Living a Happy Retirement While Single

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. 

Focus On Your Health

It’s not a secret that the healthier you are, the happier you tend to be - and the longer you’ll live! By prioritizing health in retirement, you can increase the number of opportunities you’re able to take advantage of without having to rely on family or other connections to care for you as you age. You can get started taking care of your health by:

  1. Prioritizing movement! Go for a walk, do yoga, or participate in a local fitness class.
  2. Get outside. Soaking up Vitamin D is good for your health, and time spent outside often benefits your mental health, as well. 
  3. Schedule your appointments. Go to regular check ups, see specialists as needed, and don’t miss appointments. Taking care of yourself means prioritizing these things in your calendar. 
  4. Find the right health care coverage. Look at all coverage options from Medicare, to Medicare Advantage or Part D add-on’s, to private coverage, to ensure you have what you need.

Build a Community

Whether it’s family, friends, or neighbors in a tight-knit community designed for retirees, know who you can rely on if needed. This is critical in case of emergency, but also to ensure that you continue to thrive with personal connections throughout retirement. People are designed to spend time with others, and finding a group that you feel comfortable with can help you feel fulfilled.

Dedicate Time to Legacy Building

You can and should feel empowered to create a legacy that’s meaningful to you. Consider what causes or organizations are near and dear to your heart, or whether there are family and friends you’d want to support (financially or otherwise!) both now and as part of your estate plan. Remember - legacies aren’t built only after someone passes away. You can start now by donating time and energy to volunteer work or projects you love, or incorporating charitable giving into your financial plan. 

Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney

One way you can continue to building a legacy you’re passionate about is to speak with an estate planning attorney. They can help you to coordinate charitable giving, trusts, and any other elements you may need in order to maximize your accumulated wealth and estate to make an impact. 

Consider Housing

You may be perfectly happy in your current home - and that’s wonderful! However, as you move through retirement, don’t be afraid to reconsider your housing options. You might look to:

  1. Downsize to an apartment or a smaller living space that’s easier to maintain and frees up time to explore your hobbies and interests. 
  2. Look for a 55+ community or retirement community where you might be able to find a built-in network of like minded individuals and friends. 
  3. Research options for assisted living if you anticipate that being a need in the distant future and budget your retirement savings accordingly. 

Create a Trusted Network

Retirement requires a significant amount of planning, and there are many moving parts that can feel overwhelming. You may feel as though you’re not often catered to by popular news and resources that focus on retirement planning and strategies as a single retiree, which can compound your stress. Building a trusted network of professionals, such as a fee-only financial planner, can help you to create a strategy and move forward into retirement with confidence. 

Wood Smith Advisors, a woman-owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs, and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.

"Finance Made Simple" blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.

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