As you reach the end of your career, it is imperative that you begin to look into the next steps of life, especially if you are single and retired. However, many overlook the simple fact that retirement does not look the same for everybody — especially those who are single.
A stereotypical American life can often be defined as growing up, getting an education, pursuing your career, and more often than not, getting married. But for those who are perhaps divorced, or have made the choice to remain single, this path of life is not the one they chose.
According to the Center for Family and Demographic Research, “One in three baby boomers is unmarried. The vast majority of these unmarried boomers are either divorced or never-married; just 10% are widowed. Unmarried boomers face greater economic, health, and social vulnerabilities compared to married boomers.”
The truth is, although there are many benefits to living the single life, those who are unmarried, divorced, or even widowed can statistically face more hardships and troubles especially in their later years of life. This can affect individuals in a multitude of ways, such as what the single retirees choose to do after they stop working, who looks out for them in times of need, and the amount of financial pressure they face.
However, don’t feel as though you are left to fend for yourself. Here are 5 steps for single baby boomers who want to achieve a great single and retired lifestyle.
- Get your ducks in a row. This might come off as kind of a no-brainer, but it’s important that you face the reality that your retirement might look different compared to that of somebody else. Do your research on whether you are financially prepared for retirement, and come up with a plan on what you want this to look like. For more information on how to identify your financial assets, check out our article on personal balance sheets.
- Explore your list of needs and wants. Remember that retirement is not only a personal choice, it is a process that isn’t factory-made. Your retirement can be whatever you make of it. One thing is for sure: you’re single, so you can take charge of what is and isn’t comfortable for Look into where you would like to retire, whether that means living in your dream destination, living in a retirement community, or even just staying where you are. Keep in mind that you may need to look into retirement care in the future, so keep health and emergency planning as a priority as you move into the later years of life.
- Know who has your back. Make sure you know who has your back when it comes to health, and express your need for support to friends and family members. This could be cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews, or even your own kids if you are divorced. It’s okay and necessary to be independent, but there are many people in your life who are there to help you develop a plan. Make sure these people are there to help you advocate for your single and retired financial and health needs, and can plan for any support you will need along the way.
- Develop and maintain close relationships. Relationships are a crucial part of every phase of life, especially retirement as a single person. This can present itself in many different ways. Perhaps you have other single friends in your life that you can count on during this season of change, and they are the perfect people to stick with especially when diving into the unknown. Relationships are also really important to keep you company! Close friends, old colleagues, and family are the perfect people to stick close to. Come up with ways to stay busy and have a routine of things to do, such as going out to lunch with friends or having family over. Just because you are facing this time of life as a single person doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. For more information on how you can be alone without being lonely, check out this article:
- Continue to do your research. It’s important to remember that you are surrounded by endless amounts of resources, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not being aware of them. Because you are single, you are especially responsible for the lifestyle you wish to maintain. Make sure that as you explore your near future you are prepared for what life may throw at you. It may be a cliché to say that life is unexpected, but it is something that you need to come to terms with. Know your risks as a single person as they relate to finances, mental health, and physical health. The greatest risk of all is being uninformed or unprepared.
Here are a couple of other articles that can be helpful to you as a single and retired person.