Your Complete Guide to Retiring Single

Saving for retirement involves lots of planning and calculations for every adult; however, if you are not married and don't have children, consider these strategies for retirement saving and planning.

Create a support system

One of the greatest challenges of retiring alone is missing a built-in support system through a spouse and children. Isolation and feelings of loneliness can be among the strongest factors in early aging and general unwellness, so it's a good idea to build your support system. This can be a close group of friends who live near your home or new friends. Some ways to meet new people are attending local social events, befriending your neighbors or spending time at a senior center for active adults.

Identify your most trusted friend

It's a good idea to choose one friend to serve as your emergency contact and make decisions on your behalf in case you cannot do so for any reason. 

Choose your trusted contact and draw up a medical power of attorney so they can make decisions for you if needed. Save this person's contact info in your phone under "Emergency Contact" so someone can easily find this number should the need arise.

Get creative about your housing options

When looking for a place to retire alone, there are loads of options to consider:

  • Move abroad to a country with a low cost of living where you can get to know the culture and cuisine.
  • Team up with a friend or two for built-in companionship and shared living expenses.
  • Choose a retirement community with senior-friendly amenities and walkable conveniences.

Consider long-term care insurance

Did you know that most adults turning 65 will need long-term care at some point?

Long-term care can be expensive. As a single retiree, you may feel more secure knowing you have coverage for a long-term care facility or at-home care should the need arise. A long-term care policy may not be cheap, but it can be worth the security it brings you.

Know your Social Security claiming options

If you have never been married or have never had a marriage lasting ten or more years, your Social Security claiming options are simple. It is likely best to wait until age 70 to claim unless you believe your life expectancy will be shorter than average. If you claim your benefits before reaching full retirement age and continue working, make sure your income does not exceed the Social Security earnings limit at the time, or you may end up owing money.

If you have a previous marriage that lasted ten years or longer, you can claim a spousal benefit based on your ex's earnings record and switch to your benefit amount when you reach full retirement age. If your spouse is deceased, you may be eligible for a widow/widower benefit based on your late partner's earnings record.

Be sure to review your options carefully before making your choice.

A single retirement may look different, but by planning and following the tips outlined above, these can be the best years of your life.