Inspiration – Jordan

Myths and Misconceptions About Retirement as a Single Person
Preparing for retirement as an unmarried individual comes with its own unique challenges. Unfortunately, many persisting myths and misconceptions about single retirement can deter proper planning. Let’s debunk some key inaccuracies and clear up the reality of retiring solo.

  • Myth: You need less retirement savings without a spouse. 
Reality: You likely need close to the same amount or more alone. Expenses like housing, utilities, and transportation may not decrease much by losing a spouse. And you lose the ability to pool financial resources and share costs.
  • Myth: You’ll move in with family when you retire.
Reality: While living with family may work for some, many prefer to maintain their own home. Don’t plan to cut housing costs this way unless specifically discussed with relatives.

  • Myth: You can rely more on Social Security and pensions. 
Reality: Social Security provides only about 40% of pre-retirement income on average. Most pensions also pay less than needed to maintain living standards. Avoid overdependence. 
  • Myth: You’ll have more time for side gigs in retirement.
Reality: While extra income is great, don’t overestimate your bandwidth. Health issues and caregiving duties can emerge. Be cautious about relying too heavily on future work.
  • Myth: Medicare and supplements will cover healthcare.
Reality: Healthcare costs are a major expense, so build out-of-pocket costs into your plan. Also factor in things Medicare doesn’t cover like dental, vision, hearing aids.

  • Myth: You can travel for most of retirement. 
Reality: Extended travel is great but can get lonely without a companion. Budget based on your real desire for adventure balanced with need for community.
  • Myth: You should delay retirement as long as possible.
Reality: Don’t overwork yourself out of fear. Some expenses may decrease in older age. Work with a financial planner to determine your unique timing.
  • Myth: You’ll have no one to care for you. 
Reality: Develop local community ties to build your “care crew”. And factor long-term care costs into savings as needed.

Retiring single has challenges but can be done securely with smart planning, reasonable expectations, and an accurate perspective. The key is tailoring your financial plan to your unique needs and priorities. Don’t let myths derail your solo retirement dreams.