Retirement Planning For Single People

Jenny Handwerk |

Retirement Planning For Single People 


There are numerous benefits to living a solitary lifestyle. You don't have to spend holidays with occasionally annoying in-laws, and you can plan a cycling vacation through Italy without first consulting your husband.

However, going solo means paying numerous costs alone, not having the extra security that comes with two salaries, and taking extra precautions while planning for retirement. The silver lining is that one-person families can have fewer expenses than multi-person households, and there are no disagreements about spending or goals.

Whether you are freshly single or have lived an unmarried life for a long time, your retirement years can be a golden age of socialization, meaning, growth, and flourishing. With some financial forethought, you can maximize your chances of enjoying this new chapter, but that is only one part of your strategy. It is also crucial to think about your values and future goals. You deserve energized and hopeful as you embark on this next journey. 

So here we have some helpful information if you are single and planning for retirement. 


What Is the Average Retirement Income for a Single Person?


The average salary for individuals over 65 is approximately $40,800 for women and slightly less than $54,500 for males.1 However, it is also necessary to evaluate the media retirement income for single individuals over 65, as very high-income outliers may cause the average to exceed the wages of the ordinary single person. The median salary for women over 65 is $27,400, while single men earn $32,200. 


Steps To Prepare For Retirement 


  • Prepare for healthcare costs.


According to the Administration for Community Living, an individual reaching 65 today has a nearly 70% chance of requiring long-term care services. Services differ from person to person and evolve throughout time. Those who require long-term care, on the other hand, often receive it for three years. Women need 3.7 years of care, while men require 2.2 years. 

According to the ACL, while one-third of today's 65-year-olds may never need long-term care, 20% may require it for more than five years.


  • Figure out what you'll need in retirement.

Understanding your financial situation includes determining your retirement income target. The Retirement Living Standards statistics are an excellent reference because they provide options based on how extravagant or modest you want your retirement to be. Once you know what you may expect in retirement and your target income, you can plan how to close the gap. 


  • Make informed decisions

If you are divorced or widowed, be sure you understand the rules for Social Security ex-spouse and survivor payments. Your age may affect your eligibility for these monthly payments and the amount you are allowed to receive.

We recommend waiting until you reach the age of 70 to claim your Social Security retirement benefits. You can file as early as age 62, but your benefits will grow by up to 8% each year for each month you postpone until you reach 70. 


  • Employ Budgeting and Saving Strategies

Adopting a comprehensive budget will allow you to "free up" funds for your nest egg. This includes keeping track of all your spending, both regular and annual. Tracking your income, expenses, and goals allows you to identify areas where you might discover "extra cash" and save more for retirement. That way, even without a spouse to share expenditures, you can continuously save money for retirement.

A budget is like a financial roadmap for single people planning for retirement. It helps you understand where your money is going, allowing you to direct more dollars toward your nest egg.


  • Max out your HSA or FSA if you can access one.

Saving for health care expenses via a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) can be a good idea. Both accounts allow you to pay qualified healthcare expenses using pre-tax dollars. If you have an HSA-eligible health plan, aim to invest up to the maximum contribution amount.


  • Seek expert advice

Look for a chief financial officer to assist you in creating a retirement plan. Northwestern Mutual's 2023 study shows that around one-third of Americans work with a financial adviser. 

A financial specialist can run simulations and study a person's lifestyle expenses to determine them. This enables the individual to decide when they can afford to retire or how many more years of work they must complete.

If you've been making financial decisions on your own for most of your life, in that case, some never-married adults may find it difficult to include others in the process of making personal finance decisions for retirement.


On the other end of the scale, divorced or widowed people may be at a disadvantage if their spouse made the majority of financial decisions. You don't have to go through this alone; our team of specialists can help you make the most of your finances to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement.