How ‘The Golden Girls' Prepared Us For Retirement

Who can forget those four spirited, side-splitting, single senior ladies who lived together in a bungalow in Miami. We’re talking of course about “The Golden Girls.” Each with her own personality and past, Dorothy, Sophia, Rose and Blanche took us through their golden years and comical shenanigans that all began with a simple misunderstanding. They made us laugh, cry and think.

Their hijinks and hilarity had us wondering what our own golden years would look like. Will we have roommates? Maybe we will trade our sleepy, Midwestern towns for warm beaches. Will we still be living with our mothers? The girls may have said goodbye to audiences in 1992, but their fabulous lives and sharp one-liners still have a lot to teach us about winning at retirement. In partnership with State Farm®, we’re remembering the many pearls of wisdom from our favorite leading ladies about life after career, drawn from their seven seasons on television.

1. Single? Get some roommates.

The “Golden Girls” model of living with single and retired friends is a trend that’s been taking off. Divorced people and widow(er)s are moving in together and some are not just renting, but actually investing in real estate together. Rent and mortgage payments and the cost of upkeep are more affordable when you’re splitting them with others. Also, many “golden” roommates report that they feel safer than if they were living alone.

2. Life is never boring.

There may not be the thrill or stress of a new, high-stakes deal at work, but retirement will never be boring. The girls taught us that the golden years will promise new relationships and the re-emergence of old friendships. You may encounter fewer celebrity guest appearances than they did, but no fewer surprises.

3. Accept the changing world with an open mind and open heart.

The ladies faced trying times and controversial issues. They took time to field the new curves life threw at them, but inevitably they came around to accept the world and the people in it by the end of every 30-minute episode.

4. Your friends are more important than you think.

Because you never know what life may throw at you, a trusted and supportive group of friends can help you navigate the winding and exciting world of retirement. Socializing is good for the body and spirit. Your social circle will empower you to take on the world (and, as the song goes, thank them for being friends).

5. Take an active role in your finances.

Rose learned this one the hard way. After her spouse passed away, she found out then that he wasn’t as savvy with the couple’s nest egg as she thought. To enter retirement on a stable financial footing, know what’s going on and prepare accordingly beforehand.

6. Stay active.

Those ladies looked great and knew how to keep in shape. Good physical health is just one of many benefits of regular exercise among seniors; it may also lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.

7. Keep working.

The ladies also remained active by staying employed. Just because you’ve retired from a career doesn’t mean you must stop working completely. Keep your mind active and the stress of finances lower with a light, manageable job. Even Sophia had entrepreneurial drive with her homemade sauce.

8. Life's too short to hold grudges.

They sure got on one another’s nerves from time to time, but they also knew that their friendships (and living situation) meant more than any man or piece of cheesecake.

9. Respect your parents.

You will never know when you may need to share a room with them, or have them get you out of a jam.

10. Have a strong self-worth.

Many of us focus on our faults too much. Self-awareness is important, but so is knowing the worth you bring in retirement. You have wisdom and experience that makes you an asset to friends, mentees and family. Consider volunteering, as well. You’ve seen the good and bad in life and know how to keep it all in perspective -- and that can make you a delight to be around.

11. Be aware of the con artists.

The ladies were no fools. Though they may have been hoodwinked at times, they caught on in the end, always finding ways to right the wrong that had been done to them. They also taught us that swindlers come in all varieties. Seniors are often the targets of such cons, so remember to never judge a book by its cover.

12. Enjoy life and cheesecake.

Don’t overthink things and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Pleasures like sweet, delicious cheesecake.

Life is infinitely easier with support and guidance. Now that you have the tools to embrace your future with confidence, let State Farm® help you to protect it.