
  • Ability to change your mind – financially and logistically
  • Possibilities of a trial period in the proposed location if possible
  • Ability to view the new location and life as one where you can see yourself older (10+ years? 20 years?)

Gather Suggestions and Input

Suggestions for how to gather data of your own – that is tailored to you?

Do you belong to any Facebook groups in which members live in the areas you’re considering? Can you ask for input?

Perhaps you have friends or relatives you can stay with for a few weeks, as a sort of trial period without making a major move.

Have you asked your children how they feel about you’re relocating? Have you factored in travel logistics and expenses, or the extent to which you will tolerate living at a distance from family?

Are there others you can tap for their counsel?

Do you know what you’re good at? What interests you? Where can you pursue what you’d like to learn or try your hand at?

Using myself as an example, both my sons are in college. One will be in the Northeast for another few years and the other, in a matter of months, could be almost anywhere including either coast or Europe.

As to how I make my living, theoretically, a writer or consultant can work remotely anywhere I have reliable Internet. Then again, there’s the issue of proximity to service providers I’ve known for years, existing relationships (and all their complexities), not to mention the comfort of what is familiar – especially important (in my opinion) when you’re single and female.

Yes, I’ve made some assumptions in that statement. They apply to me; they may not apply to you. And I might also say that Paris is familiar!

Starting Over After 50 and Single

The woman who commented recently has specific questions. She is ahead of the game because she knows generally what she’s looking for, and she’s soliciting input and feedback. She’s in her 50s, and it sounds like she’s single.

She writes:

I want a friendly town and smart. Spiritual but authentic. A place with a lot to do but not a lot of neighborhood noise at night. No humidity. No cold. I’m thinking of Silver Lake, CA or Santa Monica.

These aren’t places I’m familiar with.

Any readers who are? Any real world input to provide? Any alternative suggestions?

I could say the same myself; while I’ve lived in Paris and loved it, I’m not sure I want to be an ocean away from my sons at this time. I’m not 100% convinced I could remake my life overseas, though that doesn’t mean I’ve dispensed with that idea; like this reader, I find myself feeling unsettled and torn.

  • So for now, do we have input on Silver Lake and Santa Monica?
  • Other suggestions for locations that are warm, friendly, authentic, and things to do?
  • And if you have some, any details on the social life and the cost of living?
  • Have you relocated at 50+ or are you considering doing so?
  • What are you learning from that experience?
  • Who else is dreaming of Paris or some other far-off locale, at least for a few weeks to soak up all it has to offer?
  • How are you managing to balance being realistic with a desire for something new?

Images, BigStockPhoto.

Image of Paris Rooftops, Yours Truly.


You May Also Enjoy



  1. says

    I subscribe to Intentional Communities, don’t often check the many emails I get but at first was interested. You can find lots of information about living communes/communities of like minded people all around the US and abroad. Very organized! Not too sure I’m going to go that route. I feel I’d give a lot of my independence away. However, I think it would be great to have an immediate social network.

    Regarding Ashland, OR. I’ve thought about moving back to my home state, growing up there, living close enough to the ocean to make a day trip, makes me kind of homesick. Ashland is a liberal/conservative town. Lots of small businesses, outdoorsy, beautiful country. Not much diversity though. Oregon is pretty much a one color state imo. Medford is the largest town about 30 miles from Ashland. Very hot temps in the summer in Medford, not as bad in Ashland. I could have skewed memories since I haven’t been to those places in over 30 years. You can count on Ashland as being more expensive than typical communities to live in. If you want to live in a tent or mobile home near the area, I’m sure you’ll find your place.

  2. says

    There are few ways to deal with the empty nest depression and most of them include – do what you want! My parents had such a hard time after me and my brother moved out and the first year they were really depressed. Especially my mother… Now they are fine.. they moved to a nice village in the countryside and they are doing great! They started to travel and I feel much better for them now! :)

  3. Lyndi C says

    Addressing the question of Santa Monica and/or Silver Lake, I can offer some insight. Both are grood places to live, as the weather is great, they’re close to anything related to the arts, education, entertainment and social groups of all types. Santa Monica places you at the ocean, Silver Lake puts you inward, closer to the mountains and Pasadena (home of the Norton Simon museum and Rose Parade) and a bit warmer in the summer. As a native SoCal gal, at 62 I’m looking to leave the State… or at least the area. The population is extremely crowded, its expensive and I really believe it will continue to get worse. Cultural diversity is also interesting and while it provides the opportunity to spend time in many world experiences it can sometimes feel forced. My best advice is… its a great place to visit, but if you’re looking to get away from the noise, this isn’t it. :-) It’s big city all the way.

    • Julie says

      I live near Bethesda, MD.
      I grew up here and I want to leave so badly.
      It’s incredibly expensive and the traffic is horrendous.
      I want to live somewhere that winters are not too harsh and summers lower in humidity.
      I would love to be near water (lakes rather than ocean) and a true community feel.
      Cool shops, good eating places, a bit funky but not too far out.
      I would love to find other women who would like to live together as I feel living alone is way too lonely.
      Any suggestions?

      • Linda says

        Julie- I am looking for similar qualities in a town but would like to live near a major airport (hour or two) so I can visit family in other states.

        I would be interested in speaking with you and Frances about this offline.


      • Julie says

        I’m in Falls Church, Virginia and feel the same way, Julie. Looking seriously at Portland Oregon. It reminds me of Arlington, only less traffic.
        (Another) Julie

        • Patricia says

          Sorry, Ladies. Portland, wonderful as it is, has traffic! Even down south 20 mins down I-5 where I lived for 7 yrs. But Portland has a lot of great “suburbs” to towns all around. If you have patience the driving is beautiful (ocean just 2 hours away with a gorgeous drive from the north and the south).

          I am working through my own process as to where I will be (never married) after this “season of life:” taking care of my Mom is over in South Eastern WI. With another winter coming on (and originally a MN girl!) it HAS to be warm. But I have not been able to find full employment in this town and now my Mom needs someone at home with her (which was why I came home 3 yrs ago from glorious Pacific Grove CA expensive), so finances will be a big question. Scary and exciting. Maybe a decked out camper trailer and see the country or find a 50+ community and a modular home. Just making sure not to accumulate anything more than I can find in my car!

      • diana says

        You gals are speaking my language!

        Almost 50, newly divorced and looking to start somewhere fresh with all the things you listed.

        Have yall come up with anything yet?? :p

        • Pia Louise says

          Goodness Ladies I feel a bit better knowing I’m not alone in my aloneness. I’m preparing to House Sit in Santa Barbara.

          For these past 2 years, I’ve been staying with my mother after selling my house in a short sale. I’ve also been in and out of under 40 hr/week jobs and ripping thru savings. This situation is slowly sucking the life out of me. I cannot take another year like this…

          So now I realize I have to make a bold decision since living with minimal expenditures but also limited jobs in a culturally void region has not allowed me to save! I thought I would be able to save more. And it’s totally not happening.

          It’s worth the risk to move where I really want to be: back in Central CA in Monterey or Santa Barbara or further south in Echo Park / Silver Lake, L.A. region. I’m going to house sit in all these areas and look for work. And when I find the right location I’ll rent a shoe box to live in if I have to. haha

          At least being around a wealthier community I can possibly find a service oriented F/T position. My needs are minimal. I’ve already downsized to the clothes on my back.

          I live in South Jersey just east of Philadelphia; and I’ve never enjoyed being here but had to stay after divorce due to kids etc… I’d rather live in a shoebox someplace with great weather and culturally, socially more to offer.

          I am scared to death: to stay here another year and also to leave, so I choose leaving because I think it will open up opportunities I cannot possibly fathom from here.

          I am very curious as to what everyone chooses … is there some way to stay in touch?
          Its the Blood Moon / Eclipse tonight so maybe we’ll all get a boost of positive energy.
          Do some journaling on what you need and require for this special chapter of your lives. I still have dreams…I raised 3 kids alone so I know I can do this. I can do for me what I’ve done for others for all these decades.

          Warm regards, Pia Louise

        • Debra says

          How does one join this discussion and perhaps connect with others as has been suggested? So many of you are speaking my language and along with sharing the same challenges, would love to connect further. I am at that pivotal place and time where a change is pending, yet beyond this, I’m lost. Please let me know how and if connecting is possible. Thanks.

  4. Linda says

    Hi, just wanted to chime in with the rest of you ladies and I am so glad this site is out there for the over 50 crowd. My situation currently without getting long and winded is I am currently staying with my daughter in Albany, GA because I was living in Reno, NV for the last 3 years I am originally from upstate NY. I was renting a townhouse with a male friend for the last 4 months, while visiting family in NY he decided to move out. I was not on the lease. Prior to flying out to NY I lost my job and I was getting homesick been out West for 3 years to turn my life around I am 54 and divorced with two grown children. So my belongings are in storage out there and I am planning my next move. I know I have to come back to the East but looking for a place about 3 hours from my daughter and granddaughter does anyone know of any good areas to live in and get my life rebuilt. I don’t have any pets or crazy ex’s in my life :) lol Thanks for all your input.

