It can be scary facing retirement alone, but it does not have to be a stressful experience! While retirement planning is typically geared toward couples, there are many aging adults that are reaching retirement without a spouse. Most older women who live alone are quite happy with how their life is. There are a few challenges to retiring alone but continue reading for 5 steps to retiring as a single woman.
#1: Plan as much as possible
The key to retirement savings is planning. You want to be able to generate a reliable retirement income or figure out how you will be claiming Social Security benefits. Take a close look at your financials to decide how long you will need to work, if you need a higher income, and what your living expenses are. As a single wage earner, you only have your own income to depend on. You will want to begin budgeting for contributing to your retirement savings.
#2: Delay your Social Security Benefits
Social security may be your primary reliable source of income in retirement. Your income from Social Security depends on when you start receiving it. The more you delay receiving it, the more money you will receive. It is extremely beneficial to put off receiving Social Security income. The earliest age you can begin receiving benefits is 62 so if you delay a few years, you can increase your income by several thousand dollars. While you can begin receiving benefits at 62, it is with a 25% reduction to full benefits at your full retirement age. Every month that you delay taking your benefits, it increases your benefit amount until you hit that full retirement age.
#3: Think about your health
Healthcare costs are a major expense in retirement, especially as a woman who has a longer life expectancy. In retirement you qualify for Medicare if you do not have private insurance. With Medicare, you can expect to have an out-of-pocket cost from $5,000 to $10,000 per year. As you age, these costs will increase. For a lifetime estimate in retirement of healthcare costs, you can plan for around $200,000 out of pocket. You will want to make sure that your overall goal for your retirement savings includes enough money for out-of-pocket medical costs.
#4: Consider changing your investment strategy
Women tend to be more conservative and risk averse when it comes to investing. As a single woman needing to fund a longer life expectancy, a more aggressive investment plan can help provide more money in your retirement savings. Learn about the risks and benefits of different investment strategies that can provide decent returns.
#5: Use a Financial Advisor
A financial advisor can provide their expert opinion about our retirement savings plan. They can also assist you in maximizing your benefits and finding the best ways for you to retire with enough money to sustain yourself. As a single woman, you have different challenges that come with retirement planning. A financial advisor can address these challenges early on and help you succeed.
Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates are here to help you with your retirement planning needs. We want to assist you in maximizing your financial future as a single woman.