Women. – “You’re single, aging and thinking about the future.”
So begins the new book, fresh off the press three weeks ago by Jill O’Donnell & Jackie Porter – Single by Choice or Chance (The smart woman’s guide to living longer, better).
Reiterating my comment on the back of the book: this quick, practical read, focused on various aspects of later life stages for single women, has enough common sense advice to benefit single men too.
I know several single women from 55 to 80 who are quite willing and open to talk about how they might recalibrate a new narrative for later life. This compact volume though, targets single women over 45, and will serve as a constant reminder of all the challenges and possibilities – from life plan to legacy.
If you walk away with one memorable piece of advice in this book, it is the statement at the end of Chapter 7 – Advocate for Yourself. This is one lesson I learned from my own experience as a P.O.A. and advocate, looking after a single woman in her late 80’s until her passing at age 90. There came a tipping point where gradually over a few years she lost her self-awareness to be that advocate.
For a single older woman, perhaps finding and placing trust in others is one of the greatest concerns. Thus the ongoing life skill will be having the ability to set up a core support team as early as possible, AND have the foresight to know that as your needs change at different stages, so too will be the kind of support you need. Not to forget the fact that the people that support you today won’t necessarily be around for you forever.
The tough news is that not everybody’s “promise of longevity” (as I like to refer to it) will be easy or the same for every woman – single or otherwise. For each of the five women’s stories in this book, there are hundreds more with other unique narratives and varying levels of confidence.
The good news for 2016 and into the future, as reflected in Single by Choice or Chance, is that for single women in later life, there are more options, resources and role models than ever before.