    • D. A. Wolf says

      Are you also looking for another job, Linda? Will you choose where to go based on that, or do you have the flexibility to move somewhere and then find work?

      • Linda says

        Yes I’m looking for another job, my current plans are I am flying back to Nevada to get my belongings and have a garage sale and get rid of things I don’t need or want. Then drive
        across country to stay with my daughter and granddaughter, she is in GA. I don’t like the high humidity and lack of things to do and low pay scale so I was thinking of staying a year and moving to a place more of my liking and affordability.

        Like many woman here looking for a peaceful town but live outside a major city so you have
        things to do, variety of choices and more employment opportunities. Some have talked about
        moving into together and I am giving this some serious consideration as well.

    • Pia Louise says

      Hi Linda – I have a high school friend (from up north) who lives in Augusta, GA and works just across the border in South Carolina. The thing that I found travelling thru the coastal region of S.C. and N.C. and GA is its so spread out and rural that it would be tough as a single person – man or woman.

      But if you end up somewhere near Augusta let me know because my friend Jeannie is lots of fun and single and late 50’s. She knows other single women in the area. Best to you. Pia

      • D. A. Wolf says

        It’s tough everywhere, Pia. I read these comments from so many places and I think to myself how hard it is for so many people in so many different locations all trying so hard just to get a foothold in something they can hang onto and believe in and work at and feel good about.

        Or at least not feel so scared and so despairing.

        This, I hope, is some small measure of assistance — a glimmer of hope in communicating with each other and not feeling so alone. And, connecting with good people in the process, which always helps.

  5. says

    Like so many, I think about living somewhere else, somewhere not totally dependent on the ever-necessary car and away from our long, cold New England winters. More urban than my very rural life, offering museums, concerts, cafes , instead of gardens and long walks out my door into the woods. Good public transit, perhaps a university nearby. Not too big, not wildly expensive.

    My heart says southern France, my head says … are there places here in the eastern US?

    Then my heart jumps back in, with …. but my friends, colleagues, community are all right here with me.

    • D. A. Wolf says

      You know Suze, you’re describing where I used to live in the Boston area. I left there many years ago to take a job but also because I just couldn’t take the long winters any longer. It does seem that many of us would like the same qualities in terms of where we would live. Why is it so difficult to find?

      • says

        Yes, the winters … the older I get, the harder I find them. I’m in Massachusetts, but on the west end of the state, near the NY border, at about 1600 feet in the Berkshires. I tell you the altitude because it means colder than average.

        Thinking out loud now, always dangerous in the printed word. Maybe part of the difficulty, for me at least, in figuring out where to live, what to do, with however many years I have left is related to being aware of how very lucky I am, how rich in friends and community my life is … and not wanting to lose the wonderful, good things about it.

        But still… sigh.

        • Pia Louise says

          My son is at BU and he can’t wait to leave the cold haha…and I almost moved up there to be near at least one of 3 of my kids thankfully I did not. Boston did not speak to my soul.
          I’m a west coast baby I can’t wait to go back. It’s not perfect but it’s a mindset and attitude.

          I’m really freaking out but I feel it’s right for me. I moved to New Orleans and even after Katrina it’s still a mess of a city. And not welcoming at all. I thought inexpensive and a different culture. Lots of tourists from around the world but it goes to show you – moving to a less expensive region is not enough. I think we all have to get used to co-living situations.

          We all want our own place but I’ve seen over the years several of my friends learning to house share etc…gives you more options.

  6. Barbara says

    Julie, Linda and Frances,

    I am looking for the same things you girls are! I would love to connect offline with you guys as I am ready to move! I live in Albuquerque, NM. Though our weather is nice, I so miss living near a lake.

    This is one of the worst places to live if you are single in your 50’s. No sense of community, poor heathcare options, housing… I am selling my home… Now I just need to decide where to move!! If you wish to connect please contact D. A. Leave a comment here and she will provide my email offline. I hope I hear from you!

    Suggestions on locations, anyone??


    • says

      Hi Barbara and others–I’d like to hear what you have to say about this. Please let me know how to communicate off-line with everyone. I’m so ready to make a change but unsure about moving to a new place where I know no-one. Timing may be an issue for me as I have a house I’m paying on and don’t really know if I should try to sell right now. I didn’t know there were so many women in the same sort of situation as me. This is a great site. Thanks! Erin

      • Erin says

        Hey Erin, my name Erin also! I decided to take a chance. House getting listed on 15th, open house on 20th. Have no clue where I will end up! After a long drawn out divorce, 3 kids graduated/moved off to college & Army, I’m stuck on 5 acres with 2 houses… Too much work for me alone. Selling a lot of things, storing some, then I’m gonna take my dog & explore for a while. Have to wait & see how quickly it sells.

