Planning Retirement for Singles

Planning retirement for singles isn't as simple as calculating half of what a couple needs. There are different factors to consider.

Planning retirement for singles isn’t as simple as calculating half of what a couple might need. As an increasing number of Americans, especially women, are single upon reaching retirement age, we have to re-evaluate best practices for retirement. For example, life insurance policies and joint retirement accounts may change after divorce. Single filers also get fewer tax breaks. It’s important to get as much information as you can to prepare for your future.

Without a strong plan, relying on a single income or set of benefits in retirement can be a severe financial strain. With 35 percent of single men and 49 percent of single women entering retirement financially unprepared, it helps to know the unique options and obstacles that face single seniors.

Women in particular encounter different challenges when planning retirement for singles. And the Social Security retirement age to receive full benefits can change, so make sure to account for the new calculations.

Retirement for singles may have fewer surprises; for example, you only need to plan for your health care costs, not a partner's as well.

Retirement as a single person can also offer more freedom and peace of mind. For example, your vision of retirement is the only one you need to work toward. There’s no need to compromise with a partner. And while you can’t bank on double the retirement funds, you also won’t have twice the health care costs.

Single seniors do need more safety nets in place for a successful, healthy retirement. Create a circle of reliable friends to help support one another. You’ll also be able to connect each other with more resources. Game nights, volunteer time and group events are great places to get to know others and have fun.

Meet with a financial advisor you trust to help you consider all your options. Find out more about planning retirement for singles at The Wall Street Journal

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