What are the best financial strategies for singles?

Joseph Lee, CFP®
Lee Financial Planning

Lee Financial Planning provides highly personalized guidance to help clients navigate life's challenges. We specialize in helping prepare for life's unexpected events and setting a course toward fulfilling and secure retirements.

Singles require financial planning that meets their personal goals and needs
  • There are more singles than ever, in part because a growing number of people are either delaying marriage or never getting married at all.

  • Women are also more likely to outlive their spouses. In the U.S., women can expect to live five years long than men, on average.1

  • While many financial strategies are the same whether you are single or married, there are certain areas singles should pay particular attention to.

Today, half of the U.S. population is single, compared with just 37 percent in 1976.2

What are some financial strategies singles should consider?
Have a strong safety net

While everyone needs a strong financial safety net, singles, who can’t count on another income to fall back on, should put a solid plan in place in case of emergencies. Having at least six to nine months income of accessible savings and purchasing disability insurance can help protect you if you lose your job or find yourself unable to work.

Anticipate potential care needs in later life

Married couples can often count on their spouses to provide care and support in later life. Singles must be more proactive, such as purchasing long-term care insurance, moving into communities which provide care if needed (such as continuing care retirement communities), or establishing a network of friends and family to provide support for each other.

Get your affairs in order

Everyone should make sure they have proxies in place to help make medical and financial decisions for them if needed. Singles should pay particular attention to assigning durable medical power of attorney, establishing advance health care directives, and setting up durable power of attorney for financial matters, in addition to having your estate planning up-to-date.

Create a vision for what you want to do in retirement

While spouses can often talk about their retirement goals together, singles need to be more self-reliant in crafting their hopes and dreams for retirement activities, fun, and purpose in life. Don't wait until you are well into your retirement years. Developing new hobbies, interests, and a rich social life outside work can help make your retirement years active and fulfilling.

Form a team of advisors and mentors

Everyone benefits from smart third-party advice and guidance, but singles in particular can benefit from outside perspectives and having a trusted team, including financial advisors, life coaches, and others, who can help them creatively brainstorm life strategies and goals.

I would like to learn more about...

Ideas for singles to envision and prepare for life and retirement goals

Financial opportunities and risks for singles

Financial considerations for divorce or widowhood

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1. CDC, Health, United States

2. US Census Bureau

This publication is designed to provide general information and is for discussion purposes only. The effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon each individual’s facts and circumstances. This article does not provide legal, tax or account advice. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error, the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information is not guaranteed.