        • Erin says

          Erin–That sounds like a lot even for two people to manage. Good luck on selling your property fast. I’ve been there, done that twice in the past 10 years, and it’s not easy, that’s for sure. Erin

        • Kim says

          Hi Erin, I too have a house listed for sale.. Its going slowly.. I live in Maryland and have considered keeping my house and renting out rooms.. I feel like I am in a holding pattern, and its getting old. I have been looking at tow behind toy hauler travel trailers, just loading up me, my dog, and my bike and keepin it moving for a while .. A lot of this is out of my hands at the moment…. I am Happy to find this site :) Kim

      • D. A. Wolf says

        Holy House Hunt, Batman! Perhaps the Erin’s, Lindas, and Barbara should friend me on Facebook and we’ll see if we can get acquainted a little there sometime soon. So many of us are looking to restart in many ways at this stage…

        • Valerie says

          Is Facebook where everyone is getting together to discuss this further? I try to avoid Facebook as much as possible, but would get on there to join in the conversations if possible!

      • Liz In Mass says

        Erin, Linda, Barbara,
        Add me in, I would love to chat about this as there is so much to consider when we have so many choices and time is so precious. Liz

        • Erin K says

          Ladies!! Do you need another Erin in this group?? LOL. I am almost 52 and have 4 more years till my youngest graduates. However, I am starting to seriously think about what is next. Live in MN, which I have never liked. Hate the winters and long for more community and diversity. Would love a beach town that is eclectic. Lots of interesting people from all over. People to talk with and drink wine with and laugh with. I have a home based business so I can recreate it anywhere. Am pretty liberal so don’t want to be anywhere too conservative. No idea at this point where my kids will end up…but need to focus on me when they leave. Probably will want to stay in the US at least until they are settled. Oh, yeah, and I’m single…is it too much to hope for some men where I move???

        • Debra says

          Agreed Liz. Each of you/us are struggling with similar issues and it’s truly comforting to know I’m not alone even though it surely feels that way.

    • says

      Wow, everything resonates here with me….I am recently divorced after almost 30 years and 56 years old….kids all grown up…realizingI will be alone for the next 30 years or so…..I have been trying to navigate through all the financial debris and the emotional turmoil….moving away interest me, but I don’t know if I am running away….I have looked at a couple of regions on line that look promising–Tacoma, Washington and Raleigh, North Carolina. I do live in a wonderful area–the SF bay area in California. Great weather and opportunities and I do have a job here and a house. But all my $ is tied up in equity in the house. If I were to move out of state, I could travel, work or not work….etc….

  7. Liz In Mass says

    I feel right at home with all of you on this blog. I am an empty nester, no pets, plants, sold my home, my 2 children in college but I am not “old” I feel so energetic. I am starting my own business after leaving my 20 year profession. I am considering a place close enough and desirable enough that my parents, children and friends will visit as I develop my virtual based business. So here it goes….I never thought being an avid skier and mountain climber I would pick this place (especially with the old person reputation)
    FLORIDA (not screaming just hoping for it to stand out so you can comment).

    I would welcome the opportunity to connect with those who are interested in doing so.

  8. Brenda says

    I would also like to connect on Facebook……I lived in Atlanta Area for 35 years~ moved to Nashville Area to help with My Elderly Parents. No Plans to stay here long term….. looking more toward the Carolinas to be centrally located for Kids/ Grandkids!! All of a sudden in My Life….. I feel lonely and unsettled even though I stay busy every day!! Life is just so different now in the empty nesting stages just wanting to figure out who I am at the age of 57 and still full of life!!!!

    • Linda says

      Hi Brenda, in order for me to reach out to you please contact D. A. and she can give me your e-mail address and we can go from there. I too am interested in the Carolina’s.

      • Tacy says

        In the same boat as all of you!!! would love to be included in the emails/face book communications.
        All 5 of my children are all independent, house is sold, divorce final. Looking to settle in warmer climates and begin a new journey.
        Please all be in touch!


  9. Kathy says

    Erin, Linda, Tacy, Barbara, and Liz,
    I would love to chat with all of you! My daughter is in her third year of college and I am looking forward to starting my next chapter! Not sure how this works but would love to chat with all of you! There was a reason I found this site!

