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Christian Living

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Savvy Senior Singles

Every seven seconds in America, someone is turning 50 and facing the second half of life. Statistics show that at least half of those in this demographic will experience this phase of life as a single. The majority of unmarried seniors have had singleness thrust upon them through the death of a spouse or an unexpected divorce, and they are seldom prepared to live alone.

In her book, Savvy Senior Singles, author and conference speaker Samantha Landy presents an honest, no-nonsense guide for victorious living as an older single. With humor and candor, she equips readers to become “savvy senior singles”—intelligent, unmarried people over the age of fifty who experience life in all of its fullness.

Samantha’s timely advice is informed by her own personal experience. After losing her beloved husband of twenty-five years, she began searching for books that addressed the issues she was facing. “There were countless books written for singles in the 30-50 age group, but the selection for ‘the 50+ set’ was disappointing at best—mostly empty promises presented by people who don’t have a clue what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a single living in a world that idolizes youth and denies the validity of the natural aging process,” she recalls. “The needs of a staggering number of people were simply not being met.”

Savvy Senior Singles inspires readers to embrace “their best years” with hope, laughter, and a sense of adventure. “To age gracefully with humor and a good attitude or not—that’s the dilemma,” Samantha stresses. “Sometimes you must simply choose to be happy.” The book deals equally with issues of emotional and spiritual encouragement and the practical, everyday pitfalls that can prove disastrous for senior singles, many of whom tend to be too trusting of others. These practical issues include:

* Skyrocketing STD rates in senior singles
* Prenuptial agreements for senior singles who remarry
* Financial security and protection from identity theft

Landy recently discussed her book.

What is a savvy senior single?

A savvy senior single is an intelligent person over fifty years of age who is unmarried.  I’ve heard it said that “fifty is the new forty.”  The savvy senior single is young-at-heart, well-informed, and perceptive and lives a full life of joy and purpose.

Why did you feel compelled to write this book?

When my husband passed away and I found myself single again, I looked for books that would help me deal with the various issues I was experiencing.  I couldn’t find any.  There were, however, many books written for singles in the 30-to-50 age bracket.

What makes this book different from others written for singles?

I believe that a truly savvy senior single isn’t looking for another self-help book that promises a fantastic new body for anyone who follows a mile-long list of impossible rules and expensive regimens.  These kinds of books are most often presented by people who don’t have a clue about what it’s like to walk in the shoes of the single living in a world that idolizes youth and denies the validity of the natural aging process.  I am a proud savvy senior single.  I want to help others tackle practical issues older singles will face and to process the emotional, mental, and spiritual issues we face on a daily basis.

How can a single person overcome feelings of loss and pursue a life of joy?

When we become single again, regardless of the reason, it’s hard to imagine not being a couple—suddenly the whole world seems to be made of couples.  Sometimes we are so busy longing to be one of “the couples” that we forget the advantages of being single.  As a single person I am basically free to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it.  Even if we have lost (or never found) that “special someone,” we can still find fulfillment and companionship if we choose to develop relationships with some close friends.  Quality relationships help us stay healthy and age gracefully. They add zest to life.

You spend a chapter discussing STDs in seniors.  How serious is this problem?

It’s very serious!  I was shocked to discover that single senior citizens are the fastest growing segment of our population to contract STDs.  Single seniors, especially those who have been in monogamous relationships for decades and suddenly find themselves single, realize there is no risk of pregnancy and think, “It’s party time!”  They tend to ignore the fact that such promiscuous behavior puts them at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV / AIDS, not to mention how it violates God’s boundaries that clearly reserve sexual relations for marriage.

The idea of a prenuptial agreement is generally frowned upon in Christian circles.  Why do you feel this document is essential for the Savvy Senior Single who is remarrying?

I realize this isn’t a popular subject in Christian circles.  When you are marrying young and planning to build your family and assets together, such a document isn’t needed.  But the situation is different in today’s culture with marriages that occur after the death of a spouse or divorce and the complicating risk factors involved.  We all agree with the wisdom of preparing a will to disperse assets after death.  A prenuptial agreement simply does the same thing in the event of the death of a marriage, which unfortunately happens in Christian families at the same rate as unbelievers.  This legal document protects both the bride and groom and any children they may have separately from previous marriages.  A prenuptial agreement also provides a roadmap for how finances will be handled in the marriage.

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