S5-EP18: Karen Wickre on Aging in Place As a Singleton After a Stellar Tech Career

Jun 23, 2023


Debbie talks to Karen Wickre, an old friend and former editor at Google and Twitter, about how she’s preparing to age in place, as a singleton, in her apartment in San Francisco.



Debbie brings her friend Karen Wickre back on the show to talk about “aging in place” and other things, including being a singleton in her 70s.

They met over 20 years ago when Debbie interviewed Karen, who was editor of Google’s blog, for Debbie’s book, The Corporate Blogging Book. Not surprisingly, Google was an early adopter of this new form of communication.  They’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Karen had a stellar career in tech, working at Google and then at Twitter. She retired when she was 65 (she didn’t call it “retirement” back then) and is now an editorial consultant. She lives alone in San Francisco where she’s owned her apartment for over 20 years. Now that she’s completed a strategically-planned renovation, she plans to stay there to “age in place.”

She is the author of Taking the Work Out of Networking: Your Guide to Making and Keeping Great Connections.

They talk about the power of networking, the importance of connections later in life, especially if you are a solo ager, planning ahead if you want to age in place, and what the definition of home is – beyond location – and how that might change as you grow older.

Debbie shares her thoughts about what and where home is – as she looks ahead. 

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Thanks to our media partners

Encore.org, our newest media partner, is an ideas and innovation hub tapping the talent of those 50+ as a force for good. Founder and CEO Marc Freedman is an award-winning social entrepreneur and author, most recently, of How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations. Looking for a great gap-year transition program? Check out Encore Fellowships, which match skilled, seasoned professionals with social-sector organizations in high-impact, paid assignments.


Modern Elder Academy is a program dedicated to navigating mid-life transitions. MEA, based in Baja California, Mexico, provides the place and the tools to start reframing your lifetime of experience. Grow whole, not old. Founder Chip Conley is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning hospitality entrepreneur and a rock star of the mid-life transition movement. His newest book is Wisdom @ Work: the Making of a Modern Elder.


Next For Me is an important new resource for the 50+ crowd focused on rewriting life. Taking a gap year or timeout may be the best way to figure out "what's next" when you're in this stage of life. Founder Jeff Tidwell explains, Next For Me "connects and inspires our generation to evolve our post-50 lives through new work, a new purpose, or a new social contribution."