    • Lisa says

      My young adult children have moved a 13 hour drive away. No, I did not see them much before, but the new distance is an eye opener. Makes me question my house and my location… with no real reason to keep either. Wow… what now.

      Does anyone have thoughts about Philadelphia or a nice small city in Florida?

      • D. A. Wolf says

        I lived in Philadelphia years ago, several times, in both the city and burbs. I loved it, but the winters are a little rough.

      • Debra says

        Many areas in and around Philadelphia. Center city, the Main Line, and surrounding suburbs. Would be glad to provide any information.

  10. Teri says

    Hello Ladies,
    I’m 50 and like the rest of you, I am preparing to ‘make a change’ and find a new place to call home. I live in San Diego County, CA and I know that I will not be able to retire here. It’s just way too expensive and getting worse every day. Yes, it’s beautiful here, but trying to survive is another thing. I’m doing okay now with a full time job in IT and will hopefully be able to find something at my age. I won’t leave my current job until I find something. The biggest thing… finding a place that feels good.

    Like you everyone here, I love country but want to be within an hour of city for entertainment and medical care. I have 2 grown sons and 2 grandsons. None that I get to see very often so relocating away from them won’t be much of a change. I can always visit. :)

    Have any of you here researched Idaho, Wyoming or Montana? I’m kinda looking at places in the quadrant of ID, WY, CO and UT… and possibly northern NV. I’m just starting my searches but thought I’d check to see if any of you have checked those states out.

    Would like to connect with you all as well, if anything to get input of your choices and things you found out.

    Thank lots, Teri

    • Kathy says

      Hi Teri-
      All of the areas you mentioned, I have considered myself! My daughter is still in college but I am starting to “gear up” for the empty nest phase. I I have been down South quite a bit but it is too hot in the summer for me! I am a teacher so I have some time to travel during the summer. I would like to head out West this summer and explore some possibilities. I am from Indiana. I would like an area where the winter months are not so extreme. I am also looking for an area where it allows for an active life style (ie biking, hiking, kayaking).

    • savannah says


      I am presently in CO, and though I love it here, it is time to move on. I need a fresh start, too many bittersweet memories, and I just need a change. I got in my Mini and drove and drove, and I went to see possibilities. I want a less hectic pace. It is becoming TOO crazy in my city. People are just too stressed out and I just am seeking the friendlier atmosphere it use to be here. Wyoming is just not me, has the wrong vibe…I like parts of UT, but they have weather inversion thing happening and so with allergies, not a good mix. So I am gonna try Idaho. I scouted around and found that it suits what I am looking for. I need OPEN space, building is going on like crazy and it just bugs me that it is becoming congested. They have water, and I can go sailing, :-). I like walking, lots of trails, so that works. Cost isn’t as high. But what impressed me the most, and I think what I am looking for is that people were courteous, and friendly. People are becoming so rude and disrespectful where I am that I can hardly stand it. It doesn’t take much to be kind, ya know. Somehow that is really really important to me now.

    • Nancy A says

      Hi Terri:

      I live in San Diego as well and thinking of moving to CO. I just visited to scope out areas and apartments. I snow ski and golf and like upscale living, art, music, outdoors, movies hiking. You name it.

      If you want to connect please reach out to me through the author of this site using the email blw @ and she will connect us.


      Nancy A

  11. Debbie says

    Hello I’m 52, married, no kids, no career, and let’s say, thinking ahead to possibilities if I should leave my husband and start over after a seven year marriage so far. Ahem. Anyway, I’ve been living in the “Bay Area” across the bay from San Francisco, for 7 years, and I think it may suit some of you, those who want a mild climate, no real winters, Summer can get hot but it depends where you go, further inland is hottest, but Oakland is usually very nice weather. We also have a lake with boat rentals, some good places to eat and shop, and fantastic day trips within an hour, like NAPA, and various Pacific coast beaches. There’s lots of cultural activities in East Bay and San Francisco, and the entire region. I am into swing dancing, which is very popular here, both lindy hop and West coast swing styles, as well as going to occasional shows in the city. It’s quite diverse, there’s plenty of “hip” stuff especially around Berkeley, Oakland, and in the city. It’s also very good if you happen to be a VEGAN or want to try to be. Although I am not a hiker type, I know that people love to go hiking around here, and cycling is also hugely popular.

