If you are single and 65+ you are not alone.

In the UK there almost 12 million just like you. Though many may be a lot older.

Some single people have always been that way. Others have been widowed or divorced and so are ‘single again.’

No matter your reason and circumstances for being single during your years of active retirement, there are some helpful things to get your head round.

  • Social changes

    Relationships. Leaving the workplace may cut you off from many relationships that have sustained you for years. Some will have become friends and you’ll stay in touch. But not all!

    Perhaps you been very engrossed in your work, resulting in these workplace relationships having been a significant source of community for you. Then there’s a danger of lapsing into loneliness if you don’t take positive steps to replace them.

    Finding a new social circle is easy for outgoing types and much harder for those who spend their time in the kitchen at parties. But new interests, activities and social opportunities need to be proactively pursued – even if through gritted teeth.

    The good news is there are many ways to find new acquaintances that can become friends. For inspiration explore our pages on –

    New challenges – ways to enrich your life

    Volunteering – to serve your community

    Volunteering – with an international perspective

    Volunteering – in the context of your church


    David’s story

    ‘As an unmarried, lifelong, missionary, I lived with family and, while teaching overseas, accommodation and meals were provided. Come retirement, I relocated to an early retirement complex of 50 apartments in the UK. I guess it’s a new phase. Having enjoyed such a community-based lifestyle for so long, I guess I miss that interactive life with kindred minds and it would be special to have someone to enrich one’s life and effectiveness.’

  • Lifestyle changes

    If you’ve recently become single, there’s probably a painful story to tell. This will make your transition to retirement even more challenging.

    Such experiences are reckoned to be among the most stressful in life. If you’ve also moved, had health problems and face financial uncertainty you’re going to need to take care of yourself.

    In which case, you’ll find wisdom and practical advice on our page on stress.


    Gillian’s story

    ‘Having lived through a divorce, these past 15 years of being alone have been an incredibly growing time of self-discovery in a myriad of ways. I’ve discovered the need for self-reliance in many areas of my life. I’ve also become very used to making decisions on my own and taking full responsibility for them.

    When opportunities come I’m free to investigate them and use my time as I see fit. I’m therefore involved in preaching, leading groups and lots more Kingdom work which gives me enormous pleasure.’

  • The good side of singleness

    Few people choose singleness. Most wish it was not that way. Yet there are some positives in it all.

    • As a single person you probably have a great deal of freedom to choose what you might like to do without the problem of fitting in or having to negotiate.
    • Being available and able to travel without time constraints or other responsibilities can be a tremendous asset and blessing to others.

To share your insights on singleness and active retirement – and to dip into the wisdom of others – do join our Facebook community and Sign Up for our inspiring blog.

The word retirement is not even in the Bible. What is taught in scripture is transition. There is nothing that says you work most of your life and then get to be selfish for the next 20 years"

Rick Warren, PurposeDrivenLife