Money talk: finances as an older single woman

I’ve decided to write more about money this year, so let’s kick this off by setting the stage and outlining some key facts about me.

  • I’m 50 years old.
  • I’m single. I was married, but divorced nine years ago.
  • I have no children, and my only current dependents are a fish and an elderly dog.
  • I’m entirely self-supporting; I don’t receive or pay alimony, or have access to family money.
  • I’m not a financial planner, nor do I work in financial services. I’m not a “money expert.”

In the personal finance and money blogosphere, there aren’t many single women aged 40+ who are writing. I can think of only two: Donna Freedman at Surviving and Thriving, and Funny About Money.

While I don’t consider this a personal finance blog, money — making it and managing it — is something that I’m always trying to learn more about, and I find value reading the personal stories, opinions, and research that is shared via blogs. So, here I am perpetuating that approach with my own personal slant.

My money goals are as follows:

  • Generate enough income to pay for my basic expenses of housing, food, and personal care;
  • Maintain a generous emergency fund;
  • Save enough to support my future self during retirement, or when I’m no longer able to work full-time;
  • Support my animal dependents;
  • Have some extra funds for fun stuff and luxuries like vacations and fancy meals.

Those are just the basics for now. Off the top of my head, I’m planning to write posts about income generation, my savings and strategy, and lifestyle choices that impact my budget. I also occasionally add tweets to the #1GoodMoneyThing topic started by Revanche at A Gai Shan Life.

Are there other topics you think I should explore? Do you know of any other older single women writing about how they handle money (such as saving and investing, budgeting, etc.)? If so, please add to the comments.

Happy New Year!

3 thoughts on “Money talk: finances as an older single woman

  1. I’d add to the list what is your emergency plan if you become incapacitated. Most of the time those responsibilities fall onto adult children or a spouse. Do you have a health care person appointed to make decisions on your behalf? A will? If so, does anyone know where the documents are?

    It’s been in the forefront of my mind lately as I’ve had multiple young (40’s and 50’s) people in my life pass away in the last year.

    I think many goals are similar regardless of family status. My goals are almost identical to your list, except I have save for Childrens college education on my list as well.

    Looking forward to hearing your upcoming posts.


    • Good questions! I have some of this covered. When I was facing a tentative cancer diagnosis two years ago and needed surgery I created an advanced directive and appointed a close friend as my advocate. I provided her a copy of the document and confirmed that she could still act in that capacity when I had a second surgery a year later.

      I still need to work on a will. I keep putting if off because it seems like it will be expensive, but I’m probably wrong about that.

      Not having to save for college education definitely helps alleviate some financial pressures for me. I also don’t feel the need to leave a legacy for anyone. I find it surprising that some people are still so determined to do that.


      • Try checking with your employer to see if they have legal aid benefits for the will. I’m embarrassed that we didn’t do that first when we got our trust and will put together, it would have saved us so much money! (To be fair, it’s possible they didn’t introduce the legal aid option until after we finished ours but I don’t really want to know, now.)


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