    A nice upscale city is Walnut Creek (East Bay) which has some nice condos as well as houses. We toured many of the condos there, in hopes of buying one. San Mateo may be worth checking out, if you want to live close to the beach but not on it. I am not too familiar with SOUTH BAY, but San Mateo is supposed to be very nice as well as the fancy town of Palo Alto. My hubby owns a condo there, in fact, as a rental investment, and the downtown is VERY nice with tons of shops and restaurants. It will cost you a pretty penny though to live there. He’s renting out his condo there for 1300, I think, and that is a bargain actually for the area.

    By the way, I am originally from New Jersey, so I understand the dilemma of having to consider traveling to visit family and friends. In fact, we were just in NYC and although I am used to it, I am not a fan of flying long distance. I have been considering a potential move to AUSTIN. I have never been there, but it sounds like a cool city with a lively arts scene. I actually get emails from the Redfin realty site on new places for sale there, every day. Most are for three bedroom houses in the Northern suburbs, which look very nice and are reasonable prices compared to where I live now. (The Bay area market is a bit steep depending on where you look, but it can be worth it too). They also have many new condos downtown, which is trendy and yes, quite expensive. Not sure if I would want to shell out over 300k for a one bedroon condo, vs. a quiet suburban town North, but it may be hard to find same there. My hubby also owns two fourplexes in a working class neighborhood in North Austin, which are a very decent price, renovated rental apartments, and I read somewhere that there are many single middle aged women around there. If you were actually interested, let me know and I can tell you if and when he has a vacancy. I am not trying to sell anyone on renting from him, just simply offering my suggestions as to location.

    As far as the EAST coast, may I suggest Charlotte, N.C.? I have a senior male friend who moved there, bought a condo, and enjoys his lifestyle dancing there. I’ve never been, but it looked very nice on “The Bachelorette” and sounds safe and warm. Anyway,, maybe for you outdoors enthusiasts, like Kathy, check out the Bay area! They do have kayaking too, by the way.

    • Valerie says

      Hi Debbie – read your post and just wanted to recommend that if you’re seriously considering Austin TX, you should definitely make a couple of trips here to get a feel for the place before making a permanent move.

      I’m originally from NY (Long Island), and have lived here 11 years. I am beyond homesick, if I could afford the rents back east I’d be back in a heartbeat.

      Seriously think about the things you might miss being in a totally different climate. Town Lake isn’t a good substitute for the ocean, I personally miss the seasons (they do not have a spring or fall here), I miss how green it is back east, things tend to always look dry here (in comparison), and it is just months and months of unrelenting high heat.

      Also be careful of those ‘working class’ neighborhoods – a single woman may not really feel safe there. The safety factor can literally vary in a block or two here.

      And for anyone looking for an affordable city – this isn’t it anymore, prices continue to get higher and higher.

      Just wanting to advise all to make moves with all the information they can gather, preferably by physically visiting first – I moved here without ever having been here, based on a few opinions of people who had been here, one who lived here, and what I researched on the internet. And I have not ever felt at home here.

      • D. A. Wolf says

        You make excellent points that EVERYONE should pay attention to: Research must include talking to people who live in your target area whose circumstances are similar enough to make their experience valid for you. If possible — visit!

        So helpful, Valerie. Thank you.

        • Kathy says

          Yes, thank you for keeping these posts going! I really enjoy reading them–great insight!! Although I do not enjoy the harsh Midwest winters, I believe I would miss the change of seasons. I enjoy the “transition” seasons the most…summer turning into fall…fall into winter..winter to spring! So many things to consider! Very exciting!

        • Tacy says

          Is everyone connecting with each other through face book? I would very much like to get involved in the conversations, discussions and ideas that these wonderful woman are tossing around. I have procrastinated my move from NJ for too long…….. scared to go it alone. With summer coming to an end it is time no more excuses. It is terrifying!!!!


        • D. A. Wolf says

          More to come on this, Tacy. Meanwhile, you can email blw @ Let me know if you’re interested in joining an FB group specifically for this topic.

    • savannah says

      That is too funny, I grew up in Berkeley and Albany, and it is SOOOOOO expensive now. I don’t see how anyone lives there. You either love the Bay Area or hate it. I left at 16 because it wasn’t my cup of tea. My family stayed there, but I could never see why. San Francisco is nice to visit, but again, pricey. I had family in Alamo, and they ended up moving on because it got too expensive. I just don’t get how people make it there unless you have a very lucrative job.

  12. Nancy A says

    It’s interesting to see this forum and it is great. I currently live in Southern California and thinking of moving to Denver, CO area. I am over 50, single, no kids, a couple of dogs, snow ski and play golf. Any other ladies have any thoughts about Denver or surrounding areas and how it what it might be like to live their being single and 50? Replies are welcome.


