Finance Made Simple

When it comes to financial planning, a surprising number of couples choose to put one person “in charge” of their wealth management. It can make sense to have one member of a couple be responsible for some financial tasks (think: setting up bill pay, tracking progress toward goals, and even maintaining daily budget items). 

The Social Security Administration has announced that they will start to provide statements that highlight how much you can receive in benefits between ages 62 and 70. However, the SSA also has numerous online resources to help you:

  • Calculate benefits
  • Understand eligibility 

And more! 

When you read articles about planning for retirement, they often focus on retired couples. While it’s true that most retirees are married or have a partner and children, that isn’t always the case. In fact, “gray divorce” (or divorce after age 65) is becoming increasingly prevalent, with over 1 of 10 retirees being divorced

Additionally, the Social Security Administration also indicated that 26% of their total beneficiaries are widowed retirees aged 65 or older receiving spousal benefits. Regardless of why you are single in retirement, or whether or not it was by choice, you can still plan for a fulfilling and exciting next chapter in your life. Here’s how. 

Planning your retirement lifestyle can be a challenge, especially when you have big goals and ideas about what you’d like to accomplish in your next chapter. One way to ensure you stay on track toward a lifestyle you love without blowing your budget is to spend time prioritizing your goals prior to retiring. 

For many retirees, it’s inevitable. The urge to escape ice and snow each winter is often too great to ignore. However, uprooting your life entirely in order to live somewhere warm and sunny year-round may not be an option. Family, friends, pets, and a community you love may continually pull you back to your roots (even if the winters are less than favorable!). The solution that some retirees pursue is to adopt a “snowbird” lifestyle. Just like birds do, these retirees fly south for the winter months to a second residence that they own. 

Many pre-retirees and retirees know that their current living arrangement won’t make sense for their needs forever. There are approximately 21,000 senior living facilities in the United States as of 2019, and a growing senior population. The reality is that many seniors may want or need some kind of senior living community as they go through retirement. 

It’s rare that we imagine ourselves facing retirement without our spouse or partner. Unfortunately, most women outlive their male partners for at least 5-6 years - and 26% of retirees are divorced. All of this to say, it’s possible you may find yourself in a position as a single woman to make decisions about where you want to live in retirement, and whether or not relocating to be near family is in the cards. 

When saving for retirement, it’s important to maximize every dollar you funnel into retirement savings accounts.

Estate planning can be a stressful process - especially if you aren’t clear on what documents you need in place to protect your loved ones.

More and more frequently, parents are supporting their adult children well into their lives after they’ve left “the nest.” COVID-19 has brought this concept into the spotlight, as many young adults who lost their jobs or who had to relocate during coronavirus, ended up moving home. It’s not a secret that parenthood is expensive! However, many parents are struggling to walk a line between continuing to be supportive of adult children while also setting themselves up for financial success. Let’s walk through how you can successfully set financial expectations with your adult children that strike the balance you’re hoping for. 

Since the concept of “retirement” became popular in the 1920s, people have been sprinting toward the proverbial finish line. They imagine turning in their badge, celebrating with their colleagues over a retirement cake in the break room, and never returning to the office again in order to embrace a life of leisure. 

Retirement is often viewed by many as the ultimate end-goal. Whether you picture sitting on a beach with your spouse or spending more time with family and friends without the pressure and stress of your career weighing you down, everyone dreams about their “ideal” retirement. For many, it truly is the final finish line you spend the majority of your life racing toward. 

Unfortunately, while many people are focused on retirement on the horizon, they become tunnel-visioned. When they finally arrive at their destination, they’re surprised to find that retirement isn’t at all what they expected, and they wind up feeling disappointed at best and depressed as a worst-case scenario. 

Most people know that saving for retirement is critical. “Save early, save often” is a phrase that’s often touted when speaking with people in the beginning or middle of their careers. Financial advisors and nearly every article available about financial tips to get ahead talk about the importance of saving for retirement for a long period of time to allow funds to grow. However, the advice often starts and ends there. There’s little guidance available at first glance about taxes on retirement accounts, or where to save your money to maximize it when you retire.

Surviving the loss of a spouse is never easy. Many times, widows feel lost as they try to navigate their new normal. Although having a checklist or a guide may not cover all of your unique needs, we hope that these tips will help you to start making forward progress on getting organized, respecting your spouse’s wishes, and setting yourself up for a stable future.


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Finance Made Simple

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