  13. theresa says

    Hello Ladies,

    It seems so many of us have similar life situations. I just want to meet fun people and have fun. Lets start our own town! But seriously… where is a great place to move? Any fun beach towns in Fla.

  14. Karen says

    I am 50, recently divorced and almost an empty nester. I live in the metro NY area but want to relocate. I’d love to connect with other women in a similar situation.

  15. Peggi says

    I am so happy to have discovered this dialogue on making a move/lifestyle change in our 50s! I felt very alone in m situation before stumbling upon this blog. I am 52 and want/need to make a move from Iowa. I’ve lived in other large cities in Midwest but moved home to take care of elderly parents. Now that they’re gone, there’s nothing here for me–thus, no reason to stay. Warmer sounds great—Florida? Just spent a week in Los Angeles are and very expensive and small/tiny apts/homes for your money. I will also need to work wherever I go. Has anyone considered Phoenix? Kansas City?? I’d love to connect with all of you. Please let me know how I can join in this discussion group.

  16. Lynn says

    Kindred spirits! I accidentally located this blog and was fascinated to find that there are so many women in our 50’s and 60’s with the same questions, challenges and situations as mine. I am a Florida native that can’t wait to leave the state! The weather (hot and humid), cost of living (high), lack of employment opportunities for those seeking professional positions (unless you want to make $9.50/hr at a theme park), available men (haven’t found them after all these years), traffic and of course, the tourist, are a few of my reasons for leaving. Don’t get me wrong, Florida is a beautiful state if that’s where you want to retire.

    I am 61, single with no children (only two of the four legged variety), cared for my mother in my home for 17 years and retired after 40 years with the same company. I have been searching the web to gather information on how to select the best retirement area and have been disappointed in what was s available. Was hoping there was a tool that you could enter all of my “wants/criteria” and it would spit out suggestions. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any luck finding anything like this. I’m betting that many others have done some research as well and wish there was a way to capture and organize the findings. Would love to continue with this topic and connect for further conversations. Thanks!

    • teresa says

      I am in Nashville and considering moving myself, had thought of Florida but it is very hot there. Has anybody ever lived in the Georgia Marietta area? My daughter’s moving to Colorado and I am feeling just like I know no one in Nashville, very difficult to meet people, not sure about jobs in other areas, and being single it’s a bit scary.

  17. says

    Has anyone actually made a move yet or done some major research that they would care to share?
    I agree with Theresa, lets start our own town!!!!! Has anyone thought about the Caribbean or something of that nature? Any advice would be wonderful.

  18. Cheryl says

    Kindred spirits indeed! I m 58 years old, and I live in a small town in Colorado. I would love to connect with others and brainstorm great places to move. I would love to live near the ocean, in a smallish town that has nice neighborhoods with Coffeeshops, great places to meet up for drinks, book clubs, etc. To live an interesting and enjoyable life, with good friends.

    Tacy, I have thought of the Caribbean, but haven’t got very far in looking. Like others have said, it feels scary to do this on my own!

  19. Shirley says

    I live in virginia and I am 52 yr old black female. I lost my 22 yr old son due to hospital neglect in 2014 and I have no desire to work anymore or be in this USA. I’m just totally empty…I would like to backpack and just never return…I have 50 thousand dollars which isn’t much but is better than nothing… my first destination is Spain to do the 500 mile Camino walk to try n clear my head which I plan to take 90 days doing it… Then by the finish of that my plan is to go to the Dominican Republic and continue to find my way for I am lost… I read these stories here n I say just go for it for that’s what imma do…I wish you all on a great new journey n god bless you all.

    • D. A. Wolf says

      Shirley, I don’t know how you manage through the loss of a child under any circumstance, much less what you mention. I wish there were words of comfort I could offer. It sounds like you have planned something that promises to be an incredible experience. Who knows what new avenues and doors may open for you, and those whose lives you will touch. I wish you well.

  20. Lisa says

    So is there a current (2015) list of best places to live for singles in our 50s? Here’s me: lost my job 2 months ago, apartment lease ends (or renews.. this is one of many decisions I NEED to make asap) on Jan 31, 2016, rents in NJ (approx 45 min – 1 hr from bridges and tunnels to NYC) are tough. Factor in less than maximum weekly unemployment benefit. Even before I lost my job I was absolutely open to moving out of NJ since I find it’s not an ideal place for single women my age with no children.

    I’ve been job-searching daily, I’ve been applying for jobs all over the US, figuring I will have to move where the jobs are. Then I switched it up a bit, and started searching first for livable cities (sites such as, and once I come up with a few cities which seem appealing, I then hop onto and the like, looking for possible jobs in those cities.

    Yet here I am, after a google search meant to narrow things down/make the life-change search more targeted, I googled ‘best cities for single women age 50’, and this was among the links. I’d appreciate any suggestions/advice, not necessarily for starting over at 50, even just for starting.

    • D. A. Wolf says

      Hi Lisa. One of the reasons that this subject continues to be commented on even after all this time is because of its importance, and the number of us searching for a second chapter (or third or more) that makes sense, and allows us to make a living.

      Personally, I believe there is no single ‘best places to live for over 50-year-olds’ list. How could there be? The criteria that each of us will have can be broken down into similar factors, but our choices will of course be different, as our skills, preferences, family situations, health and so on will all be different. Therefore our answers are not the same.

      That said, the ability to gather information about targeted locations seems vital. Discussion with people who have lived in different areas is, in my opinion, helpful with regard to cost, various ‘livability’ (quality of life) factors, transportation, jobs, housing and so on.

      Continue your thoughts and let’s see what we can come up with.

      • Lisa says

        Thank you D.A. I was really just going to wrap up with wishes for more scoop on livable cities for women 50+ years, including the variables you listed, i.e. cost of living, jobs, housing costs, etc..

        I noticed some of the comments were posted by women who are from NJ, so some of you don’t need me to tell you this in an expensive state, with little to no walkable cities/towns, and not a whole lot of easy access to outdoor activities for anyone with a city wish list including active lifestyle options. And I keep seeing cities such as Portland, Seattle, Denver, and Austin turning up on lists.. but after a bit more looking into online, they tend to seem loaded with a younger population, sort of 20s – 30s (at least closer to town or in town, rather than outskirts).

        Best of luck to all seeking the next chapter.

  21. Lisa B says

    Greetings all,
    I feel many kindred spirits here, so here goes. I will soon be 51, empty nester of three children, single with one elderly dog and I am miserable with the current state of my life. I stumbled upon this site and feel exactly the way most of you do. I grew up in Midwest and I have always hated it, the small town, horrible winters, struggles with making decent money, closed minded, so I moved away to Portland, OR to live somewhere beautiful, different, more liberal thinking and most importantly to be near my younger brother whom I had much of the same interests in common with. That was about10 years ago. Not only did I love the city, I loved being near the coast, mountains, other beautiful destinations within close proximity. I lived there for nearly 8 years, loved it, then sadly, tragedy struck when my youngest brother, whom was one of my best friends in life was killed. He was only 39 and I still have not been able to pull my life back together. I stayed another year but the area was just too depressing, everything reminded me of my brother, so I decided to leave the area. I stupidly quit my good paying job to come back to the Midwest to be near daughter/ grandchildren and now feel trapped in a life that I hate! Living in an old apartment, not working. All I do is worry day to day how I’m going to be able to survive here financially, don’t have much to do except care for my old dog, watch re-runs on television and babysit. Ive gained/lost/gained weight adopting this horrible lifestyle, became steadily unhealthy. I miss the routine of work, life balance and visiting family on occasion. I live in a small town with nothing more to do. I used to love being able to afford travel, going out dancing, hikes, being fashionable, trendy (without stares like I’m from another galaxy), going to funky thrift stores, or coffee shops, hearing good live music, seeing shows, socializing once in a while, and LIVING LIFE, but that does not exist here. It’s just not the same vibe. I’ve been in culture shock, everything is so spread out in the middle of corn fields. Although I cherish my time with my grandkids and I am thankful i have been able to gain a close relationship with them, something is missing, ME! I’m getting more depressed by the day by staying here. My other two children live far away and thankfully have their own lives.
    I recently just signed another lease here as I had no other plan and I am regretting it every moment of every day. I look in the mirror and no longer see the vibrant woman I once was. I feel like I’m just existing, I’m living like my life is over, waiting for something to happen. I want to get in my car and just drive away, but to where? And how do I explain to my daughter/ grandkids? I know it’s my life, although I feel sort of selfish to just pick up and move away but I don’t know how much more of this life I can take. It’s draining me emotionally, financially and spiritually. I miss the West Coast, just not all the rain, I hope someone can give me some good advice, on where to go. I’m not rich, but I’m planning to get back to work ASAP. I was in the salon/beauty industry for years but need a change from that if possible. I need a change, period, and fast! I’m even willing to break my lease to get out of this mess. FYI, I have sought professional mental health treatment but, as you know that only goes so far. This life is so NOT ME! HELP! HOPELESS IN THE MIDWEST.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *